What will happen to the old Job Centre building?

Regular readers will be familiar with the ‘aspiration’ to redevelop the tired London Road frontage (and the buildings behind it).


A week or two ago, the Job Centre’s premises on the corner of the A30 and Park Street became empty, when the Job Centre moved to the council offices in Knoll Road.  It will be interesting to see what happens to the building now.  Will it be sold on the open market – thus potentially excluding it from any wholesale redevelopment?  Or will it be acquired by the borough council or The Mall as part of an eventual regeneration scheme.  Maybe we’ll find out before too long…..

Borough council isn’t interested in s@x at the moment!

(Apologies for that @ in the title of this item.  We suspect that we’d be censored on-line if we spelled the word in full…)

The borough council is seeking views on its current licensing policy – http://goo.gl/hAubSM.  This is the policy that covers licensing in relation to premises which are used ‘for the sale or supply of alcohol, to provide regulated entertainment, or to provide late night refreshment’.  The council is also responsible for licensing s@x establishments, but its policy for this is a separate matter not covered by the current consultation.


The thing that strikes us is that though the policy refers more than once to ‘representations’ – ie objections by residents and others – it doesn’t say how residents and others will be made aware of a licence application.  We’re certainly not an expert in this area, and it might be argued that rules for ‘publicising’ an application are set out in the Licensing Act.  But since much of the policy reflects the Act, it would useful if the policy mirrored the legal requirements for publication too.  Moreover, the policy could go further and state that the council is committed to publishing all applications on its website.  (The Act is too old to recognise the internet as a major means of communication.  It simply requires any application for a premises licence to be published in a local newspaper.  Yet local newspapers are a shrinking breed.)

The Eye will be responding to the borough council with the above comments.  If you’d like the policy to state how YOU will be told of future licence applications, you might like to do the same thing.  Unhelpfully, the council doesn’t appear to have said how to submit responses (the link above is to the policy, but we can find no further information).  We suggest that you e-mail your thoughts to: licensing@surreyheath.gov.uk

Improvement of walking, cycling and public transport facilities in the town centre.

Camberley residents, read the following and sigh.  When were Camberley’s facilities last improved?

“Surrey County Council is consulting on proposals to improve walking, cycling and public transport facilities in Guildford town centre.

We are inviting the public and other organisations to complete a questionnaire online or at exhibitions in October and November to share their views on the scheme. Full details of the consultation and exhibition can be found at: www.surreycc.gov.uk/guildfordtransportschemes

The public exhibitions displaying the proposals and the information panels currently available online will be held in the Seminar Room at Guildford Library, at 77 North St, Guildford, Surrey GU1 4AL

We look forward to receiving your views.
Major Schemes Team

Surrey County Council, County Hall, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2DN”

(Apologies that the information above is a month or so old.  Blame the Eye for not publishing it sooner, but the message isn’t affected;  Camberley’s falling behind.)

Camberley’s library. Is it muddled thinking?

The borough council’s chief executive is quoted as saying during an interview last year: “….the land east of Knoll Road where there are proposals for a new library….”

Now, if there are proposals for a new library, presumably expenditure on the fabric of the existing one should be kept to a minimum?  Yet, it’s about to be closed “from 5pm on Saturday 28 November for essential window replacement and asbestos removal. They hope to reopen in early February 2016.”


Of course, the work may, indeed, be “essential”.  Or maybe it’ll prove to be a bit of a waste of money because the building becomes redundant in the near future.  Or maybe the proposals for a new library just won’t happen.  It wouldn’t be the first time – or the second time – that a local plan has gone nowhere, unfortunately.

New restaurant almost ready to open…

We took this photo of the former cycle shop in Camberley’s Park Street at the end of last week.  Aerosol paint cans were being rattled energetically, and the external frames were being sprayed.


This week, the brown paper has been removed, and it looks as if much of the restaurant has now been ‘fitted out’.  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of furniture in place yet, but the bar appears to be pretty much complete.  Unfortunately, it was impossible to take another photograph when we passed;  vans were parked close to the building, obstructing the view.

The NatWest makeover moves slowly on

We’re surprised how long it’s taking to revamp the NatWest in Camberley’s Park Street (though, come to think of it, work to reconfigure Barclays in the High Street seemed to take for ever).


Anyway, changes were still underway one evening last week, when we took this photo.  It’s strange how no-one seemed to think that night-time banging and crashing in a bank might be something more sinister than innocent building work.

Shoe Zone under wraps – but not for much longer?

Occasionally we’ve mentioned the substantial building work going on behind the former Shoe Zone shop in Camberley’s High Street.  But not much has been visible from the front of the shop.  Indeed, for the last week or so, black plastic sheets have been taped to the inside of the windows so that nothing can be seen at all.


However, recently small white notices were also fixed to the windows.  These state ‘Opening Soon’, though there’s never been any indication of who the new occupant will be.

So the Eye has snooped a little!  We’re far from sure (don’t forget that!), but it looks like the shop could be a larger version of ‘Stacks’ – the general hardware store – on the other side of the High Street.  Time will tell whether we’re right….