When will the scaffolding return?

We’re a bit surprised to see that the new windows on the former Cambridge Hotel still need work on them, but that the scaffolding on that part of the building has been removed. It’s not too difficult to spot that some of the brickwork above one window is in disrepair, and that the expanded foam sealant around both windows in our photo is still exposed. (Foam sealant deteriorates in sunlight, and it has to be covered in some way.) Also, the remains of an old external hotel sign are still attached. Presumably, this is all work in hand.

Catch 22

Here we go, round an unbreakable circle.

It’s been pointed out to us that this week’s planning applications committee meeting has two items deemed unsuitable for public eyes.

Now, in theory, we can complain if a matter is being discussed behind closed doors when it shouldn’t be kept secret. But, unless and until we know what is going to be discussed, we can’t justify our complaint. So the council holds all the cards.

We can only speculate as to why this week’s discussion will be behind closed doors. If it’s a ‘routine’ review of performance to date (and the council has previously said that it’s been struggling to manage the planning workload), then we reckon that tax-payers shouldn’t be kept in the dark. But maybe, just maybe, it’s more commercial in nature, so a degree of confidentiality might be appropriate. For example, we know that about a year ago the council was proposing to merge its Planning Control function with that of Runnymede, and the arrangement had financial benefits.

So, the real question is ‘Will we ever be told what was discussed – and, if so, when?’ We’re not holding our breath…

Camberley. The town where time stands still

Long-suffering readers will know that for many years the Eye has despaired of the council’s inability to set the clock on Main Square car park to show the correct time. In recent months, it’s been giving shoppers false information, but we’ve grown too weary of highlighting the problem over those years to write about it again.

Anyway, we think the council has, at last, admitted defeat, and it has set the clock – on both sides of the stairwell – to point to 12:00 and nothing else. We may watch to see if we’re right…

‘Closed until further notice’

A rather concerning sign has been posted on the windows of the gym on the corner of the High Street and St George’s Road. ‘Closed until further notice’ usually means just one thing… Whatever the outcome, we’re aware that we’ve never seen much evidence of people using the gym during the day. (The evenings may be different – we don’t know.)

Past its ‘use by’ date

We’re all in favour of organisations putting up notices about forthcoming events, particularly if the events are open to the public. At the moment, the town doesn’t have any accepted place to publicise such things, which is a shame. And we don’t mean burying information in some website which most people don’t see. Rather we need somewhere big and obvious. We reckon that knowing what’s happening helps build a sense of community and involvement, so it’s a particular shame that the practice years ago of putting banners high up across the High Street was discontinued.

BUT – and there’s always a ‘but’! Once an event is finished, notices become an eyesore and just litter. So organisers who post notices should be equally conscientious about removing them. Something that’s been overlooked outside the House of Fraser.

Another new ‘gym’

Apologies, ‘gym’ probably isn’t an accurate description, but ‘studio’ – on its own – doesn’t convey very much.

Anyway, alerted by the Camberley Residents Facebook page, we’ve turned to Facebook ourselves to look at Mind, Body and Soul:

We gather that Mind, Body and Soul has existed for over a decade, starting in a far-away place – we’ve never heard of it – called Mytchett. There’s a bit more of the studio’s history on its Facebook page.

Heigh ho. More flats. UPDATED

A planning application has been submitted for part of the ground floor of Dorchester Court, on the corner of The Avenue. It’s for the “Prior Approval Under the General Permitted Development Order 2015 for change of use from commercial, business and service to mixed use including up 2×2 bedroom residential units”.

We’ve struggled a bit to follow the drawings on the council’s website (and, before we updated this item, we’d got things wrong!) Courtesy of Google, our first photo shows the current configuration, and our second image, from the council’s website, shows what is proposed. There’s very little difference, but we think the plan is to replace a window with a single door – next to existing double doors – giving access to a private entrance hall.

Current side of building. (copyright Google, 2023)
Proposed change on the ground floor, overlooking the Avenue. Left-hand corner.

A very messy weekend in the town

Usually, we have nothing but praise for the council’s street-cleaning activities in the town. (Yes, at peak times, the ‘night economy’ makes a terrible mess, but it’s normally cleared up pretty quickly.) However, our praise doesn’t apply to the last weekend. More than one person has sent us photos taken during the weekend of overflowing bins and rubbish on the streets. Here they are, just as we received them:

Tut-tut, SHBC.