Do Camberley’s county councillors visit Camberley?

Anyone who stands at the top of Park Street will very quickly notice one thing.  That’s the number of vehicles that turn into the road from the A30 and then drive back out again because it’s not a through road for general traffic.

The other day I stood there and took the following photo.  (It’s not a very good picture, but I wasn’t after artistic merit.  It’s just that several cars were driving into Park Street at the time.  Note the black car on the left. I thought there was  fair chance that I’d see it again…)

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And, yes, it was only a matter of seconds before I took this second photo.  There’s the black car driving out again.

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This happens so often that a helpful council would put up signs to tell drivers that it’s not a through road.  Of course, our local councillors might alert the council to the problem too…

(We’d put this information on Cllr Chapman’s blog.  But the blog won’t allow the Eye to enter comments – we’ve tried for months – although others can.  We wonder why – is someone frightened of the Eye???)

 

Town centre parking – pay for what you use.

It’s frustrating to park in a car park for just a few minutes and have to pay for an hour or two.  Technology makes it perfectly possible to have a more flexible scheme.

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Leamington Spa manages it.  But our local council is unlikely to try it.  The council doesn’t try anything.  At least, it doesn’t have the courage to try pedestrianising the High Street simply as an experiment.

Shoe Zone – growing a few sizes!

Back in October, we announced that the Shoe Zone building – now unoccupied – in Camberley’s High Street would be extended at the back.  (Though we didn’t say it at the time, this would eliminate five parking spaces.  Nor did we mention that the upper offices would be converted into two flats.)

Since then, once the shop windows facing the High Street had been crudely covered up on the inside, nothing much has been visible.

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At least, nothing much has been visible from the High Street.  At the back, things are different.  Apologies that the photograph doesn’t show a vast amount of detail, although it can just about be seen beyond the Portaloo that the back wall of the building has been removed.  It proved rather difficult to do anything better.

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Norwich House yesterday, Ashwood House today

Yesterday, we commented on the recent plans to convert Norwich House into flats.

In that item, we included a link to an item that we wrote last December about both Norwich House and  Ashwood House (the large office block opposite the station).   If you had the energy to follow that link, you will have seen that there was opposition to the council ‘classifying’ either property as a commercial building.  You might wonder what the more-recent Ashwood House position is.  We wonder too.

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As far as we can tell, the borough council is intending to spend about £8 million in acquiring and refurbishing the building, creating fifty flats, of which twenty would be social housing.  In addition. it will provide “3,800 metres of refurbished retail space”.  (Someone should tell the council the difference between ‘metres’ and ‘square metres’.)  The completion date is unclear to us.  On the one hand, the council says “The aim is to complete in 2016″  On the other hand, the project cost seems to be spread over the intervening period until 2020.  It’s probably unfair to record that the council has also written “refurbishment could take place 2014-2015″.  That was an early estimate, so slippage is forgiveable.

Norwich House: flats replacing offices….

Back in December 2013, we pointed out that – in our understanding – the owners of Norwich House, which is the office block at the top of Knoll Road, had objected to the building being ‘classified’ as a place of employment.  (http://wp.me/p3Dlu2-uY)

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The world moves on.  A planning application has, indeed, just been submitted “for the conversion of existing B1 Offices to form 16 one bedroom units and 37 two bedroom units.”  Moreover, the application states that, under the General Permitted Development Order, “in determining the application, the local planning authority can only consider the highway, flooding and contamination issues in respect of the change of use”.

The application  records that there are sixty three parking places on the site, which means that there will be one space per flat, with ten spaces for visitors.  There are also forty six cycle spaces.  This, the application deems to be sufficient.

Unlike in yesterday’s story, nothing has disappeared. Not yet, anyway!

Yesterday, we published a short item about a large illuminated sign that has disappeared from inside Camberley’s Mall.  Today, we’re raising the likely disappearance of the old ‘Ask Me’ desk, also in the Mall.  The desk, shown in the upper photo, was still there a day or two ago.  But it was out of service, and the new desk in Main Square was up and running.

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Now, is it coincidence?  The council proposes that Princess Way and Obelisk Way – both of which are closed at night because they pass through the Mall – should be opened up permanently.  This means that the old ‘Ask Me’ desk would have to go at some point.  As, almost certainly, would the illuminated sign mentioned yesterday.

But we guess that such changes are probably several years away, even with a ‘following wind’.  So maybe the recent moves are nothing to do with them.  We shall see.

How long has it been gone?

Sometimes, things disappear and we don’t notice it.  Which is the case with this illuminated sign just inside the entrance of Camberley’s Mall, opposite Boots.

Mall sign

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As the lower photo shows, the sign has gone.  Totally.  But we’ve never noticed.  When did it happen??

(Actually, it wasn’t a very good place for a sign.  Too near the doors to be seen very much.)

 

Will new flats in the centre of Camberley have their own parking spaces?

Recently there’s been some discussion on this blog about whether or not new residences in central Camberley will have their own parking spaces.  By coincidence, a somewhat related issue arises in a new planning application affecting the rear of 65 Park Street.

We recently featured changes visible from the front of this building – the white former house in this photo:

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The new application proposes extending the building to the rear.  “The proposal creates a 3 storey flat roofed extension to the rear of the existing building to house 2No one bedroom apartments, 1No new two bedroom apartment and 1No extension of existing one bedroom flat into two bedroom apartment.”

The application continues: “The existing parking arrangements are very tight and can only fit one or two cars parked on site with careful organization. The existing spaces are to be removed to make way for the proposed new development.  The site is well located for public transport links, a public multistory car park is located opposite the site.  An area for bicycle storage has been allocated on the ground floor of the proposed development to encourage green forms of transport.

It will be interesting to see whether the local planners are concerned by the proposed lack of parking spaces, or whether they support it.