Camberley Town Centre Masterplan – making it easy for you

We’ve previously written at length about the borough council’s draft document setting out the future of the town centre.  Our last item provided links to the full document and to the ‘official’ form for people to give their views.

However, the official form is highly unsuitable for completing and returning on-line.  In our experience, it doesn’t even LOOK right on mobile devices.

So, here is an easy alternative. Simply click HERE – which, for most readers, will open up a blank e-mail, already addressed to the borough council and with the relevant subject in the subject line.  (If this doesn’t work, just send an e-mail to planning.policy@surreyheath.gov.uk  with ‘Camberley Town Centre Masterplan’ as the subject.)  Then, just copy and paste the following text into the body of the e-mail (obviously, ALTER THE TEXT TO SUIT YOUR VIEWS, after you’ve pasted it!), add your name and address at the end of the text and SEND the e-mail.  Job done!

I would like to make the following comments about the consultation document ‘Camberley Town Centre Masterplan and Public Realm Strategy Supplementary Planning Document’:

1. I support much of what the document proposes.  More trees, a high quality street environment and public realm, upgrading of the station, opening up east-west links…  are highly desirable improvements.  I urge the council to turn its fine ideas into practice as soon as possible.

2. Of the two options for pedestrianising the High Street, Option 1 – the narrowing of the majority of the street, with reduced parking, would lead to severe traffic congestion.   So, the only other option offered, Option 2 – complete pedestrianisation apart from access for service vehicles – is my preferred option.

3. I am concerned about the prospect of the redeveloped London Road Block being six storeys high.  Camberley is a human-scale town and six storeys could be over-powering.

4. I support the intention to retain the facades of the more significant buildings facing the London Road.

5. Though I support opening up east-west links, those in the town centre should remain roofed to protect pedestrians from the weather.  This particularly applies to those walking between Main Square car park and The Mall, and between The Mall and the (future) London Road Block.

6. The proposed locations for taxi ranks needs to be re-thought, to avoid late-night disturbance of residents.

7.  The Bear public house is one of the few physical reminders left in the town centre of its past.  We are disturbed by the suggestion that it will be partially demolished, and urge that nothing is done that would have a significant affect on its appearance and character.

8. Finally, Camberley is a small town.  If it is to compete successfully with its larger neighbours, which are also going through a regeneration process, it will have to do so on the basis of quality, and not just quantity.  I therefore view the improvement of the High Street – turning it into an attractive character area – as a top priority.  The council must work with the retailers concerned to improve the individual buildings.

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12 thoughts on “Camberley Town Centre Masterplan – making it easy for you

  1. Great idea, but your email link has a typo which means no one will able to send the email. There’s a rogue l or I or something after the y in policy. I will have to try and resurrect my version of your fine template and try again!

    >

    • Thanks, I know – I clicked on ‘publish’ before I’d finished the text. The problem is it’s impossible to change e-mails that have already gone out. The post now in the blog should work, but the horse has bolted.

    • Thanks Mike. I’m tempted to write a quick explanation of what happened and why. Though it was a simple mistake, it was the tip of an iceberg problem. Maybe it should be a Saturday topic – of absolutely no interest to most people!!

  2. Good stuff. I agree with the central point, if Camberley is to compete with larger towns like Reading and Guildford we have to have better quality than they do, not quantity. We’re already starting to see the start of this with Byrons, the fact that this is the first in the South that isnt in London.

  3. Steve/David you are spot on

    Current
    Reading and Guildford are indeed oversized. In fact they are far to extended, very exposed to the weather and not very mobility friendly. Camberley Centre and West side [Atrium] is already an attractive area.

    Invest and get on with it in 2015.
    Camberley next [immediate Phase. 2015] should address the High Street and the covered colonnades linking the Town to the East – SHBC offices and the secret park and the theatre.

    Immediately accelerate the Camberley British Rail Frimley spur/loop reconnection.
    • Make Camberley a Train Fast track and hub.
    • Woking and Waterloo line to the North.
    • Winchester and the coast South
    • Reading to Gatwick “express” already stops at Blackwater. Shuttle bus
    • Consider weekend free car parking.

    A beautiful vibrant pedestrian only High Street, integrated with culture zone, linking via walkways and the Mall to the Atrium would then be the magnet for the likes of JL.

    A lower rise [ 3 – 4 storey] London Road Block would good fit for Camberley and make financial sense to the John Lewis in the Southeast. With the large Waitrose depot nearby, just along the M3/A30, Camberley would provide the foundation for their growing Store and Internet business.

    • 90% agreed. But I think we have to plan for anything other than minor improvements to the rail service to only happen in the long term. Which makes it even more vital that Camberley has other things to attract people. Which is where your beautiful etc High Street comes in. Walking along it should be a pleasure, not a penance.

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