The draft Camberley Town Centre Masterplan and Public Realm Strategy document was summarised by the Eye a few months ago.
Quite a few changes were made to the text before the final version was approved by the borough council executive in April. However, even by then, parts of the document seemed to be out of date.
Specifically re Knoll Road, we have mentioned here recently that two of the five office blocks on the west side of the road are now the subject of planning applications to convert them into flats. Such an eventuality has been known by the council in principle for a while, we are sure. Nevertheless, it is scarcely recognised by the strategy document. Here is what the text says:
Office uses are focused along the western side of Knoll Road, … The presence of office uses within the town centre is important in supporting the daytime retail economy.
West of Knoll Road – currently exclusively office uses in freestanding buildings with some potential for adaptation to new uses
Mews style development….tees up the opportunity for intensification of office blocks along Knoll Road
The introduction of a single service yard would also provide an opportunity for an intensification of the office uses along Knoll Road.
The Eye strongly believes in planning! And we have no intention of criticising the council’s planners. But the town centre area action plan is supposed to cover the period up to 2028, so for its supplementary planning document to be significantly out of date so soon after its adoption calls into question the appropriateness of the current planning system. Does it have any value? Maybe we need a completely different way of doing things.