We believe that the borough council owned this eyesore

The photo below is of the former ‘Hoover Spares’ building in Bissingen Way, between Knoll Road and the High Street.  It was hardly a thing of beauty.  (It might have been a reminder of Camberley’s former history, but surely no-one wanted to preserve it!)

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If we recall correctly, the borough council discussed acquiring the building a couple of years or so ago.  The meeting was held in private, but we assume that the acquisition was part of the council’s plan to create a rear service road for the shops in the High Street.  In which case, we assume that the purchase was approved.  (We published an item about that service road earlier this year – https://goo.gl/3BaKfG)

Rather strangely, since the council’s plans for a service road  date back at least fifteen years, the council approved a planning application in 2008 to put an office block on the site of the building.  This would have made the construction of a service road much more difficult, we believe (yes, we objected to the application).  However, the market for office accommodation in the town centre dried up, and, even though the permission was extended until about 2014, the development never went ahead.

Anyway, this is history.  The building was knocked flat yesterday.  Long overdue;  we wonder why the council took so long.  Maybe we’ll see that service road completed eventually (but, based on progress so far, we won’t be around by then!).

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8 thoughts on “We believe that the borough council owned this eyesore

  1. Slowly Camberley is moving forward. Cant wait for them to sort out the London road area, and hopefully tempt John Lewis to Camberley.

    • I wouldn’t bet on it, Steve, unfortunately. Things might be going on behind the scenes, but the whole subject had gone very quiet, and timescales seem to have slipped. I’m thinking of setting a few ‘facts’ here at some point.

    • John Lewis may think twice about Camberley when the Waitrose store opens in Bagshot and they experience the reality of the road infrastructure along the A.30!

      Just building a new facade to Camberley will not improve access, and if people can’t get here easily they will go elsewhere.

      • Sarah, I suspect that JL isn’t even an option for Camberley, in spite of the (unfounded) rumours that have been around for years.

  2. I am still confused, as we were told that a services road would be built up to St Georges road , where the current St George’s court parking barrier is. This will then be closed off for access. But as usual nobody at council has a clear vision or plan to communicate to us

    • Well, Mark, I partly disagree. There ARE planning documents, so there’s a vision and communication – of a sort. But there’s little commitment, and certainly no informal communication or progress reporting. It gives the impression that the council is frightened of local residents, and isn’t prepared to lower its Knoll Road drawbridge.

  3. However the opening up of the service road does make it easier (for SHBC) to completely close the High Street, St Georges Road and Obelisk Way. Pedestrian Heaven in Camberley.

    • You never know… But progress is so SLOW. The High Street could be dead by then. There’s a danger that shoppers – and retailers – will desert it. In which case, pedestrianisation will be irrelevant!

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