Historic building under threat on the A30

The heading of this item isn’t quite right.  We’re actually talking here about buildings, plural.

P1090772bIn view of the recent outcry to preserve the ‘historic’ Old Thai House Restaurant, we’re reproducing our photograph of mid 2014.  It shows the hoarding being installed along a stretch of the A30 service road.  (It also shows – further from the camera – the Thai restaurant.)  Three of the buildings being concealed by the hoarding are older than the Thai restaurant frontage – the two white cottages predate it by about fifty years – and it’s not too difficult to deduce that the lot are destined for demolition.  Yet, in spite of this very obvious indication of what’s going to happen, as far as we know there hasn’t been one murmur of objection.

The conclusion has to be that people aren’t particularly fussed by the destruction of Camberley’s history as a whole – even if they say they are.  It’s only if the history is ‘nice’ that anyone cares.  That’s fair enough, we’re all human (and the Eye particularly likes the frontage of the Thai restaurant!)  But let’s stop kidding ourselves that all of Camberley’s history matters.  Obviously, it doesn’t.

(For the record, no planning application has been submitted to demolish the Thai restaurant.  Nothing new has happened on the relevant planning front for years.  The recent outcry is based on ignorance of the actual facts.)


9 thoughts on “Historic building under threat on the A30

    • There’s nothing to stop it, James, I believe. It’s private property on private land… But just possibly, demolition might require planning permission (I’m guessing totally here), which could be refused.

    • ‘Pleasure Fair’ – next to the Thai restaurant? No, it became ‘Jackpot Slots’ and closed a few years ago. The shop hasn’t been occupied since. Possibly a victim of the ‘planning blight’. From memory, it’s owned by The Mall, which at one time acquired a number of premises around there, when it had more ambitious plans than currently seems to be the case.

  1. Lets see some positive action and not study/proposal after time and again. Reading presevred its historic frontages, demolished what was behind, built anew and tied in the frontages to the new buildings. Dresden and Warsaw, where the old towns were completely destroyed in WW2 were rebuilt with old frontages, so I was told,using the old drawings but with upto date interiors.
    So it can be done, get on with the job and stop spenting money on yet more studiesof what to do. Take a leaf from Brackells book where they have demolish the modern post war town and are rebuilding with leading store names already signed up to take premises!!

    • Part of the problem, Reg, is that almost all the property is privately owned. So it needs a really committed council working with a developer to make anything happen. Our council has been too laid back, so when the developer it has been wooing has second thoughts, the whole thing grinds to a halt. No project, let-alone a really imaginative and progressive project.

  2. I am constantly dismayed by the old buildings which are torn down to make way for ‘progress’. The London Road has much history, as do most of the old roads in Camberley (Cambridge Town and York Town). Heartening that some of the old houses and buildings in the area are being turned into flats rather than being replaced by flats. The London Road deserves to be saved and reinstated as the gateway to the town. Tear down the hoardings and spend some money on our heritage – someone please. Does everyone really want our old town to become another Bracknell or Basingstoke (no offence) where nothing is different and everything is the same.

    • Inevitably, Anita, it partly comes down to cost and practicality. I don’t think it’s possible to simply turn the clock back – a way of funding restoration and on-going maintenance is needed. BUT, an imaginative scheme ought to be able to preserve the general ‘ambience’ of the old buildings along the A30. And if done properly, it should attract premium users and tenants/residents who would provide the finance required.

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