As has been widely communicated in the last hour or so, the borough council has now acquired Camberley’s Mall. This – of course – explains why the county council denied recently that IT was buying the Mall.
You can read the council’s statement here: http://www.surreyheath.gov.uk/news/surrey-heath-takes-control-camberley-town-centre-regeneration
What is this likely to mean for Camberley? As far as the main Mall is concerned, we suspect that there’ll be no major change. Presumably the council has bought it primarily as a straight financial investment. So, to us, the more important part of today’s announcement is the reference to “other key town centre acquisitions in the pipeline”. The council says that it is paying £86 million for the Mall, with around another £25 million for other key town centre acquisitions. (We think this means further acquisitions rather than any already made.)
As we wrote earlier today, it’s a decade since the council agreed that it could use compulsory purchase to acquire property for regeneration. Maybe at last – and perhaps via a different route – it’s going to buy the miscellaneous buildings in the London Road Block and redevelop the area. Let’s hope so. It’s time to keep fingers crossed!
(A minor thought. A planning application to redevelop the Working Men’s Club has been in the pipeline – and delayed – for some while. Maybe this has been affected by the council’s grander scheme; the club’s redevelopment needs to be part of the bigger picture? We’ll have a better idea in the next few weeks.)