It’s well over a couple of months since we reported that – according to our informant – a charity shop would be occupying the former Millets premises in the High Street. Low and behold, they, and so we, were right. Thames Hospice will be moving in before long.
Now that Hancock’s seems to be closed permanently, the Atrium will have to update its street poster. Not that it was likely to have been of much use anyway, since the direction arrow appears to point pretty much directly AWAY from the restaurant…
We stress, we have no idea about the rights and wrongs of the particular circumstances that we’re showing here. But we know that lots of people complain about inconsiderate parking, so it’s good in principle to see that official action is sometimes taken against it.
(We will be returning to the specific problem of traffic congestion in this part of Portesbery Road. We think there’s good news….)
The ping pong parlour that occupied various empty shops before Christmas has re-appeared in Grace Reynolds Walk. (Yes, this is getting to be old news, but we haven’t mentioned it before so we’re putting the record straight now.)
A branch has been broken from one of the flowering trees in Park Street. You can see it hanging down. We don’t think the weather has done it, or passing vehicles, so, sadly, we suspect mischief was the cause.
We wondered whether a disgruntled punter had taken revenge for their betting losses by throwing something at Ladbroke’s window in the High Street. But then we saw that Orchard’s had apparently suffered much the same fate. And we spotted a boarded-up window in the former Bensons for Beds shop. So is vandalism to blame?
We were walking past St George’s Court – nearly opposite the council offices – the other day when we spotted this lifting platform. Speaking to a couple of workers in hi viz nearby, we learned that they would be modifying the building’s windows to improve the sound-proofing. It’s odd that such a new building needs modifications.
It’s good to see that the principal stairs in Main Square Car Park are being revamped, albeit that it’s probably a couple of years since the council told us directly that this was about to happen. We’re not going to rejoice just yet, though, as the recent improvement of the other stairwells seems to be unfinished business. Judge for yourself from the second of our photos.
Earlier today we shared on the Eye’s Facebook page new information from the borough council. It quoted the council’s chief executive:
“We are delighted to announce today, 3 April 2019, that Kier Property, the development arm of Kier Group, have been selected by the Council as the preferred developer to work on a mixed-use scheme in the Camberley London Road Development site.
The proposed scheme will completely transform a run-down area of the town centre and create a thriving new town square surrounded by a large mixed-use development, including retail, residential, parking and new outside space.
This announcement marks the end of the procurement process and work will now begin on surveying the site and submitting the planning application.”
Our covering comment on Facebook said that this was good news, but long over-due. We feel that this needs a little justification, so here’s a cutting from the local newspaper in 2006.
So, as we’ve pointed out before, it’s taken nearly thirteen years for the council to get off its corporate bottom to the stage where it’s ‘just’ appointed a developer. What’s also interesting is the opening paragraph of the newspaper cutting, which states that the now council leader: “has reassured retailers along the A30 that their shops will not be demolished as part of the redevelopment“. We think we’ll be seeing a serious case of the leader eating his words before too long…
Oh, and today’s statement by the council includes the words ‘The site must…allow for a mix of uses which reflects the corresponding economic demand in a way that enhances and reinforces the town centre offer, while ensuring that the development is commercially viable.’ Whatever happened to the Campaign for Plain English? And, if the council has communication experts on its staff, were they asleep when that was written?
A good way of annoying cyclists is to close the only public under-cover cycle parking in the town on a wet day, and not apologise for doing it. (The notice blocking access to the PEDAL cycle racks says ‘MOTORcycle Parking Closed. Lighting Replacement’. Not even the usual rather mealy-mouthed ‘We apologise for any inconvenience’.) Yes, actually we understand that the cycle park had to be closed – but do do it without any warning or saying ‘sorry’ didn’t fit with the council’s ‘Be Enchanted’. We weren’t.
Of course, the borough council doesn’t really care about cyclists. For years we’ve pointed out the inadequate provision for visitors’ cycles at the council offices. Even High Cross Church has recently installed purpose-made cycle racks; perhaps the senior council staff could pop along the road and learn from them?