Whither the London Road Block?

We’ve been thinking about that borough council quote that we published a couple of weeks ago: “it is unlikely that significant amounts of new retail floorspace will be delivered”

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the redevelopment of the London Road Block seems to be slipping through the council’s fingers. After all, the ‘artist’s impression’ that was produced by/with Kier – the developer – shows a substantial number of shops in the proposed scheme. So is it back to the drawing board? Probably.

our photo is, of course, taken from the Kier website.

A Park Street dip became a hazard

On quite a few occasions we’ve shown photos of places where the paving in Park Street has sunk. There are stories of a stream running underneath the road, but this can’t be the explanation; if the subsidence was due to a collapsed culvert, then surely there would be water – or sewage – emerging somewhere. Which, fortunately, there isn’t.

Anyway, the latest dip we’ve been watching – near the southern entrance to the pedestrianised section of the road – has become so bad that it’s a tripping hazard. It, and a few more places in Park Street, have earned the accolade of a dollop or two of orange paint. Presumably this means that they will be attended to soon…

Leaking like a sieve

The other day we showed some of the failed coating on the roof of Main Square car park. Today we’re showing what happens when it rains. Quite predictable, of course.

There are obvious possibilities. It might have been the wrong coating, or it was badly applied, or there is so much movement/deterioration in the structure that ‘any’ coating would fail.

Eighty four more homes

We took our Covid exercise along the A30 yesterday. On the way we watched hoarding being erected around Victoria Court and the land behind it. Much of the site has already been cleared – no doubt Victoria Court itself, by now a very tired-looking building, will disappear soon.

Presumably, the intention is to go ahead with an approved planning application, which is for the “Erection of two buildings with one up to five stories (with further roof space and basement accommodation) and one up to four stories (with further roof space accommodation), to comprise 45 x one bed units, 37 x two bed units and 2 x three bed units with part ground floor commercial users and associated parking, landscaping and access. All following demolition of the 5 storey, 2 storey and single storey existing buildings across
the site.
” We make that eighty four new flats.

Knoll Road car park – up to scratch

Peter sent us this photo – which he took in Knoll Road car park – a little while ago. No wonder the car park isn’t very popular. (The Eye only uses it in desperate circumstances…)

Some years ago the borough council lightly floated the idea of demolishing the building altogether. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. Maybe it will one day – the council is believed to have plans, as yet not in the public domain, for the ‘Land East of Knoll Road’. We’ll not live long enough to see them implemented, though!!

The Atrium has gone Green!

Only a few days ago we commented rather sniffily about the random colours of the Christmas lights above the Atrium shops in Park Street. More accurately, the lights in some places were random, but outside the Rotisserie Corner they were mainly blue.

Our first two photos show the situation when we wrote about it:

But, it’s all change time. ALL the lights have gone green! How did they do that?

We can only think of two possibilities. Maybe some poor soul has spent hours on an elevated platform changing every lightbulb. Is that likely? Or there’s a high-tech solution. You may have seen decorative bottle lights – a dozen small lights in a wine bottle powered by a ‘cork’. In some versions, they change colour – with alternate lights synchronised to change at the same time. This is done by incorporating a ‘micro’ computer chip in each light that responds to electronic signals sent by the ‘cork’. Do the Park Street lights work on the same basis, and they’ve now all been instructed to turn green? That seems just as improbable as someone spending hours replacing them. But what other explanations are there?

(Apologies, the Eye can be a bit of a nerd!)