Slow progress at WokandGo.

Do you remember Stacks – the household goods shop that opened briefly next to BHF in the High Street?  It’s just a memory now because the building has been virtually demolished.  It is – apparently – destined to become a restaurant/take-away called WokandGo.

Here are two photos of the back of the building, showing the redevelopment progress. One was taken on 6th June, the other was taken on 12th August.  We’ll leave you to decide which is which.

The Working Men’s Club…??

Walking along the London Road the other day, we found this notice fixed to the front of the former Jackpot Slots shop – the shop that’s been unoccupied for years.  It appears that the Camberley Working Men’s Club has applied for a licence to supply alcohol – apparently at that location.  But the WMC is, or used to be, in Obelisk Way, of course.  However, we know that the Obelisk Way building is destined for redevelopment, so we can only guess that the WMC is moving to somewhere much smaller on the London Road.

Of course, we’ve tried to find out more from the borough council’s website.  Clicking on the link given in the Public Notices section comes up with the message:  “The requested page “/sites/default/files/documents/council/licensing/Camberley%20WMC%20ClubCert%20Appln.pdf” could not be found. ” 

We’re starting to dislike the council’s website!!

Jones Bootmaker

Archie alerted us yesterday to the fact that Jones Bootmaker had closed.  Sadly, he’s absolutely right (not that we doubted him).  Here’s the proof.

As we understand it, the whole chain of shops ran into financial difficulties a few months ago before being ‘rescued’.  But it appears that nine of its outlets were closed at the weekend, and “a further 10 Jones stores are ‘at risk of closure’ following poor trade”.

Level 3A – gone for ever!

Main Square car park Level 3A is not only closed to the public for ever, but it’s been securely boarded up.  According to the council, this has had to be done because the empty Ashwood House was being vandalised.

(The plans for Ashwood House – once it’s been converted into flats – are that residents will use the two existing ramps between Level 3A and Main Square car park to link with what will become their car park on 3A.  The dedicated exit from 3A will be demolished – hurrah for that!  The pedestrian walkway underneath it is hardly an attractive feature.)

Unnecessary detective work!

We commented on the new hair salon coming to Camberley – in the former Cash Zone shop on the A30 – ages ago.  Since then we’ve kept an eye on the premises while fitting-out has progressed.  But we’ve not known what the new business will be called.

But the other day we saw a letter on the doormat.  We took a photo of it and felt very smug that we could read the salon’s name and address.  However, the smugness didn’t last very long – just enough time to step back, look up and see the name right across the front of the shop.  Shucks!

King’s Court – if you’re wondering what’s happening

Work to convert King’s Court – by the level crossing – to flats appeared to come to a halt some months ago.

We don’t know what the problem was.  But we deduce that the building has changed hands.  When the conversion started, the developer was someone with a contact address in London; someone who used a London-based architect.  However, the developer now seems to come from Hayes and to be using an architect located in Leeds.

Assuming the council permits what seems to be a modest change in specification – still a total of thirty flats, but now including a few studio flats – with luck work will be getting underway again before too long.

Compass House for the third time. Plus a frustration…

In May we reported that a revised planning application for Compass House – the office block on the A30 – had been submitted.  The new application proposed that the building be converted to forty five flats, rather than the originally intended forty one.P1090295b

At the time, we expressed concern about the relatively small number of parking spaces to be provided.  (We calculated that the intention was to provide 0.73 spaces per flat.)

Well, a further application has now been submitted.  This proposes to add a further floor to the building, and thus create a total of fifty one flats.  The scheme includes just twenty five parking spaces, including one for disabled drivers.

Now, we’re no expert in planning matters.  But our understanding is that there aren’t any national ‘rules’ on the provision of on-site parking.  The county council. though, has produced guidelines, and these suggest one space per small flat.  However, they are only guidelines, and fewer spaces may be acceptable where there is good public transport.  As parking in the Atrium car park is an option on those occasions when the provision is inadequate, perhaps  half a space per flat is sufficient.  Though, as many people are reluctant to pay for parking, we have our doubts!

Two other factors strike us.  Firstly, as far as we can see the planning application makes no provision for social housing.  (Perhaps we’ve missed it – there’s a lot of documentation to plough through.)  Secondly, new housing is expected to provide sufficient ‘amenity space’.  The application does propose some rather unexciting green space for the ground floor flats, but the majority of occupants would have to do without.  We’re not sure that that’s acceptable.

But we’re frustrated by the borough council.  In an official public notice, the council states “the … application does not accord with the ..development plan…”  (the full text is typical gobbledegook: “The following application does not accord with the provisions of the development plan in force in the area in which the land in which the application relates is situated.”)  However, the official notice does not say in what way the application fails to comply.  Why??  Is it a secret?  What’s the point of a public notice that lacks key information?  We despair.  We really do.