Last night I attended a public meeting arranged by The Camberley Society.
They invited SHBC to present to residents, the plans and ideas that were being worked on in order to improve our town centre.
You can listen to the full audio on Surrey Residents Network.
A few interesting bullet points that I noted;
- The Meadows roundabout will be undergoing extensive changes and improvements. Work is due to begin in 2017.
- Improvements along the A30 are also planned to begin in 2017.
- A review of bus services has been undertaken and service providers have been challenged to increase the number of routes, increase the frequency and extend duration so that more buses are available earlier in the morning and later at night.
- SHBC have begun a new initiative of purchasing buildings in order to redevelop them profitably.
- SHBC have been lobbying the potential franchisees for the new South West Trains franchise to get them to recognise that Camberley station is in need of improvement and modernisation and that an improved service from Camberley is also desired.
- Owners of The Mall are planning a series of improvements to rejuvenate the centre.
- There will be NO new flagship store in the old Allders building. Shopping habits have changed and such large single stores are no longer suitable. There are high level plans to develop the site into a smaller shopping units, some open space, additional car parking and residential accommodation.
One last point. Near the end of the Q&A, a question was asked about population growth and housing demand.
Jenny Rickard gave a good response on the problems of changing demographics affecting the number and nature of houses now required. But more revealing was her statement that there is a new ‘bubble’ of children being born which is putting a strain on primary schools across the County and for the first time in a long time, new secondary schools will be required to teach this new ‘baby boom’.
Someone remarked that this was a bit of a political statement – but it was good to see an honest assessment of one impact of increased mass immigration.
The plans and intentions for the the redevelopment looked laudable (although, as Camberley Eye noted, many of these ideas were tabled more than 15 years ago), it’s now a question of waiting to see what develops.