London Road Recreation Ground changes rescinded

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce a Joint Statement with Places Leisure: Green Space Preserved at Camberley’s New Leisure Centre

Camberley’s brand-new leisure centre’s planning proposal will be revised following feedback from local residents and consultation on the planning and car park provision.

The original planning application included car parking provision within a small section of the adjacent recreational ground. This proposal provided the most cost-effective solution, however following the feedback received, Surrey Heath Borough Council and operator Places Leisure have been working together to identify alternative and affordable solutions, that enable the green space to be retained.

Karen Whelan, Chief Executive at Surrey Heath Borough Council commented, “The Council Officers have listened to residents and Councillors and together with Places Leisure have worked hard to find alternative ways to deliver the car parking arrangements for the proposed new leisure centre. The ability to work effectively in partnership is a key strength to the relationship with Places Leisure and I’d like to thank all those that have worked so tirelessly to reach such a positive outcome for the residents of Surrey Heath.”

A revised planning proposal will be brought forward which will include the provision of a brand-new multi-storey car park, situated in the existing leisure centre car park. Councillor Richard Brooks, Leader of the Council said,

“The development of a new leisure centre is part of the Council’s long-term strategy for health and wellbeing, but delivery of a new facility had to be affordable for the Council. I’m delighted that a new proposal to deliver the required car parking will be coming forward enabling us to preserve green space in the town centre whilst ensuring the scheme is financially viable. I’d like to add my thanks to Councillor McClafferty and Councillor Dougan,  my Executive team and the Officers who have worked extremely hard to find an alternative solution.”

A spokesperson for Places Leisure added, “We are pleased to have supported the Council in identifying alternative provision that enables the space to be retained. Together with Surrey Heath Borough Council we are excited to bring to the local community a vibrant new leisure offering and deliver a modern and sustainable facility that can be enjoyed by all.”

Register your objection to London Road Recreation Ground changes

It appears that Surrey Heath Borough Council intention is to increase car parking provision at the redeveloped Arena Leisure Centre in Camberley at the expense of London Road Recreation Ground. See Council Notice below.

There’s an action group dedicated to reversing this proposal, which you can see at the Facebook page London Road Recreation Ground – Park in Peril.

I learned, when involved in arguing similar case with Lightwater Leisure Centre, that car parking provision is a key aspect in the success of a leisure centre facility. So this will be a hard fought battle. To object to the loss of green space in the Recreation Ground, write to the address in the notice below, or email daniel.harrison@surreyheath.go.uk.

Time is short to get in your objection, it must reach the Council by June 20th.

Council’s works update on Camberley High, Knoll Walk, and Princess Walk

Surrey Heath Borough Council have released an update on regeneration works in Camberley High Street, Knoll Walk and Princess Walk..

Camberley town centre is currently undergoing several regeneration projects led by Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC).

The High Street has received £3.5million in funding from Enterprise M3 LEP which has been increased with £900k of funding from SHBC to improve the roads and pavements in these historic areas.

The new materials used for the road and pavement surfaces will greatly improve the pedestrian experience. New street lighting and public art will enhance the character of this road and give a feeling of place and Camberley’s heritage.

Knoll Road and Princess Walk will be transformed into attractive versatile areas to sit, relax and enjoy with family and friends.

Planning permission has been granted to remove the canopies on Princess Way to further open up this space.  This work will take place later this summer.

The preparatory works have now completed on Knoll Walk and it will remain open until the main works start later this summer. The remaining tree on Knoll Walk will remain in place until the end of the nesting season as an active Magpie nest was identified in the tree. New trees will be planted in Knoll Walk and also along the High Street as part of the new scheme.

The Council is currently out to tender for the High Street works. We expect to announce the contractor by the end of July 2019.

Camberley Be Inspired: Surrey Heath Borough Council is committed to supporting and regenerating Camberley town centre.  SHBC’s investments have already seen the acquisition of The Square shopping centre, commencing its refurbishment programme within the first year of ownership.  Followed by an ambitious set of projects to improve the roads, pavements and street scene.  A redundant office building has also been purchased to create 116 high quality town centre apartments, with proposals to re-deliver new commercial space.

SHBC has selected Kier Property as the development partner for the London Road site.  Situated fronting the London Road, opposite the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the 5.5-acre site has the potential to create a mixed-use development and improve the gateway to Camberley.

The regeneration work is supported by a comprehensive events programme, grant schemes for independent businesses and cultural and enrichment projects to ensure Camberley is a key destination and experience.  In Camberley we are committed to reshaping and enhancing the town centre to support our community and local businesses while high street retail faces challenges nationally.  www.camberleybeinspired.com.  

Knoll Walk in Camberley to be closed for 18 months

I’ve written about the changes to Knoll Walk in Camberley. It’s the path, begining near Camberley Theatre, from Knoll Road to the High Street by Barclays Bank.

I noted that Surrey Heath Borough Council intended to remove trees and flower beds from the walk, which they’ve subsequently done, pleasingly, leaving one large evergreen tree next to Barclays Bank. I wondered what the result might be after the change. I admit to being surprised that it’s now a good wide path, without the flower beds, trees, and shrubs.

There’s a notice on a post in the walk, see photo below, that says the entire walk will be closed to pedestrians for 18 months while construction work takes place associated with ‘The Camberley Public Realm Scheme‘, and a description of the works HERE.

I viewed the Public Realm Scheme details on the Council’s website, from which I learned little about this work. Maybe I missed the details on how much work is involved that takes 18 months. Here are the photos I took a few days ago of the state of the walk.

Surrey Heath launch a lottery to fund good causes

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce,

Surrey Heath Borough Council is launching its own online community lottery to benefit good causes.

Tickets will cost £1 with 60p going towards local good causes, compared to 28p in the pound for the National Lottery. The draw will be weekly with a jackpot of £25,000 for a matching sequence of six numbers, other prizes being £2,000, £250, £25 or three free tickets.

There are two parts to the Surrey Heath Lottery scheme. Local good causes are able to set up their own lottery page, and will receive 50p in every pound spent by players using this method. A further 10p in every pound will go into a general Surrey Heath good causes fund, with the remainder being put towards prizes, operating costs and VAT.

Players who do not wish to support a specific cause can still take part in the Surrey Heath Lottery, with 60p of their ticket price going into the general Surrey Heath good causes fund, which will be distributed by the Council.

The lottery was officially launched at an event yesterday (21 May) at Camberley Theatre, attended by SHBC Leader Cllr Richard Brooks, Surrey Heath Mayor Cllr Robin Perry, and representatives of local good causes.

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New charges for waste at County Council recycling centres

These new charges seem to me to be excessive, and will likely increase flytipping. County Councils have been waste and recycling authorities for decades. Surely over that time they have had the opportunity to identify intelligent ways of of disposing of the waste they receive.

I feel the need to investigate this topic in greater depth to understand why these charges are being introduced.