Camberley views No.1: High Street revamp

The revamping Camberley’s High Street is a definite plus for it’s town centre. Issues around the services hidden in the street have hampered progress. I’m understanding that this is delaying the revamp. The published public works plan, see below, shows the that the area designated as High Street north was due for completion by the end of Qtr 2. Given the hidden services and possible coronavirus issues, the current state of the works shows that this projected date will be missed.

I’d be surprised if the works are completed before the end of the third quarter. I visited the works last Sunday afternoon, and saw that much work remains to be done. The completed areas of paving and road look impressive. Given the current pristine nature of the paving I’d like to see plenty of litter bins being installed, maybe a joint recylcing/litter bin outside food retailers. From my visit I forsee the new paving having to be dug up for the proposed trees, cycle racks and lighting. I’m not at all impressed by this lack of forethought. I worry about cars that will likely mount the footpath, and that discarded chewing gun will mar the paving. Methinks the street will  probably need continual marshalling.

Anyway, below the project plan below are my photos of the current state of the works, and at the end an image of the proposed Hight Street revamp.

Camberley town centre improvements – September 2019 update

Surrey Heath Borough Council announcedon 3rd September 2019 an update on Camberley town centre improvements. This full press release can be seen HERE. This is the main part of the press release.

The High Street, Princess Way and Knoll Walk have received £3.5million in funding from Enterprise M3 LEP, which has been increased with £900k of funding from Surrey Heath Borough Council, to improve the roads and pavements in these historic areas.

Once completed The High Street, Knoll Walk and Princess Way will be transformed into attractive, bright areas with new paving, road surfaces, lighting, planting – including trees, bicycle racks and public art.

The areas will have improved accessibility for everyone including those with disabilities. Vehicles will still have access to the High Street, but traffic calming will ensure the road is safer for pedestrians.  Parking on this road will also be reduced so pavement size can be increased.

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. You can read more about what will be happening here.

It is anticipated the works will start in October 2019 and will complete in 2020. The works will be phased and we will share regular updates as the project progresses.

In preparation for the works the remaining tree on Knoll Walk will be removed the week commencing 23 September.  Knoll Walk will be closed whilst this work takes place. This tree was not removed earlier this year as a Magpie nest was located on the tree.  New trees will be planted in Knoll Walk and also along The High Street as part of the new scheme.

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.  

Here are views of Camberley that will disappear this week

Knoll Walk in Camberley is set for a makeover this coming week, as announced Surrey Heath Borough Council. See HERE. In the makeover they say,

From Monday 18 March 2019 Knoll Walk, the walkway into town opposite Camberley Theatre, will be closed as it is cleared and prepared for the works.  This will include the removal of the existing trees which have grown too big for the space, these will be chipped onsite and taken to Lightwater Country Park for use on the paths.  New more suitable species of trees will be planted as part of the new scheme.  This section of works will take approximately four weeks.

Knoll Walk is not one of the unloved parts of Camberley. It’s flower beds have been well maintained. The reasoning for the makeover is not strong in my opinion, which they say is that it,

…. will have better pavement and road surfaces and pedestrian prioritisation, making it much easier for you to shop and enjoy this part of Camberley town centre.

Odd, given that it’s already solely for pedestrians, has existing bench seating, and perfectly adequate pavement surface. I wonder whether one of the reasons for the opening up of the vista from the High Street to Knoll Road, is to highlight Camberley Theatre. Nothing wrong with that aim, but why not say so. Maybe I’m too much of a cynic.

The artist’s impression of the makeover indicates that there will be a large tree at the end of the Walk near Knoll Road. I wonder the Council could afford such a mature tree. It’ll be interesting to see what native trees are planted. I imagine they won’t be spiky like a Holly or Hawthorn, It’s my bet that they’ll plant fastigiate hornbeam. Good but unexciting. I’d like to see planted are Crab apple varieties.

My final point is that the two large evergreen trees near the High Street should be pruned and retained. It’s most unlikely that the new trees – from the artist’s impression –  will be either evergreen or that large. These trees maybe non-native trees, but there’s nothing wrong in that – See Natives v Aliens. Should you want to read more on the topic of treescapes, then HERE is good.

Camberley public realm improvements schedule announced

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce a schedule of public realm works in Camberley. [Click on image to enlarge]

Camberley town centre is currently undergoing a comprehensive regeneration programme led by Surrey Heath Borough Council.

Current projects include; the purchase and subsequent refurbishment of The Square shopping centre, Berkeley Homes are currently on site at Ashwood House, transforming this former office block into 116 luxury new apartments and ground floor business space and the London Road development site is in the process of having a development partner sought for a large mixed-use scheme. The Council has also secured funding from M3 Enterprise LEP for significant improvements, including increased footway widths, changes to street furniture and materials and implementation of public art, to the public realm areas around the High Street.

Works on Knoll Walk and Princess Way (east) will start this spring.  This area contains many independent businesses and is also home to many of the town’s best heritage buildings.  This project will reduce the impact of cars in the street and create more space for pedestrians and street seating, introduce tree planting and art installations and completely renew the paving and street furniture.

Key Dates

  • 18 March 2019 – Knoll Walk, the walkway into town opposite Camberley Theatre, will be closed as it is cleared and prepared for the works.This will include the removal of all of the trees.
  • 24 June 2019 – The works will start and vehicle access to the High Street and Princess Way (east) will be restricted. Pedestrians will still be able to access the businesses and properties on the High Street and Princess Way (east).
  • Summer 2020 – The project will complete and High Street and Princess Way (east) will reopen to all vehicles.

Councillor Richard Brooks, Leader, Surrey Heath Borough Council said:

“This project will bring much needed updates and improvements to Camberley High Street and Public Realm areas, improving how the road is accessed by pedestrians and creating an attractive and modern place.  The improvements will also enhance the trading conditions for the many unique and independent businesses situated on the High Street.”

Karen Whelan, CEO, Surrey Heath Borough Council said:

“This is a key regeneration project in a landmark area in Camberley.  The resulting redeveloped and improved High Street will be a wonderful asset to Camberley and will completely transform this part of the town.”

We will be publishing regular project updates on the works on our website and social media channels.  We will also be hosting Camberley stands at the Camberley Carnival and Camberley Car Show where you can chat to Council staff about the regeneration projects.

SHBC secured £3.5 million in funding from Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in 2017 to enable this improvement project for the High Street.  SHBC has added funds of £900k bringing the total budget to £4.4 million.  Read more here.

Surrey Heath Council attend Revo Manchester, plus Be Inspired video

Surrey Heath Borough Council [SHBC] announce their attendance at Revo Manchester on 18-20th September that offers opportunities to connect and do business with experts from the diverse retail property and placemaking community. See SHBC’s Be Inspired video at end of press release.

The regeneration of Camberley is bringing a revitalised place to one of the most affluent catchments in the South East of England.

Led by a forward-thinking management team and elected members, Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) has invested £140 million into Camberley to drive regeneration and economic growth.

SHBC will be attending Revo Manchester, 18 – 20 September 2018, Manchester Central.  Visit us on stand number 84.

Karen Whelan, Chief Executive, Surrey Heath Borough Council said:  “SHBC’s significant regeneration projects in Camberley are driving prosperity in the town and creating a vibrant place for our local communities to enjoy.   The regeneration work is also creating exceptional new commercial opportunities. Come and see us at Revo to find out more.”

Cllr Richard Brooks, Deputy Leader, Surrey Heath Borough Council said: “We are looking forward to attending the Revo exhibition next week to provide an update on the substantial progress that has been made on Camberley’s regeneration projects.  These projects are transforming the town and creating a great place for our local communities and businesses.”

SHBC’s investments have already seen the unique 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 business space.

SHBC is also currently in the process of sourcing an innovative developer 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.

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.

Be involved

  • 19 September 11:30am – 12:30pm, Cinema: Karen Whelan, CEO, SHBC will be participating in the panel discussion ‘Are shops killing the High Street?’
  • 19 September 4pm – 5pm, Stand 84.  Camberley drinks reception. Join us for a glass of Stovells’ Wild-crafted Gin, an artisan gin produced within Surrey Heath in Chobham.  Talk to Officers and Members from SHBC about Camberley and the opportunities available.

Find out more www.camberleybeinspired.com

Watch our ‘Camberley Be Inspired’ short film

Developer short list for Camberley’s London Road site

Surrey Heath Borough Council has announced that,

Camberley Town Centre is currently undergoing an exciting regeneration programme led by Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC).

A significant stage of regenerating Camberley is investing in and improving the area along London Road (A30) between the High Street and Park Street and opposite the historic Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

SHBC is now in the process of appointing an experienced regeneration developer with the resources and vision to deliver a comprehensive and transformational development of the 2.0 ha (5.5 acres) site.

We are very pleased to announce today (9 July 2018) that we have shortlisted four companies who will be put through to the next stage of selection. These are; Countryside, Keir Group, Hub Group, and Berkeley Group.

Karen Whelan, CEO, SHBC said: “SHBC are delighted with the outstanding response to the first stage of tendering for our flagship development in Camberley, which is testament to the drive and determination of Officers and Members to deliver high quality partners.

Our vision for Camberley is dynamic and innovative and our shortlisted developers can bring the same qualities to the project.  We look forward to hearing more about their vision for the site, with our final decision being made around Christmas 2018.”

Cllr Moira Gibson, Leader, SHBC said: “Developing this area has been a key long-term objective for the Council.  The site occupies a substantial part of the town centre and the development, once complete, will totally transform and regenerate this area. It is a great result for the council to have secured four impressive developers to take forward to the next stage of procurement.”

It is envisaged that the new development on London Road will include a combination of housing, retail and car parking. Bidders are also being asked to include new office space within their bid which could unlock other sites in the town centre for redevelopment.

To date SHBC has invested £140 million into Camberley; which includes the acquisition and subsequent refurbishment of The Square shopping centre, acquisition of Ashwood House a former office building which is currently being redeveloped into 116 high quality residential apartments.   Substantial projects to improve the town centre car parks, Princess Way and the High Street are also in the pipeline.  Find out more here.

Camberley town centre regeneration update

Surrey Heath Borough Council has a press release on Camberley town centre developments, and has attached a rather splendid aerial photo of Camberley,

Camberley Town Centre is currently undergoing a significant regeneration programme under the stewardship of Surrey Heath Borough Council. Bringing a revitalised place to live, work and socialise to Camberley’s residents and visitors.

The latest update on the key development areas is below.

Ashwood House

Ashwood House, the former office block on Pembroke Broadway in Camberley, will be transformed into 116 high quality flats by Berkeley Homes.

The initial work on this building will be starting on Monday 9 April 2018.  Randall Contracting Ltd will be completing this work.

The bus stops will be moved further down Pembroke Broadway and the ramp outside Ashwood House will be removed. The alleyway between The Square shopping centre entrance on Princess Way and Main Square car park will be closed whilst these works take place.

Please be aware that we may have to close one of the exits to the Main Square Car park through the spring and summer months to accommodate the works on Ashwood House.  To ease congestion, we are asking car park users to ensure they pay for their parking before they get back to the car.  You can pay at the kiosks or by using the Glide app.

We will publish notifications on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages if we need to close one of the car park exits.

Main Square car park 

Works will be taking place through the spring and summer months this year to improve this car park.

New LED lights will be fitted, to provide a more efficient and energy effective lighting solution.

Parking levels 1 – 3 and the spiral exit will be resurfaced.

The stairwells will be refurbished and improvements made to the ventilation to prevent damp and moisture.

The Square shopping centre

Work has now begun on the next phase of The Square’s substantial refurbishment programme with the painting of the high-level structures on Obelisk Way and Cambridge Square. In this phase, Prince of Wales Walk, The Square, and Cambridge Walk will all receive a similar treatment to that on Grace Reynolds Walk, but with some modifications to the feature lighting and the flooring pattern.

The Main Square, in the centre of the shopping centre, will be given a spectacular make-over, and include a new lighting feature, plus a new seating area. The main works will take place outside trading hours to ensure there is no disruption to the shops or customers.

The High Street

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 on this historic street.  We will be announcing the designs for this project later this year and works are expected to start in 2019.

London Road site

We are currently in the process of seeking a development partner for this key town centre site.

Surrey Heath Borough Council announces vision for redevelopment of London Road site, Camberley

Surrey Heath Borough Council recently announced, [See London Road development site overview below the text – to expand the document, click on the upward facing arrow in the bottom right-hand corner].

Camberley Town Centre is currently undergoing an exciting regeneration programme led by Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC).

To date SHBC has invested £140 million into Camberley; which has already seen the acquisition and subsequent refurbishment of The Square shopping centre, substantial projects to improve the roads, pavements and public realm areas in the High Street and the redevelopment work that is about to commence converting Ashwood House into 116 high quality residential apartments.

The next stage of regenerating Camberley is investing in and improving the area along London Road (A30) between the High Street and Park Street.  To start this process SHBC will be looking to secure a development partner to deliver a major redevelopment of this gateway site.

Karen Whelan, CEO, SHBC said; “Camberley is rapidly transforming into a modern and improved place to live, do business and shop.  We envisage this is the start of a really exciting new development for London Road which will offer both residential and business opportunities.  The redevelopment of this site will also greatly improve the gateway to our town.”

This spring SHBC will be starting the formal process of selecting a development partner. Alongside this the Council is likely to be required to progress assembly of the site. SHBC have contacted the current owners and tenants currently occupying the buildings within the site and will be working with them to ensure affected businesses are relocated within the town wherever possible, including the opportunity to relocate temporarily if they would like to be part of the new development. We will keep everyone affected informed at each stage of the process.

Cllr Moira Gibson, Leader of the Council added; “It has been a key objective of the Council to drive forward and deliver positive change and regeneration projects to Camberley town centre.  The redevelopment of this key quarter will ensure the Council’s dynamic renewal work encompasses the entire town centre bringing improved economic prosperity to Camberley and all of Surrey Heath.”

Montagu Evans is advising Surrey Heath BC. Alan Harris, Partner and Head of Development at Montagu Evans, said: “Local authority-led regeneration is increasingly essential for the long term future of urban centres. Surrey Heath BC is leading the way in Camberley, taking a town-wide view, identifying key sites and creating strong partnerships that will help deliver high quality development. The 5-acre London Road site is a significant opportunity and we are expecting considerable interest in taking it forward.”

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Surrey Heath Borough Council’s update on Camberley Town Centre developments

Surrey Heath Borough Council update on Camberley Town centre projects, [click on images to expand]

Exciting progress has been made in crucial Camberley Town Centre projects over recent months.

  • The Mall, Camberley
  • Following the Council’s purchase of The Mall last year, work is now underway to begin updating and transforming the shopping centre. Haskoll have been appointed as architects to oversee an exciting refurbishment scheme, and designs are being finalised for the interior. The work will be phased, with the first phase starting in mid-summer in Grace Reynolds Walk, followed by The Square, then other parts of the centre. In the meantime repainting of the roof has already begun as part of the work to brighten up the shopping centre.

    Changes are also underway to the branding, with a temporary website already available (www.camberleyshopping.co.uk), and further work is underway to improve the marketing of the shopping centre both to customers and potential retailers when it is relaunched later in the year.

  • Ashwood House, Pembroke Broadway
  • As previously announced, Berkeley Homes has been appointed as developer of the site. The upper floors of the building will be transformed into high quality residential accommodation, comprising around 100 flats, subject to planning permission.

    A planning application is due to be submitted in June 2017 following public consultation, with the aim of starting on site at the end of the year.

  • Public spaces in Princess Way and the High Street 
  • Plans for improvements to the ‘public realm’ and amenity areas have progressed with surveys of services and ground levels in the High Street completed. Design work is underway, with public consultation to begin shortly on ideas for changing these areas of the town.

  • London Road Block
  • Consultants have been appointed to undertake feasibility work for the new development and submit an outline planning application by the end of 2017.

  • Pembroke House, Frimley Road
  • As with Ashwood House, Berkeley Homes has been appointed as developer for this scheme, which has the potential to offer around 25 flats and ground floor retail space, subject to planning permission. It will provide affordable housing for local people and retail space for Camberley’s businesses.
    A planning application is due to be submitted in June 2017 following public consultation, with work on site aiming to commence at the end of the year.

    In another significant development, SHBC have appointed Paul Ramshaw in a new role, Head of Investment & Development. Paul’s previous roles include Head of Regeneration and Planning Policy at Eastleigh Borough Council. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive, he will head up a new team, including an applications planner, procurement officer, accountant and lawyer, to deliver the Council’s property acquisition and development plans.

    Paul said: “I am delighted to be joining Surrey Heath at an exciting time in terms of property acquisition and development, and look forward to helping drive forward the regeneration of Camberley Town Centre as one of our key priorities.” SHBC Chief Executive Karen Whelan said: “As can be seen, our work continues to make Camberley an even better place to live, work and enjoy. We look forward to making announcements about further significant plans and developments in the near future.”