Pleasing improvements to Knoll Walk in Camberely

Before Christmas we visited Camberley town centre, where I was pleased to see that Knoll Walk, the footpath between Knoll Road and the High Street, was open. Surrey Heath Council’s latest update on Knoll Walk renovations says,

The walkway is now open to pedestrians. Improvement works are now taking place.  The improvements will bring new trees, a green wall of plants, seating and lighting to this area. The new lighting fixtures are now in place and the majority of the paving is now complete.  The street furniture is in the process of being installed.

I’m pleasantly surprised at the improvements, about which I originally had reservations  Here’s my photo of the status of the work.

Another case of Hutber’s Law -‘Improvment means deterioration’

Patrick Hutber, one time, and still missed, City Editor of the Daily Telegraph, wisely coined a law that suggested improvement often hides deterioration.

Here’s example of the law, and a local one to boot.

I’ve written much about the changes to Knoll Walk in Camberley – see HERE if you’d like to read them. I came to the conclusion that opening up the walk wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined, and that one fine tree had been saved – possibly a stay of execution more probably.

When we visited CAMFEST last week I took this photo of the walk, for the reason that I’d seen two women sitting on the wooden planks surrounding the tree.

The changes to Knoll Walk removed all the seating, which were always well used. Therefore, I consider that the changes to Knoll Walk by Surrey Heath Borough Council has resulted in an example of Hutber’s Law – ‘Improvement means deterioration’.

If you look carefully at the photo you’ll spot two women sitting uncomfortably on the wooden surround to the tree.

There are no places to sit outside in Camberley High Street. Therefore, Knoll Walk needs its public seating returned.

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.  

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.

Perhaps one tree is being saved in Knoll Walk

The work by Surrey Heath Borough Council to alter Knoll Walk in Camberley involves, so the council says, removal of all the trees, which they claim have outgrown the location.

Be that as it may, my belief, as expressed HERE earlier, is that one of the mature trees is worthy of saving. Yes it may be large, perhaps in need of judicious pruning, but what other large tree do we have in Camberley town centre.

So, passing by Knoll Walk yesterday, it seems there may be hope for one tree. Let’s hope so.