Aldershot – the coucil’s response

Post length: 498 words, just over 2 minutes.

I wrote back in August about a consultation put out by Rushmoor Borough Council regarding a £4.5 million pound regenration scheme of the Aldershot town centre. The response I posted on my blog was the response I gave to the council in feedback. I was apparently one of 280 people to provide feedback on the scheme, and last Monday I recieved an email from the council regarding the consultation.

The majority of you were very positive about the plans and you also took the time to share your own ideas to regenerate the town, which included everything from encouraging new shops to Aldershot, supporting businesses, tidying up shop fronts and building on the town’s Victorian heritage.

The email then linked through to a page responding to some of the feedback. There were some interesting points and I was pleased to see that they responded to some of my feedback.

There was [also] some concern about cars using Wellington Street and Union Street early in the mornings and during the evenings.

This was a key point of mine, and one I have been reminded of recently. The town centre is a shared space — pedestrianised in the day and open to traffic in the evenings — and this makes the area a very unpleasent place to be at night. However I was not impressed by the response to this point:

We are also concerned that pedestrianised areas are being used by cars and we will be taking steps to keep the area pedestrianised while the work is done.

This isn’t really the point. The area needs to be padestrianised all the time, with the exception of delivery vehicles for the local shops, to make the street a pleasent and safe place to be in the evening. Changing the traffic rules for just the period of time the work is going on is not going to address the problem. If the council were really concerned, they would do something about this.

I also commented, in passing, on the state of the multistory car park on High Street and on the empty units in The Galleries. I was pleased that “Your thoughts on encouraging new shops to Aldershot will be picked up by our masterplanning process” and I look forward to this document. In the mean time the council “have asked for a statement on the latest position” and say that they will “share with you once we have it.” I look forward to this also, but suspect there won’t be much useful information. As privately owned entities I don’t think the management of the Galleries or The Arcade will have much care further than their own units and I have no doubt they would like them to be fully let. I suspect the response will be that they are doing all they can to improve their occupancy levels, but that it’s a struggle.

I will wait to hear more and look forward to the start of the first phase of development.

Posted on Monday 29th December, 2014 at 10:06 am in Obiter dicta.
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