Development proposals for Aldershot

Walk through Aldershot, it is a dead town. There may be worse towns but I doubt it.

The streets are deserted, the shops boarded-up, the boarded-up shops far outnumber the few that remain open. Those that remain are merely biding their time before they too pull out or to find someone, anyone, to take the businesses off their hands.

How long before Boots, Wilkinsons, Argos, Morrisons pull out?

Santander has already pulled out, M&S long gone.

Decades of bad planning decisions by a dysfunctional planning department not fit for purpose, planners in the pocket of Big Business and greedy developers, planners and local councillors clueless on what constitutes good town centre planning or how local economies function.

Parts of the town centre have been bought by the council. Where did the money come from?

Today and yesterday a consultation by a developer who wishes to redevelop the ghost shopping centre and the multistory cat park opposite.

If you did not know about this consultation you are not alone, not a single person I spoke to knew about it, no posters in the street, all of two days, well a day and half, they packed up early afternoon today.

It was held in The Arcade or what is left of The Arcade after it was trashed and local businesses driven out. If you passed by The Arcade you would not have known about it, there was nothing

The developers claim 500 people visited. Really, I counted half a dozen if that. Multiply that up for the number of hours, nothing like 500.

And why only two days? It should have been two weeks.

And this was lunchtime market day, not that the market is worth visiting, not unless you wish to buy rotten fruit and vegetables that look as though scavenged from a skip. If I had fruit and vegetables this rotten, they would be on the compost heap.

The proposal is to build over 600 flats, three or more blocks, 10 to 12 stories high.

Traffic. Pollution. Congestion. Climate Emergency.

What the locality requires is family homes with gardens, not yuppie cubbyholes

The target would be commuters to London. But would they really wish to live in Aldershot?

The developers had no understanding of Aldershot.

They described Wastegate as thriving.

They talked of permeability, enable people to flow through a a thriving town.

What people? Had they not noticed the streets are deserted? Even today, lunchtime market day, the streets were empty.

They said the development outside the town centre will bring people into the town centre. It will not and has not. These are people with cars and money. Why would they go into Aldershot? They will go anywhere unless lack the time or money or mobility to go elsewhere.

They showed an imaginary street scene, well dressed attractive young women.

Had they ever set foot in Aldershot?

Streets are deserted, when there are a few people, druggies drunks, filthy Nepalese parasites. Even the Nepalese businesses are ordering these people to keep away from their doors.

The money will be in the housing.

But ground floor retail.

Who will take retail in a failing town centre?

The only interest the developer has in Aldershot is to make a fast buck, then move on.

The several years it will take to construct will kill what little is left of Aldershot. Noise, dust, traffic congestion.

This is yet another attempt at top down development.

Adlershot was dying long before on-line was killing town centres.

The only way to rebuild town centres is from the bottom up, to work with local communities, local businesses, and yet these are the groups the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor has shown the most contempt for, riding roughshod over the wishes of local people in both Aldershot and neighbouring Farnborough.

The irony is this so-called consultation was held where once stood a Victorian Arcade.

Criticism to one side the proposals are an improvement on what currently exists, but with modifications.

Ground floor low rent retail for quality local businesses. Something akin to the mixed retail see in North Laine in Brighton. But not the tacky Nepalese businesses that are turning Aldershot into an inner-city slum.

Aldershot lacks anywhere serving drinkable coffee. It needs a speciality coffee shop. A town of this size should have at least one quality coffee shop. Whether there is the clientele to appreciate let alone support a speciality coffee shop a moot point.

First possibly second floor should be low cost office space, maybe co-working shared space.

A vibrant town centre requires mixed use.

Roof top gardens on all the blocks to mitigate climate change.

One Response to “Development proposals for Aldershot”

  1. Tony Lea Says:

    Interesting.Thanks for the update.

    Can’t believe how deserted the town is, amazing and market day as well.

    Always amuses me a run down town centre that couldn’t even support a Pound shop. Just about sums Aldershot up but obviously still money in it for some people.

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