Bricks and Mortar: Roadworks show incredible lack a joined-up thinking

By David Howell   |   Planning and property correspondent   |
Saturday 13th June 2020 11:46 am
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Residents in Farnham town centre endured sleepless nights last week as resurfacing works took place ()

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TO START with, a brief return to Castle Street, where the residents, starting on June 1, endured a week of nights disturbed by Surrey Highways contractors using a JCB with a pneumatic breaker to remove the existing road surface before resurfacing.

Noise and vibration continued until 4am on several occasions. No prior notice and no apology, as far as I know.

* The Borough and Downing Street resurfacing

One has to admit The Borough and Downing Street road surfaces look the best I have seen them. I hear the works were brought forward because of the forthcoming pavement-widening proposals, the exact scope and specification of which are still to be agreed as I write this.

One serious issue, which makes one really question the abilities of highways’ managers, is the resurfacing of part of Union Road and Longbridge on the corner of Gostrey Meadow.

* Gas main works

What a shame the newly-surfaced areas are going to be dug up in the next couple of months! As reported in the Herald on May 28, the new gas main is being installed from South Street, along Union Road and down Longbridge, requiring the excavation of the newly-surfaced road. Where is the ‘joined-up’ thinking there?

The gas main works are expected to last 20 weeks (October 3) with traffic being controlled by lights for several phases of the work.

Crest Nicholson’s programme indicates work on East Street between the Royal Deer junction and the Hoops Velo cycle shop taking place now. One assumes they will be starting reasonably soon.

* Demand for flats falls sharply

Did you see the article on the BBC website reporting that demand for flats has fallen sharply? Two-bedroom houses with outside space are now top of the list. What have we been saying for so long?

Crest, Berkeley take note!

* Waverley property investment

I wondered whether Waverley had sold the Pump House and land in Kimbers Lane, which was under offer at the beginning of the year. The property is now available to let, no longer for sale.

In looking at Kimbers Lane, I came across an example of councils ill advisedly dabbling in the property investment market.

The office building in question on the corner of South Street and Union Road, Wey Court East.

It is a three-storey office building bought by the former Waverley Borough Council administration as an investment.

The building had tenants in occupation when purchased, I understand, their lease expiring in July 2018, nearly two years ago, at a rent of £250,000 a year.

From memory, the building was refurbished but has remained empty since.

A loss of income of in the region of £400,000.

* Folly Hill Drover Way junction

I had it confirmed this week that Cala Homes and their groundworks contractor had proposed a three-month closure of the Folly Hill-Drover Way junction while constructing the new roundabout.

They seemed reluctant to provide specifics to the Residents’ Association until a meeting was convened which included Councillor Stephen Spence.

I understand matters haven’t been completely resolved but it is likely the closure will end up being at night-time for less than a week, probably in October, but keep a look out in the Herald.

Moral of the story – speak to your councillor.

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