Keith Parkins | 08.09.2003 12:55 | Analysis
Town centre developers, KPI, a Kuwaiti financed property company, have applied to the Secretary of State for Transport to stop up several roads in Farnborough town centre. The result will be a disaster for Farnborough as have been road closures in Aldershot.
A misleading Notice has been posted around the town centre which sheds little light on the matter. Certainly, by simply referring to 'an area of Queensmead', it does little to convey the extent of the road closures or mention the roads other than Queenmead.
Retailers have not been informed, even though they are directly affected and it will hit trade hard.
The only retailers who are aware, are those who have been informed by the public.
Myself, and other members of the local community, have done our best to inform the retailers by providing a copy of the map and official Notice.
Retailers, on learning of the extent of the road closures, have been horrified.
Farnborough holds an infrequent Farmers Market. Loss of highway will deny farmers access with their vehicles.
Loss of highway will deny retailers service roads for deliveries.
The response of the developers, on learning that members of the local community have taken it upon themselves to alert the retailers to what the developers are up to, is to run a smear campaign against these public minded citizens and to threaten to have them banned from the town centre as 'troublemakers'. In one incident, a member of the public was threatened by a KPI employee with removal from the town centre and the police would be called for 'harassing shopkeepers'.
GOSE have been obstructive, refusing to release a copy of the application by KPI, even though it is in the public domain, then releasing it only a couple of days before expiry of the deadline for comments.
Note: More information may be obtained from GOSE, including the proposed stopping up order and a copy of the map showing the roads to be stopped up. tel 01483 882 405
Note: Roads to be closed include, northern half of Queensmead, northern half of Westmead, Eastmead, Firgrove Court.
Note: Planning background to road closures