town centre demolition site
In Farnborough, they opened a marketing suite to flog their non-existent yuppie flats. These will sit above a non-existent superstore. The flats are massively overpriced. The sale of these flats was seen for what it was, a last ditch attempt to raise the readies and bail out their failed Farnborough development.
St Modwen, through Kuwaiti-financed front-company KPI, bought Farnborough town centre ten years ago. Aided and abetted by the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, they have trashed the town centre. There is now little left. Within the last few months, more stores have pulled out and more are known to be pulling out.
Across the country, similar so-called town centre regeneration schemes, retail cum leisure cum yuppie flats, are collapsing, including one such scheme at nearby Aldershot. Regeneration schemes that have more to do with greed and speculation than regeneration, which is why the bubble has now burst.
Rumours have been circulating for some time that St Modwen is in difficulty. No one is surprised at this as they are known as The Developer from Hell and meet strong local opposition wherever they operate.
A new rumour circulating is that the financial backers of the Farnborough project, have, after ten years of pouring money down the drain, finally come to the conclusion that enough is enough and pulled the plug.
If true, it comes as no surprise, as nothing is happening. The town centre was demolished last year, leaving a dangerous demolition site, with deep holes and piles of rubble. Occasionally diggers move about, piles of rubble gets moved. It is as though a masquerade is taking place trying to give the illusion of work in progress, when in reality nothing is happening. This begs the question: who was being conned, the local council or the financial backers?
That the end is nigh is reinforced by the handful of workers left on site desperate to find alternative employment.
Anyone dumb enough to have bought one of the overpriced yuppie flats, flats that will have halved in value by 2010, will have learnt the hard way that a fool and his money is easily parted and what it means to buy a pig in a poke!
If St Modwen goes under, no one will mourn their loss, least of all the number of small businesses they have driven out of business.
Redrow is the latest builder to announce massive losses.
Reference and background
Fight The Height Walthamstow, St Modwen set to invade East London - 18 storey tower block planned, Indymedia UK, 30 April 2008
Mike Lane, The Regeneration Game (DVD)
Peter Marshall, Fight the Height in Walthamstow, Indymedia UK, 2 June 2008
Keith Parkins, Curitiba Designing a sustainable city, April 2006
Keith Parkins, Redevelopment of Farnborough town centre, Indymedia UK, 9 April 2008
Keith Parkins, Farnborough town centre in its final death throes, Indymedia UK, 21 April 2008
Keith Parkins, Farnborough town centre - unsecured demolition site, Indymedia UK, 28 April 2008
Keith Parkins, More shops to close in Farnborough town centre, Indymedia UK, 23 June 2008
Keith Parkins, Aldershot Westgate Scandal, Indymedia UK, 26 June 2008
Keith Parkins, Aldershot ghost town, Indymedia UK, 30 June 2008
Keith Parkins, Farnborough town centre crisis worsens, Indymedia UK, 3 July 2008
Keith Parkins, Yuppie flats for sale, Indymedia UK, 8 July 2008
Keith Parkins, Collapse of town centre regeneration schemes, Indymedia UK, 14 July 2008
Keith Parkins, St Modwen financial crisis, Indymedia UK, 17 July 2008
Keith Parkins, Town centre regeneration schemes, Indymedia UK, 18 July 2008