Have your say: Is Bracknell's regeneration moving forward?
LONG-AWAITED plans to redevelop Bracknell town centre should finally take significant steps forward this year, according to the borough's regeneration leader.
Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, Bracknell Forest Council's executive member for economic development and regeneration told the News that progress is on the cards for the next 12 months, claiming that Bracknell will see the "biggest building project" of this scale in the UK for 2013.
Pick up a copy of the Bracknell News, out now, to read the full story.
What do you think? Is 2013 the year of regeneration for Bracknell? Or will it be just another false dawn? Comment below, email firstname.lastname@example.org or join the debate at www.facebook.com/bracknellnews
This article appeared in Bracknell News 03 Jan 13
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Jan 3, 11:38
Jan 4, 02:00
Jan 4, 15:14
Jan 6, 14:07
Recent public announcements about the progress being made on the regeneration of Bracknell town centre have generally been greeted with scepticism or scorn by local residents. This is hardly surprising given the council's failure over many years to deliver the improvements needed.
The latest plan to opt for a traditional street layout instead of an enclosed centre is the most serious setback yet to the provision of such a centre. Coupled with other decisions to alter the scale and nature of the development, it is clear that these decisions have been taken simply on the grounds of costs without any proper consultation with the public.
Helen Barnett, marketing manager, for the Bracknell Regeneration Project (BRP) is reported as saying that 'customers now preferred shopping in a pretty streetscape rather than a large mall' but evidence to support this assertion has not been provided.
Most shoppers would welcome greater protection from the weather in Bracknell town centre. What is now on offer is a cheap-skate, rather than a 'streetcape', alternative that is unlikely to commend itself either to existing shoppers or anybody else.
By Ray Earwicker
Recommend? Yes 13 No 7
Jan 7, 07:17
Although I would condemn people insulting someone's appearance, I have to agree about the comment regarding the market. Nice to see they got it in the picture but as per usual, we are left out in the cold when it comes to being told what's going to happen to us. We traders get the occassional letter from the council but they are generally full of hot air and nothing more. They are worded in a way that there is an awful lot of reading between the lines which then makes us all draw our own conclussions which may or may not be correct. If they could just be honest and clear with us then at least we would be able to tell our customers when they come in every week and ask if we have heard anything about the market.
I saw a report on the tv a few weeks ago about a place up north who have made a retail area from the large shipping containers (the ones you see being pulled by artics). The idea was fantastic and on the scale of how much purpose built units are, I'm sure it must have been cheaper and far more novel. Get us a load of them and put us in that waste ground in Market Street. That would keep us happy and keep a market in Bracknell which is what a lot of people want (believe it or not!)
Recommend? Yes 3 No 4
Jan 8, 15:30
I don't really agree with Mr Earwicker regarding the covered shopping centre as there are arguments for and against them.
There are lots of town and city centres where the majority of shopping is outdoors and they do perfectly well (Birmingham, London's West End etc...). As long as you provide a good mix of shops, in a pleasant environment and don't charge an arm and a leg to park, it should be successful.
This Christmas has shown that onlne shopping has massively increased. To compete, shops have to keep their overheads down. Logically the overheads in a state of the art covered shopping centre will be far higher than those in a traditonal high street setting.
Shopping centres are of course desirable if its pouring with rain or there is 3 inches of snow on the ground, but contrary to what we all believe, it doesn't rain everyday. Parts of the plan include open, but covered streets, much like parts of High Wycombe's Eden Centre.
If the original £750 million proposal was granted planning permission back in 2002, our huge new shopping centre would have opened as the worse finanical crisis in history took hold. Although frustrating all these years, I think we had a lucky escape personally.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 1
Jan 14, 14:56
We really do not need another cloned high street, a duplicate of slough or maidenhead. This is an opportunity for a fresh new approach with much more mixed housing in the town centre, vibrant innovative retailing leisure etc. Town centres all over the UK are having problems of falling visiits, businesses leaving, empty shops - please dont spend millions on something doomed to failure like the last time Bracknell was "lucky enough" to be developed. Also, make the town centre more approachable and more accessable, less like a orwellian concrete installation. If all you see as you approach Bracknell is yet more concrete carparks and second rate offices then people will simply drive on by.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 1
Jan 15, 08:14
Why bother the tread as shown recently is for all shopping to be done online.
What shops will there be left - just the multi national Tesco's and Sainsbury and we have plenty of them already.
Another damp cold open centre full of pound shops - brilliant.
Knock it down and build houses on it and leave the green field sites alone.
Recommend? Yes 1 No 0
Jan 20, 01:32
I have visited the exhibition and think the plans look great. I know some people would have preferred a single indoor shopping centre, but this scheme considers the wider town centre as well. My only hope is they stick to their word and endeavour to make the mix of shops and restaurants different to other local towns.
Everyone expects a certain number of the usual High Street chains, but if we can make a shopping trip to Bracknell different to Camberley and Reading, there is more chance people from other towns will visit here and spend their money.
As for restaurants, do we need yet another local branch of Zizzi, Prezzo or Cafe Rouge. For most people it's 15 to 20 minute drive to Wokingham or Windsor for these. I appreciate the rents may well be out of the reach of independent, family run restaurants, but lets encourage those and other smaller chains.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 1