What Bracknell Thinks: What do you want for the town centre regenerationBy Becky Barnes
July 06, 2012
This week we asked our panel what they thought about Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker saying Bracknell’s regeneration was a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’.
We asked them what they would like to see for Bracknell’s regeneration and if they had any other questions for the councillor.Your town centre regeneration questions answered
Emily Pheney, 14, a pupil at Easthampstead Park School: “Cllr Brunel-Walker still seems unable to give an actual date of when things will start, so I would like to know when it will happen.
“I think a good mix of shops is needed, especially clothes shops and not too many phone shops.
“I hope the cinema won’t be too expensive to go to. It will be good to have different places to eat out.
“It would be good to get Matalan or Primark or Wilkinson or BHS in Bracknell.”
Jonathan Greenyer, artist and author from Winkfield: “Cllr Brunel-Walker sounds desperate rather than convincing when he says the regeneration will go ahead. Sounds like same old same old.
“What exactly is planned? How long it will actually take? Will it ever be completed? Will the plans slip and change during implementation?
“These are the questions to ask him. I only ask because the current disjointed dump that masquerades as a town centre in Bracknell must have been part of a previous ‘something brilliant’, then see what they built.”
Janet Curley Cannon, artist at Gallery@49 in Broadway: “I think the general public needs to ‘see’ the regeneration begin before they will believe it.
“The councillor’s statements will not be believed – it’s just the boy who cried wolf too many times.
“But it really does need to begin soon before the town has passed the point of no return and there is nothing left to re-generate.”
Peter Smith, chairman of Bracknell Chamber Council: “The comments of Cllr Brunel-Walker is a real sign that things are beginning to move here in Bracknell.
“I am very comfortable that what I am now hearing is a solid portent for the future.
“This is a beautiful part of the UK and has a very convenient location close to London and rail, road and air links. The only down side was the look and feel of the city centre itself, despite the valiant and partially successful efforts with the flowers and town centre events.
“Now at last we are about to see the centre being re-developed and with the imminent removal and replacement of Winchester House – probably the biggest single eyesore in the area – we will have a town to be proud of.”
Hazel Kent, owner Bracknell Market cafe: “I do love Cllr Brunel-Walker’s optimism but will not hold my breath while we all wait for it to happen.
“Cllr Brunel-Walker has already had a large list of questions from the market traders and we are still waiting a reply. We hold the faith.
“Part of the regeneration HAS to include a purpose-built indoor market. I wonder how soon the brick walls will appear to him as they do to most who attempt to move anything forward in a positive way.
“Alternatively, bulldoze the whole lot of the bottom of town and turn it into a park while the town waits for money to come raining down on them – at least that way people wouldn’t get so depressed when they walk that way.”