Your town centre regeneration questions answeredBy Hugh Fort
June 29, 2012
What we asked regeneration boss Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker on your behalf and how he responded:
People in Bracknell have been sceptical about the plans and some remain convinced the regeneration will never happen. Can you give assurances it will happen and when?
“I can’t say quite when it will start yet, or when it will be finished by, but it will be soon and I am utterly convinced it will happen.
“When we talk about it it’s ‘when’ not ‘if’.
“You’ve got to remember there have been just three town centre regeneration projects go ahead during the recession.
“Liverpool, Newbury and Camberley have done theirs.
“Ours is still progressing, many other town centre projects have completely fallen through.
“We could’ve ploughed on through, but the possibility of having a shiny new town centre full of empty shop units was not something we wanted to do.
“We had to bide our time to make sure we get it right and do it at the right time.”
Independent traders fear they will be priced out of the town centre due to spiralling rents. Do you think this is likely? If not, why? Will there be a place for independents in the new town?
“I don’t think that will be the case. We’re very keen on independents. There is a lot of work going on to make sure Bracknell does not become another Reading, or Camberley.
“We don’t want to be that – we want to be Bracknell.”
Traders in Bracknell Market have been extremely worried about their future. Is there a future for the market? Are plans in place?
“It is still being decided what will happen if the plans for Winchester House go ahead, but there is definitely room for a market in the new Bracknell.
“I want as many emails as humanly possible on what people would like to see in town and at the market.”
The original plans for regeneration contained a brand new council building? Is that still the case?
“No. We can’t justify it. What is now proposed is that we spend some money on improving Easthampstead House and Time Square.
“Easthampstead House in particular needs a lot of work.
“I know some people don’t like the idea of councils spending any money on themselves, but we don’t even have double glazed windows there.
“Council staff need to do their jobs and need facilities to be able to do that.”
The Enid Wood house building is regarded as a huge eyesore. What is happening to it?
“There is permission to convert it into a mixture of flats and retail units.
“My understanding is that work has begun on this.”
Will it happen?
“Yes. I am utterly convinced that this will happen and will happen soon.
“I can’t say when, but I can say we are putting plans in place to do this as quickly as we can to minimise disruption to the existing businesses and to get this brilliant plan in place as soon as possible.”