As South West Trains had permitted development rights for the station car park , involvement from WBC was minimal and strictly speaking there was nothing I could do.
The project did fall within the realms of our MP Jonathan Lord and he and I worked very closely regarding the station car park. My local knowledge together with his reach enabled us to convey resident’s concerns about the station car park to South West Trains.
Today I delivered a letter to the residents whose back gardens border the station car park. This letter was made up of a response from SWT in answer to a letter Jonathan and I had drafted and he had sent to SWT. Jonathan wrote directly to those residents that had written to him.
Overall the response from SWT was a disappointment, which really wasn’t a surprise. I don’t intend on publishing the letters here as they are quite long, however if you wish to see a copy, please let me know and I’ll forward one on to you.
Tonight at full Council, we will be either approving or rejecting the regeneration of Victoria Square. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t cover this on this blog, however there are a number of people from around the borough that are concerned about it, and I know the Brookwood & Bridley Neighbourhood Forum have been contacted by residents outside of the Neighbourhood Area.
I’m not going to go in to detail here, as I’d fail miserably to crunch down all aspects of the project into a single blog post. What I do want to convey in this post is that over the previous three years, I have been sufficiently involved in the project. I sat on the Planning Committee that granted permission and attended the briefings then. In the past couple of months, there have been a couple of briefings covering the development, logistical arrangements and viability, and a full session on the financials, which included input from independent consultants. These two briefings were two hours each.
As chair of the Finance Task Group, I’ve had unrivalled access to the Chief Finance Officer to ask as many questions I want around the finances of the project.
It’s also been helpful where residents have sent emails that have challenged my thinking.
You can watch the meeting live on the web cast tonight via the Council web site.
Finally, I claimed no expenses in November but did receive my usual allowances.