Friday, 14 July 2006

Farnborough Town Planning Day

Yesterday was filled with talking about the future of Farnborough.
Controversially, the Council have hired consultants to tell us what we already know, and to help the Council through public engagement put together a Supplementary Planning Guidance Note for Farnborough Town Center. Lots of people were invited, traders, developers, council staff, residents, police, clergy and a few of us elected members. After a walk round the town we came back to the Council Offices and listed all the problems with the town, and our aspirations or dreams.
The interesting thing is that if I were to stand up in Council and list all the things wrong with our town center I would be castigated by fellow councillors for "talking down" our town. But if a non political "focus" group do it, we councillors pat ourselves on the back for listening to the public!
That aside, some excellent points were raised: Bland civic area, pedestrian unfriendly access to town, poor highway infastructure, no identity, not enough public art, no public square, ugly and inconvenient car parks, dirty pond, no evening economy, no gateway. But it was noted by many that the only good thing in the town center is the flower displays!!
The consultants are now going to correlate all the ideas and come back with some proposals. I will keep you advised.

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