Build more homes say The Conservatives! Build more homes on Brownfield land says the Government! Convert empty offices into flats without planning permission says the Government! Brilliant – instant housing numbers say the Conservatives!
The unintended consequences of converting town centre offices to flats means naturally – there are no places to work in our towns. And to afford a town centre flat (starting at £350k), you’ll naturally need to commute to London. And you’ll be so busy working, you’ll need to rely on Amazon Prime and Ocado online to deliver your internet shopping. Visit the high street? Don’t have time – except for maybe a cheeky Saturday stroll around a Farmers Market.
The consequences of all this are there are no office workers to buy sandwiches and eat out during the day, and everybody is so tired or poor, they can’t afford to eat out in the evening. Hence Godalming’s failing high street:
Photos from Huw Price on the Community Board.
In addition the franchisee of Subway has handed back the lease, and independent Bar Coretto have shut down completely. Alan Paine Knitwear has gone, and next door to them the Scats/Mole Countryside store has shuttered. Opposite them the English Chain company are rumoured to be developing their offices works for flats too.
You can’t even spend a penny in Godalming High Street, since Waverley shut the toilets in Crown Court – although we understand the local councillors are so fed up of being pissed upon by Waverley that the Town Council will be investing in new bog roll very soon.