Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Fillet of Isherwood
In the Pott boil and bake;
Eye of Cockburn and toe of Band,
Wool of Frost and tongue of King,
Seabourne’s fork and Byham’s sting,
Le Gal’s leg and Elsie’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boils the Bury’s bubble.
Despite impassioned pleas by three Farnham Residents’ Councillors, The Farnham Theatre Association, hundreds of residents – and even, Godalming’s new boy on the block – Waverley’s old guard stuck to their guns and hope they’ve now delivered their final blow for the demolition of part of the Grade 11 Listed Brightwells House, paving the way for demolishing a theatre once visited by royalty to become, ‘casual dining restaurants’, no doubt serving eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog – get the picture!
Absolutely ideal for the witches and warlocks occupying the Burys belfry now that their usual haunt The Bell and Dragon is closing down! And bound to be an added attraction for the Wimbledon and Wandsworth Wanderers heading down the A3 to make the once attractive Farnham market town their new home? The latter are used to the more exotic fare served up by the Nappy Valley eateries, so they’ll be on the lookout for something to perk up their jaded pallets. Anyone for Tempura Battered Scorpion?
But with dozens of restaurants struggling to keep their heads above the bain Marie surely a theatre, even a provincial one, might be more of a draw for the upwardly mobile migrators who are used to having the fleshpots of the capital’s theatreland close.
And now we come to think of it, wasn’t Art & Culture a big part of ‘YW’s Cultural Strategy trumpeted by the portfolio holder Elstead’s Elsie as a major part of its Daft Local Plan???? Another day … another dollar… we suppose, and this time the dollar… but this time the dollar is the most important issue surrounding last night’s decision tonight heralding the redevelopment of East Street because the county council is investing squillions of Council Tax payer’s money in the scheme and so is..YW! Why? Because there were no commercial backers! Durrrhh!
BUT IS IT A WISE INVESTMENT? THAT IS THE QUESTION?
Anne Cooper of the Farnham Theatre Association gave such a good showing – we intend to give her her own post.
Although his microphone’s barely warm, Godalming’s new boy on the block Lib Dem Paul Follows dared to question the council’s sense in continuing with a scheme, which he said , “had begun while I was still at secondary school.’
Brave boy, particularly after chief planning officer ‘Beth the bulldozer’ gave a very peremptorily sermon on the mount to the Tory voting fodder, that the situation before them was ‘Not a planning application’ but a renewal of a previous consent and there was no change in circumstances!’
No change in circumstances? Is the Munstead Mumpty suffering from short-term memory loss, no change in circumstances! The whole bloody world has changed since permission for East Street was granted while Councillor Fellows was still in school swatting for his GCSEs! Only four weeks at ‘YW’ and he’s swapping swatting for sweating!
He said: “I think it is scandalous how much money has been spent on this over so many years, I want to know when something viable is proposed? Is this development still viable, can you persuade the developer (Crest Nicholson Regeneration Ltd) to actually make this happen, and has the harm to this area been adequately looked at?”
Carry on like that oh chopsy one and you’ll get Beth the Bulldozer on your case! Her response was polite, ‘Perhaps as you are so new Councillor Follows, we could talk about this IMPORTANT scheme – offline.’ A rap on the knuckles with a slap on both cheeks to follow if we ever heard one!
Councillor Andy McLeod read the retail runes, by pointing out the obvious, restaurants were closing, shops, including House of Fraser, were pulling out of high streets, and even the ‘anchor tenant’ M&S wouldn’t commit and, elsewhere were closing stores around the country! “The developer keeps saying – it’s just about to happen, but it doesn’t! Tonight we hear it is going to happen, but we’ve heard it all before, we keep on renewing consents and it just keeps stringing us along!’ In 2012 this committee refused a four-year extension and only gave three on condition the scheme as had to be built in that time -frame, and yet we stagger on. They said it was ‘ shovel ready’ and all they did was dig a big hole for the bridge, and take down sheds at the tennis courts!”
Double, double Beth’s in trouble; Fire burns and Potts could bubble?
Cool it all with taxpayers dosh,
Then we wait for the developers’ cosh?
Needless to say – as we predicted a day or two ago… the voting fodder were like pigs at a trough… as they stuck their trotters in the air … and scuttled out of the chamber pot before being barbecued by the people of Farnham!
To be continued …
But it streams for over an hour before it starts!