After 50 years in Farnham – another major chain store​ ​ closes its doors!

Last Saturday saw the DOROTHY PERKINS store in Farnham close its doors for the last time.

This brings to an end a 50 year-long association of the popular store with our town!  – Here are just a few of the others – but fear not there will be dozens of new shops opening soon in the Woolmead and Blightwells developments (with our money) – won’t there?

But .. according to the DP’s store staff – another nice shop is due to take its place?

Here’s what Farnham people think about our local authorities cunning plan to invest our money in more shops and restaurants.

The number of business and retail units in Waverley being turned into homes is reaching alarming proportions.

And… what about Guildford! Where two flagship stores – House of Fraser and Debenhams boasting half a million square feet of retail floor space look set to fail!

Whatever the outcome of takeover talks going on as we type, questions will remain over the sustainability of these two anchor department stores in Guildford, and there will be concerns about the possible economic and fiscal implications, locally, should either fail.

Additionally, current council plans (Guildford BC) for up to 420,000 square feet of new retail space on North Street might now look even more doubtful, especially following the Local Plan examiner’s remarks querying the logic of this allocation, despite GBC’s planning department’s defence of their decision.

 Tory councils, with the backing of Surrey County Council, are so arrogant as they play Monopoly with our money! Can’t they read the runes?

House of Fraser, Guildford was refitted and relaunched as a new store in 2000. It was previously known as the Army & Navy, and before that Harvey’s. The store includes the Jellicoe Heritage Roof Garden, a water garden designed and installed by the late Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe in 1958 and where customers could once sit and eat enjoying a panoramic view across the town.  It was closed for health and safety reasons. It has a grade II listing from English Heritage and, according to the House of Fraser website, has a dedicated gardener.

See also: Comment: It Is True – The Number of Empty Shops in Guildford Is Increasing

3 thoughts on “After 50 years in Farnham – another major chain store​ ​ closes its doors!

  1. On their website, Waverley’s current position is:

    “The Brightwells Farnham Regeneration Scheme at East Street will bring a vibrant new dimension to Farnham. New shops, restaurants, leisure and community facilities, including a cinema, will provide attractions for all age groups within the town. It will also bring major community benefits to residents, visitors and local businesses.”

    But the UK has low productivity growth, stagnant wage growth, a fall in disposable income, worries about Brexit, rapid growth in online sales, inflation worries, relative poverty and inequality and rising business rates sparked off by a government worried that UK debt is still rising despite austerity measures over the last few years.

    Not the best time then to be investing in new shopping centres in the UK.

    I think that Waverley should instead be investing in social housing. Clearly there is a growing need for this, and Waverley’s efforts to get new “affordable housing” (what most of us ordinary people would think of as being “affordable”, not Waverley’s version) has been abject failure.

    Hopefully we can elect more able people into Waverley at the next local authority elections in May 2019, but will irreversible damage already have been done by then?

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  2. Sadly, as you say in your penultimate paragraph Waverley’s efforts to provide “affordable” housing has been a total failure and its success-rate in providing social housing is lamentable. As far as we can tell most homes now under-construction are way beyond the term “affordable” and we understand some developers are already counting the cost, construction is certainly slowing down because sales are slow, despite the incentives being offered?

    WBC is also supporting the sacrifice of green belt – and the Tories will pay heavily for that when the council elections come around sooner than they realise. We understand there is a bit of a panic setting in at central offices in Farnham and in Guildford?

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  3. Hello WW (not Spartacus),

    I agree with much of what you and Adrian say here. There are many significant urban brownfield sites that have been redeveloped to follow the up market apartment money rather than provided the much needed town centre low entry cost homes. As most now agree – social housing is needed, not “affordable but not-affordable (ABNA)”. The best place for social (and ABNA ) is close to facilities, road infrastructure, public transport and schools. Then reliance of private transport is a lower priority. I think of the Godalming urban sites, (Farnham!) that would fit these criteria. Unfortunately WBC have fallen in love with a field 3 miles from Cranleigh which has none of those.
    The situation we find ourselves in Waverley is desperate for first time buyers or those looking to social housing for their future.

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