WW has a little sniff of the coffee at Brightwells.

The Waverley Web team recently went incognito on its staff outing around the Blightwells complex in Farnham. Sadly, we couldn’t actually smell the coffee.

BTW – When is the place going to open officially? This year, next year, sometime never?

Farnham Brightwells Marks & Spencer announced plans to open eight “full-line” stores across the country and 12 food halls recently – with the hope locally, the retail giant may reverse its decision to pull out of Brightwells Yard. However,  a Crest Nicholson spokesman poured cold water on the suggestion, saying they were “unaware of any talks reopening with M&S”. So, sorry folks, it’s back to Waitrose.


As we say farewell to the silly season,  where better to spend a few hours in Farnham than in the great white hope of Blightwells? Or, is it perhaps the great white elephant of Blightwells? It will finally boast 238 residential flats, eight restaurants and 25 retail units, with the help of £57.5000 of  Surrey County Council’s pension fund.
While the world drags itself from the beach and back to the office? Or maybe, back from the office to work from the beach, we wandered around the place that gives the developer and its backers a terrible headache.
Enough for CNS to issue a profit warning and another to start checking the current status of its commercial property portfolio, as its value is sinking fast!   
The mutter in the gutter in Farnham reckons the company has made an £18m loss on the scheme; so far, good, then? It wants out of Farnham as quickly as possible, as the project has done nothing for its bank balance or reputation! But the latest estimate for a grand opening is sometime in 2024. 
We admit we know very little about building buildings. However, perhaps a subtle hint to the  Farnham Society might be appropriate.
Allowing for it not being finished and water pouring into some of the structures, the finish of what is actually finished is poor, bordering on shoddy and could be costly to repair in future years. Several examples of shoddy workmanship in the controversial Brightwells House are currently being renovated to make way for the Coppa Club.
The walkways have not been appropriately compacted and are already sinking.
The snagging list in our short reccy was long, very long.
Perhaps a gentle suggestion that the Farnham Society need to collaborate with Surrey constabulary.
There are so many dark corners, blind turns and possible assault spots.
Lighting needs to be appropriate for a public area that will be used by young and old at night.
However, it is not all bad. The central square is the most pleasing part of the scheme (perhaps due to the lack of huge buildings).  Wasn’t the beautiful copper beach tree that takes centre stage, the one that Farnham residents campaigned to step getting the Crest Nicholson chop?
The ludicrous statues depicting Farnham as a craft town? Is it …really? We know it has an art school and pottery somewhere, but it is hardly a craft town!
We could go on, but after six long years since consent was granted and over 20 years in the making, we won’t because it is just too depressing.

One thought on “WW has a little sniff of the coffee at Brightwells.”

  1. I suggest BrightWells is offered to a media production company in a major experiment to see if UK retail gurus can make it work


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