State of the village

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I’m becoming worried about the centre of Knaphill village. It’s getting to a point where every direction holds a new empty store, or a sign announcing closure. I passed the old library today and there was a couple of elderly women looking at the state of the old building and said it’s shocking that it is left to rot.
Clifton’s has now moved to their new premises in Carthouse Lane leaving the keys with Sainsbury’s perhaps; the HSBC bank is closing early next month which has many residents of the opinion it will be gobbled up by the hungry supermarket chain which would be nothing short of devastating to the village. The old Viceroy business remains resolutely empty with piles and piles of flyers and post on the mat (why do people continue delivering there?!) and the bin by the Anchor pub hasn’t been emptied for what looks like months. Despite several complaints, communiques and citiations being thrown toward Surrey Highways they refuse to do anything with the blocked sewer in Broadway. We contacted Thames Water and they came down within 2 hours to check their part so why is it so difficult for SCC to comprehend?

I’m left with the feeling that perhaps we don’t care enough or are being battered far too hard by the likes of the planning department.

I’m being a misery guts I know. There is some good news though – we have new shops that have opened and existing ones having a facelift! We all welcomed ShuZu last year and currently Stefs Homebake is being refitted. There has also been a ‘sold – stc’ sign outside the neighbouring shop for quite some time and The Anchor is a new shade of something which is growing on me and we do have new takeaways filling empty shops.

More good news (26/6/12) is that very soon, Valerie French Hairdressing will be opening in Anchor Cresent.

But there’s still those remaining holes that need filling and something really has to be done about the old library site (answers on a postcard please!).

Guess who I want to help out? We all have a duty of care for the village – it won’t sustain itself if we neglect it and allow it to fall apart at the seams. We have to use it by shopping there, selling there and being there or else one day we’ll look back and wonder what the heck happened to a once very quaint village.

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Andy is a business systems and operations consultant for The Business Delicatessen and has helped the KRA over several years. He is former editor of the magazine and also runs Fat Crow Design.

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