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Public inquiry hears both sides in Firgrove Parade debate

Planning consultants behind the Firgrove Parade development plans said the footpath stopping up could not be described as inconvenient as it was a "short-cut"

Firgrove Parade shops
Firgrove Parade shops

A public inquiry has taken place in relation to a redevelopment in Farnborough, with a mother describing the proposals as a "danger" to the public.

Plans to demolish a parade of shops in Farnborough and replace it with flats, retail space and a new Premier Inn hotel at a nearby green area were approved in June last year, despite receiving lots of complaints.

But the development, by applicant Bride Hall, which owns the row of shops at Firgrove Parade, came under fire once again as a proposal to stop up a public highway connecting Firgrove Parade and Kingsmead, in order for it to be built on, received mass objections.

The developers want to encourage people to use the signalled pedestrian crossing at Kingsmead, rather than the diagonal path that leads to it from Firgrove Parade and Victoria Road.

A public inquiry opened on Wednesday (September 3) at Rushmoor Borough Council’s offices.

Christopher Blamey, director of Russell Giles Partnership planning consultants, told the inquiry: “The proposed stopping up order cannot be described as inconvenient as it is a short-cut. Pedestrians would be directed along the footpath and directed to a safe signal-controlled crossing. This is the safest available road between the station and the town centre.”

However, Deborah Price from Longworth Photographic, at Firgrove Parade, said: “As a mother of four children, safety is everything. Being in the shop every day, I can see how people are in danger if the stopping up order goes through.

“Many people objected to this in the initial planning application on the grounds of safety issues. At the moment people are walking across the green, if the proposed order is put through they will have to use the walkway and that will make it more busy and dangerous.”

A report from the public inquiry will be sent to the secretary of state for a decision to be made.

The inquiry continues.

 
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