Chertsey is ripe for regeneration – but has been for at least the last 50 years. Successful regeneration is a gradual, often 20 year process, in which an area becomes desirable and homes appreciate exponentially in value. It sits in the centre of the fabulously wealthy Surrey ‘Golden Triangle’ of Weybridge, Esher and Virginia Water, but the same properties in Chertsey are only 60% of the value of the other three towns.
One of the most important factors in successful regeneration is the type of homes available. Decent quality housing stock is a prerequisite. Chertsey has an abundance of quality period properties, as noted before there are more Georgian buildings in Chertsey than in any other town in Surrey. There is also a plentiful supply of Victorian terraces throughout the town as well as many double-fronted villas with bay windows.
Parks and green spaces are also important and again Chertsey has these in abundance. However these have been depleted in recent years as the Council an developers collude in covering every open space with dense packed cheap housing.
The same applies to the shopping area, Guildford Street and Windsor Street, where the majority of the shops are period properties but look very down at heel filled with Charity shops, pound shops, fast food outlets and bookmakers. The main problem here is the ridiculous rents and rates imposed by the Council that drive out innovative and attractive small businesses.
I know these problems are being suffered by most small high streets, but most high streets do not have the charm and period properties of Chertsey. The ugly products of these shops do not attract quality customers.
What Chertsey needs is small individual up-market shops, certainly none of the chain stores.