After the summer holiday in Perth and Singapore, I thought it would take a long while to get used to Chandler’s Ford life, but I have been able to recover quickly and adjust to the ordinary. My perception on many things changed slightly, more specifically how Chandler’s Ford can be improved.
Obviously I don’t hate it here. It’s a great place to live and conveniently located. While there may not be many mainstream shops, everything I need is nearby. If I want to watch a movie, I go to Eastleigh. Shopping? Southampton or Winchester. Chandler’s Ford is also just over an hour away from London, so I can go there in a day.
But those are just a small amount of positives about living in Chandler’s Ford. However, there are areas in which it could be improved. First of all –
Deal with the Central Precinct
Chandler’s Ford has a great town centre in the form of the Fryern Arcade and the Mall. So what is the Central Precinct doing? It doesn’t appear to have any defining purpose. It used to be the town centre, but that’s now been taken by Fryern. Ok, a place can have multiple shopping areas, but the Precinct is a flat, grey ugly building, and it’s in the middle of Winchester Road, so it’s in plain view of everyone who passes there (and that’s a lot of people).
So what to do with it? Well, the first option is to tear the building down, turn the shops there into individual buildings like the ones on Leigh Road and turn the empty space into a local park. Or, redesign the building and turn it into a shopping centre with an open air market in the middle and have a multiple level shopping area. I’m not talking a place like the Swan Centre, but more like a place where local businesses can thrive. Of course I would like to see a geek shop in Chandler’s Ford, but a charity book shop would be good, so that I can buy books which are cheaper.
Have a stronger community
Eastleigh has a huge sense of community with regular markets and events. I think Chandler’s Ford lacks consistent community events. Part of the problem is the lack of a true town centre. As mentioned above there is Fryern but other areas like Hiltingbury, and even my area on Hursley Road seems to have separate community centres.
Even then, I don’t think there is enough there for people my age.
I’m at that awkward stage where both the kiddie stuff and the adult stuff don’t interest me, so I need more things to keep me satisfied.
My idea about a market in the precinct would support this idea, as long as the market has a stall with books for all ages in it. I’m talking comic books, fantasy/sci-fi books and more classic literature.
The numerous parks in Chandler’s Ford could be used to make the town much more sociable and interactive for people of all ages. I enjoyed the Hope Eastleigh 2015 event in Eastleigh town centre before the summer, where there was a variety of sports, food and stalls.
So those are the two major ways I think Chandler’s Ford can be changed for the better. Obviously I don’t expect this to be done overnight, but I hope at some point my ideas come into play in some form.
What’s your view about improving Chandler’s Ford? Please leave your comment.
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