Meetings & Social Events Calendar

Check out our social events & calendar to find out more about what is happening and when in Guildford.

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Hot Topics & News

Please find below a list of the latest topics

31st March 2017
GBC Planning Committee Changes

We bring to your attention a report that is circulating within Guildford Borough Council  that proposes a reduction in the number of Councillors who make up the membership of the Planning Committee from 23 to 12. In addition, the report also reviews a number of processes and procedures associated with the business of the Planning Committee. 

02nd September 2016
The Local Plan - Draft (Reg. 19) 

- Consultation Period expired

The consultation period for responses to the Local Plan expired on 18th July 2016; your Society having made its views known to GBC. GSOC supports the Council in its determination to have a new Local Plan. That support is not blind and nor should it be taken as a planning equivalent of a blank cheque.
The Society is absolutely adamant that it must be a good, sound, workable plan that preserves the good, regenerates the brownfield, makes an adequate judgement of need and seeks to provide for that need

02nd September 2016
Solum Rejected – Guildford railway station development

 refused

We applaud the decision on 29 June 2016 by the Borough Planning Committee to refuse Solum’s plans for the redevelopment of the railway station site.The plan had attracted widespread criticism and was not supported by the borough council’s planning officers - -

18th July 2016
Proposed Submission New Local Plan. Reg 19 - GBC Extraordinary meeting, Tues. May 24th 2016


Guildford Borough Council 
Council Chambers
Millmead GU2 4BB

Extraordinary meeting  - Tuesday May 24th at 7.p.m

Proposed Submission New Local Plan. Reg. 19

 

The Guildford Society has been operating for more than 80 years for the protection and enhancement of the built environment in Guildford. We have a number of dedicated, professional and well-respected volunteers, who attempt to be objective and positive in their contribution to the debate concerning the emerging New Local Plan.
 
Work has been ongoing since the publication of GBC’s Issues and Options Document in October 2013, followed in July 2014 by the Strategy and Sites Consultation (Reg.18). We are now at the next key stage and an agenda item for tonight’s Council meeting - a forthcoming consultation simply to test for SOUNDNESS of the Proposed Submission Local Plan (Reg.19) 
 
Before this meeting, The Guildford Society has circulated a letter to each Councillor and Local Plan officers summarising our views and our recommendations for what they may wish to amend before a public consultation. Our chairman, Julian Lyon, has been allowed a 3 minutes slot at tonight’s meeting in which he will urge Councilors and Officers to take our views and recommendations into account.
 
We do not wish to play for time or delay the Plan. We recognise how important this document and process is for the Town and the Borough. We do need a Local Plan and GBC risk having one imposed on us by The Department for Communities and Local Government if they fail the timelines.
 
We do not seek to diminish the nervousness that various groups feel about housing numbers, infrastructure deficits and the Green Belt. They like us have made their serious and valid concerns known. The Society will continue its dialogue and support with other local voices.
 
To read the Society’s letter to Councillors.  Click here
This document will also appear on our website in due course
 
Click here to visit the GBC New Local Plan website  
Click here for  the link to GBC’s Proposed Submission Plan Strategy and Sites June 2016

The next steps on the timetable for the New Local Plan are:
   Jun-Jul. 2016    6 weeks   - Pre-submission publication & consultation (Reg.19)
   Dec.2016          Submission to the Planning inspectorate for Examination (Reg.22)
   Feb.2017          Pre-examination meeting
   Apr. 2017          Examination in public - hearings (Regulation 24)
   Dec.2017          Anticipated adoption (Regulation 26)
   Dec.2017          Updated Policies Map

 

25th May 2016
GSOC Letter to Councillors re New Local Plan

Guildford Borough Council 
Council Chambers
Millmead GU2 4BB

Extraordinary meeting  - Tuesday May 24th at 7.p.m

Proposed Submission New Local Plan. Reg. 19

19th January 2016
Solum and the Station Development - A Lost Oppportunity

Guildford’s voice was strongly heard on the evening of 13th  January 2016 when 240+ residents gathered in Millmead Baptist Centre for an Open Meeting to discuss Solum Regeneration’s proposals for redevelopment of the Guildford railway station site. Hosted by The Guildford Society (GSoc) with the generous support of GRA  - Guildford Residents Association; the meeting had been called to allow residents to obtain a wider view of the development as seen by the two host organisations; to allow the audience an opportunity to voice their questions both for or against the development and for GSOC to suggest an alternative view for a Station Master Plan
Click here to view the evening's slide presentations  in Powerpoint format

Click here  to view the evening's slide presentations in pdf format
Click here to listen to the audio feed for the audience questions and answers
Click here to see our Hand Out Flyer including bullet points & key points of contact

 

For or against the scheme?  
Please make your views known to the Council’s Principal Planner                  

 

 

 

07th January 2016
GSoc & GRA Joint Press Release opposing Solum Scheme

Solum Planning Application Number: 14/P/02168

 

Application Number: 14/P/02168

The Guildford Society and Guildford Residents Associations have joined forces to oppose proposals for a massive,​ out of character, development at Guildford station.

Says Guildford Society Chairman, Julian Lyon, “This is the biggest ever application for Guildford town centre that will define the character of our town. The scheme should set the standard for a new, regenerated riverside area and provide station improvements, good links to other transport services to ease congestion, and a significant number of much-needed affordable homes. Instead, the application fails the town and community in so many respects and blocks land that could be used to provide a new bridge over the tracks. We hope the current scheme will be withdrawn or rejected.”

Says Amanda Mullarkey on behalf of Guildford Residents Associations, “Allowing this application would squander a once in a generation opportunity to provide major transport improvements, a new link across the railway for our divided, congested town and an attractive new residential area. The proposed wall of high rise buildings along the tracks would set a dangerous precedent making it hard to resist other eight to ten storey buildings. We see the tower blocks on the Mount as a mistake of the past not as a model to be repeated on an even bigger scale.”

Full Text Here

 

25th December 2015
Response to Latest Solum Application

 

Solum Planning Application Number: 14/P/02168

Application Number: 14/P/02168

Location: Guildford Railway Station, Station View, Guildford GU1 4UT

Proposal: A mixed use redevelopment comprising 438 residential dwellings (Class C3 use); station retail/financial and professional services/food and drink and leisure floor space (Class A1/A2/A3/Sui Generis and D2 uses); station and general office floor space (Sui Generis and Class B1 uses); station improvements including new station building with booking hall and concourse (Sui Generis use); replacement station and office car parking, new residential car parking, cycle parking, a Station Plaza including new public realm with hard and soft landscaping, new access and servicing arrangements, plant and associated works.

We wrote at length to Chris Mansfield on 21st December 2014 objecting to Solum’s original application 14/P/02168. This letter contains our objections to the revised application submitted by Solum in November 2015.

Full Text....

 

25th November 2015
GSoc DRAFT TOWN CENTRE MASTERPLAN Stance, 03 Nov 2015

CLICK HERE for FULL PDF Document

30th August 2015
DRAFT MASTERPLAN TO BE REVIEWED BY SCRUTINY COMMITTEE 8th SEPTEMBER 2015

Guildford Borough Council has released its consultants' report and master plan for the future of the town centre. The files are rather large and many people had difficulty downloading them but the document has lots of aspirational images in it which, on the face of it, are somewhat exciting for Guildford.  [Click here for Downloads ]

30th August 2015
The Guildford Museum and SAS (Surrey Archeological Society)

The Guildford Society is alarmed and very concerned, and voices are being raised both locally and further afield concerning the future GBC (Guildford Borough Council) plans for the Castle Arch building and Guildford Museum following GBC’s decision to terminate an informal extension of the SAS lease of a hundred years or so.

09th January 2015
Slyfield Area Regeneration Project

Stop Press  25th March.2015.  Guildford Borough Council's press release of 25th March announced that  The Slyfield Area Regeneration Project (SARP) has been designated as a housing zone by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA). Cllr Matt Furniss, GBC Lead Councillor for Transport, Infrastructure and the Environment, said: “We are delighted that the site has been designated as a housing zone. SARP is a major urban regeneration scheme that can deliver 1000 homes, including affordable homes, on a brownfield site and make a significant contribution to Guildford’s growing housing need. “The project requires high upfront capital to start development of this site, which includes the relocation of the existing sewage works, and Council Depot, associated infrastructure and site remediation that is required before housing can be built. The designation as a housing zone means that access to cheaper borrowing has been unlocked.” Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “This extra Government funding and support will help Guildford Borough Council kick-start the regeneration of the Slyfield site, providing new homes on brownfield land. This will help the Council protect the Green Belt and play its part in meeting Guildford’s growing housing needs.” We will work with partners, Thames Water and Surrey County Council, and the HCA to prepare a delivery plan for this major regeneration project. We want to move forward by securing consultants to provide the professional support required for the development of the site. The Executive, at their meeting last night (24 March), agreed to release funding of £390,000 to secure consultants to advise on the delivery structure and initial preparatory works required for the project. The Executive also agreed to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Thames Water to assist in the partnership working needed for this project.

 

This follows upon an earlier announcement earlier on the 8th January 2015,  that The Government had announced the areas shortlisted to become the first flagship housing zones in England - to help provide thousands of new homes across the country. A shortlist of 29 areas outside London has been published, each of which have bid to become one of 10 housing zones, where it will be easier and quicker to build new homes on brownfield land. The Slyfield  area in Guildford is included within the list of 29 areas . Click here for the link to the government website for detailed information. 

 

 

 

25th January 2015
Solum and the railway station - Just another brick in the wall

Guildford’s voice was strongly heard on the evening of 21st January when 220+ residents gathered in Millmead Baptist Centre for an Open Meeting to discuss Solum Regeneration’s proposals for redevelopment of the Guildford railway station site. Hosted by The Guildford Society (GSoc) with the generous support of GRA  - Guildford Residents Association; the meeting had been called to allow residents to hear from Solum themselves; to obtain a wider view of the development as seen by the two host organisations; to allow the audience an opportunity to voice their questions both for or against the development.
Click here to read a report on the meeting
Click here to view the evening's slide presentations

Click here to see our press release & an artists impression of a view from the Jellicoe Roof Garden  
Click here  to read the audience questions and comments from the January 21st Open Meeting
Click here to read subsequent correspondence between GSOC'S Chairman & Solum (Feb.2015) which contains further design criticism and demonstrates additional and significant viewpoint issues.

25th January 2015
Allies and Morrison appointed as town centre masterplanners

13 Jan.2015 A new Masterplan for Guildford town centre is a step closer with the appointment of Allies and Morrison.The project team, selected by Guildford Borough Council, also includes transport expertise from Arup and property advice from GVA.The Town Centre Masterplan will adopt a commercial approach whilst reflecting on the work of the Guildford Town Centre Vision, which was prepared last summer. The masterplanners will discuss options with landowners and occupiers as well as potential investors to understand their needs and how these can be better met to shape the development of the town. The Masterplan will look at the different elements of the town centre, from the historic streets to the riverside. Once the character of each area has been identified, the team will draw up design guidance for any future development in the town centre. Click here for the full GBC news release

18th December 2014
14/P/02168 Guildford Railway Station & Site redevelopment.

The reference number shown above concerns a BIG planning application , in fact the  BIGGEST  ever seen in Guildford and one that  has vital consequences for our town.

It has been submitted by Solum Regeneration ( a partnership between Network Rail and Keir ) for a new station for Guildford  and other site developments to include :

  • Revised station facilities
  • High rise towers  to include 445 residential dwellings,
  • Office space for financial and professional services,
  • Retail outlets,
  • Food drink and leisure facilities,
  • Car parking etc.

Solum are inviting responses at a series of public exhibitions and The Guildford Society also plan an Open Meeting - January 21st. 7.30pm at Millmead Baptist Centre

Please come along and make your views known

Click below on find out more for full details

 

 

01st December 2014
Green Belt Guidance Update

GBC issued a Green Belt guidance update on 23 Nov.2014. This has been well summarised in an article reproduced from Planning Resource.  
Click here for the full article

12th November 2014
GSoc Puts Down Design Marker re Solum’s Station Redevelopment and Building Height

The Guildford Society (GSoc) says that Solum should reduce the height of its proposed redevelopment of Guildford Station and adopt better and distinctive design principles that are more sympathetic to Guildford’s County Town setting and heritage.
GSoc has submitted its comments to Solum ahead of the latter’s formal planning application, which is expected imminently. Solum invited a broad range of local interests and individuals to respond to its outline scheme via its website and through a series of face-to-face meetings.
GSoc also believes the proposals are premature in the context of emerging thinking and public consultation about the town centre, following the Council’s commissioning of masterplanners Allies & Morrison to draw up a Vision for Guildford.
“Guildford urgently needs an integrated transport solution,” says Julian Lyon, chair of GSoc. “This scheme has to be part of that and Network Rail, as part of Solum, should take an active role in bringing that about. Our town also needs major traffic improvements and vastly improved pedestrian links between the station, town centre, Cathedral and University. Whilst Solum’s latest scheme is much improved on its last, we remain concerned about the facades, height, and massing of the development especially as it sits on a direct line of sight from the castle to the Cathedral.”

To view GSoc's detailed position paper click here
To view Solum's website click here

 

16th September 2014
The Society's Local Plan Submission

Following Julian Lyon's presentation on Monday 15 Sept, click here to see The Society's formal submission to the Local Plan consultation, ending 22 Sept. 

18th July 2014
Local Plan Meeting 17 July slides

Here are the slides from last night's well-attended meeting on the draft Local Plan. Look out for the next - No.6 - in our series, due to be held in mid-September. Details to follow.

09th June 2014
A Vision for Guildford's Town Centre

Allies & Morrison, the respected urban masterplanners, have produced their preliminary Vision for Guildford's Town Centre, as part of the new Local Plan process. See it here 

 

29th May 2014
New ONS adjustment should mean fewer new homes for Guildford

Revised ONS projections for Guildford's population should lead to a lower new housing figure. After a succesful challenge by The Guildford Society, the SHMA 'housing need' figure could reduce to 590 new homes per annum and, with additional demographic adjustments, could be reduced further to around 380 pa. These figures are based on an early appraisal of the new ONS figures, which now incorporate a more appropriate treatment of the impact of the 19-30 age group on Guildford's population growth.

30th April 2014
Hot topics - Draft SHMA

Here’s GBC’s draft SHMA that suggests a need for 800 houses per annum over next 15 years!

Comments deadline 10 Feb.

30th April 2014
Hot topics - SHMA

We’ve responded to the SHMA. See our response here

We’ve analysed the consultants’ use of data closely. We think it’s wrong, especially re student numbers. That inflates new housing need. See Here

30th April 2014
Hot topics - Housing Numbers

Here are slides from public meeting held on 18 March about Housing numbers. See the arguments against 800 new homes per year. Council’s evidence base
questionable in some instances.

GSoc DRAFT TOWN CENTRE MASTERPLAN STANCE, 03 Nov 2015

Response to Latest Solum Application

Application Number: 14/P/02168

Location: Guildford Railway Station, Station View, Guildford GU1 4UT

Proposal: A mixed use redevelopment comprising 438 residential dwellings (Class C3 use); station retail/financial and professional services/food and drink and leisure floor space (Class A1/A2/A3/Sui Generis and D2 uses); station and general office floor space (Sui Generis and Class B1 uses); station improvements including new station building with booking hall and concourse (Sui Generis use); replacement station and office car parking, new residential car parking, cycle parking, a Station Plaza including new public realm with hard and soft landscaping, new access and servicing arrangements, plant and associated works.

We wrote at length to Chris Mansfield on 21st December 2014 objecting to Solum’s original application 14/P/02168. This letter contains our objections to the revised application submitted by Solum in November 2015.

A GSoc & GRA joint Press Release

press rel;ease

Guildford's New Local Plan

Letter to Guildford Borough Councillors


Guildford Borough Council 
Council Chambers
Millmead GU2 4BB

Extraordinary meeting  - Tuesday May 24th at 7.p.m

Proposed Submission New Local Plan. Reg. 19

 

The Guildford Society has been operating for more than 80 years for the protection and enhancement of the built environment in Guildford. We have a number of dedicated, professional and well-respected volunteers, who attempt to be objective and positive in their contribution to the debate concerning the emerging New Local Plan.
 
Work has been ongoing since the publication of GBC’s Issues and Options Document in October 2013, followed in July 2014 by the Strategy and Sites Consultation (Reg.18). We are now at the next key stage and an agenda item for tonight’s Council meeting - a forthcoming consultation simply to test for SOUNDNESS of the Proposed Submission Local Plan (Reg.19) 
 
Before this meeting, The Guildford Society has circulated a letter to each Councillor and Local Plan officers summarising our views and our recommendations for what they may wish to amend before a public consultation. Our chairman, Julian Lyon, has been allowed a 3 minutes slot at tonight’s meeting in which he will urge Councilors and Officers to take our views and recommendations into account.
 
We do not wish to play for time or delay the Plan. We recognise how important this document and process is for the Town and the Borough. We do need a Local Plan and GBC risk having one imposed on us by The Department for Communities and Local Government if they fail the timelines.
 
We do not seek to diminish the nervousness that various groups feel about housing numbers, infrastructure deficits and the Green Belt. They like us have made their serious and valid concerns known. The Society will continue its dialogue and support with other local voices.
 
To read the Society’s letter to Councillors.  Click here
This document will also appear on our website in due course
 
Click here to visit the GBC New Local Plan website  
Click here for  the link to GBC’s Proposed Submission Plan Strategy and Sites June 2016

The next steps on the timetable for the New Local Plan are:
   Jun-Jul. 2016    6 weeks   - Pre-submission publication & consultation (Reg.19)
   Dec.2016          Submission to the Planning inspectorate for Examination (Reg.22)
   Feb.2017          Pre-examination meeting
   Apr. 2017          Examination in public - hearings (Regulation 24)
   Dec.2017          Anticipated adoption (Regulation 26)
   Dec.2017          Updated Policies Map

 

 

For more information on this topic and others please visit our website