Welcome to the Guildford Society

The Guildford Society has been an active voice, speaking up for the town and its surrounding countryside and villages, since 1896. As a Civic Society, we act as a focus for all who care about Guildford’s heritage and environment. While mindful of the past, we look firmly to the future. 

We recognise that development must, and will, take place. However, we do not believe this should be at the expense of Guildford’s historic character and beauty, nor of the unspoilt countryside that surrounds it. 

We pay close attention to Key Sites scheduled in the borough; and the development of the Town Centre Master Plan..

Hot Topics

Our latest or most important news is below.

Scroll Down to see earlier posts sorted by Topic Areas; below the Hot Topics.

Planning – Whitehall ‘Taking Back Control’?. View article The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) at present seems to be pursuing three badly integrated objectives for housing which appear to be, build 300,000 houses a year, build anywhere and 'build better and beauti... View article No 1 Onslow Street (Sanofi House) - proposed height increase by 3 stories. View article The owners of No 1 Onslow Street M&G, who also own the Friary Centre, have applied (21/P/00539) to modify No 1 Onslow Street occupied until recently by Sanofi. The key proposals are to create a three storey extension to the roof, roof terrace ... View article Twentieth Century Society objects to Debenhams being demolished. View article The Twentieth Century Society was founded in 1979 to support interest in C20th architecture and to complement the preservation work of the Victorian Society, which was founded in 1959. The Twentieth Century Society has campaigned successfully to p... View article Affordable Housing - be flexible View article National Planning Policy in England expects affordable housing to be provided on-site in the first instance, but also states that off-site provision is acceptable where it can be robustly justified and contributes to mixed and balanced communities. ... View article New building is an environmental issue View article The UK is legally bound to reach net zero carbon by 2050.  The Architects Climate Action Group (Acan) campaign group, is highlighting the that buildings made of brick, concrete and glass require, at present, burning large quantities of ‘fo... View article Guildford Society responds to the first St Marys Wharf consultation View article The Society has now responded to the first Public Consultation by Native Land on the proposal to redevelop the Debenhams site. We have sent Native Land, the developers, detailed answers related to the questions posed on the consultation website.&n... View article Change to Trains to supplement Guildford Services View article South Western Railways have been trying to upgrade Portsmouth to London Services by using old Class 442 Units first built for Bournemouth Services.  The introduction of the trains has been beset with technical issues during refurbishment an... View article Guildford Station Development - Solum proposing changes. View article Solum, the Keir Network Rail Joint Venture, have requested from Guildford Borough Council an opinion on the scope of an Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) to be submitted in conjunction with a planning application for the Guildf... View article ‘Next steps’ for Heathrow Southern Rail to be outlined this summer View article News might come in the summer on plans to link Guildford by Rail to Heathrow.  Angela Richardson MP for Guildford has via a written question in Paliament obtained some indication that after years of delay the Department of Transport (DfT) m... View article National Bus Strategy for England View article The Department for Transport (DfT) has produced a new strategy document (Bus Back Better – in line with everything from HMG communications having a three word slogan!!) for the provision of bus services.  See link at foot of post The De... View article Woking Top Town - according to one survey View article Lambert Smith Hampton, produce a 'health check' , now in its eight edition, on the UK’s towns and cities assessing locations outside London to identify the best places to live, work and do business.  This year they have also identi... View article Architecture’s highest honour - for redeveloping existing buildings. View article Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal have been awarded the 2021 Pritzker Architecture Prize which is known internationally as architecture’s highest honour. As well as new developments the French Architects are known for repurposing buildin... View article Where is the Centre of the Town? View article The refocussing of retail in Guildford is making change in the Town Centre Inevitable.  Several large Shops are closing or radically downsizing including House of Fraser (there appear to be plans to turn part of the shop into a hotel), and Deben... View article
Topic Areas

Our Posts are categorised by Topic Areas; a post can appear in more than one topic area.  Please use the links below to see ALL posts by Topic.  Society News on critical issues and events etc. is available here.

Society Working Groups, are aligned with a Topic Area(s) these look at the preservation and evolution of Guildford; details can be found in the Topic Area concerned.

Help us make Guildford better

We want our town to be vibrant, attractive and liveable. We support development that brings a sense of place and enhances the best aspects of our town. If such aims can be embraced, we believe Guildford has the chance to lead the way in enabling sensitive and sustainable development.

Pressures for development are increasing. Planning rules are being eased. The Society’s commitment to standing up for Guildford is needed more than ever.

Other Organisations

The Society engages with a variety of other organisations who share our interests and we share their links for information. We are also include links to Guildford Borough Council and other Government bodies and Developers of key sites. Finally we include other links of interest that are related to the borough.

Support Us

Getting involved allows the society to continue its work.   We welcome new members, from every age and background.  Membership provides an opportunity for you to contribute to the continued health of the town and surrounding area, and to meet other people who care about Guildford.