St Edward – a joint venture between The Berkeley Group and M&G Real Estate – has recently exchanged contracts with Guildford Borough Council to transform the underutilised site into a contemporary new neighbourhood of approximately 500 homes and retail, leisure and landscaped space.
A revised scheme has been made public at a webinar on Monday 25th April.
The Webinar can be seen here
The St Edward Website has been updated wo the plans can be seen on the North Street Regeneration Website Ae have added a few illustrative pictures to this post - see below.
Feedback can be submitted via the website which, over the coming weeks will include more information and next steps for community consultation.
After a final public exhibition in early Summer 2022, a new planning application is expected to be submitted, with construction anticipated to commence in Summer 2023.
Background to the Site
There are several significant changes compared with the Policy A6 adopted in the Local Plan. These need to be understood as the proposals are published.
The site for development is now much smaller shrinking from 3.47 Hectares (HA) – the policy has a boundary for the site covering a triangular area bounded by North Street, Onslow Street, and Leapale Road. It looks as if the plans will now cover only 1.23HA approx. of the area due to:
The Bus station approx. 0.50HA is to be reconfigured, modernised and retained in its current location. The Bus Station will remain an open area – partly as the North End of the Bus Station is over an underground car park which restricts building.
Originally proposed as 41,000 sq m retail floorspace plus 6,000 sq m food and drink. This looks as if it has now been shrunk to a far smaller area of 6000 to 8000 sq/m. The GBC Retail and Leisure Study has not been updated since 2011 so it will be interesting to see if there is any update on the performance of retail in the town centre within the planning application.
The local plan proposed 400 Dwellings which will now be on 1.23HA giving a Dwellings Per HA (dpHA) of 350. For comparison the Solum Scheme is approx. 230dpHA, and the Plaza site of Studio Flats is 790dpHA, and the proposed St Mary’s Wharf is 380dpHA. We can expect a proposed scheme of 4-8 stories?
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities notes that:
Dwellings per hectare, used in isolation, can encourage particular building forms over others, in ways that may not fully address the range of local housing needs. For example, an apartment building containing one person studios could deliver significantly more dwellings per hectare, but significantly fewer bedspaces per hectare, than a terrace of family-sized townhouses on a similarly sized site. It is therefore important to consider how housing needs, local character and appropriate building forms relate to the density measures being used.
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.
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.