Guildford Borough Council (GBC) own the Guildford Park Road Car Park adjoining the west side of the rail tracks just north of the station. In 2017 GBC secured consent for a planning application (16/P/01290) to create 160 new homes and a five-storey multi-storey public car park (541 Spaces), with commercial space on the ground floor. Some preparatory work has been conducted, including constructing a new road, removal of garages and diverting some important service infrastructure.
GBC, before construction started, determined the that the size of multi-storey car park in the consented plans is not correct, and doesn’t support efforts to tackle the climate emergency, or to reduce traffic and congestion. GBC have revamped the scheme to accommodate more housing and reduce parking space. This will deliver much needed new housing, including affordable homes and make better use of this site.
GBC is committed to getting value for money on the site meaning circa 240 homes rather than 160 currently consented, and re-usuing the exisiting infrastructure on site. The target is to have 40% affordable homes on site, the remaining homes will be sold to fund the overall project.
Initial designs propose a range of building types including apartment, houses and duplexes. There will be a taller building at the north end of the site - near Yorkies Bridge.
About 120 parking spaces will be provided. This is a balance of provision versus recognising the site is close to the town centre and transport links. Realistically a proportion of residents will still require a vehicle.
The new site layout is a total redesign and removes the wall of buildings along the rail line. BDP Architects. have prepared the new scheme.
The Guildford Park Road (GPR) development on the limited information available appears to be an improvement from the previous scheme. The removal of the wall of buildings along the railway is to be welcomed; as is the commitment to affordable housing.
The society is concerned at the mass and height of the tall block at the north of the site, particularly how it affects surrounding buildings by shading and wind effects.
The main access for the development is to Guildford Park Rd, we assume bus traffic will continue through to the university. The traffic for buses, residents, visitors, and deliveries will be substantial. It is not clear that the junction to Guildford Park Rd will cope, particularly if traffic to the proposed Stag Hill development is allowed for.
An overall issue is the proportion of dwellings of different sizes. Guildford appears to be have a large number of single bedroom units being proposed across various sites. The town centre does need to allow for families to live in the centre.
The society will be responding to GBC with detailed comments on the scheme as they become available.
See the Scheme Website
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