We can now see the reality.

02 March 2024

Why Guildford needs Height Control Policies

The Solum scheme at Guildford Station emphasises the inappropriateness of high buildings in Guildford Centre.

The first part of the Solum redevelopment has now been completed as the north block of dwellings on the station car park.  This block is of undistinguished design and is easily visible, notably on Madrid Road.


The Second Stage

The second part is now appearing and as many predicted is totally out of scale with its surroundings and excessive in height.  The lift tower that has been built can now be seen dwarfing the Bishop's Wharf and other buildings in Walnut Tree Close and other parts of the town. When seen from the Mount and other high points around the Town is can be seen dominating this area of the Town, where most buildings are 2-4 floors high, because of its height. This lift tower is 9 storeys but this is lower than the sections of the development that are going to be built to the south, replacing the current station entrance.


The Wall is being Built

This small section of the development will soon be integrated into the extensively long “wall” of buildings in this development, stretching 300 metres North to South, all at this or similar height. This huge wall of buildings will scythe through Guildford’s townscape and be overpowering to Walnut Tree Close. It will definitely dominate the town in views from many points within the town and from the surrounding hills as shown in the photographs.

More to Come

This massive and insensitive development is just a starter and is going to be followed by both North Street, and St Mary's Wharf (Debenhams redevelopment) parts of which are still higher than this lift tower. Guildford's townscape, views and skyline will be changed for ever. Althoughslightly lower we also have the Plaza Development underconstruction on the Portsmouth Road.

Inadequate Planning Policies

These three excessively large and high developments are surely perfect examples of how to destroy a Town which is loved for its history, historic town centre, heritage buildings but most of all the quality of its streets, scale, skylines, views and townscape.

This is compelling evidence of the need for a Guildford planning policy now, to control Heights of new buildings.

Want to Learn More

Our Interactive Map of Guildford of Key Sites shows brief details and pictures of most of the major developments underway in Guildford Borough.  See icons Below to access details.

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