St Edward the developers for the North Street Site have posted a summarised response to the first consultation on plans held in December 2020. The Developers are planning on bringing forward amended plans with it is to be hoped more detail in a few weeks time.
Over 1000 comments were received related to the scheme, a summary can be read here. The responses show an interesting range of views that are informative for the North Street Site and the Town Centre Masterplan.
The Guildford Society was glad to see that, despite the restrictions due to Covid, the consultation appears to have engaged the population of Guildford. There is probably an ongoing role for electronic communication to support public consultations.
The society is interested in the views expressed as they apply to the North Street Site and in many cases the emerging Town Centre Masterplan (TCMP).
We await more details in the next consultation, where the Society will in particular be looking for:
Few details have been provided on the architecture, apart from a simplistic ‘wallpaper approach’ to a three proposed styles. The site requires high quality design, both externally and internally, for the development, that complements the Townscape and creates a sense of place.
The Society believes Guildford needs to remain a unique location and should preserve/re-build its gap in the hills and riverside, both have been severely impacted by planning decisions over the years. The council has recently installed Vu.City, a computer aided modelling tool used widely in other planning areas, for the borough. We hope St Edward can use this to provide a ‘virtual walk through’ the development, and how it sits in the wider urban environment.
We must see proper integration between the two teams involved on issues such as the positioning of the Bus Station, Traffic Flows spatial strategy (e.g. Retail Provison in North Street vs. High Street and elsewhere), and enabling linkages to the Train Station and High Street.
The St Edward site has a far more limited impact on the north side of North Street impacting only 2-3 properties; than originally planned. North Street needs revitalisation to provide an attractive link betwwen the proposed development and the southern part of the town. The Society would like to see the issues with North Street addressed.
As the Town Centre Master Plan and North Street are so interlinked, we would like to see that the next public consultation has involvement from the TCMP team.
We have also updated our page on the scheme which shows the Local Plan Allocation with the latest status.
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.