Shaping Guildford's Future - Update

25 January 2024

A Full Update expected soon.

The Society has supported the development of a Masterplan for the Town centre and has been frustrated by the lack of progress in bringing forward a plan for approval.  This has been in part due to budgetary constraints.

At the full Council Meeting 5th December 2023 Councillor Richard Mills asked the Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Councillor Tom Hunt a series of questions on the status of the Town Centre Master Plan (‘Shaping Guildford’s Future’) after the Council’s Executive’s decision not to support further funding for work.

Councillor Mills was especially concerned that it was important to ensure that the Council is able to take account of any results and lessons from the work already undertaken; as at December 2023 £2.359m had been spent on the project. There was still a need to address the urgent strategic policy needs of the Town Centre.  

Lead Councillor for Regeneration, Councillor Tom Hunt stated a revised scope and budget for Shaping Guildford’s Future will be brought forward in the coming months as part of the Council’s Budget update.

A briefing for all Councillors will be held early in 2024, outlining the work that has been completed to date on Shaping Guildford’s Future and in particular work that is continuing to create a robust Flood Alleviation Scheme in conjunction with the Environment Agency.

During further responses by Councillor Hunt it became apparent that the Council has had initial discussions with significant land owners who might be affected by Shaping Guildford Future’s proposals e.g Courts Service.  In addition the deliverable from Shaping Guildford’s Future - ‘Strategic Transport Update Report – Principles and Strategies as agreed with SCC’, which was due in July 2023, has not been completed due to the work being paused; work was still continuing with SCC to progress feasibility work on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan which complements work undertaken to date on SGF transport.

Note: One of the issues with the whole project has been whether the costs should be accounted for under the Revenue or Capital budget in the council.  This apparently has caused delays whilst accounting principles have been checked, 

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