One of the possible elements of the proposed redevelopment of the Debenhams to form St Mary's Wharf is the provision of a bridge from the south of the site over to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. This would have the effect of potentially opening up a corridor from the Friary Bridge, passing the Town Bridge, along the riverside to the west of the St Mary’s Wharf buildings across to the Yvonne Arnaud with links either across to Millmead using the existing bridges or along the eastern side of the canal lock and out into Millbrook car park and on to the pathway to Shalford.
A bridge south the St Mary’s Site would be an opportunity to provide an interesting design that would also attract visitors. The Yvonne Arnaud would also benefit as it would be linked along the river in a cultural corridor to the Accademy of the Music – maybe this would prompt use of the Ground Floor of the St Mary’s development as a complimentary venue for the arts to the Yvonne Arnaud
The Society believes schemes that enables the riverside to be used for enjoyment are to be supported. Making this proposal effective needs a proper scheme to be developed by a combination of GBC, Native Land (promoters of the St Mary’s Wharf Scheme), Yvonne Arnaud, Thames Water and the National Trust Guardians of the Weyside Navigation. We urge the parties involved to consider and agree plans.
The society believes this pathway could be a ‘quick win’ from the Town Centre Masterplan. We look forward to seeing how it fits into the plans being worked upon at present. Paths by the river need to be considered for leisure use from Ladymead on both sides of the Wey. The Society also believes true Active Travel Corridors are essential and shouldn’t be confused with Leisure Use Corridors. We await details of the Town Masterplan with interest.
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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.
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