Debenhams - St Mary’s Wharf Stage 3 Consultation

23 July 2021

Your Chance to comment on updated plans until 13th August

Native Land have commenced a three week Stage 3 of their consultation on the re-development of the Debenhams site.  The consultation is being done electronically and can be found on the St Mary’s Wharf Site .  There is a slide show with supporting commentary outlining the main features of the proposals; it includes a long section discussing the visual impact the development will have on Guildford.  The intention we understand is submit a formal planning application in September/October.

There have been no major changes to the basic plan for the site but Architectural Details including height (8-9 Stories) are proposed in more detail. 

The Society will be examining the proposals in more detail over the coming weeks.

We have the inital comments that include: 

  • The proposed height does look as if it impacts the Town
  • The roofline on the southern blocks appears very clumsy.
  • The use of ‘Guildford Warehouse’ style is concerning – maybe we need a bolder approach. Debenhams is unloved by many, but it does have a certain conviction on style.
  • The proposal to provide public space through the development and that includes considering a bridge to the Yvonne Arnaud is to be welcomed.
  • We are surprised by the proposed split of flat types where it appears 217 units will be provided split 101-1Bed, 102- 2Bed, 14-3Bed.  Guildford Town centre may be in danger of being overprovided with 1 and 2 bedroomed accommodation with developments such as Solum, Plaza etc.     
  • Although there has been an attention paid to environmental factors we are still missing details on heating and shading for south facing flats.  We are still concerned at the environmental impact of a total redevelopment vs. the repurposing of the original building structure.
  • We are disappointed that the initail proposal to re-open the underpass under Millbrook hasn't been followed up.

This development is the ideal candidate to fully use the capabilities of VU.City recently installed by the council to understand the impact of the development on the Town.  Surely Guildford Borough Council needs to get the tool used?

See our Overview of the Site

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