Native Land have submitted a planning application 21/P/02232 to Guildford Borough Council concerning their plans for St Mary’s Wharf (Debenhams Site) in the Town Centre. The application is undergoing a process of validation by Guildford Borough Council, and then should appear on the Guildford Borough Planning Portal.
There have been three rounds of consultation on the site which have resulted in the developers evolving their plans for the site, including revising the heights and footprint of the buildings to best integrate St. Mary’s Wharf in Guildford’s townscape.
The developers state they wish to create a high-quality development with new public access to the River Wey, places to live, shop, eat and relax, and high standards of environmental sustainability.
The full Planning application (all 152 Documents!!) is now available at the Guildford Borough Council Website; application 21/P/02232
A revised video showing how the plans have evolved from the third round of consultation to the plans submitted is due to be published on the St Mary’s Wharf website .
The submitted plans as published contained redactions (the censoring or obscuring of part of a text for legal or security purposes). This has been done particularly on the 3 part 'Townscape, visual impacts and built heritage assessment'.
Planning applications and their consideration is a PUBLIC PROCESS redactions should only be made in exceptional circumstances e.g. certain contractual matters.
The Society has been in discussion with the council and the redactions are being removed from applications. We have added some unredacted before and after images at the foot of this post. We will be monitoring the situation.
We also urge that the redevelopment is added into the council VU.City Town Modelling System and the results made available for public view.
Like the majority who have responded to the consultation we have no issue with redeveloping the site. The Debenhams site is possibly the most critical site in central Guildford, and one of the best sites in the Southeast. Any redevelopment will set the character of the town for decades to come in the Town Bridge Area.
The Society has serious and fundamental issues with the proposed Mass and Scale of the St Mary’s Scheme, and we will be looking at the Planning Application to see if any of our concerns have been rectified. In addition, how this scheme relates to other schemes coming forward e.g. The Plaza site is critical. We are in danger of slipping into a number of relatively tall 8-10 story buildings in the centre of Town with immense impact on the Character of the Town and it's Heritage Buildings.
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