The Society has now responded to the first Public Consultation by Native Land on the proposal to redevelop the Debenhams site.
We have sent Native Land, the developers, detailed answers related to the questions posed on the consultation website. You can see the response at the document at the foot of this post.
This is a vital site for the town and must be got right for future generations. It is a complex development being subject to flooding, near key heritage assets (Guildford Castle -Scheduled Monument, St Marys Church Grade-1, and St Nicholas Church Grade-11*) and currently poorly linked to the rest of the town centre.
The Society welcomes the concept of more open space and having greater public accessibility.
We are extremely concerned that Mass and the Height of any new development is appropriate. Native Land need to show the options on height, numbers of buildings etc.
We are aware that there is a complex trade-off between many factors including:
The proposals shown to date do not appear to have explored all the potential options.
The Council have now installed Vu.City which allows new developments to be placed into a computer model of the Town Centre. We hope Native Land can collaborate with Guildford Council so that Guildford Residents can fully understand the various options particularly how proposals will appear from:
There needs to be a properly developed spatial strategy for the Town Centre. The Town Centre Masterplan is key to this.
How the St Marys Wharf is positioned vs. the North Street Redevelopment Site which are both planned to have an element of Retail and Public Space is vital.
Using St Marys Wharf to anchor a new quarter and area for Guildford could be more appropriate than straight retail, one to discuss with the council.
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.