Two sites at Guildford's historic heart, the former Farnham Road and Onslow Street bus stations, have been derelict for too long. Both have enormous potential to enhance the visual and social amenities of the town. The Guildford Society believes that decisions on their future development are urgent now.
Both are owned by the town. That means the Borough Council now has the responsibility and the opportunity to ensure development in ways most appropriate for Guildford's citizens and visitors. The Society shares the view expressed by many including the Borough Council that the two sites should be developed as far as possible to provide cultural and community facilities. That view therefore shapes the proposals set out in this report.
Another riverside site owned by the town will become available when the Bedford Road sports centre is replaced by the Stoke Park Leisure Centre. Beyond stressing the importance of its development in a sensitive way enhancing its riverside setting, the Society does not at present wish to put forward any specific proposal for that site.
Over the years the Guildford Society has found it necessary, in the face of proposals based all too obviously on short term expediency or quick financial returns, to stand back on four quite separate occasions and take a new look at the value to the town of its riverside. Out of each such reappraisal grew proposals emphasising the need for a place for people to be able to go, to enjoy the juxtaposition of ancient town, history, riverside, and superb geographical setting.
See below for a Paper produced by the Society on the History of the riverside
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.