Guildford Riverside History

01 May 2010

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

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