Guildford North Street regeneration plan rejected on affordable housing grounds

12th January 2023 | Jack Oliver

Plans to develop a key part of Guildford town centre have been rejected by local councillors who felt the scheme did not create enough affordable housing.

On Wednesday evening, the proposals were thwarted by councillors in a hung vote which fell to a decision from the Planning Committee’s Chairman.

There were also concerns issued by Surrey County Council, who opposed the plans, relating to public transport disruption caused by alterations to the bus station.

Some members of the public also voiced concerns over the heights of the proposed buildings, while others consider the designs to be an eyesore in the historic town.

A joint venture between the Berkeley Group and M&G, known as St Edward, looked to rejuvenate a brownfield site and pedestrianise North Street. The proposed mixed-use scheme would develop a residential quarter with 473 new homes. The site would include cafés, bars, and restaurants alongside amenity space.

The final application was submitted in August 2022 after a lengthy consultation process which began in 2019. The currently derelict site has so far taken more than three decades to be redeveloped, with seven or eight previous proposed schemes failing to get off the drawing board.

A mixed-use scheme was recently approved which would see the redevelopment of the former Debenhams site in the Surrey commuter town.

The St Edward joint venture declined to comment on the planning decision and its future plans for the scheme.


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