Mixed-use destination approved for ex-Debenhams Guildford site

24th November 2022 | Jack Oliver

Property developer Native Land has received approval to transform the ex-Debenhams site in Guildford into a 300,000 sq ft mixed-use destination, to be called St Mary’s Wharf.

The new site will comprise of 185 new homes, 21,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space, and almost an acre of riverside public realm. Native Land says the buildings will be all-electric and net zero carbon in operation.

The Guildford project is part of a wider strategy by Native Land to reposition former retail assets in fundamentally strong UK towns and cities. The development will comprise of two buildings, designed by architects Squire & Partners, as well as a new civic square, a park, and a riverside walk with access to the High Street.

Native Land has committed £1m to riverside infrastructure spend, which could see a new footbridge constructed over the River Wey.

The development looks to repurpose brownfield land and offer a range of 1-3 bedroom homes. Native Land anticipates strong demand for St. Mary’s Wharf.

Robert Harris, managing director acquisitions at Native Land, said: “Our plans for St. Mary’s Wharf will inject new life into Guildford town centre by transforming a redundant retail asset into a vibrant mixed-use destination. By reconnecting the town centre with the riverside, the scheme will provide new stimulus for the High Street. St. Mary’s Wharf exemplifies our strategy to create high-quality, sustainable developments which reimagine high street locations in the face of continued challenges”.


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