Fringe Box



Another Solum High-rise Planned for a Surrey Station

Published on: 20 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 21 Mar, 2024

Redhill Train Station development – a 15-storey tower block. CGI Solum planning documents

By Emily Dalton

local democracy reporter

With the fate of the Redhill train station development hanging in the balance, developers, have said their proposal is the only viable option and “‘must be the tallest building in Redhill”.

Solum, the consortium behind the controversial development of Guildford Station currently under construction, submitted its first proposal for refurbishing Redhill station in May 2023. It includes two tower blocks of flats and commercial building. After feedback from the community, a further plan was produced in December and now March 2024.

A covering letter from the applicant said: “If the proposed development is not approved, there will not be an alternative scheme brought forward [and…] will therefore not be able to contribute to the identified housing need in Reigate and Banstead.”

They added: “We are of the view that this site must be the location of the tallest building in Redhill, acting as the landmark gateway to the centre. As [a transport hub] the height aims to establish a distinct sense of place and arrival, contributing to the overall identity of Redhill”.

The latest plan reduces the main tower block from 19 to 15 storeys and sets out how the development attempts to fit in Redhill’s skyline; still trumping the 11 storeys across the road at the new Picturehouse development and the Marketfield Way scheme. Changes to the design such as ‘visual gaps’ have attempted to “alleviate the overall bulking” of the tower blocks, according to planning documents.

Plans include two buildings, one of which would be between 10-15 storeys and the other between 7-14 storeys. In total, the latest proposal offerers 255 new homes instead of the original 280

No affordable housing has been allocated in the latest proposal. Around 460 homes need to be built every year until 2027 to meet the council’s housing need, 100 of which as affordable, according to the 2019 Housing Needs Assessment policy of Reigate and Banstead council.

Developers argue the site brings other public benefits through regenerating the station and adding commercial space. Planning documents state: “By virtue of being a unique station site, the scheme achieves substantial public benefits that no other development in Redhill Town Centre can or has achieved to date.”

In total, it is expected the site will retain 90 and 95 per cent of the parking currently available. Only 27 parking spaces will be added, with the 255-home development, as Solum cites a demand towards public transport and active travel.

Redhill Station colonnade design. Solum planning documents

The main station entrance will have a covered “colonnade walkway” (a long sequence of columns) linking to the Princess Way pedestrian crossing. Revised drawings show the taller and narrower ridges to create a supposedly more “elegant” and “pleasant aesthetic”.

The proposed development has attracted 160 comments already. Residents can share their views until March 21.

Solum is a partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property, previously responsible for developments at Epsom and Twickenham stations as well as Guildford. It was granted planning permission in 2013 to redevelop Redhill station, improve the concourse, develop flats, add a platform, and provide a supermarket. However, the supermarket plan was scrapped last year.

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