Fringe Box



Citizens Speak: The Waitrose Scheme

Published on: 16 Dec, 2012
Updated on: 16 Dec, 2012

Waitrose Opinion imageWaitrose have now been given planning permission to construct a supermarket and some housing units on a site between North Street and York Road. The application was bitterly opposed by some and enthusiastically supported by others. The Guildford Dragon NEWS has asked some nearby residents what they think.

Gary Leach from Artillery Terrace
 Gary Leach 125 jpg I do not know too much about the background as I have not long moved into the area and it has been very busy at work. I feel ambivalent about the subject but we tend to use local shops so will probably use Waitrose once it is built. Given that I know so little about it, I would say that local residents were probably not well informed about the scheme. Most of the information I received came via the school, Sandfield Primary. I am am quite happy about the proposed architectural style and a mixture of modern and traditional. It seems to be okay. I am less pleased about the closure of the subway. Currently the pedestrian crossing at the top of the road takes for ever to cross. I am not sure why closure was necessary.
Anna Walker from Stoke Fields
 Anna Walker 125 Yes I do know about the proposal. I am very aware of it, mainly because of the G4 Residents Association. I am very pleased for this run down, town-centre site to be redeveloped. It is a a positive thing but I am unhappy that the subway is to be closed. I feel it has been possible to be properly informed if you made the effort. How much residents’ comments have been, or will be, taken into account we will have to wait and see. It feels that they have not been taken on board, so far. I am not sure the traffic issues have been properly addressed but I am happy with the architectural style utilised. I quite like it. I am not opposed to modern architecture and I like the wood cladding. I am not happy that the subway is to be closed. The road will only get busier. At the moment, children are able to go safely into town on their own.
Maureen Lemin from George Road
 Maureen Lemin 125 I don’t know an awful lot about the scheme but I have probably not read the literature. Overall, I am pleased because a lot of older people can’t walk right into the town easily and this will make it easier for them. I do feel that residents have been properly consulted. We were all sent letters and we had a residents meeting too. Our local councillor, Caroline Reeves, kept us informed. The style of the proposed buildings looks fine to me. I don’t mind modern architecture, at least on the site in question. If it was more central then it would have been nice to see something more traditional. But I think it was all wrong to decide to close the subway because the safety aspects for young children and older people.
Claire Johnson from Abbots Wood
Claire Johnson 125 I do know a fair amount from the local media and because I work close by in Guildford police station. I am pleased that permission was granted, but with reservations. I do like Waitrose and I think that it is a suitable store for Guildford but I am concerned about the extra traffic it will attract. I think that residents were properly consulted. I don’t live close by but from those I have spoken to they were. I quite like the style of the proposed buildings. There are many unattractive buildings in the area including the police station. The area is in need of redevelopment. Closing the subway is the one thing I have a problem with. It has kept the children going to Sandfield School safe and there have been accidents when it has not been used.
Jan Todd from Artillery Road
Jan Todd 125 I know quite a lot about the proposal. I got the information from local media including The Guildford Dragon NEWS and our local councillor, Caroline Reeves, kept us properly informed. I am thrilled with the proposal because grocery shopping choices in Guildford town centre are extremely limited. It is possible that residents were not properly consulted. I have heard others complain that they were not informed or invited to the presentations and events. I am not thrilled about the style though but at least it is better than the buildings currently there. I am happy that the subway is going to be closed. I don’t like it. It is quite scary at night. Those with children do like it, I know, but a safe surface crossing should suit everyone.
Shauna Stanton from Church Road
shauna Stanton 125 I do know a fair amount about the proposal from the local media, meetings and our local councillor. I spoke to the architects personally at the meeting held in the Guildhall. I am happy that permission has been granted for the scheme. I think Waitrose is a very good and popular supermarket. There is a desperate need to redevelop the site. I think residents have been properly consulted but initially Waitrose was not very forthcoming with information. But once the criticism was levelled they improved. Not enough knew about the Guildhall event, though. Regarding the style, my initial impression was that it was a little bland but I felt happier having spoken to the architects about the materials that will be used. I would not want mock Victorian. I am concerned about the closure of the subway though. But it is the national policy, I understand, so it would have gone anyway. In an ideal world it would have stayed. My kids used it.


What do you think? Why not add your views to the debate answering the same questions asked of our interviewees:

  1. How much do you know about the proposal to build a Waitrose supermarket in North Place?
  2. Are you pleased that permission was granted for the project? Why or why not?
  3. Do you feel residents were properly consulted and involved in the decision?
  4. What do you think about the architectural style proposed?
  5. Are you content that the subway under York Road is to be removed? Why or why not?

You can easily make your views known too. Just use the ‘Leave a Reply’ feature below to give your answers…

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Responses to Citizens Speak: The Waitrose Scheme

  1. Sally Parrott Reply

    December 17, 2012 at 8:29 am

    1. Fair bit, thanks to Guildford Dragon.
    2. No. I’m horrified at the thought of Waitrose delivery lorries, and customers’ cars, adding to the already dangerous (and sometimes gridlocked) town-centre traffic. Also I hope Waitrose has made a satisfactory agreement with Haydon Place residents who will lose light.
    3. I don’t know, but in general am not sure GBC has recently been too concerned with residents’ views.
    4. I don’t know.
    5. No. The removal of the subway by Debenhams has slowed the town-centre traffic flow disastrously.
    In general, Guildford badly needs a Waitrose, but I’m surprised at Waitrose pushing ahead with a plan which could be further slow town-centre traffic. However, if LIDL start trading in the former Comet store on Ladymead, it will draw some traffic away from the town centre, so I’m very much in favour of LIDL coming.

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