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GBC Masterplan Consultation Launched – Public Participation Encouraged

Published on: 9 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 9 Dec, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

The next stage to produce a new Masterplan for Guildford was launched by GBC yesterday (December 8) with a call for people to take part in a ten-week consultation.

With workshops, events, pop-up stalls and debates planned to draw people in to participate, a video on the masterplan website says it can be summed up in one sentence: “Everything you need is just a short walk away.”

Excerpt from the developing Masterplan, Shaping Guildford’s Future.

GBC leader Joss Bigmore (R4GV, Christchurch) said: “A sustainable and ambitious town centre masterplan will give us a strong vision, which will guide us so we can achieve so much more than piecemeal and uncoordinated development.

Cllr Joss Bigmore: “…we can achieve so much more than piecemeal and uncoordinated development.”

“We urge everyone who lives and works in Guildford to take part in the consultation and tell us what you want the future of Guildford to be.”

The first stage of the Masterplan, now called Shaping Guildford’s Future, was well received by councillors when it was presented in May 2021 (See ‘This Should Be Guildford’s Masterplan’ GBC Leader Tells Executive As Next Stage Approved).

The first online webinar takes place Tuesday, December 14 at 6pm and is to be chaired by broadcaster and Guildfordian, Peter Gordon.

Peter Gordon is to independently chair the debates on the new Masterplan.

The panel for the debate includes Joss Bigmore, Alastair Atkinson, chair of Guildford Environmental Forum, Amanda Masters, CEO of Experience Guildford, and Grant Bourhill, CEO of Surrey Research Park.

John Rigg (R4GV, Holy Trinity), who has been a strong supporter of the need for a Masterplan for the town both as the lead GBC councillor for regeneration and formally as the chair of the Guildford Vision Group, said: “Shaping Guildford’s Future – a plan for our town, is the beginning of the journey.

“The workshops, events, pop-up stalls and debates are focused on asking what you see as important. We also want your views on existing constraints such as flooding and transportation as we look to deliver riverside homes and new neighbourhoods for the future. With this information, we hope to deliver an achievable and fundable plan.

“Wellbeing is central to our ambitions so we need to know what residents think is needed to make us a better place to work, rest and play.”

SCC leader, Tim Oliver, called the plans “exciting and ambitious”.

Leader of SCC, Tim Oliver, said: “Guildford is a key town in Surrey but it doesn’t maximise its assets. We want to make sure we invest in things the community wants.

“I hope the residents of Guildford do get behind these exciting and ambitious plans. If they do, it will transform the town and make it an even better place to come to.”

Details to register for the debate and for future events will be on the Masterplan website.

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test 5 Responses to GBC Masterplan Consultation Launched – Public Participation Encouraged

  1. Susan Land Reply

    December 11, 2021 at 5:58 am

    I remember this happening 30 years ago . . .

    • Paul Spooner Reply

      December 11, 2021 at 11:09 am

      There were other Town Centre Masterplans involving consultation over the past decade, but the difference this time is that the self-proclaimed expert in densely built environment is at the helm, with an extraordinary budget to enable his vision to be the Guildford of the future.

      I suspect it will look a lot like a high, dense urban environment such as Wandsworth with a bit of river greenery and nice utopian graphics to soften the damage, but protecting his and the R4GV leader’s own local environment at any cost. Time will tell.

      Paul Spooner is the leader of the Conservative group at Guildford Borough Council

  2. Frank Emery Reply

    December 12, 2021 at 9:48 am

    A good place to start might be the removal of the Casino building, this is the biggest eyesore in the whole town.

    What a lovely first sight for visitors when they come over the new expensive bridge that leads to nowhere.

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      December 12, 2021 at 3:35 pm

      Probably the most expensive footbridge in the world per square metre. Maybe, as such, it is hoped that will bring the council fame and become an attraction in its own right?

  3. Carol Norris Reply

    December 13, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    What about a “Park & Float? Great success in Falmouth.

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