Fringe Box



Green Light for 500 Homes In Pedestrianised North Street and a £4 Million New Bus Station

Published on: 10 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 10 Mar, 2022

By Hugh Coakley

GBC and the developer, St Edward, exchanged contracts yesterday (March 9) giving the green light for the long-overdue redevelopment of Guildford’s North Street, to be called The Friary Quarter.

As part of the deal GBC has sold an area which forms approximately 20 per cent of the 4.5 acre site.

Illustrative views of the proposed new bus station in the North Street development

The proposals include “around 500 new homes” in the town centre says the developer and a new but smaller bus station in the same location as that existing but with no bus access from North Street. This allows North Street to be partly pedestrianised and to include “improved facilities for market traders, a pocket park and new town squares”.

The next stage will be a public consultation in April with a planning application expected in Summer 2022. Construction is planned to start in Summer 2023. The new bus station and the first new homes are to be delivered by 2025 and project completed by 2030.

Proposed bus station location and road layout. It shows pedestrianisation of North Street up to Leapale Road and a “north in north out circulation” for buses.

The decision by GBC to proceed was taken at the meeting of the Executive on February 24 where a recommendation for the design and highlevel specification was agreed for the refurbished bus interchange at an estimated cost of £4 million and for the North Street pedestrianisation, estimated at £885k.

North Street is to be pedestrian only up to Leapale Road (excepting access for deliveries and taxis). Excerpt from a St Edward document issued to GBC.

Lead councillor for Regeneration, John Rigg (R4GV, Holy Trinity), said: “I am delighted after seven or eight previous failed schemes on this site over three decades and two years of hard negotiations, we are now under contract with one of the country’s leading housing developers, able and enthusiastic to bring forward such a fantastic regeneration scheme.

“For us to be able to deliver new, sustainable homes and create an exciting new neighbourhood helping to take the pressure off the green belt, whilst also aiding the recovery of the high street is a huge opportunity.

“The extra wins of a new bus interchange and removal of vehicles and pollution from North Street will create a wonderful, safer new environment for visitors to the town.”

Illustrative view of the proposed North Street development, The Friary Quarter.

Paul Vallone, executive chairman of St Edward, a joint venture between The Berkeley Group and M&G Real Estate, said: “We believe we can make somewhere truly special, with its own distinct character, whilst providing a fantastic amenity for local people.”

Rob Tidy, fund manager for M&G Real Estate, said: “As an asset owner and an asset manager, M&G is able to finance significant projects, using our experience to deliver high-quality regeneration schemes which improve communities and seek to provide a sustained income for our customers and clients.”

A spokesperson for the developer said they were looking forward to “continued engagement with GBC, Surrey County Council, key stakeholders and the local community to develop a shared vision for this important new part of the town”.

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Responses to Green Light for 500 Homes In Pedestrianised North Street and a £4 Million New Bus Station

  1. Jan Messinger Reply

    March 11, 2022 at 8:33 am

    What a shame that the bus station is to be smaller. I was hoping we would be encouraging people to use their cars less. Perhaps they will have smaller buses with much more frequent services from surrounding villages and a much cheaper bus service so people use the buses and they don’t go around empty. Then a smaller bus station won’t be a negative.

  2. R Broster Reply

    March 11, 2022 at 8:41 am

    In an ideal world, this development will create three-bedroom homes which will mean people who have bought one of the masses of one or two-bed flats, can move into a bigger place and stay in Guildford and help make the town a community.

    This town does not need more one- or two-bed apartments. The gap in the market is three-bedroom places. Without this step in the ladder, people have no option but to leave the town.

    • Joe Taylor Reply

      March 14, 2022 at 4:38 pm

      For a central town centre location, 1-2 bed flats make sense as you get a lot of housing density in a smaller space along with easy access to local amenities.

      Having a large supply of this type of housing is good for those who aren’t on the property ladder yet, as, in theory, they are less expensive allows occupants to save money before purchasing a larger property.

      Guildford definitely needs three-bed homes built at a volume that will allow more people to make that step up. The reality is that Guildford is quite an expensive place to start a family.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    March 11, 2022 at 10:09 am

    Excellent news but still not sign of the Drinking Water or the Sewage treatment capacity until 2027.. And has anyone noticed the power cuts recently?

    Is no one listening?

  4. David Ogilvie Reply

    March 11, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    The plan illustrated does not show a north entrance for buses that will be essential for this scheme to work.

  5. Ruth Broster Reply

    March 12, 2022 at 9:27 am

    They say they’re going to deliver character all I can see is a cube with windows. And will these residences have parking?

    The bus station should be bigger as the new residents should use public transport.

  6. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    March 12, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    David Ogilvie is right. Would St Edward’s designers please explain how such a sketch came to be published?

    Last week I posted here on the Guildford dragon News about the proposed ‘north in north out’ by consultant Mouchel back in 2005 that was rejected. So why resurrect it?

    • Bibhas Neogi Reply

      April 6, 2022 at 6:14 pm

      Some clarification on these proposals is still awaited.

      Keeping the bus station but making “north in/north out” for buses is not likely to work because buses from the south and the west would have to turn left from Bridge Street on to Onslow Street. Buses then have to use the York Road roundabout to get into Woodbridge Road and make a further right turn into the bus station. The entry layout as shown in the sketch does not cater for this.

      Buses turning right to go out to Leapale Road would mean three-way traffic lights in Woodbridge Road and this would cause further delays. The councils and developers St Edwards seem not to have thought this through. Existing bus station circulation works because entry to it is through North Street for all buses.

      I wonder what the bus operators think about the proposed alterations to the routes?

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