Fringe Box



Letter: Guildford Is Not So Special

Published on: 22 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 23 Jun, 2016

Revised Local Plan Jun 2016From Lisa Wright

I find myself wondering why my kids would want to stay in Guildford once the building outlined in the Local Plan commences.

It certainly won’t make an ounce of difference to the affordability of living here. Prices won’t change as developers will only release them in phases to keep up prices. It’s a supply and demand thing that happens in every product for sale across the world.

Traffic will be gridlock, train services will still be standing room only (that’s if you manage to get a parking space at the station), pollution will increase.

I don’t know if anyone has noticed but Guildford isn’t really a good looking town either, I don’t see why everyone keeps harping on about a ‘beautiful town’ that isn’t really that different from anywhere else. If you travel in from Farnham Road, the A3, London Road, Portsmouth Road or Woking Road there’s really nothing of visual value to welcome you.

emails letterThe High Street may have cobbles or setts (which no one walks on as they are so uncomfortable) and a few nice building facias above the boring mainstream shop fronts but personally I don’t see anything that’s so great.

Guildford still has empty shops, shops that are too highly priced for the average person and everything else is the same as any other English town. According to Guildford Borough Council we will have plenty more of the same old retail very soon.

I really can’t see much difference between Guildford, Camberley, Woking, Nottingham, Sheffield etc in our retail offering.

The only difference in Guildford is the rolling hills of countryside, take that away and you have nothing worth noting.

I will remain Surrey based for the next couple of years until my kids are working and then I’m afraid, I’ll be heading for somewhere that is quieter and more respectful of our environment and doesn’t “sell out” to developers for the sake of a quick buck.

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Responses to Letter: Guildford Is Not So Special

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    June 22, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I fully agree that it is the rolling hills and green belt that makes our borough special. Take that away, and you may as well live in Croydon, or Basingstoke.

    I have canvassed my kids who grew up here, and they certainly would not want to live anywhere near Guildford, once GBC has achieved its aim of concreting over the green belt.

    It is crystal clear that it is not what the majority of residents want, of all ages.

    So we have to keep asking ourselves: why is GBC so determined to destroy our green belt? What is their agenda, and who do they asnwer to? At present, it appears that the answer to the last question is the development lobby.

    Please, please, do not waste your chance to make your feelings known, and respond to the so-called ‘consultation’. The form book shows that GBC will not take any notice, but the inspector is obliged to.

  2. Luke Anthony Reply

    June 22, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    I think you’ll probably find that the sleepier this town remains (i.e with absolutely no development due to Nimbys) your children will probably find the prospect of living somewhere like London more exciting and appealing. A city that is much more dense than Guildford and is and with its fair share of traffic and infrastructure problems but just so much more exciting.

    Young people want development, they want change and they would like Guildford to be vibrant.

  3. David Smith Reply

    June 22, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    What a negative outlook from someone who clearly hasn’t travelled as if they had they’d realise how fortunate they are to live in a town like Guildford.

    A beautiful High Street with world-class shops; you don’t get Jo Malone, Molten Brown, Anthropology, Hugo Boss, Massimo Dutti, LK bennett in Woking or Camberley – these are premium brands often operating flagship stores.

    We have some beautiful architecture and an ancient history – I wasn’t aware Woking or Camberley had any – I suppose the Toys R Us tower dates to the 1970s!

    What is also rare about our town is that even from the High Street you can walk into the countryside in minutes.

    I completely get why there will be a Monopoly board.

    But forget about all of that – many people will want to live here (including children) because their families live here and their friends are nearby.

    • John Robson Reply

      June 23, 2016 at 9:36 am

      “What is also rare about our town is that even from the High Street you can walk into the countryside in minutes.”

      Enjoy it while it lasts, once Westminister parachute 10,000 Houses onto and around Guildford’s urban area, your minutes may turn into hours…..

      Still walking will still be quicker than driving….

  4. David Smith Reply

    June 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Chris Ogle, and many others, are likely to be fully aware of the green belt intended for development. The two key sites are Gosden Hill and the university. Neither of these will detract from Guildford nor will they affect the many AONB around the town. I am talking about areas of high landscape value such as Chantry Wood, Merrow Downs and Pewley Hill so the lovely parts of the countryside are set to remain.

    In terms of the bomb site check out the planning applications, this week GBC has submitted plans for an exciting box park with a mixture of uses and a seasonal market.

    I can only think people don’t travel who write such comments – commute to London daily to see what ugly is.

  5. John Perkins Reply

    June 23, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Poor Woking and Camberley – they’ve both suffered from over-development and are good examples of what could happen to Guildford. Woking Palace is a sad reminder of what once might have been there.

    Premium brand shops can be seen in town centres up and down the country (and in Europe). They detract from the beautiful architecture and character of places.

    Guildford is still relatively attractive, but won’t remain that way if there is massive retail expansion and housing development all around. I personally stopped going Christmas shopping there 35 years ago, stopped going on Saturdays 25 years ago and now only go in the middle of weekdays.

    If Guildford goes the way of Woking, people will still want to live there, but are unlikely to love it.

  6. Chris Ogle Reply

    June 23, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Totally agree. There are many really quite ugly parts of the town: North Street, as everyone agrees, the gyratory, the bus station and indeed the whole of Commercial Road, which in fact is not commercial at all. The bomb site on Commercial Road, which somehow was allowed to be created and is now a complete eyesore and has been that way now for two years, or is it more?

    What is happening with this plot of land? Who are the owners (a pension fund I believe)? Are they allowed to leave it like this indefinitely? What are the council doing about this?

    There is enormous complacency about Guildford because yes, it does have some lovely parts and is surrounded (for the moment) by beautiful countryside but nothing is being done to make improvements that are badly needed now – not some indefinite time in the future when/if the Local Plan will come to fruition.

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