Fringe Box



Letter: The Council Must Get On With The Station and Other Brownfield Developments

Published on: 22 May, 2016
Updated on: 22 May, 2016

Another artist's impression of the proposed development, viewed from the south-east.From Andrew Procter

Spokesperson for the Guildford Greenbelt Group

Alderman Bridger in his letter: Greenbelt Group’s Support for Station Scheme is Appalling, is missing the point.

I am not suggesting the existing Solum scheme is right but we need to get a decently accepted planning consent for the railway station with a significant number of homes, including affordable homes, that everyone signs up to in Guildford. And they need to get on with it. We do not need delay.

The Guildford Society should not be allowed to register Assets for the Community which will mothball the site for years. People need homes, lots of homes, particularly affordable homes, in Guildford within 20 minutes walk of the station.

It is, as Mr Mansbridge [former council leader] used to tell me, very difficult to build on brownfield but it is the job of the council to bring it forward.

The reality is that very little brownfield development has occurred in Guildford over the last 15 years because of “problems” and continual opposition.

Guildford Borough Council own a large proportion of brownfield sites in the town and need to bring them forward fast. They have even left Woodbridge Meadows out of the revised Local Plan.

Brownfield development does not need to be unattractive. There are lots of good architects and lots of great schemes. Don’t wait.

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Responses to Letter: The Council Must Get On With The Station and Other Brownfield Developments

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    May 23, 2016 at 8:58 am

    I wonder what Andrew Procter would say in answer to these questions about the Solum proposal?

    1. Considering that the gyratory is already severely congested during peak periods, how has the Solum scheme addressed the traffic movements into and out of the station?

    2. The scheme is called development of the railway station site. In what way the facilities of the train users have been enhanced apart from a higher ceiling for the entrance?

    3. Comfort facilities on platforms are non-existent. What has Solum proposed to improve them?

    4. Access to platforms for the physically challenged is very poor. Ramps are too steep and do not comply with the current standards. Many businesses were forced to provide disability access following Disability Discrimination Act on this issue. What has Network Rail and Solum done to comply with the standards?

    5. Planning guidance required better access to traffic from this site. Nothing has been proposed. (Indeed the proposed development would preclude a new route over the tracks from Guildford Park Road towards Woodbridge Road).

    6. The station is expected to become a transport hub. The provision for bus bays and bus stops are totally inadequate (quite apart from the difficulty in getting out via Walnut Tree Close).

    7. The current proposal would exacerbate the already dire congestion in Walnut Tree Close and the gyratory. Solum’s planning application needs to show how the road network, as it stands, would be able to cope with the development. If it cannot, what is Solum proposing to do about it and how would changes be paid for?

    8. What infrastructure expansions (sewage, gas, water & electricity) have been proposed for the new housing? Are the existing grids able to cope? If not, who pays for these?

    9. Can Solum’s planning be considered holistic in its impact both in terms of practicalities and on the town’s historical nature, environment and ambience?

    10. Is the scale of development inappropriate?

  2. C Stevens Reply

    May 23, 2016 at 10:37 am

    I don’t see why it is “difficult” to build on brownfield sites. Isn’t that what has happened with the new Aldi, the new Waitrose, the new Farnham Road Hospital and every site on which large, old, single-family dwellings are demolished and replaced with blocks of flats?

    What is difficult about the Solum proposal is that it’s way too large and looks dreadful. Reduced by 50 per cent and it might have something to offer to Guildford. As it is, it offers nothing.

    [A difficulty is that the council has no power to force owners to build. Ed]

  3. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    May 23, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Ed, your comment sums this sorry state of affairs up. The council has no power to force land owners to build what we need, just what the land owners want to build. What is or where is the plan in that?

  4. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    May 27, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    When I express my views on Guildford Dragon, I expect comments or questions from the author or the readers who do not quite share or agree with my observations.

    So I wonder if Andrew Procter has any answers to my questions?

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