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Letter: Debenhams Redevelopment – ‘Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder’

Published on: 15 Aug, 2021
Updated on: 15 Aug, 2021

Illustrative views of the proposed riverside promenade.

From: Bibhas Neogi

In response to: Only A Minority Oppose North Street and Debenhams Developments, Finds Survey

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Brick has been and will remain the most used structural material.

I liked the illustration by Native Land on the use of brickwork on the ground floor arches together with treatments similar to other buildings in Guildford. Inserts in double glazing also give an older look that blends in rather than stark glass walls and together with horizontal banding giving the impression of taller windows of Victorian style that are actually on two floors.

The building is at the lowest point in Guildford and therefore not visible from most angles apart from the Friary Bridge area. I guess Native Land expects reaction on the height of their proposal and would be prepared to remove a floor or set back the upper floors a little or maybe two floors of the northern block?

It is a much better use of this site and much-improved riverside access opening up to the public. The dreadful Millbrook brick walls would go along with the opening up of the riverside regeneration scheme.

To achieve a really beautiful public space and a pedestrian-friendly area close to the river, my hope is that Millbrook, the A281, would be lowered into an underground route from Quarry Street junction to emerge close to York Road roundabout. It would work together with a new east-west crossing to enable the total removal of the gyratory traffic.

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