Fringe Box



Letter: Guildford Needs a Masterplan

Published on: 15 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 15 Aug, 2023

From: Bill Stokoe

chair of the Guildford Vision Group

In response to: North Street’s Development and the Dilemma Facing Our Politicians

The whole debacle just serves to illustrate how much Guildford needs a masterplan. Without one our town remains vulnerable to opportunistic and speculative development. Guildford Vision Group has been arguing for a masterplan since 2011 (and produced its own, attracting much interest among residents).

The tragedy of the 2019 Local Plan, as far as the town centre is concerned, is that it did not include a comprehensive plan for the centre. The policy that did emerge (hurriedly put together by officers within 24 hours) was only at the request of the planning inspector, who himself recognised how appalling were areas like the derelict North Street site.

The tragedy of the 2023 elections is that almost certainly the momentum and planning for a masterplan will be lost. Much work, until this May, had been going on quietly but progressively, especially regarding flooding and traffic management.

Such work and consultant input does not come cheap but I suggest it is money we should continue to find. We could do so if officers and councillors were at one re the need for a masterplan.

Otherwise, the money spent to date will be wasted. John Rigg’s recent opinion piece makes telling reading: see

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Responses to Letter: Guildford Needs a Masterplan

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    August 15, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    As just one of the know nothing Plebs in this argument, might I have the audacity to point out to the politicians , that within Burpham and Merrow alone we have many working and retired gentlemen and ladies with great expertise in.
    National Electrical supply,
    Roads at County Level,
    Traffic and transport at National Level,
    Officers with paperwork experience to Statute level,
    At least three architects,
    A Town Planner,
    legal experts
    A Tarmac ‘expert’ at international airport level,
    Graphics artist and .
    A Wild Life expert

    Why are we not tapping into their expertise? for with the Surrey University to ‘do the work’ and the experts to guide we could have a proper plan in place in under six months.

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