Fringe Box



Letter: The Guildford Society Welcomes Masterplanning Appointment

Published on: 20 Mar, 2014
Updated on: 22 Mar, 2014

From Bill Stokoe, chairman, The Guildford Society

Guildford Borough Council delivered some very good news late last week when it announced the appointment of Allies & Morrison to masterplan our town centre. 

Screen shot 2014-03-20 at 23.55.54The Guildford Society has strongly supported such an appointment and indeed helped spawn the Guildford Vision Group (GVG) to that end nearly two years ago. GVG deserves great credit for all it has achieved to date.

Our town surely needs a masterplan in the light of all the major developments already announced – North Street, Waitrose, Solum (at the station), the University of Surrey’s Garden Neighbourhood and Guildford Cathedral’s housing plans. We know other significant developments are also under active consideration by developers and landowners.

So the society will follow Allies & Morrison’s work with great interest. Two years ago, the society helped to fund work by the renowned masterplanner to critique the council’s original town centre plan. Thus Allies & Morrison already has an appreciation of the infrastructure and other major issues facing the town, its residents and businesses.

We can only hope that the brief given to it by the council is broad enough to fully fire up its creative juices. We need bold ideas that can lead to practical and progressive implementation.

At the Olympic Park, Allies & Morrison showed what can be done if the brief is right. We need all those skills right now here in Guildford so our town can continue to flourish and not flounder.

A very good masterplan can be had for £250,000 upwards. The council has so far voted just £50,000.

So my message to the council is: ‘Don’t be miserly, spend well and wisely. We can afford it, we must afford it.’

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: The Guildford Society Welcomes Masterplanning Appointment

  1. Susan Parker Reply

    April 23, 2014 at 11:48 am

    The master plan is a good initiative, and Allies & Morrison are impressive. What is concerning is that this work does not seem to be informing the Local Plan initiative at all; the results of the master plan are due to be published at the same time as the first draft of the Local Plan (what we have already seen is the issues and options consultation). Guildford Borough Council, council officers, and a few selected individuals, have been privy to the results of selective surveys and private consultation evenings, but with an urban focus. (The town, and the future of the town just like the countryside, matters to all of us, whether we live withiin the urban boundary or not – we all pay council tax – and the decision to consult only with urban groups was a mistake).

    What is also of concern is that the responses to the Issues and Options consultation were published just before Easter. People can read the responses to all questions, and GBC’s replies, using this link
    If you read the summary responses, it is interesting that the council’s position does not really seem to have changed.

    As a result, GGG have launched a petition in relation to housing policy – see this link
    Please sign – if we get 500 signatures, there will be a debate in the council on this matter.
    We need to know that the incentive for building homes in Guildford is driven by actual need in Guildford, not from getting cash from the New Homes Bonus nor the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *