Fringe Box



Letter: I Agree With John Rigg

Published on: 21 Oct, 2023
Updated on: 21 Oct, 2023

From: Howard Smith

Labour borough councillor for Westborough

In response to: North Street Approval is Good News for Guildford

I agree with John Rigg that this is great news for Guildford and have some sympathy that it was not approved in January. However, ultimately, I do feel that this scheme is better than the earlier one in several respects, and therefore at the committee, having weighed the views of my colleagues, it had my wholehearted approval.

The development will bring a long overdue end to a wasteland which has been a blight in the heart of our community.  And while I appreciate that a minority seem to want to preserve the whole town in state like it was 40 or 50 years ago this is not realistic or desirable in the modern environment where we need homes in the town centre as well as retail.

The heights do not bother me; there is no view of the site from the historic areas of the town, like the High Street for example, and much like the Friary Centre we will quickly get used to it. Taller buildings in Leapale Road will not spoil a Leapale Road dominated as it is today by the multi-storey and the telephone exchange building, both demonstrably worse than the planned additions there.

I think the Planning Committee chair summed it up well when she said the Friary Quarter will bring a new vibrancy to the town.  It will benefit town centre businesses who have, all along, been overwhelmingly in favour and the closing-off of the section of North Street will provide a much-improved traffic-free location for the weekend market.

I would like the offer of social homes in this development repeated in other developments. I think of the 31 families that will be provided with good quality affordable homes there.

Time will tell of course, but I for one am delighted that we have finally approved something that will be transformative in this area of our town.

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Responses to Letter: I Agree With John Rigg

  1. H Trevor Jones Reply

    October 22, 2023 at 12:59 am

    I agree too.

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