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Letter: I Find the Idea That St Mary’s Wharf Would Be Worse Than the Current Eyesore Baffling

Published on: 4 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 4 Jan, 2022

Artists impression of St Mary’s Wharf viewed from Millmead.

From: P Knight

In response to: We Have Objected to ‘St Mary’s Wharf’ Development Proposal

In her comment, Mary Older states the Guildford Residents’ Association (GRA) are “supporting all of us who have lived in Guildford all our lives”.

I have lived in this town since a child in the late 1980s and the GRA certainly isn’t supporting my views.

Looking at their website, they seem to be the umbrella outfit for all of the residents’ associations – being in the Downsedge Residents’ Association area I have not been consulted on my views for this development, so I’d be interested as to who the “we” is. Is it GRA and the other 25 associations or are they purporting to represent the normal citizens of Guildford?

Sadly having lived here most of my life, I’ve seen the complete lack of progress on many sites in the town including the North Street area (with proposals dating back to 1995 for St Dominic’s Square) and the Guildford Plaza site now empty since the mid-1990s.

Guildford has a clear track record for leaving key sites empty for decades and to me this is much more harmful to any historic town centre than one or two extra floors on a new building.

If this council wants its bid for city status to be taken seriously, we need to see a great deal more progress and this is the first real test.

How the proposal before us, which does open up the river, is considered worse than the current eyesore (or the current empty, and falling into disrepair, eyesore) is baffling.

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Responses to Letter: I Find the Idea That St Mary’s Wharf Would Be Worse Than the Current Eyesore Baffling

  1. V McClure Reply

    January 5, 2022 at 7:14 am

    I agree that this site must not become just another empty, derelict, space. How will the developers move material on and off the site? Is the Horsham Road to be affected for months on end or can the navigation be used?

  2. Julian Lyon Reply

    January 5, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    I agree. The important thing for this vital site is that all of the wins from the materials palette to the active river frontage are locked in via s106 and conditions so as not to be varied later once the principle of development has been approved. I further agree that we must move forward. The town centre (High Street aside) is frankly shocking despite the efforts of Cllr Rigg and others to regenerate it. We (collectively without consensus) are fixated on anti-development and the town bears all the scars of the previous political local plan architects chasing greenfield rather than brown.

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