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Letter: I Would Prefer Less Height for ‘St Mary’s Wharf’ Than Another Bridge

Published on: 19 Aug, 2022
Updated on: 19 Aug, 2022

St Mary’s Wharf – potential bridge locations. Image from documents in GBC planning portal. Click on image to enlarge

From: David Ogilvie

See: St Mary’s Wharf Developer Bows to Pressure By Reducing Proposed Building Height Again

Is there to be a bridge linking St Mary’s Wharf to the Yvonne Arnaud or not? I understand that developers Native Land have not committed to funding this bridge. If Native Land do not fund it I do not see anyone else volunteering.
In any case, the concept of this bridge is flawed. The purpose of bridges is to shorten otherwise lengthy travel routes.  In this case to get from St Mary’s Wharf to the Yvonne Arnaud theatre, or the Millmead lock, the saving in distance will be 62 metres. To get to the Millbrook car park from St Mary’s Wharf the saving will be two metres. A huge expense for minimal gain.
If Native Land are willing to pay for this bridge as a sweetener to get their planning permission then I would rather see a floor taken from the top of the development.
For comparison, the cost of the new Walnut Bridge is in the order of £5 million. I have for a long time argued for a six residential story limit to buildings in central Guildford with the 6th floor set back to reduce the apparent height and let more light into the street. In this manner, the views across the River Wey Valley in the town centre will be preserved.
If GBC is keen to build a footbridge to extend the riverside walk then they should bridge the Millstream by the lock to the Millbrook car park and make the riverside of the car park a linear park to link to the new boat house and the Weyside Inn.
This was illustrated in my 2012 Master Plan for Guildford previously published in the Dragon [see: The New Master Plan Should Facilitate the Opening Up of the Riverside].

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