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Letter: North Street Project Could Be Exciting, Or a White Elephant

Published on: 19 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 19 Dec, 2020

Aerial view of the North Street site.

From: Gerry Lytle

local resident and qualified architect

In response to: North Street Developers Say ‘Too Early To Commit To 40% Affordable Housing’

There has been an interesting presentation this week by the new and exciting team proposing the future development of North Street.

This proposal is back in the local headlines because the council is pushing for the development of this segment of the historic town which has lain fallow for so long.

Again, one could easily get caught up in a Marmite debate.

Either this is exciting, that a recognised major developer will deliver a much-needed injection of new town uses, to counteract adjacent towns and their developments; or be very concerned that a single landowner will produce a massive white elephant, established for large profits and creating an inflexible urban renewal which, in years to come, cannot respond to the everyday changing needs of a major county town.

All successful urban areas are dependent on the variety and flexibility of land use.

Existing street patterns with a variety of building types and design, in scale with the residents should be an essential ingredient.

That such a large area of the town is owned by one development company should be of concern to residents.

That this land has been left dormant for many years, until the correct profit margins are realised, has been a surprising planning tactic, whether by chance or deliberate.

Debates about transport, bus stations, height of buildings and land use are all ingredients which will produce many arguments for and against.

Yet, like the king and his invisible suit, this will create varied discussions whilst missing the underlying issue, on whether this site can be developed more dynamically with a jigsaw of solutions, reflecting a really varied set of proposals engaging the actual residents and population of this great historic town.

Yet again the local authority and its councillors are placed with the future opportunity to consider this important site and hopefully they will allow designs which create a platform to integrate with the present town and promote a townscape for the future.

Watch, engage and enjoy. Click here to see the presentation

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test One Response to Letter: North Street Project Could Be Exciting, Or a White Elephant

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 21, 2020 at 9:05 am

    Gerry Lytle says “Debates about transport, bus stations, height of buildings and land use are all ingredients which will produce many arguments for and against.” Yes, indeed they will and they should. It would be the councils’ [SCC and GBC] responsibility to weigh up the pros and the cons and in consultation with the public and the developer to design the scheme that would be the best possible solution.

    All interested in this scheme should submit their comments and ideas to the developer following their recent presentation by filling in the form in https://www.northstreetregeneration.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR3w3t1Ry5iXvrPd5VAYFLFCywWjXPHSAZ7EIllvsP2u5njnnDoSAqV1eWE#Participation

    The developments of this site would have a much greater influence on wider area of Guildford, especially on transport and therefore measures to deal with traffic congestion, bus station relocation and making streets more pedestrian friendly must be addressed beforehand to avoid disastrous effects of piecemeal development.

    My holistic approach to these issues can be found in the document in https://www.keepandshare.com/doc11/29653/possible-solutions-to-guildford-traffic-issue-rev-6-compressed-pdf-3-6-meg?fbclid=IwAR2rCJp0XkYuSPj1xHORUOiCSoaQaRj-2adIeWDmWB7ypM2Ao1zjKiqraf4

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