Fringe Box



Letter: Proposed Debenhams Replacement Would Not Be an Improvement

Published on: 17 Jan, 2022
Updated on: 17 Jan, 2022

Comparison between the heights of the existing Debenhams building and the proposed St Mary’s Wharf.

From: Adam Aaronson

In response to: Town Split Over St Mary’s Wharf As Historic England Accuses Developer of “Flawed” Conclusions

I’m not a great fan of the existing Debenhams building, not least because as with many other buildings of this style, the facings haven’t weathered well and need some remedial work.

I’ve read a number of Dragon articles and comments on this and I was keeping an open mind until I saw the comparative images shown above. Looked at in this context I cannot see that the proposed behemoth would be an improvement in any way on the current tired old building.

You only need to look at the images to see the detrimental impact on the overall vista that the nine storeys would have. It’s also a rather boring style of architecture. I don’t see the merit of replacing one rather mediocre building with another larger, clunky one.

Some commentators seem to imply that if Guildford doesn’t accept this proposal the site will be blighted for years. That’s not a good reason to accept an application and it’s not how planning and development should work. It almost seems as if some commentators consider that Guildford is being pressured by the developer to accept the proposal or else.

This site is too important for the planners to accept second best and the application should be turned down until a satisfactory one is forthcoming.

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Responses to Letter: Proposed Debenhams Replacement Would Not Be an Improvement

  1. Mike Forster Reply

    January 19, 2022 at 5:30 pm

    Totally agree.

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