Fringe Box



Letter: Solum Regeneration – What’s In a Name?

Published on: 2 Feb, 2015
Updated on: 2 Feb, 2015

From Gerald Bland, Vision for Guildford Ltd

The difficulties Wisley Action Group have encountered in identifying the prime movers seeking to develop Wisley Airfield are by no means unique.

emails letterTake, for example, Solum Regeneration Limited Partnership (‘Solum’), the applicants for detailed planning permission for the huge residential led mixed-use development next to Walnut Tree Close.

As a UK limited partnership research on Solum is easily done but the results warrant an airing if only to allow Solum and Network Rail the opportunity to correct information which is in the public domain but which may be out of date.

If you supplement the public results with details of the registered freehold title to Guildford Station this is what you conclude:-

1. Solum is not a separate legal entity and is not obliged to file accounts.

2. None of the three limited company partners in Solum have any legal ownership in any part of Guildford railway station

3. Network Rail Infrastructure Limited (‘NRIL’) owns the registered freehold interest in Guildford station site subject to Leases.

4. Surrey County Council own a 999-year lease of a private car park, which forms a material part of the Solum planning application site, which was acquired when that council bought Ranger House for £13.7 million in April 2013.

5. As from September 1, 2014 Network Rail Limited, of which NRIL is the largest subsidiary, was reclassified as a central government body with financial management and corporate governance now regulated by a Framework Agreement with the Department of Transport.

This separation of the developer from the landowning entities may explain why the developer says it is unable to provide more affordable housing or greater infrastructure. Avoiding Community Infrastructure Levy may just be a timing issue but it does nothing to assist Guildford’s infrastructure deficit.

The role of Surrey Council Council as landowner and highway authority in facilitating Solum’s proposals and the priorities of Network Rail as a central government body are fertile areas for discussion in the ensuing weeks.

At first blush the very people who are charged with sorting out Guildford’s woeful infrastructure deficit seem intent on exacerbating them!

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Responses to Letter: Solum Regeneration – What’s In a Name?

  1. Pete Knight Reply

    February 2, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    It is indeed interesting as to ‘What’s In a Name’, as campaigners and pressure groups often hide behind the companies they are employed by, often forgetting that in objecting or criticising planning applications they often do not represent the companies they are employed by.

    Are these companies aware their names are being used in such a way?

    I am sure most of the high profile property consultants will be rubbing their hands together at the Guildford station plans, hoping to get instructed on the re-sales.

    Employees of those companies should be careful not to do their firms out of business by using their names unwittingly.

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