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Letter: Technical Aspects of Debenhams Plan Not Sufficiently Discussed

Published on: 23 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 23 Nov, 2022

The planned replacement for Guildford Debenhams Image: Squire and Partners

From: Bibhas Neogi

If the developer goes ahead with the demolition I would not be surprised if they face difficulties and escalating costs which could possibly make them bankrupt in the process.

If so, we could have a half-demolished building left with GBC to render it safe and proceed at a great cost to the ratepayers.

Councillors are not technically knowledgeable enough nor, it seems, did they have expert advice on aspects crucial to the execution of this project. Discussions were mostly on the adverse effect on heritage buildings, access to the riverside viability,  the percentage of affordable homes, and whether apartments would be for sale or rental or a mixture.

Difficulties with lorries delivering and carting away materials from the Shalford direction was discussed including the narrow, restrictive Broadford Bridge at Shalford. It was also said that construction lorries on Millbrook would cause further congestion and traffic disruptions. Maintaining safety of the pedestrian crossing near the bottom of the High Street, for the entire duration of the project, was not discussed at all.

There should be structured discussions on such applications rather than jumbling comments on all aspects rolled into three minutes of speaking time. Any additional aspects could then be discussed further.

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