Fringe Box



Letter: The Debenhams Decision Will Leave a 100-year Legacy

Published on: 19 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 20 Nov, 2022

Guildford Debenhams, as proposed. Credit: Squire and Partners

From: Roger Hymas

In response to: Divisive Debenhams Plans Could Be Decided Next Week

Whatever is built on the Debenhams site will define the centre of Guildford for the next 100 years.  Do we want it to be this?

This is the challenge for the GBC Planning Committee whose decision will be their legacy.  As they, their family and friends go past it, they will be reminded that this is their building.

The opinions of the most expert organisations like Historic England have been poo-pooed by the council’s Planning department which seems to be in thrall to the developers’ marketing effort.

Covid has thwarted public discussion and the people of Guildford have been fed an unremitting barrage of how riverside access will create a new promenade and a grassy park to sit and enjoy the view of passing narrowboats and paddleboarders.

But the walkway is very little more extensive than what’s there now and the park about the size of two tennis courts. It will certainly be a squeeze if too many people turn up together, particularly when the cinema audience is spilling out at the same time.

Come on councillors, read the planning officers’ report objectively.  Help the town find something better for this precious location.

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Responses to Letter: The Debenhams Decision Will Leave a 100-year Legacy

  1. Helena Townsend Reply

    November 19, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    Equally not building something on the site leaves a legacy – a derelict department store building – just think of the Guildford Plaza site – empty for over 25 years and the North Street area – I’d rather have buildings a couple of stories too high than sites left like this.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    November 19, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    I hope Roger Hymas means narrowboats rather than longboats. I don’t want those with certain views to start worrying about Nordic immigration.

    Editor’s response: thank you for pointing out the error which should have been corrected during the edit. Now done.

  3. John Lomas Reply

    November 19, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    I suppose there were readers’ letters in local newspapers saying the same same thing about the redevelopment of the saw mills and brick fields back in the decades following the war.

    I find it hard to believe that anything built now will last longer than something built back then.

  4. Roslyn McMillan Reply

    November 19, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Why will this define the centre of Guildford when the rather ugly Debenhams store never did?

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