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Letter: Town Centre Development Should Be Encouraged

Published on: 15 Nov, 2017
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2017

From David Roberts

In response to: We Do Have A Desperate Need For More Housing – A Compromise Is Needed

Like the poor Dartford warbler he appears to hate so much, Alderman Bridger represents a rare and endangered species of politician who thinks that urban and rural interests are contradictory.

Can’t he see that, by protecting the green belt, you force developers to regenerate urban areas? The exciting repopulation and modernisation of London over the last 50 years is proof of this, whereas the early 20th century saw the inner city decay as “Metroland” sprawled destructively across the Home Counties.

For such a rich town, central Guildford is disgracefully shabby and dilapidated. Encouraging a gulag of executive housing estates across the countryside will only make this worse.

As the prime minister told Parliament today, there is ample scope for housebuilding without eating into the green belt. It is outrageous to say that Sir Paul Beresford has advocated “skyscrapers” for Guildford, or that GGG ever supported the ugly Solum project. But London boroughs have shown that higher densities of well-planned buildings, up to 4-6 storeys high in places where people want to live and work, can enhance the urban environment while protecting our countryside.

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Responses to Letter: Town Centre Development Should Be Encouraged

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    November 15, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I could not agreee more, Guildford town has become shabby looking and unloved. Urban regeneration with vibrant neighbourhoods would vastly improve the town and its reputation.

    The GBC executive need to wake up to the reality that city retail is dying, due to on-line shopping. For goodness sake Sears and Macys have gone bust in North America. How many more clues do they need. Yet they are still investing our money in buying commercial and retail space.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    November 15, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I do hope that these representations will not set “town” against the “villages”. The green belt is just as important to all of us.

    It must be appreciated that further town development will not only lead to increased traffic, congestion and pollution, but more pressure on Guildford’s infrastructure which is already struggling to cope with our increasing population.

    This of course includes the many hundred of students not only from the University of Surrey but also the Academy of Contemporary Music and the University of Law.

  3. Valerie Thompson Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 8:39 am

    City-centre developments do not necessarily add a great amount of traffic as people may be able to walk, bus or train to their work or colleges and might need fewer cars.

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