Fringe Box



Letter: Vimy Foundation and Historic England Objections Should Stop Cathedral Development

Published on: 8 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 8 Feb, 2023

From Howard Moss (Chair of R4GV)

Chair of R4GV but writing in his personal capacity

Responding to Canadian Intervention on Controversial Cathedral Housing ‘Embarrassing’ Say Campaigners

I have been a member of Friends of Stag Hill (FOSH) for a number of years.

This letter from the Vimy Foundation should shake the cathedral into withdrawing this application. The word disrespectful is inadequate to describe what the cathedral is planning for the land surrounding the cathedral when it is considered the reason it was donated.

Furthermore, Historic England has been scathing in its view of the scheme. It states, in a letter submitted to GBC planning: “This site …. is allocated for 100 houses in Guildfords Local Plan …. adopted in 2019. Any proposals for this site should therefore be in conformity with the policies contained within this document.”

Of course, the cathedral is trying to build 124 homes, far more than the much-contested Local Plan assumed.

Historic England also reiterates its previous views saying: ”The design, density and height of the development is particularly problematic in close views, especially in winter views.”

They say: “…the development would cause harm to the significance of the cathedral by compromising appreciation of its prominence on Stag Hill…”.

Finally, for years and via previous applications refused by GBC, the cathedral and dean have claimed they need to build this scheme to secure a lasting endowment for the cathedral’s future.

Well that needs to be further queried as originally it was claimed it would be secured through the Section 106 agreement compensation arrangement. That seems to have been dropped and now it vaguely states it would be via the charity commission and church commissioners, without an explanation of what this means or how it would be managed.

The Vimy Foundation and Historic England views are something Guildfordians and GBC should consider seriously unlike, it seems, those in charge at the cathedral.

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Responses to Letter: Vimy Foundation and Historic England Objections Should Stop Cathedral Development

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    February 8, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    The Canadians came to fight for our values in World War One and World War Two. I think they provided the third largest number of soldiers for the D Day invasion of Normandy.

    A monument to their sacrifices should not be lost to some short-term property development profit.

  2. Roy Connor Reply

    February 9, 2023 at 10:42 am

    Well said Howard Moss, enough is enough. Guildford Cathedral must move on. It has wasted Linden’s and Vivid’s time. It is time to shut the book on this proposal.

  3. E Parry Reply

    February 9, 2023 at 4:05 pm

    The Haslemere and Farnham Herald recently outlined the extensive and special connection between this area and the Canadian veterans in both World Wars.

    If you read this article most would find it very hard to justify what the Cathedral are proposing on this land. Many of their descendent still live locally.

    Editor’s comment: Readers need not go to the Farnham Herald, the subject has been extensively covered in the Guildford Dragon over the years. Here are two examples: Parke’s People: Viscount Bennett of Calgary And His Gift To Guildford Cathedral and ‘Stag Hill Is A Memorial Site and Should Not Be Sold For Development’ Says Alderman

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