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News From Millmead

Published on: 29 Aug, 2020
Updated on: 3 Sep, 2020

A round-up of news from Guildford Borough Council (published on August 29, 2020)

Plans approved to relocate council depot as part of the Weyside Urban Village project

The council’s Executive committee has approved plans to relocate its Woking Road Depot to “create space for housing development, business, community and retail” as part of its Weyside Urban Village project.

Guildford Borough Council’s current depot off Woking Road. Its waste services department is based there along with a MoT test centre open to the public. The Bike Project, run by Surrey Lifelong Learning, has its workshop there.

In a statement, the council reiterates that it is a “major 41-hectare brownfield regeneration scheme that will deliver 1,500 energy efficient homes as well as 2,000 square metres of community space and 6,500 square metres of employment space. The development will help meet the essential need for more housing in the borough, with 40% affordable housing available as part of the new community”.

The council’s lead councillor for major projects, John Rigg (R4GV, Holy Trinity), said: “The relocation of the Woking Road Depot is a significant step forward to freeing up brownfield land and to deliver much needed affordable housing. It is a very exciting and an important part of the overall project. It will be a huge benefit to Guildford, bringing new employment opportunities and community space to residents.”

A budget of £2.48 million was also approved in order to progress detailed design for the new council depot planning application.

The council’s press release did not say where the relocation of the the depot may be. A previous aerial plan of the project, when it was formerly known as the Slyfield Area Regeneration Project, indicated a location east of Moorfield Road on the Slyfield Industrial Estate, next to the River Wey on land that was the site of a rubbish dump approximately 110 years ago.

Climate change board to focus on creating a greener borough

The council chimes its commitment to tackling climate change and making Guildford borough greener will “now be given even greater prominence with the creation of a dedicated Climate Change Board”.

It adds the board was previously part of the Climate Change and Innovation Board (CCIB) but will now focus solely on the council’s “response to the climate change emergency declared in July 2019”.

It aims will be to engage with businesses and communities – with a particular focus on younger people – plus energy, planning and reducing carbon emissions.

Cllr Jan Harwood.

Meanwhile, the Innovation Board will continue to discuss infrastructure, economic growth and technology, with both boards led by the council’s lead councillor for climate change and innovation, Jan Harwood (Lib Dem, Merrow).

He said: “We are committed to becoming a net-zero carbon borough by 2030 and will soon be recruiting a climate change officer.

“In the last decade, we have invested approximately £10 million on energy saving projects to make significant carbon reductions on our own estate and in our social housing, including building insulation measures, boiler replacements, LED relighting in all car parks, air source heat pumps, solar PV installations and variable speed drives.

“The council also continues to play a key role in encouraging the transition to electric vehicles. 10% of our vehicle fleet is electric, via our ‘EV by default’ fleet policy, and we are installing 20 new electric vehicle charging points across the borough.”

Castle and its grounds among best UK attractions as voted by users of Tripadvisor

The online travel website Tripadvisor, in which the public review and rate places, attractions and services they have visited, names Guildford Castle and its grounds within its annual Travellers Choice Best of the Best awards.

The council’s lead councillor for environment, James Steel (Lib Dem, Westborough) said, in a press statement: “With Guildford Castle being recognised as a 2020 Travellers’ Choice award-winner, this places the visitor attraction in the top 10% of hospitality businesses around the world.

The Castle Grounds. Guildford Borough Council library image.

“The award is based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews and prior to any changes caused by the coronavirus outbreak and is testament to the dedication and hard work put in by the council’s parks and heritage teams.

“It is always good to see the work and efforts of a team rewarded and it is especially appreciated at the present time, when our residents and visitors have enjoyed making the most of the green and open spaces that Guildford has to offer.”

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