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Topping Out of Riverside Building Celebrated – But Does Not Receive Universal Approval

Published on: 25 Sep, 2018
Updated on: 25 Sep, 2018

New office development viewed from the river.

A major £6.5 million office development on the banks of the River Wey, Guildford has been topped out this week but one local councillor says planning permission should not have been granted.

Midas Construction’s Southern Division and client Investra Developments Limited held the traditional ceremony on site to mark the three-storey office building reaching its highest point.

The development – to be known as River Works – is located off Mary Road in the centre of the town, close to the County Court and police station and within walking distance of Guildford railway station.

Work has progressed well since the start on site early this year and the project is scheduled to be completed in spring 2019.

Andy Meachen, senior project manager, Midas, Nick Hornby, Investra Developments Ltd, Peter Whitmore, Divisional Director, Southern Region, Midas Construction.

Peter Whitmore, Divisional Director for the Southern region for Midas Construction, which is part of the Midas Group, said: “It is great to see the project well and truly taking shape and to be marking this significant construction milestone on site.

“We’re looking forward to pushing ahead now with the construction and finishes and to delivering what will be a high-quality scheme offering an inspirational riverside base for business in central Guildford.”

When complete, River Works will offer up to 29,174 sq ft of flexible work space with on-site parking and terrace areas overlooking the River Wey.

The building will feature a “sky bar”, a rooftop terrace that users of the office block can use. It is intended that the new building will provide a modern working environment with easy access to the town centre.

The new block seen from Mary Road.

But Susan Parker of the Guildford Greenbelt Group said: “This building is emphatically not suitable for this location. We should be using our riverside for really attractive homes, not high-rise.

Cllr Susan Parker

“This land could have been used for flats – either prestige flats, perhaps attractive to elderly people downsizing and wanting a central location with a view, or affordable homes which could be cross-subsidised by the river-view flats.

“This would have helped our housing shortage and protect our countryside. Every home we build in the urban area means we don’t need to allocate green fields.

“Guildford already has more than enough unused office space. We should have refused planning permission for this building on this site.”

All political groups at Guildford Borough Council were invited to comment.

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Responses to Topping Out of Riverside Building Celebrated – But Does Not Receive Universal Approval

  1. Jacqueline Potts Reply

    September 26, 2018 at 7:05 am

    I so agree with Cllr. Susan Parker. Guildford doesn’t do anything about making the most of the river Wey other than waste the asset to the town it could be. Planning permission should never have been given for this monstrosity.

  2. Peta Malthouse Reply

    September 26, 2018 at 11:42 am

    We need housing, not more office space. To develop more of our beautiful riverside in this way will make Guildford into a Birmingham rather than the Chester it ought to be.

    Look around councillors and see how others influence what is built in their town. I have recently sold my office in Guildford at not much more than I paid for it ten years ago. We have mainly moved our operations out of Guildford because of the high costs of living here. We work from home and other cheaper towns and we are not the only ones.

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