Fringe Box



Waitrose Plan – Is It All Just About The Money?

Published on: 1 May, 2012
Updated on: 1 May, 2012

From Ashley Harrison

I totally agree with the comments of Ollie Clokie in his opinion piece ‘What About the Kids and the Seniors?’

I find it very sad that Surrey County Council (SCC) have enabled the demolition of the old peoples’ accommodation and day centre (which was also used by young people for classes etc.) in the interests purely of commerce.

I read the Waitrose proposal carefully online, and what shocked me is that in order to push this through, SCC have designated the area as “edge of town” (as opposed to “town centre”) – I am fairly sure that this then allows them greater leeway on aspects such as parking, vehicular access etc. I live in a GU postcode (Stoke Fields), which indicates to me that this is very much “town centre”.

Let’s not forget that a fully functional Waitrose store will require very regular stock deliveries from articulated lorries – which can only increase the volume of traffic and associated noise levels and pedestrian challenges.

I use the underpass several times every day and always see others using it who benefit from not having to battle with the busy traffic, for example mums with buggies, older people with shopping, or less mobile people on mobility scooters.

It seems very apparent to me that as residents, our needs and wishes are last in the list of priorities for both SCC and Guildford Borough Council, who seem to have been silent on this issue to date and certainly have done nothing to either consult or inform me.

As residents of a designated conservation area, we are tightly bound by GBC as to what changes in appearance we can make to our homes. As I understand it, this maintains the integrity and historical interest of our neighbourhood. Whilst at times it can be constraining, I do support the maintenance of the character of our area (especially when I observe the way in which GBC is enabling the destruction of Guildford’s character in many other residential areas – fancy another shiny new block of flats, anyone?).

How does a big new Waitrose, with car parking and vehicular access, plus the demolition of the underpass, get past the Conservation Team?

Is it simply all about the money…?

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Responses to Waitrose Plan – Is It All Just About The Money?

  1. David Smith

    May 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I completely empathise with residents of Stoke fields you must be more affected than most. However, there are other factors… Read more in Readers Letters