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Waitrose Plan – There Are Other Factors

Published on: 3 May, 2012
Updated on: 4 May, 2012

From David Smith

I completely empathise with Ashley Harrison who wrote, ‘Waitrose Plan – Is It All Just About The Money?‘  and as a resident of Stoke Fields she must be more affected than most. However, I feel the following should not be forgotten:

•  The old buildings on site were inefficient and unattractive adding absolutely nothing to the street scene;

•  The residents of these buildings (which were not fully occupied) were re-homed in nearby properties one of which was in Merrow Street (many of which offered better accommodation);

•  There is a serious shortage of food retail in Guildford, Burpham Sainsbury’s and Tesco at Park Barn have more business than they can handle – I find it almost impossible parking at Sainsburys to do my weekly shop;

•  There are no sites allocated for new supermarkets and our population is growing –we have recently seen 200 homes added on the Epsom Road at the former Defra site and in excess of 500 at the former Queen Elizabeth Barracks in north Guildford not to mention all of the smaller schemes of apartments and houses across the town – where are all these people going to shop?

•  I think it’s positive that the council are being so proactive – we could end up with another site like Guildford Plaza – empty for about ten years now or the old Green Man pub/restaurant in Burpham;

•  The council should behave commercially – they need to offer good value to the tax payer so if it is all about the money what’s the problem?

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test 4 Responses to Waitrose Plan – There Are Other Factors

  1. Julian Lyon

    May 4, 2012 at 7:19 am

    The problem with approaching the scheme as a sequence of old negatives needing a new positive on the basis GBC needs “to offer good value to the tax payer” is that this, with the traffic issues, will very quickly become another old negative.

    Guildford needs to have a good, robust long-term plan – arising out of a real and strong engagement with the residents and stakeholders of Guildford – to ensure all development is good development, that in a wealthy area like this, no site stands idle for ages for want of a better idea and that all that is good about Guildford is reinforced and protected.

    If this is not about the money, GBC should commmute much of the receipts for highways improvements to show it really wants to solve the major rpoblem to which it will be adding by this sale.

  2. Bernard Parke

    May 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

    The problem is the highways are maintained by Surrey County Council which causes no end of problems.

    Borough councillors have been trying to get a sign on the A3 advising motorists of the park and ride at Clandon.

    However, this is in the hands of even another body, the Highways Authority.

  3. Sue Doughty

    May 6, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    What does worry me is the potential for gridlock. I agree that the site needs some action but I’m concerned that, yet again, we are losing an opportunity to provide much needed housing. If the supermarket attracts as much traffic as the one in Godalming this will need a huge amount of money to be spent on the road system in order to accommodate it.

    • L Kennedy

      May 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      If the proposed Waitrose site was used to provide housing only how many houses would be built? Too many for the existing amenities – where would the occupants of the new housing send their children to school (the local schools are already oversubscribed), do their shopping, etc? Building a housing estate would add as much (if not more) traffic as the Waitrose proposal will.