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Weyside Urban Village Planning Application Published

Published on: 7 Jan, 2021
Updated on: 9 Jan, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

Permission to build “Weyside Urban Village”, with up to 1,550 new homes, is being sought by Guildford Borough Council.

The council’s Planning Committee will decide whether to approve the application, submitted on December 15, or not. The huge development aims to be complete by 2033 with the first houses occupied by 2026.

Outline plan for the Weyside Urban Village.

The scheme promises to deliver “a truly walkable neighbourhood offering residential, community, commercial and employment uses structured around a network of pedestrian, cycle and sustainable transport routes”.

Nearly 2km of river frontage will have public access with an estimated 35% of the new homes having a river view.

3D view of the Weyside Urban Village (Design and Access Statement) showing indicative heights of the buildings.

The plans show some of the Bellfields allotments will be retained, although the number has not been disclosed in the document. This has to be approved by the Secretary of State who rejected an earlier proposal in August 2020 to take the entire allotment site despite objections from the tenants. (See Weyside Urban Village plans nearing completion but allotment holders not consulted say campaigners).

Artists impression of the Heritage Quarter with the retained Pump House as a central feature

A spokesperson for the Bellfields allotments, Alastair Watson, said that the council had still not consulted with the tenants. He said: “One of the objections given for the first request being turned down was that there had been no substantive consultation. GBC did engage with the Guildford Allotments Society but not with Bellfields tenants.

“It is difficult to understand how this [lack of consultation] will support a resubmission to the Secretary of State.”

The hybrid application, part outline and part full planning permission, is for the outline approval of the homes and a local centre with retail space, healthcare and community facilities and flexible employment uses. Permission is also being requested for relocation of the council’s Woking Road depot and the demolition of the Guildford sewage treatment works.

Full permission is being sought for site accesses, internal access roads and associated landscaping and engineering work for the utilities and drainage.

Other features of the proposals include:

  • four distinct residential neighbourhoods
  • 70% apartments and 30% houses, up to six storeys high
  • retention and repurposing of the Pump House as a community facility
  • six Gypsy and Traveller pitches
  • 10% net gain in biodiversity, possibly through enhancements at Burpham Court Farm
  • energy efficiency measures and green infrastructure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Further applications for the new sewage treatment works and for community and waste recycling facilities will be submitted to Surrey County Council as the authority for waste matters in the county.

Phasing plan for the Weyside Urban Village construction works.

Chair of the Guildford Society, Alistair Smith, said: “We do need to get this development right. The Weyside site has the potential to be a valuable addition to urban housing in Guildford. It should set a standard for the rest of Guildford.

“We will be examining the proposals for this important site in more detail over the coming weeks.”

Jim Allen, a long-time campaigner against the scheme said that there were many errors in the submission and that “the data is not presented in a manner which makes it effectively checkable”. He questioned whether the six week period for neighbour consultation was sufficient.

A council spokesperson said: “Public consultation has not started yet due to the Christmas and New Year holidays. We received the application before Christmas and drafted consultation letters to everyone concerned including local residents. These will be sent out shortly. They will then have a minimum of 30 days to comment on the application.”

The application (20/P/02155) can be found on the council’s planning site here.

The Pump House on the Woking Road Depot will be retained for community use or as a flexible working space.

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test 3 Responses to Weyside Urban Village Planning Application Published

  1. Donna Reply

    January 7, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Looks like a flood plain to me.

  2. David Smith Reply

    January 7, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    It will be interesting to see what demand will be like in 2026 when the first homes are released but with 70% of the 1,550 homes planned to be flats that’s a total of 1,085.

    It’s not like me to be negative when it comes to much-needed development and new homes, but are flats what we should be building in this location; it’s not exactly close to the Station.

    With all of the other planned schemes for flats, including Solum, and the North Street site surely we will saturate the market place (if it has not been already).

  3. Julia Shaw Reply

    January 13, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    I have three times submitted questions to the design team after attending their online exhibitions, just like they asked us to.

    I asked the questions via email (weyside.urban.village@guildford.gov.uk) on 22/10/20, 29/10/20 and 04/11/20 and never heard anything back. Not impressed!

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