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Tory Leader Says Work Continues on Town Centre Masterplan

Published on: 18 May, 2015
Updated on: 18 May, 2015

Masterplan Scroll combinedShaping future development in Guildford progresses, as work on a new Masterplan for the town centre continues.

This is the message from Cllr Stephen Mansbridge (Con, Ash South & Tongham) who expects to be re-elected as council leader at tomorrow’s full council meeting in Millmead. It is understood that he was re-elected, un-opposed, as leader of the Conservative group at Guildford Borough Council (GBC) on Saturday.

The Masterplan project is led by Allies and Morrison and includes transport expertise from Arup and property advice from GVA.

Caption for the Bridge Street image As part of the re-planning of the gyratory system, Bridge Street will become a route for pedestrians, cyclists and buses.  This will improve east-west links across the river and enhance links between the station to the town centre.

One of the Allies & Morrison ideas previously presented: the re-planning of the gyratory system, could allow Bridge Street to become a route for pedestrians, cyclists and buses. This would improve east-west links across the river and enhance links between the station to the town centre.

Cllr Stephen Mansbridge, says: “Driving forward crucial work on the future of our town and borough continues. Guildford’s unique character is an essential part of its appeal as a place to live, work, shop, socialise and visit. The high quality and astute spatial planning in the emerging Masterplan will give us the opportunity to review the scope and options for key sites across the town.

“The Town Centre Masterplan adopts a balanced approach and the master planners are discussing options with landowners, occupiers and potential investors to understand their needs and help shape the development of the town. The Masterplan will look at the different commercial, social and residential elements of the town centre, from the historic streets to the riverside.

“The team will draw up design guidance for any future development in the town centre, which will then be considered by relevant scrutiny and Executive committees. Soon after this, we aim to consult with the public to get their views. I encourage everyone to get involved in helping ensure Guildford remains the vibrant and dynamic town we are all proud of, and becomes the foremost town in the South East.”

The new Masterplan will eventually help create a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for Guildford town centre.

In what appears to have been an administrative error the result of tomorrow night’s election of a new council leader was pre-empted by GBC’s Masterplan press release.

In the release Cllr Stephen Mansbridge is described as “Leader of Guildford Borough Council”, the role he held until the election. But it is not until he is formerly re-elected at tomorrow’s full council meeting that he such resume using the title.

One GBC officer agreed it had been an “unfortunate cock-up”.

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Responses to Tory Leader Says Work Continues on Town Centre Masterplan

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    May 18, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    And the next one will be?

  2. Lisa Wright Reply

    May 18, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Can’t we have some new blood and fresh ideas on this Local Plan/Town plan? How about Matt Furniss has a go at holding the reins, he seems like a nice bloke?

    • Lisa Wright Reply

      May 18, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      … on second thoughts, I think I’d prefer someone who’s going to protect our countryside.

  3. Sue Fox Reply

    May 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Anyone other than Stephen Mansfield. His track record is beyond belief.

  4. Andrew Procter Reply

    May 20, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Is it possible to try and find out the detailed Terms of Reference of this study, who is doing what and the reporting timescale?

    All the consultant firms appointed are competent in their fields of expertise but the people of Guildford need to know what we are getting for our money? Allies and Morrison will presumably do the masterplan, spatial analysis and townscape design element.

    In terms of transport work will Arups be validating Surrey County Council previous work or doing their own stuff from scratch?

    In terms of property advice from GVA [a commercial property agency] will they be looking at different development scenarios analysed through basic valuation advice, development appraisals and NPV [net present value] analysis including existing and alternative uses?

    The trouble with this type of work is that it is often a rolling wave which does not go that deep and can be dependent on validation by yet further detailed studies etc. There is no doubt that Guildford requires further investment and new development which needs to be balanced carefully with it’s historic townscape.

    To what extent have the consultants been asked to sharpen their pencils in respect of brownfield opportunities for increased residential units? Are GBC prepared to relax CIL [Community Infrastructure Levy] contributions from developers in order to encourage affordable urban residential development as opposed to executive boxes in the Green Belt?

    Andrew Procter is a member of the Save Send Action Group

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