Waitrose – Great Store, Wrong Site, Bad Plan

Waitrose – Great Store, Wrong Site, Bad Plan

Waitrose – Great Store, Wrong Site, Bad Plan 1920 1440 admin

On Tuesday 6th November the Waitrose Application (12/P/01020) comes up in front of the Planning Committee in Guildford.

The following email was sent today to all Councillors:


Dear Councillor
Re: Waitrose Application 12/P/01020
For councillors interested in the Waitrose debacle, John Rigg’s letter in the Dragon reflects many of the 183 objections.  It also makes clear that we are keen to see Waitrose and John Lewis in the town and want an exciting new vibrant town centre; we simply don’t want an out-of-town format Waitrose on the Bellerby site.
Guildford deserves better planning, so the overriding question is: how can the Council grant consent to Waitrose, when Appendix 4 of the now defunct Guildford Interim Town Centre Framework Document (withdrawn within the last six weeks) lists the key evidence outstanding to guide all town centre development?

  • Revision of Guildford Parking Strategy2003 (End of September 2012)
  • Town Centre Transport Modelling(to commence in September 2012)
  • Strategic Housing Land Availability(potentially end of 2012)
  • Employment Land Assessment(potentially end of 2012)
  • Guildford Economic Strategy2011-2030 and delivery plan review (to be presented to LSP Board for approval January 2013)
  • Guildford Bus Station Study (to conclude in late 2012)
        (A copy of the Table from Appendix A is attached)
These missing documents are fundamental to decision-making on significant applications. If they are going to be available in the next few months, how can this Waitrose application, with potentially terrible consequences, be waved through on this residential site?
Would the officers of any other local planning authority recommend the grant of such a consent whilst awaiting the imminent delivery of key documents?  It invites the question whether the planning officers would do so here but for the pressure of a sale contract or the authors of the project.   If this Waitrose application is not rejected on the basis of prematurity, the door is wide open for developers to advocate their schemes relying on the existing markedly incomplete and out-of-date evidence base.
Vision for Guildford Limited
NB: Guildford Vision Group remains committed to its single purpose – to see the involvement of professional masterplanners in the creation of a visionary plan for our town that fits it for its role as the major regional hub, and that secures its lasting future.
Vision for Guildford Limited (07998876) Registered Office: 6 Trinity Churchyard, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 3RR