Guildford Vision Group fly through – video of new plans for Guildford

Guildford Vision Group fly through – video of new plans for Guildford 998 558 admin

Take a bird’s eye view of exciting new 3D plans for Guildford town centre with this Guildford Vision Group fly through from Leonard Design Architects

Watch our video fly through of the new Masterplan which opens up the riverside and makes the town centre safer and more enjoyable with open spaces, squares and pedestrianisation.

Please note that this is computer generated imagery, it is not a detailed or finalised view.

In real life, of course, the open spaces will feature flowers, shrubs, lawns, sculptures and fountains, and the buildings will be designed with architecture and materials to work with their surroundings.

Please do visit our How You Can Help page to see how YOU can make a difference to turning this vision into reality.

Guildford Vision Group fly through video:

Watch the video of the launch of Guildford Vision Group’s plans for Guildford, Surrey, town centre

Watch the video of the launch of Guildford Vision Group’s plans for Guildford, Surrey, town centre 999 562 admin

Guildford Vision Group video of Masterplan launch event

Guildford Vision Group launched its plans for creating a better Guildford by pedestrianising the town centre and opening up the riverside at an event attended by hundreds of people, and watched on live streaming by thousands more, on Wednesday 1 February 2017.

Here you can watch the Guildford Vision Group video recording of this great event to see the Group’s plans and experience a remarkable three dimensional ‘fly through’ of how the town centre could look, preserving the historic parts of Guildford, yet also enabling the creation of new squares, open spaces, shops and restaurants.

PLEASE DO LET US HAVE YOUR FEEDBACK USING THE FORM ON THE CONTACT US PAGE, and let us know if you would like this plan to be progressed with Guildford Borough Council.

Many thanks to Guildford-based Media On Demand for their fantastic work in managing the streaming with the getsurrey news website.

Guildford Vision Group Master Plan Visual 8

Community invited to unveiling of Guildford Vision Group’s detailed Town Plan on 1st February

Community invited to unveiling of Guildford Vision Group’s detailed Town Plan on 1st February 800 566 admin

Residents, employers and other members of the community are invited to attend the public unveiling of Guildford Vision Group’s (GVG) new town centre Plan on 1st February at The Baptist Millmead Centre, Millmead, Guildford, GU2 4BE from 7.00-8.30pm.

GVG has been working with David Leonard of Leonard Design Architects, a nationally-respected architectural and design practice, to develop in more detail the themes and vision of a masterplan for Guildford.

An initial masterplan was commissioned and approved by Guildford Borough Council early last year but has yet to be adopted as part of formal planning policy.

Share ideas
GVG will share its ideas for development with the public at the open meeting and David Leonard will describe the features and benefits of the GVG Plan.

The meeting will discuss how the Plan can shape the town centre for the better.

The new masterplan includes greater – and safer – space for pedestrians in the town centre and the redevelopment of the riverside. It offers leisure, retail and employment opportunities fit for today’s world in an environment that complements Guildford’s heritage.

New housing
It also delivers much-needed new housing in the centre of the town.

A new crossing over the railway that takes traffic around, rather than through, the town centre is integral to the new masterplan, making Guildford safer for pedestrians and less polluted.

A study by local consultancy Motion, endorses this concept and shows this to be the best solution for re-arranging central traffic routes.

The new crossing enables better access to town and station and greater reliability. It helps deliver an integrated transport network designed to encourage people to use their cars less.

A beautiful town centre
John Rigg, Chairman of the Guildford Vision Group, said: “The Guildford Vision Group wants to see a beautiful town centre and regenerated riverside created with people in mind. Right now we have no town square, few fully pedestrianised streets, and limited space for people to sit and enjoy the river. Roads are clogged with traffic and it is difficult for businesses to flourish.

“Our new Town Plan addresses all these aspects and more, and we encourage residents, businesses and the wider community to come along and hear more about our vision.

“There are now new development and project teams in place at the Council, and we look forward to active discussions with them about how the goals of the plan can be achieved successfully. Guildford has to get it right to survive.”

The Guildford Vision Group was formed in 2012 to campaign for a holistic approach to the development of Guildford, one based on people and placemaking rather than piecemeal expansion. While Guildford Borough Council created a Masterplan for the town in 2015, it has yet to commit to delivering it. GVG continues to work to ensure the best elements of GBC’s Masterplan are put into action but its own Plan – to be unveiled at the public meeting – recommends key changes.

The Baptist Millmead Centre is located in Millmead, Guildford, GU2 4BE. For further information email GVG Campaign Manager, Yvonka Wilkinson on



Issued by: Property House Marketing – 01483 561119

Notes for Editors

Guildford Vision Group (GVG) formed in 2012 as a response to Guildford Borough Council’s initial draft Town Centre Framework, to argue the urgent need of a long-term vision for the development of Guildford, one in which the sustainable vitality of the town and its enterprise is ensured. GVG is independent, and has no affiliations or vested interests. Further information is available at



Guildford Vision Group’s New East/West Crossing Would Enable Better Bus Policy Delivery

Guildford Vision Group’s New East/West Crossing Would Enable Better Bus Policy Delivery 1148 713 admin


Guildford Vision Group (GVG) says its proposal for a new East/West crossing from York Road to Guildford Park Road would offer possibly the best option for bus travellers in the centre of town by freeing up Onslow Street for comprehensive bus halt facilities.

GVG generally supports the bus halts policy proposals on the agenda for the Guildford Borough Council
(GBC) Executive meeting on Tuesday 3 January 2017.

However, GVG reiterates that the East/West crossing enables Onslow Street to provide replacement
interchanges in close proximity to the existing bus station. The bus station is due to close to allow the
huge North Street scheme to get underway.

John Rigg, Chairman of GVG, adds: “We support on-street bus halts, and all moves to provide a
comprehensive bus service, both to and across our town. With all the major developments looming,
such as Dunsfold, Gosden Hill Farm, Wisley and elsewhere, buses must provide a real and attractive
alternative to car usage.
“The new crossing proposed by GVG, as well as giving the centre of Guildford back to people, frees up
Onslow Street for bus halts right by the Friary, along with a more attractive, ‘active’ frontage.
Covered facilities would be possible.
“Furthermore the crossing enables the railway station, on both sides of the track, to provide a proper,
coordinated transport interchange. This is vital if our infrastructure is to catch up, let alone cope, with
the inevitable population growth in and around Guildford.”

The GBC bus options, if approved, will go out for public consultation during January.

Separately, GVG remains concerned to see that the Council is getting quality and value for money from
its transport consultants.

In the long-winded document supporting the agenda item there are some
puzzling options investigated for a new bus station. These include demolition of Debenhams for a
riverside garage and a bus station on Bright Hill!

GVG thus urges councillors to give a ‘reality check’ on value for money and the quality of reports.

Public meeting February 1 – our vision for Guildford’s town centre

Public meeting February 1 – our vision for Guildford’s town centre 560 330 admin

YOU are invited to our next public meeting where we will reveal our exciting new plans for Guildford’s town centre.

It’s on Wednesday 1 February 2017 at The Millmead Centre (next to the Baptist Church), 24 Bury Fields, Millmead, Guildford GU2 4AZ at 7.00pmPLEASE DO ATTEND and bring friends, family, work colleagues and anyone you know who is interested and cares about how our town is developed!

Our plans take the original A&M Masterplan on to deliver a town centre and beautiful riverside pedestrianised for people – working, shopping, eating, relaxing – and fit for the 21st century.

Come and share our excitement and see for yourself where great ideas can take our lovely town.

PUT THE DATE IN YOUR DIARY NOW and find out more in our December 2016 newsletter here>

New leaflet from Guildford Vision Group

New leaflet from Guildford Vision Group 800 566 admin

We have published a new leaflet setting out our aims and objectives.

Please download it here to find out more!

Guildford Vision Group Newsletter logo

Update on Guildford Vision Group

Update on Guildford Vision Group 210 72 admin

How it all started
It’s just over four years since a group of residents formed Guildford Vision Group (GVG) with the Guildford Society’s help. The founders of GVG were concerned that our town seemed rudderless and losing its appeal as a place in which to do business, work, visit and live.

Over the past 30 years or more there had been little or no substantial town centre development or infrastructure investment of any note. The infrastructure, especially the gyratory, was very poor while demands on it were steadily increasing.

Our town centre is at risk
Cars and concrete hold sway rather than people. Buildings have turned their backs to the river. Where there is riverside space it has been given over to surface carparks. Pedestrians have a raw deal and cyclists have fared little better. The town centre remains dangerous for pedestrians, as recent fatal accidents have sadly confirmed. Air pollution in parts of the town centre is among the worst in the country.

The Council does not appear to have any coordinated plan to tackle this situation and its challenges. The town remains vulnerable to opportunistic, uncoordinated development that might frustrate broader ambitions to re-energise our town and to fashion a sustainable future for it.

Masterplan needed
GVG lobbied for a comprehensive town centre Masterplan by consultants with the relevant skills and track record. Allies & Morrison were hired and in March of this year the Council formally approved their Masterplan but, crucially, did not adopt it. It’s easy to understand why. Allies & Morrison worked to a Council brief. That brief, for example, did not include a comprehensive assessment of infrastructure needs. For example, there’s recognition that the station might be usefully redeveloped to be more of an integrated transport hub (and the site of much needed housing, sympathetic to its setting) but no outline plan to achieve it.

Tackling the gyratory
When it comes to the gyratory, the bane of our town, Allies & Morrison’s two proposed options for re-organising it require respectively a 57% or 44% reduction in traffic through ‘modal shift’, ie to get us out of our cars. This would be achieved by more park & ride sites, better bus services and even, for example, shutting the Farnham Road Bridge, currently the only East/West link in the centre, to all but buses during the two rush hours each day. How about that!

We support modal shift in principal but we have to be realistic about its feasibility in a hilly gap town with little room to manoeuvre in terms of new routes.

GVG’s six key goals
From the outset GVG has set itself six keys goals:

  1. Wider pedestrianisation of the town centre
  2. Exciting new public space and a reinvigorated riverside
  3. Redirection of traffic away from the town centre
  4. An integrated road and rail hub
  5. More town centre housing
  6. A new bridge for a better East-West link

These should be reflected in the adopted Masterplan for the town centre and, ideally, in the new Local Plan.

GVG’s developing thinking
Where have we got to? Well, we’ve got the Masterplan, we’ve certainly created a public discussion about many of the key issues associated with our six objectives, and we’ve developed our thinking on how the various elements of a reinvigorated town centre might fit together. You’ve helped with that by your feedback at our public meetings. We’ve commissioned reports from our own traffic and infrastructure consultants, as well as drawing extensively on our members’ professional expertise and experience. Currently we’ve secured the help of a noted architecture practice to draw up plans to show how the town centre might look, with linking architecture and design detail.

Challenging the Council
Why are we doing all this? It enables us to challenge the Council’s own thinking and actions, where necessary. Much of what happens in Guildford remains uncoordinated, and more worryingly, unambitious.

Guildford is currently playing with a jigsaw comprised of pieces from different sets. The finished picture won’t look pretty that way and, clearly, there will be great difficulty in making all the pieces fit together neatly.

All this should be out in the open but again, worryingly, the debate too often happens behind closed doors under the pretext of commercial confidence. Here Guildford makes something of a rod for its own back by being a dominant landowner in the centre as well as being the planning authority. Look at what’s happening with the North St development. Have you been consulted on what you might like to see there and how it might fit with other development? We fear we’ll be faced with a ‘take it or leave it’ choice, with tinkering only possible at the edges.

That’s no way to approach major development these days. It has to be more collaborative if localism is to have any real meaning.

Push for a new East/West crossing
Our big push at this time is to get support for a proper and comprehensive appraisal of a new East/West crossing linking York Road with Guildford Park Road. We are not trying to improve the lot for cars in the centre. We are simply trying to create the space for wider pedestrianisation of the town centre.

The key to success for the centre is to make the environment attractive for people. New and better public spaces. A better and more welcoming riverside experience alongside an improved retail offer that recognises the change in buying and browsing brought about by the advent of the digital age. This is what will encourage visitors and residents alike to dwell longer. It’s the key to a successful centre.

How a new crossing will help
So how does our new crossing across the river and railway help bring that about? It will move traffic away from the centre. It will enable separation of cars from people. It will make Bridge Street and Onslow St safer and traffic-free, except for buses, taxis and mobility access. It will enable the lower ends of both North St and the High St to be linked together by great public space and amenities along the riverside (think Richmond).

The full economic benefits of the crossing need to be set down and modelled, as well as the bog standard traffic count and modelling. Interestingly, our crossing also only requires a 26% reduction in traffic when assessed using the criteria used for the Council’s two scenarios. Again, the crossing is not just about cars and their routes, it’s about people and their right to safe, pollution-free enjoyment of the centre. It’s about creating the opportunity for imaginative and economically useful new development that will set Guilford down the path of a sustainable future.

Keeping in touch
How can you keep in touch with what we’re up to? Members of GSoc receive our newsletters and press releases as a matter of course. We’ve now launched our revamped website here at:

Our next public meeting
Please look out for our next public meeting. It’s likely to be in late January or early February 2017. It bodes well to be one of our more interesting events, with more detailed plans of how the town centre might look. We will be looking for your feedback so as to refine the plans. There may even be a model of how our crossing would work, providing we can find the funds from somewhere to get it produced (they’re much cheaper now, thanks to 3D printing, but still a fair dollop of cash).

Do contact us
We always like to hear from you, especially if you have relevant skills that could help us. And if you do want to set your thoughts down in an email, please send them to:

GVG Update


GVG Update – February 2016

GVG Update – February 2016 654 400 admin

GVG Response to the Town Centre Masterplan public consultation

GVG Response to the Town Centre Masterplan public consultation 654 400 admin
Guildford Vision Group Newsletter logo

GVG Update – Newsletter November 2015

GVG Update – Newsletter November 2015 210 72 admin

Please, please, please respond to the Town Masterplan consultation!

Find out what you need to know and how to respond by clicking on the text below for the two pages of our latest Newsletter:

GVG Update Newsletter November 2015 – page 1

GVG Update November Newsletter 2015 – page 2

GVG Update Newsletter – October 2015

GVG Update Newsletter – October 2015 654 400 admin

We have a Masterplan! Here’s what is happening and how it takes forward our vision for a better Guildford town centre.

Please click on the text below for the two pages of our October 2015 newsletter update to find out more:

Guildford Vision Group update Newsletter October 2015 – page 1

Guildford Vision Group update Newsletter October 2015 – page 2

Guildford Station Site Public Meeting

Guildford Station Site Public Meeting 654 400 admin

Guildford Station Site   Development by Solum Public Meeting 21 January 2015  7.30pm



To assist with their public engagement, Solum are inviting responses to a flyer that has been delivered to some local residents and will also be holding public exhibitions on:

  • Monday 12th January between 2 pm and 8 pm at the YMCA, Bridge St.
  • Thursday 15th January between 5.30 and 8.30pm at the YMCA
  • Saturday 17th January between 10 am and 3 pm at The Guildhall

The planning application is a complex document; it needs careful study. In advance of the public displays, Solum’s planning statement,  other documentation, drawings, photographic and viewpoint projections can be seen by visiting the Planning section of Guildford Borough Councils website .  click here :

GVG Newsletter Jan 2015 Say NO to SOLUM

GVG Newsletter Jan 2015 Say NO to SOLUM 654 400 admin

Click on image below for PDF


GVG responds to the Town Centre Vision consultation

GVG responds to the Town Centre Vision consultation 654 400 admin

‘GVG is calling for a development body, with appropriate powers, to drive implementation of the Town Centre Vision, on which consultation finishes today.

In its consultation submission, GVG is also calling for a new Bridge Crossing, linking Farnham Road with York Road. GVG emphasises that the principal purpose of the GVG Bridge Crossing is to deliver comprehensive town centre pedestrianisation and the emancipation of the riverside, for everyone’s benefit.’

Click on image below for document

Response thumb



GVG Audio/visual presentation Sept 2014

GVG Audio/visual presentation Sept 2014 654 400 admin

road plan


Click above for video stream of Presentation of the 3rd September 2014


The Master Plan Vision

The Master Plan Vision 654 400 admin

3 Sept Thumbnail


Click text for PDF download  Newsletter 3 September 2014

GVG Newsletter – July 2014

GVG Newsletter – July 2014 654 400 admin