Briefing Meeting 28th August 2012

Briefing Meeting 28th August 2012 1920 1440 admin

Guildford Vision Group gives its views on the Interim Town Centre Framework and the North Street Development Brief ahead of the adoption of these documents by the Council’s Executive Committee on 6th September 2012.

The slides presented at that meeting are available here.

Comments are welcomed.  Please say whether you attended the session or not.



Guildford Borough Council North Street Development Brief

Guildford Borough Council North Street Development Brief 1920 1440 admin

Link to Guildford Borough Council’s North Street Development Brief

Guildford Borough Council Town Centre Interim Framework Document

Guildford Borough Council Town Centre Interim Framework Document 1920 1440 admin

Click here for the link to this document on Guildford Borough Council’s website


Guildford Borough Council has released its Interim Town Centre Framework document ready for adoption by the Executive Committee.  THIS DOCUMENT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SHAPE THE NEXT TEN OR MORE YEARS’ DEVELOPMENT OF THE TOWN CENTRE and there will be no further consultation before adoption.

Guildford Vision Group’s supporters and followers will know that the Vision Group was formed around a public meeting on 21st March 2012 that arose from the flawed Draft Town Centre Masterplan and the shared recognition that WE NEED A PROPER PROFESSIONAL MASTERPLAN WITH THE FULL ENGAGEMENT OF THE COMMUNITY AND STAKEHOLDERS.  That is the Vision Group’s single and sole purpose.

On Tuesday 28th August at 6.00 for 6.30pm in the upper hall at the Trinity Centre (next to Holy Trinity Church in Guildford High Street) Guildford Vision Group will give you its first thoughts on the document once it has been published.

We have been promised a redrafted document with new diagrams; we are, however, concerned that there will be no public scrutiny of this Interim Town Centre Framework which, it is understood, has been prepared IN ADVANCE OF ANY TRAFFIC STUDY.

If you are unable to attend this briefing (which we aim to complete by 8.00pm) please contact your Councillor(s) and ask them to explain the document to you.  Look out for the document on the Council’s website:  Keep checking our website : during the next few weeks for critical information about the future development of Guildford.

Please be under no illusion.  WE NEED YOUR HELP to make sure that the full Council understands the extent of support for a proper master plan and the depth of concern about this piecemeal process of planning our town.

Please pass this invitation to as many people as possible; friends, family and colleagues and we look forward to welcoming you on 28th.

To help us plan this event, please let us know if you intend to come to




Minutes of Meeting 17th August 2012

Minutes of Meeting 17th August 2012 1920 1440 admin

As soon as  we knew when the Interim Town Centre Framework would appear on the GBC website, GVG sent out an open invitation to a meeting on 28 August. This would be an opportunity for all to find out in what ways the ITCF differed from the original document, the Draft Town Centre Master Plan.

We were pleased to welcome over 150 residents, including almost a dozen GBC Councillors and Guildford’s MP to the meeting. GVG members kicked off proceedings by talking those present through the ITCF. The floor was then opened for all to ask questions, make comments etc.

The overall impression from the meeting was that we all love Guildford and want to preserve the things which make it special. On the other hand, we do not want the town to stagnate, or die a slow death, strangled by traffic.

There seemed to be a consensus that a holistic and long term approach was essential. We would be unlikely to achieve a more people friendly environment without looking at a much wider ‘Town Centre’. Only by including the  Cathedral, University,  Research Park and Hospitals in the Town Centre, can a truly VISIONARY FUTURE be developed for Guildford, integrating new public spaces and green areas and pedestrian and cycle friendly routes with the old and new built environment.

It was good to hear that the Council and Surrey County Council are now looking at traffic issues, but it is still impossible to understand how they can contemplate adopting plans before understanding the traffic implications. It really is putting the cart before the horse.

North Street – how much extra square footage?

North Street – how much extra square footage? 1920 1440 admin

20120505 Press Release

20120505 Press Release 1920 1440 admin


Instead of Problems in Store, how about a Plan with Vision?

‘We all want Waitrose in Guildford. We can all see the benefits of their fine produce and service. But we should be urging our elected councillors to press for a more imaginative and sustainable solution for the proposed Waitrose site off York Road, and for the many other town centre sites the Council’s Executive wish to see developed.’

Thus says John Rigg, chair of Guildford Vision Group (GVG), the group of concerned Guildford residents calling for a more visionary Master Plan for the town, claiming the site off York Road is a stark example of planning short-termism of a kind that bedevils any chance to use economic development to improve Guildford’s creaking infrastructure. GVG also point to the plans for the station redevelopment, fearing that the long term implications of short termism, taken for immediate financial gain, will prohibit any future bold moves to improve, for example, Guildford’s dreadful traffic blight.

This is not to say that GVG is against substantial redevelopment be it at the station or elsewhere. What GVG is calling for is:

  • A moratorium on major development in the town centre until a comprehensive study has been carried out by independent experts into the gyratory system, its feeder roads and their respective capacities;
  • A clear strategy to re-connect Guildford – the railway divides the town and, with no new rail crossing for 100 years, adds to the pressure on the town centre;
  • The ability for pedestrians to move freely between visitor attractions, transport hubs, shops, residential areas and schools without having to fight with the traffic;
  • An appropriate gateway from the station to the Cathedral and University – the latter being a major economic contributor to Guildford – poorly served by its lack of connectedness; and
  • A long term sustainable plan where developments fit into a strategy that works towards more social and amenity space along the River Wey, encouraging visitors and business to come to Guildford; read more

Vision Group keen to have your Comments

Vision Group keen to have your Comments 1920 1440 admin


Guildford Dragon:

A group campaigning for a new and inspiring vision for the future of Guildford is asking fellow residents to make their views known.

The Guildford Vision Group’s website is up and running with an easy-to-complete questionnaire that only takes a few minutes. read more

Guildford Waitrose Exhibition Attracts Large Numbers

Guildford Waitrose Exhibition Attracts Large Numbers 1920 1440 admin

The Guildford Waitrose exhibition, at the Guildhall, attracted more than 1,000 visitors by 1pm today (April 21) when it closed. Visitors were able to view the exhibition, talk directly to members of the project team including an architect and communications manager and leave written comments.

Views of those attending on the plans presented appeared mixed. Some were heard to voice their pleasure at the creation of a major new shopping store, especially a Waitrose, while others expressed concern about the choice of building style and materials and the possible impact on traffic on local roads. Plans do include a 170 space, free car park with a time limit of two hours per stay. (more…)

Masterplan for future of Guildford delayed

Masterplan for future of Guildford delayed 1920 1440 admin

THE finalised Town Centre Masterplan for Guildford will be delayed and the project renamed, following discussions with the public.

Guildford Borough Council said it will fail to adhere to its ‘ambitious timetable’ as consultants still need to finish work on the draft version of the document.   (more…)

Claim by Vision Group that Town Masterplan is to be ‘Abandoned’ Refuted by Lead Councillor

Claim by Vision Group that Town Masterplan is to be ‘Abandoned’ Refuted by Lead Councillor 1920 1440 admin

Claims by the recently formed ‘Guildford Vision Group’ that in a “shock move” work to finalise the Town Centre Masterplan will be ‘abandoned’ have been refuted as inaccurate by the lead GBC councillor responsible for planning matters.

In a press release, the Vision Group claim that the Council intends commissioning urban design consultants to prepare an ‘Interim Town Centre Framework’ document in conjunction with the Council’s planning policy team. (more…)

Guildford Society Calls for Re-casting of Town Centre Masterplan

Guildford Society Calls for Re-casting of Town Centre Masterplan 1920 1440 admin

Conservation and development watchdog, The Guildford Society, is calling on Guildford Borough Council to re-cast its Town Centre Masterplan to “articulate a clearer and more aspirational vision”.

The society believes that the masterplan does not set an adequate context for the future planning of Guildford town centre. It strongly recommends that the masterplan is therefore re-cast.   (more…)

Groundswell of Concern For Town Centre Masterplan

Groundswell of Concern For Town Centre Masterplan 1920 1440 admin

More than 100 people packed a meeting this morning (January 10), to voice their fears over the proposals contained in the borough council’s (GBC) draft Town Centre Masterplan.

The meeting was hosted by The Guildford Society. It has commissioned planning and architectural firm Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners to scrutinise the draft plan and to put forward a set of representations to GBC, based on the concerns of the society’s members as well non-members who attended the meeting. (more…)