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Controversial Guildford Station redevelopment given go-ahead

3 minute read
Controversial Guildford Station redevelopment given go-ahead

Published at 3:06pm 23rd January 2018. (Updated at 7:57pm 24th January 2018)

A huge multi-million pound redevelopment of Guildford Station has been given the go-ahead.

Developers Solum can now move forward with their plans, which include 438 new homes in the area and office floorspace.

A new main building, replacement station and office car parking and plaza are also included.

Guildford Borough Council had initially turned them down, but an appeal by Solum has now been approved by The Planning Inspectorate.

This has not gone down with the Council's leader, Cllr Paul Spooner though.

On Twitter he has described the designs as 'very poor, saying the decision is 'extremely disappointing'.

Solum, a partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property, was established in 2008 and has been working on plans for Guildford Station since 2011.

It claims the developments will create over 300 new jobs.

'Very little benefit for Guildford train users'

Speaking to Eagle, Councillor Spooner says the plans don't say much for the modernisation of the station: "If actually, we were seeing improvements for the main station then there may be more arguments for support.

"But what we're seeing here, whilst it's very good news for Network Rail staff, most of the benefit is going into office accommodation for Network Rail."

"We will of course see a revamped entrance and we will see an improved ticket hall, but that's it.

"So we're talking about a very, very large scheme with very little benefit for the train user in Guildford."

In a statement he sadded: “Alongside poor design and little gain for users of the station, it is a blow to our aims for more affordable housing in the town.

“The Inspector recognised the ‘strong and well-presented’ arguments we put to the Inquiry, which reflects the high calibre of work by Council officers and the external advice we received from experts led by Morag Ellis QC and her team.

"This is also the type of outcome that illustrates the critical importance of having a Local Plan in place.

"This site and area of the town is included in the plan we submitted for inspection last month and supports the strategic approach we take for future design and development."

 

 

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