FAQs

How does this site link in with the Town Centre Masterplan process? Shouldn’t you be waiting for that to finish so it can properly inform the development of this site?

Guildford Park Road is not linked or associated with the Town Centre Masterplan process.

Shaping Guildford’s Future is at an early stage and it will be several years before it results in any actionable policy.

The delivery of Guildford Park Road is already significantly delayed and we do not wish to delay the delivery of this site further.

We hope that our site will one day come to complement the masterplan in years to come.

Who will build and own the development? Will you sell the consent off to a commercial developer?

This has not yet been decided.

We will be developing the project business case in the coming months, which will include evaluating various options for delivery.

The final decision will be made the by the Council’s Executive.

What are the benefits for neighbours and the local area? Isn’t this just an inward looking scheme that provides nothing for locals?

The site does not directly connect with surrounding residential areas but it is an eyesore at present. Our development will resolve this issue by creating a more aesthetically pleasing neighbour for local residents.

Our proposal includes active frontages and public realm greening and will provide more homes for Guildford’s growing population and support the local economy.

If you provided less parking would you be able to build more homes without a tall building?

The proposed footprint is dictated by several site constraints, including a not favourable topography along the boundaries. The location of car parks is therefore not replaceable by dwellings. 

How do you justify a tall (10 storey) building here when Guildford Council has rejected the principle of tall buildings on other sites?

The impact of the Proposed Development, including the proposed tall building, is subject to an iterative design process informed by a Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment which will report effects on townscape character and visual amenity.

The positioning, orientation, height and mass of the proposed tall building has been considered throughout this process, taking into account issues such as views from the town centre, views from the Cathedral, local views and daylight/sunlight.

We have carried out a Townscape Visual Impact Assessment (TVA) guided by GBC’s Town Centre Views Supplementary Document which commits to protecting views of The Castle and the Cathedral against town centre developments. This looked at 13 representative viewpoints which indicate that existing views are maintained.

How much parking are you providing and where? How do you justify the level of parking provision for residents?

At present the proposal has around 120 parking spaces to serve the 239 units

Parking is provided in two main locations – to the rear of the duplexes in Block F, and to the rear of Blocks B to D beneath the podium garden.

Whilst spaces have not yet been allocated, the intention is that all affordable homes will be allocated a space and our proposals are well within GBC’s maximum provision parking standards for this location.

The parking ratio is greatly reduced from the previous scheme but we feel this is appropriate for the site’s accessible town centre location near to Guildford train station and the provision for a bus stop on site.

What is the mix of homes you are providing and how expensive will they be? Will local people be able to afford these homes or is this about gentrification?

40% of the new homes will be affordable homes that will be split between rented, shared ownership and other tenures.

Affordable rents are 80% of the market rent and the rest will be for market sale and priced accordingly. The intention is to create a good and suitable mix of housing.

What amenities are you providing on the site for residents? What other uses are you proposing – i.e. commercial / retail / community space? If not then why not?

The proposals do not include any other uses. The site is in a town centre location benefitting from the surrounding amenities.

Public realm improvements include green spaces and play areas which residents will benefit from.

Tell us about the sustainability credentials? Will the scheme be net carbon zero – if not then why not?

Our aspiration is to deliver the scheme to a high sustainability standard and we are looking at measures such as the London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) who focus on delivering significant reductions in operational energy usage.

We will be taking a fabric first approach with a simple efficient form that is well insulated and allows minimal air permeability and reducing the use of heating. The scheme aspires to make use of renewable energy and is a no gas scheme.

At this early stage, the vision for the site is not set in stone and so it is too early to say whether the scheme will be net zero for the build or over the operational life of the building. Financial constraints will have implications on Council decision making but we are committed to sustainability as a principle for this site.

Have you considered using more sustainable materials – like timber frame, no-cement concrete, etc.?

At this early stage of consultation, we have an emerging architectural concept but are not at the stage of specifying materials. Any materials used must have safety, particularly regarding fire risk, as their primary consideration. Our commitment to sustainability will, however, guide our choice of materials as the scheme develops.

What is the impact of this scheme on flooding? How are you managing water run-off?

The site is not in a flood risk zone but we will be incorporating measures to reduce surface water run-off rates significantly from the current position. This is in line with the requirements of Surrey County Council policy.

How much greenery are you planning to provide – how many trees are you adding / cutting down?

Green space will be significantly uplifted from the present position.

Our proposals seek to reduce the need to cut down as many of the existing trees as possible and we will add many more as part of our emerging landscape strategy. A precise number is not currently available at this early stage of consultation.

You say you are achieving a net gain in biodiversity, what is included? Is that good enough as it is a car park right now and you don’t have to do much to make it better?

The landscape proposals are at an early stage but our intention is to include a diverse range of elements and green links throughout the site. These can include rain-gardens for site the sustainable drainage system (SuDS), street tree and shrub planting, naturalistic green space with extensive tree planting, native species hedgerows and species rich grass.

We will refine our proposals in response to consultation feedback to reflect our commitment to sustainability and biodiversity.

What will happen to bus routes that run through the site during construction and once the scheme is completed?

Our intention is to allow the bus route to remain operational throughout the construction phase as long as it is safe to do so.

Once the work is complete, buses will continue to travel through the site as they do at present, subject to the ongoing agreement with the University of Surrey.

We will be providing a bus stop within the scheme so that new residents can access and benefit from these routes.

What impact are you having on views of The Castle and the Cathedral?

The site sits within the viewing corridor between the castle and the cathedral and the proposals have been developed to minimise impact.

We have carried out a Townscape Visual Impact Assessment (TVA) guided by GBC’s Town Centre Views Supplementary Document which commits to protecting views of The Castle and the Cathedral against town centre developments. This looked at 13 representative viewpoints which indicate that existing views are maintained.

What is the impact on neighbours – esp. in Guildford Park Avenue?

The proposals have been developed to respond to the immediate neighbouring context with due regard given to daylight, sunlight and overlooking considerations with appropriate separation distance between new and existing buildings.

This is an improvement to previous iterations of the scheme where buildings were positioned at the end of neighbouring gardens. This new scheme positions buildings further away.

How does this scheme respond to Guildford’s unique historic character?

One of the key design principles is to provide a scheme that responds appropriately to the immediate and wider urban context. Guildford has a heritage-rich urban grain with protected views between the Cathedral and Castle. We tested more than 31 views to verify the suitability of the proposal. In terms of the experience from the site, one of the key design principles is to provide an outward-facing townscape proposal, we opted for a variety of building forms that open up to allow visitors and residents to see beyond the site boundary. Also, materials have been carefully chosen to remind the history of the site, the site used to be a brickworks site and colours belong to the Guildford area-palette.

What materials are you proposing to use for the scheme?

At this early stage of consultation, we have an emerging brick-based architectural concept but are not at the stage of specifying materials. Any materials used must have safety, particularly regarding fire risk, as their primary consideration. We are committed to sustainability and respecting Guildford’s culture and history, and these will guide our choice of materials as the scheme develops.

Can Guildford’s schools, NHS, buses and other infrastructure cope with all these new residents?

The principle for developing the site for housing is established and allocated in the Local Plan.

GBC is committed to the best interests of Guildford and its growing population. Contributions will be sought via the planning process toward education, transport and health.

Why has it taken so long to bring forward this scheme?

The previous scheme was no longer viable. This scheme is in line with the local plan and evolving GBC direction.

What is the timeline for delivering the project?

The proposal is still in the early part of consultation and such a timeline will be shaped by the emerging proposals.

The planning application will be submitted late summer and will take around six months to decide.

What is your proposed construction methodology for the site?

Our proposals are still in the early consultation phase and our construction methodology will be shaped by these emerging proposals and response to feedback.

A construction management plan will be submitted alongside the application.