Councillor Mansbridge: Guildford doomed to wander in desert unless local plan accepted

Guildford masterplan consultation begins as Councillor warns town is at ‘tipping point’


Today (Friday) the draft Guildford town centre masterplan goes out for a six-week public consultation.

The documents, put together by Allies and Morrison, have highlighted various potential improvements for the town centre, including new riverside parks, changes to the gyratory, and the potential to build more than 2,500 new homes.

At a meeting to launch the consultation on Wednesday (September 30), the council’s leader, Councillor Stephen Mansbridge, said:

“Guildford in the last 40, 50 and 60 years is like a person wandering lost in the desert, then suddenly in that shimmer of heat haze you see the palm trees that might signal that oasis, and that oasis is what we see here, because we haven’t found it before. Guildford is at a tipping point, we don’t feel it, but it is and economic statistics demonstrate it is.

“That tipping point is between decline and large success. We have to choose large success. We have to find that oasis and this masterplan represents our oasis.”

However, Cllr Mansbridge said that none of what the masterplan proposes will be possible without the wider local plan, which will go out for a second public consultation next summer.

He warned critics of the local plan that if they scuppered and delayed it, they would ‘scupper and delay this amazing vision for the town centre’.

“This is the biggest thing we have done in Guildford for half a century,” he said.


Full story and the usual planners’ pictures of idyllic open squares, tree-lined boulevards and not-overweight, Caucasian-faced stick people here

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