Grant awarded for more than 1,000 new homes in Guildford as council prepares to sign off projects worth £145m

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The new homes are part of the Slyfield Area Regeneration Project, which is set to cost more than £100m

6 JAN 2016
BY JAMES WATKINS

Thames Water's sewage treatment plant in Slyfield

Thames Water’s sewage treatment plant in Slyfield will be relocated as part of the plans

Plans to build more than 1,000 houses at Slyfield in Guildford has received a boost after the project was awarded £600,000 government funding.

The homes plan is part of Guildford Borough Council’s ongoing Slyfield Area Regeneration Project (SARP), which also includes relocating the Thames Water sewage works, the borough council’s depot and the county council’s waste station.

The estimated cost of the project over the next four years, to the council, is said to be just shy of £105m.

The £600,000 funding has been allocated as part of a wider £6.3m grant across the country from the government for housing projects using brownfield land.

However, the Slyfield scheme has recently come under criticism from Greenpeace due concerns over flooding.

Another contentious issue is the Clay Lane Link Road, which the council sees as vital to ensuring the smooth relocation of the sewage works, freeing up land for the housing.

But residents have objected the proposed link road, again, raising concerns over flooding.

‘Economic life’

Housing minister, Brandon Lewis, said: “Housing Zones offer enormous potential to use brownfield land for new homes, which is why this government is determined to get them built out as soon as possible.

“This funding will play an important part in getting work underway which will lead to new homes and more security for aspiring homeowners.”

Councillors are due to discuss a range of new projects, including SARP, which come with a £144.8m price tag at a meeting on Thursday.

The council currently has an underlying need to borrow £144m for existing projects, increasing to £289m, should the new proposals be approved.

Other new bids include the Clay Lane Link Road, which is set to cost £10m, Guildford Park car park redevelopment at £29m, and the installation of CCTV behind Guildford Crown Court due to antisocial behaviour, which would cost £10,000.

Documents outlining the bids state: “The Slyfield Area Regeneration Project is a major redevelopment of the Slyfield area of Guildford.

“The project comprises of the relocation of the existing Thames Water sewage treatment works to an old landfill site, the relocation of the council operational services depot, the relocation of the county council’s waste transfer station, and building of circa 1,057 new homes on the brownfield land available from the relocations.

“The project brings back into economic life old landfill site.”

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