Guildford railway station revamp plans scaled back following criticism

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The proposed £150m redevelopment features new homes, a multi-storey car park, shops and restaurants

07:00, 11 NOV 2015
BY JAMES WATKINS

 

Concept designs for resubmitted proposals for Guildford railway station

Revised plans have been submitted for a £150m redevelopment of Guildford railway station following heavy criticism.

Objections to proposals submitted at the end of last year – which included 445 homes, a multi-storey car park, new shops and restaurants – led to developer Solum Regeneration going back to the drawing board.

The new plans submitted on Wednesday (November 10) feature fewer homes at 438, but they have also done away with a 15 storey-tower block, the centre of many of the criticisms of the original project.

The tallest the project would be is now 10 storeys high.

Alan Jones, from Solum Regeneration, said: “Over the past few months we have been meeting with various local groups and statutory bodies and undertaken a fundamental review of the scheme.

“We have examined the many issues raised and have made substantial changes to our proposals.

“It is a radically different scheme from the one submitted last year and will transform Guildford station, bringing substantial improvements for passengers while providing much needed housing on a key brownfield site in the town centre.”

A revamp of the railway station and surrounding land is planned

Stuart Kirkwood, development director at Network Rail, said: “This type of station investment is a major catalyst for wider regeneration.

“We are always looking for opportunities to unlock and fully utilise Network Rail-owned land to deliver growth, housing, employment space and create new jobs.

“All profits from Network Rail’s commercial activities are reinvested back into the railway.

“The station upgrade at Guildford is fully funded by commercial development, and the new facilities will therefore be provided for station users at no additional cost to the taxpayer.”

A new station has also been proposed as part of the draft town centre masterplan for Guildford, which was another reason for the Solum project being withdrawn and resubmitted.

The developer has said that as well as the reduction in height, the new scheme proposes improved pedestrian links, enhanced design of the main station building and an increase in the size of the station plaza compared with the original design.

Solum has been working on plans to redevelop Guildford railway station since 2011.

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