The controversial scheme, which is being developed by Solum, Network Rail’s development partnership with Kier, involves turning Guildford’s station car park into a Station Quarter. The plans for the 2.2 hectare site include a new station building with a retail plaza, 438 new homes, offices and a multi-storey car park.
Overall, the scheme offers 3,427 m2 of retail provision and 1,877 m of new office space.
Network Rail Property managing director David Biggs said: “This development is yet another example of Network Rail partnering with the private sector to unlock land for mixed-use development, while generating funds to reinvest back into the railway.”
Alan Jones from Solum said: “We are very pleased that this exciting brownfield regeneration project has been given the green light. This is a scheme that will transform the area around Guildford Station and provide a new gateway to the town.
He added: “Solum has been working with Guildford Council and the community for seven years. The scheme has undergone significant change through the planning process and we look forward now to working with the council to deliver the scheme. We recognise that there are several local groups that continue to object to the scheme and would also like to thank the hundreds of Guildford residents that registered support for the proposals.”
In his judgement, planning inspector David Morgan concluded that: “…this proposal offers tangible benefits to the built environment around Guildford Station. It also provides a significant amount of market housing and a lesser number of viability-calibrated affordable units, in addition to an enhanced station facility. These are very significant social benefits. The proposals also bring forward a major development site with a mix of uses that will create employment opportunities for those seeking work. These are clear economic benefits to the borough.”