Want Space Got Space - Offices, retail and industrial space Want Space Got Space - News about how to find and advertise commercial property to let, rent or sell in England, Wales and Scotland including Offices, Warehouse, Commercial, Manufacturing, Shops and Retail.



Waitrose gets go-ahead for Guildford store and homes

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Waitrose gets go-ahead for Guildford store and homesA Waitrose supermarket is set to open in Guildford for the first time in decades after councillors agreed to the plans.

Guildford Borough Council's planning committee last night (November 6) approved proposals for the 21,000 sq ft foodstore, a new community centre and 48 new homes at the Bellerby Theatre site.

The plans include a 168-space car park - likely to be pay and display -  and widening of part of York Road, with pedestrian crossing points and a new access road to the store.

Waitrose's Roland Bohn said the agreed proposals were "a great story for Guildford" which has been without a Waitrose store since 1973.

It will create 150 local jobs and will lead to thousands of pounds being donated to local charities each year, Mr Bohn promised.

He added: "Not only will this proposal deliver a comprehensive foodstore, it will also provide 48 quality homes and a new community centre with upgraded facilities."

Construction is expected to begin in 2013 with the aim to open the store in 2015.

The retailer was selected as the preferred bidder for a supermarket at the site in September last year. North Place Day Centre and accommodation at Victoria Court was demolished to make way for a proposed new store bounded by York Road, Leapale Lane, College Road and Haydon Place.

The plans, which due to the size will now be referred to the secretary of state for formal approval, include demolishing the Bellerby Theatre, Live and Let Live pub and the community centre.

Beverley Hall, which lies on the site, will be renovated and extended to create a new community centre.

But more than 150 letters of objection to the scheme have been sent to GBC. Sandfield School and Guildford Children's Centre was among objectors who complained the development will lead to the loss of a subway beneath York Road, which it said provides a safe route for children.

Other objectors complained about the extra traffic generated, the design and amount of housing proposed and the loss of trees along York Road.

Adam Taylor-Smith, of a Guildford solicitors firm, said: "It is plain that congestion and pedestrian and cyclists' safety along York Road and surrounding streets will get worse, not better. You don't need to be a traffic engineer to work that out. It's bad planning."

Ian Wraith, of College Road, said the development will cause unacceptable levels of noise pollution.

He said: "We will suffer an average noise level five times higher than the limit that should apply, but even worse than that the peak noise of 90db when the lorry arrives is 64 times the limit that should apply. These are devastating noise levels on our residential village."

Speaking for Guildford Society and 15 residents associations, Amanda Mullarky said: "We would be delighted with a Waitrose, but not here."

"How can it be right to add traffic to such a congested location and take away our best housing site when lack of affordable homes and traffic are such issues."

Highways Officers said the increased traffic congestion was of an acceptable level and would be unlikely to be severe enough for the plans to be refused.

Keith Churchouse, chairman of the Guildford Business Forum, said most people in his group favoured the development, although a minority had "great concerns" about traffic congestion.

He said: "Significant employment opportunities will without doubt be created by this development both in terms of construction and retail thereafter."

David Francis, whose Haydon Place home lies opposite the proposed development, said he was "very happy" with the plans.

He said: "I am in full support of a much needed supermarket on this site which I believe will be of considerable benefit to the commercial value of the town as a whole."

Mr Francis added that he believed there would be "no considerable impact on traffic".

Councillor Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem, Friary and St Nicolas) said: "Some people may have lost sight of the fact that this is a mixed use development with a community centre, housing and foodstore.

"Interestingly it is the only application in my ward where residents have contacted me because they were so concerned that it will not go ahead."

She added: "There's a good community here that needs something positive to happen and I think this is it."  

Waitrose said 1,000 residents were consulted at an exhibition held in April with 87 per cent of people expressing support for the proposal.  

Nigel Keen, Waitrose director of development, said: "This is a great opportunity to revitalise a largely derelict site with a much needed food store in the town centre as well as providing quality new homes and a brand new community centre with upgraded facilities."

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 13th November 2012

Back to news list

 Surrey  Leeds  Leicester  Derby  Nottingham  Birmingham  Manchester  London  Essex  Milton Keynes  Northampton 
 Kettering  Cardiff  Basingstoke  Dorset  Shrewsbury  Bristol  Southampton  Reading  Bolton  Coventry  Swansea  High Wycombe 
 Corby  Rugby  Worcester  Chelmsford  Lincoln  Bedford  West Sussex  Doncaster  Wolverhampton  Telford  Croydon  Slough 
 Cornwall  Solihull  Sittingbourne  Luton  Watford  Portsmouth  Ashford  Greater Manchester  Fareham  West Malling  Kings Hill  Middlesex