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Much comment has been generated by the decision of the planning inspector [APP/Y3615/W/16/3161412] to approve on appeal a proposed £150 million scheme of Solum Regeneration [14/P/02168] to rebuild Guildford's railway station complex to include 438 new homes in high-rise blocks up to 10-storeys high, new office space and a multi-storey car park. Guildford Borough Council appear particularly disappointed. There have been suggestions that the council might consider initiating a formal Judicial Review of the inspector's decision.

Other groups such as GVG [Guildford Vision Group] and Guildford Society have consistently drawn attention to the potential impact on traffic flows in the town centre and views into and out of the town from the south-west being significantly affected by the mass and height of the proposals. More than 200 people objected to the plans during the public consultation period, as well as groups such as CPRE [Campaign to Protect Rural England], GRA [Guildford Residents' Association] and the Holy Trinity Amenity Group.

Solum Regeneration is a joint venture between Capital & Counties Properties plc [Capco] and Network Rail to explore redevelopment opportunities on and around significant railway sites in London; Capco acquired Kier Limited's share of the Solum Regeneration joint venture during May/June 2015. The original Network Rail development partner in Solum was Kier Property when Solum was set up in 2008. The portfolio of completed projects includes schemes at Epsom, Christchurch and Haywards Heath; active projects are at Walthamstow and Twickenham; other schemes in the pipeline include Kingswood Gateway at Lower Kingswood station, Bishop's Stortford goods yard and now Guildford station. The Twickenham, Bishop's Storford and Guildford existing projects will continue to be taken forward by Kier Property.

This activity chimes with the current Government drive to concentrate high density housing development around transport hubs where 'sustainable development' aims point toward reduced car commuting, increased walking and cycling, along with the potential for reduced air pollution and obviate the need for greenfield sites for new housing.

Friday the 23rd - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template