Nottingham-based architects Leonard Design have been appointed by the Guildford Vision Group (GVG), a unique collection of residents with experience in fields such as property and town planning, to create a vision for Guildford town centre.
Presented to the wider community at an open meeting in Guildford on 1 February 2017, the masterplan creates pedestrian friendly connections from the town centre to the railway station, University of Surrey, and Guildford Cathedral. This is achieved by opening High Street and North Street onto the riverside and creating vibrant new public spaces and tree lined streets.
Traffic is diverted onto a proposed road, away from the currently congested town centre. This plan will reduce pollution levels in the town and help to create a modal shift towards the use of public transport facilities including an expanded railway station and new bus facilities.
GVG hopes that following the strong support shown by locals, the Council will adopt a bold approach to create a town centre with space for festivals and events, offering the opportunity to attract new restaurants and shops, while creating arts and cultural venues, a whole new Civic Quarter, hotels, offices and 3000 homes.
David Leonard from Leonard Design, said: “This is a bold and exciting master plan which, if implemented, will create a greatly improved active riverside, creating new vibrant public spaces, solving Guildford’s traffic problems and encouraging sustainable development.”
John Rigg, Chairman of the Guildford Vision Group, added: “Guildford is facing growing pressure that’s impacting its housing, businesses, and infrastructure. The only choice is continued piecemeal development, which we fear will create a sprawling nightmare with no central strategy, or a new vision to create a traffic free Guildford with a true town centre, pleasant open spaces, and a pedestrianised and landscaped riverside that everyone can enjoy.”