Plans for a £150 million development of Guildford railway station have been recommended for refusal by planning officers.

Developer Solum submitted radical proposals for the town’s main transport hub, which included a 10-storey building, a multi-storey car park, 438 homes and a larger ticket hall, as well as new shops and restaurants.

However, a report published by planning officers ahead of Guildford Borough Council’s planning meeting on Wednesday June 29, has called for councillors to reject the application.

Planners have said that while the principle of the development is acceptable, the proposed height of the new station would make it the tallest building in the town centre and would have a negative impact on both long and short view.

The report reads: “The proposed development, by virtue of its monolithic scale, unbroken length, largely uniform height and unrelieved mass, would appear as a dominant and incongruous feature in the townscape and would be detrimental to the setting and the significance of Guildford Cathedral.”

The plans, previously dubbed ‘the great wall of Guildford’, have received objections from Guildford Vision Group with Guildford MP Anne Milton calling for the scheme to be reappraised.

The report goes on to state: “The scale, mass and height of the proposed buildings would be overly prominent and overbearing when viewed from the Bridge Street Conservation Area, would adversely impact on the setting of the heritage asset [The Cathedral] and would be detrimental to its significance.”

The report also states the development may have a negative impact on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.

Planning officers at the borough council accepted that while the development would deliver a number of benefits, they would not outweigh the harm it would cause to the area.

The draft local plan, which is currently out for consultation, includes its own similar suggestion for a redevelopment of the site, with fewer homes.

Source – Get Surrey