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Published: 03 December 2013

Plans unveiled for Surrey’s ‘Garden Neighbourhood’

The University of Surrey has formally submitted its initial ideas for a new Garden Neighbourhood for West Guildford.

Working with award-winning planning, design and environmental consultancy, Terence O’Rourke, the University has just published proposals for a major, mixed-use scheme on part of its landholdings on Blackwell Farm and remnants of Manor Farm in West Guildford.

Incorporating plans for an expansion of the Research Park, improved transport links, new schools, community facilities and mixed housing surrounded by significant green spaces for people to enjoy, the University’s proposal seeks to show that the land within its ownership presents the best option for Guildford’s continued growth and development.

The University’s vision is underpinned by three high-level principles:

  • ensure that any development is sustainable
  • provide a strong sense of place and community
  • deliver economic and social benefit to the region and the borough, and enable the University to help to contribute to that economic well-being.

Commenting on the proposals, Greg Melly, Vice-President at the University of Surrey, said, “We are convinced that creating a new neighbourhood that connects with existing employment areas, the town centre and other neighbourhoods is the right approach to managing much-needed growth in Guildford Borough. Our site could accommodate a significant number of new homes which, in turn, could create the critical mass that would be needed to provide the supporting infrastructure for the area.

“Guildford’s existing roads, networks and facilities are straining to cope with the amount of people that are living in and around the borough. Work around the Local Plan has already highlighted that growth is inevitable and we believe that our proposal is the most sustainable way of delivering employment opportunities, homes and facilities to meet the levels of need. Indeed, our proposals could help to relieve some of the existing congestion by creating a new walkable neighbourhood, providing improved public transport links and cycle pathways, and creating a new access route to West Guildford from the A31.”

The University of Surrey’s initial information document is now available to view here.

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