Guildford station redevelopment plans submitted

27th November, 2014

Solum Regeneration, a partnership between Network Rail and Kier Property, is to submit a planning application later this week to redevelop the east side of Guildford station, following three years of discussions and consultation with the local authority and local community.

The £150m scheme will deliver:

  • A brand new station – providing a larger, double height ticket hall with a gate-line twice as wide as the current one to accommodate more passengers.

  • A radically enhanced station environment with an attractive new station square offering a high quality public realm.

  • A new multi-storey car park providing safe and secure covered parking, closer to the station entrance. 

  • Separate pick-up and drop-off arrangements and an improved taxi rank with shelter and canopies.

  • An additional 232 secure station bicycle storage spaces and a further 40 spaces specifically designed for Brompton cycles.

  • A new vibrant station quarter with additional space for shops and restaurants.

  • Better and safer pedestrian links and wayfinding into Guildford town centre.

  • New bus replacement arrangements so that no car parking spaces are lost during periods of engineering works.

The station improvements are to be funded through the development of a new residential quarter of 445 town centre apartments and commercial office space. The new homes will include a mix of private and affordable apartments, which will help reduce development pressure on greenfield land around the town.

Stuart Kirkwood, director of development at Network Rail Property, said:

“Guildford is one of the busiest and fastest growing stations in Surrey.  Almost eight million people travel through Guildford Station every year, up from six million just 10 years ago.

“As the number of people travelling by train continues to grow, its right that we invest in better stations for the travelling public. This innovative plan for the redevelopment of Guildford station will give passengers better access, improved station facilities and better links with the rest of the town centre. It will ensure that the station has the capacity to cater for increased passenger numbers over the coming decades.

“Network Rail is investing billions to upgrade the railway over the next five years and this project is a great example of how the railway industry can work with other partners to bring benefits to everyone.  The station upgrade is fully funded by commercial development; the new facilities will therefore be provided for rail passengers at no cost to the tax or fare payer"

Solum Regeneration has been working on its plans since 2011. Over that time, it has held numerous workshops and exhibitions and heard from hundreds of local residents. More than three-quarters of all those who responded to the consultation support the redevelopment of the station.  

The consultation has also helped shape and inform Solum’s proposals – the scheme has undergone significant changes over the three-year consultation period. The major changes include:

  • Focusing development on the eastern (town) side of the station. Network Rail is currently reviewing whether the western part will be needed in future to increase rail capacity – we hope this area will come forward for development at a later date. 
  • Removing the new supermarket and hotels from the plans in response to public concerns about traffic generation
  • Providing a larger station square to provide more space for pedestrians and interchange.
  • Providing railway car parking closer to the station entrance.

Peter Hughes, development director from Solum Regeneration, added:

“Solum Regeneration is delighted to be submitting a planning application after discussions with the Council, the relevant rail authorities and the wider community.

“The entrance to Guildford station is currently very congested and difficult to manage as pedestrians, taxis, cyclists and cars compete for space.  The centrepiece of our plan is a new 21st century station arranged around a large pedestrian public square.  We will provide separate provision for taxis, car users and cyclists, to make a much safer and more attractive environment for everyone.

“The proposals will regenerate an underutilised brownfield site in the town centre and provide a modern, attractive station.”

The site has long been identified in the Council’s planning policies for mixed-use development to include commercial and residential uses.

The £150m scheme will create over 300 hundreds new jobs. Solum’s intention is to bring forward a viable and deliverable development proposal, which will have significant benefits for Guildford residents and station users.

Quick facts

  • 2.2 hectare site.
  • £150m regeneration project.
  • Around £25m of station improvements.
  • 440 car parking spaces for rail users.
  • 272 additional station cycle spaces.
  • Over 300 new jobs.
  • 2,800sq m of retail provision.
  • 1,600sq m of new offices.
  • 445 new homes.
  • 464 cycle spaces for the new residents.
  • 76% of people supported the redevelopment of the Guildford station site.

Solum intends to hold a further public exhibition early in the New Year, details of which will be published shortly.

More information about the plans is available at www.guildfordforward.com.