Waverley Borough Council is asking for feedback from residents and local businesses about potential options to regenerate three council owned sites in central Godalming. The council has been considering options for its head office at The Burys for a number of years, as it has very poor energy efficiency, making it very expensive to heat and maintain.
More recently, the council has begun to look more holistically at its land assets in central Godalming to ensure it is maximising their value for residents. It has now widened the scope of its regeneration project to include the main car park in central Godalming, Crown Court, and The Wharf, which has most recently been used as a car park for council staff.
Early options appraisals by the council indicate that The Wharf and Crown Court car parks could both support low density housing in a mixture of tenures, including social rented and affordable homes. Much of The Burys site is in Flood Zone 2, and it is therefore unsuitable for new housing, however revenue from the rental or sale of new market homes on The Wharf and Crown Court sites could fund the redevelopment of The Burys site, making the entire project cost-neutral.
Waverley is heavily reliant on revenue from car parks, and from the outset has sought to ensure there would be no net loss of parking within central Godalming as a result of the regeneration works. The council’s viability assessment indicates that redevelopment of The Burys site could support a multi-deck car park that would replace any loss of parking on Crown Court and The Wharf. Options for a decked carpark have been considered, which place the car parking behind an attractive façade and within the current height of the office building.
The council has a range of engagement opportunities planned for members of the public over the summer. Residents are invited to drop into the reception area of The Burys to view displays about the project and potential options, and to offer feedback via an online survey. The displays, online survey, FAQs and further information are available online at www.waverley.gov.uk/GodalmingRegen. There will also be events for local businesses and partners throughout the summer and pop-up displays in the High Street. Comments and questions are also welcomed by email to: Burysdevelopment@waverley.gov.uk.
The council will undertake full consultation later this year.
Councillor Paul Follows, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “Last year, our ageing building cost over £210,000 to heat and complete only the most essential maintenance. Our estimate for this year is around £410,000, so we’re under a great deal of financial pressure to find a solution urgently.
“I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to come up with some options that will see the current level of parking spaces maintained, while bringing new, genuinely affordable housing to the centre of Godalming. At this stage, there are no concrete plans, but we’ve got some fantastic options to create new community spaces, support and enhance the High Street, develop future income streams for the council and future-proof our offices, using new housing to fund it all.
“We really need your views, so please do come into the reception at the Burys and see our displays about the opportunities we’ve identified or visit the webpage and feedback to us via the online survey or our dedicated email address.”
Image credit: HLM Architects