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Central Godalming Regeneration Project

The council owns three prime sites in Godalming including The Burys office building, Crown Court Car Park and the Wharf Car Park.  

This project is looking to support the council’s strategic priorities in the Corporate Plan by utilising these assets. 

The current council office building is expensive to heat and maintain and we know we need to spend around £3m on repairs and maintenance just to keep the building useable over the next 10 years.

We have no identified funding for these costs and doing nothing is no longer an option. Given the urgency of addressing this issue, we are looking at how we could maximise the value of our land assets in central Godalming to fund regeneration in the town centre.

Our initial options appraisals have indicated that it is not viable to build housing on The Burys site. All of the options that were assessed as viable from both a planning and financial perspective, involved building low-density housing on Crown Court and Wharf Road car parks, retaining around a third of the public car parking spaces at Crown Court and replacing the remainder of parking on The Burys site.

This would enable us to re-develop The Burys site, build affordable, social and market housing on the brownfield sites at Crown Court and Wharf Road car parks, and to use the rental or sale of market housing to fund the project.

Please note that The Burys site does not include The Burys Field, which there are no plans to develop.

The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that working from home can be effective and in future, some form of hybrid working will be the norm. This means that the council will require significantly fewer workspaces in its headquarters. It is vital that the council takes a holistic view of its property assets, so that it can maximise their value and provide the necessary offices as well as support housing delivery and economic development in Godalming.

Planned redevelopment of the three sites will create a modern, energy efficient office building with a smaller footprint, as well as delivering residential housing (market and affordable) to fund the redevelopment and provide a future revenue stream. This also has the potential to regenerate an underutilised part of the town centre and bring an economic uplift to the area.

There is no plan to move the council’s HQ out of Godalming. This project is about replacing the outdated building and looking at how we can maximise the value of our land assets to fund the redevelopment, generate future income and deliver housing and economic growth locally.

In 2018 the Council commissioned a report from Lambeth Smith Hampton regarding the options for three Waverley Borough Council owned and one Surrey County Council owned sites in Godalming, using funding from the One Public Estate. One Public Estate funding is based on the principles of collaboration with other areas of local government and public services, to essentially save space, in order to bring forward regeneration and specifically, housing.

This report outlines the existing picture in 2018 and suggested a number of options for the sites including the library site. The report recognises the need to complete refurbishment works to the existing Burys building and offers development solutions to support this.

The findings of the report were not progressed by the current (post 2019 local elections) administration as they fundamentally disagreed with the way the project had been scoped. In particular they have ruled out any sale of public land to private developers.

The project has now evolved and moved away from the initial report, a comprehensive public engagement programme on the options has been undertaken by the Council over the last few months, the results of which can be seen in our latest presentation.

At the Council meeting in December 2022, a motion regarding the new Godalming Town Centre Regeneration Project was passed, (by 25 votes for, 14 against and 2 abstentions), which included that this report should now be published. A copy of the report can be found via this link. Please be aware the report is redacted in some places, in order to protect information that remains commercially sensitive.

Resident engagement

During the early engagement period, Waverley held three drop-in sessions at 69 High Street and project boards were on display at The Burys reception which members of the public were invited to come and view. These project boards outlined the vision/aims of the project.


A webinar on the Godalming Regeneration Project took place on Wednesday 19 October. This is available to view on our YouTube channel:

Watch the Godalming Regeneration Project webinar

Summary of the engagement period

Executive were updated on 29 November about the engagement

This is available to view on our YouTube channel:

Watch the Executive update regarding the engagement period

Formal responses we received

Have your say

Comments and questions are welcomed by email to:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs on the Central Godalming Regeneration Project can be viewed below.

Central Godalming Regeneration Project FAQs