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Central Godalming Regeneration Project FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions on the Central Godalming Regeneration Project.

The Council offices at the Burys in Godalming are no longer fit for purpose and are prohibitively expensive to heat and maintain, due to the building’s age and low energy efficiency. As we adopt new ways of working, our office accommodation requirements will reduce, making it appropriate to review the use of the Burys site to ensure we are maximising the value of the council’s land assets.

The council owns two other town-centre sites in Godalming town centre, in addition to The Burys, – The Wharf car park and Crown Court car park. It is therefore logical to widen the scope of project to include consideration of the best use of all three sites, in terms of the overall need for office space for Waverley and other tenants, and the sites’ potential to deliver new housing, regeneration of central Godalming and future revenue streams for the council.

Why are you not building houses at The Burys?

About half of The Burys site is in Flood Zone 2 which means, from a planning point of view, it would be extremely difficult to justify building homes on this site without further significant testing regarding housing supply in Godalming.

Should that test be cleared it is anticipated that the engineering works required to build the homes would make the scheme not viable.

What type of houses do the Council want to build? Will it all be Council / social homes for example?

The Council wants to develop a mix of housing that complies with our Planning Policy framework and is a financially viable scheme for the overall development.

Homes delivered will be in line with our recently published Affordable Homes Delivery Strategy, looking more closely at needs and requirements across the borough, based on robust and up-to-date evidence.

What if we don’t want housing in the town centre? Is this a ‘done deal’?

The sites being looked at are brownfield development sites (not Green Belt).  It is considered that development opportunities in the town centre and on brownfield locations should be prioritised for development for housing and other uses.

This is the first in a series of engagement and consultation opportunities about what development could be completed on the sites, it is not a done deal.

Will all homes still have parking even though they are in the town centre?

The schemes will be planning policy compliant in regards to parking, and therefore will have appropriate parking to the type and number of homes built.

Will the town centre public parking be reduced?

It is planned that town centre public car parking spaces will not reduce. The council is committed to delivering a net neutral parking solution across the sites. Iterations of development options tested so far demonstrate a range of available car parking, with an increase of up to 33 spaces and a potential loss of up to 40 spaces.

How many public car park spaces are at Crown Court now, and how many will there be in the future?

There are 299 spaces at Crown Court car park. The council is committed to delivering a net neutral parking solution across the sites.  Iterations of development options tested so far demonstrate a range of available car parking, with an increase of up to 33 spaces and a potential loss of up to 40 spaces.

The scheme will allow for active travel and be part of the wider scope of delivering cycle routes and cycle parking on the sites to complement the development.

How well utilised is the Crown Court car park at the moment?

The Council has looked at the recent occupancy rates of the car parks and analysed trends of car parking before the pandemic and is committed to developing a car parking neutral solution to the development opportunities.

Since the pandemic, the car park at Crown Court has slowly been getting busier. It is currently around 62% capacity, which is not  capacity at pre-pandemic which was around 90%.

Why do we need neutrality when other car parks are available and empty at other places such as at Pets at Home?

There are a number of privately owned car parks in the centre of Godalming that may not be used to their full capacity.

The Council is committed to achieving public car parking neutrality on the council owned sites and are not able to take into consideration at this point other privately owned car parks.

Where will accessible parking be?

Accessible car parking spaces for families and disabled users will be available at both Crown Court car park and public car parking at the Burys.

What is a Mobility Hub?

A mobility hub is a central point for hiring of bikes and e-scooters that connect to other edge out of town locations – relieving the need for car travel.

Where else will there be other places to hire and use bikes / scooters from?

The Council is working with partners to develop the integrated approach to the mobility hub. Places such as Broadwater Park will be included in the proposals.