Brownfield land unlocked for sustainable affordable housing

Plans to regenerate 41 hectares of brownfield land at Slyfield for new homes - 40% of which will be affordable housing - have reached a significant milestone.

Brownfield land group shot
Guildford Borough Council and Thames Water have signed an agreement to relocate the current waste water treatment works in order to develop a sustainable and innovative riverside urban community.

Senior representatives from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the Council, Thames Water, University of Surrey, Enterprise M3 LEP, Homes England and suppliers, were invited to the site to mark the occasion which will see brownfield land, the equivalent size of around 30 football pitches, unlocked to become the Weyside Urban Village. The development will comprise of approximately 1,500 energy efficient homes, 40% of which will be affordable housing. The community will also offer retail outlets and business space.

The Slyfield Area Regeneration Project is a designated Housing Zone by Homes England and a key strategic site in the Guildford Borough Local Plan. Situated next to the River Wey just two kilometres from the historic town, the development will be connected to the town centre and station through the Sustainable Movement Corridor's planned cycle routes and footpaths.

All building work will be subject to stringent supplementary planning documents and climate change policies currently under development, putting the Council in the top 10% of local authorities in the UK to align to climate change requirements.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Caroline Reeves says: "The relocation of the Thames Water waste water works is a fundamental part of this important project. Reaching this point after over a decade demonstrates the Council's commitment to its key corporate priorities of Place Making, Innovation and Community. The Weyside Urban Village will appeal to all, putting climate change, the environment and our borough's needs first while supporting high quality sustainable design and drainage and maximising its rural position providing unparalleled views over the River Wey. The development will encourage residents to walk or cycle in to the town centre."

Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP supports the development. He highlighted the national value of programmes such as the Slyfield Regeneration Project, he says: "Projects like this in Slyfield are tremendously important if we are going to realise our ambition of 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s."

He adds: "I applaud this real effort, led by an ambitious council and supported by the government, and look forward to seeing the homes coming out of the ground soon."

Steve Spencer, Chief Operating Officer at Thames Water says: "We're delighted to be involved in this regeneration project working with Guildford Borough Council to boost the town and local area by relocating our current sewage works and building our first modern facility since 2005."

He adds: "The new sewage works will not only allow the development of Weyside Urban Village but will also have real benefits for our customers and businesses for generations to come. With the combination of climate change and population growth, modern facilities like the one planned for Guildford will help us meet future challenges across London and the Thames Valley head-on."

Pictured above: Anton Draper, Head of Housing Investments and Regeneration at MHCLG, James Whiteman, Managing Director of Guildford Borough Council, Steve Spencer, COO at Thames Water and Leader of the Council, Cllr Caroline Reeves.

Published on Monday 3 June.