THE BURYS / CROWN COURT / WHARF STREET – UPDATE from Waverley Leader Cllr Paul Follows.
“It’s becoming a running battle but I need to comment about more misleading information certain individuals have put online and I hope in response to being as upfront as possible.”
Below is a FACTUAL POSITION on what is internally known in WBC as ‘The Burys Project’.
The previous administration (Conservative) considered numerous possibilities for making better use of the three sites in Godalming owned by WBC; which included Crown Court, The Burys and the open lot at Wharf Street.
WBC has been forced to consider this due to the relentless funding cuts to local government by central government.
But let’s look at the recent history of this project and where we are now.
1️⃣ When we took control in 2019, we discovered that this project was under review by the Conservatives administration but had included either the Waverley council building on Burys field or selling it to a developer to do the same.
🔴 This was immediately removed as an option!
2️⃣ Also, after taking control we took the borough’s carbon footprint more seriously and this just added to the reasons for redevelopment. Waverley’s council offices, as they presently exist, are not fit for purpose. A more energy-efficient building will also be cheaper to run.
3️⃣ We then hit the pandemic – which also changed our thinking about the sort of space we actually need.
We have a set number of criteria that have to be met:
➡️ Environmental sustainability
➡️ Financial Viability
➡️ Provision of Affordable & Social Housing
➡️ Retaining WBC presence (& its footfall) in Godalming.
➡️ Retaining the front of the borough hall & renovating the space
➡️ Keeping parking numbers at least neutral*
*Re parking: I refer residents back to earlier comments about how frustratingly fundamental the car park revenue is to the council’s finances! We simply cannot meaningfully reduce spaces without incurring other issues.
“In response to claims made elsewhere – we do not intend to slash 400 parking spaces. Why would we, we need the revenue to support future council services.”
✅ When we get to the point there are firm proposals of any sort there will be an exhibition and a public consultation at the borough hall.
Cllr Paul Follows
Leader, Waverley Borough Council