Trade body unhappy about proposed Godalming regeneration scheme.

‘Your Waverley’ wants residents’ views on its central Godalming regeneration plan – but the Chamber of Trade has already had a hissy fit over the scheme.

Image credit: HLM Architects

Here’s what the council says:

Waverley seeks views on potential Godalming regeneration

Waverley Borough Council wants feedback from residents and local businesses about potential options to regenerate three council-owned sites in central Godalming. It has been considering options for its head office at The Burys for many 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 its 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 car park have been considered, which place 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 in new tab). 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:

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.”

Oh, dear! Here’s what the Chamber of Trade thinks about the scheme – and it isn’t good

Dear Members and friends,

We have issued a press release, please see below.

We have included a survey about Waverley’s Proposed Regeneration Project for Godalming and would urge all Chamber members to 
 respond. Please click and send us your views asap.

John Taylor
Godalming & District Chamber of Commerce


Godalming & District Chamber of Commerce is firstly very disappointed that Waverley Borough Council (WBC) failed to discuss with us in advance its proposals for the redevelopment of three commercial sites in the town centre.
The Chamber strongly objects to the main proposal, which is to build residential housing on Crown Court, the town’s main car park which is ideally situated in the middle of the retail centre, just a short level walk straight onto the High Street and conveniently positioned for all businesses including those in Church Street and the Upper High Street.
The Chamber has long argued for additional car parking capacity and would have liked to see more parking provision for business workers, residents and shoppers visiting the town. The redevelopment of Wharf Street with no additional parking provision is a wasted opportunity and should be reconsidered.
The Chamber understands that WBC needs to redevelop its existing facilities at The Burys and would welcome the inclusion of pop-up retail shops and office accommodation for small businesses and for those currently working from home. While this site is said to be in a Flood Zone, any residential development should be considered for this site and built above car parking and retail and/or office accommodation to overcome that.
John Taylor, President of Godalming & District Chamber of Commerce, said: “These plans are very ill thought out. Moving our main car park away from the centre of the town and replacing it with a less accessible, multi-storey car park will not benefit our retail and commercial sector which is still struggling post-Covid”.
“We would ask Waverley to actually engage with the business community and work with us to create a development which will improve our town centre, help people start new retail businesses and make it easier for people to come and spend money in Godalming. While we welcome the consultation by Waverley (here), we have devised a survey of our own and would ask Chamber members, business owners and Godalming residents to let us know what they think. Our survey can be found at








11 thoughts on “Trade body unhappy about proposed Godalming regeneration scheme.”

  1. I support Follows forward thinking in this. He is not looking at tomorrow but fifty to a century ahead when the motor car has passed into history. A town needs residents that thrive. Trains buses bikes and walking will be filling the gaps.
    Farnham is likewise heading towards the same goal. Yes. It’s painful but it’s an overall gain. If you market Godalming as car-free and have the public transport systems that work seven days a week at all hours.
    There’s the catch.
    Can Follows get the commitment from Tim at SCC for the buses?
    It won’t work without an external by-in. Farnham is about to go through the agonies of its infrastructure scheme. It will undoubtedly be horrendous but eventually, there will be a solution if everyone commits and lives up to their sweet words.
    I’m going to make a suggestion to support Follows.
    If every resident in Godalming was offered twenty per cent off their council tax bill by shopping in Godalming it would increase trade. Easily administered with a swipe card and a sensible percentage rate set to gain the twenty per cent. New homebuyer’s extra ten per cent council tax is redeemable as the resident’s scheme and standard after five years.
    Live in Godalming buy and trade in Godalming.
    Let’s see some fur fly!

    No doubt this one is set to run and run.

    1. I do not support the proposal to build houses on Crown Court. Paul Follows is NOT thinking ahead. The proposed multi-deck cannot provide ‘no loss’ as the area is too small. At least 5 decks would be required. Turning the town into a housing estate will kill economic activity. Also, the reason for all this is supposedly to provide finace to renovate old offices. They are already half empty and the merger with GBC and removal of duplicated staff will make the offices further redundant. Just an ego trip to get someone appointed to MP staus.

      1. How about doing absolutely nothing? The Tories have been promoting doing that for years. Instead, let WBC run out of money and cut public services. Then everyone in Waverley can be happy!

      2. “Turning the Town into a Housing Estate…” Sorry James you want to come to Alfold and see what that really Means…………….. I am sorry to say But Godalming has sat on its hands for too long – Happy to let all the housing go to Cranleigh and the Local Villages??.. Even happier to Hope that it will all end up in Dunsfold so Godalming can remain as it is.
        I am not a great Supporter of Cllr Follows at the moment- But at least I think he has the best interests of Godalming at heart…. even if he doesn’t give a Toss about us here.
        It is about time that Godalming and Haslemere GROW UP and smell the coffee and take some responsibility for the Bally mess Waverley is in with its lack of a 5 year Housing Supply and stop winging and Dumping the Sh1t here in the East!

      3. I don’t know what planet James Kirk is on currently, but “huge housing estate!” (20 houses) sounds like he has no idea what real overdevelopment means. Did he get frothy about the 100’s of flats in Cattershall?

  2. I’m a long term and loyal customer of Cornmeter, John Taylor’s business, and while the presentation of the scheme leaves a lot to be desired in fact a lot of thought has gone into this proposal. I think the problem and misunderstanding has come in the way it has been presented to the public.
    This video just issued by Mark Merryweather, the Waverley Finance Portfolio Holder, goes a long way towards explaining why something has to be done and the numerous permutations that have been looked at.

  3. Well at least Godalming has people that speak up for them. We do have Liz in Cranleigh who is Brilliant.. I Hope Godalming Residents get what they want and need out of this Consultation – as to date for us here in the East it has been a waste of our time.

    1. Denise Wordworth. Godalming has the Catteshall and Aarons hill estates. There is no need to build on a central car park. As for WBC offices. As you said above ‘Paul Follows does not give a toss…’ (Apart from his political career plans) – totally agree on that. In town today, in answer to questions, Follows just said ‘if you don’t agree with me it is because you are Conservative’. Total bollocks and he had nothing better to say.

      1. Sorry But Godalming has taken so Little compared to our Little Village …WHY?
        I am fed up arguing this……………. Pull your fingers out and think about the rest of us………….. Sorry But it makes me really angry

  4. Can Cllr Follows come clean about the actual cost it takes to heat the Council offices – his quoted figure is much higher than the accounts indicate!

    1. Can Shocked come clean and explain why they have suddenly a keen interest in these matters? Would it be because they are a Councillor with a personal grudge and an election on the horizon?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.