Ashill Regen

Westway, Guildford

In February 2022, Planning Potential secured planning permission under Delegated Powers for a residential development of 37 units on a brownfield site in Guildford. The approved development comprises of both apartments and houses and includes 40% affordable homes.

Planning Potential coordinated the planning application from project inception, through pre-application discussions with the Local Planning Authority through to determination. The project progressed rapidly towards determination in circa 12 months.

The site benefited from an allocation for residential development in the Guildford Local Plan, recognising its potential to boost housing delivery in a sustainable location. However, the physical parameters of the site are constrained, bordered by a school to the north and allotments to the south; and having a distinct narrow, linear shape. The scheme therefore required a design-led approach to optimise site capacity.

Planning Potential advised on the planning opportunities available to achieve a development density as close as possible to the allocation for 38 units. We identified that the character of the area could support a mixed scheme of apartments and flats to optimise the site’s contribution to the local housing market through a wide housing mix, including 17 x 3-bedroom family units. We adopted a design narrative that enabled the site to transition through a series of bespoke character sub-areas. The entrance to the site was characterised by a four-storey apartment block, leading into a subservient apartment building before following into a mews-style terraced street. This approach was keen in justifying the development density proposed.

We worked with the core design team to overcome spatial challenges including the allocation of parking, incorporation of landscaping, and justification for shallower garden depths. We also safeguarded existing access rights to the allotments.

Key to the project’s success was building a strong, collaborative relationship with Planning and Design Officers, with whom we were able to find solutions to the physical challenges of the site. We also coordinated the wider consultant team to ensure key programme deliverables were met.

The success of the approach is emphasised by the fact the scheme was approved under Delegated Powers, which is unique for a major development of this size. This enabled us to navigate the potential challenges of taking the application through Planning Committee, which successfully managed both planning risk and associated timescales.

Summary of achievements

  • Delivery of a planning permission under Delegated Powers.
  • Project management and coordination of development team.
  • Collaborative engagement with LPA in respect of design matters.
  • Preparation and submission of planning application including Planning Statement.
  • Advice in respect of Section 106 matters.