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Guildford residents consulted on sewage works relocation plan

Monday 24th May 2021 12:18

Guildford residents will be consulted on plans to relocate the town's sewage works

Guildford residents will be consulted on plans to relocate the town's sewage works

Residents will get the chance to have their say on Thames Water’s plans to relocate Guildford’s sewage works, strengthening the town’s waste services for the future.

A completely new works, Thames Water’s first since 2005, will replace the existing 60-year-old site, which is set to be demolished to enable Guildford Borough Council to develop new housing.

The online consultation will allow people to help shape a formal planning application for the works, which is expected to be submitted later in the year.

It will run from today (May 24) to July 16 and can be found via a link on the water company’s website. The company will also look to hold face-to-face drop-in sessions if restrictions are lifted in line with the Government’s coronavirus roadmap.

Guildford’s existing sewage works has been in operation since the 1960s but will be demolished to make way for thousands of new homes in the Weyside Urban Village scheme, a development agreed in Guildford Borough Council’s 2019 local plan.

As part of the scheme, the council has agreed to fund the new, modern works, which will be built further away from the centre of town and will be future-proofed to cater for the town’s growing population, in return for using the existing site for the new housing.

Francis Paonessa, Thames Water’s Capital Delivery Director, said: “This is a unique opportunity to work alongside the local council to provide the best services for Guildford’s residents now and in the future.

“As well as creating space for new homes in the town, the scheme will allow us to build a modern sewage works which will be able to support Guildford’s growth in years to come.

“This will be the first new sewage works to be built by Thames Water since Reading STW opened more than 15 years ago and shows our commitment to constantly improving the service we offer our customers.”

Councillor John Rigg, Guildford Borough Council’s lead councillor for regeneration, added: “We are delighted that Thames Water is preparing its planning application. The land swap we have agreed with Thames Water, and the government funding we have secured to enable this relocation, are fundamental to creating our new Weyside Urban Village.

“The development, which will provide around 1,500 homes in a sustainable town centre location, will be a great benefit to Guildford, bringing new homes, employment opportunities and community space to residents. Crucially, at a time when demand for affordable housing is rising, 40% of the new homes will be affordable.”

Construction of the new works will take about three years, followed by a further year of testing before it is put into operation.