Policy E9: Local Centres

GBC Policy

Policy E9: Local Centres

We will support the role of Local Centres as the focus for local communities in providing for everyday shopping and service needs. Proposals for residential use of upper floors add to the liveliness of centres, and will be considered positively.

The following areas, as shown on the Policies Map, are designated as Local Centres. For each, the Primary Shopping Area is the boundary of that Centre:

The 14 urban Local Centres are:

  • Aldershot Road, Westborough
  • Collingwood Crescent, Boxgrove
  • Kingpost Parade, London Road, Burpham
  • Epsom Road, Merrow
  • Kingfisher Drive, Merrow
  • Madrid Road, Guildford Park
  • Southway, Park Barn
  • Stoughton Road, Bellfields
  • The Square, Onslow Village
  • Woodbridge Hill, Guildford
  • Woodbridge Road, Guildford
  • Worplesdon Road, Stoughton
  • Ash Vale Parade, Ash
  • The Street, Tongham.

The six rural Local Centres are:

  • Bishopsmead Parade, East Horsley
  • Effingham
  • Fairlands
  • Send
  • Shalford
  • Shere.

In order to strengthen the liveliness and economic resilience of the borough’s Local Centres, retail developments consistent with the scale and function of that centre will be supported. Where no suitable sites are available, sites on the edge of designated centres will be considered. We will not apply this sequential approach to proposals for town centre uses of less than 100sq m (gross) in rural areas.

Retail and leisure development proposals over 500sq m (gross) which are not located in a local or district centre, and where the site is not allocated for the proposed use must be supported by an impact assessment.

Proposals for new food takeaways within 500m of schools will not be accepted because of the potential negative impact on the health of school children.

Within the Local Centres shown on the Policies Map, proposals for change of use of a ground floor shop (Use Class A1) to use for financial and professional services (Use Class A2) and/or food and drink (Use Class A3/A4/A5) will be permitted where all of the following criteria have been met:

  • the proposal will not result in a concentration of such uses that would be harmful to the local shopping centre's vitality and viability; and
  • the proposal will not result in loss of amenity in terms of noise, smell, litter or trafficgeneration; and
  • the proposal will not prejudice the character and appearance of the local centre and its immediate environment.

Exceptionally loss of town centre uses (Use Class A) at ground floor level will be permitted, subject to the above criteria, where the proposed use is appropriate to a Local Centre.

To ensure that people living and working in rural areas can access everyday goods and services, we will resist the loss of rural shops and service units that provide for everyday needs (within Use Class A) within rural areas but outside of Local and District Centres, unless a minimum of 12 months marketing for that Use Class is demonstrated. 

GGG Response


We OBJECT to this policy

We think that neither retail development adjacent to the 6 rural centres is appropriate, nor sites on the edge of designated centres.

Detailed response:

We OBJECT (for the reasons given under Policy E8 above) to the proposal for retail development adjacent to the 6 rural centres, and sites on the edge of designated centres.  This is creeping urbanization, damaging to the Green Belt and to Guildford town role as a thriving urban hub.  It will contribute to urban decay and depopulation, just as expansion of the suburbs did to mid-20th century London.



2017 Guildford Local Plan

Guildford’s NEW local Plan has just opened for consultation. PLEASE RESPOND before 24th July 2017.  GGG has published its responses to Local Plan Policies here 

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