Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Meeting, Council
Thursday, 16th January, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Millmead House

Contact: John Armstrong, Democratic Services Manager 


No. Item


Apologies for absence

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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Tim Anderson, Christopher Barrass, Andrew Gomm, David Goodwin, Gordon Jackson, Steven Lee, John Rigg, and Will Salmon and from Honorary Aldermen Catherine Cobley, Jayne Marks, and Lynda Strudwick.



Disclosures of interest

To receive and note any disclosable pecuniary interests from councillors. In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.


If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.


Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.


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There were no disclosures of interest.



Mayor's Communications

To receive any communications or announcements from the Mayor.

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The Mayor reminded the Council of his forthcoming Charity Valentine’s Ball on Friday 14 February 2020 and noted that there were still some places available. The Mayor asked for councillors’ support for the fundraising activities on the night, perhaps by donating an auction or raffle prize.




Leader's Communications

To receive any communications or announcements from the Leader of the Council.

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There were no communications from the Leader of the Council.



Public participation

To receive questions or statements from the public in relation only to the business for which this extraordinary meeting has been called.


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Amanda Mullarkey, on behalf of Guildford Residents Association, addressed the Council in respect of the Weyside Urban Village Development and raised the following questions/points:


(1)   What optimism bias is being applied and is it high enough?  Is the Council being over-optimistic in hoping that this relatively modest housing plot can unlock decontamination, new sewage treatment works, Surrey Waste Depot and a Waste facility?


(2)   Are the Council’s decontamination and remediation costs sufficiently robust?  Is £40.5 million enough to put right all the historical industrial and waste uses at this site, including the safe removal of pollutants and contaminants?


(3)   Has the Council fully factored in flooding and land instability?


(4)   Does 1,500 homes mean a Stalinist wall of flats along the Wey on the approach to Guildford?  Is 1,500 homes wishful thinking trying to make the sums work or what would make for a good community scheme? Previously, councillors thought that 1,500 homes would mean too many tall towers. Has the Council dropped the masterplan scheme?  The 3D visuals to market the site showed a massive blot with no thought for the riverside setting.


(5)   Has the Council resolved the road access issues, particularly across the flood plain? is this a cost and risk deferred?  Has the Council factored in the cost of compacting roads to stop them sinking?


(6)   Will the Council reinstate the Slyfield community forum?


The Leader of the Council responded to the statement by indicating that a full response to the questions would be given after the meeting.  The Leader expressed confidence that the team working on this project would be addressing these and other issues as the project progressed.



Questions from Councillors

To hear questions (if any) from councillors of which due notice has been given in relation only to the business for which this extraordinary meeting has been called.


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There were no questions from councillors in respect of the business for which this extraordinary meeting had been called.



Weyside Urban Village Development pdf icon PDF 192 KB

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The Council noted that Weyside Urban Village (formerly the Slyfield Area Regeneration Project (SARP)) was a major 41-hectare brownfield regeneration scheme that the Council had anticipated could deliver 1,500 homes across a range of tenures as well as 2,000 square metres of community space and 6,500 square metres of employment space.  As such, the Government had designated it as one of its national Housing Zones.


The Council had been working for over 15 years to de-risk the infrastructure delivery and site assembly process.  Over 44 per cent of the site was currently in Council ownership, and 100 per cent would be achieved on completion of land transfers with Thames Water. The conditional contract with Thames Water had been signed on 25 April 2019.


Housing was of great significance to the Borough and formed a major theme to the Adopted Local Plan. There was an ongoing shortage of affordable housing, particularly for first time buyers which in turn contributed to a skill shortage in the Borough.


The Council considered a report which sought approval of a capital budget of £359.504 million to enable the infrastructure phase of the Weyside Urban Village Project development to be carried out. The Council had been awarded a £52.3 million grant from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).


An EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) grant of £7.5 million had also been awarded.


At its meeting on 7 January 2020, the Executive had considered this report and had authorised the Managing Director, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to sign and complete the Grant Agreement with Homes England to implement the infrastructure works and draw down the grant expenditure.


The Executive had also endorsed the recommendation to Council as set out in the report.


Upon the motion of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Caroline Reeves, seconded by the Lead Councillor for Finance and Assets, Customer Service, Councillor Joss Bigmore, the Council unanimously:




(1)   That an additional capital supplementary estimate of £274.057 million be approved to allow a total capital budget of £359.504 million to enable the Council to deliver the infrastructure phase of this scheme.


(2)     That £5.781 million of the additional capital budget be placed on the approved capital programme to progress the allotment relocation and funding of the Thames Water agreement costs during 2019-20.


(3)     That the Council acts as Infrastructure Developer until completion of the Thames Water Infrastructure in 2026.



The reasons for recommendation cover financial, economic and social benefits.


The budget will enable the Council to deliver the infrastructure for the development ensuring deliverability and control.


The land value will be increased by the infrastructure phase being delivered upfront and ahead of Land Parcel Sales.


The project will also deliver:


·        1500 new homes including 600 Affordable Homes

·        2000 square metres of community space

·        6500 square metres of employment space

·        A new relocated fit for purpose Thames Water Sewage Treatment Works

·        Extensive infrastructure improvements

·        This scheme contributes to the delivery of the adopted Local Plan

·        This scheme contributes  ...  view the full minutes text for item CO103


Common seal

To order the Common Seal to be affixed to any document to give effect to any decision taken by the Council at this meeting.

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The Council


RESOLVED: That the Common Seal of the Council be affixed to any documents to give effect to any decisions taken by the Council at this meeting.