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Bellerby Theatre Site

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The Challenge

The C&W Retail Development team prepared a ‘Town Centre Study’ (May 2010) to support the longer term economic development and spatial planning of the town centre. The study underpinned the need for a town centre food store and C&W identified a suitable site owned by the Council.

Subsequently, C&W were appointed by Guildford Borough Council to provide advice on the disposal of its freehold interest in the Bellerby Theatre site in Guildford town centre.

The Solution

The Council’s objective was to select a developer who would maximise the development potential (and thus receipts) to the Council.

C&W advised the council on a number of aspects including an efficient and effective procurement route, production of the supplementary planning document (SPD adopted January 2011), preparation of the development brief, marketing of the site (March 2011) and the negotiation of the development agreement with the selected partner.

The Results

Following the undertaking of a comprehensive marketing process, an agreement was signed with Waitrose securing a significant capital receipt for the Council.

Planning consent was granted for a 37,500 sq ft foodstore and 48 residential units in November 2012. A judicial review of the planning decision was requested by Hermes (former owner of the nearby Friary Centre) and also by the Guildford Vision Group. The challenge was subsequently dismissed without a hearing and Waitrose is on track to open the new store in 2015.


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