Contracts have been exchanged between Guildford Borough Council (GBC) and St Edward ahead of a long-planned 500-home development.

The developer, a joint venture between The Berkeley Group and M&G Real Estate, plans to create The Friary Quarter, a mix of homes, retail, leisure and amenity space in North Street in the town centre.

As part of the deal, St Edward has committed to pedestrianisation of North Street which will lead to further public realm improvements.

Cllr John Rigg, the member responsible for regeneration at GBC, said: “I am delighted after seven or eight previous failed schemes on this site over three decades and two years of hard negotiations, we are now under contract with one of the country’s leading housing developers, able and enthusiastic to bring forward such a fantastic regeneration scheme.  

“For us to be able to deliver new, sustainable homes and create an exciting new neighbourhood helping to take the pressure off the Green Belt, whilst also aiding the recovery of the high street is a huge opportunity. The extra wins of a new bus interchange and removal of vehicles and pollution from North Street will create a wonderful, safer new environment for visitors to the town.”

Paul Vallone, executive chairman of St Edward, said: “We believe we can make somewhere truly special, with its own distinct character, whilst providing a fantastic amenity for local people. This is about creating homes and shared spaces that everyone can enjoy.”

St Edward is in consultation with both Guildford borough and Surrey county councils and various stakeholders to develop a vision for the scheme and a second public consultation will take place in April.

Rob Tidy, fund manager for M&G Real Estate, said: “As an asset owner and an asset manager, M&G is able to finance significant projects, using our experience to deliver high-quality regeneration schemes – in this case with our partner Berkeley Homes – which improve communities and seek to provide a sustained income for our customers and clients.”

A planning application is expected to be submitted in Summer with possible construction beginning in Summer 2023.

© Thames Tap (powered by

Sign up to receive your free weekly Thames Tap journal here.