After more than 18 years, plans for Guildford’s 1,550-home Weyside Urban Village have been approved.

Guildford Borough Council’s planning committee approved the council’s own hybrid plans for a mixed-use scheme which includes the homes and 70,000 sq ft of employment space and a new local centre, made up of shops and health facilities on the brownfield site alongside the River Wey.

Lead councillor for regeneration Cllr John Rigg said: “We first started the project in 2003. Since then, an incredible amount of work has gone into this project.

“From relocating the water treatment centre for Thames Water, to planning the relocation of our depot and waste collection centre, and creating new allotments with modern facilities and riverside access for sustainable travel – this is one of our most ambitious and collaborative projects, which will create a new neighbourhood on a mile of riverside, previously inaccessible to the community.

“The decision to approve outline plans means we can begin making a series of detailed applications for different phases of the project, which are expected to take 10 years to complete.

“The decision also allows early improvements to be made to local roads before any of the new homes are built. The milestone means we can now concentrate on creating a new space for people to live, work and enjoy life at Weyside Urban Village. And by using a brownfield site, we leave more green and rural areas intact, while still delivering the number of homes we need to build.”

The hybrid application includes outline permission for the development and full permission for much of the supporting infrastructure. Forty per cent of the homes will be affordable.

The committee also approved a change-of-use application for a 45.9 hectare parcel of land surrounding the Weyside Urban Village which will enable it to be used as SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace).

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