Retail Property - Friary revamp gets Guildford Council approval

Guildford Borough Council's planning committee has granted outline planning permission for Westfield's application for a£140 million redevelopment of the Friary shopping centre at Guildford in Surrey.

The redevelopment will treble the size of the centre from 150,000 sq ft to 465,000 sq ft (13,935 sq m to 43,200 sq m), creating up to 60 new retail units. The proposed redevelopment includes a bus station and up to 170 residential apartments.

The council's decision is subject to ratification by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, because of the size of the development.

The Friary centre is owned by the Wilmslow Partnership, a 50:50 joint venture between Westfield Holdings and Hermes Property Asset Management on behalf on the British Telecommunications Pension Scheme.

In addition to the Friary, Westfield is working on extension and refurbishment plans for its six other UK centres: Castlecourt in Belfast, Mill Gate in Bury, Broadmarsh in Nottingham, The Eagle Centre in Derby, The Brunel Centre at Swindon and Royal Victoria Place at Tunbridge Wells.