Construction has started on East Street Farnham, now known as Brightwells Yard.
Designed by Scott Brownrigg for developer Crest Nicholson, the £115m regeneration scheme, in a disused area of Farnham Town Centre, will add vitality to the market town through the provision of 9,814sq m of retail and leisure and 239 new apartments, including 72 for shared-ownership. These will be set around a new square.
The extension of Farnham's retail offer will bring a new shopping experience to the town. Retailers currently confirmed for the 25 unit retail centre include M&S Food, Ask Italian and Sea Salt. Brightwells Yard will also be a new focus for leisure and evening entertainment in Farnham, with a six-screen Reel cinema and restaurants, along with a celebration of Farnham's 'craft town' status through new public art.
The scheme part pre-funded by Surrey County Council, incorporates a new Market Square and a significant green space - Brightwells Gardens - that provides a link to the adjacent River Wey path. A new town centre car park is being built, together with improvements to the car park of the adjoining Sainsbury's store, providing additional links to the town centre.
The Grade II listed Brightwell House sits at the heart of the site and will also be refurbished as part of the scheme, adding to its mixture of architectural styles. Brightwells Yard will have a phased opening from Spring 2021 with the final apartments expected to be fully complete by Autumn 2022.
Paul Hogston, Director at Scott Brownrigg responsible for the scheme said: “We’ve been working on the scheme for a number of years and it’s exciting to finally see it start onsite. The development will provide a new vibrancy to this end of the town. We have ensure that the architecture is sensitive, robust and appropriate to the local context of this lovely market town. The development is an example of great collaboration between the developer, the council and local stakeholders”.
Tim Jones, Development Director at Crest Nicholson, said: 'Brightwells Yard is an exciting opportunity for retailers and customers, which will bring greater choice to Farnham Town Centre. The new cinema and commercial offer, alongside much needed housing, will bring a new lease of life to Farnham and will bring the quieter end of the town back into use and right up to date.'
Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: 'We are pleased that construction has now started on this exciting new development, which will regenerate an area of Farnham that is currently much underutilised. This will not only deliver new affordable homes, but also bring new customers, jobs and investment to the area by significantly improving Farnham's commercial, retail, dining and entertainment offer.'
Colin Kemp, Surrey County Council's Cabinet Lead for Place, said: ''This scheme is an excellent example of how we're working with boroughs and districts in the county - and in this case Crest too - to deliver much-needed new homes for residents while also regenerating local areas, delivering improvements to boost economic growth and creating an income to reinvest in council services.'