Award-winning developer Crest Nicholson and Waverley Borough Council have announced that work on the £115m Brightwells regeneration of Farnham Town Centre will commence in summer 2018.
Comprising a new £40m retail and leisure hub, anchored by Marks and Spencer and Reel Cinemas, together with 239 new apartments clustered around a new town square, the development is set to transform and revitalise a much-underutilised part of the historic town of Farnham.
The development includes 72 shared ownership affordable homes which will help meet a broader housing need and support first-time buyers in the local community.
Once completed the commercial estate, which has been pre-sold to Surrey County Council, will include a six-screen cinema, eight restaurants and a combination of twenty-four retail units including a new Marks and Spencer Simply Food. The development will also refurbish part of the adjoining Sainsbury’s store and carpark.
Detailed planning permission for the scheme has been secured, enabling work to commence in earnest in the summer. The centre, which includes new basement and deck parking for shoppers and residents, is expected to open in late 2021. The first residential dwellings will be occupied in early 2020 and the development will be completed in total by the spring of 2022.
The regeneration scheme secures more than £2 million of external investment into the Farnham community and includes an additional £2 million for highway improvements in central Farnham. Crest Nicholson estimates that once finalised the Brightwells site will provide Waverley Borough Council with a potential income of £700,000 to £900,000 per annum from a combination of rental income, business rates and car parking.
Up to 400 jobs in the construction sector will be created during the development of the Brightwells scheme, with a further 400 permanent jobs in the leisure, retail and hospitality sectors once fully complete.
Chris Tinker, Board Director at Crest Nicholson, explained: “We are pleased to have cemented our agreement with Waverley Borough Council and look forward to breaking ground on this significant development. Once complete the scheme will regenerate an important location in the centre of Farnham and deliver much needed new homes to the area.
“We will continue to work closely with Waverley Borough Council and other stakeholders throughout the building phase.”
Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “The agreement means that our vision to deliver a scheme that will reinvigorate Farnham for residents, shoppers and visitors can finally now get underway.
“This partnership with Crest Nicholson will transform Farnham town centre for future generations.”