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Historical images courtesy of The David Rose Collection.

Our family business, Soulspace is creating a new dynamic multi-use space at The Boathouse, Guildford. The new building in Guildford, Surrey is situated just at the corner of Millbrook car park on the River Wey.

The Boathouse will comprise high quality spaces to work, grow and gather. The idea is to create a hub for creativity, business and leisure that fosters a vibrant community.

As we spent more time at site, we soon fell for our beautiful neighbour, an original Victorian boathouse, and its more modern connected sister. With its history and recognisable face along the river, we thought it would contrast favourably with the new building and add extra space and land to further develop our ideas.

We acquired it earlier this year and it is now known to us as The Little Boathouse. We have recently put in an application to change the usage from Ancillary to a residential building to Class E1.

Planning Application

We are now seeking support for our application. If you are interested in showing your support, you can online at Guildford Borough Council planning website or email the with the planning app number as the reference 22/P/01633. All emails MUST include your home address.

Here are some examples of why approving the planning would positively impact the area:
• Environment: Our development of the land between and around The Little Boathouse includes planting to encourage birds, bees, and bugs and to further enhance the wildlife around the riverbank.
• History: we are proposing to unite two sites of pleasure boating history on the Wey Navigation in Guildford. Our opening up of “The Little Boathouse’ brings care and attention to a historical building and supports in preserving it for future generations.
• Community & Local Area: The proposal allows us to redevelop the site and open it up to the local community. Like “The Boathouse Project” we are adding a vibrant community space to Guildford in an area that has not been utilised for many years. Our landscaping design means those using the river and the opposite bank can also enjoy the view.
• Soulspace: Soulspace builds purposeful places to help individuals and communities thrive. The Boathouse Project concept is a hub for creativity, business and leisure that fosters a dynamic community. Soulspace is also a partner of local charity, the halow project and believes commercial business and charity can work side-by-side to benefit and enrich each other. Soulspace is a local, family-business and a participant in the community that we are building into

Why you should support us

We want to join our two sites. This allows us to create a riverside decked garden for The Boathouse Café and space for members and hirers of The Boathouse and its various spaces to work and gather.

The garden will include plenty of wildflowers, planting for bees, birds and bugs and coverage for all seasons.

The twin boathouses known as ‘The Little Boathouse’ will consist of a private office in the newer side on the Roadside left, Riverside right. (meaning the neighbouring houses will not be faced with event space).

The other side will be multi-use event space. It will be set up for special meetings, yoga classes, weekend workshops and the odd private dining experience. When it is not in use for an event it will be a silent work space for Soulspace coworking members.

Nod to History and the River Wey

According to the historical images above, people gathered at this place during the early 20th Century.

Our concept opens The Little Boathouse and the surrounding land to the public once again. We will create a beautiful riverside garden visible from the river and opposite bank, vastly improving the area. It links together two sites of historic pleasure boathouses in Guildford and allows us to nod to the history of the area, creating a tea garden deck which people can visit.

We believe that the Wey Navigation running through the town is something that sets Guildford apart and our project means to develops an area of the river which has been bare for too long.

If you have any questions, please email and we will try to answer them.

Please remember to submit your letters of approval before the 11th November by visiting this site or emailing being sure to include your home address. You needn’t be from Guildford if you visit the area and have an interest in why this development may be beneficial.

Jessica Meins, Director, Soulspace

1 Class E: Commercial, Business and Service is a category introduced in September 2020 that amalgamated several old categories into one. It covers everything from retail, restaurants, and offices to indoor sports. Read more here.

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