Fringe Box



A (Master?) Plan By Any Other Name…

Published on: 12 Apr, 2012
Updated on: 12 Apr, 2012

From Gerald Bland

Guildford Vision Group

In his Press Release of 1st December 2011 the Leader of the Council described the short public consultation which ended on 23rd January as the “final stage of creating and adopting the Masterplan” by May 2011.

When the delayed and newly renamed ‘Interim Framework Document’ goes to the Executive for adoption in July, with a synopsis of the representations on the draft Masterplan, all your readers will be able to see how the original document has been changed. The Interim Framework Document will not only reflect the alterations introduced by the Council’s newly appointed urban design consultants but new evidence available to the Council supplemented also by new planning policies, including the whole Section devoted to Town Centres in the National Planning Policy Framework document.

It seemed to the Vision Group to be unarguable that the combination of all these factors would result in a new plan which warranted further public consultation. If Jenny Wicks wants to describe the new plan as the old plan reworked we are not going to pursue the issue as we care a great deal more about getting the right plan and the right result. Fortunately the people of Guildford increasingly realise there is a great deal more at stake here than mere semantics.

Nonetheless, it’s disappointing that the first recognition by the Council of the existence of the Vision Group ( takes the form of a rebuke when we seek no more than engagement and collaboration with the Council.

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