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Borough Council Approves Further Public Consultation on the Local Plan

Published on: 17 May, 2017
Updated on: 17 May, 2017

The Mayor of Guildford, chairing last night’s full council meeting, announces the result of the vote, allowing the Local Plan to proceed to another round of public consultation.

Guildford Borough Council (GBC) voted overwhelmingly, by 34 votes to 8, last night (May 16, 2017) to proceed to a further round of public consultation on the changes made to the draft Local Plan following the public consultation last year.

Two amendments, the first to remove Blackwell Farm and the second to remove Wisley Airfield from the plan, were easily defeated.

The consultation will take place between June 9 and July 24. To date the Guildford Borough Local plan has received a much higher rate of response in terms of comments made than those proposed in other comparative boroughs.

A council spokesperson this morning wrote: “We will only be asking for comments about the proposed changes to the plan, as agreed by the council at its meeting last night. Written feedback can be submitted in a variety of ways… and three public drop-in events are planned across the borough.

“We will submit all of last year’s consultation comments to the independent Planning Inspector, along with the responses to this summer’s targeted regulation 19 consultation about the proposed changes.”

Cllr Paul Spooner (Con, Ash South & Tongham), leader of the council, said: “We continue to make progress in developing our new Local Plan to balance community needs and tackle local issues, wherever you live or work in our borough. Our next consultation, in June and July, is targeted on just the updates to the plan and is another opportunity to help shape the future by giving feedback about the specific changes we propose.

“We reviewed the comments from last year’s consultation and made a number of significant changes to the plan and proposed sites, as well as updating the supporting evidence and policies. We remain committed to fundamental principles, such as our ‘brownfield first’ policy of proposing sites with past development, and some of the changes increase the number of homes in the town centre with reduced or removed housing sites in rural areas and greenbelt.

“The plan we submit for independent inspection will provide much-needed homes, jobs and leisure opportunities. As well as places to live and thrive, local people also need a great environment; with transport and other vital infrastructure to support them. We continue to work with our local and strategic partners on their supporting transport and other projects, which they must complete so we can deliver the Local Plan in full.”

A report of last night’s full council debate will follow later today. Please check back.

You can view more information about the new Local Plan at the GBC website:

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Responses to Borough Council Approves Further Public Consultation on the Local Plan

  1. Lisa Wright Reply

    May 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    If the whole thing wasn’t so serious you’d laugh!

    Watching on the webcast last night, firstly Stuart Harrison declares that GBC have protected the green belt whilst submitting a plan to build thousands of houses on it?

    Normandy has been removed from the DLP as it is a ‘sensisitve’ piece of green belt whilst Blackwell Farm, assessed to merit inclusion as An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and will cause chaos to our ever increasing gridlock, is left in?

    Wisley, refused twice by GBC is still in?

    GBC pays no attention to any constraints while neighbouring authorities such as Windsor are making the most of their green belt constraints.

    This is just crazy, Conservative and some other councillors are panicking, submitting a flawed Local Plan as they fear that, if they don’t get their skates on, central government will intervene and tell Guildford where to build houses. But, ironically, major green belt sites, Howard of Effingham, Wisley, Dunsfold and soon enough, Blackwell Farm are being called in and will be decided by central government anyway.

    If GBC had listened to residents four years ago, altered the draft Local Plan to reflect local need and removed the green belt sites, they could have saved some of the millions of taxpayers money they have wasted on this ridiculous plan which could have been submitted back in 2015.

    With house prices falling, I wonder if developers will even start to build any sites within the plan period, let alone finish them. This has been an utter waste of everyone’s time and money.

    • Christopher Dalby Reply

      May 19, 2017 at 1:29 am

      Only took Lisa Wright eight lines to mention traffic. One of the same old arguments that are frankly wearing thin. Improved infrastructure does come with new development, of course, and nobody is claiming otherwise, neither should she.

      Rather than be one of those to constantly criticise these much needed developments she should tell us exactly where in her opinion the much needed housing can and should be built. Then perhaps she will be taken more seriously.

      Green belt protection was brought in in the 1950s. Our population has risen by a third since then and if you see that of no consequence then we really are all doomed. There are certain areas, like Blackwell Farm, that are perfectly suited for development and simply rejecting totally the idea of using small areas of green belt land to build on is simply unrealistic and unsustainable. If the only development permitted was in the town centre that really would cause chaos.

      We need to support each other and give others the right to a home and life in Guildford and this “nothing at all costs”, attitude shared by many, is of no good to anybody.

      • Lisa Wright Reply

        May 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm

        In the first draft of the Local Plan, numerous sites were dropped. Some old landfill sites and other green belt sites.

        I don’t wish to throw any other site under a bus but if Mr Dalby looks at some of the original proposals which were offered and he’ll notice quite a few sites have been discounted for less significant reasons than the problems we face with the large strategic sites we are left with.

      • John Perkins Reply

        May 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm

        Is Mr Dalby suggesting that an argument loses validity by being repeated?

        Improved infrastructure does not come from new development. It is and always has been the other way around.

  2. Harry Eve Reply

    May 19, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Cogent arguments defeated by blinkered vision based on unsound evidence and propaganda.

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