Fringe Box



Focus Put On Green Spaces For Recreation As Important Part Of Draft Local Plan

Published on: 17 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 17 Jun, 2016

Guildford Borough Council has identified the area’s rural environment – “one that’s steeped in history and natural appeal, protecting local culture, heritage and much-loved countryside” – as being a vital part of its draft Local Plan.

In a statement, the council adds the draft aims to “identify neighbourhoods where there is a shortage of green and public spaces, future provision for suitable facilities can encourage sports participation and levels of fitness”.


Aims within the council’s draft Local Plan are to identify neighbourhoods where there is a shortage of green and public spaces. Pictures supplied by Guildford Borough Council to accompany its statement.

It also notes: “Across both heritage and health, the draft plan will help to enhance people’s quality of life, foster social and cultural interests and increase the vibrancy of the area.”

The council states that if adopted, the draft local plan will form the starting point for deciding future planning applications, helping to limit piecemeal and inappropriate developments that lack supporting infrastructure.

A six-week consultation, for people to comment has begun and runs until July 18. All comments submitted in writing during the consultation will be shared with the independent planning inspector, who examines the plan.


“Heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and works that would cause harm to them or their settings must be avoided, wherever possible.” Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith.

Cllr Nikki Nelson-Smith, lead councillor for heritage and the arts, said: “Our history, culture and heritage contribute significantly to the character, sense of place and appeal of our borough.

“It’s intrinsically part of what makes this area special. Heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and works that would cause harm to them or their settings must be avoided, wherever possible.

“That’s why it’s important to have a Local Plan to ensure all development is controlled and sustainable, protecting our surroundings.”

The council statement continues: “With over 1,000 listed buildings, including 30 Grade I listed and 41 Grade II* listed, 39 conservation areas, 35 scheduled ancient monuments and much more, the borough has a rich choice of attractions for visitors, whether for residents or those from further afield, adding to the distinctive appeal of the area.

“The region includes performance venues, galleries and impressive historic properties that add pride to the borough, such as Loseley Park, National Trust properties like Clandon Park and Hatchlands Park, and the Chilworth Gunpowder Mills.

“TV presenter Bamber Gascoigne has been given the go-ahead to build ‘a mini Covent Garden’ opera venue in the grounds of West Horsley Place with Grange Park Opera headed by impresario Wasfi Kani OBE.

“Additionally, natural landscapes play a significant role in attracting visitors to the borough and improving the quality of life for residents. They encourage outdoor sports and activities in the countryside, notably rambling, horse riding and cycling, across many footpaths, bridleways and cycleways.”

Cllr Iseult Roche, lead councillor for community, health and sport, adds a comment within the4 statement. She said: “The draft Local Plan is about balancing the needs of all, not just a minority, and that includes sports and wellbeing too

“The borough has many farms, private woodlands and country estates that add to the green appeal of our region but means too many places have limited access for most people.

"We mustn’t look at our housing needs in isolation without considering the opportunities for active lifestyles of people too." Cllr Iseult Roach.

“We mustn’t look at our housing needs in isolation without considering the opportunities for active lifestyles of people too.” Cllr Iseult Roach.

“We have a big opportunity to address this situation with the draft Local Plan. We mustn’t look at our housing needs in isolation without considering the opportunities for active lifestyles of people too.”

The next drop-in event at which people can have their say takes place on Tuesday, June 21, at East Horsley Village Hall between noon and 8pm.

The draft Local Plan and supporting documents are available to view at the council’s Millmead office during weekday office hours and at Guildford Library, Ash Library, Shere Diamond Jubilee Library and Horsley Library.

For further details, including the addresses and opening times of where the documents can be viewed, go to:

Feedback can be provided in a number of ways using a representation form.

The council encourage people to submit their comments online at or you can email it to or send it through the post to thecouncil.

Paper copies of the form are available from the council’s Millmead office reception, local libraries, at the drop-in events or by phoning 01483 444471.


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Responses to Focus Put On Green Spaces For Recreation As Important Part Of Draft Local Plan

  1. Penny Panman Reply

    June 20, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Is this the same draft Local Plan that has earmarked East Horsley’s popular and much-used recreation field (enjoyed by families, fitness enthusiasts, footballers, dog walkers and the whole community for events such as the recent Queen’s Birthday Party) for housing?

  2. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    June 20, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Can Mrs Panman please elaborate? Where has Kingston Meadows been identified for housing? It has been taken out of the green belt for some bizarre reason, yes.

    Perhaps there should be a caveat/clause to state that this land should never be built on otherwise it should remain in the green belt.

    It is one of only two areas of open public green space in the newly proposed village boundaries of West and East Horsley. The other is a small area of grass enclosed by a circular single lane road with no footpath and only accessed through a small ginnel type path.

  3. Penny Panman Reply

    June 20, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    My understanding is (see Policy P2: Green Belt, Paragraph 4.3.16 and Proposals Map: Settlement Boundary changes in East Horsley) that the draft Local Plan proposes to move the East Horsley settlement boundary and take all of Kingston Meadows out of the green belt.

    I am open to correction but as far as I can see the only purpose of this would be to make that land available for building. Why else move the settlement boundary?

  4. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    June 20, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I agree with Mrs Panman, what’s the point and it is bizarre especially when the proposed new green belt boundary is defined by none permanent vegetation rather than the old permanent boundary of a stream/waterway. Seems not to follow the NPPF [National Planning Policy Framework]. What are the are the exceptional circumstances, as required by the NPPF and case law to move this green belt boundary, which did not exists before the last boundary was defined.

    Insetting the village is one thing but randomly moving its boundaries at this location with no explanation is another thing altogether. Local planning authorities with green belt in their area should establish green belt boundaries in their Local Plans which set the framework for green belt and settlement policy. Once established, green belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan. At that time, authorities should consider the green belt boundaries having regard to their sustainability, so that they should be capable of enduring beyond the plan period.

    There are no exceptional circumstances and a vegetative boundary cannot be considered permanent as required by the NPPF para 85.

    So I agree, total nonsense. As I said, they should be given some additional protection not less.

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