Fringe Box



Dagden Road Planning Decision Delayed to Allow Site Visit by Committee

Published on: 29 Aug, 2012
Updated on: 31 Aug, 2012

Part of the extensive plot, currently a garden, on which a development of five new houses are proposed

Residents in Dagden Road, Shalford are still anxiously awaiting the outcome of a planning decision by Guildford borough Council’s Planning Committee.

The application was heard by the committee on 14th August but a decision was deferred to allow members of the committee make a site visit. This was conducted last Thursday (23 Aug). It is understood that the committee’s decision will be given at the next Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday, 4th September.

View to the Chantries – The site is within the Green Belt

Developers, Berkeley Homes, want to demolish two existing houses, which both have extensive gardens, and replace them with five detached four or five bedroomed houses.

Neighbours in Dagden Road appear unanimous in their objection to the application and GBC have received 26 letters of objection and none in favour. Many of the neighbours attended the planning meeting on 14th August and applauded the two speakers Paul Neville and Ian Fraser who spoke on their behalf.

No 4 Dagden Road would be demolished if the panning application is approved

The site is within the Green Belt. Objections have been registered by the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE), The Guildford Society, Shalford Conservation Society and Merrow Residents’ Association. But most members of Shalford Parish Council are in favour of the development although they would prefer a limit of four new dwellings. Additionally, the County Highways Authority have raised no objection.

The planning decision seems to rest on whether the intended site can be considered to be ‘on land substantially surrounded by existing development’. Anna Lisa Neville, who lives next door to the site, said: “The Green Belt policy ‘RE3’ sets out criteria for when development in a Green Belt village is appropriate. If these are not met, the development is deemed inappropriate and harmful to the Green Belt.

“A site has to be infilling substantially surrounded by existing development. Existing development means built form. …It totally defies common sense and logic to look at this site and to consider it is in any way surrounded by buildings.”

Neighbours have obtained legal opinion that to grant permission for the development would be illegal under existing rules and policy. It is understood that GBC is now seeking its own legal advice. In previous cases where GBC has refused permission but their decision overturned on appeal costs have been awarded against the council.

Mrs Neville added: “We  were very grateful that so many councillors were able to attend the site visit and we are very much hoping that they were able to see first hand all the issues that so many local people have been trying to highlight. It is hoped that when they were standing on the site, which has the beautiful and historic Dagley Lane along one long boundary, another boundary on the edge of the Conservation Area and gardens along all parts other than the road frontage, they were able to appreciate that permitting building contrary to existing policy would be harmful and inappropriate in this sensitive village edge site.”

“A quick look at Google Earth will show just how much open space is around this site. The wider implications for the Green Belt villages of the Borough are that sites along the rural urban fringe, traditionally kept as a softer edge to settlements, will be left exposed to being developed. It effectively allows for the outward expansion of the built up centre of the village to the same level of density up to the extreme edge. If GBC allows this application then it is very much weakening its own Green Belt policy.

Detail from the plans showing the proposed cul de sac with five new detached houses – ©Guildford Borough Council

Site outline – ©Guildford Borough Council

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