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Deadline Extended To Give People More Time To Give Views On Housing Needs

Published on: 2 Feb, 2014
Updated on: 2 Feb, 2014

Guildford borough residents will have more time to give their views on  housing needs with an extension to the council’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) engagement.

Your views on housing needs across the borough of Guildford are being sought by the council with a two-week extension to the deadline.

Your views on housing needs across the borough of Guildford are being sought by the council with a two-week extension to the deadline.

The SHMA looks at the level and type of homes needed in the borough up to 2031. Residents and local organisations now have until 5pm on Friday, February 21, to give us their feedback on the assessment.

Cllr Monika Juneja, Lead Councillor for Planning and Governance, said: “Local people gave useful comments at our initial stakeholder sessions on the SHMA. To make sure we reach as many residents as possible and give everyone a chance to respond, we will extend our engagement period by two weeks.”

The SHMA does not set a housing target for the borough. It looks at the homes local people will need up to 2031, but does not consider the constraints that may prevent us meeting that need. Through the Local Plan process, the council will consider the SHMA and other evidence to assess the number of homes it can sustainably accommodate.

Cllr Juneja added: “An independent specialist followed existing 2007 and draft 2013 government guidance to produce the SHMA. It highlights important influences on housing in our borough. How can we help provide the homes local people will need? How can we meet demand for affordable homes and support our local economy?

“We welcome feedback on the methodology and maths behind the assessment. We will consider all comments and challenge the document fully before we work with our consultant to finalise and publish a new SHMA.”

Guildford Borough Council will continue with its programme of briefings for stakeholders including parish councils, residents’ associations and housing providers. Residents can also view the SHMA online, at its Millmead offices and at local libraries.

To view the SHMA and submit your views visit You can also submit comments at, by email to or in writing to Planning Policy, Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, GU2 4BB.

Alternatively, call in to 25 Swan Lane between 10am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

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Responses to Deadline Extended To Give People More Time To Give Views On Housing Needs

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    February 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Cllr Juneja’s questions in her release are all very pertenent to the analysis presented in the SHMA. However I didn’t see them in the very superficial comments/feedback form provided.

  2. Susan Parker Reply

    February 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Guildford’s draft Strategic Housing Market Assessment [SHMA] is not fit for purpose, according to the borough’s environmental campaign group Guildford Greenbelt Guardians.

    The consultant’s report for the SHMA did not follow relevant guidelines and is inaccurate.

    A petition calling for Guildford Borough Council to scrap the draft report and for proper procedures to be followed has been launched by GGG.

    In 2010 GBC successfully challenged the South East plan allocation of 422 homes – a year on the basis that this would prejudice the character of the borough. It cannot now be acceptable to have a draft SHMA which proposes building 800 homes a year.

    GGG wrote formally to GBC in December, to all councillors and to the planning department, explaining our concern that the parameters for the SHMA needed to be subject to consultation with local people and community groups as part of government guidelines.

    There is also a legal requirement to consult and cooperate with other local communities, and failure to do this has been the reason for a number of other Local Plans being rejected.

    The consultants did not assess actual housing need within Guildford, or consult with parish councils or community associations, in order to assess demand.

    There are a number of errors of calculation within the consultation document. Of more concern, the consultants have inflated the projected number of homes required on a subjective basis without adequate foundation for their argument.

    In our petition we state:
    “We the undersigned petition Guildford Borough Council to prepare a new SHMA and reject the consultant’s draft report as inadequate.
    The consultant’s report is unsound as the foundation for a draft SHMA. It contains errors, subjective assessment and manipulated data, and so needs to be redone. It is subject to challenge.

    Guildford needs an objectively prepared SHMA which is proportionate and realistic, meets proper requirements and will not be overturned, and will be useable in the context of the Local Plan.

    We therefore petition the councillors to prepare a new SHMA as soon as possible in consultation with community groups and parish councils.”

    The draft report gives a very high proposal for building needs of 800 homes. This is based on information which the consultants admit has been manipulated. The impact of this increases apparent demand. We ask, on behalf of the people of Guildford, that a new SHMA is commissioned which is based on the actual need for our borough.

    Please sign our petition at GBC online.

    (Susan Parker is a founder member of GGG.)

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    February 6, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Martin Elliott’s comment is extremely relevant.

    The SHMA is a long and complicated document replete with facts. It is 43 pages long and has another 40+ pages of appendices.

    The feedback form provided asks only FIVE short questions of the public!
    And they are not even good questions.

    Five inadequate questions is NOT a serious attempt to enquire into public opinion.
    Who inside GBC is accountable for this document? The whole thing has been outsourced to a consultancy – which is not accountable to people who live in the borough.

    Re the SHMA see page 27. What it shows is that house completions between 2003 and 2008 (6 years) on average significantly exceeded the previous housing target of just over 300 houses pa.

    Since 2008 housing completions have been lower. Why? the financial crisis killed off mortgage lending, etc. Now it is recovering strongly with low interest rates and QE.

    Now they imply that the housing target should be doubled. Why? Most of the increase in demand appears to be the net increase in international migration see page 30 figure 9.

  4. Mary Bedforth Reply

    February 8, 2014 at 5:24 am

    How much did this consultation by G L Hearn cost GBC, ie the council tax payers?

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