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Guildford in Top Ten for New Build Houses and Top Five for Planning Application Refusals

Published on: 7 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 7 Feb, 2024

By Martin Giles

New research has revealed Guildford to be in the top 10 of areas of England with the most “new build” homes. Guildford features in 10th place out of nearly 300 lower-tier authorities which control planning with 417 new builds per 100,000 people.

The research, based on Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures, was carried out by Swift Direct Blinds for marketing purposes. They analysed the areas with the most and least new builds and the areas with the most and least successful planning applications.

Top 10 areas of the UK with the most new builds started before March 2023 according to the Swift Direct Blinds survey. Graphic Swift Direct Blinds

Five of those in the top ten are in the South East region.

Cllr Fiona White

Lead councillor for Planning Fiona White (Lib Dem, Ash Wharf) was unable to confirm the figure given for the number of new builds commenced in Guildford borough as the council is required to monitor the number of completed new build homes, as opposed to those started.

Asked whether GBC is on track to meet the local housing target figure in our Local Plan by 2034, Cllr White said: “Our Local Plan period started in 2015. It includes an annual requirement of 562 homes per year. In the eight years up to the end of March 2023, we completed 3,985 homes.

“Whilst this cumulative figure is below our requirement, we have made more recent progress in meeting needs and addressing previous deficits. The plan itself was only adopted in 2019.  As a result, housing completions in the years prior to the plan’s adoption did not meet the average number of completions required to meet the housing target.

“Over the past three years, we have delivered more than our annual housing requirement. Although we still have some way to go, we’re confident that we will meet our housing target figure by 2034.”

Guildford Council also has one of the highest planning refusal rates in the country. 19 per cent of applications are refused putting it in fifth spot.

Graphic Swift Direct Blinds

A GBC spokesperson said: “We don’t dispute the figure, as it’s obtained from official government returns.

“It’s important to understand that we can’t be sure about the exact reasons. There might be factors that could have influenced the outcomes, such as the suspension of our pre-application advice service.”

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