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Updated: Last Minute Appeal To Respond To The Draft Local Plan

Published on: 22 Sep, 2014
Updated on: 22 Sep, 2014

Local Plan Consultation logoA council spokesperson has issued a last minute reminder to all Guildford Borough residents to send in their comments on the Draft Local Plan by this evening’s deadline.

The spokesperson said: “The Guildford Draft Local Plan consultation closes today at 5pm [September 22].

“The Draft Local Plan can be viewed at and responses given in the following ways:

  • at
  • email
  • in writing – drop your response in to Local Plan Consultation, Planning Policy, Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, GU2 4BB
  • visit us at 25 Swan Lane until 4pm today
  • call 01483 444471.”

Guildford Borough Council have now said that they will accept responses until midnight this evening, September 22. Ed

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Responses to Updated: Last Minute Appeal To Respond To The Draft Local Plan

  1. David Bilbe Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I do hope that GBC take account of views of residents. I live in Normandy and it would appear to me that there is a significant amount of lip service being paid to the consultation.

    The National Planning Policy Forum policy says that boundaries to any green belt land should be natural, permanent and defensible. Miraculously, those criteria apply to the two major gypsy pitch areas in the village – one as an island area – and one drawn incorrectly on the proposed map.

    Guildford Borough Council (GBC) says that the green belt which it intends to inset – i.e. take out of the green belt – have those natural boundaries. They do not. They are defined by fencing put up in the past 3-4 years.

    Their Countryside Study Vol VI says something different. It says that if the council wants to make the temporary pitches permanent and expand the sites they have to draw the boundary around the land and take it out of the green belt.

    That means that any harm to the green belt which is not outweighed by need according to the planning inspectorate would cause the land to remain as undeveloped green belt. Residents have insisted that these pitches be excluded from the boundary change.

    At the same time, permanent houses with naturally defensible, permanent boundaries are being excluded. This means that small plots with the opportunity to allow non-contentious small development are being excluded. This is unfair and inconsistent with community opinion. Despite this input GBC has moved not on inch on their bulldozing of what they want.

  2. Susan Parker Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    We have known for some time that physical responses will be accepted until 4pm, but the website advertises clearly that the consultation runs until midnight tonight – see the following extract from the online website:

    Name Draft Local Plan: strategy and sites 2014
    Dates From 1 Jul 2014 at 09:00 to 22 Sep 2014 at 23:59.
    Status Open

    I have just called Guildford Borough Council to seek clarification about this, since the announcement today from the spokesman clashes with the online information. I have just been told – at the last minute (4.55pm) -that the consultation will not accept email responses after 5pm.

    THIS IS DESPERATELY unfair. We expect Guildford Borough council to accept all email responses until 23.59.

    It should be noted that the email system for the local plan was closed this afternoon because the system crashed.

    If your responses are rejected this evening, try to use the online system, but if that fails, we recommend that you keep a note, and that you tried to respond, and that you send them to planning as well as, with a receipt.

  3. Martin Giles Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Guildford Borough Council have now said that they will accept responses until midnight this evening , September 22. Ed

  4. Susan Parker Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    I’m glad that GBC have now confirmed that the consultation will stay open until 23.59 tonight so that last minute comments can be made.

    Thanks to Cllr Paul Spooner (Head of Governance at GBC) for seeing the point when we discussed this on Twitter. (For those of you who are interested enough to see the full discussion I am on @SParkerGGG).

    I am sure that this originally was a SNAFU, (“Situation normal, all fouled up”) but it was good of him to appreciate that when there were two different times advertised, the public interest is best served by honouring the later time.

    Getting the announcement put out was helpful too – see

    I hope some people will take advantage and get a few last minute comments in. Send them to .

  5. Susan Parker Reply

    September 22, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    This is an outrage.

    GBC announced that the consultation would be open until midnight – see above – but the consultation has now been closed.

    I have been contacted by someone who was relying on being able to send an email this evening, sent it at around 10pm, and received an email at 10.14pm (22.14) telling him that the consultation was now closed – almost two hours before it was due to close. I have seen the email.

    Another correspondent confirmed that her response was rejected at 23.21pm.

    No one knows how many people have had their responses rejected. Are these replies stored? It would seem not.

    Whatever people have to say, they have a right to believe that a deadline will not be changed unilaterally to prevent them saying it. If a time is publicised, and confirmed, then that time must stand as the closing time for the consultation.

    You cannot guillotine a vote and then call the process fair. Nor can you cut short a consultation.

    The council needs to re-open the consultation for at least a day, with wide publicity, in order to ensure that all rejected responses are now taken on board.

    Anyone who tried to reply today and was unable to do so should keep the email details so that this can be taken up with the Local Government Ombudsman.

    I have written to all Four MPs this evening asking them to help with this, urgently. Michael Gove has sent a message telling me to send it to an address that then bounces. Jonathan Lord has said in an automated message that he will try to respond in 10 working days. I am waiting for the responses from Anne Milton and Paul Beresford.

    What price democracy?

    • Jim Allen Reply

      September 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Not an outrage – simply an error and poor communication. Everyone had 12 weeks to formulate an answer, why didn’t people submit over the week end, if they’re working, or earlier if they are retired.

      This is a non-argument, picking a fight where there one is not needed.

      As for cutting a consultation ‘short’ the legal requirement is, I believe, six weeks. We all had 12 weeks so why is 30 seconds so important?

      We should be arguing planning infrastructure and home numbers not minutes and seconds. This plan has to last 20+ years. These last few seconds are irrelevant.

  6. Roland McKinney Reply

    September 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I emailed a submission yesterday at 5.13 pm which was rejected. Following advice from Cllr Spooner I resent this morning at 10.10 am. Rejected.

    What a shower of incompetents. And these people are in charge of the Local Plan, and Guildford’s future. I wouldn’t let them walk a dog.

  7. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    September 24, 2014 at 7:52 am

    My wife’s submission was bounced back on Sept 22, 2014 11:43:56am. There were errors and problems all day.

    Why wait to the end you ask? We were waiting for the correct evidence base to be published such as the SHMA [Strategic Housing Market Assessment]. Even after the “extra” six weeks we still weren’t presented a draft worthy of public consultation.

    The whole thing is a mess not just the last 30 seconds.

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