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Letter: Building Upwards is Not the Answer

Published on: 1 May, 2022
Updated on: 1 May, 2022

From: M Durant

In response to: Latest North Street Designs Revealed – 500 Flats and Up To 13 Storeys Proposed

Building upwards is not the solution to our planning issues. That’s what they have done in Shanghai and look what’s happening there with the lockdowns people being imprisoned in their own homes.

High-density population living close together in high rises means higher infection rates, more Covid, more traffic, higher pollution levels, and little medical care because they are not adding more hospitals or more GPs to the equation.

The government is forcing building all over the South East of England on what is, or was, the green belt.

Burpham used to be in countrysides like Merrow and the University of Surrey. When is it going to stop? Farnham has lost large chunks of the countryside.

With parts of China being closed down and the war in Ukraine, where do they think the food products are going to come from?

If you can’t get products from abroad and at the same time you are concreting the countryside locally how are we going to feed the nation? We are not self-sufficient in food, we import a lot of other products from abroad and thanks to Brexit we are having issues with importing and exporting things from Europe as well and there are food, and product shortages in the supermarkets.

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test 4 Responses to Letter: Building Upwards is Not the Answer

  1. Mark Stamp Reply

    May 1, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    M Durant says that building upwards is not the solution but he doesn’t offer an alternative. If he doesn’t want the countryside to be built on, the building on brownfield sites like North Street is the answer given we have a growing population and more people wanting to live on their own.

    Young people can’t afford to buy houses, we need to build more but, as usual, the older generation who already own their own homes are the ones loudly objecting to any new development in order to preserve their property value.

  2. H Trevor Jones Reply

    May 1, 2022 at 3:39 pm

    What do others expect to do when people need homes? If you don’t build high you must build wide, taking more green space (once all brown space is used), either nice countryside for enjoyment or good agricultural land for feeding people.

    That’s not to mention the environment. Building high, more people can walk to the shops and the railway station or bus stop, so there’s less need for cars and more people to support good public transport.

  3. Aubrey Leahy Reply

    May 2, 2022 at 4:47 am

    Simple maths disprove M Durrant’s claim that building upwards is not the answer and he fails to give a reasonable alternative as to what is.

    500 dwellings each on a modest quarter-acre plot, certainly not enough land to feed one person let alone a family, would consume 125 acres of previously undeveloped land whereas the proposed North Street development uses a mere four acres of long derelict and completely untilled land to provide the same number.

    Vast acreages of suitable land are available, ie above railways (Guildford railway station project) and all that wasted space above motorways. (Lots of people already live directly above the Hindhead tunnel) If building upward is not the answer then please tell us what is. Onward and upward.

  4. M Durant Reply

    May 4, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    Most of the building along Walnut Street Close is for students not for local residents. The building that is planned on Portsmouth Road again sounds like it is for students or single young professionals. The other buildings built in the area are all overpriced. I don’t know any young person who could afford them.

    There are lots of empty properties owned by wealthy people who don’t live in them and use them as assets. They should be used for residents.

    Also, the local residents didn’t want the over-development of the station but they got overridden by the government planning inspector which I think it’s appalling.

    Post-Covid the station scheme, with its high rise flats for young commuters, is now largely redundant. It doesn’t sit with the needs of people working from home with no outside space, especially those with children. A lot of people don’t need to live in the town centre near the station because they are no longer commuting every day to London.

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