Fringe Box



Letter: I Can No Longer Tell The Council’s Smoke From Its Mirrors

Published on: 29 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 28 Jul, 2016

Hands off the green belt featureFrom Colin Cross
Lib Dem ward councillor for Lovelace

Let’s take a simple comparison to show the truth of Mr Aaronson’s comments in his letter: Development Yes – But Not At Any Price.

Guildford’s urban area has approx half the entire borough’s population, i.e. about 68,000 out of 136,000.

The Local Plan currently has 2,800 dwellings in that urban area out of a total SHMA (Strategic Housing Market Assessment) figure of 13,860, i.e. around 20% of the total requirement.

On the other hand, three wards in the north east of the borough that currently hold about 12% of the borough’s population are to get 37% of the planned dwellings.

So the argument seems to go along the lines that we must apply all the relevant constraints that are applicable to reduce the town’s target but not so in our rural parts.

Why not? Woking’s and Waverley’s SHMA numbers are heavily constrained, so why not Guildford’s. Here, it is argued, in the draft Local Plan, that because these neighbouring boroughs are so constrained Guildford cannot be, as it may have to take some of their housing need!

We read and hear that Guildford Borough Council claim to have taken due notice of the public outcry in 2014, so why then have they increased their preferred SHMA option from 652 dwelling per annum to 693?

Personally, I can’t tell the smoke from the mirrors.

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