Fringe Box



Letter: Decision Day Will Be Wednesday, But You Can Still Have Your Say

Published on: 6 Jan, 2023
Updated on: 6 Jan, 2023

From: Tony Rooth

Independent borough councillor for Pilgrims

See: Why Has the Council Not Ensured Everyone Was Aware of This Controversial Plan?

Mr Robin Horsley is right to raise the issue of information and involvement of the public in the proposed North Street development. St. Edward may have done more to “consult “ residents than most developers who usually see “consultation” as a tick box exercise required for any planning application

But what has GBC done to keep residents informed of what is going on with this major development in our town centre? Frankly, openness and transparency require our council to at least tell the public that the Planning Committee will consider the North Street application next Wednesday, January 11 at 7pm.

And true openness and transparency require such a large and controversial development to be decided by 48 councillors at a full council meeting. However, the planning committee chair Cllr Fiona White was correct that many councillors don’t have the necessary planning experience and procedure does not, regrettably, provide for a full council planning debate.

Therefore, residents and councillors are stuck with next Wednesday as “decision day”.

But residents can still look at the planning officer’s report here although they might need time and a wet towel to read all 289 pages! Comments can be made on the GBC planning portal here.

Residents can also ask their councillor to attend the Planning Committee meeting. All councillors are entitled to be there and speak. I certainly will be.

Over to you, the great residents of Guildford

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Responses to Letter: Decision Day Will Be Wednesday, But You Can Still Have Your Say

  1. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    January 6, 2023 at 11:33 pm

    I came to know about the meeting from a comment in a Guildford Dragon letter.

    Reports by two traffic consultants engaged by GBC, supporting St Edward’s scheme for the bus station and traffic alterations, are included in the planning application register.

    Surrey Highways are still objecting. My suggestions on an alternative traffic solution and the bus station layout would be in “late sheets” for consideration by the GBC Planning Committee during the meeting on the 11th.

    I suggested keeping Leapale Road one-way, restricting North Street two-way down to the Leapale Road junction with a turn-around facility and making Chertsey Street one-way to York Road. North Street would be one-way extended to Leapale Road junction and maybe restricted to traffic between 10am to 4pm like the High Street.

    Keeping Leapale Road one-way removes the traffic exiting onto Onslow Street and facilitates buses entering the bus station and exiting it more conveniently.

    Other alterations to Onslow Street northbound would facilitate entry of buses from the south and the west turning right before the roundabout towards the bus station since only buses would exit on to Onslow Street. Two-way cycle lanes could be incorporated in Leapale Road, North Street and Chertsey Street.

  2. Mark Stamp Reply

    January 7, 2023 at 11:36 am

    Once again, a comment bemoaning the lack of consultation by the council but without any concrete examples of what the council could have done differently.

    Given the fact that for most of the genesis of this project, Cllr Rooth was in the party with the councillor leading the engagement with the developer, I would have thought he would have had adequate time to develop his proposals for creating more engagement and outlined them here.

    Instead, just another politician saying what they are against rather than what they stand for.

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