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Letter: We Do Have A Desperate Need For More Housing – A Compromise Is Needed

Published on: 15 Nov, 2017
Updated on: 15 Nov, 2017

From Gordon Bridger

hon alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

I agree with others that Anne Milton, MP for Guildford, has had a quite exceptional record in responding to the public concerns and I consider Council Leader Paul Spooner’s criticism of Sir Paul Beresford, MP for Mole Valley, is fully justified. Sir Paul even states that Guildford can “take more iconic and tall buildings”. Thanks very much Sir Paul.

Guildford has one of the highest ratios of green belt land in the country, 89%, so “skyscrapers” in Guildford are his solution. If I recall correctly, the Guildford Greenbelt Group, at one stage, supported the ghastly Solum proposal and more recently the seven-storey block of flats on Stoke Park – which was rejected. What about the Plaza development?

The correspondence between Spooner and Beresford shows that the fault lines on local councils are not national political ones but largely an urban-rural conflict and a pro or anti development battle.

There is a compromise which should be possible with the town centre taking far more housing, say two or three storeys high, for the elderly and young, rather than more retail units. This could be in exchange for between 1 and 2% of non AONB green belt land which would be used for family housing.

Both sides need to make some concessions. Surely this is a reasonable compromise? We do have a desperate need for more housing.

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Responses to Letter: We Do Have A Desperate Need For More Housing – A Compromise Is Needed

  1. Simon Bisson Reply

    November 15, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    We do have a need for more housing but it is not the kind that developers what to build. They want high cost high margin. We need the exact opposite. Time for the council to step in and build?

  2. Gordon Bridger Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Simon Bisson is quite right – it’s not enough just to leave this to market forces – we need far more council housing with controlled rents and no eventual right to buy. The council has made a move in this direction and should be encouraged to do more where it owns land (such as Bright Hill).

    • Paul Bishop Reply

      November 17, 2017 at 7:27 am

      Private demand and social demand should not be confused, they have different requirements. The market forces are exactly what should be driving the private homes, as this is the definition of real-world demand. Social housing should be driven by the council and shouldn’t be looked as a money making exercise.

  3. John Perkins Reply

    November 16, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Up until the early 1990s that’s exactly what happened.

    It’s not obvious why that changed.

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