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Letter: Development Yes – But Not At Any Price

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

Hands off the green belt featureFrom Michael Aaronson

David Smith, in his letter, Where Else Can New Houses Go, Other Than On The Green Belt?, is describing “constraints” to development in Guildford. I do not know whether the constraints he lists are genuine, realistic, or whatever.

What I do know is that in the draft Local Plan no constraints were applied to the housing number generated by the now widely discredited Strategic Housing Market Assessment, with the result that housing development was, to use Mr Smith’s words, “squeezed in” to the villages in the green belt, even to the extent that the character of some of Guildford’s villages was to be completely destroyed.

The logical consequence of the situation Mr Smith describes is that development in the Local Plan should be “constrained”. If there is no room, as he claims, for more housing development in Guildford town then we should accept that we are unable to build as many houses in the Borough as some on the Council would like us to.

It is no solution to the constraints in the town to wreck Guildford’s green belt villages.

Development, yes. Development at any price, emphatically no.

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Responses to Letter: Development Yes – But Not At Any Price

  1. Harry Eve Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    The National Planning Policy Framework acknowledges that some administrative areas will have limits to growth due to factors such as green belt, AONB, SPAs, etc and infrastructure difficulties. It does not seek to impose growth on such administrative areas.

    Unfortunately, our local administrators seem unable to accept this and want to impose excessive growth regardless.

  2. Chris Dick Reply

    July 28, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    As reported in the Effingham Residents Association website: Our local MP, Sir Paul Beresford, has responded to Guildford’s Local Plan.

    In his letter published on the Mole Valley Conservatives website, he states: “The position of central government with regard to local planning and development on the green belt is clear. Residents have heard in the past comments to the effect of, ‘it is the government in Westminster which is forcing us to do this…’.

    “This was not true then and it is not true now. I have met with ministerial colleagues on multiple occasions and corresponded with the Department for Communities and Local Government at length on the questions of Local Planning and Green Belt policy.

    “The Conservative Government is absolutely committed to green belt protection, I would urge the leadership and planners at Guildford Borough Council to closely study both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the various ministerial statements published on this topic.

    “The only message one could draw from these needs re-emphasising. There is nothing in national policy which supports, encourages or condones any development on the green belt save for the most exceptional – and housing need is acknowledged as not falling into this category.”

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