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Letter: The Draft Local Plan Is A Muddle

Published on: 17 Aug, 2014
Updated on: 17 Aug, 2014

Local Plan Letters imageFrom Gordon Bridger

Sadly the Draft Local Plan is a muddle which makes constructive comment very difficult even though it has entailed the most extensive consultation I can recall.

What any plan requires is:

1. clearly defined objectives – a vision if you like;

2. policies to meet these objectives;

3. projects and;

4. prioritisation.

The current Draft Plan Objectives are little better than platitudes which could apply to any community; there are no clear policy statements. It comprises mainly a mass of possible housing options without any criteria as to how they will be prioritised, and no mention of health, education or leisure developments, let alone a clear traffic plan.

However, it is a draft and would not be all that difficult to produce a plan which does this – an experienced planner could do this quite quickly – if one can be found. The town centre plan is a step in the right direction – but alas a very small step.

Gordon Bridger is an Hon Alderman and former mayor and councillor.

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Responses to Letter: The Draft Local Plan Is A Muddle

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    August 17, 2014 at 11:26 am

    It is no consolation that there has been extensive ‘consultation’. Many people think that the so-called consultation has been a smoke screen.

    Given that a senior council officer has written to several residents that no weight will be given to responses to the consultation this view seems correct. These are verbatim quotes from Flo Churchill: “As stated in previous correspondence with you, officers will not attach any weighting to responses from groups or local bodies or indeed individuals”.

    “Officers will not be giving any weighting to the number of responses expressing a particular view.”

    Gordon Bridger invites us to take comfort that this plan was only a draft; in effect we should not worry because it was only a dress rehearsal. Everything will be all right on the night.

    The public is not likely to find this credible or consoling. People who have read telephone directories of information will not find that thought very comforting or hold the council, its councillors and officers in any higher esteem.

    In theatrical parlance this council needs to do a bit more than say ‘break a leg’ and hope the first night will be a success.

  2. Bernard Parke Reply

    August 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I concur with my friend and colleague Gordon Bridger in at least as much as the Draft Local Plan is a muddle.

    It is indeed little better than platitudes.

    There is talk of “affordable” housing and garden suburbs. Fine sentiments but are, in these days, are but empty words.
    The people of Guildford have spoken with a loud voice both in the council chamber and in the columns of the press.

    We are but trustees of the green belt which has been handed down to us and as trustees it is our duty to hand it on to future generation.

    The people have spoken, but their elected representatives do not listen.

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