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Letter: Enforcement Notice Is Required Now

Published on: 28 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 28 Mar, 2024

From: Gareth Archard

In response to: GBC ‘Planning Breach’ Causes Flooding Ordeal for Ash Vale Residents

Thank you for a great article on a subject causing great distress. I noticed in Guildford Borough Council’s reply to The Guildford Dragon’s enquiries that the council does not now mention the delay to the temporary mounds protection.

I would also like to understand why in nine years no Enforcement Notice has been served on the landowner by GBC planning, when private landowners get served these notices often within two years of a breach being notified.

Is it because different rules apply when the council is both applicant and approver? Now GBC has admitted publicly errors with the build an Enforcement Notice should be served.

This should encompass addressing all the flooding issues that have resulted in increased flood risk to the development and Wellington Place, and unlike the failed 2021 application there should be no hiding behind a condition that has no affect on the true flooding cause, ie from the development of the site.

Next March will be the 10-year anniversary of the breach. My understanding is that after 10 years has elapsed enforcement action cannot be taken. An Enforcement Notice is required now.

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Responses to Letter: Enforcement Notice Is Required Now

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    March 28, 2024 at 1:57 pm

    The situation described would be enough to drive anyone mad. It is especially shocking when the responsible party is a public authority.

    The photo showing concrete pipes discharging into a field is sufficient proof of incompetence. Who could implement such a gimcrack “solution”?

    Who are the ward councillors for this area? Have they taken any action? If not, why on earth not?

  2. Gareth Archard Reply

    March 29, 2024 at 8:34 am

    Thanks to Ben Paton for his comment.

    GBC feel it’s perfectly acceptable to design and put those storm pipes in the low land adjacent to Wellington Place with no protection, without planning permission, and knowing the floodwater from the pipes will flood and cause toilet blockage issues to Wellington Place.

    This is technically, and more importantly, morally wrong, especially for a local authority which has a duty of care for all council tax payers in its borough. I wonder would they accept it if it was next to their properties?

  3. Mick Hirst Reply

    April 2, 2024 at 2:14 pm

    As one of only two residents who has lived in Wellington Place continuously since they were constructed in 2001, I can confirm none of the regular repeated flooding incidences took place before GBC constructed the Sopwith Close dwellings on council land and in breach of planning permission.

    GBC are responsible for this outcome and after years of meetings, been provided with all the evidence and joint visits to site with residents, the council must take immediate action now to prevent the continued risk to residents health and property.

    It’s simple – GBC should do their job! My council tax pays their wages.

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