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Letter: GBC’s Poor Performance on Social Housing Is An Abject Betrayal

Published on: 12 Aug, 2022
Updated on: 12 Aug, 2022

From: Richard Mills

Chair, Guildford Town Centre Conservatives

In 2020 the R4GV/Liberal alliance gave a clear commitment that the North Street Redevelopment would include ‘affordable homes for the local community’. Two years on and this commitment has been thrown to the winds.

St Edwards, the developers, have not surprisingly indicated that they cannot cover the cost of including affordable housing in the development, having already agreed to find £10 million for
pedestrianisation and the bus station.

Despite securing a significant sum from the sale of 20 per cent of the development site the borough council is seemingly now washing its hands of the issue.

This as another abject betrayal and comes on top of a dismal performance on social housing.

As of August last year the current administration had constructed only 36 social units, against an annual output of 110 for which plans, site identification and first planning approvals were in place when the Conservatives left office.

It is now difficult to avoid the conclusion that GBC has surrendered to developer interests and market pressures to support an endless stream of apartments – as now in St Mary’s Wharf and North Street – geared to the incomes and aspirations of a mobile commuting population from across the London region, rather than respond to the needs of their own community.

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Responses to Letter: GBC’s Poor Performance on Social Housing Is An Abject Betrayal

  1. Mark Stamp Reply

    August 12, 2022 at 2:52 pm

    For once I am in agreement with Richard Mills, there should be affordable housing provision within all developments.

    Unfortunately, the developer can easily get out of providing affordable housing and the council can do very little due to the way planning law is written nationally.

    Maybe Mr Mills should have made these representations to our local MP who until a few months was working for the relevant government department.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    August 13, 2022 at 5:57 am

    There are no truly affordable units in any of the developments underway, or in planning. The despised Tory Local Plan allows a get-out clause, on the basis of “financial viability”. Not even the required 40 per cent of housing at an unaffordable 80 per cent of prevailing prices are being delivered.

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