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Letter: Housing Numbers in the Tory Local Plan Are Too High, Who Disagrees?

Published on: 2 Jan, 2023
Updated on: 1 Jan, 2023

Wisley Airfield plans. Image Taylor Wimpey and Vivid

From: David Roberts

In response to: We Need the Wisley Housing Development

This is partially answered in the comments on the letter referred to. Guildford is not an island and there are plenty of brownfield sites and empty properties in the region and nationally to meet even the wildest government target for new homes.

Unlike many other councils, moreover, Guildford meets the current requirement to demonstrate a five-year housing supply and has no obligation to suck in people from London by destroying its countryside. In any case, this requirement has now been dropped in the latest government policy U-turn on housing targets.

Mr Smith “can’t see how anyone can demonstrate that the housing numbers for Guildford are too high”. But Niels Laub has done just that, repeatedly, in these pages (see, for instance: North Hertfordshire Planning Decision Has Implications for Guildford).

Even Guildford’s Tory MP admits that the housing numbers in the Tory Local Plan are too high. Show me anyone who disagrees.

Guildford’s population is set to remain virtually static, according to the best ONS projections. But even if there is an “acute shortage of homes”, why does that make Wisley, a greenfield site miles from any jobs, services, infrastructure or public transport, the place to build them? It would be hard to think of a worse location.

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Responses to Letter: Housing Numbers in the Tory Local Plan Are Too High, Who Disagrees?

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    January 3, 2023 at 5:45 am

    GBC has never had a better opportunity to review the Local Plan, but still does nothing. Lib Dem scaremongering about an even higher housing target being imposed is no longer valid, given the government’s volte face on housing targets.

    It is self-evident that the Guildford housing target has always been exaggerated. We do not now need, nor have ever needed, the “strategic sites” in the plan.

    Yet we still have a deafening silence from the council leader, Julia McShane, on the subject of most concern to the majority of residents. Is she ever going to voice an opinion on this? We deserve answers.

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