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Letter: I Thank Council Leaders for Sticking to the Local Plan Trajectory

Published on: 28 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 28 Apr, 2019

From Monika Juneja

former lead councillor for planning at GBC

I have taken great interest in the Local Plan from afar. This strategic Plan, which was started under the leadership of Stephen Mansbridge, set a clear trajectory for Guildford and one he should be proud of.

Whatever people think of either the Plan, or me, it was started as a process that has been seen through to make Guildford Borough fit for generations now and in the future. I am pleased that Cllr Wicks acknowledged this as the Plan was adopted.

The council is there to represent all of the community, especially the most vulnerable, and not bow to pressure just because of the few who shout loudest.

I want to say a huge thank you to Cllrs Paul Spooner and Matt Furniss for continuing this trajectory that was set by Stephen and started by me.  I was shocked that, even though they could have succumbed to pressure, they carried out the plan from where I left off. Yes, some very contentious sites have been removed, despite the fact that they would have reduced other green belt expansion to resolve the 0-5 year deficiency.

I also want to thank not only the Conservative party and its leadership but also the opposition in being clear that policies should not be changed again from the trajectory that was set six or so years ago.  Many issues had accumulated before this plan was started that it needed to resolve, and the slowness of the whole process has increased the housing number and not reduced it.

In essence, the council has clearly backed this plan with a good majority.  Sites coming in or out of the Plan are not the real concern. Policies set out for developers provide the ability to make sure the right results are achieved through the planning process for the people of Guildford.  This is the fundamental issue and is now set.

However, I am concerned by the lack of a Town Centre Master Plan which I know had been taken over by the leader, at least until the new council forms, Paul Spooner.  It had been started at considerable cost and should have been an important part of the Local Plan. Likewise, the leadership’s failure to protect Tongham and Ash Green for long enough before adopting this plan has let down residents badly.

While this has been a thankless task and indeed it could never have been perfect, it really is a great feeling to see that the council stuck to the original course.

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test 3 Responses to Letter: I Thank Council Leaders for Sticking to the Local Plan Trajectory

  1. Colin Cross Reply

    April 28, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    No doubt Cllrs Furniss and Spooner must be proud to receive the personal and flattering imprimaturs of their Tory predecessors, Mr Mansbridge and Ms Juneja, with regard to their work on carrying through the flawed Local Plan to acceptance.

    There can be no higher accolade surely, and perhaps the time is right to unveil a plaque in honour of such a worthy quartets contributions to a grateful borough?

  2. Valerie Thompson Reply

    April 29, 2019 at 9:43 am

    It’s disgraceful to even allow Ms Juneja to have her say. She should have learnt a lesson from her conviction at the Old Bailey and should just go away. We don’t want to hear her crowing about her dreadful Plan and her very good friend Mr Mansbridge.

    We are appalled by the decisions she and her followers have made and will do all we can to overturn their gruesome and wholesale destruction of our lovely countryside.

  3. Charles Hope Reply

    May 3, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    The electorate have given their views on this “Plan” in no uncertain terms

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