Fringe Box



Letter: It Is Extraordinary That No One Objected

Published on: 24 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 24 Feb, 2023

No 1 Onslow Street

From: John Ferns

In response to: Another High Building Brings Questions for May Elections

In his opinion piece, Alastair Smith says: “The application was approved under delegated powers by GBC officers.”

It is extraordinary that of the 92 documents listed (the plans and statutory/non-statutory comments), the Guildford Society is the only non-statutory respondent. There are no public supporters/objectors.

The listing of important dates shows the application was received on March 12, 2021, and further states that an extension date for a decision was granted till February 11, 2022. No further deadlines are showing. And as of the close of play February 23, 2023, no decision has been posted on the planning portal.

How this application has managed to escape the attention of ward councillors and other interested residents and organisations is a mystery, given the recent furore about building heights in the town centre.

I think the Guildford Society has missed a trick in failing to galvanize public support or interest until it is too late to have the application determined by the planning committee. After all, it only required 20 objectors or a ward councillor to call in the application.

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Responses to Letter: It Is Extraordinary That No One Objected

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    February 24, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    It looks like the applicant has exploited the value of ignorance.
    I for one had never heard of this application.

    Whose ward is this in?
    Did the relevant Borough Councillors know all about this?
    Did they raise any questions with the planning department?
    If not, why not?

  2. Sue Warner Reply

    February 24, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    Because it’s all done behind closed doors. I live less than 1/4 mile from the building and I had no knowledge of this application (who has the time to sit checking the applications online, just in case?). I would have objected.

    The offices have been empty for a number of years. How will adding more floors make it more attractive? If people aren’t interested now, they’re never going to be.

  3. Brian Eastmoor Reply

    March 12, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Many of the local residents – myself included – objected to the demolition of a listed building in our village. GBC simply removed all of the letters from their website and claimed there were zero objections. The building is now gone, to give access to a new housing estate. This is a reality of what goes on.

    • John Ferns Reply

      March 13, 2023 at 5:56 pm

      Brian Eastmoor’s assertion cannot be allowed to remain unsubstantiated. Which village, when is this alleged to have happened and what was the planning application number?

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