Fringe Box



Letter: This Local Plan Gives Our Children A Future

Published on: 26 May, 2016
Updated on: 26 May, 2016

Council leader Paul Spooner (second from right) addresses the full council meeting last night just before the vote was taken to submit the Local Plan to public scrutiny.From David Smith

In response to a comment from Jules Cranwell against the article: Public Consultation on Local Plan Given Go-ahead In the Face of Angry Public Reaction.

Guildford Borough has a population of 130,000, and Jules Cranwell does not speak for me, nor, I imagine, the majority of the borough in his criticism of the council.

This Local Plan gives children a future in our town, with the provision of much needed homes. I am glad my councillor voted the way she did and I am excited about the prospect of growth in a town.

A town that is fast getting the reputation of not wanting to do business and one which is choked by not only traffic but pompous pressure groups who form a blocker to anything positive.

Tonight [May 26] at dinner I asked an 87-year-old about the referendum. He said he wouldn’t be voting because he should not shaping the future of so many young generations. I thought it was awfully sad and encouraged him to vote.

I do wonder if the people who acted so appallingly at this week’s council meeting have even spared a thought for the same generations.

Please don’t tell me they are saving inaccessible farmland near motorways for us. Is it worth the sacrifice of  homes in the town we grew up in? Of course not.

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Responses to Letter: This Local Plan Gives Our Children A Future

  1. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    May 26, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    I think Mr Smith has missed the point that the population of Guildford Borough, according to the ONS [Office of National Statistics], taking into account births, deaths and net internal migration, is predicted to decline. The growth proposed in the plan is based upon people not currently living in the UK.

    So thinking about our children, just watch this and then think about what future we want for our children and their children. For example readings at Junction 10 of the A3/M25 near the proposed site at Wisley – Three Farm Meadows, are already above the EU legal pollution levels, yet this site is still included.

    The provision of homes in this local plan will be for the benefit of the developers and their shareholders and not the people of Guildford. That is why the rate of building is so slow for the planning permissions builders already have; they want to control supply and maximise demand and profits.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 27, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I do not claim to speak for Mr. Smith. However, I do believe I can echo the feelings of most of the 7,000 who commented on the previous draft of the Local Plan, in regard to the green belt.

    GBC has changed almost nothing in the latest version. So much for “consultation”, and “listening to the people”.
    I’ll invite Mr. Smith for a cup of tea in ten years’ time, and we can mull over how well this plan provided for our children.

    I too would love my children to live closer to their childhood home, and the countryside they grew up in. However, under this plan, the vast majority of the land given over for house-building is in the green belt countryside.

    Anyway: a. I doubt this is where the young want to be, as they prefer to live where the action is, and closer to work:
    b. they could never afford the ‘affordable’ 80% of market value; c. they would not want to live anywhere near Guildford, once the countryside has been turned into a clone of Croydon.

    That is, of course, if the developers were to build any “affordable” units in the first place, given the “get out of jail card” the council has handed them, for grounds of financial viability. History has shown that, where developers have such means they water down the “affordable” allocation to little, or more often nothing.

    Let’s not kid ourselves, developers maximise profits, by building 4-5 bedroom executive homes in the countryside, rather than smaller, truly affordable homes on brownfield closer to towns.

    What Mr. Smith has failed to respond to in my comment are the broken electoral promises re. protecting the green belt, in the last two Tory election manifestos. Perhaps he is taken in by the spin. I am not. Let’s have them explain themselves.

    By the way, I also interviewed one of our elder residents June Spencer(94 years young), the actress who plays Peggy Woolley in The Archers, re. the previous Local Plan. Click here to watch.

  3. Ben Paton Reply

    May 27, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    David Smith has fallen for the popular delusion created by this Conservative government that high house prices are caused by a shortage of new houses. It’s just not true.

    House prices are high because of massive net inward flows of capital and people from the rest of the world into an already crowded South East of England. And they are made worse by massive infusions of money into the banking system printed by the Bank of England – much of which goes into mortgage lending.

    The same popular delusion was created in Ireland and Spain during their building booms. Are their children benefiting – or are they coming to work in London?

    The new Local Plan will only lead to a poorer environment for everyone – more congestion, more air pollution, more cars, more densely packed low quality housing, less green belt.

  4. Paul Stevenson Reply

    May 28, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    I agree with Mr Smith. While one can throw up objections (e.g. developers will not very willingly provide homes that our children can afford) we should look for genuine solutions to those problems rather than throw up our hands, and sit with our self-satisfaction that we already have a house.

    Every house that every vociferous campaigner against building more houses lives in is built on land that was once green. We are not living in a special time that makes these houses okay for us to live in while those with the poor foresight to be born later than we were should not have the same opportunity.

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