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Letter: MP Should Understand More of the Local Plan’s History

Published on: 14 Jun, 2022
Updated on: 14 Jun, 2022

From: Ben Paton

In response to: Dragon Interview – Angela Richardson MP on her Levelling Up Speech

Guildford’s MP was brave to put on display her stunning lack of knowledge of the detail of the Local Plan, her repetition of outworn nostrums about spending more money on the A3, and her lack of practical solutions.

Some of us have lived through this – having spent weeks attending public enquiries into failed planning applications for new towns, and weeks attending the public ‘Inspection’ of the Local Plan by the Planning Inspectorate’s Mr Bore.

Anyone who has seen all this happen at first-hand over the past ten years or has read The Dragon’s reporting of the key events can see that the MP is (to put it politely) ‘not up to speed’.

This comment will bring the house down with hollow laughs: “The infrastructure required to support identified development is already in the Guildford Infrastructure Delivery Plan precisely because the government feels local planning authorities need to understand what is required before applications are permitted.

“The permitting of individual applications is a matter for the local planning authority.”

A good primer would be to start by reading The Dragon’s archived coverage. Even better would be to listen to local residents who have first-hand knowledge of the flaws in the Local Plan.

Bold public infrastructure projects, a leaf out of Boris’ book, like a tunnel under the Hog’s Back really do not get to the heart of the problem.

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