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Letter: We Must Not Fall For Divide and Rule Tactics Over the Local Plan

Published on: 23 May, 2017
Updated on: 23 May, 2017

From Colin Cross
Liberal Democrat borough councillor for Lovelace (Ockham, Ripley and Wisley)

We need to stop the debate over the possible development of non-urban sites becoming a war of attrition between Guildford’s urban and rural factions.

In terms of the borough’s population, we are about the same.

I do understand where David Smith is coming from but I have to say to him that there are a lot of opportunities in the town centre that go begging for the lack of Guildford Borough Council’s willpower.

To give just one example: how come Waitrose in the very centre of Guildford are allowed a massive surface car park whereas in Cobham they built a two-storey car park?

We have to see these problems in the round and not fall for divide and rule tactics.

Proportionality is a key factor and I would ask why anyone would see it as a reasonable proposition to dump an appalling housing ghetto, with many multi-storey blocks, in the middle of nowhere, at the former Wisley Airfield and then fill it with 5,000 people and 4,000 cars. The residents would have a zilch quality of life.

Please understand that we in Lovelace do accept expansion and over the last decade have seen ten times the housing expansion per head in our area compared to Guildford town centre. We accept that’s a proportional response to Guildford’s need, but not this.

Let’s accept that expansion both in the town centre or the rural areas has its own problems. We need a coordinated approach that does not set one part of the borough against another.

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Responses to Letter: We Must Not Fall For Divide and Rule Tactics Over the Local Plan

  1. David Roberts Reply

    May 23, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    When will Guildford Borough Council get the point that restricting green-field development is essential to incentivise developers to regenerate our urban areas? London’s post-war repopulation and revival would never have happened if the creation of the green belt had not curbed the chaotic spread of inter-War “Metroland”.

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