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Letter: Not ‘Calling-in’ a Decision is Not Endorsement

Published on: 31 Oct, 2018
Updated on: 31 Oct, 2018

From Fiona White

Lib Dem county councillor for Guildford West

In response to:Short Notice Given of Council Bid to Secure Government Funding for Wisley Development

While I agree that the very short notice of the intention by Guildford Borough Council to bid for Garden Village funding is an issue, it is not the role of the call-in process to thwart the intentions of the council.

It is reasonable for the chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to agree that a decision should not be subject to call-in if that process would mean the bid misses a deadline and the opportunity could be missed.

The bid does not affect whether or not Wisley is included in the final Guildford Local Plan. That will depend on the inspector’s decision. It does mean that, if the site is included, there could be government money available for the design process, for infrastructure and to make the best of the site. That would be in the interests of local people who would be affected by the development.

Not calling in the decision is not an endorsement of the inclusion of the site in the plan.

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Responses to Letter: Not ‘Calling-in’ a Decision is Not Endorsement

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    October 31, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    What nonsense.

    In her justification of her decision to the council last night Cllr Reeves stated that: “we will undoubtedly, it would seem, end up with Wisley in the local plan…”

    That demonstrates that Cllr Reeves has bought into the Executive’s view that development at Wisley is a foregone conclusion.

    She and the Executive would like this presupposition to go unchallenged but accepting it amounts to predetermination.

    Of course, her decision was an endorsement of Wisley remaining in the Local Plan, as her own words demonstrate. Her decision legitimises the fact that the officials have been working on the bid in secret for months and that the Executive then sprang this information on unsuspecting councillors too late for them to scrutinise the bid.

    It is all part of the Executive’s prolonged efforts to try and make this development seem inevitable.

    There are very many legitimate reasons to doubt whether this site will remain in the Local Plan, including the significant reduction in the housing need figure, the objections of Highways England, the conflicts with Environmental Protection and the lack of any exceptional circumstances, to name but a few.

    Who is Cllr Reeves to assume all this away with the throwaway line that “we will undoubtedly…end up with Wisley in the local plan”?

  2. David Roberts Reply

    November 1, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Why can’t Cllr Reeves speak for herself?

    Cllr White’s letter suggests urban Lib Dem councillors fully support the Tories’ plans to shove almost all new development out of town and into the countryside.

    This will not fool urban nimbys into voting Lib Dem next May. Plastering the green belt with ghettos of executive homes will only divert developers from regenerating Guildford town.

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