Fringe Box



Letter: Outsiders Are Dictating the Future of Our Town

Published on: 4 Mar, 2024
Updated on: 4 Mar, 2024

From: Gavin Morgan

In response to: Why Guildford Needs Heights Control Policies

The whole point for me is that it doesn’t matter whether we like tall buildings or not. The lack of a policy means we don’t get a say. Outsiders are dictating the future of our town and they might ruin it if we don’t do something very soon.

The issue of height dominated the first twenty-five minutes of The Dragon hustings held in the run-up to the May 2023 GBC election.

Listen to the Dragon Hustings Here

Incredibly, all political parties agreed in principle to a variable height limit. This prompted the question from the audience (23 minutes in): “If everyone is in agreement that we need zonal height, why has the council been unable to agree it? Can’t you get together to agree a proposal to put to the people?”

Unfortunately, I think the discussion illustrated exactly why the council hasn’t agreed a policy. It is run by parties who are there to oppose each other rather than work together. Discussions can get lost in detail.

And there are different views in the town. Height is not the only concern. The economy and affordable housing are also factors that add complexity and prevent decisions being made.

The lack of a height policy or master plan means developers can push through bigger and bigger schemes all over the town. Surely we have a right to decide how our town should develop and it will only happen if we can agree on a policy or plan. If we can’t then we will most likely end up with a townscape none of us like.

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