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Letter: Not To Proceed With Our Local Plan Is Not An Option

Published on: 28 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 28 Nov, 2013

Local Plan Letters imageFrom Sue Sturgeon

Managing Director, Guildford Borough Council

Guildford Borough Council’s Local Plan Strategy and Sites – Issues and Options consultation finishes on 29 November. This is the first stage in producing a new Local Plan for Guildford, and we have been impressed and delighted with the number and variety of comments we have received from organisations and individuals within our community.

Many people have raised concerns about the future of our borough, and it is right that they should do this. People are passionate about where they live and work, and they have every reason to be. We have a unique and beautiful borough, with a thriving economy, and no one would want to make changes without very careful consideration.

However, the council has a legal duty to produce a new Local Plan. Our current one dates from 2003 and is no longer fit for purpose. Government nationally has an agenda for growth and prosperity, and we are required to designate land for new development to provide opportunities for much needed new homes and jobs.

How we do this, while at the same time avoiding damage to cherished parts of our environment and improving facilities for everyone’s benefit, is the task currently before us. Our Issues and Options consultation is the starting point.

We are now going to spend time reviewing the comments we have received, and starting to draft the new Local Plan, which will guide development in the borough up to 2031.

Nothing has been decided yet and there will be continuing consultation with the public at every stage. Not everyone will be happy with all of the outcomes, and we recognise that there are some very strongly held views about some of the options that we may need to consider.

However, I am sure we can all agree that as our population grows, we must accommodate the increasing needs of our existing community and the next generation.

It must be a priority to provide decent and affordable homes for workers and people of all ages. Young people also need employment and more opportunities to work and live here, rather than move away.

For Guildford Borough Council, deciding not to proceed with our Local Plan is not an option. The Government has made it very clear that where no proper future planning exists, decisions will be made on appeal by government inspectors, who will know and understand far less about local conditions than your council does. This will not be good for the borough, as this would not allow us to control our own destiny.

So please support us in our difficult task of producing an excellent plan for the future of our borough. We will let you know about the next opportunity to get involved in helping shape the new Local Plan.

We hope that this will be something that we can all be genuinely proud of, and we welcome your input, passionate, informed and knowledgeable, as we proceed.

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Responses to Letter: Not To Proceed With Our Local Plan Is Not An Option

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    December 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Until the council retracts their position of “Villages we think should not remain in the green belt”, it will not, and cannot, be considered a consultation process. Why are they not listening?

    These villages are:

    East Horsley and West Horsley (North)
    Effi ngham
    Send Marsh and Burntcommon
    West Horsley (South)
    Wood Street Village

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