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Letter: Reviewing the Local Plan is Worth the Risk

Published on: 6 Feb, 2022
Updated on: 6 Feb, 2022

From: David Roberts

In response to: Opinion – The Government Does Not Care Whether Our Housing Targets Are Based On Accurate Data

George Potter’s opinion piece reads like an excuse for inaction. If the councillor doesn’t believe in the power of rational argument he shouldn’t be in politics.

It’s sad to see him repeat the old canard of his departed Lib Dem colleague Cllr Jan Harwood [Con, Merrow] that any change to the Local Plan might result in the housing target actually being increased. This theoretical risk is worth running.

The Lib Dems have always been hopelessly divided over the Tory Local Plan. While supposedly being Leader of the Opposition on the council, their former leader even voted for its adoption! She then made sure nothing was done to review it during the eighteen months she led the council.

R4GV’s lack of enthusiasm for a meaningful review is palpable, but at least they are finally going through the motions.

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test 2 Responses to Letter: Reviewing the Local Plan is Worth the Risk

  1. George Potter Reply

    February 7, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    In my opinion piece I wrote: “No doubt I will now be shouted down by those who think that pointing out the absurd rules we have to operate under is the same thing as supporting them, but facts are facts.”

    I’m not sure what more I can really add.

    But, for the benefit of Mr Roberts, pointing out that jumping off a cliff risks a broken leg does not mean that I am in favour of broken legs. It just means I have a modicum of common sense.

    I am very much in favour of the government being forced to rewrite its housing formula to be based on evidence rather than simply massaging the figures to get the right number.

    But no district council is able to force the government to do anything, and right now the fact is that the housing formula being insisted upon by the government is one which produces even higher numbers than the formula in use when the Local Plan was written.

    If Mr Roberts wants to believe that a Local Plan review will enable R4GV (or any party) to wave a magic wand and make everything halcyon and perfect then he will only have himself to blame when he ends up disappointed. However, based on past experience, I suspect that he will instead end up blaming and cursing R4GV for being unable to deliver the impossible.

    George Potter is a Lib DEm county and borough councillor.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    February 9, 2022 at 7:23 am

    One has to wonder why Cllr Potter is such an avid supporter of the Local Plan, given it is widely understood it is the wrong plan for Guildford.

    We do not expect our councillors to roll over at the slightest difficulty. We expect them to work in the interests of residents. If they can’t do that, they should get out of public office.

    We demand better standards from our elected representatives.

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