Fringe Box



Letter: There Is No More Room In The County – It’s Full

Published on: 30 Nov, 2013
Updated on: 30 Nov, 2013

Hogs Back LetterFrom Martina Watson

It was good to see the large turnout on the March on Millmead. We had feared fewer people would join, due to the fact that no, or hardly any, parish councils had seen fit to inform their residents of the proposed danger involving a) the removal of their village from the green belt and b) the plans for large housing developments, which would be devastating for all the villages concerned.

I heard many bitter comments during the march on the disappointing replies that most councillors had sent to them after residents sent in their comments and objections about the green belt erosion and housing developments.

In fact, my husband and I had received very similar comments from councillors Wicks, Powell and French that showed just how little they cared about our concerns. They seem to think that just because there is demand for housing in our county it must be met. Following that reasoning, they won’t rest until there is hardly any green belt left.

If they don’t want to consider brownfield sites, of which there are many that could be used to build homes, then the only conclusion to draw is that there is no more room in our county. It’s full!

Councillors need to stand up to government. But it seems that the councils are afraid of the government retaliating if they don’t fulfil their housing quotas. So councillors “forget” that they are supposed to represent us, the residents; not side with the government.

And government needs to incentivise more businesses to move up to the North. People move where the jobs are and the north has plenty to offer, including lots of space to build homes. Trying to squeeze ever more people into this county and reducing our green spaces is not the solution.

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Responses to Letter: There Is No More Room In The County – It’s Full

  1. Peta Malthouse Reply

    November 30, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I was there yesterday together with members of my village and other parish councillors.

    We at Normandy are as informed as anyone could be. The amount of paperwork supplied by the borough was immense and the ‘evidence’ so inaccurate that comment has had to be researched and highly detailed. The ‘on line’ comment restricted us to answering the questions the Borough raised with a bias towards response that was unhelpful.

    The fact that borough councillors sent out a message that they were ‘too busy’ to meet with us was a complete disgrace. It was a failure of democracy. Or councillors are there to understand and represent our views not their own. If they cannot do that they should resign.
    We have had one party in control in Guildford for a number of generations and in my view they have become complacent.

    We have to solve the problems placed on us by government but we need to do it with imagination utilising the brownfield sites within town. I was struck on the walk that the beauty of Guildford is contained mainly around the council offices and stretching up the High Street to The Royal Grammar School.

    From North Street to the west the town looks grubby and down trodden.There are too many un-let retail and commercial units, as a result of internet shopping and home working. We do not need any more and perhaps should instead build more housing in their place. Town Planners and developers should work together to make Guildford beautiful again as well as serve the needs of future generations.

  2. Michael Bruton Reply

    November 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Well said Martina Watson. The Tories used to stand up for the countryside. Now Guildford Tories, who are in charge of the council, are intent on handing over the green belt to bulldozers and concrete mixers.

    The silence of the three Horsley councillors – Wicks, Powell and French has appalled so many people in both parishes.

    When the going gets a bit rough where are they? Certainly not coming out to meet those who put them in power.

  3. Sean Jenkinson Reply

    November 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    We have to stop looking at this as a county problem, that makes us look like we are saying as long as it’s not on our doorstep we don’t care. This is a country-wide problem that will only get worse.

    It’s not a case of our county is full it is a case of our country is full. We need to save the green belt country wide not just in our little corner of it for our children future whatever county you live in.

    • Stuart Thompson Reply

      December 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      “…as long as it’s not on our doorstep we don’t care”. What other conclusion can be drawn from many of the opinions expressed on the Guildford Dragon?

      Send ’em up North. Stack ’em high in central Guildford. Anywhere except where we live.

      Mrs. Watson has done a public service by articulating so clearly the attitudes lurking behind these protests.

  4. Jim Allen Reply

    December 2, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Problem one – failed green belt document which is currently causing a lot of stress.

    Problem two – everyone appears convinced we need more housing, rarely more homes. I ask the question why? Could it be that preferably we need to move the jobs to where the people live already, and where the housing is already cheaper, constructed and vacant?

    Fundamental principles and questions are being ignored. Why do we need the houses here if we already have houses vacant elsewhere?

    Everyone is panicked into a don’t touch my bit mentality, when we should be asking what other options are available instead of this destructive path.

    It is the very same with the A3. Is it its capacity? It runs ok 2 days out of 3. Or is it the rate we clear incidents: cleared in five minutes, five minutes wait; cleared in half an hour, 30 minutes wait?

    Time we looked at the problems of Guildford and took a ‘what if…’ approach to the solutions.

    And finally I would point out, as an example of what can happen, the Winchester M3 situation. Say no for 30 years and then when it does happen you loose out totally. Work with options, selecting the least worst, may work out well, like the Hindhead tunnel.

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