Fringe Box



Letter: ‘Special Measures’ Cannot Come Soon Enough for Guildford Planning

Published on: 4 Feb, 2023
Updated on: 4 Feb, 2023

From: John Ferns

In response to: Cllr Spooner’s Comment Is Absolute Nonsense

Cllr Fiona White says: “Cllr Spooner’s request for a site visit was discussed in detail at a chairman’s briefing which Cllr Cross and I both attended with officers. We came to the conclusion…”

On the contrary, a site visit would have been beneficial, given the “material considerations” that had arisen since the outline application had first been determined in October 2019; to mention just one, the effects of the Ash Manor appeal inspector’s comments in her March 2022 judgment about the setting and buffers of the adjacent lands to the listed Manor complex. This alone would have negated “the presumption in favour of development”.

As one of the members of the South Ash & Tongham community who had travelled to Guildford to witness the anticipated demolition of the planning department’s arguments, we were dismayed that the meeting lasted 71 seconds from start to finish.

Our disappointment was tempered when we saw the joint CEO of the Guildford and Waverley local authorities had also witnessed this fiasco. I’m sure he was impressed – not.

In my opinion, “special measures” cannot come soon enough for GBC planning. Then at least we may hope to be able to get a fair presentation of all the issues of a planning application.

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