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Letter: Stop the Party Point-Scoring and Get On With a Review

Published on: 23 Mar, 2021
Updated on: 23 Mar, 2021

From: Brian Wolfe

In response to: Cynicism and Disbelief Greet Tory Demand for Local Plan Review

I do wish our local politicians would get their act together and participate in some joined-up thinking. A start would be to listen to what the electorate said at the last local election. The Guildford Local Plan needs to be reviewed.

If there is now perception of a change of mind, change in support by a party, or from a group within a party or even a U-turn, grasp it, run with it and stop the party point-scoring and senseless arguments. A review now needs to be done.

In fairness to Julie Iles, I believe she had always been against Wisley and the in-setting of villages.

But it was a terrible Local Plan, railroaded through at the 11th hour by misguided GBC officers, and Tory executive. We should listen to what is now being said. The method of assessing housing need has changed since the Plan was formulated and is to change again significantly very soon.

A review of the Plan will require a fresh look at housing need, change resulting from Brexit, and the impact of Covid. For the first time, this will enable a proper assessment of how constraints are taken into account in arriving at housing targets.

The SHMA (Strategic Housing Market Assessment) figure was used in the present Plan as the target for housing numbers but no adjustment was made to reflect constraints, green belt, inadequate infrastructure, sewerage treatment, air quality and river pollution.

The transport strategy supporting the Plan is based on results and modelling produced by discredited technology and the full impact of the plans on local roads is still not fully known by GBC or SCC.

We now hope the GBC will get on with a review and not be swayed by the scaremongering tactics of the lead councillor for planning.

No, it will not result in more housing being required. No, it will not require more green belt being sacrificed.

It could result in more housing being built where they are really needed, closer to employment, truly sustainable houses at affordable prices.

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