Fringe Box



Letter: There Are Existing Policies That Could Be Used to Protect Guildford

Published on: 21 Sep, 2022
Updated on: 21 Sep, 2022

From: Sallie Barker

Chair of Guildford Conservative Association

R4GV chooses to ignore planning policies and material planning guidance that exists to protect Guildford town centre from inappropriate development.

The Guildford Local Plan adopted in 2019 was produced to manage Strategy and Sites in the plan period to 2034. It was never intended to deal with policies such as the heights of building in the town centre.

Such policies should be covered by the Local Plan Development Management Policies. It is unfortunate that the current R4GV/Lib Dem administration has made little progress with that plan.

However, there are saved policies that are still in place pending the new Development Management Policies, such as Policy HE10, which states: “The Borough Council will not grant permission for development which would harm the setting of a conservation area, or view into or out of that area.”

Furthermore, the previous Conservative administration produced the Guildford Town Centre Views Supplementary Planning Document, which was published in October 2019.

This document appears to have been largely ignored by the current R4GV/Lib Dem administration in their wish to build more large blocks on both the former Debenhams site and the uninspiring heights proposed on North Street. This policy could and should be used to protect the heritage and character of Guildford town centre from inappropriate development by developers.

The Guildford Local Plan has undoubtedly protected Guildford from unplanned, opportunistic development. Policies and planning guidance exist to ensure that developments such as the North Street development enhance the heritage and beauty of our town centre. We need a new Conservative council to address Guildford’s slow decline.



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Responses to Letter: There Are Existing Policies That Could Be Used to Protect Guildford

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    September 21, 2022 at 12:28 pm

    Well done to the Guildford Conservative Group for doing so much to “protect” the green belt after it passed a Local Plan into law that made the biggest encroachment into the protected land since the Parliament created the Metropolitan Green Belt in 1938.

    What have all the present harms (outsized development at Guildford railway station and the three green field, green belt sites, all dependent on the A3) got in common? They are all sanctioned by the Local Plan passed by the Guildford Conservatives just before they were thrown out of office.

    The residents and voters of Guildford will not forgive or forget the legacy of environmental and social destruction the Guildford Conservatives have left them.

    The green belt does not need protecting from developers so much as protecting from the Guildford Conservatives.

    The Guildford Conservatives’ idea of making Guildford great was as poisonous as President Putin’s idea of making Russia great.

  2. David Ogilvie Reply

    September 21, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    The Conservatives had 10 years to implement such a policy to control development in the town centre and did nothing to protect it from overdevelopment. We are paying the price now.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    September 22, 2022 at 3:26 am

    We need a new Tory council like I need a hole in the head. Why would we want to reinstate the authors of the despised local plan, which has been so ruinous to both town and country?

    We can never forgive those who snuck through such a plan in the dying days of their administration.

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