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Letter: This Is a Serious Situation

Published on: 9 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 9 Apr, 2019

Cllr Hodge’s letter in support of GBC’s Wisley garden village proposal

From Gordon Bridger

hon alderman and former Mayor of Guildford

In response to: GBC Admits Collaborating with Property Developers on SCC Letter Backing Wisley ‘Garden Village’ Bid

This is a very serious situation; one never encountered in the many decades in which I have been active on planning matters.

As I understand it, the deputy leader of the council, who is also a member of the Planning Committee, took a letter from GBC’s planning department, obtained from and written by agents of property developers, apparently with the knowledge of the head of planning, to the leader of Surrey County Council where it had a single sentence added, was rebadged as an official SCC letter from him, and was signed and sent to the leader of GBC to show, ostensibly, unsolicited support for a GBC bid for government money to develop a building proposal.

If this is the case it cannot be right. GBC is the planning authority who will need to adjudicate on any planning proposal that emerges. They should not be collaborating with developers in this way.

It seems to me there is a prima facie case that codes of practice have been broken and would strongly support Cllr Cross’s proposal for an investigation by an Independent Person as laid down in council’s rules.

I propose to do this unless I hear a convincing case against it in your columns within the next 24 hours.

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test 2 Responses to Letter: This Is a Serious Situation

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    April 9, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Legally dubious, morally untenable.

  2. Wayne Smith Reply

    April 9, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Not only is Cllr Furniss the deputy leader, he is lead councillor for infrastructure and governance of GBC. Is it any wonder that Cllr Furniss has not responded to The Dragon’s questions and that Cllr Spooner can only muster a “no comment”, if this is the standard of governance that the council Executive sees fit.

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