Fringe Box



Letter: We Should Fight the SANG Policy, Not The Applicants or Inspectors

Published on: 11 Mar, 2019
Updated on: 11 Mar, 2019

Eashing Lane SANG

From David Carter

In response to: GBC Should Continue to Try and Take the Shine from the Planning Inspectorate’s Jackboots

Guildford Borough Council (GBC) would love to own all the SANG (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) sites because SANGs are now less about bird protection and more about big money – up to £7,000 per house.

Is this the reason GBC has tried to block all private SANGs through the planning process? I’ll let you make your mind up on that one. The planning inspector is the judge in planning applications and has overturned GBC’s refusals on private SANGs having weighed up the evidence before him.

John Perkins wants the Planning Committee to take on the Planning Inspectorate in order to “take the shine off the inspectorates jackboots”. This is a crazy notion and there can be only one winner – the Planning Inspectorate. But there could be thousands of losers – the council tax payers, including himself!

Mr Perkins should know that SANGs were not invented by the Planning Inspectorate or the government but by borough councils in collusion with Natural England. A set of rules and policies were devised between Natural England and councils to mitigate the effects of dog walkers on Special Protection Areas and developers have to either provide their own alternative dog walking areas or buy slots on others.

The inspector presumably judged these private SANGs applications against all the set of rules and policies, including the mitigation policy drawn up by the council and found in favour of the applicant.

With regards to the farmer being a long-standing tenant, it is sad if he has had been compelled to sell or slaughter his prize-winning livestock, especially as I was sure that the Wood Street Village SANG application included areas set aside for continued grazing of livestock.

There is no doubt that the SANG policy drawn up by the council will cause continued unintended consequences and that is why I, once again, say that you should fight the policy, not the applicants or inspectors who are only working to the set of rules created by others.

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