Fringe Box



Letter: Where’s the Support for the Local Plan?

Published on: 26 Jul, 2016
Updated on: 26 Jul, 2016
Hands off the green belt

This sign was seen in Ockham – but similar posters have been erected in Ripley, Horsley, Clandon, and Shere.

From Tony Edwards

Wisley Action Group campaigner

The casual visitor to Guildford’s many picturesque villages cannot fail to notice wall-to-wall posters and signage declaring profound opposition to the new, draft Local Plan.

While this borough-wide promotional activity might not have the funds to compete with the £72,000 budget from rate payers’ money Guildford Borough Council has allocated to an outside PR consultancy for a short term campaign – in addition to its in-house promotional capability and budget – it most certainly spotlights major opposition to what looks like a bit of a re-run of the previous draft plan which was so vigorously opposed by Guildford residents.

Local parish councils, residents associations and campaign groups provide a much-needed voice for Guildford rate payers to express their views and the general, “Hands off the Green Belt” message is coming over loud and clear. We’ve been assured that Guildford is listening – that the voice of the people was both heard and heeded during the last draft plan process and will be, again, this time.

Well the message is pretty clear. Before we even start to look at the avalanche of protest which will undoubtedly have cascaded into Guildford’s Millmead HQ by now, ‘poster-protests’ suggest that this draft Local Plan does not enjoy the support and approval of the people of Guildford. Perhaps, therefore, when council leader Spooner and his colleagues repeat the mantra that their plan represents the will of the people and the needs of the borough, they might acknowledge the distinct absence of any posters and signage proclaiming support.

But then Guildford Borough Council has totally ignored its own planners who unanimously rejected an application to build a ‘new town’ on green belt at Three Farms Meadows, the former Wisley airfield. This application received over 2,000 letters of objection and only 7 in support but Cllr Spooner has chosen to ignore the voice of the people and included this disastrous scheme in the draft Local Plan.

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Responses to Letter: Where’s the Support for the Local Plan?

  1. Paul Stevenson Reply

    July 27, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    The voice of the people in our representative democracy is the representatives that we, all of us, not just the vocal poster-writers, vote for.

    “Chosen to ignore the voice of the people” indeed.

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