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Lib Dems Welcome Progress on Local Plan – Vision Group Renew Call for Masterplan

Published on: 13 Jun, 2013
Updated on: 15 Jun, 2013

More reactions have been received following Guildford Borough Council’s announcement yesterday (June 12) on the Local Plan consultation.

Cllr Caroline Reeves

Cllr Caroline Reeves

Opposition councillor, Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas) said: “The Lib Dem group welcome the progress that has been made on our Local Plan.

“The vast body of work that has been going on behind the scenes for many, many months is now taking shape and the report to be presented to the Executive next week will mark the start of the public journey for this vitally important document.

“Once it is agreed by the Executive, we will see, later this year, the widest level of consultation ever undertaken by the Borough Council. It will give all residents the opportunity to identify what issues the Local Plan should cover and the options we have to meet our needs.

“Community involvement will be vital, it will be the chance for residents of all ages and from all communities, including those who may feel they have no representation, to make their opinions known. We especially need the younger residents to take part, after all it is they who we want to stay living, working and socialising in the Borough.”

John Rigg, Guildford Vision Group

John Rigg, Guildford Vision Group

John Rigg, chairman of the Guildford Vision Group (GVG) wrote: “Putting together a Local Plan is a difficult enough task at the best of times. At this particular time with major proposals to transform the town centre we are even missing a comprehensive master plan for the major economic generator of the Borough, let alone an integrated up to date evidence base, as far as we can tell.

“GVG has made its call for a proper master plan loudly and clearly. When it comes to a Borough-wide plan it is essential that everyone gets involved in the process and that everyone’s voice is heard. As for the town, the river, the pedestrian environment, links and connections to University and Cathedral: all this is not the role of the Local Plan.

“However, a proper Master Plan should form part of the Local Plan but must be brought forward fast enough, and in the meantime, to inform developments in the town centre in such a way as to enable infrastructure design and funding.

“We welcome the engagement process and hope that there will be open ears to all responses. We all know there will be considerable pressure for housing growth inevitably spilling out into Guildford’s gardens and countryside.

“That is why we feel the town’s brownfield sites must be promoted first , through a master plan, to ensure the next five years’ supply (plus 20% as required by the government) can be assured now, not least to prevent the period of preparation of the Local Plan offering developers the ideal vacuum to raid green belt sites.”

Tomorrow Cllr Monika Juneja, Lead Councillor for Planning and Governance, will be interviewed by The Guildford Dragon NEWS. Check back to read the report.

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