Fringe Box



Opinion: If You Object To The Local Plan It Is Important To Make Your Views Known

Published on: 19 Jun, 2016
Updated on: 23 Jun, 2016

Revised Local Plan Jun 2016by Mike Bruton

member of the Guildford Greenbelt Group

It is worthwhile examining what Guildford Tories have promised regarding environmental and countryside protection since 2010 and what they have actually done.

The results are quite disgraceful. In their 2010 election manifesto they promised to protect the green belt. Their first Local Plan involved a massive building programme over much of our protected countryside.

That plan was led by the former Cllrs Juneja and Mansbridge. Councillor Juneja went on to be convicted at the Old Bailey for pretending to be a barrister etc.

She still appears to be embarrassing fellow Tories with her campaign to have an elected mayor. Whether that happens and whether or not her former political colleague/ business partner, Stephen Manbridge, emerges in that role is yet to be seen.

Opinion Logo 2The whole saga has been played out in the “Rotten Boroughs” column of Private Eye.

In the 2015 borough elections the Tories promised yet again to protect the green belt. Again they are reneging on that promise.

Their “new” plan involves building 13,860 new houses (693 per annum) mainly in the green belt and countryside. A 25% increase in the borough’s housing numbers and probably 20,000 more cars jamming up our roads.

Infrastructure comes as an afterthought in all this and if built will wreck even more of Guildford’s green countryside lung. The new proposed Local Plan is in fact the Juneja/Mansbridge Plan writ larger. Housing numbers are based on a formula which has not been revealed to councillors or the public.

In fact, the Tories refuse to reveal it to anyone – and are quite happy to support the housing numbers without knowing how they are calculated.

Most of us support the building of a reasonable number of houses – say 300 to 325 per annum. There are vast swathes of brownfield land within Guildford which the council refuses to allow for housing – preferring warehouses etc instead.

The Tories, and their developer supporters, instead wish to permit the concreting over of places like Blackwell Farm by the Hog’s Back, Gosden Hill at Burpham and the former Wisley Airfield at Ockham – the latter site owned by a Cayman Islands company.

Many of our villages will be overwhelmed with development from Ash, Normandy and Worplesdon in the west of the borough to Send, West Clandon, Ripley, West & East Horsley and Effingham in the east.

Now there is another consultation, using a shortened timetable and during the summer holidays. Whether it is another sham only time will tell. The Tories may be relying on voter fatigue and voter absence to limit the number of responses.

On previous record, the Tories will ignore our letters and email comments. So why bother with another 22,000 responses and objections? Because this time the independent inspector will have all of our comments before him/her at the Public Enquiry into the plan.

The inspector must by law consider these carefully. Previous letters and emails relating the first plan sadly do not count. This latest plan – or Juneja-Mansbridge Mark 2 – is as horrific as the first one.

It will not deliver cheaper housing – it will merely draw in more homebuyers from London and from outside the Home Counties. And there will be nothing in reality which is really “affordable” about this Tory boom in concrete.

We have until July 18 to write in with our comments – either by email to: or by letter to Local Plan Consultation, Guildford Borough Council, Millmead , Guildford GU2 4BB

Letters/emails are not confined to Guildford Borough residents. Anyone with an interest in protecting our borough’s heritage for our children and grandchildren can write in.

It is worth noting that two separate letters from say a wife and husband count as two objections – a joint letter counts as one. So, if there are four in a household – four letters must be accepted by the council as valid.

Names and addresses must be included to be accepted. And if one comments on specific policies in the Local Plan – on line at: – each comment counts as a response.

As with any planning objection it is wise to keep using the words: “I object” – otherwise comments may be interpreted as neutral or supportive.

I noted a comment by one Tory councillor regarding the current Local Plan: “Let’s leave out the politics”. This Local Plan involves a Tory Party which has reneged on its election manifesto to protect our countryside and green belt. It is a betrayal of trust. No wonder the Tories wish to “leave out the politics”.

Their Local Plan will, if approved, allow the ransacking of our countryside and the further wrecking of Guildford town by profit hungry developers.

Share This Post

Responses to Opinion: If You Object To The Local Plan It Is Important To Make Your Views Known

  1. David Pillinger Reply

    June 20, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    We need more housing. High rises and some invasion of the green belt are absolutely essential. Also, increase density; build three houses where there was one before. There is plenty of opportunity for that around Guildford. It is the only way we can get house prices to come down to a reasonable level so that our children can get on the ladder.

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *