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Part 2 of Guildford’s Local Plan for 11,000 Homes Moves A Step Closer

Published on: 11 May, 2022
Updated on: 11 May, 2022

Local Plan Part 2

By Emily Coady-Stemp

local democracy reporter

Part 2 of the major plan to build 11,000 homes across Guildford has moved closer to its final stage before being fully adopted.

Councillors on GBC’s Executive Advisory Board (EAB) have been warned they cannot adopt a “mix and match” approach from other authorities’ local plans.

The meeting on Tuesday night (May 10) took place ahead of the report on the second part of the Local Plan being brought to the borough council’s Executive on May 26 and then to the full council on June 9.

After this, as long as it is voted through in those meetings, the plan would be submitted to the government’s planning inspector towards the end of June.

An “examination in public” – when the inspector looks at all documents and policies in a plan and checks they are sound – is the final stage in the process of producing a Local Plan for adoption.

Cllr Joss Bigmore

Council leader Joss Bigmore (Residents for Guildford and Villages, Christchurch) said there was a “deluge” of planning applications coming to the council at the moment, and outlined councillors’ options in terms of progressing the plan.

He added that the policies in the plan all had to be taken together, and were interdependent.

Cllr Bigmore said: “There has been kind of a mix and match approach that some councillors are picking up one policy from Elmbridge, another one from Brighton, maybe one from St Albans and saying: ‘Why aren’t we doing this?’

“You need to look at their whole development management policies rather than just pick and choose because if you add them all together, that may not be acceptable to an inspector.”

In April the borough councillors were told there was “no realistic prospect” of ever being able to put land back into the green belt that was set aside for development in the local plan document in 2019.

One such site is the former Wisley Airfield, set aside for 2,000 houses and where Taylor Wimpey are in the process of preparing an outline planning application for the first 1,700 of those homes.

See: 1,700 Homes on Former Airfield at Wisley – Plan Revealed to the Public

Elmbridge Borough Council is preparing to send its Local Plan document out for public consultation with no green belt land released for housing.

Officers did not rule out some form of a joint plan with Waverley Borough Council in the future, but said currently there were no cross-boundary issues that would require consultation with the neighbouring borough.

The two councils have agreed to share certain functions and roles, and announced in the last year a joint chief executive, as well as other director roles.

See also: We Are Doing Our Best to Make the Best of the Local Plan and Opinion: A Good Walk Spoiled – The Gulf Between Proficient Planning and What We Have

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Responses to Part 2 of Guildford’s Local Plan for 11,000 Homes Moves A Step Closer

  1. George Potter Reply

    May 11, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    Speaking as a councillor, where on earth has this 11,000 new homes figure come from?

    The DMP is a set of policies around how development should be managed; it doesn’t change the number of houses being built one iota one way or the other.

    How on earth can such a misleading headline be justified?

    George Potter is a Lib Dem borough and county councillor.

    Editor’s response: the report is Part 2 of a plan under which 11,000 homes will be built. Most of those have not been built yet and all of them could be considered “new”. However to prevent misinterpretation we have removed “new” from the headline. Sadly, it remains the case that despite the best efforts of GBC, The Dragon and other news media many residents remain ignorant about the Local Plan and what it contains.

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