Fringe Box



Plans for Five Homes on Protected Drainage Site Refused

Published on: 25 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 27 Apr, 2019

By Rebecca Curley

local democracy reporter

Councillors have thrown out a proposal to build five homes on a “rustic” and “overgrown” piece of protected land in Guildford.

Plans for the three four-bed houses and two three-bed homes on land near Hareward Road and Jasons Drive were refused by members of Guildford Borough Council planning committee due to the loss of the open space.

The privately-owned area acts as a drainage site for water and although is not accessible to the public is much-loved by residents, the panel heard.

Proposed site by Hareward Road, Merrow – Google Maps

Cllr Philip Brooker (Con, Merrow), who used to live near the site, said: “I’m very familiar with this parcel of land. It’s overgrown and rustic with steep slopes leading down to the drainage ditches. Since I became a councillor I’ve had several approaches about the usage of this land.”

Cllr Philip Brooker

He said a scout group had shown interest in using it for an adventure area as well as other developers.

Cllr Brooker is the lead member for housing but said while he was “in favour” of new homes on the site, he was “not in favour of the loss of protected open space”.

The application, submitted by agents Planning Potential on behalf of developers QQQ 33 Ltd, would have included a redesign to allow for the overflow weir to continue to flow through the middle dip of the basin with the houses built around the edge.

Land near Hareward Road and Jasons Drive. Photo – Guildford Borough Council.

But discussing the application at the planning meeting on Wednesday, April 24 councillors said it was still a harmful impact on protected land.

Council Leader Paul Spooner said: “This is protected open space. It’s also a clear and well-needed drainage area. There’s clear evidence that there is community interest in this site. Despite being supportive of housing across the borough I find this impossible to support.”

Cllr Matt Furniss said there were a number of issues with flood water in nearby Burpham and that this was one of the “main feeder areas” that captures Merrow drainage water.

Councillors voted to refuse the application with four abstaining.

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test One Response to Plans for Five Homes on Protected Drainage Site Refused

  1. J Ellis Reply

    April 26, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    This is brilliant news. We need green spaces.

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