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Targeted Consultation on Local Plan to be Held This Summer

Published on: 14 Feb, 2017
Updated on: 14 Feb, 2017

The next consultation on the Local Plan will take place in June and July (2017) if a proposed plan is agreed at the next Guildford Borough Council (GBC) Executive meeting next Tuesday (February 21).

The consultation will be limited. Only comments about proposed changes to the plan will be sought.

Milestones for development of the latest Local Plan are set out in an updated Local Development Scheme, a legally required public document, which details the completed and remaining stages to deliver the new Local Plan and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Cllr Paul Spooner (Con, Ash South & Tongham), leader of the council, explained: “Our new Local Plan, which we aim to submit for inspection in December 2017, must tackle local issues as well as balance community needs across the whole borough.

“We received an unprecedented 32,000 comments during last summer’s public consultation and it’s vital that we took the time needed to review the latest feedback. We will now follow this up with a targeted consultation, so local people and businesses can comment on proposed changes to the latest draft Local Plan.”

More than 6,000 residents, businesses, community groups and stakeholders responded to the regulation 19 pre-submission consultation in 2016.

All comments received in last year’s consultation about any unchanged aspects of the plan will remain valid, and will not be subject to further consultation.

A council spokesperson said: “We will submit these comments to the planning inspector and publish them for everyone to read.

“Responses about specific changes in this year’s targeted consultation will also be submitted to the planning inspector and published.”

Cllr Spooner added: “We must continue to move forward and support the homes, jobs and leisure opportunities that local people need, as well as address transport, infrastructure and other challenges.

“Fundamental principles such as brownfield first for development remain but since last summer, we have also taken the opportunity to revisit the evidence that supports the plan. Targeted consultation will be another chance for feedback, alongside the existing comments we already have.

“Working together is the right way to protect our borough and help our communities and economy thrive, now and in the future.”

GBC will publish the new draft Local Plan and any updated evidence nearer to the targeted public consultation.

Cllr Caroline Reeves

The leader of the opposition, Cllr Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas) said: “We are pleased the Local Plan is moving forward, and hope residents will find improvements on the last version. The Conservative government is constantly moving the goal posts on planning and house building, so the sooner we have our own plan in place the better.

“We need a plan that gives Guildford the houses we need whilst protecting our environment, and allows us to protect the borough against speculative developers. The new Housing White Paper stresses the government’s determination to highlight local authorities that do not deliver the homes needed, stating that the government will introduce presumption in favour of planning permission in those areas and will intervene where there is no plan in place.

“It’s important that we have our own plan for submission rather than being dictated to by the government.”

The Executive meeting agenda for February 21, including the item with the new Local Development Scheme, can be viewed at: www.guildford.gov.uk/council.

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test 3 Responses to Targeted Consultation on Local Plan to be Held This Summer

  1. John Fox Reply

    February 14, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Is this the consultation for the consultation of the consultation? Why can I hear Laurel and Hardy music?

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    February 14, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    If I had had 32,000 comments about my 10+ year’s work I would be asking, “Where did I go wrong?”

    The question now is, “Is this Local Plan actually fit for purpose?”

    32,000 comments say, “Money badly spent”, “Planners have not listened to the residents” and, “Its contents simply do no meet local requirements.”

    So back to the drawing board.

    Jim Allen is the Burpham Neighbourhood Forum coordinator of the Burpham Neighbourhood Plan

  3. Adam Aaronson Reply

    February 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    I am interested in the phrase “targeted consultation” referred to above. Perhaps someone could explain what the difference is between a “targeted consultation” and a public consultation?

    At first sight, “targeted” sounds as if the consultation is being aimed at and confined to a particular group or groups. By definition, this suggests that the intention is to exclude some people from the consultation.

    Alternatively, “targeted” could mean that the intention is to focus on particular issues.

    Either way, it would make sense to use clear, unambiguous language rather than casting shadows.

    A council spokesperson said in response: “All comments received in last year’s public consultation about any unchanged aspects of the plan will remain valid, and will not be subject to further consultation. We will submit these comments to the independent planning inspector and publish them for everyone to read. Responses about specific changes in this year’s targeted consultation will also be submitted to the inspector and published.”

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