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What Does the Local Plan Mean? – What Are the Facts and Figures?

Published on: 28 Apr, 2019
Updated on: 27 Apr, 2019

By Rebecca Curley

local democracy reporter

Exactly what is Guildford Borough Council’s Local Plan that cost £3.4 million to develop? The scheme sets out the amount and location of development forecast for the borough up till 2034.

The findings are based on an objectively assessed need (OAN), disputed by opponents, which sets out the requirements for new homes, employment and retail space and how they can be delivered in a sustainable way, given that the population of Guildford is estimated to rise from 145,473 to 167,126 within 15 years.

The Local Plan also looks at the protection and enhancement of the environment, provision of infrastructure to support the planned growth and development and how sustainable transport can be achieved.

Strategies and sites set out in the Local Plan then become part of the council’s development scheme and carry full weight in the determination of planning applications.

About £3.4 million was spent developing the draft Local Plan from 2009 to 2018-19. A  further £287,300 is expected to be spent in 2019-20 progressing the plan, supporting documents and £300,000 more as a contingency for any statutory challenge

Main points of the plan:

  • 562 dwellings to be built per annum between 2015-34, totalling 10,678;
  • The total supply of homes between 2015-34 will be 14,602, including ones completed and those with permission, and the windfall of homes needed;
  • At least 40% of affordable home contribution on sites providing more than five dwellings;
  • Approximately 3,000 units will be in urban areas;
  • At least 3,200 homes will be provided in two urban extensions, Gosden Hill Farm and Blackwell Farm;
  • A new settlement will be created at Wisley for about 2,000 homes;
  • Provision for 36,100 to 43,700 square metres of office and research and development;
  • Provision for 3.7 to 4.1 hectares of industrial land;
  • 41,000 square metre of retail floor-space;
  • Ensures a rolling five-year housing land supply;
  • Redevelopment of Guildford station, including two new stations in the borough at Park Barn and Merrow;
  • New park-and-ride at Gosden Hill Farm;
  • Strategic sites to be developed later in the 15-year cycle include North Street development, Slyfield Area Regeneration Project, Gosden Hill Farm, Blackwell Farm and former Wisley Airfield;
  • Preparation of the Local Plan started in 2012 and it has been through four formal public consultations;
  • The plan went through a 12-day inquiry in June and July 2018 presided over by an examining  planning inspector, then a formal public consultation on main modifications in September and October 2018;
  • A further two-day hearing was then held in February; and
  • The inspector’s final report was published on March 28.

 

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