Fringe Box



What Local Representatives Think About the Gosden Hill Consultation Announcement

Published on: 7 Aug, 2023
Updated on: 9 Aug, 2023

Aerial view of the Gosden Hill site Image Martin Grant

By Martin Giles

Developer Martin Grant’s announcement that it is to proceed with public consultation on its site at Gosden Hill is obviously a significant event within the borough.

See: Developer Announces Public Consultation Events for Gosden Hill Site

The Dragon sought the views of GBC’s lead councillor for Planning, Lib Dem George Potter (he is also a borough councillor for Burpham), Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson and the chair of the Burpham Community Association, Andy Clapham.

All three were asked to address the following questions in their responses:

  • Do you welcome the announcement?
  • What impact do you feel the development will have on Burpham and the surrounding area?
  • What additional infrastructure requirements will there be?
  • Do you anticipate that the views of local residents will be respected?

Here is what they said…

Cllr George Potter

Cllr George Potter

“We’re very pleased to see the start of the consultation process. Over the past few weeks we, along with the other ward councillors, have been working to ensure that this will be a meaningful, real consultation. Martin Grant Homes have said they’ll be consulting early, and widely, with the whole community and all key stakeholders, so that feedback can be taken into account before plans for the site are finalised.

“The key issues with this site will always be the potential traffic impact on the surrounding area and the potential increased strain on local services, infrastructure and wildlife if the site is not built to be sustainable. However, with good design, this site has the potential to [be sustainable] provided much-needed infrastructure which would benefit local people, such as a new healthcare centre, new schools, new protected greenspace and potentially a new railway station [is provided].

“The planning department has organised an independent Design Review Panel to work with the developers to scrutinise, and help improve, the masterplan for the site. So far this process seems to be working well, and the developer has been saying all the right things about designing out car-dependency and building a self-sustaining community, but obviously we’ll need to see whether this is borne out in the actual planning application.”

Angela Richardson MP.

Angela Richardson, MP

“Whilst I appreciate that we do not yet have the full details of the proposal, I share residents’ concerns about the impact of a potential development at Gosden Hill both on Burpham and the surrounding area.

“As part of my work through the Burpham Flood Forum and from regular conversations with residents on the doorstep, I know that concerns mainly sit around future infrastructure provision, flooding mitigations and an increased traffic volume through Burpham.

“It is important that housing is built in the right areas supported by the appropriate infrastructure.

“I hope that as part of their proposals, and application following the consultation. that the developer will incorporate the necessary infrastructure, as set out in the Local Plan, so that residents in Burpham and Merrow are not adversely impacted by any new housing.

“I am pleased that local residents, businesses and community groups will be able to make their views heard in an extensive consultation later this year. It is imperative that the developer carefully listens to and addresses any concerns raised.

“Residents can be assured that I will be following this process closely and ensuring that their views are heard by all necessary stakeholders.”

Andy Clapham, chair of the Burpham Community Association

“The BCA welcomes the Martin Grant consultation exercise and intends to play an active role in it.

“As planned, the development will produce significant additional traffic through Burpham (and to an extent Merrow) and major changes to traffic flows, several hundred vehicles daily forced to turn right at junctions which are already congested across existing flows of thousands of vehicles per day.

“It will also lead to less rainwater being absorbed into the ground and more needing to be dealt with via drains, streams and sewers.

“If the development is to be tolerable for its residents and existing Burpham residents there will be a requirement for:

  • public transport links, walking and cycling routes;
  • traffic provision. The proposed southbound-only interchange with the A3 is grossly inadequate, there are no credible proposals for traffic links to Guildford;
  • provision for rainwater drainage, preventing downstream flood risk;
  • sewage movement and treatment capacity;
  • clean water; and
  • electricity.

“We hope that the views of residents will be heard and acted on but recognise that this requires action from Thames Water, Surrey County Council, Guildford Borough Council and Highways England as well as Martin Grant.”

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Responses to What Local Representatives Think About the Gosden Hill Consultation Announcement

  1. Alistair Smith Reply

    August 7, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    It will be interesting to see how the proposals conform with the proposals in the Strategic Development Framework – Supplementary Planning Document (adopted by GBC 2020) and the detailed points for consideration on environment, transport, etc in Policy A25 in the 2019 Local Plan.

    Alistair Smith is chair of The Guildford Society

  2. Peta Malthouse Reply

    August 7, 2023 at 9:42 pm

    Traffic management is the big issue but I am not confident it will be addressed. We also need truly affordable homes and social housing but I have no confidence in either the council or our MP.

    Development on the west side of the borough failed to attract Highways funding despite promises and the then Tory Council borrowed £50 million to put a bridge over Ash Crossing…a job that should have been paid for by the SCC Highways. Now we can’t afford to borrow any more.

  3. Victor Howarth Reply

    August 8, 2023 at 9:38 am

    One aspect of any new housing development should include new thinking of not only road systems to take road traffic of all sorts but also what happens with water in general that is needed in dry parts of the year and is plenty at other times.

    If all new houses had water storage it could be used instead of costly drinking water.

    Currently, suppliers charge to take away rainwater and have problems when summer comes to supply enough clean water.

    Waste water and sewerage remover are now handled by systems not designed for 21st-century life. London has had to cope with an expensive rebuild of its central sewerage under the Thames but the rest of the UK is made up of growing villages and towns that have no chance of accepting such a build.

    Those responsible should draw up plans for the future now on how to cope with expansion of the human race and then build houses accordingly.

    Straight lines are easier to draw before blobs appear.

    • Mark Stamp Reply

      August 8, 2023 at 3:00 pm

      Exactly. Why do we flush our toilets with drinking quality water?

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