Report on Council Meeting which approved the draft Local Plan

The email below is from the Clandon Residents Association.

It gives a good account of what happened at the Council meeting on 19 June at which the draft Local Plan was approved for consultation.

Worth reading.

Gives references to the webcast – so you can see how your councillor(s) performed.

Dear all

Last night we lost the vote to get the draft Guildford Plan delayed for a review before it went to public consultation by 27 to 14 with 1 abstention.

One councillor who could not be there because of ill health had a statement read out that said he would have voted against the plan, four others simply gave ‘apologies for absence’.

While this is a setback, we should not underestimate the enormity of what we have achieved.

Only two weeks ago it looked as though this would go through with some dissent, but pretty much a walkover on voting as far as the ruling party, Cllr Mansbridge (Leader of the council), Cllr Juneja (leading the Plan), the council’s Executive Committee and the planning officers were concerned – all of whom have been pushing the current draft Plan forward.

It was quite clear that Cllr Mansbridge and his team had done a great deal of work behind the scenes to intimidate councillors.

At the same time they used appalling scare tactics about the dire consequences of delaying getting the Plan out to consultation – claiming there would be wholesale and uncontrolled building all over the Green Belt which nobody could stop.

Mansbridge was quoted in the Surrey Advertiser saying we could have 20,000 houses built on the Green Belt if the Plan was even delayed!

Yet last night virtually all councillors from all political parties expressed real concerns about flaws in the Plan – some thanking residents and groups like ours for information and facts received they had not been aware of before.

Even most of those who voted for the Plan to go to public consultation expressed grave reservations.

ACHIEVEMENT

To have half of those voting saying ‘No’ to the council’s Juggernaut (in the most literal sense) is, we believe, an extraordinary achievement – bloodying the council’s nose and putting a hefty shot across the bows of those advocating the current Plan.

Eventually those advocates had to take the tactic of conceding that the Plan has faults and that these now need to be addressed in the consultation process.

So, although we may not have got the vote last night, we, together with the other local groups formed to achieve a sensible and sustainable Plan for Guildford, have managed to make some major inroads in showing that the draft as it stands is unacceptable and will need to be changed – and public acknowledgement from its advocates that this should happen.

In addition MPs and even MEPs have got involved and messages spread both up and down the political party lines.

THANKS

For this our huge thanks go out to all of you for your enormous efforts in getting your emails created and sent to all councillors, MPs, MEPs and the planning office, and printing off copies of your letters for distribution to councillors.

We are in discussions with the Surrey Advertiser about this and will report back with what we can achieve there in the immediate and longer term future as we seek to get our concerns publicised.

OUR COUNCILLORS

We would like to take this opportunity to applaud three of our councillors who stood up against their own party, and the enormous pressures put on them, and voted against the current draft Plan going to consultation in its present format.

 Cllrs Jennifer Powell, Jenny Wicks and Andrew French each made powerful cases about the proposed school in Clandon, the destruction of the Green Belt and the need to review the current Plan.

 They were each prepared to state that they would vote against it going to consultation, and had the enormous courage to stand up in public and vote against their party’s instructions.

 Andrew French stated that it was the first time he had taken this step in 20 years of being a councillor, and Jenny Wicks counteracted Cllr Juneja very forcefully (and out of order according to the Mayor, but not as far as the public were concerned!) when the latter made claims about the former which were patently untrue.

 Cllr Terence Patrick spoke against the proposed school in a question to a speaker from the public, and used his speaking slot to question why the request by the Scrutiny Committee (which he chairs) for a review of the housing numbers required (652 per year) had been ignored.

 However, when it came to the vote Terence Patrick voted for the draft Plan in its current state to go to consultation.

 You can see our councillors in action by tuning in to the podcast of the meeting at:

http://www.guildford.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/139101 

 Although the speakers are listed on the right hand side these seem to be out of sync with the actual video, so we suggest you simply move the progress bar at the bottom of the video to the times we have tested out below to view our councillors’ contributions.

 Jennifer Powell, followed by Andrew French, followed by Jenny Wicks can be seen at: 03.19.30

 Terence Patrick can be seen at: 02.18.50 and his question raising the school at: 01.50.28

 Cllr Liz Hogger (Lib Dem for Effingham) spoke extremely well against the proposed school in Clandon based on Effingham’s experience and can be seen at: 03.03.13

 Keith Taylor, who is Surrey County Councillor for Shere, Guildford Councillor for Send and the man who pushed for two schools to be included in the Plan at the last minute, gives a flavour of the main Conservative team and can be seen at: 03.39.27

 Susan Parker (Guildford Green Belt Group) can be seen at: 00.14.40

Note how she is attacked in questions one after another by Conservative councillors.

 However, to see the real shame of Cllr Mansbridge’s cabal watch the treatment of young Catherine Sambrook, a student who spoke passionately about preserving Guildford at: 01.16.42

 Mrs Linda Fox, who speaks about being homeless and living sustainably, does not declare that she is actually PA to Dr Malcolm Parry, Director Research Park & University Planning Officer at Surrey University – responsible for the university’s expansion plans, which are a fundamental part of the present Plan, and who reports directly to Greg Melly, university Vice-President who also happened to speak at the meeting in support of the University’s development plans.

 We spotted Mrs Fox driving away immediately after speaking in a shiny new car(!) she can be seen at: 01.09.26

 The meeting went on for four and a half hours last night and, as you can see, despite the best attempts by the Mayor, those of us in the public gallery played our part in showing how residents feel about the issues at every opportunity :o)

 GOING FORWARD

There is much to be considered from the meeting. In the coming days we will be putting together our thoughts for the way forward, and in what areas we will need your help in seeking to remove the proposals for the school and Gosden Hill Farm.

 Last night was an education about the pressures political parties bring to bear on the people who, ostensibly, are there to represent us, their residents, and how those who want to see the Plan enacted in its current form are prepared to use misinformation and intimidation to get their way.

 Our campaign will need to be intelligent, sustained and consistent, and we will need total involvement by everyone who does not wish to see the Clandons and our Green Belt destroyed.

 We have all achieved much we can be proud of, but we should be in no doubt about the fight ahead.

 Thank you again for all your efforts and support now and as we go forward.

 Protect Clandon, part of the Clandon Society, the residents’ association of East and West Clandon

Exceptional circumstances

‘Exceptional Circumstances’

Planning law states that Green Belt boundaries may only be changed in ‘exceptional circumstances’. This statement is repeated in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) at para 83:

‘Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan. At that time, authorities should consider the Green Belt boundaries having regard to their intended permanence in the long term, so that they should be capable of enduring beyond the plan period.’

What does this statement mean?

The judge in the St Albans v Hunston Pties case said:

‘The Framework was published by the Government in order to set out its planning policies for England, so as to give guidance to local planning authorities and other decisions-makers in the planning system. It was seen by the Minister for Planning as simplifying national planning guidance “by replacing over a thousand pages of national policy with around fifty, written simply and clearly.” Unhappily, as this case demonstrates, the process of simplification has in certain instances led to a diminution in clarity.’

This is the link to the St Albans case:

http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/1610.html&query=st+and+albans+and+v+and+hunston&method=boolean

It turns on what circumstances are considered exceptional.

GBC’s opinion

Guildford Borough Council (GBC) has stated what it considers to be the meaning of ‘exceptional circumstances’. It can be found at   Appendix 4b Sub Appendix A Joint Scrutiny Committee Resolution 8 published in connection with the Scrutiny Committee on the draft Local Plan.

Appendix 4 – exceptional circumstances

There is no definition of what constitutes exceptional circumstances, as this will vary locally. Legal advice suggests that it is likely to be interpreted as circumstances arising that are not commonplace. We consider that a combination of factors exist locally that together constitute exceptional circumstances that enable us to take the decision to amend our Green Belt boundaries. This includes the high level of housing need, including affordable homes, exacerbated by a significant backlog of unmet need, the lack of suitable alternative land, the general lack of affordability across the borough and issues with housing mix. Additionally we need to consider the consequences of not amending our Green Belt boundaries which would be to significantly worsen an already difficult housing position, and the consequential economic situation.’

The opinion of the Courts

 The Court of Appeal laid down the meaning of the words ‘exceptional circumstances’ in the context of plannign law as long ago as 2001 in the COPAS case:  COPAS & Anr v Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead  February, 2001

You can read the case by following this link:

http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2001/180.html&query=COPAS&method=boolean

The Court is the second highest court in the land. Three judges sit to hear cases. Its opinion is therefore authoritative.

This is what Simon Brown LJ ruled in para 40

‘I would hold that the requisite necessity in a … case like the present – where the revision proposed is to increase the Green Belt – cannot be adjudged to arise unless some fundamental assumption which caused the land initially to be excluded from the Green Belt is thereafter clearly and permanently falsified by a later event.    Only then could the continuing exclusion of the land from the Green Belt properly be characterised as “an incongruous anomaly”.’

This case was cited as a leading precedent by the judge in the Gallagher case only a few months ago.

Gallagher v Solihull April, 2014 (High Court England & Wales)

You can read this case by following this link:

http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2014/1283.html&query=gallagher+and+v+and+solihull&method=boolean

The judge in that case said:

At para 125

“The test for redefining a Green Belt boundary has not been changed by the NPPF.” “… it is not arguable that the mere process of preparing a new local plan could itself be regarded as an exceptional circumstance justifying an alteration to a Green Belt boundary. National guidance has always dealt with revisions of the Green Belt in the context of reviews of local plans (e.g. paragraph 2.7 of PPG2: paragraph 83 above), and has always required “exceptional circumstances” to justify a revision. The NPPF makes no change to this.”

‘ For redefinition of a Green Belt, para 2.7 of PPG2 required exceptional circumstances which ‘necessitated’ a revision of the existing boundary. However, this is a single composite test; because, for these purposes, circumstances are not exceptional unless they do necessitate a revision of the boundary (COPAS at [23] per Simon Brown LJ). Therefore, although the words requiring necessity for a boundary revision have been omitted from para 83 of the NPPF, the test remains the same.’

‘Exceptional circumstances are required for any revision of the boundary, whether the proposal is to extend or diminish the Green Belt. That is the ratio of Carpets of Worth.’

‘Whilst each case is fact-sensitive and the question of whether circumstances are exceptional for these purposes requires an exercise of planning judgment, what is capable of amounting to exceptional circumstances is a matter of law, and a plan-maker may err in law if he fails to adopt a lawful approach to exceptional circumstances. Once a Green Belt has been established and approved, it requires more than general planning concepts to justify an alteration.’

At para 130 he stated:

‘In other words, something must have occurred subsequent to the definition of the Green Belt boundary that justifies a change. The fact that, after the definition of the Green Belt boundary, the local authority or an inspector may form a different view on where the boundary should lie, however cogent that view on planning grounds, that cannot of itself constitute an exceptional circumstance which necessitates and therefore justifies a change and so the inclusion of the land in the Green Belt (see Hague at [32] per Collins J. Collins J in Hague held that, in addition to the undoing of an assumption on which the original decision was made, a clear error in excluding land from the Green Belt is sufficient, no such error is suggested here; and I need not consider that aspect of Hague further.)’

At para 131 he stated:

‘COPAS is, of course, binding upon me. Mr Dove said that these cases are fact-sensitive, and the facts of that case were very different from this. That is true; but, in the passage I have just quoted from Simon Brown LJ’s judgment, he was clearly and deliberately determining, as a matter of principle, what “exceptional circumstances” required, as a matter of law, in a case such as this. It is expressly a holding, with which the whole court agreed. I am consequently bound by it. In any event, it seems to have been consistently applied for over ten years; and, in my respectful view, is right.’

‘However, it is not arguable that the mere process of preparing a new local plan could itself be regarded as an exceptional circumstance justifying an alteration to a Green Belt boundary. National guidance has always dealt with revisions of the Green Belt in the context of reviews of local plans (e.g. paragraph 2.7 of PPG2: paragraph 83 above), and has always required “exceptional circumstances” to justify a revision. The NPPF makes no change to this.’

Your opinion?

Which of these interpretations do you think is objectively correct? GBC no doubt prefer their own opinion. But it is their own subjective opinion. It is for the courts to interpret the meaning of the policy.

The judge in the Gallagher case stated:

‘Whilst each case is fact-sensitive and the question of whether circumstances are exceptional for these purposes requires an exercise of planning judgment, what is capable of amounting to exceptional circumstances is a matter of law, and a plan-maker may err in law if he fails to adopt a lawful approach to exceptional circumstances. Once a Green Belt has been established and approved, it requires more than general planning concepts to justify an alteration.’

Some unique exceptional circumstances in Guildford

You may wish to consider if these circumstances are out of the commonplace and exceptional:

1)     The publication of a draft local plan without having first established the Housing Requirement figure

2)     The publication of a draft local plan without having completed a transport strategy

3)     The promotion of a ‘new town’ at Wisley – without asking and answering the logically prior question: does GBC need a new town?

4)     The inclusion of just one site for a new town in the draft local plan without any consideration of any other sites – or any public competition between sites

You might wish to consider whether these exceptional circumstances are consistent with Guildford Code of Conduct and Probity in Planning Code?

How was it that the private interest of the developer of Three Farms Meadow (aka Former Wisley Airfield) was promoted in the draft local plan – and mentioned in the first few paragraphs of the drafts of the document?

You might expect that since the Lead Councillor for Planning was elected on the basis, inter alia, of her statements that she was a barrister that she would be fastidious in ensuring that all the sites in the draft local plan can be justified by exceptional circumstances.

You might expect that the Council would be fastidious in applying its Codes.

To include sites for which no exceptional circumstances can be shown would be reckless.

Has not the Council been exposed to the risk of adverse judicial review of its decisions? Was this a good use of public money?

 

 

3 facts about WPI’s front man

Que.  Who is behind the plan to remove 117 hectares from the Green Belt at Ockham?

Ans The land was acquired by a Caymans company called Wisley Property Investments (WPI). It purchased the land from Wharf Land – a Jersey company since liquidated. It is thought that the promoters of WPI are the same or similar to the people behind Wharf Land. But they remain hidden behind the secrecy of their offshore registration – beyond reach of British disclosure rules – and taxes.

Que So who fronts up for this company?

Ans. The person who consistently speaks on behalf of WPI (but refuses to disclose any information about its owners and financiers) is Mr Michael Murray. He regularly gives quotes to the Surrey Advertiser.

Que. Who is he?

 Ans. It turns out that he is a Conservative Party Councillor from The Vale of White Horse District Council in Oxfordshire. This is his entry on their website:

Councillor Michael Murray

Party: Conservative

Ward: Hendreds

Que. Why is he promoting WPI’s change of use of its land at Three Farms Meadow?

Ans. Well you’d have to ask him of course. When I asked him whether he has any financial interest in WPI he was evasive. But he has stated that he had no conflict of interest. It is not clear if that means that he is does not personally stand to make money if WPI manages to achieve a ‘change of use’ of Three Farms Meadow. Funnily enough he has an executive position on the Vale of White Horse District Council.  He is ‘Cabinet member for planning policy, including the core strategy’.
Que. Aren’t the Conservatives supposed to support the Green Belt?
Ans. Yes it was a manifesto commitment of the Guildford Tories, apparently. They do not seem to be living up to their election promises though.
Que. Does Mike Murray have any connections with the GBC executive?
Ans. Dont know. But he was seen by constituents at one of the GBC roadshows promoting the Local Plan. Apparently he spoke in favour of a ‘new town’ at Wisley.
Que. Anything wrong with that?
Ans. Yes. People who were there say he did not disclose any affiliation with WPI. So innocent members of the public could have received the impression that his comments came from a disinterested member of GBC. Taken with the fact that WPI and its agent Savilles state that GBC is ‘promoting’ the former Wisley Airfield as a site for a new town it all looks rather cosy.

Why GBC’s housing numbers do not add up. Listen to the public

Watch the public slam the housing numbers

Mrs Susan Parker of Guildford Green Belt launched a petition to

prepare a new SHMA and reject the consultant’s draft report as inadequate

Jane Buckingham launched a petition to

recognise the wishes of Effingham residents of maintaining the Green Belt between Effingham and Bookham when Guildford Borough Council is consulted on the Mole Valley Green Belt review.

Members of the public had the opportunity to address GBC on these issues at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on 26 February, 2014.

Watch the webcast:

http://www.guildford.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/127864

The public speakers are not all named on the webcast.

You will be left in no doubt that the developers attack on the Green Belt is unjustified.

Watch the speakers demolish the SHMA housing figures.

See especially Mrs Susan Parker, Dr Peter Shaw, Mr Roland McKinney, Mrs Helen Jefferies and Mr Ben Paton

Time in webcast Speaker comment
00:15:19 Arnold Pinner Chairman of Effingham Parish Council
00:18:28 David King Sec of Effingham Ratepayers Assoc
00:21:46 Lowis Driscoll Effingham Resident
00:24:26 Mr Tim Harrold Council for the Protection of Rural England
00:26:56 Susan Morris Local Historian
00:30:08 Vivianne White Effingham Resident and Historian
00:33:29 Mr Roland McKinney Effingham Resident
00:36:59 Public speaker Need vs demand
00:39.57 Dr Peter Shaw Student population demographics errors
00:43:14 Mr Ben Paton Judgement required in choosing housing numbers
00:46:39 Mrs Helen Jefferies House prices in Guildford
00:50:01 Public Speaker Inaccuracies in the evidence
00:53:17:13 Mr Roland McKinney Congestion
00:56:40 Public Speaker Shortcomings of SHMA
01:02:15 Jane Buckingham Effingham petition organiser
01:19:25 Jane Buckingham Effingham petition organiser
01:26:50 Mrs Susan Parker SHMA petition organiser
02:15:45 Mrs Susan Parker SHMA petition organiser

RESTORE DEMOCRACY: change the ‘leaders’ who won’t listen: call a referendum now

Guildford Green Belt Group (GGG) is starting a petition to change the leadership of Guildford Borough Council.

Guildford is run by a ‘leader’ called Stephen Mansbridge and a ‘cabinet’ of 9 councillors picked by him – including Ms Monika Juneja who is responsible for the Local Plan process.

Despite lengthy, detailed, and repeated exposure of the errors of fact, mistakes, and wrong arguments used in the local plan process the ‘leader’ and his cabinet have taken no heed.

The Localism Act allows us to get rid of the ‘Tin Ear’ and replace it with committee government that pays heed to objective facts and listens.

Let’s just do it!

Good luck GGG and well done for taking on the ‘leader’!

Here is the GGG press release.

Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG) Press announcement 13 June 2014

 

RESTORING DEMOCRACY

 

GUILDFORD GREENBELT GROUP TO SEEK PUBLIC REFERENDUM TO REMOVE GUILDFORD COUNCIL’S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND RESTORE DEMOCRACY

 

Move is result of Executive Committee’s failure to follow procedures and respond to its own Scrutiny Committee’s demands for revisions on housing numbers ahead of Guildford Plan consultation

 

Guildford Greenbelt Group (GGG), the organisation representing residents concerned by Guildford Council’s plan to build major developments on Surrey’s Green Belt, is to petition for a referendum to remove the council’s Executive Committee and restore a more democratic system.

 

The Group says it has been left with no alternative following the Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday 4 June which ignored demands by the council’s own Scrutiny Committee to revise the Plan’s inflated required housing number of 652 per year before the Plan goes to public consultation.

 

Instead the Executive Committee went ahead and approved the current Plan for public consultation – meaning that the public will be told that 652 is the required figure for housing each year.

 

Susan Parker, Chair of GGG, said: “The Executive Committee has ignored calls from the council’s own Scrutiny Committee to review the housing target and the housing requirement calculations it is based on.

 

“As a result, we feel we have no option other than to petition for a Referendum to return the Council to a more democratic structure which will better respond to residents’ and councillors’ concerns.

 

“Guildford area residents who want to ensure the Council’s decision making process is more accountable and transparent, and that the law protecting the Green Belt is properly applied, can start now by signing this petition which will be posted on our website at  http://guildfordgreenbeltgroup.co.uk/

 

The Metropolitan Green Belt was created in the public interest by national planning policy to prevent urban sprawl and stop towns merging into each other. An inflated housing number is not in the public interest and jeopardises the permanence and credibility of our Green Belt.

 

Under the Localism Act, councils have to hold a referendum if five per cent of the electorate sign a petition calling for one – in the borough of Guildford, that would require 5243 signatures.

 

The referendum will enable the people of Guildford to choose to support either the Executive system in place at present or a committee structure where the decisions of committees shape policy.

 

At present, the Council is governed by an Executive system, which means the Leader (appointed by the largest party) and nine other councillors (appointed by the Leader) make all the significant decisions.

 

Under the committee system all elected councillors are able to participate in the process of local government, which would mean that the decisions of councillors would be followed and respected.

 

Since 2011, when the Localism Act came into force, nine councils have scrapped the executive for a committee system and at least seven others are considering it.  If enough signatures are collected in the borough of Guildford, a referendum vote must be held.

 

Contact details:

 

Susan Parker 01483 203167

 

BACKGROUND

On Wednesday 4 June, the Guildford Borough Council (GBC) held an Executive Committee meeting which unanimously approved the Local Plan for public consultation with an unchanged housing requirement figure of 652 houses per annum, which, backdated to 2011, gives a minimum new housing number of 13040. Over the next 17 years that would result in the housing stock in the borough increasing by approximately 25%.

 

On 15 May, GBC’s Scrutiny Committee voted to revise the housing number. It was agreed that this revision should to take place before the Executive Committee meeting on 4 June. GGG therefore considers that Executive governance has ceased to work in Guildford.

 

Cllr Phillips, who proposed the formal recommendation from the Scrutiny Committee that the numbers in the draft Local Plan be revised, asked at the Executive Committee meeting as the first speaker in the Councillors’ part of the debate:

 

I was pleased that the joint Scrutiny Committee accepted my suggestion… to have another look at the housing numbers.  …It was hoped that we would have an answer by today. Can you tell me, has this happened? Have you looked at this yet?  If you have, what is the housing number and has it reduced as we were hoping it would be?”.

 

It was confirmed that the meeting had not yet taken place. Cllr Juneja indicated that a meeting would take place on Friday 6 June, that the number had not been reduced at present but would be “challenged” by the Executive.

 

That meeting has now taken place and there is still no change to the proposed housing number. It seems that 652 will be included as the housing target in the draft Local Plan.

 

GGG is concerned that the Executive Committee has chosen to ignore the valid recommendation from its own Scrutiny Committee in terms of the plan process.

 

Councillors at that committee appreciated constituents’ and residents’ groups’ genuine concerns at the calculation of the housing numbers, and argued cogently for a consequential revision.

 

The figure for Housing Need is set out in the Local Plan Evidence base in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment or SHMA prepared by GL Hearn.  Following public demands for a review of the evidence base, Edge Analytics have reviewed GL Hearn’s original SHMA, and only given it “an amber tick”.  Residents and campaign groups have questioned the calculations behind the housing number, and noted specific errors.   Despite this the housing target number has only gone down by 18 houses per annum (from 670 to 652).

 

As a result the extent of the reliance that can be placed on the Executive’s challenge is limited.

 

This is not the first time that the process of democratic decision-making within the council has been set aside as a result of the decisions of the Executive.

 

Previously, on 13 January 2014, GBC agreed by formal vote that

 

The Council will enable full public involvement in this reappraisal of the evidence base, especially the Green Belt and Countryside Study, by holding a special joint meeting of the two Scrutiny Committees”.

 

In response to this on 4 March 2014 GBC held the Local Plan Scrutiny Forum to discuss the evidence base.

 

The Forum consisted of two parallel mass workshops, each lasting around 2 hours, with no formal record of the comments made.  GGG does not consider that this met the undertaking of full public involvement in the reappraisal of the evidence base, but instead represented a measure of tokenism which has been previously displayed in the consultation process.

 

As a result, GGG is calling for a change in the operations of local government and will present a petition calling for a public referendum on the governance of Guildford Borough Council.   This formal petition is available to download from  http://guildfordgreenbeltgroup.co.uk, and arrangements will be made to set up an online petition in parallel.

 

-ends-

Watch petitioners slam GBC for development at West Horsley and Hog’s Back

Watch the public criticisms of the Issues and Options Paper

Watch the webcast

http://www.guildford.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_inteWractive/123800

There have been no less than FIVE petitions organised by members of the public to protest at different elements of Guildford Borough Council’s (GBC’s) local plan process.

If a petition gets more than 500 subscribers then the Petitioner is granted 10 minutes to address the council and up to ten others may speak for 3 minutes each.

All of these petitions received well over 500 votes and most were stopped soon after the 500 threshold was crossed. This is an indication of the strength of feeling and level or concern generated by the local plan process.

Extraordinary Meeting of GBC on 13 January, 2014

This meeting was held to hear two petitions:

Keep West Horsley in the Green Belt   And

Save the Hogs Back

The webcast of the meeting is at:

http://www.guildford.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/123800

Watch the public speakings presenting their cases in three minutes each.

If you are pressed for time just listen to the speeches made by the petition organisers and take 10 minutes to listen to the speeches by Mr Mark Payne, Dr Peter Shaw and Mr Ben Patton.

You will be left in no doubt that the local plan is a mess.

Time in webcast Speaker comment
2:12:23 Mr Jules Cranwell Petition organiser: Keep West Horsley in the Green Belt
2:19:42 Mrs Karen Stevens Petition organiser: Save the Hog’s Back
00:36:07 Mr Robert Burch Resident: Critique of University’s building plans
00:39:34 Mr Tom Stevens Lack of road infrastructure: unacceptable congestion
00:43:00 Mr Martin Dowland No justificaton to change the Green Belt boundary at Manor Farm again
00:46:03 Mr Peter Elliott Save the Hog’s Back: environmental vandalism
00:49:35 Mr Tim Harrold Council for the Protection of Rural England
00:53:12 Mr Ramsey Nagaty Resident of Hog’s Back
00:57:00 Mr Mark Payne Resident: Broken promises(Must listen to this. It is brilliant)
01:00:33 Mrs Susan Parker Guildford Green Belt Group:
01:04:23 Mr Tony Thompson
01:08:13 Dr Peter Shaw Resident: Statistics distorted by students(Must listen to this. It is brilliant)
01:11:22 Mr Ben Patton Resident: ‘This document is not fit for purpose’(Must listen to this. It is brilliant)

See the list of petitions on GBC’s website here:

http://petitions.guildford.gov.uk/list/closed

Tell the developers what you think – live

Part of the glossy promotional activity intended to win over hearts and minds is a set of ‘workshops’ being held by Wisley Property Investments in the coming weeks. If you support our campaign, please attend and make your opinions known.

• Friday 9th May 4.30pm – 7.30pm: Guildford YMCA, Bridge St, Guildford, GU1 4SB
• Saturday 10th May 11.00am – 3.30pm (Workshop sessions 12pm-2pm): Guildford YMCA, Bridge St, Guildford, GU1 4SB
• Friday 16th May 4.30pm-7.30pm: The Talbot, High St, Ripley, GU23 6BB
• Saturday 17th May 11.00am-3.30pm: Marquee at Wisley Airfield, Ockham Lane, Surrey GU23 6NT
• Monday 19th May 4.30pm-7.30pm: Village Hall, Kingston Avenue, East Horsley, KT24 6QT