Another pertinent letter in the Guildford Dragon
Letter: Why Is Our Housing Number Out of Step With Nearby Local Authorities?
Why is it that all other boroughs and district councils in Surrey have a annual build number around 300-350* and Guildford persist with 680? This is what is putting the pressure on the green belt: a stupid “evidenced based” document that the Guildford Borough Council (GBC) Executive has insisted should be put forward in this consultation, without amendment, despite hard facts and figures being produced to show our annual build should be around 400.
If I felt that by building in Guildford our young people would be able to live here I would support it but we are a commuter town and always have been. I spent the first 15 years of my married life in Aldershot before finally being able to afford Normandy and I would say, to younger aspiring home owners, there was nothing wrong with that, it is not that far away.
I am sure Carol Humphrey finally had enough of just doing what she was told by the council leader, Stephen Mansbridge and Cllr Juneja and of being treated so badly by the leader (as reported in The Guildford Dragon NEWS) in public.
Such a huge housebuilding number requires schools, shops and medical facilities. It is difficult to find non green belt land for these. So perhaps GBC should not only consult but listen and learn from the huge talent provided by the Guildford Society and GGG, amongst others.
Personally I am very concerned by the choice of the contractors who have prepared the papers. Their website says that they are “one of the UK’s leading independent property consultancies providing trusted commercial property advice to the public sector, developers, investors and occupiers”. So we can see what the figure is based on: the drive to expand Guildford as a commercial centre.
*Source: April 2014 press release from CPRE, EGRA, GRA, GGG, GSoc, GVG, Save Hogs Back, entitled “Key Local Groups Combine on New Homes Target for Guildford”
Extract from the release:
“Comparison with other authorities
Whilst not a formal step in the Local Plan process, it is well worth comparing Guildford’s targets with those of other neighbouring authorities. Those with agreed targets include:
Epsom 181; Tandridge 125; Spelthorne 166; Mole Valley 188; Surrey Heath 190; Rushmoor 374 (includes a major brownfield opportunity); Elmbridge 225; Woking 292.
This benchmarking demonstrates that a target for GBC of 300-345 is in line with other neighbouring authorities and demonstrates to the public that Guildford is delivering its “fair share” of housing.”
Editor’s note: It has been reported that Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan was rejected by a Planning Inspector because the housing number it contained was too low. It has also been reported that the housing number for Woking Borough Council is now subject to review.
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