Guildford Dragon Letter: With Comments
I tend to agree with some of David Smith’s comments in his letter:What Alternative Is There To Building More Homes?, especially the one about not arguing with facts. But where are the facts to justify the numbers of houses proposed [in the Draft Local Plan] and wholesale changes to the green belt in the borough.
The best place to start is to understand the true need and apply physical and legal constraints. Then we will all know the challenge we face. At the moment we don’t know the real nature of the problem to solve, let alone be in a position to provide the solutions. This process has been the wrong way round.
In the world of innovation and disruptive thinking (I guess we will need to do one or both of these in Guildford) you have to know “what is the job to be done”; what is/are the brilliant question/s we need to ask to come up with new thinking.
If this Draft Local Plan was presented before industry no agency would even start until it knew what the real task at hand was. They would start by asking “Why?” at least five times to every answer which was given to the simplest question/statement “We need more houses” Q “Why do we need more houses? A “The existing ones are too expensive” Q Why? A……? etc. Soon you end up in a much richer, motivating problem, pleading to be solved.
One thing is for sure we won’t solve the affordability issue of the area by building loads of houses unless we make Guildford Borough such an undesirable place to live in and locate businesses in, as a result. The size and importance of London, proximity to Heathrow and Gatwick, the influence of China, Malaysia, Korea, Russia etc on London property prices are all too powerful.
Can we imagine Steve Jobs tackling our “problem” with lets “build them higher” or “over there in that field because its owned by hedge funds and I know they want to make money?”
Guildford can think better than that but let’s all agree on what the real job to be done is first. Let’s hope this happens soon.