The trustees of Clandon Estate have suggested the club be developed for new homes, a business park and schools as part of Guildford’s local plan
Posted 1 April 2015 By James Watkins in the Surrey Advertiser
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A proposal to remove land in Merrow from the green belt, easing the way for a 1,000-home development, was discussed at a public meeting last month.
As part of the local plan, the trustees of Clandon Estate have suggested that Clandon Golf Club can be developed for new homes, a business park, schools and an expansion to the park and ride.
On Monday March 30, the Merrow Residents’ Association met to discuss the proposal.
Keith Meldrum, chairman of the group, said prior to the meeting: “I expect to have a lively debate on this proposal to take the whole of this site out of the green belt and to build 1,000 houses together with a new school and some shops.
“We are fortunate in Merrow in having such an attractive green space on our doorstop and on the entrance to our village to compliment Clandon Park on the other side of the A25.
“I am optimistic that the AGM will support the concerns of the MRA executive committee and agree that we should resist the whole of this proposal and that there should be no development on this site apart, of course, from the golf clubhouse for which planning consent has already been obtained.”
While stressing that a formal planning application has not been submitted, Councillor Graham Ellwood, who sits on the borough council planning committee as a representative for Merrow, said: “I’m totally and utterly opposed to any building on that site.
“It is a green belt site. We need housing. We need business use, and there other places in Guildford which will support that happening, but not here.
“If worse comes to worse, I think the land should be turned back into arable land.
“If it becomes essential for us to do so, because of the housing target, we need to look at sites that are more brownfield rather than green belt, and where necessary infrastructure can be put in.
“Infrastructure has got to go on first.
“The trustees at Onslow estate I suspect would argue there is already infrastructure in the form of the A25, but that is already overcrowded.”
Cllr Ellwood said it would be wrong of him to say that there would never be building on the green belt, but that the council would do everything possible to avoid it.
The development of Guildford’s local plan has been delayed until after the elections in May.