The housing figure will act as an evidence base for emerging local plans and future developments in Guildford, Waverley and Woking boroughs
BY JAMES WATKINS
Vast amounts of new housing is needed in west Surrey
More than 1,700 new homes need to be built a year in Guildford, Waverley and Woking boroughs, a new report has warned.
The final West Surrey Strategic Housing Market (SHMA) report was published on Friday (October 2) and will form an evidence base for emerging local plans.
The highest need is in Guildford borough with 693 homes per year from 2013 to 2033.
In December, the draft SHMA predicted the Guildford borough number to be between 620 and 816 homes.
The housing need for Waverley is 519 homes per year, which has risen from 470 since the last assessment, while for Woking it is 517 homes per year.
The SHMA assessment was conducted by GL Hearn on behalf of the three councils.
Guildford Borough Council has said its final housing number in the local plan will take into account constraints of the borough, such as the green belt, flooding, landscape and transport.
Councillor Paul Spooner, Guildford’s lead councillor for planning, said: “The housing figure for Guildford borough gives us something to work with and test against the constraints that exist in our area.
“Further analysis will need to be carried out to identify whether this figure is sustainable.
“Assessment of housing for the future is set against the backdrop of a growing need from all age-groups in our society – from helping people to get on to the property ladder to helping older people downsize.”
Cllr Spooner added it was also vital the council acted in such a way as to support the “growing workforce” in the Guildford borough area.
“The consultants who produced our Employment Land Needs Assessment estimate a growth of 17,738 jobs up to 2033. This is a very important factor to take into consideration.”
Councillor Julia Potts, deputy leader of Waverley Borough Council, added:: “This is an important part of the evidence base for our new local plan.
“Now that we have a housing figure to work with, we can now move forward and build on the progress we have already made in developing the new local plan.
“The council will continue to test the 519 figure against some considerable environmental constraints we have in Waverley such as congestion, transportation and flood risks and the council is gathering evidence to see if Waverley can accommodate this amount of housing.
“It is also essential that the emerging local plan takes into account our many landscape designations and has the appropriate infrastructure in place to support any future housing.
“The most important thing is that any new homes are built in the right places and that the council works with Waverley residents to ensure it has the right strategy in place to meet our community’s needs over the coming years.”
Earlier this summer, Woking Borough Council consulted on proposed development sites in the town centre, as well as green belt land in Mayford, Pyrford and West Byfleet.