From Fiona White
Out of all the people I have spoken to about the local plan and housing numbers, I think maybe two or three have suggested that we should not provide housing to meet local (i.e. Guildford Borough) needs. All the rest recognise that there is a housing need and that we should find a way of meeting it.
I am not convinced that the local plan, as drafted, will provide for our needs. What is really needed in the borough is an emphasis on housing which is affordable by people on middle to low incomes whereas developers will always prefer building executive homes.
They will often argue that meeting the affordable needs requirement will make their site unviable and there is wording in one of the plan policies which means that community benefits, such as affordable housing, can be negotiated away on that basis.
I am also very concerned that existing communities are under threat of being overwhelmed by the housing number requirements.
So first of all we need to establish real housing needs of this borough, both by number and type of housing. Then the plan needs to be drawn up to meet that need and not to provide for overflow from London.
Fiona White is a Surrey County Councillor (Lib Dem) for Guildford West.