‘Significant changes’ to Guildford Local Plan hope to go public in June

 

eagle radio

We could soon know a little more about the ‘significant changes’ made to Guildford’s local plan

housing houses guildford

6:01am 11th May 2016

 

It’s as Guildford Borough Council meets to approve the latest draft and begin the next public consultation this evening (May 11).

More than twenty thousand people raised concerns and questions over the first draft in 2014.

In April the council announced a revised plan had been put together – It has to go before an advisory board and then considered by the Executive and Full Council before being made public.

It is thought fewer sites are being earmarked for development in latest version, with less than two per cent of greenfield land will be removed from the Greenbelt.

But the council has also warned of a ‘housing crisis if it does not create some new homes, which may be built on greenbelt.

It says the lack of current suitable homes is adding to congestion on local roads and needs a sustainable development which appeals to those already commuting in, thus easing congestion.

Spooner

Leader of Guildford Borough Council Paul Spooner (pictured), spoke to Eagle Radio ahead of the meeting.

He said: “Of course it (the Local Plan) is not just about houses and employment. It is about green space and ensuring that we continue to improve our offering in relation to green space.

“We have to create more public countryside areas in exchange for developing areas.

“People’s concerns obviously are that if we are developing and harming greenbelt sites, that their opportunities are reducing in terms of enjoyment of the countryside.

“What we want is ensure that their are more areas of public space. So whilst there is the loss of some green space in development, there will be new additional green pace that the public can enjoy.

“This is not a case where we are just going to build the housing number without seeing the balance, and that is the green space.”

But there is still a chance the plans won’t be made public in June as planned.

Councillor Spooner says documents relating to plans to improve transport in the town still need to be returned before the draft goes public.

There have been talks of turning the A3 into a tunnel under Guildford.

Councillor Spooner said: “We do not have the Surrey County Highways data back, which we were expecting to see.

“We are unable to go into public consultation without that.

“So I will be asking the Executive to move forward to public consultation on the basis that the Highways data is in place.”

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