Parish Forum Survey Results Are Unsurprising – Guildford Dragon letter
The Guildford Parish Forum survey does not surprise me in the least. [see: Widespread Discontentment Over Local Plan – Say Parish Councils]
Yet again the council, albeit represented by one Labour group member, seems medieval in her defensive attitude, standing on the ramparts of the Millmead fortress. She says: “It is disappointing to see such a negative result, but I wonder how truly representative of overall residents’ opinion this survey is”. To answer her question it is representative. Clearly her need to ask this means she is out of touch or hoping for a different reaction.
It is certainly representative of the people who realise what’s going on, those who understand the impacts and the general impression they get from attending the GBC road show that this is a done deal – which it’s not. When are people in Millmead going to listen to the residents of the borough and act on their feedback rather than come up with all the excuses in the world as to why it is wrong for people to think the way they do. Would it better for us to say yes, what a good idea just because it is convenient for them?
With regards to the evidence, I think many will wade in here much harder with their own rather well crafted reposts. The evidence may be the size of a small library but that doesn’t mean it is fit for purpose. It is not all accurate, it is not all up to date. Conclusions reached are not objective (repeatable by another equally qualified person based upon the facts and data only) and it is certainly doesn’t only need time to understand it. Hence the many Freedom of Information requests, many still unanswered, to fill in gaps.
Then I come to her remark about the Joint Scrutiny Committee passing the plan for consultation. I think she needs to re-look at the conclusions and recommendations of that committee. I understand they were ignored as they felt the housing number, driven by a population forecast, was wrong and was too high for the borough to cope with and needed to be looked at again and corrected. The council leader said there wasn’t time to and railroaded it through at the full council meeting.
Why can’t the council face facts and face the monster they have created for this borough.
I think, for the benefit of my parish, we need about 20-30 affordable houses for young families and for elderly downsizing. We need our roads freed from flooding but not 400+ houses on the green belt with two proposed sites already in flood risk areas. We don’t want the harmful effects of rainfall and surface water issues displaced elsewhere due to excessive housing causing flooding elsewhere. Nor do we don’t want the threat of compulsory purchase orders to make the access to sites viable for traffic.
Cllr Gunning clearly sees the residents as negative, hence her demand for “positive ideas”. Does that mean negative comments about the plan (too many houses, wrong place, inaccurate population forecast, flawed evidence, no constraints applied, no windfalls added, no “exceptional circumstances” proved, green belt/AONB not seen as a limiter for development but as an opportunity for profit etc) will be disregarded?
I get the sense that this is the underlying thinking in Fortress Millmead.