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Local Plan - next step in shaping Guildford's future

4 minute read
Local Plan - next step in shaping Guildford's future

Published at 9:08am 10th September 2018. (Updated at 9:59am 10th September 2018)

The Council reached another milestone in providing much-needed homes, jobs, leisure and other opportunities across our borough, as the Executive considered the main modifications consultation at a special Local Plan meeting on Tuesday 4 September.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "The government's Planning Inspector found our submitted Local Plan to be substantially sound on all key tests during the recent public hearings that form part of his independent examination. As with other many other inspections, he recommended that we make some changes before his conclusion and final report, particularly to provide more homes in the first five years of the plan.

"Getting the right balance of sustainable places, jobs and growth that create opportunities for all our communities is essential. Our plan aims to provide a framework to achieve this and we considered the new development sites and other changes asked for by the Inspector very carefully before proposing them in our latest plan."

Subject to Executive approval, we need to consult the public on the main modifications we have made at the Inspector's request. He can then review the comments before completing his examination and final recommendations to the Council.

Cllr Spooner explains further: "Agreeing this consultation is the next important stage in developing our new Local Plan for everyone's future, with sustainable places to live and work, supported by vital infrastructure and a great environment. We aim to start the six-week consultation on the changes on 13 September and will let everyone know how they can get involved nearer the time."

Main modifications summary

The main modifications are changes the Planning Inspector considers necessary to make the entire Local Plan sound.

To satisfy his recommendation for about 550 additional homes that can be fully delivered in the first five years, the Council used their Spatial Strategy, as he found this sound evidence and did not recommend removing any strategic sites from our submitted plan. Evidence at the public hearings also showed that increasing development in the earlier years would require allocating additional sites in the Green Belt.

In the first five years - the Council are proposing the following increase to an existing site and additional new sites: 

  • increasing the allocation at Garlick's Arch by 50 homes

  • urban extension to Godalming (Aaron's Hill) - 200 homes

  • village extensions to:

    • Flexford (East of Glazier's Lane) - 105 homes

    • Chilworth (Hornhatch Farm) - 80 homes

    • Send Marsh (Alderton's Farm) - 120 homes

Other main modifications for public consultation and review by the Inspector include:

  • unmet need of 20% for Woking as part of the West Surrey Strategic Housing Market Assessment

  • new policy - delivery of development and regeneration within Guildford town centre

  • changes to various existing policies - including steps in the event of slippage on the A3 Investment Strategy - as this vital supporting transport scheme must take place for development to proceed

  • reducing Gosden Hill Farm allocation by 200 to 1,800 homes in total

  • creating an allocation for the access to Blackwell Farm - to separate it from the overall allocation to enable better road and landscaping design

  • increasing Garlick's Arch allocation by 150 homes to 550 in total - including 50 in first five years

  • increasing Burnt Common industrial floor space to 14,800sqm - to meet employment land needs.

The consultation will only be about the main modifications. Guildford Borough Council will provide clear instructions about how to comment in writing on these changes when they publicise the consultation details.

More information

To view the agenda, report and other information for the Special Local Plan Executive meeting on 4 September - please see our Council and Democracy pages.

You can also watch the meeting live - or afterwards in the Council archive - via their online webcasting.

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