PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7 June 2016
GUILDFORD RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
UNITED IN OPPOSITION TO LOCAL PLAN ACROSS TOWN AND COUNTRY
Guildford Residents Association (“GRA”), which represents 26 residents’ associations across Guildford town and country, has agreed its strategy for addressing and commenting on the latest and controversial version of the Guildford Local Plan.
Says Keith Meldrum of GRA, “This Plan is growth gone mad. It destroys our countryside and fails to prevent town cramming. It would destroy the qualities that make Guildford a good place to live and work. This plan provides too much land for development and does not do enough to ease congestion. Developers will drive a coach and horses through loosely-worded policies promising no growth without infrastructure first. Why do we need a 40% increase in retail space in the era of the internet when that land could be used for homes? Why are our politicians, who promised to protect Green Belt, offering up so much countryside for development and making so little progress in better planning the town? This Plan is such a blunt instrument that even though it proposes to expand Guildford by a quarter, it cannot be relied upon to provide the types of homes needed locally. It will not protect the character of our borough.”
INFRASTRUCTURE: Too little too late
HOUSING: Inflated, ignores constraints and doesn’t address needs
Concludes Keith Meldrum, “We simply do not understand why our Councillors have made a political choice to open the floodgates to expand Guildford on the damaging scale proposed. GRA believes this Plan to be unsound and unsustainable. We are calling on Councillors to make improvements to the Plan before it is too late and irreparable damage is done to our beautiful historic town and the surrounding countryside which frames it.”
CONTACT: 07706 062026
3. GRA wants to see the following changes in the Local Plan:
PRESS RELEASE No. 2
Embargoed until 13 June 2013
RA Priorities for the Guildford Local Plan
A growing umbrella organisation of currently 25 Residents’ Associations which also enjoys the support of three parish councils, CPRE and the Guildford Society, has come together over the past year to agree shared priorities for the new Guildford Local Plan.
Says Jennie Kyte of Holy Trinity, speaking on behalf of GRA, “We want the new Guildford Plan to encourage a balanced and sustainable approach. The Plan should:
GRA Priorities for the Local Plan:
To provide jobs and support the economy,
nurture a robust mix of knowledge-based, high technology and creative enterprises with strong links to the University and Research Park. Avoid over expansion of retail space given technology-driven change.
Distinctiveness and Character:
To shape change for the better,
assess all development to ensure it:
Countryside and Open Space:
To underpin our economy and quality of life,
cherish our attractive countryside and river corridor, gardens, natural open spaces, “green edges” and “green approaches”. These will become more important as the town grows. New, natural, open spaces will be required.
To provide homes to meet the needs of Guildford,
taking account of commuting patterns, capacity and the influence of London, agree a judicious balance of planned sites such as Slyfield, town centre redevelopment, investment for communities such as Park Barn, sensitive use of sites within garden suburbs and villages and carefully planned extensions. Adequate provision should be made on campus for student housing.
Traffic and Parking:
To deliver essential infrastructure,
make growth conditional on phased investment in:
Work to five year delivery phases for major projects. Ensure consents are in place in readiness to bid for any capital infrastructure investment funding made available to boost the economy.
Says Liz Critchfield of Burpham, speaking on behalf of the GRA, “Different groups will have specific local priorities to highlight during the Local Plan consultation and we very much hope all residents will have a say. Thanks to the GRA, residents associations and societies have been able to work together to agree shared, collective priorities for the Plan”.
Says David Bird of Westborough, speaking on behalf of GRA, “We greatly value the way Councillors and Planning Officers have started engaging with residents who were feeling excluded from planning. We look forward to working with Guildford Borough Council to promote our forward-looking agenda for the Local Plan.”