Guildford needs a robust Local Plan informed by and able to deliver a Strategic Vision.
Both the Local Plan and Strategic Vision should be supported by an ambitious, phased Infrastructure Investment Plan.
The Strategic Vision should address the factors impeding the sustainable development of Guildford’s high-added- value economy, improve the quality of life for residents and arise from a community focused process involving Residents Associations. Guildford needs to tackle the significant challenges it faces rather than allow ever more
piecemeal development without adequate assessment of its cumulative impact or contributions to necessary investment.
GRA looks to GBC, and in particular our elected representatives, to lead the process and be inclusive. We believe it should be a joined up, borough-wide exercise.
We suggest that a strong, long term community partnership will be needed. Some of the problems are intractable and will require many partners to work together, sustained local effort and tough decisions. There will be no quick fixes.
The Strategic Vision should encompass matters not under GBC’s direct control. Wider partners with a pivotal role should be involved from the outset.
Plan for the economic opportunities of the future, taking full account of significant changes brought about by e-commerce, creative industries, new technology, medical advances and home working. Heed changes in retailing, such as on-line shopping, and do not assume retail-led development will resume with economic recovery. Question the wisdom of a massive increase in retail floor-space and create attractive spaces for innovative enterprises.