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 cumulative impact or contributions to necessary investment.
Hallmarks of the approach of Residents’ Associations are that:
- We ask GBC, in particular our elected representatives, to lead the process and be inclusive.
- We believe it should be a joined up, borough-wide exercise not just focused on the town centre, research park
and Slyfield important though these are.
- We suggest 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
The Strategic Vision should encompass matters not under GBC’s direct control. Wider partners with a pivotal role should be involved from the outset. Once the Strategic Vision has
gained the confidence of residents and businesses, GBC needs to show leadership and work in concert with the community to press the other bodies influencing the development of the town to deliver,
and comply with, the implications for them.
- Set up effective mechanisms for working more closely with the community to shape Guildford’s future.
- Prepare a longer term Strategic Vision, with full public engagement, for the town and surrounding villages.
- Press ahead with producing a robust Local Plan to overcome vulnerabilities to inappropriate development and shape any initiatives pursued under the Localism Act, engaging with the community
throughout working to a clear and meaningful consultation programme.
- As a matter of great urgency, identify any sites that need safeguarding to prevent development that would impede subsequent construction of critical infrastructure (eg road bridge over railway,
space for rail link to Heathrow, cross Guildford road link).
- Ensure all developers contribute to much needed new infrastructure for Guildford and not just to short term measures. Break down long term aspirations into bite sized chunks of work that
can be costed and funded using mechanisms such as Community Infrastructure Levy.
- Encourage businesses, including the University and other educational establishments, research park and hospital, to strengthen their links with the community and make greater provision for their
traffic and parking impact.
- 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 retailingand do not assume retail-led development will resume with economic recovery. Question the wisdom of a massive
increase in retail floorspace and create attractive spaces for innovative enterprises.