The Evidence Base sets out to describe the factual current situation in the Borough along with projects as to how this will change in the future, that the Local Plan seeks to address. The Planning Inspectorate will judge how well the Plan addresses the issues set out in the Evidence Base and if it does not (as was judged the case with the Waverley Plan), then the Local Plan will be rejected.
We understand from Cllr Juneja that the Evidence Base will comprise 15 documents.
Those currently visible on the GBC website are shown below along with a short summary of their content:
Infrastructure is the range of services and facilities local communities need to function. Services and facilities include:
This infrastructure baseline study is an audit of existing infrastructure provision. It is not a plan of the infrastructure GBC needs to provide to support development in the future. GBC will prepare an Infrastructure Delivery Plan to do this at the next stage of preparing the new Local Plan.
This baseline considers the quality and capacity of the existing physical, community and social infrastructure, which supports the borough’s resident and working populations. It examines each type of infrastructure, reviews existing capacity, and for some infrastructure types, also notes the current ﬁrm plans of infrastructure providers.
GBC Key Findings:
The settlement hierarchy will help GBC decide the location of future development in the borough. GBC will then use technical studies to determine the right amount of new development that is appropriate for each settlement. It aims to make sure the scale of any new development planned by the new Local Plan is appropriate for the settlement in question and that it is adequately supported by physical infrastructure and services.
The main reason to establish a settlement hierarchy is to promote sustainable communities. Settlements that are sustainable places to live, need to have enough homes to support local facilities, and new facilities which can improve the quality of life in villages.
The document sets out GBC’s settlement hierarchy by:
The Pegasus Group commenced work on the Guildford Borough Green Belt and Countryside Study in March 2009, with the final draft version, consisting of four volumes, submitted to the Council in December 2012.
The March 2009 brief to Pegasus from GBC was to ‘Provide a robust, independent assessment of Guildford Borough’s Green Belt and ‘countryside beyond the Green Belt’ with a view to potential release for development purposes in the longer term, should this be necessary within the Guildford Local Development Framework Plan Period 2006-2026 (and up to 2030), identifying realistic sustainable location(s) for green field release.’
Initially, the Study focussed upon potential development on the edge of the main urban areas of Guildford, Ash and Tongham. In May 2011, the Council requested additional work be undertaken to assess whether villages across the borough could appropriately accommodate additional development. In June 2012, further work was instructed by the Council relating to whether villages should be ‘inset’ or ‘washed over’ by the Green Belt designation and the identification of Green Belt boundaries relating to the villages as required.
GBC Key findings:
Guildford Borough Council and its partners (including SCC, RSCH, UNIS, Guildford College etc.) have developed this revised economic strategy.
Surrey County Council supports headline ambition to double the value of the Surrey economy to £52 billion by 2030 (based on an economy worth £26 billion in 2010), through supporting Surrey’s key growth and globally competitive sectors to achieve smart economic growth. The County Council is also working with the Enterprise M3 and Coast to Capital LEPs to secure investment in economic growth in Surrey as well as trying to attract (foreign direct) inward investment.
The GBC Strategy aims to ensure that Guildford continues to be the top-performing economy in Surrey in the years up to 2031 and beyond – with an economy that is innovative, smart, balanced and socially, environmentally and commercially sustainable. The Surrey economy makes a significant contribution to the Exchequer (around £6 billion a year, and second only to London.
GBC’s new vision is for Guildford to be a town and borough with strong infrastructure; world class businesses with capacity to expand and deliver growth: an evolving and vibrant economy, which creates a progressive and sustainable environment for people today and for future generations living in an ever-improving society.
To support this vision, the strategy focuses on five strategic priorities within the borough:
problems that are preventing them from growing, helping and developing new businesses – particularly those in high growth sectors, networking with businesses to make sure they are engaging and doing business with each other and identifying skills needs for the future.
For the period 2013-2031, we estimate the new Local Plan should provide an additional 10.5 hectares (ha) to 20 ha of B use class floor space (net) to meet the borough’s identified employment needs. Employment floor space means all commercial and industrial uses which fall into classes B1, B2 and B8 of the Use Classes Order, and also some Sui Generis uses such as car showrooms
Our assessment of potential capacity equates to approximately 7.4 ha. There is not enough supply employment land to meet future growth needs, we are between 3.1 ha and 12.6 ha short, so we must find new employment sites in the borough.
If GBC does not provide enough suitable land and enough choice and flexibility the new Local Plan may not meet the needs of the borough’s businesses.
GBC Key Findings:
The primary role of a SHLAA is to:
The GBC SHLAA sets out all the land in Guildford borough that GBC believes is suitable, available and viable for housing development over the next 15 years.
The SHLAA is a technical study. It helps to inform future planning policy by assessing land for its housing potential. The inclusion of land in the SHLAA does not imply that the Council will grant planning permission for housing development or allocate the land for housing development through the new Local Plan. All planning applications must, and will continue to be, determined against the development plan and material planning considerations.
GBC Key Findings:
GRA Key Issues: