Policy H1: Homes for all

GBC Policy

Policy H1: Homes for all

Housing Mix 

New residential development is required to deliver a wide choice of homes to meet a range of accommodation needs as set out in the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment. New development should provide a mix of housing tenures, types and sizes appropriate to the site size, characteristics and location.

Development that results in the net loss of housing or specialist housing, including sites allocated for housing within the Local Plan will not be permitted.

Density 

New residential development is required to make the most efficient use of land whilst responding to local character, context and distinctiveness. Residential densities will vary dependent upon the local area context and character and the sustainability of the location. Higher density development will be supported in Guildford town centre.

Specialist housing 

We will support the provision of well designed specialist forms of accommodation in appropriate sustainable locations, taking into account local housing needs.

Students

We expect 60 per cent of the University of Surrey eligible student population (full time equivalent) to be provided with student bedspaces and accommodation on campus.

Travellers

We will identify sufficient sites for Travellers’ accommodation needs as set out in the latest Traveller Accommodation Assessment. These sites will be for a mix of tenures and provided on a number of small sites and as part of larger development sites to help create sustainable and mixed communities. New sites must have adequate utility services and amenity space, space for related business activities where appropriate, safe vehicular access, turning space and parking and be in areas with reasonable access to schools, health services and local services.

Sites should not significantly impact on the visual amenity and local character of the area or adversely affect an environmentally sensitive location.

Traveller accommodation should be provided on development sites of 500 homes or more whilst there remains an identified need. For 500 to 999 homes two pitches or plots should be provided, for 1,000 to 1,499 homes four pitches or plots, for 1,500 to 1,999 homes six pitches or plots and for 2,000 or more homes eight pitches or plots..

Houses in multiple occupation 

 

Proposals for houses in multiple occupation that require planning permission will be supported only where the balance of housing types and character of the immediate locality would not be adversely affected and there is sufficient amenity space available.

GGG Response

Summary

We OBJECT to this policy

The housing mix is based on the assumptions set out in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which has not been scrutinised or evaluated and so we must object overall. We support high density development in the urban area. Student accommodation should provided for 100% of new students and more than 60% of existing students, which would free up suitable family accommodation in the urban area. Guildford borough has already a higher proportion of traveller sites than most comparable boroughs and this should be taken into account when evaluating need for travellers.

Detailed response:

Numbers aside, all the policy in the blue box says is that the Council will encourage building over the plan period.  It fails to set rules on important issues such as constraints and density, and is not specific enough to provide a practical framework for planning decisions.

The housing mix is based on out-of-date, pre-Brexit projections and on assumptions set out in a flawed SHMA that has not been scrutinised or evaluated. 

We support higher density development in the urban area, without resorting to dehumanising, high-rise buildings that developers commonly claim are necessary for financial viability.  Much of Guildford town could usefully be regenerated with 4-5 storey blocks with landscaping and underground parking, as often seen on the Continent and, recently, in London.

Student accommodation should provided for 100% of new students and more than 60% of existing students, which would free up ideal family accommodation in the urban area. Other university cities (e.g. Oxford) insist on higher percentages than those proposed in the plan.  In my view, the Council’s timidity is a case of “regulatory capture” by Surrey University, which has failed to use its existing planning permissions (dating from 2004) to accommodate 3,000 students or to improve the efficient development of its campus (e.g. by building on its extensive and under-used surface car parks).  If all students were accommodated in this way, 2,000 homes would be freed up in town and there would be no need to build on the Hog’s Back.

Guildford borough has already a higher proportion of traveller sites than most comparable boroughs.  Over-provision is inappropriate given other constraints.


2017 Guildford Local Plan

Guildford’s NEW local Plan has just opened for consultation. PLEASE RESPOND before 24th July 2017.  GGG has published its responses to Local Plan Policies here 


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