06. Policy H1 - Homes for all

  1. I object to all changes in policy H1 Homes for all because they have not addressed many of the 32,000 objections made to the 2016 plan.
  2. I object to the change by way of deletion of the paragraph on 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.” 
  3. This indicates that GBC have no intention of building at a higher density within the existing urban area which is desperately needed and is in accordance with existing government policy. To have a plan with no density guidelines in the urban area is irresponsible and effectively very bad planning since it fails to exploit the development opportunities that urban areas can afford.
  4. I support higher density development in the urban area close to transport hubs to facilitate modal shift e.g. 20 minutes’ walk of Guildford railway station.  Much of Guildford town could usefully be regenerated with 7 storey blocks (there are currently blocks of this size already in the town) at 50 homes per ha with landscaping and underground parking, as often seen on the Continent and, recently, in London.
  5. I object to the change in relation to student accommodation: “About 60 per cent of full time Guildford based on the University of Surrey eligible students population (full time equivalent) are expected to be provided with student bedspaces on campus.“
  6. The University should provide accommodation for 100% of new first year students and more than 60% of existing students. This 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 underused 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.  Surrey University has 17 ha of car parks that could provide all the student accommodation required on stilts with parking beneath.
  7. I object to the change in relation to Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople pitches and plots. Guildford borough already has a higher proportion of traveller sites than most comparable boroughs.  Overprovision is inappropriate given other constraints.  
  8. I object in particular to the inclusion of  6 Travelling Showpeople pitches at Garlicks Arch where there is no proven need.
  9. I object to the deletion of the paragraph 4.2.8 on density: “We have a responsibility to use our natural resources, such as land, wisely.  Efficient use of land is essential.  Housing density describes the number of homes developed within a particular site area.  It is usually calculated by the number of dwellings per hectare (dph).  Increasing densities can help to reduce the land needed for new homes and make development more sustainable.  It can also support more facilities and services.  Certain areas can accommodate higher densities provided there is no adverse impact on the character of the area and the infrastructure is able to cope.  Planning applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis having regard to the local context, character of the surrounding local area and the sustainability of the location.  This will include consideration of established street patterns, plot sizes, spaces around buildings, and relationship with nearby buildings as well as form, massing, height of existing buildings and structures, and materials.”
  10. To have a plan with no clear density guidelines is irresponsible and effectively very bad planning since it fails to exploit the development opportunities that urban areas can afford.

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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