11. Policy E1 - Sustainable Employment

  1. I object to the change in Policy E1 sustainable employment because they have not addressed many of the 32,000 objections made to the 2016 plan.
  2. I object to the inclusion of Send Business Centre/Tannery Studios Tannery Lane, Send in relation to proposed inset from the Green Belt because:
  • It is effectively an old non-conforming user in an area of outstanding countryside
  • It is adjacent to the beautiful Wey Navigation
  • There is highly restricted vehicular access along Tannery Lane in both directions
  • Further expansion or development at this location detracts from the openness of the Green Belt and is inappropriate.
  1. I object to the change in Policy E1 of proposed designation of Burnt Common as an Industrial Strategic Employment Site.
  • It was deleted from the 2014 draft because of all the local objections made previously and there is no logical reason to go back on this decision
  • The word “minimum” is a change from the previous “maximum” in the 2016 plan and since that time there has been a decline in demand for industrial land as shown in the Employment Land Needs Assessment 2017
  • There is no need to build industrial or warehouse development in the middle of the Green Belt when Slyfield and Guildford still have many empty sites and industrial units
  • The 2017 Employment Land Need Assessment shows a reduction in demand to a low of 3.7 and a high of 4.1 hectares for industrial land for the whole borough not a huge over allocation of 9.26 hectares at Burnt Common in the Green Belt
  • There are patently no exceptional circumstances in terms of demand for employment space to build on this important area of Green Belt which effectively separates existing development in Send and Ripley and prevents urban sprawl
  • The impact on small surrounding roads will create traffic gridlock
  • It will join up existing villages and defeat the purpose of the Green Belt
  1. I also object to the potential inclusion at Burnt Common of a waste management facility mentioned at the change to paragraph 4.423a which lacks sufficient detail for proper consultation and is completely inappropriate 
  2. I object to the ongoing poor quality of the updated research undertaken by Aecom in the Employment Land Needs Assessment 2017 which generally is superficial and lacks sufficient detail and analysis between B1a, B1b, B1c, B2 and B8 use classes and that no reliable individual analysis has been undertaken of the widely different supply and demand dynamics of office, research and development, light industrial, general industrial and warehousing and distribution floor space. 
  3. I object to the fact that no reliable analysis has yet been made of data held by GBC in respect of different B classes in terms of planning applications granted or evidence gathered by the economic development function at GBC and no robust assessment of local market demand apart from fairly brief references to freely available market research undertaken by commercial estate agents such as Lambert Smith Hampton covering a much wider area.
  4. GBC in their role as a Planning Authority appear to fail to appreciate the fundamental rationale of the Use Classes Order as a planning tool in terms of procurement of useful property market research analysis or forward planning.
  5. What we are left with is a fairly clumsy and poorly informed plan which clusters B classes without any appreciation of widely different employment impact and economic sustainability. E.g. B1 generates at least 5 times as much employment as B8.
  6. The lack of appreciation by GBC as to the opportunity for widely different uses being generated within B class clusters defeats the whole point of proper planning of employment uses and can significantly endanger previously good planning put forward in the previous 2003 plan. E.g. the creation of a research and development park linked to the University but now has the threat of being downgraded into a general business park (see below).
  7. Little regard has been given in the plan to the economic reality of falling demand for B2 industrial space which is clustered with other B classes almost randomly throughout the plan.
  8. The Employment Land Needs Assessment update 2017 (ELNA) states “that the pipeline for employment floorspace defined by planning permissions yet to be implemented and prior approvals suggests the potential for an additional 33,607sqm of B use class floorspace to come forward. This figure comprises a net loss of 4,750sqm of B1a use class floorspace and a net gain of 38,357sqm in B1c, B2 or B8 use class space.” 
  9. 38,357sqm of B1c, B2 or B8 use class is quite sufficient supply for the plan period and does not justify the need for new development of industrial space on the Green Belt in such areas as Burnt Common. The reality of demand for industrial space is that it is both nationally and locally in decline and this is evidenced by old existing permissions that have not been taken up and developed. The ELNA alludes incorrectly to the poor quality of existing space being a “constraint” on supply and fails to acknowledge that this assertion cannot apply to potential newly developed space e.g.  the undeveloped pipeline of 38,357sqm.
  10. Little regard is still not given to the opportunity of specific B1 b space as an opportunity for research and development which needs to be nurtured and preserved without the detrimental and confused clustering with other B classes both in terms of planning and promotion of a research hub.
  11. I support the concept of seeking increased investment in our local knowledge-based, high technology economy. This will provide well paid, creative jobs and generate the funding necessary to pay for the infrastructure and environment this sort of industry requires. 
  12. We need to distinguish between wanting to increase the added value of the economy and physical expansion, especially given the scarcity of land in Guildford. Guildford is not the place for large space hungry businesses. So i should target high added value small and medium sized enterprises rather than the headquarters of larger corporations. 
  13. We need to promote the idea of new knowledge transfer in incubator units and small premises for new start up enterprises. They need to be on the wave of innovative new technology as opposed to older established businesses.

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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