Policy A26 - Blackwell Farm

  1. I object to the changed policy A26 Blackwell Farm for 1500 homes which is still far too much.
  2. There is no need for housing on this site because the local plan housing target is incorrect and inflated and ignores constraints.
  3. Blackwell Farm is located entirely within the green belt. No exceptional circumstances have been demonstrated for building on this site and therefore development here does not meet paragraphs 87-89 of the NPPF. Furthermore, Blackwell Farm performs all five functions of Green Belt, and fulfils purposes 1, 3 and 5 very strongly. 
  4. The site is dependent on a new access road from the A31 (Hog’s Back) to the Hospital roundabout at Egerton Road, with a new signalised junction on the A31 at Down Place (just east of the A3 slip road). An independent traffic study commissioned by the Parish Council has shown that this new junction would result in more queuing on the Hog’s Back and on the A3 during the morning peak-hour, and as a result the villages of Puttenham, Compton and Artington will see a surge in traffic numbers as Guildford-bound drivers seek out the fastest route and divert along the B3000, B3100 or Down Lane.  
  5. Levels of nitrous oxide that are consistently well above the EU legal limit have been recorded at the A3 end of the B3000 over the last 2 years (GBC Air Quality Annual Status Report, September 2016. Compton Parish Council is expecting that this section of the B3000 will be made an Air Quality Management Area soon. Any traffic intervention that increases traffic levels through Compton (such as the proposed access road to Blackwell Farm), will make this situation worse and potentially have an impact on the health of residents.
  6. The development will result in the loss of nationally important countryside - The new access road would cut through the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), uprooting centuries old trees and scarring the north face of the Hog’s Back. It would also pass through an Area of Great Landscape Value and through, or next to, a belt of ancient woodland. The housing development itself and the proposed extension the research park, would harm the setting to the Surrey Hills AONB (the views into and out of the Hog’s Back ridge). The development site includes high-grade farmland and forms 20% of Compton’s green belt.  
  7. The development will produce more congestion at the Hospital/Tesco roundabout - This will impede access to the Hospital's A&E unit - a problem was identified by the Planning Inspector who presided over the previous Local Plan and who put a cap on traffic increases in the area of 5%. That cap has been exceeded (despite the University’s claim that construction traffic and buses don’t count). Guildford’s underlying traffic modelling is flawed and simply tweaking the Hospital roundabout and/or providing a new rail halt at Park Barn will not mitigate against the traffic generated by 1,800 homes, two schools, and an extended business park.  
  8. The new road proposed would be inadequate for the volume of traffic, and once the development has been built out it wouldn’t be long before new roads were required to serve the new population, which would inevitably pass through Wood Street Village (adding to the congestion in Worplesdon and potentially ruining Wood Street Village Green) and/or through Flexford/Wanborough, potentially ruining the conservation area of Wanborough, with its 13th century church and 14th century barns. 
  9. The development will result in more flooding.  The Hog’s Back acts as a soak away for surface rainwater. Once its slopes are concreted over, this water will travel north, adding to existing flooding in Wood Street Village, Fairlands and Whitmore Common (a European protected habitat.

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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