Policy A36 to A41 - East & West Horsley

  1. I object to the changes to Policies A36 to A41 (East and West Horsley) 
  2. The number of potential development sites has been reduced by two (A36 and A41, representing a total of 138 dwellings).  This leaves four sites (A27-40) which still represent a total of 395 new dwellings. 
  3. Marginal changes such as these would still leave 70% of all new development in the borough built on Green Belt sites.  No “exceptional circumstances” or any other justification is advanced for this strange imbalance.
  4. The deletion of two Horsley sites fails to correct the issue of relative overdevelopment in East and West Horsley, which is both excessive in absolute terms and disproportionate in relation to the rest of the borough.
  5. No attempt is made to assess the cumulative impact on the Horsleys – either of the four sites now proposed, or of Site A35 (Three Farms Meadow, alias “Wisley Airfield”), with over 2,000 new homes only 2 miles away.  This piecemeal approach leaves the future of the Horsleys at the mercy of ad hoc planning applications, which is the opposite of what a Local Plan should intend.  
  6. The new plan Policies put greater emphasis on the need for adequate facilities and infrastructure to underpin development.  But this is not reflected in any new wording on the Horsley sites, thus leaving most local objections unaddressed.  Again, this defect curtails the plan’s usefulness as a practical planning tool at a site level and undermines its credibility among residents.  
  7. The plan fails to mention most of the known sustainability issues and infrastructure constraints affecting the Horsley sites, including public transport, traffic, road safety, parking, schooling, medical facilities, sewage, flooding/surface drainage and shops. These were fully set out in responses to last year’s public consultation.
  8. The density of new housing on the four Horsley sites too is inappropriate, being greater than anywhere in the locality at present. 
  9. Sites situated on the periphery of existing development in the Horsleys encroach on surrounding open fields and require the extension of settlement boundaries.  The plan presents no arguments for this which, contrary to NPPF paragraph 79, will contribute to creeping urbanisation by attenuating the Green Belt corridors separating the Horsleys from neighbouring settlements. 
  10. Collectively, the four Horsley sites breach NPPF paragraph 81’s encouragement of access to the Green Belt and its amenity and recreation value. This has been an outstanding success story in the Horsleys, as detailed in response to the last consultation.  Assets include a dense public footpath network, parish parks, sports fields, a campsite of international standard, Britain’s newest rural opera theatre and the popular Olympic cycle route.  These examples of positive planning depend on a Local Plan that protects the Green Belt, maintains its openness and beauty and avoids urbanisation and traffic congestion.  Sites A35-41 are hostile to this.


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 


GGG Latest

Catch up on the latest news, issues and events from Guildford Greenbelt Group


Useful links

Find your way to the web sites of planning commentators, local residents' groups and much more