June 

Boris Johnson warned - Homes plan turning off Tory voters

The Times reported concerns from within the Tory party that the PM must listen to members from the South East as their constituents demonstrate their dislike of the radical and unpopular housing policies at the polling station. 

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Reactions to swing away from Tory seat in Buckinghamshire - HS2 and planning being key drivers

David Roberts notes that whilst some MP's are questioning the 'build build build' mantra, Guildford's MP is silent, despite a wealth of evidence to show that Guildford will be adversely affected by the volume of housing planned versus the lack of supporting infrastructure

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Jules Cranwell questions how 'levelling up' can work when development in the South East continues at the current pace and without genuine evidence to support its need. Mr Cranwell calls for a review of the Local Plan

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May

ELECTION NEWS

Guildford Greenbelt Group - GGG were blessed in having two exceptional candidates standing in the recent Local Elections, Guida Esteves & Julia Osborn.

We are very pleased that the residents of Send reconfirmed their belief and trust in GGG in returning Guida Esteves as their GBC Councillor to fill the vacancy left with the sad & untimely death of Cllr Patrick Sheard. The Election of Guida enables GGG to maintain the same number of seats on Committees at GBC.

GGG also contested the safe Tory SCC seat of Shere and if it had not been for the outrageous claims made by the Mole Valley Conservative Association to obtain AONB status for Send together with the decision of the National “Green Party “ to stand a candidate causing confusion among many voters which split the Environmental vote, GGG would be celebrating the election of a GGG SCC Councillor. Julia Osborn conducted a great campaign gaining 1540 votes. Julia ate into the previous Conservative whopping 62% of the total votes cast last time, gaining 35% of the vote to the Conservatives reduced 37% on this occasion.

I would like to thank all residents who voted for GGG and to confirm to them that we will continue to maintain our moral position and respond to resident’s concerns and use all possible democratic means to protect the character of our town and villages.

Ramsey Nagaty

GGG

ONS Report by David Reeve 

Press Release by GGG Leader Ramsey Nagaty

Myth of high Guildford housing requirement - now exploded!

GGG have now had official public confirmation that Guildford’s Local Plan housing numbers are overstated. Ed Humpherson, Director General for Statistics Regulation- referring to the housing requirement – said:-  "estimates have been overstated in Guildford".

Guildford (and Coventry, and other university towns) have a large percentage of foreign students and a low birth rate. The statistical analysis doesn’t sufficiently take account of foreign students leaving and assumes that most stay. This inflates the apparent housing requirement, giving an excuse for overdevelopment. GBC could have chosen to apply constraints, to the housing number– constraints are allowed under the NPPF for Green Belt, for the AONB, and for the special protection areas – but the planning team chose not to do this or not sufficiently.

May 11th 

GGG are pleased to see that their perseverance and detailed analysis has been acknowledged by the Office for Statistical Regulation (OSR) who have included Guildford in their population review of the Office of National Statistics (ONS)

GGG worked with campaigners in Coventry to highlight the anomaly in population figures for the student age group and the inclusion of overseas students in housing need data. This resulted in inconsistencies that produced inflated levels of housing need in Local Plans in University towns.

The inconsistencies were reported in The Times on 11th May 2021 referencing Coventry and Guildford in particular. 

Ex GGG Councillor for Guildford Borough Council, David Reeve, provided detailed analysis and GGG leader, Ramsey Nagaty facilitated the review.

GGG have ensured Guildford is referred to by the Statistical Regulator as having a Local Plan with inflated housing numbers as a result of questionable data.

GGG Working Better for Guildford

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The Guardian

Johnson’s planning laws an ‘utter disaster’, say countryside campaigners

Further loosening of planning laws will create a housing boom that will damage local democracy and the countryside whilst giving property developers more freedom to build where they want.

The Queen's speech announced plans to increase building rates by more than a third. Critics including CPRE feel this would be 'an utter disaster'.

 

Campaigners warned the changes would lead to the “suburbanisation” of the countryside and “rural sprawl” without delivering much-needed affordable housing.

Local Councils would be left with responsibility and liability but no authority in granting planning permission as areas would either be in or out of a predetermined development zone.

The bill did not improve regulation for social housing leading the chief executive of the Town and Country Planning Association, to say,: “It is disappointing that the government’s narrative has focused, once again, solely on housing numbers. If we are truly committed to building back better, we need the built environment to support communities to thrive.”

The Times

Permission given for a million homes that haven't been built

More than 1.1 million homes that have been granted planning permission over the past ten years in England still have not been built.

In the last ten years 2.7m permissions have been granted but only 58% have been built.

Whilst planning regulations are loosened to facilitate development, the developments themselves are not always forthcoming.

The Local Government Association (LGA) says that planning is not the barrier to development and that the housing delivery system needs reforming. 90% of applications for new homes are granted.

The LGA very much hopes that the Queen's speech will deliver the reform needed to enable councils to tackle the local housing crisis (and affordable housing). [note the speech did not, see above]