GGG Councillors challenge climate change & other GBC Local Plan Policies
20 September 2021
Joint Executive Advisory Board meeting
Cllr Catherine Young asked a number of questions and made requests for further work to be done following GGG's response to the Draft Regulation 19 Development Management Policies that are due to be signed off for consultation later this year by the Executive and at a special Full Council Meeting - this is in essence Local Plan Part Two!
The meeting can be viewed on the webcast using this link
Catherine raised points on density, infilling and air quality. She listed a number of documents that need to be produced to support these policies going forward including a Borough-wide Character Study, an update to the Residential Design Guide from 2004, Design Codes to meet the Government agenda on 'Building Beautiful', A Green Belt Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and a Green and Blue Infrastructure SPD - the latter two promised back in 2015 at the start of the Local Plan process and yet to be delivered.
One thing that Cllr Young had already successfully had accepted was a Light Impact and Dark Skies Policy - an important issue in some rural areas of Guildford Borough.
Task and finish groups were suggested to deal with the proposed Infilling Policy, which is crucial to protect the character of our villages, the countryside and the town, and which is currently lacking in substance; as well as a group to review the Air Quality Strategy, which is due to expire next year.
Cllr Susan Parker led a determined challenge of the proposals on climate change (which GGG considers inadequate) and asked for these to be taken back to the Climate Change Board for further consideration. She also queried the use of the weedkiller Glyphosate, previously endorsed by GBC officers to “increase” biodiversity; pushed for increased use of electric vehicle charging points which would improve air quality (and could help council revenues), and queried why sustainability was not given more prominence as part of our planning requirements.
Cllr Ramsey Nagaty pressed for realistic application of cycle routes (as many roads are too narrow and dangerous for such routes) as well as for joined-up transit schemes. Cycling routes cannot simply be “"on and off" a site but must link up to create a borough-wide cycle network which enables modal shift.