The Guildford Society

Your Civic Society

Respecting the Past and engaging in the Future of Guildford and Environs 


Windfall is the planning term applied to approved housing that has not been defined in the Local Plan.  The new Local Plan appears to be prompting many applications to be made in locations that have had restrictions lifted e.g. Greenbelt Changes.  If true, the Society believes this a major issue as Windfall Applications by their nature do nothing to upgrade Infrastructure e.g. Schools, Roads and Sewage.  Over time they can also substantially change the character of areas.  The Society is going to monitor this situation.

A3/M25 Junction

What appear to be final proposals for the upgrade of the junction have been published pending a examination by the Planning Inspectorate.  Link to the Home Page to the Scheme; detailed plans on this link.  Our Transport Group will be examining in detail.  An issue is the access to RHS Wisley which will be from the South Bound carriageway only.

Garlicks Arch

Several members of the Society attended the public consultation events run by the promoters of the Garlicks Arch (land alongside the A3 just north of the A247 Bridge) development. The developer has a very inadequate website so some pictures of the plans can be found at this link 

Views on Views

The Society submitted its response to Town Centre Supplementary Planning Document, Our response can be viewed here.


GBC adopted two motions recognising the need to respond to a the ‘Climate Emergency’ and that it should promote A Plastic Free Guildford.  

The Society believe the Council has a key role in contributing to Environmental Protection and acting as a leader for organizations and individuals across the borough.  The recently announced 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize shortlist has a interesting development in Norwich which is designed to PasivHaus Standards (See development on this Link)   The council should be looking to promote high environmental standards on the new developments in Guildford through appropriate Supplementary Planning Documents. 

Local Plan – Judicial Review

The Full Council on 23-7-2019 adopted a motion that commits the council obtaining a 2nd opinion from an experienced QC on the validity of the case being presented within the three applications for Judicial Reviews (JR's).  GSoC believes having a full understanding of whether there are aspects of the Local Plan that might be successfully challenged by the JR process appears sensible. 
It should be noted that the Local Plan 2015 remains in force until any judgement is made, likely to be early next year. 

The JR is not a process that without risks.  Judgement could result in the Local Plan failing totally which would mean the Borough reverting to the 2005 plan until a new plan was adopted with the substantial time and costs this involves.   A more positive outcome would be for parts of the plan to be judged as needing amendment.  

The Council will need to ensure the QC providing a 2nd opinion is well briefed, and also remain flexible during the JR process and adopt mitigation measures if deemed appropriate. 
A background note on the JR issue can be found here

Town Centre Master Plan

The Council meeting also agreed to progress with the creation of Town Centre Masterplan which would result in a DPD to supplement the Local Plan.  The Council will proceed to appointing consultants for this activity.  The debate was remarkable in that the motion was adopted unanimously and also for the former Lead Councillor Paul Spooner admitting that the Local Plan Policy S3 had been prepared quickly and was not as comprehensive as it might be.  Sadly the council despite prompting by the Planning Inspector didn’t discuss or incorporate changes to S3 proposed by GSoC and GVG.

Surrey Hills Arts

This group which is part of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Organization is promoting its Inspiring Views Project that seeks to complement significant views in the Surrey Hills with Art.  Society Members may be interested to learn more by using this Link.


UPD 30-7-19  


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