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Local Economy Group - Initial Report

30/08/16 17:10:10

It has taken us some time to identify members with economic experience and interest and we have only recently been able to locate those willing to serve on the Group. They are Alistair Smith, Angus Macintosh, Pam Palmer, David Bunting, David Stokes, Michael Hodson and myself, Gordon Bridger

We had our first meeting in March 2016 but made no decisions as to a work programme, as we wanted to be sure our work was relevant and timely and I was meeting with the GBC Chief Planning Officer in a few days time. When I met him he said he would welcome a report on Social Housing and suggested that we await the outcome of a planned discussion with Guildford Society Committee (and GVG ) which he was expecting to have in the near future and which might bring out issues which we could usefully work on.

A preliminary reading of the new Draft Local Plan indicates that it needs an economic statement which would identify policies, priorities and projects. Without this it will be difficult to justify why economic development is needed and why lack of housing, particularly affordable, is one of the most important impediments to it. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to justify the modest inroads into the Greenbelt (quantified in the draft plan as 1.6%) without these needs agreed as part of the pl