News on planning developments and issues. Planning Group (See More Details) focuses on Local Plan development and execution, as well as individual development sites. We also post items of interest on planning from other organisations, including the government.
Planning requires the appropriate development of land to meet the requirements of housing, commercial and leisure space.
Guildford faces severe planning challenges, including the need, correctly, to preserve the AONB and Green Belt that covers much of the surrounding land. Central government policy also requires Guildford to build a large number of dwellings over the next few years. This has been compounded by the Guildford Local Plan accepting a higher allocation of dwellings than is strictly necessary.
Good development requires proper supporting infrastructure. This can either be physical (water, drains, electricity, transport) or amenities (health, education, shops, sport, leisure). Guildford has a creaking infrastructure, overcrowded roads, overfull drains and overfull doctors’ surgeries.
The Society raised many issues with the Local Plan agreed by the Borough Council in 2019. Sadly we are having to work with a very inadequate set of planning policies. The Society is continuing to press that Supplementary Planning Policies and Development Policies allow the Local Plan to be implemented in a manner that minimises damage to Guildford.
The Society supports plans to address town-centre issues such as the one-way system, under-use of the riverside and under-utilisation of other central sites. Guildford has suffered from planning blight in the past: seen in the current state of North Street. We want to ensure such mistakes are not repeated.
We are committed to the Society playing a pro-active role in planning pre-applications, taking an independent role and acting as a conduit of information with outside bodies.
Planning Group collaborates with the Design and Heritage Group on commenting, as required, on planning applications. We recognise there is overlap between the two groups. Planning Group calls on the Design Group for expertise on the details of design for buildings and public spaces.
The Planning Group has a clearly defined remit and has produced a series of position papers on aspects of planning.
The chair of the Design and Heritage Group can be contacted on Planning@guildfordsociety.org.uk
A very important stage in the development has been reached with the latest Local Plan Consultation completed in July 2017.
Getting involved allows the society to continue its work. We welcome new members, from every age and background. Membership provides an opportunity for you to contribute to the continued health of the town and surrounding area, and to meet other people who care about Guildford.