Guildford Borough Council’s Conservative administration have been forced to take the Local Plan back to the drawing board.
Following widespread public objections, the draft local plan for Guildford, which proposes building 2,500 homes on Blackwell Farm in the greenbelt north of the Hog’s Back, will be consulted on for a third time following May’s local elections. The first consultation took place over the summer and resulted in 18,000 comments from 6,500 individuals.
The news comes following a Lib Dem freedom of information request which revealed that the bungled plan to build 13,040 has already cost the taxpayer £250,000.
Guildford Liberal Democrats previously voted against the draft plan going out to the original consultation on the grounds that it was flawed and premature.
Onslow Lib Dem councillor Tony Phillips commented “Guildford Lib Dems voted against the draft Plan going out for consultation, it just wasn’t ready. We thought the consultation was premature and sadly we have been proved right. It cost a lot of money to run this consultation, and local taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill again next year.”
We’re now calling for two key changes to the Council’s approach to the Local Plan, to make sure that the Council gets it right this time:
- The proposed housing target needs to be evaluated. It would lead to massive traffic congestion, environmental degradation and unnecessary loss of precious Green Belt countryside.
- The Local Plan should be produced bottom-up: the Borough Council must consult and involve all Borough Councillors and the communities they represent in the preparation of the next draft.