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Updated Local Plan - consultation starts 9 June

Help shape the borough's future by commenting on the significant and minor changes to the latest version of our Local Plan in the next consultation from 9 June - 24 July.

We will only be asking for comments about the proposed changes to the plan, as agreed by the Council at its meeting last night (Tuesday 16 May). Written feedback can be submitted in a variety of ways, as outlined below, and three public drop-in events are planned across the borough.

We will submit all of last year's consultation comments to the independent Planning Inspector, along with the responses to this summer's targeted regulation 19 consultation about the proposed changes.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "We continue to make progress in developing our new Local Plan to balance community needs and tackle local issues, wherever you live or work in our borough. Our next consultation, in June and July, is targeted on just the updates to the plan and is another opportunity to help shape the future by giving feedback about the specific changes we propose.

"We reviewed the comments from last year's consultation and made a number of significant changes to the plan and proposed sites, as well as updating the supporting evidence and policies. We remain committed to fundamental principles, such as our 'brownfield first' policy of proposing sites with past development, and some of the changes increase the number of homes in the town centre with reduced or removed housing sites in rural areas and greenbelt.

"The plan we submit for independent inspection will provide much-needed homes, jobs and leisure opportunities. As well as places to live and thrive, local people also need a great environment; with transport and other vital infrastructure to support them. We continue to work with our local and strategic partners on their supporting transport and other projects, which they must complete so we can deliver the Local Plan in full."

Get involved and be part of the plan

Here is a summary of how you can get involved in the public consultation.

We will also promote the latest details nearer the time and you can view more information about the new Local Plan at www.guildford.gov.uk/newlocalplan.

During the targeted consultation, from 12 noon on Friday 9 June to 12 noon on Monday 24 July 2017, we will only be asking for comments about the proposed changes to the plan.

These will be clearly shown in the updated plan documents (via tracked changes), along with summaries that highlight the changes in each policy.

Ways to view the documents

During the consultation, copies of the Guildford borough Proposed submission Local Plan: strategy and sites (2017) and its accompanying documents, including the representation form, will be available:

  • to view on the Council's website at www.guildford.gov.uk/newlocalplan

  • for inspection at Guildford Borough Council offices, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB during office hours (excluding Bank Holidays)

  • for inspection, during normal opening hours (excluding Bank Holidays) at Guildford Library, Ash Library, Horsley Library and Shere Diamond Jubilee Library

Ways to submit written comments

Consultation feedback about the changes must be provided in writing and ideally via our representation form. Please ensure all comments clearly state and identify which paragraph number or policy they relate to in the Local Plan document.

You can do this in a number of ways:

Consultation event dates

We have also organised three public information drop-in events where the Planning Policy Team will be available to clarify the consultation process and copies of documents will be available to view:

  • East Horsley Village Hall - Wednesday 14 June 2017 - between 1pm and 8pm

  • Tongham Community Centre - Thursday 15 June 2017 - between 1pm and 8pm

  • Guildford Town Centre at our Council offices at Millmead - Saturday 1 July 2017 - between 10am and 5pm

Past consultation and comments

All comments received in last year's regulation 19 pre-submission consultation about any unchanged aspects of the plan will remain valid, and will not be subject to further consultation.

We will submit all of last year's comments to the independent Planning Inspector, along with the responses to this summer's targeted regulation 19 consultation about the proposed changes.

Significant updates to the Draft Local Plan

These were made for good planning reasons based on past consultation comments or changes in circumstances or the supporting evidence - including:

  • reduced total housing target by 1,400 units until end of plan period in 2034

  • reduced housing need from 693 to 654 units per year - revised Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for housing in updated Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA): Guildford Addendum

  • sites removed completely from the plan - primarily for homes in rural areas such as a large site in Normandy and Flexford for 1,100 residential units

  • updated sites with reduced numbers of homes during the plan period - primarily in green belt areas such as Gosden Hill Farm and Blackwell Farm, with 300 fewer residential units at each site, due to phasing of delivery expected beyond 2034

  • updated sites with increased numbers of homes - primarily brownfield in the town centre such as 200 more residential units on the North Street redevelopment

  • updated sites for student accommodation and Travelling Showpeople - such as Guildford College changing from 100 homes to 200 student accommodation units instead and land at Garlick's Arch site that is now accommodating six Travelling Showpeople plots

  • new sites for employment floor space/industrial land - such as land around Burnt Common warehouse is the new site for 7,000sqm of industrial land moved from the site at Garlick's Arch

  • new rail station at Guildford West, Park Barn - is now included as a site allocation

  • reduced total growth requirements from last year's Local Plan

             o Housing - by 1,400 units
             o Office and research and development floor space - by between 1,100 and 3,500sq m
             o Industrial employment land - by between 1 and 1.2 hectares
             o Comparison retail floor space - by 5,955 sq m (meeting needs to 2030 due to uncertainties in the long term forecasting).

Published on Wednesday 17 May.