News update (June 2016)

Local Plan consultation
The consultation on the Local Plan will begin tomorrow (June 6 2016) and it is very important that everyone responds – even if you simply resend a previous objection. Despite receiving 20,000+ comments on the previous draft of the Plan (not dissimilar to this one), the vast majority of which were objections, Guildford Borough Council has voted this through and is claiming that those who objected to its proposals are in the minority. The responses to this consultation will be the ones that the Inspector sees, and we need to demonstrate that there is no appetite to grow Guildford by 24%, to add to congestion and to build large-scale developments on areas of high landscape value such as Blackwell Farm. You can object by emailing:

The consultation closes on July 17, 2016.

There was a huge amount of unrest in the public gallery at the Special Council Meeting on May 24, 2016 as people felt that councillors had broken their pre-election promises to protect the green belt (70% of the 14,000 new homes will be on the green belt).

Clls Phillips and Goodwin (representing Onslow Ward) put forward an amendment to remove Blackwell Farm from the Plan, but it was not carried, and all the councillors representing Shalford and Worplesdon (except Bob McShee) voted against the motion. Cllrs Phillips, Goodwin and McShee also voted against the Local Plan going to consultation. They raised concerns that the Plan was going forward without councillors having sight of the proposed transport strategy to accompany it.

Cllr Phillips put forward his case for the amendment at 2 hrs 19 into the meeting and I spoke at around 31 minutes.

Further coverage of the meeting can be found on the Dragon:

Normandy Action Group & Save Hogs Back
Normandy Action Group and Save Hogs Back have agreed to work together to oppose Blackwell Farm site (1,800 houses) and the Normandy site (1,000 houses behind Wanborough Station) going forward for development. GBC has agreed that if the secondary school proposed for the Normandy site is not needed, there would be no “exceptional circumstance” for removing the Normandy site from the green belt. The school will, in a large part, serve the proposed new Blackwell Farm development so if Blackwell Farm is removed, it is highly likely that Normandy will be also.

Media coverage
Save Hog’s Back received some coverage in last week’s Sunday Telegraph online news: Sadly, the story was cut back in the printed version.

There was also a good letter from Peter Elliot on the Dragon: