Update, May 2016

Local Plan consultation
The local plan consultation will begin on June 6, 2016 and last for six weeks. I will forward details about how you can object to the Local Plan and the inclusion of Blackwell Farm as a potential development area in a future update. It is very important that everyone responds to this third round of consultation.

GBC Special Council meeting – June 24
On May 11th the Executive agreed that the latest draft of the Local Plan could go forward to the next stage. It will therefore be debated at a Special Council meeting tomorrow evening at 7pm at the Council Offices. Fiona and I have secured speakers’ slots. It would be great if as many of you as possible could turn up for the meeting as a full public gallery will demonstrate to councillors the strength of public opposition.

I put forward a formal question to the Council Exec at the May 11th meeting. In response, Council Leader Paul Spooner put forward the following arguments for development on Blackwell Farm:
The new link road from the A31 to the research park/hospital would relieve traffic on the A3. (There was no mention of the additional pressure on the A31.)
The site would offer considerable benefits to the community, eg a new junior school and SANG (suitable alternative natural green space), which is a requirement for development within 5kms of the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area.
It enables the Research Park to expand and this is the only place in Guildford where knowledge-based businesses can be located
The additional residential and employment demand will provide Guildford with a better business case for a rail halt at Park Barn (although he adds that the business case has not been proven)
The development will help fund delivery of the new rail halt at Park Barn.
If you’d like more detail, please visit:

(Annex 1)

A31 gap
The Local Committee meeting to discuss the proposed closure of the gap at East Flexford Lane will take place on 22nd June. Residents are concerned that the closure of the gap is linked with the proposed new junction on the A31, which will provide access to Blackwell Farm. Any written questions must be submitted to Surrey County Council before 15th June.

Mayoral petition
Monika Juneja’s petition seeking a referendum on whether Guildford should have an elected mayor has been validated. See (http://www.guildford-dragon.com/2016/05/23/breaking-news-mayoral-petition-validated-referendum-will-held/)

Media coverage
The Surrey Ad published my letter complaining about a one-sided video promoting housebuilding in general and the University development in particular (see attached). I’m told that the video cost £72,000 to produce. The video can be seen at http://www.guildford.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/224847 – about 8 minutes into the recording.

Donations and membership
Many thanks to everyone who has generously donated to Save Hogs Back. It is important that we have funds to pay the experts who are advising us on planning issues and to build our membership to demonstrate support. Please could those who has not already done so donate a nominal sum to Save Hogs Back – £1 will do! If you could ask friends and family to donate too that would be great. There is a “donate” button on the website http://savehogsback.co.uk/