News update, June 2017

Dear all,

Local Plan consultation – objection to Blackwell Farm
As I’m sure you are aware, the Local Plan consultation is underway, and it is important that as many people as possible write in to object to continued inclusion of the Blackwell Farm scheme (policy A26). Please spread the word as widely as possible. A standardised response postcard has been produced by Save Hogs Back (see attached).

The following objection can be sent directly by email to: to arrive before midday 24th July 2017. This must be accompanied by your full name and address.

We object to Guildford Borough Council’s changes to the draft Local Plan and the inclusion of Blackwell Farm as a development site [Policy A26 & para. 4.1.9], which:

  • disregards an independent expert landscape study, which demonstrates that part of the site merits Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status following Natural England’s forthcoming boundary review [para. 4.3.8]
  • directs more office space to an extended business park [Policy E4], which will increase peak time congestion – particularly around the hospital and A&E – and will also encourage rat-running through residential areas
  • ignores independent expert traffic studies, which show the impact of development at Blackwell Farm on the local network and question the viability of the development [2.14a]
    adds to air pollution in neighbouring areas, which already exceeds safe EU limits.

Please forward this to anyone who might be interested. If you would prefer to draft your own objections to this site, that would be even better, but please remember to refer to a change in the Local Plan policies and to cite the policy number, and (where relevant) the paragraph, otherwise the Council will disregard it.

Beechcroft Drive access
The latest draft of the Local Plan also removes the provision for an alternative access to Beechcroft Drive & Manor Cottages. The current access (a 90 degree junction on a blind bend of the A3) is dangerous not just to the residents of Beechcroft Drive, who use the junction on a daily basis, but to all drivers travelling on the A3. I would urge everyone to object to the removal of this scheme (SRN6) on safety grounds.

The removal of the proposed Beechcroft Drive access suggests that the A3 widening is not going ahead during the Local Plan period, and without this widening, the growth planned for borough in the Local Plan cannot be accommodated.

Day of Action – call for volunteers
The London Green Belt Council is organising a “Day of Action” for Save Hogs Back on Monday, July 3. Many thanks to everyone who has already helped to distribute the postcards across the west of Guildford.

We’ve had some great coverage in the Surrey Ad and on the Get Surrey and Guildford Dragon websites:

Please comment on these, especially on the more recent Dragon article, as this will help to keep it “live”.

Please could everyone with a Twitter account follow: @savehogsback and retweet the Save Hogs Back tweets.

Waverley BC Public Inquiry
Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan Public Inquiry is currently taking place, and reports coming out of it are not positive. It seems that Waverley is being pushed to accept a housing increase of around 25% to meet the “affordability” test and an addition to the 5 year housing supply, which developers claim is not sufficiently robust. The now agreed starting point for Waverley is 396, (which implies that in order to comply with NPPF 182, Guildford’s starting point would be 600 and Woking’s 301).

The Planning Inspector presiding over the Waverley Inquiry was not swayed by arguments about environmental or traffic constraints. He said that “he’d rather have a new house than worry about sitting in traffic“.