Meeting housing needs – not developer needs

The local plan should address Guildford’s housing needs, but on Guildford’s own terms:

  • Guildford Councillors are pushing the point that children of Guildford can’t afford to live in the area, but the Blackwell Farm site has not been earmarked for affordable homes. Instead it is proposed to build ‘executive houses’, which are likely to be occupied by those migrating into Guildford from London and elsewhere.

  • Any further need for accommodation from migration into the area could be provided by the building of expensive town houses and flats in the urban parts of Guildford, such as along the potentially attractive waterfront of Ladymead and Walnut Tree Close and across the railway lines which would also serve to regenerate the area surrounding the Railway Station. This form of high-end urban development would meet the needs of professionals and families moving to the areas who’d have access to the green surrounds.  It would also serve to improve, rather than destroy, what Guildford represents. There wouldn’t be the need for movements into the town (and the associated traffic issues) but sufficient cycleways and links could be provided to allow people to enjoy the neighbouring countryside.  This would seem much better proposal than destroying Green Belt areas with housing and the nature of Guildford – the very same areas which have attracted people to the area in the first place.

  • The future development of Guildford should be done on the terms of existing inhabitants of Guildford and the surrounding villages and countryside and not dictated by the people’s aspirations moving to the area and the greed of the developers who will make more money building on greenfield sites.

  • We should challenge people’s aspirations, people don’t have the automatic right to move to Guildford to a new detached house on a former area of Green Belt.  You can buy your new home on the open market, or you choose an executive apartment or townhouse in a newly developed part of town.

  • We understand that Guildford needs just 204 houses per year to meet the needs of the existing population and growth. This need can be fulfilled without the need to build on Green Belt.

  • The design of the consultation questionnaires and the messaging from the Council is encouraging people to respond in favour of new affordable homes. However, the Council should not extrapolate from these responses to assume that people are also in favour of new executive homes in the area.

  • To reflect the need to meet housing needs, perhaps the Council should decree that all new buildings should comprise of affordable housing.

  • There is already a large proportion of large detached and semi detached houses in Guildford Borough so any new requirement (for people moving from London) could be met by providing denser flats and houses to regenerate run-down parts of Guildford and provide a better balance of property types across the borough.

See our Call for Action and write to your Councillor.

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