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As reported in Guildford Dragon, differences in priorities between the political groupings in Guildford Borough Council resulted in a motion calling for a development moratorium in response to the climate emergency being kicked into the long grass. With a new Brownfield Register due for release, some councillors arguing it was best to wait in order to maximise brownfield development with others questioning the real motives behind the deferment. 

In early November 2019, the Guildford Local Plan will be subject to Judicial Review [JR] in the High Court. Two local Parish Councils (Ockham PC and Compton PC) and Green Belt campaigner Mr J Cranwell have initiated three JRs on the grounds that the council agreed a housing requirement of 10,000 new dwellings but nonetheless allocated land for 14,000 houses, failing to show “exceptional circumstances” for the release of green belt land to build housing in excess of that required.

As reported in the Guildford Dragon, these three challenges are not seeking to reject the whole Local Plan. Should the claimants be successful, the council will be able to consider amendment of the proposed use of rural sites within the adopted Plan.

Following a series of public hearing sessions on the draft Guildford Local Plan, which were held from 5 June 2018 to 5 July 2018. The interim conclusion by the independent Inspector is that the plan is ‘sound’ subject to main modifications.

On 12 April 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a judgement [People Over Wind and Sweetman v Coillte Teoranta (C-323/17)], which ruled that Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive must be interpreted as meaning that mitigation measures (e.g. SANG) should be assessed within the framework of an Appropriate Assessment (see page 7 Planning Inspectorate Advice Note - Habitat Regulations Assessment, January 2013) and that it is not permissible to take account of measures intended to avoid or reduce the harmful effects of the plan or project (e.g. SANG) at the screening stage.

On 13 June 2018 the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government issued the decision to reject the appeal made by the would-be developer of the Wisley Airfield site against Guildford Borough Council's [GBC] refusal of planning application 15/P/00012. This was 2 weeks later than originally scheduled and after the Examination in Public of the Guildford Local Plan had begun on 6 June.

Monday the 17th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template