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At a well-attended public meeting and in an outburst of unity, Normandy borough and county councillors and nearly 300 residents shared the opinion that the developer-led proposal for 1,100 new homes between Flexford and Normandy in the Green Belt would be fought.

A lengthy exchange of views highlighted the issue of the proposal to build a 1,500 place secondary school and its apparent role in setting the 'exceptional circumstances' that would permit the redrawing of the Green Belt boundary around 67 hectares of land between the two settlements to support mass house building.

The position of Surrey County Council in determining the need for the expansion in secondary school places was questioned. Explanations flowed of how the Objectively Assessed Need for Guildford within the West Surrey Stategic Housing Market Assessment was setting a very high number of houses to be built in the borough over the next 20 years, 693 per year leading to a total in excess of 13,000 houses and driving the expanded educational assessment.

Again and again residents expressed their dismay at how statements by the Lead Councillor for Planning at the February 2016 parish council meeting appeared to identify the land as of the most sensitive rating, unlikely to be developed, being balanced by comments that "if a developer came forward with a proposal for a secondary school, the council would be obliged to consider it seriously." Disquiet heightened when it was revealed that Guildford Borough Council had been in discussion with the potential housebuilder since September 2014. The implication being that the Lead Councillor for Planning was aware of the approaches from the housebuilder when making the reported comments at the Normandy Parish Council meeting two months earlier.

As the meeting drew to a close, residents came forward to offer their skills and experience to propel the effort of the community to communicate their anxiety, anger and resistance to the proposal to key councillors.

Sunday the 15th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template