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After initial rejection on 2 December by Guildford Borough councillors, due to apparent errors in the content, the revised Strategic Housing Market Assessment [SHMA] was published at 17:00 Thursday 18 December 2014.  This revised SHMA takes account of the Duty to Cooperate with the two other councils that make up the defined Housing Market Area [HMA], namely Waverley and Woking borough councils.

The West Surrey SHMA is again the work of GL Hearn Consultants that produced the much-criticised Guildford SHMA that formed part of the evidence base for the recently completed consultation for the draft Guildford Local Plan.  In that, much was made by the consultants of population forecasts from the ONS, later admitted by the ONS to be flawed, using a short-term (5-year) trend that contained exceptional numbers of students and inward migration, as the basis of their 'objective' housing forecasts. GL Hearn have recognised those flaws but simply replaced the number predicated on that data by something else, a number based on other assumptions of economic growth predictions.  In addition, the assumption that only 60% of students will be housed on campus continues to form another strand of the assumptions sourced from GBC and used unquestioningly.

At first glance, it appears that the Objectively Assessed Need [OAN] for Guilford borough has increased to a range between 620-816 per year. This appears to be in response to forecasts by the council and Enterprise M3 LEP of increased economic activity as we head towards 2033.

Community groups will be subjecting this document to forensic analysis and no doubt more will be revealed about the joint West Surrey SHMA in the ensuing days and weeks.

Tuesday the 18th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template