Guildford Borough Council has just launched a six-week consultation on what it describes as the second part of the Local Plan agreed in 2019: the “Development Management Policies". This will put flesh on the bones of the approved Plan and will guide individual planning decisions.

The consultation document is long, but you can skim through it fairly easily. In many ways it is an inspiring read, although as always the challenge will lie in implementation. There are chapters on housing, the economy, protection of the countrside and biodiversity, design including mitigating climate change, and infrastructure. The proposed policies are what you might hope and expect to see in such a document, but the supporting justifications contain some interesting information.

For example, although we read that "Surrey is a comparatively biodiverse county and Guildford is one of its most biodiverse districts" (Section 4.3), we are also warned that "However, the decline in local biodiversity is even more pronounced than the national decline; the county has historically suffered a high degree of habitat loss and fragmentation. The Surrey Nature Partnership’s (SyNP) report, "The State of Surrey's Nature", estimates that 12% of the County’s species have been lost, 21% are in decline and heading for local extinction, 15% are rare but stable and only 3% of rare species are recovering." (Section 4.5) As a result, there is an impressive range of Policies regarding biodiversity and environmental protection (Chapter 4). 

We are also reminded that with regard to the River Wey "The course between Guildford and Wisley, running all the way through to the Thames, is historically known as the Wey Navigation and was completed in 1653, making it one of the earliest rivers to be made navigable in England.  Whilst the southern extension, the Godalming Navigation, was seamlessly added in 1760." (Section 5.168) There is a specific set of policies to "conserve and enhance" this and other precious features of our local built environment (Chapter 5).

We strongly recommend taking a look at this document and, if you are so minded, responding to the consultation. Even if you have nothing to criticise it is nice to provide positive feedback to the hard-pressed officers at GBC!


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