Guildford Draft Plan

GBC Press Release on the Draft Plan


FLAG opposes the annual total of 693 dwellings driven by the calculations of G L Hearn. This figure (called the SHMA) drives the intrusions into the Green Belt around Guildford. Many of our residents have signed a petition asking for the caclulations to be made public. Using the office of National Statistics data, Guildford Residents Association has produced the following as a breakdown of an overall increase in Guildford population from 139,000 to 161,000

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Flexford 1,100 Homes and a 7 Entry Secondary School

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From the Draft Plan Submission:

This is a residential lead mixed use development, allocated for:
• Approximately 1,100 homes (C3), including some specialist
housing and self-build plots (C3), and
• A nursing or residential care home (C2) with approximately 60
beds, and
• 6 Travelling Showpeople plots (sui generis), and
• Approximately 400 sq m of comparison retail (A1), and
• Approximately 300 sq m of convenience retail (A1), and
• Approximately 400 sq m of services (A2 – A5), and
• Approximately 300 sq m of community facilities (D1), and
• A secondary school (D1) (at least seven form entry)
• A village green

The submission notes that there is fluvial flood risk and surface water flood risk

FLAG View on the New Draft Plan


This figure is too high – it leads to a growth rate that is greater than Greater London over the past two centuries. The consequence of this is that, without applying constraints, it forces GBC to give up the Green Belt. .


FLAG urges the University to house more students on campus (80%)

There are around 13700 full time students currently studying at the University Surrey. At the moment only around 5400 (40%) of these students are housed on its own site campuses – of the rest (around 8700) many are living in properties around Guildford town. As a direct result, at least 1400 houses are registered as student houses (HMO’s) with Guildford Borough Council and do not pay council tax. 


The new local plan, (same as the current local plan from 2003) stipulates that this on site figure should still be 60%on site. Internal documents freely available clearly shown that the University has had no intention of meeting its 60% promise, and only plans for around 42%.  Indeed, over the past 12 years the University, despite having substantial student accommodation planning permission available, it has build almost none on site, and has showing a disregard for its original promise (for which it received Manor Park removed from greenbelt), and the planning policy in Guildford. Compare that with managing to get permission for and build its newly completed £47M Vet School (on Manor Park) in a little under 2 years, using some of the land originally intended for student accommodation.  


Increasing this figure to 80% (like other University towns e.g. Oxford) and putting in measures to ensure it is enforced, would release a lot of housing stock back into the market and coupled with a reduced SHMA (see above) this could negate any intrusion on the Green Belt. 


FLAG is against the Russell Place Sang

This SANG will be used to justify all development in North West Guildford, no matter how close that development is to the Thames Basin Heaths (Whitmoor Common and Pirbright Common). This is on good farming land that will be removed from agricultural use. Locally this can be used as mitigation for Rokers, Merrist Wood and Keens Lane and any future speculative development around Fairlands, Liddington Hall and Gravetts Lane.


FLAG says that the development at Keens Lane should be withdrawn from the Plan

This development will add to the congestion on Keens and Gravetts Lane. The exit on Keens Lane is at a dangerous point. Keens Lane is largely single track. The whole development will add footfall on Whitmoor Common. 75% of visitors to Whitmoor Common Car park in Salt Box Road travel 2.8 km or less (75% of walkers visiting via the car park travelled 700 metres or less). Clearly residents on Keens Lane will use Whitmoor and not travel 5 Km to Russell Place Farm. The Development has gone ahead despite these objections. 140+ houses and a Care Home have been built.


FLAG cannot agree with the development at Flexford

This is in Green Belt. This development is not accompanied by any upgrade to the A323 and will increase traffic on this road substantially with the seven entry school as well as 1,100 homes at the site. The site is a flood risk and also close to the protected area of Pirbright Common.


The site at Blackwell Farm is not supported by FLAG

This site is in Green Belt represents further expansion by the University, having given undertakings that they would not encroach on the Green Belt again once given Manor Farm. Displaced Rain water will affect Wood Street and Fairlands. Increased traffic will be caused by siting the school for this development at Flexford.


Individual Policy Wordings need to protect Residents from Garden Grabbing and Building on open spaces

Policy statements are too woolly - (n.b.) Not all policy statements have been developed as yet. The NPPF allows for specific wording to prevent garden grabbing, yet this does not appear in the published policies.


There is no Infrastructure to alleviate arterial roads in North West Guildford (apart from A3)

Traffic will be generated by new developments and the only improvements are centred on getting traffic off the A3 and on to already clogged arterial roads. Timing of any developer funded improvements will also be problematical as there will be a claim that houses have to be built and sold before funds can be released.


Additional Retail Space for Guildford Town Centre is outdated

We feel this is bucking trends such as internet shopping and space should be given over to accommodation instead.


FLAG pushes for a fairer distribution of Traveller Sites across all geographic quadrants of Guildford

Whilst we have no objection to the provision of Traveller Sites, There is an imbalance in the distribution of Traveller sites across the borough, with a skew towards North West Guildford.

Keens Lane

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Extract from the Draft Plan submission:

The site is allocated for approximately 140 homes and a care home  with approximately 60 beds

The care home is located on the area of land that is within 400m of the Thames Basin Heaths SPA. Car parking for the care home is controlled to prevent additional recreational access to the Thames Basin Heaths SPA and development proposals must demonstrate how this will be satisfactorily managed and enforced

Design and layout to reflect the transition from urban to greenfield

There are opportunities for:

  • the Inclusion of some self-build plots as part of the provision of new homes 
  • Green infrastructure enhancements given the site’s proximity to the Thames Basin Heaths SPA
  • encouragement of cycling and pedestrian movements from the site
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