09. Policy P2 - Green Belt

  1. I object to the changes to Policy P2 because they have not addressed many of the 32,000 objections made to the 2016 plan.
  2. I object to the new para (1) “The Metropolitan Green Belt will continue to be protected as shown designated on the Policies Map, against inappropriate development.  In accordance with national planning policy, the construction of new development will be considered inappropriate and will not be permitted unless very special circumstances can be demonstrated.” The words “as shown designated on the Policies Map” should be deleted. The Policies Map has effectively ignored huge areas of  Green Belt protection and the new para (1) is therefore a sham.
  3. I object to the proposed change that Send Business Park should be inset from the Green Belt due to the fact that:
  4. It is effectively a non-conforming user in an area of beautiful countryside adjacent to the beautiful Wey Navigation
  5. It has restricted access along Tannery Lane
  6. It should not be given the opportunity for further expansion or development 
  7. Policy P2 still completely fails to appreciate the importance and permanence of the Metropolitan Green Belt and the fact that it has been around for a long time and it needs to be permanently protected. It was actually established in a local act of parliament in Guildford under the London Home Counties (Green Belt) Act 1938 and subsequently in the 1944 Greater London Plan to contain the outward sprawl of London. The boundaries of the Green Belt through Guildford Borough were later defined in the 1987 Local Plan, forming part of a 19-24km concentric belt around London. The Green Belt is intended to check the unrestricted sprawl of built up areas; to prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another; to safeguard the countryside from encroachment; to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns; and to assist with urban regeneration by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land. The principles of the Green Belt designation were outlined within Planning Policy Guidance 2: Green Belts (PPG2) and are found within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The Metropolitan Green Belt is an exemplar of good planning and the envy of planners throughout the world.
  8. Policy P2 omits any assessment of the Green Belt’s value.  The Green Belt is not just empty space but is an inhabited, working environment that safeguards a certain stock of natural capital.  
  9. It is quite incorrect to argue, as the Council do, that the plan would involve the loss of “only” 1.6% of the borough’s Green Belt. In reality the figure is nearer 7% when insetting, infilling and settlement boundary extensions are included.  More importantly, there is no “acceptable” percentage (in the NPPF or anywhere else) of Green Belt that may be sold.  No-one argues that we should sell 1.6% of the Crown jewels in order to build houses.  
  10. I object to the statement in the Draft Local Plan under Green Belt Policy P2 (4.3.13) which claims that Send and a further list of 13 villages are “now inset from the Green Belt”.
  11. This statement is untrue as GBC is proposing to “inset” these village.  No decision has been made by an Inspector, therefore the villages remain in the Green Belt!
  12. I object to the changed  “insetting” of 15 villages (including Ripley)  from the Green Belt, and at “infilling” 12 of the borough’s Green Belt villages. 
  13. I am deeply disturbed that settlement boundaries are to be hugely extended in many villages (particularly at Send) and that infilling is also proposed outside the settlement boundaries of 11 further villages.  This is completely unplanned and unmeasured development outside of the OAN.
  14. Many Guildford villages are “leggy” in outline, reflecting the effect of ribbon development (often along just one side of existing roads) permitted between the Wars.  It is all too easy to square off boundaries by including countryside bounded on only one or two sides by existing development, claiming it contributes nothing to the “openness” of the Green Belt, a term which neither the plan nor the NPPF defines.  The NPPF’s other 4 tests of Green Belt status, including the prevention of urban sprawl, are ignored.  Effectively, this policy makes all villages within the Green Belt vulnerable to large blocks of new development and seems almost hell bent on self-defeat.   
  15. Send is a good example of villages that should not be removed from the Green Belt. Send provides an important Green Belt buffer between Woking and Guildford. Yes, it is true that Send comprises old ribbon development but this should not mean it can be removed from the Green Belt so that Woking joins up to Guildford. The village and the countryside behind the A247 should all be protected.
  16. I object to three particularly vulnerable areas of high quality amenity land being taken out of the Green Belt at Send which include: 
  • The land behind the schools including playing fields and woodland. 
  • The land to the right of Cartbridge by the River Wey Navigation up to the new boundary fence with Vision Engineering.  
  • Land to the left of Cartbridge going up to the old depot on the Wey Navigation. 

2017 Guildford Local Plan

Guildford’s NEW local Plan has just opened for consultation. PLEASE RESPOND before 24th July 2017.  GGG has published its responses to Local Plan Policies here 

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