Sign the petition to government to repeal the NPPF

This petition asks the government to repeal the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework).  It’s not our petition, and we aren’t happy with the local plan suggestions at present. But we hope – if only through the ballot box locally – to be able to influence the way that the local plan is finally drafted.  BUT there is a risk, under the NPPF, that developers will be able to appeal, and then we are dependent on the whim of the planning minister at the time.  IF we can get the NPPF repealed, AND if we get the local plan we want, then we can really protect our area.  If we get 100000 signatures, they will have to vote on this in Parliament, which should concentrate a few minds.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49495

 

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The council has issued a statement on the consultation

Guildford council has published the following statement on their website:

Local residents hand in petition

“We are consulting on the issues and options facing the borough for the growth we know is needed for current and future generations. The Government requires us to consider sites across the borough for potential future development, but our priority will be to look at brownfield sites first. Local people who are suggesting that the Council is proposing to ‘concrete over the green belt’ have misinterpreted the consultation.

Unfortunately, there is also a misconception that development in some areas of the borough, such as the Horsleys, Fairlands and the Hogs Back, is definite and in the pipeline. No decisions have been taken about the level of development, or where it will go.
 Today, a large group of approximately 150 local people accompanied the presentation of a petition, to show the Council their strength of feeling about the borough’s future. The full Council considers any petitions with over 500 signatures from borough residents. We will let people know at which meeting in the New Year this will be discussed.
 Sue Sturgeon, Managing Director of Guildford Borough Council, says: “People are passionate about where they live and work, they have every reason to be and every right to make their views known to us. This is all part of local democracy and we welcome everyone’s contributions to help shape the future – and their feedback on important issues between 2015 and 2031. That is what this stage of consultation on the new Local Plan is all about.
 “We have been impressed and delighted with the number and variety of comments we have received from organisations and individuals within our community. We are now going to spend time reviewing these responses and starting to draft the new Local Plan.
 “There will be continuing consultation with the public at every stage. Not everyone will be happy with all of the outcomes, and we recognise that there are some very strongly held views about some of the options that we may need to consider.
 “However, as our population grows, we must accommodate the increasing needs of our community and the next generation. It must be a priority to provide decent and affordable homes for workers and people of all ages. Young people also need employment and more opportunities to work and live here, rather than move away.”
We will publish the results of this consultation online early in 2014. We will also make them available to view elsewhere and publish regular updates on the next stage of developing the Local Plan”

Published on 29 November 2013

The link to the article is here;

http://www.guildford.gov.uk/article/5848/News-and-information-releases?faqdetailid=11957&inplace=true

VIDEO: From march at Millmead

Published on 94.6 Eagle Radio
http://www.964eagle.co.uk/news/local-news/1140967/villagers-descend-on-guildford-for-greenbelt-march/

29th November 2013
(Updated 5:41pm 29th November 2013)

“Fighting for Guildford’s greenbelt, hundreds of people from Ockham, Albury, Horsley, the Hogs Back area and other villages have marched through Guildford.

They are concerned thousands of houses could be built on greenbelt land around the borough.

It is in response to the draft Local Plan – which has an option to look at removing the greenbelt status in some areas.

Susan Parker is from Shere: “Absolutely beautiful, idyllic, typical chocolate box villages, are due to have suburbia built all-round the edge.

“It’s not about being ‘NIMBY’S’, my back yard is not the issue here.

“It’s about the fact that I don’t want the greenbelt to turn into Croydon.”

Susan tells Eagle the campaigners feel betrayed by the council:

“Most of the people here are conservative voters, who have voted for this council, and this government.

“They’re angry, they feel betrayed.

“This countryside which we care enormously about, which for us represents England, and everything we care about, is just being attacked.”

Tony Edwards lives in Ockham: “Once it’s gone, it is gone. It is not going to be coming back at some later date.

“Once you have built all over it, once you have laid the concrete, that is it, it is gone.

“And furthermore, it is not ours to give away, we have it on loan from our Grandchildren.

“We are all worried about the wholesale removal of greenbelt status from so many Guildford villages, if you look at the document there is a massive removal of greenbelt status.

“If we let this sort of proposal a reality, Guildford will no longer be a nice place to live, it will be a nice place to leave.”

But Guildford Borough Council says the campaigners are misinformed and it reiterates no decisions have been made.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Local people who are suggesting that the Council are proposing to ‘concrete over the green belt’ are misinformed. We are consulting on the issues and options facing the borough until 2031.

“No decisions have been taken about the level of development, or where it will go.

“The Government requires us to consider sites across the borough for potential future development, but our priority will be to look at brownfield sites first.”

About 250 people met at the train station, marched to the council offices at Millmead, and handed in a petition to the council.

They were chanting, holding placards and singing ‘Jerusalem.'”

Debate to be held on 12/12/13 at Millmead house

BREAKING NEWS- DEBATE TO BE HELD 12/12/13

This e-petition has received over 1000 e-signatories and therefore exceeds the 500 signature threshold to trigger a debate on the issue at a full Council meeting.

This matter will therefore be debated at the meeting of the Council to be held on Thursday 12 December 2013. The meeting will start at 7.00pm and will be held in the Council Chamber here at Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 4BB.  Members of the public are welcome to attend all of our meetings.  However, the meeting will also be webcasted live via our website:

www.guildford.gov.uk/webcasting

The agenda for the meeting will be published on Wednesday 4 December 2013. You will be able to view the agenda on our website:

http://www.guildford.gov.uk/councilminutesagendasandreports

At the meeting, councillors will debate the e-petition and will decide how to respond to it. Details of the Council’s formal response to the e-petition will be sent to all e-signatories after the meeting.

As the e-petition is going to be debated at full Council on 12 December, we have agreed with the e-petition organiser (Helen Jefferies) that we will close the e-petition on Tuesday 10 December 2013.

If you have any queries about the Council meeting, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards

Archive coverage

Coverage of todays march with a video at the bottom;

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/local-news/protesters-target-council-hands-green-6355755

Coverage from Guildford Dragon;

http://www.guildford-dragon.com/2013/11/29/200-march-millmead-protest-threat-green-belt/

Coverage from Eagle Radio;

http://www.964eagle.co.uk/news/local-news/1140967/villagers-descend-on-guildford-for-greenbelt-march/