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CAMPAIGN UPDATE Feb 2013
Things are beginning to hot up on this 2013 Consultation. Here is what we have sent GBC planners today (5th Feb 2013):
Local Development Scheme 2013 & Saved 2003 Local Plan Policy H3
WBDRA has been following the LDS roll-out with a view to monitoring what policies will be carried forward from 2003 and to monitor dates of related Public Consultations.
We understand that the 2003 Policy H3 has been included in the 2013 LDS and write to express our opposition to this as well as our concern that the public's wishes regarding the Aldershot Road Allotment site (referred to as Woodside Road in H3) seem to have been comprehensively ignored.
WBDRA has already generated over 500 signatures on a 10 Downing St Petition calling for GBC to remove the threat of Housing on site - the results of which were duly delivered to GBC. In 2008, the Site Allocations Consultation yielded some 260 responses in favour of Opens Space and Allotment use - one of the highest polling results in the whole exercise - not one vote recorded in favour of the Housing Option.
GBC is fond of inviting its residents & council tax payers to "Have Your Say" - have we not had our say enough? And why in these times of keeping a tight grip on public spending, why do we have to have yet another expensive Site Allocations Consultation about a policy which has already been resoundingly rejected by the people of Guildford?
The need for Allotments has not diminished since 2008 and the Aldershot Road site has a continual official waiting list for plots as well as an unofficial list of many local people who would like a plot if offered but have given up being on the GAS waiting list - they can't understand why when there are 39 plots lying fallow, why there is a waiting list at all.
Everyone would agree that there is a need for affordable housing in the Borough but no-one is in favour of housing being built on public amenity land on which there has been Allotments for many decades.
Moreover if the Councillors who mooted this policy in the first place had done their homework properly, they would have seen how geologically unsound land it is for housing development (clay on chalk on sand on a thirty degree gradient with deep running water courses) which is all too close to the Guildford Reservoir to permit the deep piling needed to prevent subsidence and land-slip. With any possible Reservoir avoidance works plus deep piling plus the installation of piped services, roadways etc etc - there would be very little profit margin (if any) for affordable or even social housing developers. Added to which are the local residents of Westborough and Worplesdon who are hostile to any development on this site
We ask then in the interest of democracy and the public purse that GBC drops Policy H3 from the 2013 LDS forthwith and allows Guildford Allotment Society to take on the lease for the uncultivated part of the Aldershot Road Allotment Site.
Thank you for your time and attention
PS: The GBC person was not too keen to be named on the WASHA website so we have made her anoymous retrospectively on ours!
Page Last Updated - 10/02/2013