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Housing on our Allotments Site
- your questions answered
How many houses are involved?
Originally GBC were intending to build on the whole of the Allotment site - that's almost 7 acres worth of very high density accommodation, so anywhere between 200 - 300 would be a rough guess.
When this slipped out and became public knowledge, they scaled back their plan to allowing development on one-third of the site and that is on record (GBC website) as being between 40 & 50 houses.
When I moved into the area - there was nothing about Housing in the Searches carried out on our property.
There won't be. Searches only cover current or near-future Planning applications. The legality of the Council's (GBC's) 2003 Local Plan meant that they could allow building at any time on the Allotment Site and they made it clear that "Planning Permission will be given" so a Planning Application in the normal sense not a requirement.
You could have moved in in 2005 when GBC were telling us Development could start in 2006 - that would have been a serious shock
Luckily GBC retracted from that timescale and development obviously didn't happen in 2006!
Why would roads to these houses have to come out in Broadacres or Oakfields?
When Surrey County Council (SCC) were asked by our local Councillors about roadway access, they were told by SCC that a road coming out into Woodside Road was not possible as it would be on sharp bend and a hill with lots of neighbouring houses. A road out into Westway similarly dismissed as the School is there, it would again be on a sharp bend and there are a lot of senior citizens living just across the road. Broadacres & Oakfields were (and still are) the only viable options.
You mentioned at a meeting that the ground was not suitable for Housing - why?
It's all to do with the actual make-up of the land itself.
Firstly it’s on a steep gradient approx. 30 degrees from bottom to top.
The top layer is Heavy Clay which sits on a layer of Guildford’s Golden Sand which in itself sits on top of Chalk. In and around that and underneath are natural waterways. When the water table rises the ground also rises and when it dries out & contracts in Spring/Summer, large cracks appear - the land is permanently on the move.
So to counter-act that, any house-builder would have to sink piles so deep (& expensive) that there wouldn’t be much profitability in the buildings and such piling would seriously damage Guildford’s main Water Reservoir which is just over the fence from that end of the Allotment Site.
It would also mean that the water run-off on the built area would go of course go downhill & inevitably flood the gardens and garages of neighbouring properties in Oakfields.
Page Last Updated - 06/11/2013