At the national level, government has made clear its intention to reform and simplify the planning system. No doubt every government has this aspiration but we should take it seriously and watch closely for changes that might have a negative impact on semi-rural areas such as ours.

This is not strictly speaking a planning matter, but as it is relevant to local quality of life we thought it worth drawing to your attention. It concerns a research proposal from the University of Surrey that intends to undertake a study into the effects of different vegetation and leaf types on roadside air pollutant removal.

CPRE’s annual State of the Green Belt report highlights that there are currently 460,000 homes being planned to be built on land that will soon be released from the Green Belt. Moving Green Belt boundaries when reviewing local plans makes it easier for local authorities to release land for housing, but is only supposed to take place under ‘exceptional circumstances’. This strategic shrinking of the Green Belt, as a way of getting around its protected status, is as harmful as building on the Green Belt itself.

An individual with considerable software skills in the development of on-line maps has been hard at work again. Dan Cookson has produced another excellent on-line map showing the location of housing developments over the last 10 years across England. The on-line map enables the visitor to move around and zoom in to a low level in their preferred area to reveal what has been built where.

There was a hearing on Thursday 12 July 2018 at the High Court with CPRE SurreyPOW (Protect Our Waverley)and others seeking a judicial review of the Waverley local plan. CPRE have been granted permission for a legal challenge to go ahead. This will put the spotlight on Waverley council, the Planning Inspectorate and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for their approach to 'housing need'. CPRE's case focuses specifically on the imposition on Waverley of 'unmet need' from Woking, and the consequences of this 'uplift' on Waverley's countryside including Green Belt and AONB.

It is worth noting that the same Inspector who examined the Waverley plan, Mr Jonathan Bore, also examined the Guildford plan and deployed the same ‘uplift’ argument there. The eventual outcome of the Waverley judicial review will therefore be significant for Guildford’s plan.

Tuesday the 11th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template