Surrey

Guildford draft local plan takes step forward

View over Guildford Image copyright Guildford Borough Council
Image caption During initial surveys on the draft local plan, more than 20,000 comments were made by the public

A controversial plan for development in Guildford borough has moved forward.

The council's executive committee has given a green light for consultation to go ahead, and the full council will make the final decision on whether to consult the public on 19 June.

Councillor Monika Juneja, cabinet planning spokesman, said residents were "itching" to ask questions.

During initial surveys on the draft local plan, more than 20,000 comments were made by members of the public.

Ms Juneja said she knew many people thought the council was building over the green belt and other protected areas, but she said having a local plan would safeguard areas of land.

'No decisions made'

She said the borough was "long overdue" for a plan because the last one was approved in 2003.

The plan was not just about housing, but also issues such as burial grounds, economic development and tourism, she added.

"Yesterday was my chance to ask the executive to endorse the draft local plan on a number of 652 houses a year for consultation.", she said after the executive meeting on Wednesday.

"We have not made any decisions. It's simply to ask the public where they feel we've gone wrong, whether our policies are wrong, whether the sites are wrong, and whether our number is wrong.

"I know the residents are itching to question our number, question our sites, question the reality of this local plan, and I think the only way we can do that, really, is to go out to consultation."

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