Guildford’s Local Plan will face a judicial review in the High Court. Permission has been granted by the Court for three claims against Guildford Borough Council – by greenbelt campaigner Julian Cranwell and by two Parish Councils, Ockham and Compton – challenging Guildford Council’s adoption of the Guildford Plan. The judicial review will be on the grounds that the Borough Council agreed a housing requirement of 10,000 new dwellings but nonetheless allocated land for 14,000 houses, failing to show ‘exceptional circumstances’ for the release of greenbelt land to build housing far in excess of that required. Richard Buxton Solicitors are acting for all three claimants.
The challenges are supported by countryside protection groups including CPRE Surrey and the London Green Belt Council. CPRE Surrey Branch Director Andy Smith said: “The Guildford Plan in its present form is a charter for large-scale housebuilding in our precious greenbelt countryside. Development on the scale proposed is wholly unsustainable and unjustified. We are particularly strongly opposed to the Plan’s proposal to build thousands of houses at Blackwell Farm on the Hogs Back and at Three Farm Meadows, Wisley. Both of these sites are greenbelt farmland and open countryside that should never have been offered up for development.
“CPRE welcomes the judicial review of Guildford Council’s decision to adopt a Plan which threatens so much of our greenbelt countryside.”