Q & A
What is Lovelace?
Ripley, Ockham and Wisley form the Lovelace Ward in Guildford Borough and there is a long established connection between the 3 villages, sharing roads, shops and businesses. We are one of the smallest wards in Guildford comprising of 1,900 voters and it makes sense to work together to create a neighbourhood plan that respects the character of each village but retain our links.
What if each village wants something totally different?
The purpose of undertaking community engagement is to represent what each village wants. Each village will have the same community engagement questionnaire and this will establish where there are different issues and aims. It is the job of the LNPG, in conjunction with our planning advisers, Navigus Planning, to ensure that each villages wishes for its own area are implemented within a harmonious overall plan for the area.
Individual villages will be able to veto proposals which materially affect that village and with which the relevant parish plan group disagree.
What’s happening with the former Wisley Airfield (Three Farms Meadows)?
In early 2016 the Guildford Borough Council (GBC) Planning Committee refused a planning application for 2,000+ dwellings on the former Wisley airfield. The decision was based on the site being in Greenbelt, traffic and environmental issues.
The owners appealed this decision and in October 2017 a Public Inquiry was held. In June 2018 the Inspector and the Secretary of State upheld the GBC Planning Committee decision and the appeal was rejected.
However, GBC have included the site in their draft Local Plan as a ‘stragetic’ site. Neighbourhood Plans cannot object to strategic sites.
Does that mean there won’t be any development there?
Not necessarily. In June/July 2018 the GBC draft Local Plan (GBC LP) was the subject of its own Independent Examination. This draft GBC LP includes the removal of the former airfield (Three Farms Meadows) from the Greenbelt. On the last day of the GBC LP examination, the Inspector declared the plan “sound”. This implies the GBC intention to remove the former Wisley airfield may be permitted. A further Examination of the LP Main Modifications took place on 12-13th February 2019 and the formal decision of the GBC LP examination is awaited.
What’s happening at Garlicks Arch (Sendmarsh)?
Although Garlicks Arch is not a ‘strategic’ site, it is included in the GBC LP for housing. Towards the end of the GBC LP examination in 2018, GBC increased the housing numbers at Garlicks Arch from 400 to 550 for the whole site. 200 +/- will be in Lovelace.
What about Greenbelt protection?
Were GBC to remove the above site from the Greenbelt, development could be permitted. The policies of the Lovelace Neighbourhood Plan, when formally adopted, must be taken into account for any planning application.
Won’t this increase traffic?
Traffic will be substantuly increased if the the above developments are approved and the “Constraints and Challenges” section of the plan provides information on a number of other works which will add traffic to in Lovelace. However, the LNP cannot include information on the warehouse area beyond the Burnt Common roundabout or elsewhere nearby as this is outside Lovelace. The GBC LP included the warehouse site as a 7,000+ sq m employment area, but this has now been extended to 14,800 sq m (Surrey Advertiser, August 31st, 2018, front page). Aldertons Farm was introduced late in the GBC LP 2018 examination to provide 120 dwellings, but it is not certain this will go ahead.
In the short term, construction traffic and HGV’s on the local roads would increase. Longer term residential traffic will have to be considered when the developments are occupied.
Guildford Borough doesn’t seem to listen to us the Council Tax payers, why is this different?
The 2011 Localism Act is the vehicle which enables Neighbourhood Plans to have more influence on certain aspects of planning. This is why it is important that the Lovelace Neighbourhood Plan can evidence the views of the community and anyone with an interest in Lovelace.