Guildford Housing Forum

Representation on behalf of the Guildford Housing Forum on matters relating to the calculation of the Objectively Assessed Need for Housing through the course of the Guildford Local Plan. This involved using population, housing and employment data for the Borough to model impact of housing growth over the Plan period. RPS’ involvement included a stand-alone report to the Council, submissions to the Inspector’s questions, and attendance at Examination over a number of days.

Key details

Project name
Guildford Housing Forum

Client

  • Thakeham Homes
  • A2 Dominion
  • CALA Homes (South Home Counties) Ltd
  • Crownhall Estates
  • Gladman Developments Ltd
  • Bewley Homes
  • Danescroft Land Limited

 

Location
Guildford, Surrey

Services provided

  • Planning

Challenge

The Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State in December 2017, and initial Hearings were held in June 2018. The Submission Plan relied on evidence from 2017, which indicated a housing need of 12,426 dwellings over the Plan period 2015-2034. This position changed considerably during the planned Examination, as new evidence of population and household growth was published by the Office of National Statistics (“ONS”) which considerably changed the evidence in front of the Inspector, and considerably diminished the projections of household growth. So much so, that the Inspector reconvened further sessions to discuss this matter again in February 2019. Throughout this process RPS made submissions that the Council had not adequately considered the link between housing and employment growth and the Council’s ability to plan for the jobs that would be likely to occur.

Guildford forum - project image - shutterstock_1212964483_Websize.png

Solution

RPS presented evidence at each stage of the Examination process, responding to the changes in evidence as the position continued to evolve during the course of the Examination. Although this depressed the starting point for growth, RPS was still able to move matters in the right direction. Whilst the Council sought to downplay the role of Guildford and its contributing role towards economic growth, RPS was able to highlight the role of the Borough as part of the M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and why higher rates of housing would be needed to support employment growth in the area; justifying additional increases to the Council’s housing need figure.   

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