The Guildford Local Plan was approved in April 2019 giving the green light to a big increase in the number of homes built in and around the Parish of West Clandon. We cannot ignore the Guildford Plan but we can have a greater say in what happens in our community IF we agree a NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN for the Parish.
For a Neighbourhood Plan to be approved we have to demonstrate that we have a shared vision of the future of our area and that our plan reflects the views of residents. The results of the first questionnaire are now available and can be seen on the link below
Question 1 asked about what you most value about West Clandon. Perhaps unsurprisingly being rural green belt village came top of the pile with 48% of first preference scores. This was followed by the live issue of maintaining green space in and surrounding the village coming in at 38%. At the bottom of the pile came road connections with only 4%. Perhaps disappointingly ‘a sense of community’ languished at only 13%. The clear priority is however to seek to protect the rural and green belt characteristics in any way possible.
Question 2 looked more specifically at existing village facilities. The pubs came top with 26% followed closely by footpaths at 25% with the Church at 17%. Other community spaces such as the Royal British Legion and the Village Hall did not score so well however, at 9% and 8% respectively. The Plan might be able to cover the designation of assets of community value and help to protect institutions which could be at risk over the decades ahead.
As regards those facilities which people would like to see improved, question 3 responses put better broadband at the top of the list with 27%. Shops were just a fraction behind tying with improved footpaths and cycle links within the village. Written comments suggest better off-road links North-South through the village are clearly a big ask. The messages on cycling are more nuanced. The frustration experienced by motorists stuck behind slow moving cycles on our narrow village street is matched by concern about cycling on unsuitable narrow footpaths. There is however an increasing demand for more and safer facilities for cycles bearing in mind a journey by bike to the station and elsewhere can mean one less car on the road. Segregation may be an answer but difficult to achieve in our surroundings.
Few will be surprised at the number one concern identified in question 4. It is of course traffic. Interestingly traffic volume (53%) came well ahead of traffic speed (37%) as the number one problem. Perennial gripes such dog fouling (4%), public transport (4%) and even litter (6%) did not feature strongly. Although car parking (5%) was not an overall concern the write-in comments suggested localised problems pinpointed areas where an inadequate number of spaces, often associated with new developments caused significant problem.
There is little support for significant development within the village (5% for :88% against). There was however significant support for limited development in the village (63%:31%) and for new development within the wider parish, which of course includes Gosden Hill. (43%: 38%). Most residents believe we do not need more large houses but favour smaller dwellings and more affordable homes. They prefer traditional styles (44%:8%) but also support a mix of both sizes and styles.
On Gosden Hill the number one ask is the maintenance of accessible green space between here and West Clandon followed by direct access from Gosden Hill to the A3, obviating the need for any direct road connection into the village itself.
Watch this space for more Neighbourhood Planning News and Events