Category Archives: Letters to Guildford Borough Council

20120712 Letter of Objection to Waitrose

On 12th July I submitted an objection to the Waitrose Planning Application in Guildford.

Basically, my objections are summarised as:

  • The main thrust of my objection surrounds the impact of the development on the traffic system in Central Guildford and a failure to take into account other proposed developments set out in the Draft Guildford Town Centre Masterplan.
  • I also object to the inappropriate choice of site for a supermarket, notwithstanding the oblique references in the Bellerby Theatre Planning Brief to a supermarket use being acceptable, including the loss of a logical town centre residential site and non-compliance with the Local Plan 2003.
  • The application and decision is premature pending adoption of a properly constituted and engaged Town Centre Plan formulated in accordance with Clause 12 of the National Planning policy Framework.
  • I believe the design is inappropriate in scale, character and materials when compared to the surrounding period housing and will also have an adverse impact on the street scene from York Road.
  • Finally, I believe the application should be exposed to an independent planning inspector due to the perceived potential or actual conflicts of interest between the Council as vendor and its role as planning authority; and between, the council’s strategic retail consultants (Cushman & Wakefield) role in advising on the allocation of sites, their role as agents for the Council and their close agency relationship with The John Lewis Partnership.

The full explanation of my objections is in the document linked above.

To view the planning application please click here.



20120515 Letter to Councillors Rooth, Goodwin, Gunning and Mansbridge of GBC

I have today sent the following letter (copied to all Councillors)

Councillors Rooth, Mansbridge, Goodwin and Gunning
Guildford Borough Council,�

PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL                                              15th May 2012

Dear Councillors

Your cross-party letter to Martin Giles of 11th May

On Friday 11th May, I became aware of a letter you jointly and severally wrote to Mr Martin Giles as editor of the Guildford Dragon requiring him to publish it on his web site.

I am unaware of the details of any responses (if any) from any of the other individuals named in your letter or from Mr Giles himself, and I am assuming they will take such action or not as they see fit.

For my own part, I have taken advice and I am informed that I would have an excellent case for defamation against you all jointly and severally as a result of the inaccurate and ill-advised remarks you have made and the contention that, in concert with the others named, I have ‘maliciously’ set out to ‘misrepresent’ the Chief Executive, Mr David Hill.

I have provided a full evidence pack to my solicitor and I am very confident that, not only is there no case for me to answer, it is very clear that, were I in fact to have been malicious, I would have released many more facts and complaints about the behaviour of the Chief Executive.

I am deeply shocked by the strong-arm tactics employed rather crudely in your letter, as indeed I am by the apparent aggression employed in the conduct of the management of a supposedly democratic institution.

At the Corporate Improvement Scrutiny Committee (the Committee) meeting on 26th April three of the parties named in your letter (Martin Giles, Alderman Bridger and I) were present to witness a thoroughly undemocratic scene.  Nothing I have seen at Local Authority committee meetings around the country over many years could come close to matching the apparent aggression and contempt with which the presenting officer – who happened to be the Chief Executive standing in for the former Strategic Director (‘the Officer’) – treated the Councillors. Continue reading 20120515 Letter to Councillors Rooth, Goodwin, Gunning and Mansbridge of GBC