Guildford Vision Group the way forward

Guildford Vision Group showing the way to a greater future

Congratulations to the Guildford Society, supported by the various Residents’ Associations around Guildford, for the successful launch of Guildford Vision Group on 21st March 2012 in front of between 180 and 200 people.

Guest speakers included the former Director of Planning on Cambridge City Council, Peter Studdert; the former President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Mike Hayes CBE; and Allies & Morrison.  The focus was on Collaborative Planning, The Planning Process and Shaping Towns and Cities.

This initiative takes a much more significant position when seen in the context of the Localism Act, since Guildford Vision Group (GVG) could decide to apply to become a Neighbourhood Forum if it has public backing but is unable to secure proper engagement from the Local Authority.  Equally, the newly published National Planning Policy Guidance (NNPG) requires Local Authorities to put in place a Local Plan, and the Localism Act allows residents to apply to run local services; perhaps this process could be taken over by GVG.

One way or another, it is vital for the future operation, prosperity and environment of our great town of Guildford that a proper vision is put in place – after all, “The Vision is an expression of what a place could be like in the future. It is the foundation of the masterplanning process” (Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment – CABE).

It is to be hoped (but not to be taken for granted) that the Borough Council will engage and openly work with the community to agree what Guildford can be like in the long term.

More information will soon be available on the GVG website ( and I intend to discuss issues on the face of this blog over the coming months.