What’s in a Name?

Names matter – and it matters how they are used. I live in Normandy – that’s Normandy in Surrey rather than Normandy in France, by the way – an important difference when you are setting your SatNav. At least I thought I lived in Normandy, until earlier this month when Guildford Borough Council (GBC) published its latest draft Local Plan. This includes proposals to create a massive building site on the green fields between the two settlements of Normandy and Flexford, taking the whole of the resulting conurbation out of the Green Belt. Then I realised that according to GBC I actually live in Flexford; or at least that I live in Flexford for the purposes of assessing my village’s contribution to the openness of the Green Belt, but that I live in Normandy and Flexford for the purposes of evaluating whether I live in a sustainable community or not… Continue reading

Destroy, destroy, destroy…

How do these people sleep at night?  The Pegasus consultancy was re-engaged by the council to re-assess its own flawed previous Green Belt & Countryside Study, wherein Volume 4 written in response to the changed circumstances induced by the NPPF was roundly criticised by residents across the borough for errors in fact and analysis, and write a new Volume 5.  Its astonishing isn’t it, how in a democratic society the gamekeeper can be allowed to let the fox into the chicken coop again. Continue reading

Housebuilders v. DEFRA: no agreement over flood prevention measures

I would like to thank two of my neighbours in Normandy, that live in a very flood-prone part of the village, where one of the essential water meadows that has over the years provided some protection for their homes from the effects of flash flooding from agricultural run-off is now being concreted over with an affordable housing scheme, for drawing attention to the dispute over the implementation of SUDS schemes on new housing developments reported by the BBC on Friday 10 January “Today” programme. (Listen for comments at 06:35 and 07:51) Continue reading

Keep Normandy ‘washed over’ by the Green Belt

Normandy is a dispersed community made up of 5 hamlets joined together by ribbon development.  From a planning point of view we are regarded as made up of two settlements, Flexford and Normandy.  This has been deliberately misrepresented in the GBC evidence documents as a Large Village when it is no bigger than and has almost the same services as the combined settlements of East and West Clandon. Continue reading