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Guildford Borough Council

Submission Local Plan: Strategy and Sites - Main Modifications

Submission Local Plan: Strategy and Sites - Main Modifications - Part 1: Policies

Policy S2: Planning for the borough - our spatial development strategy


4.1.5 Our development strategy for the plan period is based on national planning policy, with recognition of environmental constraints and the availability and viability of land for development.

4.1.6 Development will be directed to the most sustainable locations, making the best use of previously developed land (including in the Green Belt if appropriate). In sequential order these locations are:

  • Guildford town centre
  • Guildford, and Ash and Tongham urban areas
  • inset villages
  • identified Green Belt villages.

4.1.7 There will also be opportunities for rural exception sites which are small-scale developments providing affordable homes in locations where new homes would not usually be appropriate.

4.1.8 Whilst these sustainable locations are our preferred locations for new development, they have been unable to accommodate all of the new development that is required in order to meet identified needs. For this reason, the plan allocates sites outside of the existing built up areas. The following spatial hierarchy has been applied as part of developing the plan's spatial strategy for meeting planned growth:

  • countryside beyond the Green Belt
  • urban extensions
  • new settlement at the former Wisley airfield
  • extensions to villages.

4.1.9 Development will be phased across the plan period. We anticipate that smaller allocated sites will provide the majority of supply in the first five years whilst the larger strategic development sites, will deliver the majority of new development in the 6-10 and 11-15 year periods of the plan. The strategic development sites are:

  • North Street redevelopment
  • Slyfield Area Regeneration Project
  • Gosden Hill Farm
  • Blackwell Farm
  • Former Wisley airfield.

POLICY S2: Planning for the borough - our spatial development strategy

(1) The housing requirement for Guildford is 630 dwellings per annum over the plan period (2015 - 2034). In addition to this and from 2019, an allowance of 42 dwellings per annum will be provided to contribute towards meeting unmet needs arising from Woking Borough Council. This contribution will be reviewed subsequent to Woking Borough Council reviewing their Local Plan in light of an updated objectively assessed housing need and any comprehensive Green Belt and other related studies. During the plan period (2015-34), we will make provision has been made for at least 12,42612,600 new homes. , Table S2a shows the contribution of all sources of housing supply, whilst the distribution of supply across the spatial locations is shown in Table S2b.

(2) The delivery of homes is expected to increase over the plan period, reflective of timescales associated with the delivery of strategic sites and infrastructure. The housing target each year is as set out below, however, this is not a ceiling, and earlier delivery of allocated sites will be supported where appropriate, subject to infrastructure provision.

(2a) Provision has been made for at least 36,100 - 43,700 sq m of office and research and development (B1a and b) floorspace (net); 3.7- 4.1 hectares of industrial (B1c, B2 and B8) land (gross); and 41,000 sq m of comparison retail floorspace (gross).

(3) Provision has been made for 4 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 4 permanent plots for Travelling Showpeople (as defined by Planning Policy for Traveller Sites) within Guildford borough between 2017 and 2034. Whilst the needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople who do not meet the planning definition fall outside this allocation, in order to meet their assessed needs the Council will seek to make provision for 41 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 4 permanent plots for Travelling Showpeople who do not meet the definition. The Council will also seek to make provision for 8 permanent pitches to meet potential additional need of households of unknown planning status.

Annual Housing Target


Housing number


Housing number

































Reasoned justification

4.1.9a The figures set out in the Annual Housing Target table sum to a total of 12,426 homes. This is lower than the total supply of homes identified in the Land Availability Assessment as having potential to be delivered over the plan period. This buffer builds flexibility into the plan and demonstrates that our strategy is capable of delivering the target. It also adopts a phased target that gradually increases over time rather than the same annualised target of 654 homes each year. This is due to the likely rate of delivery, particularly on the strategic greenfield sites, which is dependent upon the delivery of necessary infrastructure expected to occur towards the end of the plan period. National policy requires that we meet objectively assessed housing needs, including any unmet needs from neighbouring authorities, where it is practical to do so and consistent with achieving sustainable development. Guildford's objectively assessed housing need has been based on a consideration of the latest 2018-based population projections. Applied to this demographic housing need is a necessary uplift to take account of market signals and affordable housing need, assumptions of future economic growth, and an increased growth in the student population.

4.1.9aa Guildford sits within the same housing market area (HMA) as Waverley and Woking borough councils. Waverley Borough Council has a recently adopted Local Plan that seeks to meet its full needs with an allowance to meet 50% of Woking’s unmet housing need. The extent of Woking’s unmet need has been based on the 2015 West Surrey Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). An allowance is also included within this plan to meet 20% of the remaining unmet need (630 homes over the plan period). However, this contribution will be subject to review after Woking Borough Council has reviewed their current Local Plan[9] as the latest population and household projections indicate that the level of unmet need is lower than that assessed in the West Surrey SHMA (2015).

4.1.9ab Our total housing supply over the plan period (2015-2034) is indicated in the table below and will comprise homes from a variety of sources in addition to the Local Plan's site allocations.

Table S2a: Sources of supply over the plan period: 2015 - 2034 (net number of homes)

Total target (requirement)
Commitments (permissions / completions)
3,675 (980 / 2,695)
Site allocations
Approx. 9,972*
LAA sites not allocated
Rural exception
Total supply over the plan period

*This excludes current permissions / completions associated with allocations

4.1.9ac Informed by our spatial development strategy, the anticipated distribution of housing as identified in the plan's site allocations[10] (and non-allocated LAA sites) is reflected in the table below.

Table S2b: Spatial Strategy: Distribution of Housing 2015 - 2034 (net number of homes)

Spatial locations / settlements
Homes (Site allocations + non-allocated LAA sites, excluding permissions and completions)
Guildford town centre
Urban areas
Guildford (incl. SARP)
Ash and Tongham
Within villages
Land proposed to be inset in villages
Previously Developed Land in Green Belt)
Countryside beyond the Green Belt:
Extension to Ash and Tongham
Urban extensions to Guildford
Gosden Hill Farm
Blackwell Farm
Land north of Keens Lane

Urban extension to Godalming: Aaron’s Hill

New settlement: Former Wisley Airfield
Development around villages

*This total excludes trend based housing supply (Windfall and rural exception) as well as completions and permissions, whether allocated or not.

4.1.9b National policy requires that we are able to demonstrate a rolling five year housing land supply from the date of adoption. This phased approach is necessary in order to ensure that the Council is able to demonstrate a rolling five-year supply of housing from the date of adoption, as required by national policy. This will alsomust take account of both the deficit accrued until that point and includes a 20 per cent buffer moved forward from later in the plan period. Without a rolling five-year supply of homes or where the Housing Delivery Test indicates that the delivery of housing was substantially below the housing requirement over the previous three years, the policies which are most important for determining a planning application relevant policies for the supply of housing would not be considered up-to-date.

4.1.10 This is still a higher level of development than experienced in Guildford borough during the previous Local Plan period, and represents an increase in new homes in line with the aims of NPPF and NPPG, and the best available information on the likely levels of development to 2034. The phased approach is related to assumptions on the most likely rate of delivery only and do not in any way preclude the earlier delivery of these sites where this is sustainable to do so. National policy states that where possible the deficit accrued since the start of the plan period should be met within the first five years. Given the step change in housing requirement compared to past delivery rates which have been constrained by Green Belt policy, the accrued backlog at the date of adoption is significant. Whilst the plan includes numerous smaller sites capable of being delivered early in the plan period, there are a number of strategic sites that have longer lead in times. For these reasons, the backlog will be met over the plan period, using the Liverpool approach to calculating a rolling five year housing land supply rather than the Sedgefield approach. For the purposes of calculating the five year land supply, the deficit prior to adoption of the plan will be calculated against an annual requirement of 630 dwellings per annum (Guildford's OAN). From April 2019 onwards, following adoption of the plan, the annual requirement will increase to 672 dwellings per annum to account for a contribution towards Woking's unmet need.

4.1.11 Further details of the sites that are considered to be key to delivering the strategy are provided in the site allocations policy of the Local Plan and shown on the Policies Map. The key infrastructure requirements on which the delivery of the plan depends is set out in the infrastructure schedule included as Appendix C or the latest Infrastructure Delivery Plan. Details of all the sites that are expected to be delivered from now until the end of the plan period are set out in the Council's latest Land Availability Assessment. The expected phasing of sites is set out in the Housing Trajectory, included at Appendix 0. This will be updated annually in the Council's Monitoring Report.


Key Evidence

  • Employment Land Needs Assessment (ELNA) (Guildford Borough Council, 2017)
  • Review of Housing Needs Evidence across West Surrey HMA (Guildford Borough Council, 2017)
  • West Surrey Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) (Guildford Borough Council, 2015) and Guildford Addendum Report 2017
  • Land Availability Assessment (Guildford Borough Council, 2017)
  • Retail and Leisure Study Update 2014 (Guildford Borough Council, 2015) and Addendum 2017


Monitoring Indicators

Data source
The number of new homes permitted and completed each year
630 homes per annum (2015/16 - 2018/19),
672 homes per annum (2019/20 - 2033/34)
12,42612,600 homes over the plan period (2015 - 2034)
Planning applications and appeals and building completions data
The number of Traveller pitches and Travelling Showpeople plots
4 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers;
4 permanent plots for Travelling Showpeople (as defined by Planning Policy for Traveller Sites);
To seek to make provision for 41 permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches, 4 permanent plots for Travelling Showpeople for households who do not meet the planning definition, and 8 permanent pitches for households of unknown planning status58 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 8 permanent plots for Travelling Show people between 2017 and 2034 or any new target as identified within an updated Traveller
Accommodation Assessment.
Planning applications and appeals

Please note employment and retail floor space is monitored as part of Policy E1 and Policy E7 respectively.



[9] Woking Core Strategy 2012.

[10] For more detail on the site allocations, see the summary table in the site allocations policy of the Local Plan.