Ask Waverley&Guildford BC to rethink housebuilding & reject development of Aarons Hill

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Hello Godalming, hello Waverley, hello Guildford,

We ask Waverley & Guildford Borough Councils to seriously rethink house building and protect the environment.

Planning officers of both councils propose to build 462 houses on Aarons Hill, Godalming, completely ignoring that the site is near ancient woodland and home to at least 20 protected and threatened species of wildlife - some incredibly rare, like Barbastelle bats.

We have reviewed enough documentation to realise that planning officers and councillors pay lip service to environmental protection. In reality, all they chase is government house building targets.

More housing is needed, however what is being built is not accessible to majority of people on average and lower salaries. We want the new houses to be really affordable to core workers in Waverley and Guildford, to be built on brown land to preserve biodiversity and protect us from the effects of climate change.

And we need some serious upgrades to roads and infrastructure, so roads can be safe and friendly to cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians alike. 

We ask WBC and GBC to reject the proposed Aarons Hill development of combined 462 houses on greenfield land for the following reasons:

There is no evidential support that the development will be affordable and accessible to local Waverley population on average and lower incomes (between £22000 - £29000 per annum), in particular core workers such as social care, health care and education.

Building on areas taken out of green belt will significantly shrink the habitat and food sources for the threatened species living there, even further reducing already low populations of wildlife. It will expose us to greater risks from effects of climate change, such as draughts and floods.

It will put additional strain on roads and infrastructure, which is already in desperate need of upgrade. Increase in traffic without appropriate investment and infrastructure upgrade will pose safety risks to pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians alike. 

The design of proposed developments is urban, not rural, and will ruin the landscape and the historical look and feel of Godalming town and surrounding Areas of Great Landscape Value. It has no amenities, no doctors surgeries, no chemist and on plans it looks like a ghetto on the edge of town. 

Let's bring common sense back. We need to rethink house building to make sure new houses are built on the existing brownfield land and make it accessible to core workers on average and lower salaries, so they can put down roots in the area, and are not forced to add a long arduous commute on top of their already long days. That will also reduce pressure on roads as there will be less need to commute outside the borough. 

It makes sense. This development doesn't.

Thank you for your support!