It is no surprise that the SoS refuses a Green Belt new settlement even when in a draft local plan. It is premature and the test at appeal (very special as opposed to exceptional circumstances is different).
Of course a different inspector is doing the local plan EiP and they entitled to come to a diffeent answer however
- The A3 – the Highways Agnecy still hasn’t finalised a scheme for the A3/M25 junction critical for this to go ahead. until they have the scheme is blocked.
- The form of the setlement
The long, linear shape of the site does not assist in the creation of a
sustainable community. While the Appellant sought to make a virtue of its
linear form, enabling as it does a chain of bus stops down the spine road, the
fact that the new settlement needs buses so that some of its residents can
reach its own village centre is indicative of its lack of sustainable credentials.
While there would, in all probability, be pleasant walks through the site, there
would still be a considerable distance (up to about 1,500m as the crow flies)
between some new housing and the village centre.
So the scheme seems dead – which will require Guildford to look at a site more accessible. My prediction is the inspector will approve the plan with this site deleted and require an early review to ensure a full 15 year supply, whilst acknowledging that any practical site needs to be in the GB.