SMEs and commercial operators have been urged to lobby Guildford Borough Council to ensure the Local Plan due to be signed off this Summer includes a clearer commitment to business development.
With the final round of consultation now underway, Councillors are due to adopt the final Local Plan in June or July.
But commercial property specialists at Bruton Knowles have called for a clearer commitment for development in the Borough – before it is too late.
Steve Pozerskis from the firm’s Railton Road office said: “Judging by the consultation process so far the powerful NIMBY lobby appears determined to ensure no meaningful development should be allowed anywhere in or around Guildford and what new homebuilding there is will be restricted to Brownfield sites.
“But businesses we are speaking to are concerned all the signs point to Guildford being left out of major development programmes – running the risk the town is left little more than a suburban backwater.”
Steve Pozerskis went on: “While large areas of Surrey’s commuter belt could be revitalised by the proposed Crossrail2 extension as far as Reading and Heathrow Airport, the case to extend the line as far as Guildford has been quietly dropped.
“The reasons given for the omission - a perceived lack of demand and limited development potential – will be of great concern to anyone based or thinking of basing themselves in Guildford.”
He added: “At present, Guildford has good access to London via the Waterloo train, but that only benefits the office/resi space near the station, otherwise the traffic issues around the town make it very difficult.
“If Guildford had been included in the proposed Crossrail2 programme it might have been possible to reduce the burden on the chronically congested A3/M25 junction, with a consequent benefit for the viability of the Wisley Airfield development scheme.”
Wisley - once used as a depot for Bomber Command mainstay the Vickers Wellington – could deliver around 2,000 much-needed homes for the community without further major incursion into the Green Belt.
One of the major changes the council considered when deciding their Local Plan was to reduce the new housing by 1,400 units.
Steve Pozerskis concluded: “It is absolutely vital for the present and future populations of the town that Guildford adopts a progressive Local Plan – rather than giving in to the vocal minority who already have a home and appear determined to prevent new generations enjoying the same privilege.”