Guildford Borough Council Urged to Tackle Housing Crises

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The University of Surrey's students' union has argued that Guildford Borough Council must take immediate action to protect students from a potential housing crises.

This week Alex Mackenzie Smith, the Students' Union President, called on the council to tackle the Guildford housing crises.

Ms Mackenzie Smith reported to the council that students were having to endure appalling conditions from ruthless landlords who were acting with impunity throughout Guildford.

It was suggested to councillors that they adopt and endorse the student union's housing manifesto and that restrictions in the local plan on the placement of purpose-built student accommodation be lifted.

Leader of the Council, Paul Spooner, acknowledged the housing crises and argued that any new developments, including student housing, must have the supporting infrastructure in place.

The role of the university in the area was also recognised, with Mr Spooner saying: "I'm very pleased to hear you didn't blame the university because I think the university is a very positive thing for Guildford while it does of course bring challenges."

Various sites in Guildford have been earmarked for development, including Gosden Hill Farm in Merrow Lane as well as Blackwell farm.

The latest draft local plan, which proposes thousands of new homes is scheduled to go out for public consultation on June 9.