Waverley Councillor Mark Merryweather can place a feather firmly in his cap for bringing six councils together to save one of the finest bird watching sites in the South East.
Go there & simply enjoy a tiny part of England. Be out in a place that asks nothing from you but can give you so much, if you have the wit to see it.
Here’s the Farnham Herald’s take on how ‘Your Waverley’ working with Farnham Town Council and others could achieve the purchase of the Tices Meadow beauty spot valued at £1m. In fact, all six local authorities deserve a feather in their caps.
Farnham Herald Newspaper of the Year!!!
Said Waverley’s Leader Paul Follows:
“I knew from the moment I first visited @TicesMeadow it needed protection and to be taken into public ownership. That we are close to that goal now is simply fantastic. The volunteers are simply phenomenal and Waverley and its partners will get this done.”
Want to know the species spotted there?
In a deal so big it’s attracted the attention of Fleet Street, the American owned asset management firm, a subsidiary of Ameriprise Financial, has snapped up the former aerodrome!
The Dunsfold Deal is believed to be worth £250 million to Trinity College Cambridge, the current owners of the business park where planning consent has been granted to build 1,800 homes + on the airfield – in Phase 1 of what will now, no doubt, be several development phases.
Yet another great British-owned business is being sold off stateside … but, no worries, if the Business Secretary’s happy, why should the hoi polloi of Waverley worry?!
Richard Turncoat – or Turdhill, depending on your point of view – Trinity College’s now not so new Bursar has set aside the College’s reputation for prudence and long-term investment in bricks and mortar – which has made it one of the wealthiest colleges in the land – in favour of the get-rich-quick schemes he’s more comfortable with, coming from a city background. Turncoat was formerly the Global Chief Investment Strategist of BlackRock. On his Linkedin page, Mr Turncoat boasts of being an ‘experienced senior executive with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry across fund management, strategy and economics roles …’
Clearly a modest man, old Turdhill!
Quite where this stitch-up leaves the Flying Scot, who knows? Jim McAllister saw the potential in the former BAe site some 20-odd years ago and has fought tooth and nail over the intervening period despite opposition from Protect Our Waverley and the two local Mp’s Annie Milton and Jeremy Hunt to create a future for the site, rather than leaving it steeped in aspic, as some would have preferred.
By the way? Has anyone seen or heard anything of the POW Group lately? Is it still protecting Waverley? If it is – we must have missed it!
McAllister nursed Dunsfold through the Royal Bank of Scotland debacle – when that Bank (the Flying Scot’s first investor) did the dirty on him … not to mention the rest of the country – and pulled the rug off the runway, having run up gazillions of pounds worth of debts, which the Bank planned to pay down by selling the aerodrome out from under their partner, the Flying Scot.
Rather than letting the Royal Bank – which at the time was acting like a buccaneer – scupper his plans, McAllister dug in his chocks, put his money where his mouth was and found what he thought was a long-term investor in Trinity College Cambridge … But then along came COVID … and Richard Turncoat, rather like a bad fairy – we’re not sure which was worse!!
Whether, 20 years down the line, the Flying Scot has the appetite for another turbulent flight or decides to bail out remains to be seen, but the word at Waverley Towers is that the Council is afraid … very, very afraid. And, with hindsight, if the councillors and officers are afraid, local residents should be petrified!
With the Dunsfold development now seriously behind schedule due to Covid – and Bad Fairy Turdhill! – the Council doesn’t have a five-year housing supply, and the planning appeals are stacking up in Waverley’s in-tray as canny, would-be developers, such as Thakeham Homes, are tripping over each other to take advantage of Turdhill’s utter failure to get his chocks away at the Dunsfold Development. Waverley – and its residents – desperately need Columbia Threadneedle Investments to be the stitch-in-time that saves the borough from being overrun by box builders, who care nothing for the environment or the ambience of Waverley and simply want to build ’em cheap and stack ’em high.
Pop along to the other Threadneedle site at the former Hewitts’ Industrial Estate in Elmbridge Road, Cranleigh. Is that an example of what Waverley Planners can expect?
The big question on everyone’s lips – especially the Council’s – is will Columbia Threadneedle Investments persuade the Flying Scot and his team to stay on board and utilise their long-term knowledge of the site and relationships with local stakeholders to give them the head start they need to reap the rewards on their investment or will they want to wipe the slate clean and bring in a new team? Do they have the time to start from scratch? Not really, not with every other would-be developer in the borough looking to steal a march on them by taking advantage of the delays at Dunsfold created by Covid and Turdhill?
Hats are in the ring for a …
By – Election of a Borough Councillor for
on Thursday 7 October 2021
Finally, after many months of not being seen or heard of Cllr Richard Cole has resigned as a Waverley Borough Councillor.
The Liberal Democrat Cranleigh East representative moved away from the town earlier this year to a new home in Devon. He was a member of Cranleigh Parish Council and chairman of the Eastern Planning Committee for several years.
Now Phillip Townsend the husband of Waverley, and Surrey County Councillor Liz Townsend, a former Insurance Executive, will be going head to head for the Waverley East ward seat with retired schoolteacher and Cranleigh parish councillor Rosemary Burbridge.
The announcement was made yesterday.
Waverley Borough Council’s £130m bid to buy Dunsfold Aerodrome failed miserably in round one of the bidding war to buy the housing hotspot.
A: Simples! Because an organisation worth squillions is prepared to pay gazillions more than Waverley – or any of the other bidders – in the race to buy the aerodrome. Neither Waverley nor any of the other interested parties could afford – or were willing to pay? – as much for the 758-acre site.
And now residents are concerned that instead of the 1,800 homes proposed for Phase 1 followed by – another 500 to 600 in Phase 2 – that by the end of the planning period (2032), there could now be many, many, many more. Why else would anyone be prepared to pay gazillions for the site? No one – least of all the foreign-based company rumoured to be the successful bidder – is digging that deep unless they plan to squeeze every last square inch out of the site’s development potential to optimise the return on their eye-watering investment.
Fear is rife among the eastern villages on the future of Dunsfold Aerodrome, which has fallen into the hands of global asset managers.
Richard Turncoat – the new Bursar at Trinity College Cambridge, the site’s current owner – clearly doesn’t give a damn who buys the site. All he wants is to cover himself in glory by reaping the rewards of his predecessor’s foresight in having the nous to acquire the site a few years ago when Royal Bank of Scotland – the Flying Scot’s original partner – went tits-up! Bugger the local stakeholders! Bugger, the Flying Scot who has nursed the site from an empty shell to a valuable asset with consent for 1,800 + homes! This is all about the greater glory of Richard Turdhill!
So cheer up, Waverley! You didn’t lose out because you didn’t offer enough! You could never have offered enough! Your £130 million bid was chicken feed to Richard Turncoat. And you were in good company in the losers’ enclosure. Neither could Warner Brothers or Spielberg or Marvel … or any of the other filmmakers who were rumoured to be snapping up the site and turning it into another Pinewood Studios! So much for taking the Holly out of Hollywood and replacing it with Hurtwood!
Neither do you have to fear that your five-year housing land supply figures will be irreparably damaged – even if they meet with more than a little opposition from the three villages surrounding the site, namely, Alfold, Cranleigh and Dunsfold. Because you can bet your bottom dollar, the new owner will be beating a rapid path to your door with multiple applications for more and more and more houses to keep their rapacious shareholders happy.
There will be a conveyor belt of applications once the new owners get behind the wheel.
So who actually are the winners and losers in this sorry saga that has been ongoing for the past 15 years and more?
Well, the Tories won’t be crying into their G&Ts, because they never wanted to bid for the site in the first place. However, they’ve since done a complete about-turn and are now pointing their wagging finger at the Opposition for not giving them enough time to have their say on the Borough’s bid! Make up your minds, chaps – if it hadn’t been for your lot, residents of the proposed garden village would have been planting their bulbs and harvesting their spuds by now! Not to mention charging their electric vehicles in their parking barns. Who knows, even Manns of Cranleigh might have been saved from Undertaker Vrijland because those of us with long memories will recall that the Flying Scot was offering vouchers for new homeowners to encourage them to shop locally. Ahead of his time or what?
But never mind, the canny Scot’s vision is now a dim and distant memory … one might even call it a [bag]pipe dream?
Don’t blame yourself, Leader Follows; if you’d waited for the Tories to “build a consensus”, as Cllr Muddled Mulliner wanted, Waverley’s bid would have been another decade in the making. Richard Turncoat was in a hurry – his signature was barely dry on his employment contract, and his seat was still warm from the old Bursar’s bum when he announced he wanted to sell the site! And, as everyone knows, hell would freeze over quicker than Mulliner could mull over how much he thought Dunsfold Aerodrome was worth.
At least The Rainbow Coalition tried, and, as we know from bitter experience, the Tories are always mega keen to sell off British owned assets to foreign investors! Big money from abroad beats UK Money any day.
Despite having firmly established a business on Slades Farm in Thorncombe Street – despite neighbour opposition -Waverley Planners gave a permanent staycation site the go-ahead.
Judging by the pictures provided to the eastern planning committee members, the site off Thorncombe Street looks like a staycation for visitors in mud, mud, glorious mud?
Councillors heard Cllr Richard Seaborne (Con, Bramley) explain why he had called the application in because of the strength of opposition. There had been 40 letters of objection to the application submitted in November 2020.
Eleven months to have to application heard!?
Although sympathetic to the economic case for 2 yurts and 3 tents, neighbours’ concerns must be carefully considered as other similar proposed applications at Langhurst Farm in Hascombe were mooted. Neither Surrey highways nor Bramley Parish Council had raised objections, but the committee couldn’t ignore the strength of feeling by those living nearby.
The owner of Thorncombe Barn said the use during the Summer had brought multiple incidents of noise and nuisance, including an all-night party and parties and barbecues going on until the early hours. In a valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the sound carried and the use had a deleterious effect on nine homes and their occupants nearby.
However, the applicant gave the committee assurances, it would not happen again and apologised profusely for any inconvenience caused.
Despite raising their concerns on the effect of the change of agricultural use, councillors and officers believed sited for staycations in Waverley were required to meet the need. However, they should impose conditions on the owners that no large groups could hire the tents.
“That way, if there are separate families hiring the facilities, and one is making too much noise, they can tell them to shut up and be quiet, said Cllr Michael Goodridge.”
There were concerns about limiting the numbers in each unit, but officers said their size was self-limiting. But what if a lot of visitors turned up for a party, said Milford Cllr Maxine Gale? Members were reminded that the use could continue for 28 days in any one year without planning consent, though the applicants had exceeded this.
Dunsfold Cllr Kevin Deanus said he objected to anyone disregarding the planning system.
We should shame people who do and we should be able to charge them ten times more planning fees for doing it!“
The applicant had also removed trees and hedgerows to provide access!
Cllr Christine Baker said she recognised the real neighbour concerns, saying that monitoring the noise from such use was unenforceable.
The Police will not act and neither will Waverley’s emergency officer.
I know, because I suffered from the same experience and was kept awake until 6.a.m. We do not know nearly enough what impact this will have on neighbours.”
A toilet and shower block of 3m x 2m to serve two yurts and three “huge tents” appear insufficient according to Cllr Martin D’Arcy –
and, the kitchen opens straight onto the toilets – is that allowed?”
That shouldn’t be a concern of the committee, as it was not a planning matter, said Chief Planning Officer Zac Ellwood.
Despite over an hour’s debate, the committee granted consent by 5 votes to 2 with one abstention.
Perhaps SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt, after praising the Prime Minister for finally… “biting the bullet,” believes Sajid is keeping the post warm for him in the imminent cabinet reshuffle?
The Hon Angie Richardson MP for Guildford and Cranleigh shared her concerns to the Prime Minister during the Social Care debate. She sought some assurances where the lashings of extra tax would actually be spent?
Angie bobbed up and down for hours in the chamber and was finally rewarded by the Speaker.
She was not alone – NHS management prompted suspicion from a couple of MP’s.
Angela and Damian Green (Con, Ashford) demanded reassurances that all extra funding would reach the front line. She asked the Prime Minister to ensure that it wouldn’t be spent on more NHS “middle management.” Fair point Angie, we have all been wondering that. Well done for bringing that little hot potato up.
When it comes to our health service, additional funding tends to get swallowed faster than a slippery fish down a sea lion’s gullet.
The Department of Stealth & Total Obscurity has already begun recruiting 42 additional pen-pushing middle managers on salaries of up to £270,000 a year. Nice little earner? So your concerns were valid, Angie. The national insurance increases imposed on us hard-working plebs have already begun sliding towards the dark recesses of the wallets of yet more managers while the nursing staff satisfy themselves with the seed corn thrown at them. Is it any wonder they are either leaving or considering leaving the NHS snd Social Care in their droves?
Hardworking taxpayers will foot a punishing bill from a hike in national insurance, taking the tax burden to a 70-year high. It’s not just employees but employers who will be hit hard too. There’s a reason that employers’ national insurance is called the “jobs tax” – it will increase the cost of hiring when we need employment to bounce back. This tax rise will only stifle job creation and wage increases.
So where will that £12 billion go?
We here at the Waverley Web started to think that for the first time since she arrived in Westminister, our MP, was not sycophantically following the Tory whips. Sadly later in the day, she spoiled her early concerns by blaming previous Labour Governments for ‘not mending the roof when it began leaking.’ Blah, Blah, and more blah. No mention by you on the removal of the triple lock on your elector’s pensions or taxes on their dividends – pity about that.“
Oh well, another shedload of our Waverley MPs’ manifesto promises down the pan!
This video from Waverley’s Leader Paul Follows is worth listening to. This is our Waverley, doing what it can, to help in what can only be described as a dire situation.
But it comes with a warning. All comments are welcome. However, any abusive comments on the Waverley Web site will be removed immediately – so don’t even think about making one!
For all our sakes as COVID infection rates rise in the borough start taking regular tests regardless of whether or not you have symptoms. The evil virus hasn’t gone away, and it isn’t going away any time soon.
Guildford and Waverley leaders meet as they embark on forging closer links between their respective councils.
Both councils will share a single senior management team, including a Chief Executive, Directors and Heads of Service. Once in place, the new management team will prepare business cases for further combining services and/ or administrative work.
“It was great to welcome Julia and Zoe today for a long overdue catch-up on the multitude of joint issues, concerns and opportunities for our two borough’s moving forward.”
Click on the link here, and you can read the single official statement released in the name of both councils. A statement that aims to reassure both residents of both boroughs and their council staff.
Here’s a message from the Farnham Theatre Association.
Is another theatre or entertaining space on the cards, or is it just a pipe dream for the town’s Thespians and supporters?
We hope that you are keeping well in the midst of the continuing Covid concerns and that you’re enjoying the summer weather whenever it peeks from behind these clouds.
Here’s your FTA Newsletter with an update on the possibility and hopes for a theatre for Farnham, news of the AGM on Sunday 24 October (a date for your diaries) which will without doubt cover the latest position on this subject, news of a Service to Farnham Award for a friend of the company, a tribute to David Monico plus an update on the West End’s The Mousetrap which has just re-opened.
We hope you enjoy it.
You can read the latest newsletter on the link below.
Supermarket giant Lidl has revealed an updated list of the places it wants to open new stores in and around the country, and it has its eye on Cranleigh.
Cranleigh in the east of Waverley will form part of Lidl’s £1.3bn investment plans for 2021 and 2022, including opening 50 new stores this year, creating 2,000 new jobs.
In a document spelling out its vision for growth, the company says it is seeking 100’s of new sites across Britain. Saying:
We are on track to meet our ambitious target of 1,000 stores by the end of 2023.”
It opened 180 new stores in the last three years – including one in the centre of Horsham, which is believed to be pulling many customers in from the eastern villages of Waverley just across the Surrey Sussex border.
So it has earmarked the fast-growing town of Cranleigh, among the sites where it wants to open a new store.
It also wants to relocate the new Central Horsham store to a larger site and build another store in North Horsham.
The list of desirable locations for new stores is aimed at landowners and freeholders with suitable sites interested in exploring Lidl’s opportunities.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB said:
“We are calling on developers and landlords up and down the country to help find potential sites for us to build Lidl stores, which demonstrates the continued ambition we have to further expand our store portfolio across the nation. Despite the challenges of the past year, we still managed to meet our ambitious target of opening, on average, one new store per week across Great Britain.
“We are looking forward to opening more stores throughout the country and welcoming new colleagues in the coming months and years, so that more communities can access high quality food at the lowest prices on the market.”
Despite Godalming Town Council’s efforts to stop anti-social behaviour, a public park was the scene of a violent assault over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Just a few weeks ago, here at the Waverley Web, we reported this incident. During which a toddler picked up a bag of drugs.
Phillips Memorial Park is normally home to dog walkers, parents with pushchairs, youngsters playing and fitness fanatics. It also hosts classical music concerts in the bandstand over a normal summer.
So a violent assault shocked people living nearby and Godalming residents when the park they use was the scene of an assault during which a man was punched and kicked, receiving a rib fracture, and was taken to hospital.
Officers were called to the Phillips Memorial Park in Godalming at around 1.40 am on Saturday (August 28) following reports that a man had been assaulted.
Wouldn’t Jack Phillips be turning in his watery grave if he knew that toddlers were picking up drugs next to the kiddies swings – where it could have killed or seriously injured a child! And, where fights break out!
In the Memorial Garden dedicated to a hero of the Titanic!
Jack Phillips, the Godalming wireless operator who died at his post, sent SOS signals on that fateful night of 14 April 1912 when The Titanic sank in the fateful collision with an iceberg.
The Jack Phillips Memorial Cloister garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll, with its magnificent brick cloister 80 feet square designed by Hugh Thackeray Turner, was laid out, built, and opened exactly two years to the day after the sinking of the Titanic. The memorial is situated between the River Wey and Godalming Parish Church.
A mobile Coronavirus testing facility is being established in The Wharf Car Park, Godalming, from Friday 3 September to Monday 6 September.
Today’s dashboard shows a downtrend in infection rates across Surrey, but despite this, Surrey still sees higher rates in young people aged 11 – 16.
In the past seven days, Waverley registered 318 new cases.
Here is the message councillors have received in response to their growing concerns that ‘Your Waverley’s planning department is grinding to a halt.
Planning officers are currently experiencing high caseloads due to a high number of submissions as well as changes to ways of working.
We are in the process of implementing an improvement plan that will increase the speed of decisions. As part of the plan, we are moving all of our current and historic cases into our new system (more than 100,000 cases, including one million documents). This is a significant milestone as we work towards going live with our new case management system – thank you for your continued patience as we go through this process.
If our comments post and private e-mail inbox is anything to go by, Waverley residents are getting angry – in fact, outraged -at the continuing poor performance of the council’s planning department.
For over a year now, the planning system has been grinding ever more slowly. No pre-application meetings for wannabe developers – no planning lists for months – a planning portal that works, then buffers, then stops – then starts again. Or, doesn’t work at all. And, to be fair is now working.
Try phoning the same planning officer you spoke to last month and the month before? They have either resigned, no surprise there then – or they were “only working on a short-term contract” or “they are on holiday” or “working from home.”
One officer told a resident whose application had been festering in the bowels of Waverley Towers for over a year…
“The backlog of planning applications is so great they are falling off my desk, but then you can always appeal for non-determination – but you may have a long wait for that to be heard!”
According to Zac Ellwood, the Head of Planning & Economic Development, they can ask for their costs to be returned if planning applications have not been considered within the statutory 8-week time scale. Though he told councillors, they hardly ever do. He even hinted that enforcement action was not a statutory function was incredibly time-consuming and time-hungry but it was up to the Executive to decide whether it should continue?
You can hear what he said in the video link below:
Well! Perhaps it is time everyone did ask for their planning fees to be returned. That might put a firecracker up the department and serve as an incentive? But they probably won’t as they want to get their plans consented, just like we don’t complain about our GP services because perhaps they won’t treat us?
Now the council is thanking us for our patience, just like they thank us for our patience when we are number 20 in the queue for a GP appointment. No wonder half the population is finding the answer to their ailments and their planning queries at the bottom of a bottle.
It’s official. The Sussex-based developer poised to build nearly 4,000 homes just outside Horsham is turning its sights back onto the little Waverley village of Alfold.
Residents were told just days ago by a letter from Zac Ellwood, Waverley’s head of planning, that they have just three weeks to object to Thakeham Homes’s appeal.
The appeal documents are available to view on the council’s website http://www.waverley.gov.uk The planning application number is WA/2020/1684
The full details of the planning application in Mr. J Ordidge (The Merchant Seamans War Memorial Society) & Thakeham Homes are for 99 homes on land to the rear of Hollyoaks (to be demolished) off Loxwood Road, Alfold.
The document in the link below gives all the details concerning the public inquiry that will be held by Inspector Jonathan Price BA(Hons) DipTP MRTPI DMS and the inquiry will open at
10.00 am on 7 December 2021. Currently scheduled for six sitting days. With a decision date set for 12 January 2022.
As we here at the Waverley Web have said on numerous occasions. The Tory administration caused the delays at Waverley Borough Council by omitting Dunsfold Aerodrome in its original Daft Local Plan. After its final inclusion in the Local Plan, MP Jeremy Hunt and former MP Anne Milton prompted further delays, aided and abetted by the Protect Our Waverley Group (POW), to ask the Secretary of State to call in Waverley’s consented application. The numerous costly Court of Appeal hearings and delays and the sale of Dunsfold Aerodrome to the highest bidder have resulted in ‘Your Waverley’ now unable to meet its five-year housing land supply figure. It currently has a housing supply for only 4.26 years.
If this appeal gets the go-ahead from a Government Inspector – this scheme for 99 homes will be the thin end of the wedge as Thakeham sought to build 400 homes in December 2017. The current 99 homes appeal will undoubtedly be the first phase of a much larger development.
The Inspector said then:
‘The appeal site is not in a sustainable location for a major residential development and would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area.’
A housebuilder has launched a petition calling for compulsory training for planning committee members.
All Waverley Borough councillors receive training before they join planning committees and a few councillors have professional qualifications.
A prominent housebuilder has launched a petition calling for legal changes to make planning committee members take compulsory training and for at least half to secure a formal planning qualification in order to prevent decisions “based on politics and not planning merit”.
Housebuilder Inland Homes has called for a change in the law to require planning committee members to have compulsory planning training before they sit on a planning committee, and for 50 per cent of them to have a planning qualification.
Planning committee members in England are not required by law to have any planning training, and it is “virtually unheard of” for them to have planning qualifications, said Inland Homes. In Scotland, however, they are legally required to have training.
Inland Homes launched the petition on the Change.org website last week, saying that the planning system is “failing in its current form” and that “urgent reform is needed”.
“One of the biggest issues is the politically charged arrangement of planning committees which results in decisions on planning applications that are based on politics and not planning merit,” said the petition.
“These local and emotive committee members often have as little as a few hours training before being allowed to determine planning applications.”
The current structure of committee meetings was established over 50 years ago when members “largely commented on the principle of planning rather than detailed submissions”, said the petition.
“Today, the same application requires drawings, documents and reports that can total thousands of pages. The system has changed yet the committee structure has remained the same.”
A video produced by Inland Homes to accompany the petition stated that “policy compliant schemes allocated within local plans and recommended for approval by planners continue to be arbitrarily rejected”.
It also showed an application submitted by Inland Homes for 50 homes being discussed during a virtual planning committee, which the firm said was a policy compliant scheme and allocated in the adopted local plan.
The video highlighted comments from members including “even though the officers and the inspector say it is permissible, we should really consider whether we agree with that”. The committee ultimately refused the application without giving clear reasons why claimed Inland Homes.
Inland Homes said that despite developers spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on planning applications, planning committee members “too often” disregard the advice of qualified planning officers.
“This must change in order to enable the planning system to deliver a continuous supply of private and affordable homes,” it said.
Well – he would, wouldn’t he?
Out come the cones and the traffic lights?
Waverley borough council working for us and the refugees of Afghanistan.
Cllr Paul Follows outlines how ‘Your Waverley’ is facing up to its obligations and outlines the challenges it faces.
A response to some of the questions and comments yesterday regarding our assistance for Afghan refugees. This includes how we are able to do this and addresses some of the comments about local needs and veterans support too.
Apologies in advance, I do get a little political – it’s pretty much impossible not to given the subject and the ongoing debate.
Cllr Paul FollowsLeader, Waverley Borough Council
It will not have gone unnoticed as your drive around the Waverley borough that more and more people are squeezing their cars into ever-smaller spaces on roads that were not build to take so many. Many of them are large vans or commercial vehicles.
Now, the Surrey Fire Brigade is urging the public to think before you park, as fire engines and any emergency vehicles are getting quite simply – STUCK! Just a few minutes delay could prove vital, a matter of life or death.
At the last full council, the Executive reiterated the intent of the administration to get Local Plan Part 2 (LPP2) through all the necessary governance steps before Christmas.
With the views of local residents in several key areas now taken into account, this enables the document to go before an inspector in early 2022 (the exact date of that stage will depend on the inspectorate).
Leader Paul Follows said:
As we have made clear from multiple statements over the past few months the document required several changes from previous iterations that existed (and specifically the draft that the last administration of the council withdrew in April 2019). These changes relate to allocations in Milford (Witley Parish area) and Haslemere (along with some other minor revisions).
In both of those areas, we committed to making every effort to ensure that LPP2 was compatible with the draft Neighbourhood Plans in Witley (now a made plan) and Haslemere (soon to come to referendum).
I am pleased to be able to say that the new draft will achieve that aim.
As members will note from the timetable below, we intend to replace a site in the Haslemere allocation with a site more significant (in terms of housing numbers) than the site it replaces and in a more sustainable location.
Over the last few months our officers have been working with the owner of this site and with Natural England/Surrey Hills AONB to facilitate an allocation in LPP2. The change will, however, necessitate a regulation-19 consultation lasting six weeks.
For us to pass LPP2 before Christmas, several additional (special) meetings of Council, Executive and Overview & Scrutiny are required. The Executive has agreed to the addition of these special Council and Executive sessions. I would also like to thank the chair of the Environment O&S (who has agreed to special O&S dates following a discussion this morning).
Our officers in planning and democratic services have worked extremely hard to enable us to be in this position, and I want to thank them for all of the work they have done on this (and the work to come).
The Waverley BC website will be updated to reflect the new timetable, and I will communicate the schedule to external stakeholders.
Revised Timetable – August 2020
Developers bought this office block and have seemingly gone bust, leaving a demolished shell and an eyesore in Catteshall Lane.
Planners and the townsfolk have dubbed the Amlets Park development in Cranleigh as ‘the best designed new housing scheme in the area.’
Now another smaller development of just 13 homes is planned on land adjoining the site: four affordable homes and nine market homes.
The Cala Homes development is spacious, unobtrusive, and the access that councillors and the locals feared would be a danger to motorists on a narrow lane has not materialised. The well-planned and unusually spacious feel of the bungalows and houses, together with affordable homes recently obtained by ‘Your Waverley’, has ensured that the first major scheme to hit Cranleigh has been a huge success. Amlets Park SOLD!
It is the only new housing development in Cranleigh that provides a safe and easy pedestrian and cycle access onto the nearby Glebe Estate and all the local schools.
A Bramley councillor who supported the scheme said it was preferable to build in the countryside rather than on nearby brownfield sites!
The developer says an award-winning architect has been commissioned to show the 13 new homes in a series of connected building forms and intimate clusters, using quality local materials that reflect the surrounding homes on Amlets Park.
The developer says the most important factor in this scheme is that the existing access into Amlets Park is proposed – so no new access is needed off Amlets Lane. The site is enclosed by surrounding houses and Amlets Lane to the north of the site. Residents, particularly children, will also have a safe and secure cycle and pedestrian link into the town and nearby schools.
The outline planning application has taken over three months to be registered by Waverley Borough Council, appearing on the planning portal for the first time on August 2. The developer is liaising with Cranleigh Parish Council and the public.
A Twitter storm has erupted – and not for the first time – over remarks made by Guildford and Villages Tory MP Angela Richardson.
Gaffs of one sort or another are not unusual for the brown-nosing Tory MP who congratulates her colleagues and anyone else, any time, anywhere, and left Twitter when Trump was thrown out. Pity, she didn’t stick to it? NEWSFLASH! The Hon Angie has dumped TWITTER!
However, this week Guildford’s narcissistic exhibitionist MP excelled herself and caused a Twitter storm that went viral across the airwaves with many hundreds, if not thousands of Tweets. During which the threat of a Libel Action followed. Including offers from the public to help fund it.
Here’s what A James O’Brien said after Dominic Raab announced he was doing a parachute jump for charity.
“Brilliant Dom, jumping out the plane is a wonderful homage to all the Afghans you failed to help get on the plane. Always loved your ironic sense of humour. Go Dom!”
Ms Richardson jumped to Raab’s defence by saying:
James OBrien is an Arse! But many of you know that already.
Fancy going on to someone’s Fundraising Page intending to make the final weeks and months of a dying child’s life easier, making a sarky comment and not donating. The lengths some people will go to is astonishing! ARSE!
To which she received… this – from THE James O’Brien – Radio Presenter on LBC Radio.
Posting this apology once the Twitter storm had burst and after deleting the libellous tweet. But only after she had written…
“I have not tagged you. But I am happy to delete my tweet if your assumption that I meant you has caused you offence and I apologise as requested.”
But here are a few suggestions, including some from her constituents…
Whilst Thames Water continues to raise ‘No objection” to new housing in Cranleigh and the eastern villages – the taps run dry.. again as pipes burst!
As tempers rose yesterday a Cranleigh parish, Waverley borough and Surrey County Councillor was on the case. She is now crossing swords…again with Thames Water.
So let the battle begin?
Report your leak here: https://www.thameswater.co.uk/leak/
Due to burst water main on Amlets Lane about 390 properties are being impacted with low or no flow of water. Those residents who have medical needs have been provided with an alternative supply of water. Thames Water thinks the matter will be resolved by the end of the day.
After last weeks multiple leaks, I regret to inform you that yet again a large number of Cranleigh and Ewhurst residents are without water or have extremely low flow. Areas reported to me as affected are Bookhurst Road, Cranleigh Road, Summerlands Estate, Swallowhurst Estate, Gadbridge Lane, Somersbury Lane, parts of Walliswood, the list just goes on.I have been reporting leaks to Thames Water since 2016 and over the years I have sent reports, and have taken part in regular residents forums on this subject, which your predecessors attended. I have attended regular Thames Water meetings together with the Cranleigh Civic Society at your offices in Shalford and I have emailed you and other Thames Water staff umpteen times.I have highlighted to you again and again that almost 30% of Cranleigh’s drinking water pipes are asbestos cement and are between 50 and 70 years old. Evidence shows that these old pipes begin to degrade internally over time through water friction, and due to low pH and low soil alkalinity, there is also a risk of the release of free asbestos fibres into the drinking water, which I am aware you don’t routinely check for. Our pipes have been tested by you and were confirmed in 2017 to contain the most dangerous blue (crocidolite) form of asbestos as well as white (chrysotile). Furthermore, our clay soil places compressive and tensile stresses on the pipes as it is subject to ground heave and shrinkage during prolonged dry periods.We have also seen unprecedented development in this area with an additional 1,700 new dwellings in Cranleigh alone needing to be connected to your network, placing further stress on the pipes. This may not sound like a lot of new homes to you but in a village of approximately 4,500 houses, it is an increase of 38%. As the houses have been built we have witnessed an increase in bursts across the network.The fact is that our ageing network, made of materials that would no longer be used for the conveyance of drinking water in the UK, needs replacing. At one stage you confirmed that several kms would be replaced, then you clarified that this was actually across the entire Guildford network, then we were advised that pipes would only be replaced when they burst. This is simply not a good enough service for your customers and could actually be placing them at increased risk.You only have to take a look at your own issues map today to see that in these villages there are about 20 issues recorded and that doesn’t appear to include the ongoing issues that I keep reporting to you on Barhatch Lane and Amlets Lane, or the ongoing and frequent issue of water rushing down the road from Lambs Wood reservoir.As well as providing me with details and a timeline for the repairs being carried out today, I am requesting an online meeting without delay to discuss the issues affecting this area, why some issues never seem to get addressed and your plans to improve the water supply to your customers in Cranleigh and Ewhurst.I look forward to hearing from you.RegardsLiz TownsendSurrey County Councillor for Cranleigh & Ewhurst
Needed saying – but surely Thames Water whilst directly responsible for the mains and drainage etc aren’t accountable for the idiocy of building so many additional houses without upgrading the infrastructure? I actually feel sorry for TW having to tackle the repercussions……they likely blame planning policy and councillors approving these housing schemes.
Cllr Townsend responded to hundreds of reports of further leaks and messages of congratulations and updates throughout another quiet day in the life of a local councillor who was as good as the promise she made on the tin! You can read just a handful here…
The meeting was held yesterday at ‘Your Waverley.’
Trustees of The Cranleigh Village Health Trust, Waverley Council and Cranleigh Parish Council met yesterday to consider the future of ‘The Paddock Field’ in Knowle Lane.
The future of the controversial site owned by CVHT, earmarked for an 80-bed private nursing home and a residential block of flats, went under the microscope at Waverley Towers.
The former “Hospital’ Charitable Trust that trousered shedloads of money from residents of the eastern villages over a 20-year period was told in no uncertain terms by Waverley Planners that its 2021 scheme for the site was unacceptable and was subsequently REFUSED by 11 votes to one with one abstention.
The Waverley Web had heard that just a week ago that CVHT asked for the meeting to be postponed. They argued that they would prefer to meet with the new parish council chairman designate Cllr Nigel Sanctuary rather than the present chairman Cllr Liz Townsend. It also asked to have a member of the public, its PR Agent Martin Bamford to be present to “take notes”
Q Did Mr Bamford, who is the publicity guru for the Charity and its property developer associates, attend the meeting as a member of the public?
Andy Webb the man who leads the public campaign to stop the development said this:
After asking the CVHT if I could attend this meeting they suggested that I contact the Parish Council as they were arranging it.The reply from the PC was that I was on the list of people to contact when they knew the time and date of the meeting, which in all stupidity I took as a yes to attend the meeting.This morning, 10 minutes before the meeting was due to start I received this email from the PC.I’m sure that the CVHT and WBC were not only given 10 minutes notice?
Meeting with WBC and CVHT
Dear AndyThe Parish Council is meeting with Waverley Borough Council and Cranleigh Village Health Trust at 11.00 am today to discuss the One Public Estate.The Council asked me to make your group aware of this meeting.
I know the minutes of the meeting will be made public but why are we being stopped from voicing our concerns from the start.Why are the PC, the CVHT and WBC not willing for the campaign group to be involved?One of my main concerns is, why, after the PC said that all future meetings involving the CVHT should be held in public are they holding this meeting behind closed doors?
£7.5 million has been awarded to 37 partnerships made up of councils and public sector bodies. The funding will support cross public sector partnerships to work collaboratively on land and property initiatives leading to new jobs, new homes, joined-up public services and savings for the taxpayer.
Is Guildford MP Angela Richardson inferring that both Waverley & Guildford Borough Councils will do nothing to help Afghan refugees?
At this incredibly difficult time for Afghanistan, this country and the world, is she using the present crisis as a political football to be kicked around her constituency? Please note the last sentence of her letters.
If so – shame on her.
And, shame on her Government as many of us believe it has lost complete control of the situation. As Afghanistan crashed and burned our MP’s were on holiday, and have failed miserably to anticipate the disaster that has unfolded. Our MP was posting pictures of herself in the surf and what she was watching on the telly.
Here at the Waverley Web, we are in no doubt that both our borough councils and others around the country will do what they always do – rise to the challenge. But will they receive Government funding?
Part 2 of the public inquiry into plans for gas exploration in Dunsfold.
If allowed: More HGV’s for the eastern villages: More light pollution and environmental damage and yet another blow for the proposed development of the proposed new Dunsfold Garden Village.
Planning rules require that permission is granted to comply with the development plan, unless “material considerations indicate otherwise”.
Surrey County Council
“The appeal proposal is in conflict with a number of development plan policies.”
Ms Wigley said these included:
- Surrey Minerals Plan policies MC15 (ii) and MC15 (iii) because the highway network was not of an appropriate standard for use by the traffic generated by the development and could not be made appropriate. The development would have a significant impact on highway safety, she said.
- Surrey Minerals Plan policy MC14 (iii) because there would be a significant adverse impact on the appearance, quality and character of the landscape. There was also insufficient information for a proper assessment of landscape impacts
- Surrey Minerals Plan policy MC12 because the site identification report was “entirely inadequate” to demonstrate that the site had been selected to minimise adverse impacts on the environment.
- Waverley Borough Local Plan policy RE3 states that the setting of the AONB will be protected where development outside its boundaries harms public views from or into the AONB
- National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 111 because of the “unacceptable impact on highway safety
- NPPF 174 (a) and (b) because of landscape impacts
- NPPF 211 (e) because restoration and aftercare would not be carried out at the earliest opportunity
- NPPF 176 because the proposal constituted “insensitive development in the setting of the AONB”. The adverse impacts on the AONB should be accorded great weight in the planning balance.
Mr Elvin said the proposal complied with national and local planning policy. He referred to:
NPPF 209: “It is essential that there is a sufficient supply of minerals to provide the…energy… that the country needs. Since minerals are a finite natural resource and can only be worked where they are found, best use needs to be made of them to secure their long-term conservation.”
NPPF 211: Great weight should be given to the benefits of mineral extraction.
NPPF 215: Decision-makers are encouraged to distinguish between the different phases of onshore gas development. It also states they should “plan positively” for them.
He disputed there were conflicts with Surrey Minerals Plan policies. Even if there were some “residual conflict”, he said, “it would be outweighed by the benefits generated by the appeal proposals together with other material considerations”. He said policy MC12 does not require a comparative assessment of sites.
The public inquiry into plans for gas exploration in Dunsfold has closed.
If allowed: More HGV’s for the eastern villages: More light pollution and environmental damage and yet another blow for the proposed development in the proposed new Dunsfold Garden Village.
The online inquiry has sat for nine long days of arguments about the proposal by UK Oil & Gas for an exploration site at Loxley near Dunsfold. On land owned by Ashley Ward.
The inspector, Mike Robins, heard from the company, Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council and local people and organisations.
He gave no indication of when he would announce his decision. UKOG has made a partial application for costs.
Surrey County Council’s planning committee refused UKOG’s application on highway and landscape grounds in November 2020, against the advice of planning officers.
Because the committee decided:
- UKOG had not demonstrated that the highway network was an appropriate standard for site traffic and that it would not have a significant adverse impact on highway safety.
- Sufficient information had not been provided for the council to be satisfied there would be no significant adverse impact on the appearance, quality and character of the landscape.
Here are the key issues raised in closing arguments by David Elvin QC, for UKOG, Jenny Wigley QC for the county council, and Patrick Arthur, for borough and parish councils.
Recommendations to the inspector
Surrey County Council said: “the appeal should be dismissed”
Waverley Borough Council asked that: “The inspector is respectfully invited to dismiss the appeal.”
UKOG: “UKOG requests that its proposals should be granted planning permission and the appeal allowed.”
Surrey County Council
“On the basis of the expert evidence given in support of its reasons for refusal, SCC has demonstrated why the proposed development is unacceptable in this location and why the appeal should be dismissed.”
Waverley Borough Council
“Important principles will be set by the grant of permission in relation to the scale and type of development proposed in the planning application. Any future application for oil and gas extraction at the site will rely heavily on the fact that the principle of site access, impact on the [Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty] AONB and valued countryside, as well as the impact on local residents and businesses have been considered acceptable. As a result, local residents’ lives and future of local businesses will be greatly impacted.”
“the reasons for refusal were in direct conflict with the advice of officers and … do not stand up to close scrutiny. [They] “fail to take account of the policy significance of the proposals, mistake and overstate the objections raised and should be tested against the experienced judgment of SCC officers who twice recommended the grant of permission.
“That the whole of the development can be restored to at least a neutral landscape position within a period of 3 years (or thereabouts) is plainly key to the proper assessment of its effects”.
David Elvin QC for UKOG said it had supported its planning application with:
- Landscape and visual assessment
- Extra information and visits
- Light impact assessments
- Outline landscape, environment, biodiversity restoration and enhancement plan
There had been no objection on the grounds of insufficient evidence from the county landscape consultant, Surrey Hills AONB planning adviser or Surrey County Council planning officers. He said UKOG had produced “a thorough and transparent assessment” on the effects of the proposal. It took into account the proximity of the AONB and the local designation as an Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV).
Waverley Borough Council
Mr Arthur said his and the county council’s landscape witnesses had not sought to exaggerate the case. They had “grappled with elements”, he said, where “their judgment simply differed” from that of UKOG’s landscape witness.
He said UKOG’s landscape witness had been “carefully selective” in his treatment of guidance and in some cases was
“simply wrong. It was difficult to comprehend how there could not be an “obvious and harmful impact” on the AONB from drilling rigs, raised well compound, coiled tubing unit, mobile lighting towers, shrouded flares, temporary storage tanks and cabins.”.
Surrey County Council
Jenny Wigley said the inspector needed to take into account the impact not just of the drilling area but the access track, access onto High Loxley Road and highway works at Pratt’s Corner.
Hedgerows and trees would be removed along High Loxley Road, she said. Site equipment, fencing and passing places would change the rural character of the single-track rural lane.
“The use of the site access itself by heavy goods vehicles [HGVs] trundling across an open field in plain view from the AONB will be discordant in the landscape. The development at the well site will involve extensive earthworks, structures and fencing that are all alien, uncharacteristic and not in keeping with the layout, massing, traditional vernacular form, materials and boundary treatment of the existing rural built environment.”
“The height and scale of proposed vertical structures, including rigs and a crane will stand out beyond any existing tree cover and will 2 adversely affect visual amenity, and views from the AONB.
“All this, coupled with the industrial activity and required night-time lighting, will detract from the tranquil and intimate character of the area.”
Value of the site
UKOG’s landscape witness argued that the proposed Loxley well site was not in a “valued landscape”, even though it was in a designated Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV).
Surrey County Council
“the appeal site is valued in landscape terms. It is within the setting of the AONB, it acts as a buffer to the AONB, it shares characteristics with the AONB (with no detracting features), it includes important features of the AONB and it is within views to and from the AONB.The AGLV’s important role was recognised in planning policy, Ms Wigley said. It acted as a buffer and protection to the AONB, she said, and featured sunken lanes, tranquillity and dark skies.”
Surrey County Council
- Failed to give the appropriate significance to the view of the proposed site from Hascombe Hill, a strategic view from the AONB
- Failed to recognise the importance of relatively rare views from the AONB and the relative rarity of the narrow, winding, single track sunken lane of High Loxley Road
- Ignored areas of archaeological significance next to the site and all listed buildings in nearby scattered historic farmsteads
- Failed to explain the important role of recreational routes
- Narrowly assessed the well site alone, not the entire appeal site or wider site context
- Failed to acknowledge the valued physical links with the AONB
- Failed to include winter views
- No proper consideration of 4m high-security fencing
- Overestimated benefits of the tree and hedge re-planting
- Underplayed the significance of adverse visual effects
Mr Elvin criticised the county council’s landscape witness for:
- No photographs of winter views
- Not considering that the reversal of effects would be progressive
- No consideration in her written evidence about the temporary duration of the development
- The methodology of her LVIA for the council and an “opaqueness” about how she reached her judgements
- “No attempt” to discuss her views with council advisers
- Overstated likely effects on the time it would take for a hedge to become established
- Failed to take account of a wedding business at High Billinghurst Farm on tranquillity
- Exaggerated impact of HGVs movements on the site access and clutter of road signs and signals on the highway
Mr Elvin said:
“her focus has been on raising objections to the Appeal Proposals, rather than on providing a balanced and objective description and assessment.”
Felling of Burchetts Wood
The Burchetts mixed ancient and commercial woodland had been relied upon by UKOG to screen the proposed site. During the inquiry, it emerged that thinning of the woodland would begin in the autumn.
Mr Elvin said UKOG considered the possible felling of Burchett’s Wood as a worst-case scenario. But he concluded that if felling went ahead, it would not substantially change the company’s overall assessments on the impact of the site on the landscape.
The thinning work, due to start in the autumn, was “unlikely to remove the screening currently provided”, he said.
“the clear felling of the wood in its entirety is unlikely within the 3 year period of the proposed development.”
Surrey County Council
Ms Wigley said UKOG’s assessment of the effects of felling was “wholly inadequate” and an assessment had been “scant and inadequate”. Felling was “a realistic and likely prospect”.
The company had argued that the tree line on the site’s northern boundary would have the same screening role as the Burchetts. But Ms Wigley said:
“This is entirely unrealistic in circumstances where that tree line is in single file, all deciduous, not continuous and includes trees subject to ash die back. The appellants rely on the Burchetts when it suits them and then abandon all reliance on them when it no longer suits them.”
The key transport disagreement centred on the suitability of High Loxley Road and Dunsfold Road, near the planned site.
The scheme proposes to widen the Pratts Corner junction between High Loxley Road and Dunsfold Road and part of High Loxley Road itself. Temporary traffic signals are planned for the four arms of the Pratts Corner junction, along with traffic cones and signage. Banksmen will be used when heavy goods vehicles are scheduled.
The inquiry heard that UKOG had not accepted all the recommendations in the road safety audit.
David Elvin said there had been detailed discussions between the company and highways officials since June 2018. Planning officers concluded that the proposals were supported by a “realistic and robust” assessment and were capable of delivering safe and suitable access, he said.
Mr Elvin criticised the council’s transport witness for making what he described as “implausible objections”. He also said there was a “serious omission” by the witness in failing to discuss his concerns with highways officers.
On the road safety audit, he said:
“It is misconceived to suggest that the RSA [road safety audit] was not complied with in that there are a few instances where the Appellant has not followed the recommendation proposed.”
He added that the audit recommended possible solutions to safety problems. There may be other acceptable ways they could be overcome, he said.
Waverley Borough Council
“Dunsfold Road and High Loxley Lane are not suitable or adequate to accommodate large heavy goods vehicles and abnormal indivisible load vehicles.”
Mr Arthur added that concerns remained about the traffic management operation and the implications if it failed.
Surrey County Council
“the local highway network is not of an appropriate standard to accommodate the development. Dunsfold Road west of Pratts Corner is unsuitable for HGVs and the agreed condition on routeing will prevent HGVs from travelling to the site from the west. From the east, the turn into High Loxley Road is physically constrained, preventing HGVs from being able to turn in without very significant highway works and traffic management measures.”
On the road safety audit, Ms Wigley said:
“the developer was forced into a risky trade-off between environmental concerns and highway safety. The safety recommendations could simply not be accommodated without increasing the unacceptability of the access arrangements in environmental terms to a degree higher than could be countenanced”
This trade-off was “apparently accepted” by the county highways authority, she said. The risk of drivers violating a red light had been resolved by moving the traffic lights, Ms Wigley said. “This seems far from a satisfactory solution, particularly when the repeated erection, removal and reinstatement of the signals throughout the development period allows scope for signals to be placed in slightly different locations each time.”
On the proposed banksmen, she said:
[this will] rely on a number of steps and a chain of communication (between driver, manager, one banksman and another banksman), all prone to human error and equipment failure.
“this is not a one off occasion, it is a procedure that will need to be used up to 20 times per day (10 two way movements) for up to 56 weeks.”
Heavy goods vehicles
Surrey County Council
Ms Wigley said on up to six occasions, the largest of HGVs visiting the site would be too big to navigate Pratts Corner.
“it will need to pass the junction with High Loxley Road, perform a three point turn back into Dunsfold Common Road and enter High Loxley Road from the west. This will rely on intensive traffic management and cause inconvenience to road users and is another demonstration of the unsuitability of the highway network in the vicinity of the site for the development proposed.”
All the HGVs using the B2130 between Dunsfold Common Road and the A281 would be forced to cross the centre line of the carriageway when negotiating two 90 degree bends. She criticised UKOG for providing no breakdown of the HGV types and numbers. There is no suggestion that the larger HGVs would be in the minority, she said.
She said the total number of class 4 and above HGVs using the key stretch of the B2130 was 49 westbound and 41 eastbound over a seven day period. Development traffic would amount to up to 10 two-way HGV movements per day for up to 56 weeks. This is “highly material”, she said. It would “significantly increase the incidences of where the centre line is crossed, and in turn, will unacceptably increase highway safety risk”.
Mr Elvin said:
“The numbers of HGVs added to the network (to be controlled by condition) is a small percentage of those already on it and will include periods when there are none at all.”
He accused the council’s transport witness of exaggerating additional numbers of HGVs.
The council’s traffic witness calculated that the accident rate for the key section of the B2130 was double the largest UK rate since 2009 and nearly four times worse than the latest statistics for this type of road.
Mr Elvin responded:
“the comparisons he sought to draw have no reasonable statistical justification for the manner in which he sought to use them.”
He said the guidance used by the council’s transport witness related to the cost-benefit analysis of trunk road schemes and had “no application whatsoever to the assessment of accidents in safety terms”.
He said the highways authority’s assessment of safety on Dunsfold road was based “on the industry-standard approach of analysing recorded collisions and their circumstances at specific locations, rather than comparison to any national statistics”.
Surrey County Council
“the proposed development is contrary to the development plan and there are no material considerations to justify allowing the appeal as a departure from the plan. The benefits cited by the appellants are largely speculative and illusory and are not to be taken into account.
UKOG’s planning balance was “fatally undermined” by giving them significant weight, Ms Wigley said.
Waverley Borough Council
“The harm demonstrated by the highways and landscape evidence is entitled to substantial weight. The harm of the kind described in the evidence is credible and fully justified, it substantiates the stated reasons for refusal alone.”
Mr Arthur said the proposals were also contrary to 12 policies in the Waverley Local Plan.
“the project is not itself a production project but it is an essential prerequisite for the delivery of such projects in the future. This is a material benefit deserving of great weight in the planning balance given the importance of hydrocarbons in latest Government policy including the recently reissues NPPF.”
The clock is ticking if you want to object.
But are Waverley Planners objecting? Is Surrey County Council making a formal objection?
Is Guildford & Cranleigh MP Angela Richardson objecting on behalf of her constituents as they face HGV overload?
Could all that clay be making its way right onto her own home doorstep to the Brickworks in Ewhurst?
Having been bombarded with more than 40% of ‘Your Waverley’s homes quota its eastern villages are now being swamped by HGV’s!
Loxwood Clay Pits Ltd wants the backing of West Sussex County Council to create a massive clay quarry on the outskirts of Alfold in Pallinghurst Woods. Yes, that poor beleaguered village on the Surrey/Sussex border. Really! You couldn’t make it up, how much more misery must they and their neighbours be forced to take?
A plan which neighbouring villages have described as potentially “catastrophic.”
The immediate area is already suffering HGV’s movements every 15 minutes along the A281 Guildford/Horsham Road into nearby Wildwood Lane on their way to the Cranleigh Brick & Tile site in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh. Now they could face 33 years, yes really, 33 long years of another 42 HGV movements per day.
Surrey County Council Highways backed the plan for 70 lorry movements per day for five and a half years to pound along Wildwood Lane which serves Cranleigh Youth and Senior Rugby Clubs. The lane has folded up and disintegrated several times since work began.
And – don’t think that some of the lorries won’t be thundering through every other town and village in the borough of Waverley, because you can bet your bottom dollar they will.
The site which is raising massive local opposition is crisscrossed by public footpaths and bridleways.
Said Environmental scientist Dr Jill Sutcliffe.
It’s a greenfield site and it is absolutely ironic that this application wants to take down trees to put up a recycling unit, when the government is telling us all to plant trees because of climate change nd in an area that supports wonderful wildlife.”
Mike Rutherford of Genisis fame has joined all the local protestors and the website includes a message from the rock star who has lived in and loved the area for the past 43 years.
Here’s the view of objector Mark Lebus.
Application (WSCC/030/21) has only one benefit…
(i.e., profit for the applicant) but a very significant and harmful list of risks and reasons why it should never be approved.
1) Health and Safety Risk – the woodlands, footpaths and Loxwood Road are used by walkers, cyclists, riders, and local drivers 365 days a year. There is a school bus route with stops along the Loxwood Road route and access to numerous public footpaths onto the road which means that the proposed HGV route will create an extraordinarily high risk of road traffic incidents or worse for 33 years.
2) Environmental Impact – The proposed clay pit area is greenfield and sits within/alongside ancient woodlands, farming fields, livestock, ponds and waterways and is currently rich with biodiversity and benefits to health and wellbeing. The proposed activities will destroy huge parts of the local environment through dust, carbon emissions, noise and light pollution and vibration. Regular habitat surveys will demonstrate a rapid and irreversible decline of biodiversity across a wide area beyond the clay pit boundaries which in turn will also have a significant effect on farming and health and wellbeing across the whole area.
3) Infrastructure Risk – the proposed route to and from the site assumes that 40 HGV vehicle movements per day for 33 years would have little or no impact on the minor roads, adjacent properties, listed buildings, farmland and watercourses.
“The impact on infrastructure across the neighbouring rural environment is highly likely to be catastrophic including a real danger to lives if buildings or roads become unstable due to long-term and consistent HGV movements.”
4) Local Authority responsibility – How does this application meet any of the four key priorities of the West Sussex County Council 2021-2025 plan (which is underpinned by a cross-cutting theme of tackling climate change)?
- 1. Keeping people safe from vulnerable situations.
- 2. A sustainable and prosperous economy.
- 3. Helping people and communities to fulfil their potential.
- 4. Making the best use of resources.
- The WSCC Plan also states –
“We have also seen unexpected benefits including cleaner air, less noise, neighbourliness, and an appreciation of the environment our residents live in. This new context means WSCC needs to build a new model of priorities for the next four years and beyond – one that focuses everything we are able to do on achieving good health and wellbeing for our residents In order to be fit for the future we must do two things.”
- 5) Demand for Clay – is there clear evidence that there is a demand for clay anywhere in the UK when there are four sites with more than 24 years supply of clay, therefore meeting all national and local level clay requirements. The proposed clay demand argument is surely removed by the closure of West Hoathly brickworks near Crawley. If there is no need for the clay, then presumably the justification for a waste site is also disputable.
‘Your Waverley’ is putting its money where its mouth is and building homes fit for the future.
The Thakeham Homes team is on-site at Ockford Ridge.
True to its mission statement in its Climate Emergency Strategy, Waverley Borough Council has partnered with Thakeham Homes to build homes at Ockford Ridge in Godalming that will help residents save an extra 1.37 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.
The council housing is now well into its multi-million pound phased development at Ockford Ridge, to enhance the former run-down estate for the benefit of its existing residents and future generations.
It has been working with the community at Ockford Ridge for many years to refurbish homes that are to be retained, rebuild homes and create new homes for local people.
Plans for redevelopment
Six sites (A to F) are being redeveloped in phases up until 2025. The project is part of Waverley’s multi million investment in its housing stock. The majority of the new homes are available for rent. The redevelopment has also seen the ground-up refurbishment of the remaining council-owned homes.
The Sussex based company is building this phase after the successful delivery of 37 new homes on Site A last year. The community now boasts a comprehensive and beneficial programme to the residents, including rewilding activities, supporting the local school with a holistic Eddie & Ellie educational programme, and community centre building repairs.
Following the completion of its first phase of energy-efficient homes, the company is now going a step further to take action against climate change and meet the objectives of the Council’s leading Climate Change Declaration.
The latest development is to provide 17 new energy-efficient and affordable homes and will demonstrate the council’s pledge on carbon neutrality, by having a long list of energy-efficient innovations.
The homes, sited in the newly re-named Laurel Close, will feature solar panels to generate electricity and reduce heating and lighting bills; waste heat recovery from the boiler flues and high specification glazing to reduce heat losses through the glass.
Thicker ground slab insulation and wall insulation has also been added along with modern methods of timber-framed construction.
Across the site, gardens will include pollinator fruit trees and sensitive carbon-absorbing soft landscaping, making maximum use of low-carbon hard landscaping materials.
Electrical vehicle charging points will be provided in many of the new homes, as will built-in swift bricks, bat boxes and hedgehog holes in fencing to allow their free movement to support wildlife on Ockford Ridge.
Leader of the council and local ward councillor, Cllr Paul Follows along with senior council officers joined Thakeham senior management on-site recently to celebrate the new start.
Waverley’s new Mayor, Councillor John Robini, also joined them to view the latest site along with other completed projects on the estate.
“I’m looking forward to seeing these new homes literally rise from the ground. There will be 17 spacious, attractive and affordable homes, built to the highest current standards. I am also excited because this scheme starts to translate our Carbon Neutrality Action Plan into actual houses, by creating energy efficient, low carbon homes for the future.
“All-in-all, a fantastic development, we think, and a massive step forward from the homes built here 85 years ago.”
The council’s innovative community benefit programme will continue to run in tandem with the building of new homes. This will see the council, contractors and the local community work together to create a really sustainable legacy for the community. Current projects include further enhancing biodiversity by supporting the town council’s re-wilding of Eashing Cemetery, sponsoring mentoring at Rodborough School and financially supporting the excellent work of local Godalming skills and employment support charity, Skillways.
Surrey children have been placed in 119 different local authority areas around the United Kingdom as well as abroad.
Now campaigners want to bring them back closer to home.
Half of Surrey’s 985 children in care are being placed outside county borders due to lack of accommodation in Surrey, and the GLP is concerned about the impact this may be having on the county’s children. So are some Liberal Democrat county councillors.
Earlier this year the organisation which won a High Court challenge against the Cabinet Office over a £560,000 Covid-19 contract awarded with no competitive tenders – is now bringing a judicial review against ‘Your Surrey.’
“The most vulnerable children in our society are increasingly disconnected from their support networks, often without any advance warning or preparation.”
Mr Maugham claims the authority is “not actively seeking to manage the market to secure in-area provision”. However, the county council claims it is doing all it reasonably can to secure local provision. It has recently provided homes for 10 autistic young people in a purpose-built unit in Alfold. However, the move was steeped in controversy over the handling of the project.
A GLP petition asking the council to “Stop sending children in care to live miles away from everything they know” has been signed by over 800 people.
Fiona White, Liberal Democrat Guildford County councillor who sits on the committee that scrutinises children’s services, said:
“It’s traumatic enough to be taken away from your family without isolating them completely from everything they know. It is a timely reminder that the council’s children’s services have only recently been taken out of special measures. It’s not as though they’re just over the border in Hampshire or Sussex, it’s a long distance we’re talking about.
“If children are taken into care for whatever good reason, unless it’s a safety issue, you need to keep them as close as you can to their existing relationships, grandparents, aunt and uncle and so on. They’re being housed so far away it’s really difficult for those relationships to continue, that’s what worries me, that relationships break down.”
Lib Dem Councillor Liz Townsend, who only recently joined the county’s ranks said:
“As corporate parents, we have a responsibility to support our children, and at present, we are letting our children down. We have empty buildings, one here in Cranleigh that is not being used. I am shocked by the lack of action in prioritising this critical issue.”
Cllr Townsend who also sits on the children’s services committee said the council’s ‘Your Fund’ committee has borrowed £100m, with debt and interest being shouldered by the taxpayer to fund community projects. Roll up, roll up for the Big Surrey Giveaway.
She said whilst we are not prejudging the benefit of these projects, officers resources do seem to be being thrown at this fund, with the latest promo being postcards distributed to all councillors to drum up business, whilst Surrey’s cared for children don’t seem to be getting quite as much attention!
Waverley councillors and the Local Government Association (LGA) has claimed that…
“There are sites with planning permissions where landowners and developers are deliberately not bringing them forward, and a million homes await construction.”
But experts claim, Councils ‘may have to grant permissions for 64% more houses to meet government’s 300,000-home target’ and the number of homes granted planning consent by councils may have to rise by up to 64 per cent “immediately” to hit the government’s target of delivering 300,000 homes per year by the middle of the decade.
A report commissioned from consultants – Lichfields by The Home Builders Federation (HBF ) and others, reveal that there has been an annual rate of planning consents of between 300,000 to 400,000 homes. However this doesn’t tally with completions, so has led to the view that developers are deliberately hanging onto sites.
But the report rubbishes this conclusion saying…
“This fundamentally misinterprets the data. Each year the number of permissions granted includes homes on sites that would not be built out in one or two years, some sites await funding for infrastructure (which can only be sought once permission is granted) and some permissions will be replacement permissions for approvals granted in previous years to reflect technical changes, re-design, alterations in housing mix or design detail. Successive years of units with permission will therefore incorporate significant double counting.”
The report adds: In reality, the number of homes with planning permission will need to exceed the size of the pipeline, because some permissions will be delayed, re-planned or lapse, and some will deliver homes beyond a five-year horizon, suggesting that…
“a minimum estimated total stock of around 1.7 million homes with permission is needed”.
To meet this, councils would need to sharply increase housing consents. The report sets out three scenarios: an upper scenario of 608,400 housing units consented each year; a midpoint scenario of 518,500 units consented; and a lower scenario of 428,500 units consented. These would represent rises in the amount of units consented annually of 64, 40 and 15 per cent respectively. This compares with 372,000 new homes permitted recorded by MHCLG in 2019.
The report adds that, “if the government’s ambition to achieve 300,000 homes per year by the mid 2020s (assumed to be no later than 2027) is to be achieved then, given the assumed gap of two years from granted of permission to recorded completion, this means the increase in permissions is needed immediately, and by 2023”.
The report comes after Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the government is considering sanctions for developers over permissions that are not built out quickly enough.
Our town mole has discovered that the grand Blightwells Autumn opening has slipped until Spring 2022.
How many slips exactly is that now?
Meanwhile, the rest of Farnham is thriving with new coffee shops opening – a debut yoghurt shop and… a butcher!
“At all costs, Brightwells must be a success.
Daft or what?
Apples falling into a neighbours garden from next-doors apple tree have sparked a major row in Dunsfold that has, so far cost, a staggering £200,000 in legal fees allegedly, according to the Daily Mail page 25 yesterday 4th August.
Silly season it most definitely is!
We have heard of a whole gamut of neighbour disputes raging all over Waverley. Neighbours fighting over bonfires and barbecues, hedges and ditches, and who has parking rights, but this one beats even the best.
And there we were here at the Waverley Web HQ thinking that Dunsfold was such a peaceful place! Apart, that is, from the odd complaint about, aircraft noise, Top Gear, and development plans. Oh, and we mustn’t marauding forget film crews and the odd dinosaur and explosion that take place from time to time!
Isaac Newton would have had a field day in Dunsfold. Legend has it that a young Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree when he was bonked on the head by a falling piece of fruit, … and discovered the laws of gravity.
Oh! and it just became even dafter. Angela Richardson, The MP for Guildford and the eastern villages just Tweeted some really important information to her constituents. No doubt all those constituents forced to contact former MP Anne Milton because they get no response from Angie, will be glad to hear why?
Talk about shutting the door after the horse has bolted!
George Eustace, The Secretary of State for Environment has warned that:
“Climate change is heightening the threat of deluges destroying homes.”
Funny that! We all knew that yonks ago. The residents over there in Cranleigh including the Cranleigh Civic Society warned that building on the flood plains of the eastern village was just storing up trouble for the future. In fact, the group that speaks up on behalf of the people of Cranleigh took a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in Waverley Borough Council in May 2017. CROSS OF CRANLEIGH JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT CROSSER …
Here’s just one of the sites that Thakeham Homes. A developer that was actually afforded the unprecedented honour of joining planning officers around the Waverley Towers council chamber staff table, to speak up for and receive its planning consent.
You can see where building work has started and where now the new homes stand.
However, no surprise here: Thakeham Homes sold the site on to another developer as soon as it received planning consent! It is now aptly named – “Willow Brook.”
No worries though. The Government has set aside £860million for 1,000 flood defence schemes as part of a package of measures to protect homes, businesses and infrastructure!
Biffa, Waverley’s waste contractor fined £1.5m for exporting household waste, and not for the first time!
One of the last major decisions made by the Conservative Administration before it was kicked into opposition in the 2019 elections was to change suppliers of the borough’s waste collection system.
Went Veolia, which has its own recycling centre, and a waste collection depot on the A31 between Alton & Winchester.
Came Biffa – which will be transporting general waste to the Slyfield Depot on the Woking Road in Guildford and recycling to Camberley in the Surrey Heath district. Food Waste will be collected separately.
The new service was expected to save ‘Your Waverley,’ £50,000 per year. Has it, we wonder?
Biffa has been fined £1.5m after exporting filthy rubbish marked as waste paper for recycling in India and Indonesia, in actions a judge called…
“reckless, bordering on deliberate”.
The company was convicted last week after a two week trial at Woodford Green Crown Court of sending more than 1,000 tonnes of household waste to India and Indonesia, in breach of a ban on sending such waste to developing countries.
Approximately 50,000 tins, 40,000 plastic bags, 25,000 items of clothing, 3,000 nappies – and even a frying pan, condoms and a souvenir New York T-shirt were among the items packaged as waste paper for export to Asia in Biffa’s recycling facility in Edmonton, north London, between 2018 and 2019.
The seven-figure fine is the second time in two years the company has been fined for exporting household waste to a non-OECD country.
But then £1.5m will put hardly dent in a company with a one billion pound turnover, will it?
A dark cloud hangs over the former Secretts Pick Your Own fields near Godalming.
We received this little message from one of our followers called ‘Chris’ which sounded so, so sad.
Great shame to see Secretts former pick-your-own at Milford gone to rack and ruin – sad rows of shrivelled strawberry plants on what was elevated easy to reach plants – now all dead.
Will the business ever start up again or are there other plans for these fields where clouds loomed this morning… (Saturday 31st July)
We should be mid strawberry picking season in the sunshine. Times have changed.
We are even sorrier to mention Chris – that we believe that the Secretts Pick Your Own will soon be another sacrifice on the developers’ altar – and will be covered in bricks and mortar. No doubt, when it emerges, ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan Part 2 will include this site.
No doubt the boards will soon be announcing builders ‘Boddgit and Run’ are constructing zillions of new “affordable homes” at an estate called… Strawberry Fields!
The Secretts cash registers will then be ringing –
Yes, it is sad – where this country once grew lettuce, strawberries, and plants in dozens of Waverley’s former nurseries and garden centres – we now grow – ‘little boxes, made out of ticky tacky, and they all look just the same.’
No wonder his hair is standing on end being dragged down to Angie’s patch? Or did he drop in on Surrey to trouser another couple of millions from developers to boost Tory’s coffers?
Declarations released by the Electoral Commission show the firms gave £891,984 to Tory central office and eight local associations – a sizeable chunk of the £6,418,295 the party reported receiving in the first three months of 2021.
It comes as the government prepares to launch sweeping changes to the planning system that will remove communities’ right to object to inappropriate individual developments in their area.
The county council elections have given the Tories one hell of a fright – so much so that have dragged the boss man down to smooth the fevered brows of Surrey’s worried wealthy. Brows that are thankfully already pretty smooth with a good dose of Botox?
Surrey County Council was not misled over unitary bid, said Boris Johnson on his recent visit.
However, he’s been buzzing feverishly around the county in an attempt to round up the flock in his best sheepdog mode after they ran amok and changed sides in the May elections. Don’t you worry Angie he cried, we’ll soon whip the little bu**ers back into shape?
The electorate of Surrey sent a strong message to the Tory-controlled county council who had and still are, eager to create a behemoth unitary authority. A bid that would have seen the end to Surrey’s 11 borough and district councils including ‘Your Waverley which is now pitching its lot in with Guildford Borough.
Cllr Oliver says he’s not keen on the idea of creating extra layers of governance, which conflicts with his desire for greater efficiency, and he thinks the powers of a Democratically Elected Mayor could be carried out just as well by a county leader. Well, he wouldn’t he?
“We already have a democratic mandate as county leader,” he said.
So there you have it in Surrey’s Game of Thrones – Tim Oliver the Leader of Surrey County Council wants to be The DEM of Surrey – Simples. However, he must have missed the results of the ~May elections. So perhaps it is down to the Waverley Web to remind him of what the electorate thought of SCC and his empire-building ambitions.
Cllr Oliver says Mr Johnson appears to be amenable to his idea: But what the Prime Minister actually said was:
it is up to Surrey residents to decide the form of local government they want. “It’s different strokes for different folks.
“I don’t want to impose a single cookie cutter type formula on every area, some areas will have different models. But what I do want is strong, active, dynamic local leadership.”
This was echoed by Guildford MP Angela Richardson, who said: “I’ve had lots of conversations with the [local government] secretary of state and he’s very much of the view that it’s got to be driven locally; it’s not a top-down approach, it’s very much what local people want.”
Here she goes again – name dropping again – so if that’s the case, perhaps take note of the local borough and county council election results Angie. Because the voting fodder is beginning to wake up and smell the coffee and say what they want, what they really, really want!
But the SCC leader who spent/wasted £250,000 of our money on his little vanity project is still convinced that what we all want is one, great big Surrey Unitary Authority. Giving local people little or no say, in what goes on. Can you imagine what will occur if Surrey controls all those planning applications in our countryside? God help us all?
“There is no reason why our great counties cannot benefit from the same powers we have devolved to city leaders so that they can take charge of levelling up local infrastructure.
Levelling up Local Infrastructure, he has to be joking?
He is kidding, isn’t he? Is he talking about our roads, awful highway information on the recent badly planned road improvements that bear no resemblance to what and when they actually happen! Or perhaps he is he talking about the Run Common Road between the A281 and the Guildford Road At Grafham near Cranleigh? A bridge that has been shut for two years – due to badgers! Pull the other one please Cllr Oliver. Your residents aren’t mushrooms, growing in the dark, ready to have a barrel load of manure thrown over them.
We could talk about the closure and downgrading of the recycling centres and the children’s centres all over Waverley and Surrey. Perhaps even the schools that haven’t been built, in areas where there is burgeoning development. Or perhaps like the school you wanted to close in Godalming? And the disgraceful waste of public money all £57m plus on Blightwell in Farnham and its 28 un-let shops, an ugly development that is destroying our town. Or perhaps you will cut the roadside verges before the growth meets in the middle?
But we won’t reel off any more, we want to save our breath and use our energies at the ballot box.
He also said:
Surrey County Council is already involved in deciding which NHS services to buy, through the Surrey Heartlands integrated care system.
OMG! The next thing he will be wanting is to run the NHS. After presiding over a county council that is failing in Adult Social Care – and its children’s services. Beam us up, Scottie?
Do developers take one scrap of notice of the conditions imposed on them when granted their planning consents? Are the developers doing what ‘Bob the Builder’ Robert Jenrick wants – “building beautiful?“
Here are some of the beautiful and “affordable” new homes!
and here’s another “beautiful home” a snip at just ‘from £555,000.’
That is the question being asked by the residents of Eashing Lane in Godalming. We have heard similar tales of woe from residents living around other building sites in the Waverley Borough. Some of whom have put their homes up for sale packed up their belongings and left!
“I was woken at 0710 by Cala Homes vehicles being moved around and beeping on the building site today. I’m woken at 0745, most days they are moving machinery around and working well before 0800. It’s bad enough we have to put up with all the noise, the bad language and excessive dust coming over from the site and covering everything during the day, but breaking the rules on the noise when people are sleeping especially night workers is totally unacceptable.”
Nature is going to pay a high price – and so will generations of our residents if the Government’s Environmental Bill gets the go-ahead this Autumn.
As Ancient woodland gets the chop, hedges and trees are gouged out to make yet another entrance to yet another development, the natural world of Waverley is in the gravest danger.
Despite ‘Your Waverley’s’ efforts to Declare A Climate Emergency, it will come to nothing if the legislation presently being scrutinised goes onto the Government’s statute books in its present form.
Our environmental law was supposed to be world-leading. Designed to restore and protect nature and give us a greener, cleaner Waverley.
With much of the borough surrounded by the Surrey Hills and the Special Protection Areas(SPA’s) and Wealden heaths around Farnham protecting nature has already been given a hammer blow. The latest token gesture by the Government could be the death knell. for both people and nature, because one relies upon the other.
At a recent planning meeting, Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman was shouted down, once again, for claiming that yet another planning application for homes in the countryside had not been given an Appropriate Assessment.
It is an argument he has been putting forward for years! The Waverley Web is not a lawyer, neither will we pretend to be experts. However, as we have watched more countryside go under concrete, and watched badgers and other wildlife drown, we are worried – very worried! Every day, social media reveals the damage to our environment because developers who promise much deliver little.
For years we have watched Waverley planners and developers, supported by councillors, pretend that the damage in one area can be fixed by offsetting it elsewhere.
For example – build anywhere and everywhere in and around Farnham and nearby towns and villages, and let developers dump some money into Waverley’s coffers to provide a SANG – Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace in Farnham Park.
Here’s Jerry’s argument made at the Western Planning Meeting when the Red Court, Scotland Lane, Haslemere application was considered recently.
An argument that officers and his councillor colleagues REFUSED to accept as a reason for Refusal. So the planning application was Refused on the flimsiest of flimsy grounds!
The pandemic put fixing the environment on the backburner. But we don’t have time to spare – the UK is already one of Europe’s most nature-depleted countries. Out of 20 internationally agreed biodiversity targets, we’re failing on a staggering 17 of them.
As it stands, the Government’s bill leaves both nature and our borough in grave danger. It doesn’t do justice to the natural world. Or do enough to make a difference to our lives or the lives of future generations.
These government failures are both outrageous and saddening. So what do we do? Shut up and put up. Or fight?
Ya, boo politics is alive and well at ‘Your Waverley.’
Pi**ed off Tories are clamouring to have their say both in the press and on social media about the fracas at Western Planning where a controversial development in Haslemere was given the go-ahead by their colleagues.
Read the WW post here: Build anywhere, or even everywhere, in the borough of Waverley – except in Haslemere?
Leader Paul Follows later congratulated his colleagues for coming to the aid of Haslemere residents by binning a scheme to build 50 homes at Red Court, in Scotland Lane.
You can listen to the whole meeting or start at 26.33 for the Red Court application in the link below.
The decision to save an area of Great Landscape Value and seek sites elsewhere went down like a nasty dose of COVID with the Tories – who argued it was high time that Haslemere residents took their share of the build, build, and build more, brigade. They sited all those other green fields lost in – Farnham, Badshot Lea, Cranleigh, Ewhurst and the village dubbed by councillors as “poor little old Alfold.” A village on the Surrey Sussex border that has provided well over its quota of housing.
The Tories are heartily sick of the Rainbow Coalition hogging social media. Guildford & Villages MP Angela Richardson claimed after the county council election losses that the Tories were losing out in elections due to opposition parties reigning supreme in cyberspace.
The Haslemere fracas was the ideal platform for the Tories to fight back. They now predict an appeal by the developers due to the lack of robust, or any, planning reasons for refusal.
Here’s Alfold’s contribution so far. A village with no school, a village shop, little public transport and eight miles, WW guess, from Milford Station!
A meeting between village leaders a Cranleigh Charity and Waverley Planners will soon take place.
Now the generous folks of the eastern villages who dug deep into their pockets to fund a new replacement hospital find themselves 20 years later with no money left in the kitty, and a green field with no planning consents.
Apologies to the Cranleigh Community Group which we referred to as the Cranleigh Community Board in our early morning posting. That was a previous social media site that died a death and disappeared one night. Mainly due to adverse comments about CVHT.
They no longer need or want a replacement hospital after it became mired in controversy after it morphed into a huge private nursing home. After two decades of – no show – villagers are now urging the health authorities to provide a spanking new Urgent Treatment Centre to service Cranleigh and Villages. The services they need and want to be provided from the old cottage hospital. This much-loved and publicly-funded building in the high street adjacent to the Village Way public car park is now home to a variety of services. These include:
X-Ray – Ultrasounds – Maternity – Physiotherapy – Phlebotomy – Outpatient Clinics and more.
All are attributed to the hard work and dedication of the League of Friends – headed by its stalwart Chairman Dianne Davies known to many as “the Welsh wizard.”
Building on those core services has been an ambition of the League, which includes some Cranleigh GP’s, for many years. A Charity – that has no association with the Cranleigh Village Health Trust.
The League’s bid for an Acute Treatment Centre has the backing of Cranleigh’s leading and well-respected Facebook Cranleigh Community Group headed by Andy Webb, whose mother worked at the hospital in its heyday.
It was the CCB’s tireless efforts in securing both petitions and many hundreds of objection letters that prompted Waverley ~Planners to refuse Cranleigh Village
Hospital now Health Trust’s latest planning application. This was for a private nursing home with community beds and residential accommodation.
However, the public are now fearful of what the charity intends to do with the controversial piece of land it still owns?
Now Mr Webb and his numerous followers need help to secure a long-held dream to take the old hospital into the future with up-to-date services for a growing community. Cranleigh GP’s boast a 17,000 patient list which can only grow like Topsy due to a massive building programme in the area.
He says: WE NEED YOUR HELP
Cranleigh Village Hospital League Of Friends and Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group need your help.
As you may be aware, the Campaign Group was originally set up to campaign for the return of a minor injury clinic in the village hospital.We are now campaigning for an Acute Treatment Centre (ATC) which is one step up from a minor injury clinic.Please could you comment as to why you think this will be beneficial to Cranleigh and your experiences of having to visit Guildford Hospital for something that could of been dealt with in a local Acute Treatment Centre.
We need as much feedback as possible please as this could help with bringing this facility back to Cranleigh.Thank you.
“How can a transparent process start with a meeting in private? Its somewhat like CVHT’s public meetings that we are welcome to attend but are never told where or when they are. Give the distrust of this community it seems like madness. I cannot comprehend it!Perhaps someone can explain to me how a transparent public process starts with a private meeting?”
Some now believe traffic congestion and population growth make the ACT facility a necessity and not a luxury.
This has become an essential part of essential infrastructure now, surely?
An absolute necessity for our village, given the significant increase in the local population irrespective of age etc. It would also be a huge help in relieving pressure from the RSCH in their A and E department.
Sal ParrottWhen husband (80) came back from a Cranleigh supermarket with a nasty ragged cut on his shin, I rang 111, who said a doctor would ring back. 2 hours later I tried Cranleigh Pharmacy, and the lovely pharmacist said he’d be able to deal with it, but wouldn’t be allowed to. So we drove to RSCH A&E. When I apologised to the nurse who sorted out the cut, she said ‘pre-tibial lacerations in older people can lead to problems unless properly treated, so please don’t apologise’. A Cranleigh ATC would have avoided bothering Guildford’s busy Emergency department. This is even more important for people who don’t drive. A kind neighbour would probably give a lift to Cranleigh, but a 3-hour trip to Guildford is above and beyond.
Jan B WilliamsI think this facility is essential to Cranleigh.When we first came to live here the village hospital was a godsend to us,with 3 young boys it was great not to trek to the R/S every time the had an injury.With the growing population now here having to travel with small children to Guildford and the difficult with the parking, having the facility on your doorstep is ideal.
So the controversy continues…?
“Distrust of CVHT is one thing, but distrust of CPC in its current incarnation, I would find difficult to agree with as they are beyond reproach. But taking a step back for a moment – the whole issue with CVHT does cause everyone (including me) to have an emotive response.”
We seldom, if ever, stick our nose into Westminster’s lives, preferring to concentrate on all that is Waverley and Surrey.
However, there are times when it is not only necessary but vital to highlight a principle.
Is it ok to lie to the House of Commons and not be called out by The Speaker?
Or, to call out lies and be told to leave the Chamber?
MP Dawn Butler was sent out of the House of Commons this week for doing just that.
When we were children we were told, every time we tell a lie a fairy dies. Westminster must be littered with dead fairies.
This is the stash of drugs picked up by a one-year-old toddler out for a walk in the park.
Wouldn’t Jack Phillips be turning in his watery grave if he knew that this stash was found next to the kiddies swings – where it could have killed, or seriously injured a child!
Where better to dump your drugs than in the Memorial Garden dedicated to a hero of the Titanic!
Jack Phillips, the wireless operator who died at his post whilst sending SOS signals on that fateful night of 14 April 1912 when The Titanic sank in the fateful collision with an iceberg.
The Jack Phillips Memorial Cloister garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll, with its magnificent brick cloister 80 feet square designed by Hugh Thackeray Turner, was laid out, built and opened exactly two years to the day after the sinking of the Titanic. The memorial is situated between the River Wey and Godalming Parish Church in the Phillips Memorial Park.
During one of the most ill-tempered planning meetings, the Waverley Web has ever witnessed, it became apparent that Haslemere is not only full of NIMBY’s (Not in my backyard) but BANANA’S. (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone – in Haslemere!) Ok, ok we used a bit of poetic licence! But you get the gist.
Tempers rose higher than the stifling temperature inside Waverley Towers last night as councillors grappled with a controversial scheme proposed by Winchester based developer – Alfred Homes. It wants to build 50 two/three and four-bed homes at Red Court in Scotland Lane, 15 of which are “affordable.”
Here’s our post yesterday: Will a controversial 50-home development in Haslemere get the green light tonight?
Did the Western Planning Committee give the scheme the green light?
A big Fat NO, despite being unable to come up with any plausible PLANNING reasons. They left it to the council’s officers to figure it out for themselves having. REFUSED the scheme by 5 votes to seven with two abstentions.
Despite giving colleagues a piece of her mind about the borough’s duty, and the duty of individual towns and villages to identify sites for development, Farnham’s Cllr Carole Cockburn may just as well have saved her valuable breath.
Parts of Farnham’s countryside are being developed faster than you can say the word concrete. The same applied to Cranleigh, Godalming, Farnham and small villages like Alfold cried the experienced councillor recently awarded a BEM for masterminding Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan.
“We are here to make decisions for the whole borough of Waverley all 130 thousand people -not just one part of it. Everyone has to take their fair share of development and with 990 homes earmarked for Haslemere, it hasn’t got anywhere near meeting its allocation. What about the 2,000 in the countryside in Cranleigh 400 in the countryside in the village of Alfold and as for Dunsfold and Farnham, thousands more!
We, and they, didn’t want to lose our green fields either, but our Neighbourhood plan earmarked sites, unlike Haslemere! We might as well say – goodbye to Weybourne and Badshot Lea!”
Earlier the Agent acting for the developer said Haslemere’s had so far met only just over 200 of its allocation of 990 homes.
Alfold with only just over 400 households is already providing twice as many as Haslemere and three appeals in the pipeline for many hundreds more! But then their little voice is not quite as loud as those in Haslemere!
Some councillors said they didn’t want to be pilloried for granting permission for development adjacent to homes already built in AGLV (Area of Great ~Landscape Value.)
Blame the Conservative Government – they cried. They want to bury the South East of England under homes we don’t want or need. Write to your MP’s they cried.
Cllr Simon Dear rubbished the validity of the deluge of objection letters to a low-density scheme adjacent to nearby homes, with decent gardens and outside space that was near the town centre of Haslemere and only 20 mins from the railway station.
He said they came from addresses from as far afield as Pontypool to Petworth, Glasgow to Bournemouth, Birmingham and Bognor. He called it a contrived opposition operation in deceit and exaggeration.
Chairman David Beaman said residents had made accusations that a decision to GRANT was a ‘done deal.’
Oh, dear! There’s nothing like an Englishman’s defence of his castle – especially if you live in Scotland Lane and Scotland Close, Haslemere.
Public speakers and Haslemere councillors claimed there we other more suitable sites on which to build.
Chief planning Officer Zac Ellwood said whilst every effort was made to represent public opinion, he warned, that councillors were there to determine this particular application, not listen to arguments put forward for alternative sites.
It was the opinion of planning officers that the harm was outweighed by the benefits. The scheme was sustainable, met all planning policies in the NPPF including the most recent additions received today. He reiterated officers concerns over Waverley’s lack of a five-year housing land supply. (It stands currently at 4.26) The argument of the lack of water supply could not be challenged as Thames Water had raised no objection. No objection from Natural England or Surrey Highways.
However, Waverley Mayor and Haslemere town councillor John Robini told his colleagues:
“You shouldn’t be afraid of appeals – we don’t want expensive housing for commuters. We have to hang on to our precious and dwindling number of greenfield sites.”
Presumably, he meant as long as they are in Haslemere? Bugger the rest of the borough!
Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman made the argument for refusing the application on the grounds of the lack of an Appropriate Assessment and the effects of the Special Protection Area on the Wealden Heath 5m from the site. He said the officers did not have an AA? – They said they did! He said they didn’t, they said they did! At which point we are not sure who had the hot flush. Cllr Carole or Officer Zac? Suffice to say – all were the colour purple!
Farnham Residents’ Cllr Kika Mirylees clip.
The WW has to admit to losing the will to live while councillors wrangled over trying to find enough reason for the officers to have any defence whatsoever, for, not IF, but WHEN, the application goes to appeal.
Said poor old Zac.
“To be blunt – you must provide us with your reasons for refusal – we are working blind here. Just give us your clear reasons.”
At which point – we left the webcast and let them all fight out between themselves to come up with some VALID planning reasons that they simply couldn’t find.
Comment on the decision from Waverley’s Leader Paul Follows.
Cllr. Paul David Follows
And there we were here at the Waverley Web actually believing that Planning came before Politics?
Can you Adam and Eve it – the Alfold and Dunsfold councillor who opposed a new Garden Village at Dunsfold Aerodrome has now scuppered Waverley’s bid to stay shtum on buying the 600-acre site.
Kevin De anus just couldn’t contain himself when he rocked up at a recent Alfold Parish Council meeting. He let the cat straight out of the bag, blabbing to parish councillors that he didn’t agree with Waverley spending taxpayers’ money on buying Dunsfold Aerodrome!
Of course, he probably felt entirely comfortable alluding to the fact that behind closed doors – quite sensibly on this occasion for “commercially sensitive reasons” – the borough council wanted to keep its powder dry.
With only a couple of members of the public present, one of whom the Waverley Web understands was snoozing – just going to prove the not so old adage, You snooze, you lose! – and the other a parish councillor’s husband – a man who never dares utters a word – Alfold PC is as close as you can get to the KGB outside of The Kremlin!
Alfold Parish Council, on the Surrey/Sussex border, has demonstrated repeatedly over the years, that it can do whatever it likes, without any complaint from the public. Why? You may well ask! Because nobody attends the Alfold parish council meetings: meeting dates aren’t advertised on the Alfold Village Network, the font of all knowledge about Alfold. Neither have the meeting Minutes appeared since October 2020! Presumably, the Clerk can’t be arsed to inform the public … Or maybe Alfold parishioners simply don’t care what goes on in their locale. But, as far as Alfold Parish Council is concerned, they stand by that old Navy adage of Mind over Matter: We [the Parish Council] don’t mind and they [the residents] don’t matter!
Perhaps all the newcomers flooding into Alfold’s ever-expanding new developments will pick Alfold PC up by its fraying bootlaces and shake it until it rattles? Even the football club has been taken on by players from as far afield as Crawley Town? What’s local about that and, more pertinently – how the hell did that happen?
It appears to some who have contacted us, that Alfold Parish Council has gone to pot under the ‘leadership’ – we use the word advisedly, you understand – of Penny Main since the former chairman left. Talk about grabbing the Main Chance!
We understand from a villager, who heard it on the grapevine, that Cllr Deanus’s little indiscretion met with stony silence. Except for Cllr ‘Little Britain’ who bemoaned all the noise emanating from the aerodrome. No doubt little Britain would love for Waverley Borough Council to OWN the Aerodrome. Then he could leverage his influence to show them what’s what!
Come back Beverley ‘Crystal Tipps’ Wedall all is forgiven! After all, it can’t be nearly as much fun running Guildford MP Angela Richardson’s office as it was laundering all that ‘Protect Our Waverley’ money to stop the development at Dunsfold? A bid that delayed development there for three years, peed off Trinity College Cambridge – and heavily influenced the College’s decision to do a heavy-duty doo-doo all over ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan!
If Dunsfold Garden Village had got out of the starting blocks three years ago – before the advent of Covid and the New Bursar, Richard Turncoat – Alfold wouldn’t now be on schedule to quadruple in size! And who does it have to thank for that? None other than Councillor Little Britten & his cohort Bob Liars – who’s he? You might well ask as defeated, he disappeared back into the obscurity he came from! Wonder if POW ever paid Waverley’s costs? Thereby hangs another tale?
Meanwhile, back to ‘Your Waverley,’ which is keeping its bid quiet in the hope, it may become a ‘preferred bidder’ when Trinity College Cambridge finally gets down to spinning the roulette wheel. Where will the red ball drop this time we wonder? Who will be the new purchaser? The Chinese – in which case, hold onto your hats, because they’ll have built London’s third runway there before even thinking about asking for permission! … Or Lakshi Mittal, who might turn it into Britain’s new steel-making plant, cos there’s no denying there’s a real shortage of steel at the moment! … Or will it be George Lucas and Tom Cruise, hell-bent on filming blockbusters there? In which case, we all need to reach for our hardhats and ear muffs if the Mission Impossible franchise is anything to go by!
Never mind that Waverley desperately needs the promised housing at the Aerodrome to help it meet its five-year land supply – which now stands at a miserable 4.26 years. With Thakeham Homes now launching its appeal against the refusal to build homes on the Springbok Estate land owned by Care Ashore, what we predicted all those months ago, could be about to come true …
With the site only a hop skip and a jump away from the airfield – and the proposed new Wings Museum – we could end up with a new garden village called…
Surrey MPs in a bid to protect their backsides have told Housing Secretary the county’s housing figures are too high.
Surrey’s MPs met recently with the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick and say they have made it “abundantly clear” that the housing figures for Surrey should be reduced. They claim there is…
“a grave danger that bad decisions will be made on the basis of bad data.”
However, it is widely known that Surrey MP’s are acutely aware that their strong Tory base is shrinking. This was emphasised by the county council election resuts in May. This combined with previous borough council elections when former Tory-controlled councils lost control. The change of allegiance of disenchanted voters has been marked in Waverley and neighbouring boroughs. The proposed changes in the Government’s White paper, which reduces the strength of the local voice still further, whilst forcing yet more housing (little of which is actually “affordable”) into Green Belt and the countryside is proving increasingly unpopular.
With shrinking majorities and with the Liberal Democrats snapping at their heels Waverley MP’s SW Surrey, Jeremy Hunt and Guildford & Villages, Angela Richardson, are worried, very worried.
Publicly, Guildford and villages MP Angela Richardson says she doesn’t believe the Conservatives will lose their grip of the ‘safe seats’ in Surrey. Despite the shock by-election win for the Lib Dems in Buckinghamshire, where she canvassed last month. However, privately she knows her future political fortunes rely on her constituents willingness to accept wholesale development on her patch. There is widespread unease about the number of appeals stacking up on her patch.
The Conservatives’ planning policy reform proposals were cited as a key reason for the result in Chesham and Amersham on June 18 and with development constantly top of the agenda here too, some insist a similar upheaval could be seen the next time Surrey residents vote.
In Guildford, Lib Dem candidate Zoe Franklin was more than 17,000 votes behind former Conservative MP Anne Milton six years ago. But this margin was slashed to a mere 3,337 two years later when Mrs Richardson triumphed, a trend replicated across various Surrey constituencies.
Mrs Richardson believes the defeat in the traditionally Conservative Buckinghamshire seat will make her party’s top officials listen more closely to the views of MPs on the ground within the home counties. Privately, she is known to have said she is concerned that if housing quotas earmarked for her constituency are realised, she will be in very big trouble. She says, neither infrastructure nor services ar keeping up with the present growth – let alone a further increase. Post pandemic traffic congestion is rising as more people return to work.
However, Mrs Richardson said:
“I am not worried. The by-election result means the party will be listening even more intently to what people like me are saying in places like this, and there is plenty of opportunity for me to make the case to ministers.
“However, the one thing I would do is push back hard against the Lib Dems as in councils across the UK they run, numbers of new houses often exceed the figure required to be built.“They need to be careful not to say one thing to the electorate and do another. They need to be consistent. Everyone accepts we need housing that is affordable in places that are growing.
“If Guildford is dynamic, thriving and has the inward investment, it will create jobs and opportunities and we need to ensure we have houses for those people coming.”
Development is a contentious topic in Cranleigh which falls under Mrs Richardson’s wing. Many residents fume that they are unfairly taking the lion’s share of housing compared to Godalming, Farnham and Haslemere. But Cranleigh and the eastern villages have been earmarked by Surrey County Council as a growth area. They recently kicked out Tory Andrew Povey and replaced him with Lib Dem Liz Townsend. Pictured here yesterday with Waverley’s Leader Paul Follows visiting Cranleigh.
However, the New-Zealand born politician who lives in Ewhurst is adamant that as a former Cranleigh parish councillor, she speaks up for their best interests at every opportunity.
She added: “It is simply because they are in the countryside beyond the green belt and haven’t had the protection so, within the Waverley Local Plan, the village was made to absorb housing that was not able to go into large areas of Waverley.
“Cranleigh has taken a big number of development sites but we are not seeing the infrastructure come along with it. That frustrates my constituents the most.
“Dunsfold is in my patch and was meant to be coming through but now it has been delayed, the concern is Waverley will not have the housing numbers to meet the targets set on them by the government.
“Then, the council will be penalised and have to find an additional 20 per cent. The worry is they will come and have a look for space in Cranleigh again, as the other sites are green belt protected.”
So what can be done to protect Cranleigh now? Mrs Richardson insists Waverley should be looking at its own brownfield assets for building such as car parks and offices, especially to replenish social housing stock.
Two of Angela Richardson’s fellow Waverley MP Jeremy Hunt opposed development on the largest brownfield site in the borough of Waverley at Dunsfold. Together with MP Anne Milton they had it called into the Secretary of State – delaying the development for years. It is now up for sale.
It’s hot, it’s holiday time and it’s Surrey Highway’s favourite time of year.
Communication from Surrey County Council regarding the closure of the B2128 between Wonersh and Shamley Green next week and the impact upon bus services and routes.
The latest to fall victim as a result of the dreaded ping on the COVID-App is Godalming Leisure Centre. Godalming Leisure lifeguards are all isolating.
Earlier in the week we posted this: Will Waverley residents follow Follows and keep Waverley at the bottom of Surrey’s COVID list?
But in the days since so many shops and businesses have been forced to close, there are now too many to mention, and the situation is changing as we type! We apologise most sincerely to Godalming’s Naval Club for mentioning that it was closed. It isn’t and has full safety measures in place to ensure its customers remain safe.
However, with rising infection rates, we are hesitant to put up a figure as earlier this week it was rising by 30% in Waverley, higher still in other areas and particularly high in Woking.
Here’s another typical message popping up faster than daisies in our towns and villages across Waverley.
So that’s OK then? Waverley Planners are satisfied that the benefits of Harry Hall’s application to cover 90 acres in big white plastic polytunnels outweigh the detrimental impact on residents, heritage buildings, and the road network near Milford. So up goes the green light for an industrial-size fruit factory.
Fruit farming has been going on here for the past 20 years!
WA/2020/2055: Retention of 20 hectares of polytunnels throughout the year (5.6 hectares heated by heat pumps drawing heat from the on-site reservoir, 14.4 hectares without heating), (located in particular fields identified as acceptable) on Tuesley Farm, Tuesley Lane, Godalming. 40 further hectares of polytunnels to be on-site (in fields identified as acceptable for polytunnels) from 1st April until 31st October; with the retention of hoops on the further 40 hectares of polytunnels (removing the plastic covers only between 1st November and 1st April).
Owner Harry Hall gave an upbeat take on his fruit farming operations which provided 2% and 3 million tonnes of the country’s blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Employing 130 Full Time staff and 500 seasonal workers. Consent would increase the growing season and boost production by 15%. Local fruit would reduce the carbon footprint of fruit from overseas.
Councillor Richard Seaborne, whose history reveals loves to build on the Green Belt (unless it is to change the use of a hotel garden and tennis court, into a residential garden tennis court) asked for the application to be considered by the Eastern Area Planning Committee. The application was deferred in April which resulted in Natural England changing its original objection to support!
It also allowed the Secretary of State to give his seal of approval to the massive proliferation of polytunnels across the Green Belt. Saying the scheme didn’t need an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Does Robert”Bob The Builder’ Jenrick really want The Tories kicked out at the next general election?
Though we have to mention that Cranleigh’s Lib Dem councillor Ruth Reed waxed lyrical about the benefits of…
Blueberries on my breakfast cereal and strawberries at Wimbledon!
Looking anything but merry, Mr Merriweather painted a gloomy picture on behalf of local residents adamantly opposed to living in a world of 90 acres of ugly white plastic and HGV’s from 5 am in the morning until 11 pm thundering through country roads like Station Lane Milford! But his appeals to stop the expansion from a large to an industrial-sized fruit farming operation fell on some very deaf ears. Councillors listened – but they either didn’t hear or ignored his pleas.
Because the application was approved by 11 votes to two with one abstention.
However, the lone voice of a brave Waverley Tree officer had described the proposed operation to supply 2% of the country’s fruit from an ocean of polytunnels as…
A blot on Waverley’s landscape.”
But everyone was assured that Surrey County Council Highways was happy there would be no increase in HGV traffic due to the expansion. So everyone slumped back in their seats in the certain knowledge that everyone can always rely on SCC highways to get it right?
However, that didn’t satisfy Alfold’s former Bobby Cllr Kevin Deanus. A man who knows a thing or two about traffic.
He said the report before them stated…
“HGV’s are delivering to the site – carefully,” to a background of laughter -he said – if I ever see one that is careful – I will let everyone know.”
He didn’t believe enough weight had been given to the impact on the heritage properties around the site. It would spoil the setting of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and he didn’t have confidence in experts who always contradicted each other. He believed lorry movements should be restricted, and should not move during school arrival and leaving times. Such restrictions were made at Dunsfold Park on lorry movements, so should be imposed here.
Like Cllr Deanus, the WW has often wondered what this well-rehearsed officers’ statement means:
“The development will cause less than substantial harm!”
Statements made in the officers report that Station Lane would be improved with wider pavements as a result of the Milford Golf Course development visibly upset Cllr Maxine Gail.
“There may be an economic benefit for Waverley, but none for the local residents!”
She reminded officers that the golf course development may not go ahead – and was covered by a restrictive covenant.
The application proposes to retain 20ha of polytunnels throughout the year, 5.6ha of which would be heated by pumps drawing heat from the on-site reservoir and 14.4ha unheated. The polytunnels to be heated would be those closest to the on-site reservoir. These fields are those that have been identified as acceptable for year-round coverage.
Permission is also sought for a further 40ha of polytunnels across the site in fields identified as being acceptable. These would be erected on-site between 1st April and 31st October. The plastic sheeting of the polytunnels would be removed between 1st November and 31st March each year, with the legs and hoops remaining.
The application is supported by a Transport Statement by Bellamy Roberts LLP which sets out that the proposal would not result in an increase in vehicular movements during peak times. The proposal would increase the picking season by approximately 2 months but would not impact upon yield at peak times. No material impact on road safety is considered to result.