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Are Dumb & Dumber running Surrey County Council?

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If you really have to shop in Guildford – may be, you should think again?  WW is wondering if trialling a new one-way system blocking off Walnut Tree Close is good timing for the town’s 2020 Christmas Trade? And, have you seen the new parking charges!? 

Because this is what Guildford Borough Council is going to trial until February. Or – maybe for good?

There are fears it won’t be a trial – it will stay. If you cannot quite place Walnut Tree Close it is the road that goes past Guildford Station and cuts through to the Guildford Dual carriageway at Woodbridge Meadows. 

Mr Terry Habgood among many who is strongly against it, says it’s been fine for many many years as a two-way road, why mess with it? They must have money to burn, he says.

One-way trial – December 2020

We will be implementing a trial one-way system on the northern section of Walnut Tree Close between 29 November and 17 February 2021. During the two-and-a-half-month trial, vehicular traffic will only be allowed to travel in the northbound direction. The effect of the trial on surrounding roads will be monitored and a decision on a permanent solution will be made after the trial period.

Diversion route:

A signed diversion will be in place throughout the one-way trial period. The diversion route is as follows:

  • Woodbridge Meadows, Guildford (northbound)
  • A25 Woodbridge Road, Guildford (eastbound)
  • A25 Woodbridge Road, Guildford (southbound)
  • Onslow Street, Guildford
  • Walnut Tree Close, Guildford (northbound)

WHY you may ask?

Why are we doing this trial?

The trial is in response to a petition in 2016 by residents of Walnut Tree Close to Guildford Borough Council requesting the closure of the road to separate the commercial and residential ends of the road and prevent traffic using the road as a through route. The volumes of passing through traffic have increased significantly since then. Vehicles are currently using Walnut Tree Close as a through-road between the A25 and the gyratory, causing large amounts of congestion. We are aiming to make the road quieter and safer by putting this traffic restriction in place.

Where will the one-way trial be located?

The one-way system will be in place between Kernal Court and just south of the Royal Mail Delivery Office and Mail Centre on Walnut Tree Close.

Motorists will be able to travel both southbound and northbound on Walnut Tree Close up until Kernal Court, at which point the road will become one-way in the northbound direction. From Kernal Court, motorists can travel southbound to the station, however between the Royal Mail Delivery Office and Mail Centre and Kernal Court the road will be one-way only in the northbound direction. Motorists will not be able to travel southbound in this section of the road, so they will need to take the signed diversion route through Woodbridge Road to gain access to the train station.

What are the benefits of the trial?

  • To reduce the number of vehicles passing through along Walnut Tree Close as a shortcut route into Guildford town centre and vice-versa
  • To improve road safety for all users and reduce the risk of collisions

Car Parking charges the Guildford way.

 

When you are in a hole in Alfold – developer keeps digging!

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As developers fall over one another in a pincer movement to turn little old Alfold into a new town “Your Waverley ‘ finally – issues a STOP NOTICE on the works at the Wildwood Golf Club.

Despite the parish, borough, county councils and the MP being bombarded with complaints from villagers – including Alfold’s very own Mole,  the new owners of the club on the A281 at Alfold Crossways – just ‘Carry On Regardless!’

Despite a  Temporary Stop Notice being issued by Waverley Enforcement Last Wednesday –  the Diggers are still on-site and merrily Dig – dig – digging away.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR ALFOLD?

At first, villagers were ecstatic because they believed they were going to get the Professional Golf Association (PGA) HQ, a 27-hole golf course, a hotel with a spar for the locals and 39 golf lodges as part of a planning consent given ten years ago. Now they are not quite so sure? As the land being cleared – has nothing to do with the extant permission for the golf development it is closer to THE NUTSHELL – a site which is now either owned or on which the developers have an option,  for yes – you guessed folks – MORE HOUSING

Now the new owner’s flash Jag has swung into Alfold with some big VERY BIG plans. – Sedat Peker is a very interesting individual. Full of Eastern promise as part of Peker Holdings Ltd. based in Cobham – and recently quoted as saying: Do read his Wikipedia profile, we have provided a link.


 

       AH! HA! So there we have it, folks! This is all about A NEW SELF-SUSTAINING NEW SETTLEMENT – IS IT?

Or as an Alfold Mole would say:

“A 9 Hole Golf course!!! Looks like the Nutshell are in on this and will sell their Brownfield land for housing along with the 9 hole/Car parks etc and we will have an application for hundreds of new Homes. They can then carve up the rest of the Farmland for sale and we will have lost this wonderful asset – one of the few we had in this village.”

This Wikipedia profile makes very interesting reading. If any of our followers have ever wondered why the Waverley Web remains anonymous – then here’s your answer!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedat_Peker

Interesting! Very interesting!

But no worries.  According to Turkish businesswoman Mrs Aysegul Peker, there will be plenty of goodies for the locals in the NEW BIG WILDWOOD URBAN SETTLEMENT bag. Because she intends to donate some of the 230 acres back to the community, so will consult residents to find out what they would like to see that land used for.

A spokesman for Mrs Peker said: “She wants to give back some of the lands for a school, community centre, playground or something that the residents here currently need.

Now! Where have the locals in Alfold heard that one before?

“Whether that be 10, 20 or 30 acres. Whatever the residents want she will try to deliver,” she says.

Groundwork construction on the hotel has already begun on the site.

Surrey County Council was due to issue a Temporary Closure notice on the Footpath to yesterday THURSDAY. However, walkers tell us it is not yet in force. Once granted the well-trodden path by villagers will be across  Pickenswood Copse a site covered by restrictions as an (ASNW and Tree Preservation Order site)

 

Cranleigh charity’s request for ‘private meeting’ UNANIMOUSLY REFUSED.

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The Paddock field in Knowle Lane. The site which is currently proposed for a care home in the latest planning application

 

Village leaders considered this request from the Cranleigh Village Health Trust. The charity that is seeking planning consent to build a 64-bed care home an accommodation block and 16 community beds now wants to meet the parish council in private… again.

Here they go again… we hear the CVHT trumpets blow again…?

Here’s what it said on last week’s  Cranleigh Parish Council Agenda. The meeting was held on Zoom to enable the public to take part.

CRANLEIGH VILLAGE HEALTH TRUST (CVHT) CVHT Response to letter exchange (This item may be held in private and confidential session – reason: commercial in confidence) Recommendation: •

‘To consider the request from CVHT for a private meeting of two CVHT representatives with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council, and the Clerk, to discuss an outcome for the Paddock Field which is beneficial for the community and satisfies CVHT’s obligations as a charity, in line with the covenants placed on the land. There may be information that is commercially sensitive.’

Another chapter is about to open in a burgeoning book of a 20-year saga that has dogged – what has been dubbed by some as ‘the largest village in England”  

The Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s request was given short shrift by councillors who were united in their opposition to holding ANY further meetings in private with a developer seeking to build a commercial private care home for HC-One one of the nation’s largest care providers. 

Though it is now debatable whether HC-One is the operator?  The Chairman of the Trust, Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett has confirmed publicly that the planning application in the name of HC-ONE and CVHT that has been with Waverley Planners for many months, has no signed-up operator! Saying an operator will be named once planning permission is granted.

Now that the Trust has effectively become – Billy No Mates – it wants a secret meeting with a handful of councillors to unveil its latest cunning plan. A plan for a site it owns – has the value of a playing field, land swapped 15 years ago sold by the parish council of-the-day for £ 1– in return for a piece of agricultural land for a playing field.

See the link here – ` It&#8217It’s official. The Cranleigh Village Health Trust has NO partner for its bid to build a new Private Care Home.

And here`; So what​ the​ hell is​ going on – with Cranleigh’s private​ nursing home and HC-ONE?

And here: Health Honchos pull the plug on a 20-year-old scheme to return Cranleigh’s Community Beds.

The first, and only, member of the public to speak was the man who heads the campaign group to stop the development going ahead.

Andy Webb – as we repeatedly say – who has no connection with the Waverley Web, asked if he could represent the Campaign Group on behalf of its supporters at any meeting to be held. He said as the Trust had received considerable amounts of public money.  ( believed to be circa £1.7m plus) – the public should be included in any debate. He said he couldn’t get any response to his requests from the Trust for a meeting, but firmly believed the public must be allowed to hear whatever its representatives had to say?

“We have an absolute right to know what is being said – it is our money they are spending!

Chairman Liz Townsend said the council would go into the council meeting and consider the request and the decision lay with her members.

First off the grid was Cllr Richard Cole who said he recalled the previous private meeting with the Trust was to listen but not comment. Cllr Townsend reminded everyone that the well-minuted private meeting was to hear nothing other than any ‘community benefits’ put forward by the Trust. 

“We made it very clear to them it would not be about process.”

Cllr Cole, who is also Chairman of a Waverley Planning Committee, said any meeting should not be discussing the planning application – an application that…

“it appeared wouldn’t  be coming to the borough council – any time soon.”

” You can offer them another meeting – but this time “I want to be there,” said a feisty Cllr Rowena Tyler – and I want that minuted!”

Cllr Jeacock said he wasn’t happy about holding any private meetings in the first place  – “I don’t like it.”

Neither did Cllr James Betts –

“I will strongly object and I want that minuted. I don’t agree with the Trust keep asking for private meetings with two representatives,  they should speak to the parish council, and anyone else who is interested as an elected group – and the meeting should be held in public.”

Cllr Nigel Sanctuary echoed his sentiments. “this is a community issue – and there a lot of emotions around this. Public emotions are running so high, that we should reject any request by the Trust to meet a few of us in private.” He said the council should reject any more private meetings and should have some clear objectives about what it wished for an outcome.

Cllr George Worthington:  “We said three months ago the last meeting was a “one-off” to hold another would not be sending the right message. We need to have everyone on the parish council – and the public involved.”

Both Cllr Hannah Nicholson and David Nicholas agreed. A conciliatory voice from Cllr Nicholas said the last meeting in private should be the final meeting.

We are a civilised lot here – an open meeting can be well-chaired, and well-managed and we will listen to the Trust.  There could be an opportunity here for something sensible to come out of it. However, we have to make it clear to the Trust, that if there are confidential commercial matters – they should give us that information in a report. We could at least offer them that.”

It was UNANIMOUSLY agreed that the council would write to the CVHT stressing that it agreed it would hold a parish council meeting to be held in public – which was not the same as a PUBLIC MEETING.

 

Could ‘Your Waverley’ be entering the Supermarket sweep?

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‘Your Waverley’s’ EXTRAORDINARY EXECUTIVE went behind closed doors this week to decide whether to invest up to £10m in an out of town supermarket.

The controversial investment opposed by some in the Tory Opposition – has been prompted by the catastrophic effects of COVID-19, combined with year-on-year Tory Government cuts. In common with other cash-strapped local authorities, ‘Your Waverley’ is struggling to keep its head above water and protect services.

Council Leader John Ward apologised profusely to the public for excluding them from part of the debate made necessary by both the seller and tenant of the property in question. Both of whom had demanded absolute CONFIDENTIALITY. However, he would allow any comments or questions from any councillors to be heard in public.

Title: Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services.

Portfolio holder for Finance Mark Merryweather said the administration was doing everything in its power to keep Waverley sound and protect services against a background of continuing “maligned threats” from the Government.  95% of Waverley’s business rates were now syphoned off by the Government and Surrey County Council. This combined with the financial menace of the coronavirus was robbing councils of their ability to cope.

The investment for discussion and hopefully approval could bring the council closer to its strategic objective of investing in its own, or others property, thereby improving its finances. After expert advice from officers and independent financial experts, and in line with its property investment objectives, he saw no reasonable grounds to object to the investment.

  • A Business Plan and Due Diligence was included in an Exempt Annex.

First off the grid was Cllr Steve Cosser who wanted his objections heard by the public, sacrificing his ability to speak in the EXEMPT session in the process. This was pre-ceded by a brief skirmish during which Cllr Ward told his colleagues they could either speak in open or exempt but not in both.

Cllr Cosser outlined his numerous concerns. He was surprised the Executive had considered spending £7m + £400,000 in fees to acquire a supermarket out of town? Even more, so that it came from internal borrowing. How could a council that was pleading poverty consider finding such a large sum of money – and how much more was buried in its accounts?

He argued the money could have been better spent on the investment in a new leisure centre, or perhaps a Community Hub for Cranleigh believing the residents of both Waverley and Cranleigh would think so too! **

He claimed the proposal was an abandonment of the council’s strategy to only invest in an “area of economic influence,”

However, this is the area of economic influence he referred too.

Dunsfold Cllr John Gray said the move shouldn’t be made unless it was a triple-A investment.

“This is more like the Icelandic Bank tale of the past” and claimed the investment finance would come from Waverley’s depleting coffers.

Cllr Peter Martin described the new Administration’s strategy as “risky.”He couldn’t understand why it was moving to investments outside the borough. But, was told suitable investments “did not grow on trees.”

** Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend exploded the myth that money used for investments could be used to provide “other services.”

 Does the Waverley Web presume this was a veiled reference to the previous remarks on – Cranleigh Leisure Centre?

She said, there was a BIG difference between the council’s use of Capital Funds or borrowing money today for the cost of providing ongoing services. 

It was left to Godalming’s Cllr Paul Follows to spell out a few home truths to the faint-hearted Tories.

“Let’s remember why we are here? Because of the escalation via COVID on the structural financial issues impacting on local government; that exist solely because of central Government policy towards local government.”

He reminded the opposing voices that a vacancy existed on the Property Advisory Board. A Board on which Cllr Peter Martin sat until he resigned to take over chairman of an O & S committee. A seat that has remained vacant, ever since, despite repeated requests made to the opposition,  because nobody wanted to fill it! 

“So perhaps rather than appear here, without any evidence to back it up or give any actual examples of the many other places we could have invested in the borough, perhaps I could suggest that they join the Board and bring all these opportunities, they say exist in Waverley for its consideration?

He said he couldn’t help wondering if so many opportunities for direct investment within Waverley existed WHY investment opportunities already taken up in the past by other councils including neighbouring Rushmoor Borough Council and a council in The Wirral – hadn’t been taken up by the previous administration?

“Perhaps this has shown that the previous administration had been asleep at the tiller with its acquisitions over the past decade?”

After almost an hours debate behind closed doors. The Executive agreed the following.

Recommendation The PIAB recommend the Executive approve the purchase of the property identified in Exempt Annexe 1 within its delegation limit of £10 million subject to: 2.1 A bid of up to £6,955, 000 to acquire the freehold, subject to satisfactory completion of the further evaluation work and due diligence referred to in this report. 2.2 To delegate to the Strategic Director (Sec 151) and the Chief Executive, and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services: i) The undertaking and signing off of the evaluation work and due diligence required as referred to in recommendation 2.1; ii) The decision not to submit a bid or to withdraw a bid if already submitted, in the event that the evaluation work and/or due diligence is not satisfactory; iii) The decision to accept a lower financial return (after internal borrowing costs) than required in Waverley’s investment criteria, if justified after evaluating the wider strategic and long term benefits of acquiring this site; iv) To finance the acquisition as set out in this report; v) To delegate the completion of legal matters and signing of appropriate contracts to the Strategic Director (Sec 151) and the Chief Executive, and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services.

The Full report and details of the investment are included in the link below.

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/g3730/Public%20reports%20pack%2020th-Nov-2020%2016.00%20Executive.pdf?T=10

 

 

 

 

 

https://youtu.be/GE3hoJ0UXco

Motorists fuming trying to get to Godawfulming.

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It’s enough to drive you round the bend – and certainly around in circles.

 One very helpful sign Lying on the grass?

Visitors to Godalming recently have been left bewildered and confused by diversion signs that direct them “around” the gas works in Brighton Road which began two weeks ago. Chaos rules.

Here is a little travel log from one of our followers … Chris from Cranleigh outlining her tortuous journey from Cranleigh to Milford where she had planned to have a potter around Squires Garden Centre. 

“Not strictly essential shopping I confess but frankly, I’m really bored.”

I got to Nanhust Crossroads and saw a sign on the Dunsfold Road corner saying Brighton Road, Godalming was closed, please follow the diversions.

The only diversion sign I could see was pointing towards Guildford along the A281. “That can’t be right,” I thought,” it’s totally the wrong way.  And as it happens I know that Tilthams Corner Road is closed due to bridge works – it has been closed for months and months which is the only way I can think they might be directing me. So I conclude that someone must have mischievously put the sign in the wrong place.

WW understands that the reasons all the bridge closures – Albury, Run Common, Cranleigh and Tilthams Corner- are due to Badgers! Pull the other one Surrey highways, it has bells on?

“So I head off along the Dunsfold Road, expecting to see a diversion sign somewhere. Sure enough, I notice a couple telling me again that the road is closed ahead “please follow the diversion.”

 Expecting to see a diversion directional sign – somewhere. I plough on and on and six odd miles later I’m approaching Godalming, still expecting to see a diversion sign.

I get as far as Home Farm Road junction and lying on the ground (really useful) is a sign telling me that I can’t go down Home Farm Road.  “Not suitable for Brighton Road diverted traffic please follow signed diversion route.”

OK, so where is that exactly? I go a bit further on and come to a “Road Closed” sign across the top of Brighton Road at the junction with The Drive. Damn. So what happens now?  Do I go down The Drive? It looks very narrow with cars parked all along it?

I turn my head to the right and lo and behold there is the diversion sign directing me back the way I have come – all the way back to the A281. No mischievous sign fiddler. They really wanted me to go all the way towards Guildford and Shalford!

Needless to say, along with everyone else, I ignore it. A few other confused drivers do U-turns. I want to go to Milford for heaven’s sake not back to Cranleigh crossroads and all-around Shalford!

Sat Nav advises me to turn around and go down Home Farm Road, on to Quartermile Road and down Shackstead Lane which takes me past Inn on the Lake and out to Milford.

Heading back from Squires into Godalming town and along Flambards way – there are no diversion signs at all until you get to Brighton Road junction itself.   Oh well, I had better do the right thing this time and head on down to the A281 then, after all, that’s not a busy road is it!!? Never mind there are only another four and a half weeks of it! And, who wants to go shopping anyway?

Roll up, roll up for the Big Surrey Giveaway.

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Come on Waverley residents lets all join The great Surrey £100 million giveaway, or should it be called bribe?

Perfect timing – in the run-up to the Surrey County Council elections next May – all of a sudden the cash-strapped council has decided to give away £100million to enhance the county’s communities. The same council that slashed its youth centre provision last year now wants to help communities to set up youth centres. Really? You couldn’t make it up?

County Councillor Mark Nulti wants to give away £20 million every year for the next five years to the public to give them back “ownership, of their communities. Despite SCC saying it has to make £200m savings over the next three years! Oh! and by the way – the scheme is being funded by ‘BORROWING.’

Surprise, surprise – just months after the county council’s head honchos launched their bid to the government to become THE largest Unitary Authority in the country. A bid that is opposed by all 11 borough and district councils in the county – along comes the BIG SURREY GIVEAWAY!

Surrey County Councillor Mark Nuti is playing Father Christmas as he asks the public to pitch projects to enhance Surrey’s communities. Nicely timed? 

The county council has launched its £100 million scheme, giving financial backing to ideas put forward by residents and community groups. He wants people to “think big” and come up with ideas to improve their areas – the minimum giveaway is £10,000 of the £20million up for grabs.

Deputy cabinet member Cllr Nuti, who is the leading the ‘Your Fund Surrey’ scheme, said:

“This is groundbreaking in the public sector. I’m not aware of anything else on this scale. We’re giving ownership back to the residents. There is no bad idea.”

“The council is constantly telling people what they want and what they need. The classic example is the youth centre that goes to rack and ruin within two years because no one was asked if they wanted one. We’re saying, tell us what you want, and we’ll try to make it happen.”

He must be pulling our legs with bells on?  Wasn’t it the very same Surrey County Council that slashed its budget for youth leaders not so long ago? 

Remember these headline?

Youth worker hours to be cut by Surrey County Council in bid to save £2m

The proposed cuts mean boroughs will lose a combined total of 250 hours each week

Cutting back on youth workers will have a knock-on effect for Surrey’s children later on in life, a councillor warned.

Surrey County Council is slashing youth worker hours in a bid to save more than £2m of the £9.7m savings needed in the council’s Early Help provision budget.

Cllr Clare Curran, the cabinet member for children, revealed at a cabinet meeting last week that the numbers of hours of youth service provision each week in boroughs and districts across Surrey are planned to be reduced.

Responding to a question submitted by Cllr Jonathan Essex she said a restructure would reduce delivery from 794 hours across Surrey each week to 618 and that £2.46million had been saved from freezing vacancies and integrating functions.

However, Cllr Essex said at the time:  

 “cuts to early years help would have a long-lasting effect on children growing up in Surrey today and stressed concern that fewer youth services and workers helping children now would have a knock-on effect later on in life.

He said: “Early engagement is about doing the right things early to save problems later. Whether it’s running youth centres or providing youth workers. This is what holds our communities together. That’s invaluable. You cannot put a value on a strong community. “Investing in our young people in Surrey is absolutely crucial to help keep them safe and to give them the opportunities and life experiences to grow up into well-rounded adults.

Anyone proposing an idea will have to have a Business plan for how it will operate once it’s up and running.

 

 

 

 

Will the Wey and Arun Canal be permitted to cross the Downs Link footpath?

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Waverley Tories were decidedly unimpressed with references to the Wey and Arun Canal Trust’s inclusion in the council’s Climate Change Action Plan which is expected to receive the go-ahead shortly. Though they want some minor alterations, the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee has approved the ambitious plan.

Waverley councillor unveils Climate Strategy.

Some members of the Conservative Group questioned the inclusion of The Wey and Arun Canal as part of the plan, saying this should not be on the to-do list, as this was already being done. Conservative Councillors claimed they had been supporting the popular Trust for years. Nah, Nah, N, Nah, Nah!

However, The Trust efforts to forge ahead with its plans to open up the canal from Sussex across the border into Surrey and beyond is moving on apace. It has submitted planning applications to Waverley & Guildford Planners to create a further 1,000-yard extension to the canal between Bramley and neighbouring Shalford. Those who masterminded the Plan – believe the Wey & Arun Canal is an integral part of its plan to cut carbon emissions.

The Downs Link path running alongside the A281 Horsham/Guildford Rd at Shalford, looking towards the village of Bramley.

The Trust, backed by a vast team of dedicated volunteers from Sussex has been a high priority for the owners of Dunsfold Airfield soon to become a new Garden Village. It has supported the Trust’s work from the outset. But the latest phase of the project along a section of the popular Downs Link path may prove more problematical. It runs along the former Horsham to Guildford railway line through Ellens Green/Cranleigh/and Bramley. A line which Guildford MP Angela Richardson told the Commons she wants to see “re-purposed.”

Guildford MP pitches to open Guildford – Cranleigh train line.

The planning application will be considered by both neighbouring authorities and objections are already surfacing. Some fear the new section of canal will cause a risk of flooding to nearby properties and damage the environment with the removal of trees and wildlife habitat.  The Trust refutes this and it boasts a well-proven track record for improving the environment rather than damaging it. But another concern is that extension could scupper reopening of the railway line.

According to the application (Ref: 20/P/01752) lodged with Guildford Borough Council is for land between Gun’s Mouth Island at Shalford to Gosden Meadow, Tannery Lane in Bramley. The application seeks to include a new lock and bridges.

While the application lodged with Waverley Borough Council (Ref: WA/2020/0004) concerns land at Rushett Common in Bramley, for the “erection of new bridges, the construction of new canal cut, new footpaths and landscaping”.

Some residents of the eastern villages say the would welcome the re-opening of the railway line. However, former MP Anne Milton was vehemently opposed. She believed it would lead to a huge explosion of housing in Cranleigh and the eastern part of the borough. An area which has little or no protection from development. Part of the Downs Link footpath through Cranleigh now runs close to the boundaries and walls of houses on the Berkeley Homes development. Cranleigh Parish Council has yet to consider whether it will back the application – according to the Waverley website.

The Wey & Arun Junction Canal, from the River Wey at Shalford to the River Arun at Pallingham in West Sussex was opened in 1816. It was 23 miles in length and was formally closed in 1871. Its most impressive stretch is through Loxwood.

Never hugely profitable, a large factor in its demise was undoubtedly the opening of the railway line from Guildford to Horsham via Cranleigh in 1865. A line closed under the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.

 

How dare they call Farnham “snooty!”

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On another online media channel, our beloved town has been dubbed – by some – as “The snootiest town in Surrey.” Apparently due to overheard conversations in the likes of Waitrose and Waterstones.

There’s a link to the article in the sixth paragraph below.

Whilst we accept that everyone is entitled to their opinion – and as they say in our native Yorkshire – there’s nowt so queer as folk – to ridicule our adopted home turf on a satirical website needs a tongue-in-cheek response.

Members of our team here at the Waverley Web love our “occasional” shops in Waitrose – but enjoy our bargain hunting trips around our favourite store – Lidl in Dogflud Way. Nothing too snobby about that?  Even though it sells, and we buy a particularly tasty goats cheese!

Yes, our bloggers could be ridiculed as being among a bunch of middle-class snobs on the satirical website review on  I live here.

Read it for yourself – but it comes with a Waverley Web health warning. – Try to look away from the ear wax adverts – UGH!

LINK: The withering review pokes fun at the way people talk, the shops they use – and don’t use – and the way they park their cars. Well, we have to agree with the parking cars bit – unless of course, it’s in the Lidl car park, which is well-monitored and restricted to shoppers. Shoppers that seem to understand what the white lines are designed for!

While the bit of fun is written to provoke debate and retaliation, no punches are pulled. Apparently, the way we speak irritates. Well from our home village on the outskirts of Harrogate, we pretty much all boast the North country lilt and are still admitted and welcomed by Waitrose, or Sainsbury’s for the Wensleydale cheese. We also go to Lidle for those delicious herrings in cream sauce.

There are some posh people in Farnham – in Guildford – and in Godalming. In Haslemere too and we suspect in Cranleigh/Bramley and most certainly in Dunsfold. A place made famous for its worried wealthy who don’t want planes – fast cars on the Top Gear circuit – but don’t mind as long as they are in the driving seat on the country roads. They certainly don’t want lots of new homes, and even went to the trouble of setting up an organisation called Protect Our Waverley (POW) to defend it. Didn’t rock up to defend Farnham and our environs though!

However, warts and all – our band of brothers and sisters love living in Farnham – going to The Maltings, visiting the shops and cafe’s – when they re-open. Treasure our Farnham Park,  love the friendly atmosphere and courteous service in the town shops. We to a man, hate the social distancing bollards all over the place – but love the friendly atmosphere and believe Farnham Town Council does a damn good job. It has certainly looked after us all during the COVID pandemic. ‘Thank you FTC and thank you Waverley BC – you did well.

We even boast a castle, and in a poll carried out in 2018 – guess what? Farnham was crowned one of the happiest places to live in Great Britain. That is according to Rightmove’s annual Happy at Home Index that was based on a survey which asked more than 21,000 people how happy they are where they live.

So perhaps moving to Farnham should be given a go – even to find out just how ‘snobby’ we all are? You may be in for a bit of a surprise.

 

Cranleigh’s premier department store goes into liquidation

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THE END OF AN ERA?

David Mann … in 1910

Was it COVID or developers that finally killed off David Mann and Sons in Cranleigh? The high street store which symbolised the face of Cranleigh for 133 years has gone into voluntary liquidation. Rumours, we are told by the locals over there, have been rife for over a year that the store was heading for closure.

There is no doubt that the retail sector has been badly punished by the Coronavirus epidemic but is the latest victim, a store that has a county-wide reputation built up over 133 years, another victim of the vicious virus? Or was the store always gleam in the eyes of the developer partnership of Nick Vrijland and Andy Leahy? Mr Vrijland’s burgeoning property portfolio also includes the adjacent properties – of Oliver House. He was also the owner of the Knowle Park Initiative site at West Cranleigh Nurseries. Sold to housing association A2 Dominion shortly after planning consent was granted to build “homes for village people?” Although consent was given in 2017 – so far not a home built on the former nursery and a detailed scheme, yet to be approved.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce sought major development in Cranleigh. In fact, it was instrumental in campaigning for and supporting the huge number of new homes being built in the village – dubbed as the largest village in England.” The village that the Chamber of Commerce publicly called for the house-building explosion, saying what the ‘new town’ needed was  …

“More footfall for local shops.”

Now, with many empty shops lining its high street, despite the valiant efforts of many local entrepreneurs setting up their stall only to fail, the developers are moving in.

It is no secret that the majority owner of the store Dutch nurseryman turned Developer Nick Vrijland – wants to build 90 flats on the David Manns site. The Waverley Web understands this scheme found no favour with Waverley Planners during their initial discussions – but a slimmed-down scheme will presumably soon be considered.

David ~Mann Today.

So gone are the days when the premier store was a magnet for local people, many of whom furnished their homes from top to bottom with its wares.

 One of its past amazing Christmas Window displays is featured here. Displays which we understand from the locals over there won many awards. 

Will a  shop remain to front the high street called ?? You’ve heard of Pound land how about VRI’LAND? Because Vri in Dutch means Free!

Waverley councillor unveils Climate Strategy.

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But the Tories are not entirely happy with it – and want actions prioritised and more robust data. They have also called for further investment in officers to carry out the huge volume of work that the plan will generate. 

But the major criticism came from Elstead councillor Jenny Else, who claimed the Public Consultation exercise was flawed and had been “beefed up.”

She said it was “rather disingenuous to claim that residents supported the council’s efforts to combat climate change when only 73 residents out of 120,000 had responded.

The consultation exercise was conducted on-line during the Covid lockdown – the results of which are included in the papers.

Neither could Cllr Else see how Waverley’s itself could realistically achieve the objective outlined in the “long-winded document” to reduce its carbon emissions for travel. However, it took only moments for Strategic Director Annie Righton to point out that this was already underway – with the proposal to use pool cars, reduce travel by introducing some ZOOM meetings, looking at mileage allowances and using public transport.

“We have a robust way forward,” she said.

As you will see from the link below Cllr Else knows how a Council Strategy should be produced!

Do we have a Cultural Strategy or do we have 230 pages weighing over – 600 grams – of expensive tripe?

A message to the residents of Waverley on how it intends to tackle Climate Change.

After consulting the public, and councillors Steve Williams Waverley’s Green Party Member and Portfolio Holder for the Environment & Sustainability has published the council’s Climate Change Action Plan.

 On Wednesday 18th September 2019, Waverley Borough Council passed a motion which I moved on behalf of the Executive, declaring a climate emergency and committing the council to become a carbon-neutral council by 2030. This action plan is a response to that declaration of a climate emergency.

Waverley Borough Council had never before declared a state of emergency of any kind, and this is significant. For this is not merely another policy initiative; it is an attempt to ensure we do everything we can as a council as part of a worldwide movement to reduce carbon emissions to a level which will keep global temperatures in check. In essence, we are doing our bit to avoid the utterly catastrophic events that will ensue should global temperatures rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

We are committed to lead by example in our response to the challenge of climate change and, in doing so, we shall do everything we possibly can to make Waverley a carbon-neutral borough by 2030. Whilst the main focus of this plan is that of enabling Waverley Borough Council to become a carbon-neutral council by 2030, we shall be bringing forward more detailed proposals for a zero-carbon borough by 2030 once these have been developed and agreed by the shortly-to-be-established Climate Assembly. Being on an emergency footing means that everyone who works for or works with Waverley Borough Council should be aware of the carbon footprint for which they are responsible – and should be doing everything they can to reduce this carbon footprint to zero.

Being on an emergency footing means that everyone who works for or with Waverley Borough Council should be doing everything in their power to influence others to reduce their carbon footprint and to influence other councils and private, public and third sector organisations to support us in our ambition. Some of the actions we propose in this plan are easy to take and cost little to implement. Other actions are more difficult and more costly. Some will only be achieved through the national government and Surrey County Council action and we shall work in partnership as appropriate to secure our goal.

“Whatever the challenges we face over the coming decade, it has never been more important for our council to respond and play its part in the face of an impending climate catastrophe. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations.”

A total of 965 people responded to the consultation. Some of the key findings are in a detailed summary in (Annexe 2) of the report which is included in the link below.

  • 78% of participants felt it was “very important” and an additional 16.5% felt that climate change was “quite important” 
  • 94% would welcome more opportunities for recycling and upcycling to help them reduce their own carbon footprint 
  • 90% felt that the council and its contractors should switch to low carbon transport
  • 90% felt that new council properties should be built to carbon-neutral standards.  Lack of infrastructure and facilities were seen as the greatest barrier to being environmentally friendly. 
  • 88% felt it is “extremely or very important” for the Council to lead by example and take action and 89% felt that the Council should prioritise reducing their own emissions first.

 Financing the delivery of the CNAP will be a major hurdle to overcome. 

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/g3461/Public%20reports%20pack%2011th-Nov-2020%2019.00%20Overview%20Scrutiny%20Committee%20-%20Environment.pdf?T=10

There were, however, some very useful and constructive criticisms and suggestions from Cllrs Richard Seaborne and Cllr Stephen Mulliner on how the complex document could be improved. Cllr Mulliner’s main concern focused on energy emissions from the borough’s housing and leisure centres. Cllr Mulliner wanted more realistic costings on actions, which he claimed were “eye-watering” – though he admitted this was a difficult call. He urged the Executive to bring in extra staff to implement the plan and  which he argued would pay dividends in the long run.

Both agreed, Waverley Council must lead by example, and get its own house in order and in the hope that residents would follow.

Everyone on the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee agreed – We are in this together to fight against climate change.

The R number for Surrey and the South East remains the joint-highest in England

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As the second lockdown continues the R number for Surrey and the South East remains the joint-highest in England. 

According to the latest Government figures, published on Friday (November 13), the R number in the South East has remained at between 1.2 and 1.4.

That figure is higher than the rate in both the North West, the North East and Yorkshire regions, the data shows, with only the South West having as high an R number.

The R number represents the number of people an infected person passes the virus on to, and anything above 1 means the epidemic is growing.

If the value is below 1, the spread of the virus will eventually decline as not enough new people are being infected to sustain the outbreak.

nick palmer

WBC Labour Councillor and former Member of Parliament.

The latest missive from Cllr Nick.

Pandemic update – and the meaning of 90% vaccination effectiveness

I studied statistics and used to work in the pharmaceutical industry, so I’d like to comment on what we should expect from the vaccines. First, though, please do be careful right now. The warning by senior health officials that people are relaxing too much because they can see the vaccine coming is important.

We currently have a death rate equivalent to a jumbo jet full of passengers crashing in Britain every day.

Roughly one person in 85 in England has the virus, and it’s increasing here in the Southeast. The current lockdown has only slowed the rise so far, though it’s not accelerating as it was just a couple of weeks ago. Yes, the vaccine is great news, but all the more reason not to contract the sickness before it comes. If that means having a distanced Christmas and getting the family together sometime later instead, that’s better than taking risks with each other.

We need to see more results to confirm the vaccine effectiveness, as well as the other vaccines in a late stage of development. But assuming it’s 90%, it’s important to realise what that means. It signifies that the great majority of people will be much less likely to die of the disease, but it doesn’t in itself mean that we should immediately relax and return to normal because it doesn’t necessarily mean that 90% of people will be100% safe. Rather, it means that people who are vaccinated will be 90% less likely to catch the illness each time they’re exposed to it. This means, initially, that we’ll still be at risk. If we mingle with 100 people who are infectious, we’ll quite likely still catch it.

If that’s the case, does it mean that we have to go on socially distancing forever? No, because of infection becomes much rarer due to vaccination, we will start to encounter it much less often. The R number will drop steadily, so fewer and fewer new infections occur, and after some months of mass vaccination, it should reach the point that it’s rare to encounter it – in which case the 90% protection is really very good.

When will mass vaccination start? Probably around the end of the year, initially for the most vulnerable and then for health and social care staff. The objective should be to cover both groups by the spring and then spread out to others. If it goes smoothly, I’d hope to see some real relaxation by the summer. But I wouldn’t assume it will be safe to mingle in a crowd much sooner.

Enough soap opera!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a Government that was focusing on this and on the end of the Brexit transition, now just 6 weeks away? Instead, the papers are full of gossip from rival factions in Downing Street. Are they divided on what policies to pursue? Apparently not – the debate is entirely on who likes whom and how best to present the personality of the Prime Minister. I actually know some of the people involved and I wish them all well in their private lives, but we need a spell of serious, focused government. Professional people should be able to get over themselves and work together for the common purpose of getting the country out of the mess.

There are still people who say that this style of “colourful” government is what most people like and that Keir Starmer offers a boring alternative. We’ll start to find out in in the local elections next May if that’s really the case – but as we’ve just seen in the USA, people do eventually tire of government by soap opera. Donald Trump is always newsworthy, and yes, much more colourful than Joe Biden. But Americans have decided they want someone serious running the country. It’s a message that the Conservative Party might wish to keep in mind.

 

Demand rises from UK house hunters – not here, but overseas.

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 Demand for overseas property is on the rise – and some of our followers say they are among those seeking pastures new.

Demand for overseas property from UK house hunters has reached record levels according to Rightmove Overseas.

 Data shows that searches on Rightmove Overseas in June reached their highest point for the year, and were up 28% year-on-year. They have been rising since then as Brexit draws ever closer.

Searches for property in Spain were up 25% compared to June last year, the Canary Islands where the infection rate has been low throughout the pandemic and remains low is a popular destination.  France recorded a 32% year-on-year rise. In Portugal, the uplift was 24%, and in Italy, it was 17% higher according to Rightmove Overseas.

Rachel Beaton, the overseas insights expert at Rightmove, said: “We’ve seen a gradual resurgence of interest from home-hunters looking for properties abroad since April, but after the government confirmed there will be easing of travel restrictions to certain countries we saw demand for overseas homes rise even further to record-breaking levels.

 

Yesterday Croydon went BUST – Tomorrow…??

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Yesterday Government Ministers called Croydon ‘dysfunctional’ after the Labour-controlled council went bust.

Wonder what those same ministers think about  Surrey Tory’s little game of Monopoly?

Council bought Malvern Shopping Park for £74m in 2017

Almost 150 miles and a three-hour drive separate Malvern Shopping Park, Worcestershire and Surrey County Council’s offices in Kingston…

Surrey County Council has 444 million invested in commercial property.  Estimated losses in March – before the Pandemic took hold revealed that it had lost 44.65million – and counting!

It is believed that 96 per cent of its portfolio is held in office space in Crawley, Ashstead and Guildford, a sector which has been badly hit-particularly in Crawley the home of Gatwick Airport. One of the biggest reductions in the portfolio is the Malvern Retail Park. Its value has dropped by a staggering £15m and counting, due to the downturn in the retail sector. It has also invested in leisure and cinemas and the Debenhams store in Winchester. The portfolio was generating 11million annually.

It has also invested a rumoured 56m in the Blightwells Yard housing retail and restaurant development in Farnham. The two Tory-controlled councils (Surrey & Waverley) joined up with Crest Nicholson to build the project due for completion next year!

Will Blightwells in Farnham enter the brave new retail world post COVID?

Surrey has come in for a good drubbing from the Taxpayers’ Alliance. An organisation that has been warning councils for years about the dangers posed by their huge reliance on property speculation. Its chief executive John O’Connell called the situation “deeply worrying.”Surrey claimed it had no other option, whilst during the austerity years, Government funding of local authorities countrywide had been well and truly hammered. 

Waverley Borough Council took a far more cautious approach to its investment portfolio – instigated by the former Tory-controlled council keeping it close to home – and well-regulated. Though, in Farnham, there has been much criticism of its involvement in the Blightwells scheme.

Since the Rainbow Coalition has held power – it has followed a very cautious line on investments, which at times has been heavily criticised by Waverley’s Tory group which is now in opposition.

In Croydon, a Section 114 order was put in place. This means al council spending is blocked, apart from cash for safeguarding the vulnerable and other legal commitments.

 

 

Surrey’s chief constable congratulations residents.

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Gavin Stephens has given a huge pat on the back to Surrey residents for sticking to the rules.

The Chief Constable has congratulated residents for their low level of pandemic breaches during the latest lock-down. Despite many of us feeling gloomy about yet another reduction of freedom in our lives due to the coronavirus. The freedom we had begun to take for granted after the long Summer lockdown.

Surrey’s first COVID data dashboard released.

Since the latest lockdown which began on March 23, the Surrey force has issued 520 fixed penalty notices for breaking the COVID-19 regulations.

Surrey’s Chief Constable Gavin Stephens

Three of those were for breaching the self-isolation rules. One for a parent whose child did not quarantine and someone who had arrived from abroad.

There have been no large parties or events so, as yet, no  £10,000 fines have been issued.

Six £200 tickets were issued over the weekend after the second lockdown started.

One breach was to someone travelling from outside the county and others to men all aged between 22 to 35, with “no reasonable excuse for being out and about”. 

 

Let’s all keep it up?

 

Another whopping great housing application lands on Alfold’s doorstep.

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Here they go again…

Developers descending on the small rural village of Alfold… again, and again. 

The beleaguered village on the Surrey/Sussex border is about to face another application from Thakeham Homes. The site in question is on land owned by cash-strapped charity Care Ashore – The Merchant Seamans’ War Memorial Society based in nearby Springbok. The site was earmarked for 450 homes in 2017 but was thrown out by a Government Inspector at appeal.

Last time the Sussex developer wanted to triple the size of a village, which residents called in their Neighbourhood Plan – for ‘limited development on small sites in character with the village.’

Here’s the link to the previous decision:

Care Ashore and Thakeham Homes’ boat sunk by a Government Inspector!

Now bolstered by Government plans to meet a gargantuan housing target of 300,000- new homes a year for the next four years, Thakeham has taken the opportunity to lob in another attempt to build on the open countryside it has coveted for years.

As Alfold Parish Council was only informed of the application yesterday, it was unable to discuss it at its meeting last night (Tuesday.) However, it has already sought extra time from Waverley to consider the huge number of plans for 99 homes, plus the demolition of a Thakeham owned bungalow called Hollyoaks on the busy Loxwood Road.

It also wants to give villagers an opportunity to comment on the controversial scheme. So it will be considered at a meeting planned for December 10.

 The village has already met its required housing allocation and has numerous other schemes either already allowed or in the appeal system. As with many other towns and villages,  sites are being mothballed, and although the hoardings are up – ‘Billy No Mates the Builder’ is nowhere to be seen!

Does the fact that Waverley now has a Local Plan in place, Part 2 of which will soon be out for public consultation, put Alfold in a safer place? 

Not if Boris The Bulldozer and Bob the Builder Jenrick have their way. Although Tory MP’s are in an uproar over the Government proposals to shake up planning rules which will force rural communities like Alfold to take more homes than they can cope with, there is no guarantee they will be heard.  If they get their way, Waverley’s Local Plan will be out-of-date before the ink has dried. MP Angela Richardson has already warned Guildford residents – “to be careful what they wish for,” or they could end up with high rise development in their town.

Here’s what Alfold resident Denise Wordsworth said a few weeks ago.

A wake-up call to MP Angela Richardson and all who sail with her.

The plans, reported to be the invention of the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings, will deliver an additional five million homes across England over the next 15 years, with one-third of those in rural counties like Waverley.

Here’s Alfold’s Tally so far kindly provided by Denise Wordsworth.

The consultation on the overhaul of the planning system closed earlier this month.

Here’s the link to the Waverley Planning Portal. The application No is WA/2020/1684.

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk

 

Surrey’s first COVID data dashboard released.

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WHAT TOOK IT SO LONG?

Nine long months – and now we get the data to help us all understand and regulate our behaviour. 

Surrey County Council has issued its first data dashboard highlighting the latest figures for cases of COVID-19 in the county.

The figures show both the number of new cases and the rate of infection for the last 7 days in each borough and district.


Perhaps if the county council hadn’t spent so much of its time and large sums of taxpayers’ money on an unannounced policy to launch its bid to become a behemoth unitary authority, it could have provided this information earlier?

 Does it make sense to abolish local government at borough level at exactly the time when boroughs are being asked to prepare to be the front line of tracing COVID contacts through the winter and are generally supporting their residents?

 The Government, County Council and many of the borough councillors are Conservative. We, the voting fodder are paying for them all to squabble among themselves. Wouldn’t it be good if they concentrated on the real problems – notably COVID and the impending impact of Brexit – facing us? 

Thankfully the county council elections will now go ahead in May 2021.

Why Waverley’s car parks aren’t free.

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The only place with free parking is on a Monopoly Board’.

Nothing seems to generate such angst as paying to park a car.

It seems to be begrudgingly accepted that it’s OK for drivers to pay for fuel, car tax, repairs and servicing, insurance and car washing. But heaven forbid that people are expected to pay for the cost of parking!

Perhaps now be the right time for ‘Your Waverley’ to spell out once again the dire financial straits the Government is putting local councils into?
It appears from the mutter in the borough’s gutters that some people believe paying to park a car in the council’s car parks are a NO/NO.
Pre and post-Covid, councils across the country are struggling to balance the books. Despite numerous promises from Government – remember this? 
Hre’s a message on the subject from Waverley’s Deputy Leader.
🚗 WAVERLEY BC CAR PARKS OVER LOCKDOWN ⚠️
Good morning everyone. I have had a lot of queries about this but I want to be upfront with everyone.
‼️The WBC car parks will NOT be free during this second lockdown. We simply cannot afford it.
➡️ However, we will be recognising the Surrey volunteer pass scheme as we did before.
We discussed this at the Waverley Executive and we determined that we simply couldn’t afford it at this time. Other than the fact that car parks are not free to run, and that the revenue they bring in helps fund other essential services two things need to be made clear.
📌 Funding pre-covid from the government had been reduced to zero.
📌 Funding promised/announced by the government to help councils through this period has been much less than promised.
We have to maintain essential services and so we have had to take this decision at this time. I know many will not like this, but I hope the reasons why are understood.
For anyone who would like further info on this, please do shout. 
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Leader, Godalming Town Council

Villagers in Alfold going Wild about Wildwood.

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Prompted by numerous communications from angry villagers – ‘Your Waverley’s planning officers are investigating unauthorised development on the former Wildwood Golf course on the Surrey/Sussex border.

Development they claim is resulting in the “wilful destruction of the countryside.”

The site within the village of Alfold and within spitting distance of Dunsfold’s new proposed garden village is creating a bit of a stir. Residents are now calling for the council to issue a ‘STOP NOTICE’ and issue is now!

Followers of the Waverley Web may remember the golf-course has been mired in controversy since it received planning permission for a multi-million-pound hotel, HQ for part of the Professional Golf Association – and 39 Golf Lodges. 

A new era for Wildwood. The development first granted consent in  2010  was heralded to become …

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 17.33.32.png

 Wildwood Golf Club one of the principle golfing destinations in England.

Since then it has gone into the rough – changed hands several times – and become an overgrown mess. Is Wildwood in the bunker?

One villager who has been on Wildwood’s case raised the alarm earlier this month about some strange goings-on at the site. Alfold’s resident mole, Denise Wordsworth who walks the public footpaths often – spotted more than the usual wildlife – as trees and hedges were being destroyed at an alarming rate.

Thank goodness that someone out there actually keeps their eyes and their mouths open. Our team her sometimes think that COVID has had a major effect on everyone’s minds, as they prepare to reach the planet ZONK! Life as we knew it and observance sometimes appear to have gone into hibernation?

Denise told Alfold’s councillor Kevin Deanus and planning officers:

” I do read Applications that are pertinent to our Village and this one that was approved before we even moved here, seemed like something that would be good for  Alfold’s economy. 

I knew the previous owners who really believed in this – but when it went into liquidation and was taken over, all I can see is the current owners have taken out a Third-Party Mortgage for Development.

The new Developers have no regard for the Conditions imposed to protect the arboreal, ecology or architectural merits of the site. There will be other Conditions they have not adhered to – But I am more concerned about the living creatures than the dead bones despite their importance.

We have seen an increase of Bits of Carcasses (Mainly Deer/Rabbits) on the Golf course – which of course our Dog thinks is Great – I Don’t”

My main issues are:

  1. CEMP
  2. Ecology – Newts and Bats
  3. Archaeology
  4. Trees TPO
  5. Public footpaths
  6. Public safety

I don’t believe and cannot prove that they are doing this work to provide the Academy Lodges that have NO designation for Housing – as per the original Application –   But they will use the hardstanding as a means to apply for housing in order to afford any works that may or may not be carried out for the PGA – worth asking them if they are still planning on moving their HQ to Wildwood – may answer my question. – But I do think that is what they are planning to do and can find nothing on the PGA  website.

I know that most of these applications have Pre-Meetings with WBC so perhaps worth checking with the Planning Offers to see if that is the case. – If it is Just the PGA golf course as per the original Application – I will shut up – If there is something else -then with these works so far it needs to be made public so at least Alfold know what is going on. But This wilful destruction of land that obviously contains Wildlife that should be protected is appalling.

SO WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING ON AT WILDWOOD?

Officers investigating have already identified a number of potential issues that indicate non-compliance with the approved condition details associated with the permission. This principally relates to the conditions associated with tree protection and ecology (as identified and highlighted in Ms Wordsworth’s emails in respect of the matter). Due to the scale of the development and a significant number of conditions associated with the proposal officers have not yet had an opportunity to review all the relevant application documentation yet so there may potentially other issues for separate conditions as well. However, tree protection and ecology issues appear to be the most pressing at this time. I saw no evidence of tree protection measures or ecological mitigation (as stipulated within the relevant approved condition documentation) in place at the time of my visit.

A recent site established that significant earthworks were being undertaken around the ‘9 Hole’ (where the woodland lodges are proposed) in order to remove contaminated earth from the site, with the proposal to replace the soil prior to construction within this area taking place. Additionally, works to and removal of vegetation has also occurred and site hoarding has been erected around a large area north of the ‘9 holes’.

SO HAS WORK STOPPED? Or will this be yet another developer getting away with damaging our environment? A case of too little – too late?

COVID-19 Lockdown Phases 1 and 2 will severely impact on ‘Your Waverley’s finances.

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With a demeanour resembling someone who has just received a court summons the man who balances the boroughs books has painted a grim picture for Waverley’s medium and long-term financial plans post COVID.

 Cllr Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services. Pictured looking far more cheerful in those heady days before he took over the role.

 Cllr Merryweather told his Executive colleagues on Tuesday that although there would not be an immediate concern from the proposed second lockdown, due to begin to-day Thursday, there would undoubtedly be consequences.

He said the council would incur an additional loss of income and was unsure of the benefits it would receive from the Governments Lost Income Grant.

Although the second lock-down was expected to be shorter, there would be consequences as a result. He hoped they would stay within the boundaries of the contingency in the draft revised budget that the council had set in August.

He hoped this would still be the case when the Medium Term Financial Plan went to full council in December. He explained as most of the work had been completed before the announcement of the second lockdown… 

… “you wont be surprised to hear that further analysis will be required following the second phase. The consequences of COVID will impact on us severely next year, and in subsequent years.” Only one thing less reliable than the virus is the Government’s response to it and what we will get in line with the promises it made at the outset of the pandemic.  Its performance against promises.”

Cllr Ann-Marie Rosoman Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety confirmed plans were already in place to support the community during the COVID emergency and deal with any incidents of homelessness in the borough during the coming months.

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/news/article/662/waverley_residents_reminded_of_support_available_during_covid-19

 

Let’s ensure the mapping of our public rights of way in Waverley.

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During the previous lockdown and no doubt in the lockdown that begins tomorrow Thursday we will want to use our public footpaths to keep the oxygen in our lungs and our spirits high.

But are they all on official maps? Because if not – we could lose some of them!

The borough of Waverley boasts many well-used and treasured rights of way. The footpaths and bridlepaths around our towns and villages have provided routes for walkers and riders for centuries. However, parish councils, whose members once walked and monitored the footpaths in their areas are now finding it more and more difficult to ensure they remain open and accessible.

The WW understands that soon, thousands of footpaths could be lost forever!

There are now 50,000 miles of rights of way not marked on any maps – some of which date back to Roman times.

The Government has now set a deadline of 2026 for submissions to make established footpaths official and included on Ordnance Survey maps. Routes submitted will then be considered by councils and civil servants for inclusion. However, landowners will be able to contest claims.

Once the exercise is completed, it will no longer be possible to use historical evidence, or local knowledge, to guarantee public rights of way – and some will be lost forever.

The Ramblers Association is fearful that it will not be able to get all the lost routes on the map. Some of which are thousands of years old. The Association is currently amassing evidence of the at-risk paths and volunteers have been scouring 154,000 one-kilometre squares of England and Wales using an online mapping tool to find them. They have discovered uncovered paths left off maps by councils when they drew up their footpath lists in the 1950s.

 

To date 49,138 missing paths have been discovered – some now unusable – others still in use.

Contact The Don’t Lose Your Way project at The Ramblers Association if you believe you know of paths which may not be mapped. At a time when public rights of way are more important than ever – speak up now – or forever  hold your peace?http://www.ramblers.org.uk/DLYW

 

Covid Marshalls in Waverley? What do you think?

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Paul Follows ‘Your Waverley’s Deputy Leader says he’s OPPOSING the use of Marshalls on our streets but wants to hear from residents what they think?
He says this potentially controversial issue needs an airing, but the provision of Marshalls has arisen again from a  few councillors now a new lockdown has been announced. He now wants to see what views the community holds on this subject in regards to lockdown which arrives on Thursday.
Although the WW wouldn’t oppose the concept of a few people around to ensure social distancing, as some people just don’t get it! – wouldn’t our old bobbies on the beat have done the job in days gone by? Sadly those who ignore the rules – will continue doing so. However, in Australia – Melbourne, in particular, you did as you were told or else! Infections there yesterday NIL. Hey! and who is going to pay for Marshalls Cllr Follows – dream on if you think money will be coming from Government.
IF only common sense would prevail? Wear a mask – wear it properly – keep your distance.
Cllr Follows says: ‘I opposed these in both Waverley generally and Godalming specifically last time (and I am still minded to oppose them now too) for the following reasons:’
➡️ Waverley isn’t one place, whereas Guildford could have a few realistically covering its High Street and North Street, the borough would likely need dozens;
➡️ The cost would be significant and it has never been clear where that money comes from;
➡️ Their legal powers are not abundantly clear which I think would lead to other issues; Who marshals the Marshalls?
➡️ If they aren’t clear, people who ignore the guidance anyway will just ignore the Marshalls;
➡️ What are the police doing with the actual legal powers they have to enforce?
➡️ Boroughs get 4p in every £ on business rates. The Town council gets 0 p. The County gets a bit less than 20p and the central government gets the rest. So where does the duty to provide these sit?
BUT:
➡️ In theory, they could help enforce the rules and keep the spread of the virus down and help businesses at the same time. They, therefore, might help reduce the restrictions locally in the long run.
I would be very interested in the thoughts of the community on this as I am sure it’s going to come up again at Waverley in the next few days.
Thank You!
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough

Could Government put a stop to vexatious Judicial Reviews… like Dunsfold?

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The government has taken the first step in meeting a Conservative election promise to consider changes around the operation of judicial reviews(JR’s). Some claim the move intends to restrict the use of judicial review, which could lead to poorer planning decision-making. Others think the opposite.

Waverley residents could cast their minds back to the series of Judicial Reviews on ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan – which delayed development for years on the Dunsfold Aerodrome site. The largest brownfield site in the borough – leaving the countryside under threat – and now under concrete. Protect Our Waverley (POW) and The Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) lost the argument, funded by their supporters – but cost the developer and the cash-strapped council a small fortune.

Does ‘ Your Waverley’ have to manage a crisis now the High Court has allowed challenges to the Local Plan to be heard at a Judicial Review?

Just in time for Guy Fawkes Night, the High Court has thrown out CPRE and PoW’s appeal over Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan​.

In October, a panel of senior lawyers and academics convened by the Ministry of Justice called for evidence about the operation of the system of (JR). The call for evidence document made clear that significant changes to how the system operates are being considered. This first stage of this review enacts a Conservative Party general election manifesto promise to look at JR review in the wake of the successful legal challenge to prorogue parliament last year. 

The panel is tasked with ensuring that the JR  system, by which the public can legally challenge decisions by public bodies – is not “abused to conduct politics by another means or create needless delays”, and has no specific remit to look at the planning system. Nevertheless, planning lawyers have expressed concerns the review could ultimately result in the right to challenge planning decisions and policies being curtailed.

In the planning system, judicial review is used to challenge both policy decisions and, crucially, individual planning approvals in the absence of any other right of appeal for third parties. Planning solicitor Nicola Gooch, a partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said:

“It’s a very necessary check in the system because it’s the only check in the system. There does need to be a route to challenge flawed decision-making.”

The recent Westferry Printworks case, where the secretary of state’s consent to a £1 billion scheme promoted by a Conservative Party donor he had been to dinner with was quashed, and the February judgment that stopped the construction of a third runway at Heathrow, both demonstrate that judicial review decisions can be hugely significant and can cause major difficulties for the government.

Richard Blyth, head of policy at the Royal Town Planning Institute, agreed that judicial review is

“an issue of grave importance in the arena of planning”.

Some lawyers and campaign groups said the terms of reference of the review, the make-up of the “independent” panel – chaired by former Conservative minister, Lord Faulks QC, who has previously said judicial review should be curtailed – and the questions asked in the call for evidence all implied it had been set up to limit its use.

Carol Day, legal consultant at environmental charity the RSPB, said it was “clear” the review was heading “in the direction of reduced accountability and reduced scrutiny. The wording really seeks to gather evidence to reduce the scope of JR.”

Duncan Field, partner at planning law firm Town Legal, said the call for evidence questions suggested the government wanted to legislate for judicial review, rather than allowing its continuing reliance on a set of common law principles. “The aim of any legislation is likely to be to control and restrict the use of judicial review,” he said. This could, he added, include restricting the list of grounds for judicial review, “shielding” certain types of decisions from challenge, limiting remedies available and restricting who may bring challenges.

It is not clear that there is a big problem of judicial review misuse in the area of planning, since the setting up of a dedicated Planning Court in 2014. Field said only 375 cases have been heard by the court, which he said was a small number compared to the total number of planning decisions taken in the past six years. Meanwhile, Day said the RSPB’s evidence on environmental challenges showed they had been reducing in recent years.

Mike Kiely, chairman of local authority body the Planning Officers’ Society, said the Planning Court had overseen a “significant improvement” in the administration of JRs. “The court has a strong culture of not interfering in planning decisions where it’s a reasonable judgment,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, Day said the RSPB was “very concerned” about the consultation, while Richard Buxton, senior partner at law firm Richard Buxton Associates, which is known for acting on behalf of campaign groups, said:

“The wholescale restriction on accountability” would be “disastrous”, not just in terms of planning “but to the whole concept of the rule of law.”

The QC behind the successful Westferry legal challenge, Landmark Chambers’ Sasha White, said he too was “greatly concerned” over the move, particularly in the context of the Planning For The Future White Paper. “In a world where getting permission is easier, such an important check on consent is even more important,” he said.

Gooch also described the timing of the review as “provocative”, particularly given that judicial review is also used to challenge policy decisions. “Here we’ve got a government doing radical things, and at the same time looking to reduce the scope and ability of people to challenge it,” she said.

For some developers and local authorities, however, a reduction in the scope of JR could be welcome, reducing legal risk and cost. White said curtailing JR could “make developers’ and planning authorities’ lives easier”. Meanwhile, Kiely said he would support reforms designed to make it easier to award costs against claimants bringing “reckless” claims, which he said typically cost planning authorities £5,000 to £10,000 each time even when they were weeded out by judges early on.

However, Field warned that the threat of JR acted as an incentive for better decision-making, which he said: “benefits local authorities and developers as much as objectors and campaign groups”. White added: “To know decisions are subject to proper scrutiny is a really powerful mechanism for preventing illegality of decision-making at the outset”.

In addition, developers themselves are among the biggest users of JR, often using them to challenge awards to rivals. According to the Planning Court Case Explorer set up by Town Legal and Landmark Chambers, land promoter Gladman is the “private” organisation which has been involved in the most Planning Court challenges, with 12 cases, compared to just five involving Friends of the Earth. Gooch said: “A lot of developers won’t necessarily be pleased. It is after all the last resort for balancing competing interests.”

 

 

 

What the hell is the matter with our tone deaf MP’s?

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Both of our MP’s voted against providing disadvantaged youngsters with a free-meal during the half-term holidays. No worries, loads of other local restaurants and organisations have stepped into their miserable Tods and Louboutin’s. So fear not, Waverley youngsters are not going hungry, despite your actions and Surrey County Council’s which shamefully received another healthy shedload of money, but refused to use it to feed them!

But this latest tweet from Jeremy Hunt and the response from Paul Follows says it all!

And here’s his boss – putting in a good word for the Self-servatives. Do these people have any idea of how they are perceived by the public?

Paul Follows Deputy Leader of ‘Your Waverley’

 

Here’s the man who should have won the SW Surrey election last year. Frankly, it doesn’t matter what you think of the Lib Dems, Labour or Conservatives. Paul has more honesty, more integrity and more drive to improve and engage with his local community than we have ever witnessed from the incumbent.

November date fixed for re-run on Dunsfold drilling decision

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Will the previous decision to REFUSE the UK Oil & Gas application (UCOG) – remain the same?

Proposed rig at Dunsfold drilling site. 

Five months ago Surrey County Council ruled that the original decision to refuse consent was invalid. It said there were technical problems with the online meeting of the planning committee on 29 June 2020. Another meeting has been fixed for Friday 27th November – COVID permitting. However, this time the meeting will not be held virtually – councillors will be in the same room.

Committee members voted in June by six to five against the recommendation of planning officers to approve the application by UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG).

The company has applied to construct a site, on land owned by Alfold man Ashley Ward, to be called Loxley, on Dunsfold Road to drill and test vertical and sidetrack wells. The location is located on the map below.

In a statement  UKOG’s chief executive, Stephen Sanderson said:

“Despite the further delay to the PCM [planning committee meeting] rerun, UKOG welcomes the opportunity to restate why its low footprint Loxley gas project is of material local and national economic importance, representing an opportunity to power around 200,000 Surrey homes from Net Zero compliant UK gas.

“The submitted development presents minimal visual, local business and highway impacts and already has a full environmental permit from the Environment Agency.”

The June meeting heard that local councils and 84% of responses to the public consultation objected to the application. This included a strong objection from Waverley Borough Council. Concerns included the impact of the scheme on the landscape, climate change, local businesses, air quality, light pollution, highway safety, noise and local ecology and heritage.

UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?

COVID CASES ARE RISING IN WAVERLEY!

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 I will start with one clear statement: Waverley remains at Tier 1 (Medium) as of 27/10/20.
However, many of you will now be aware of the recent data (by borough) for Surrey and following this Waverley BC is asking all residents, as it is more important than ever, to follow all the government guidelines in order to protect our community.
A frequent question from residents is what the tier thresholds are. We know that they are based on a basket of different indicators but the government does not tell us what they are (despite how many times we have asked).
❗️For me, the most important question will become: once we cross into the next tier, what’s the game plan to get out of it again?
⛔️ But for now, we are really trying to AVOID going up to that higher level and so the basic guidance remains and we urge residents to follow it.
➡️ Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
➡️ Wear face covering when required
➡️ Keep a 2-metre distance from those outside your household
➡️ Do not meet up in groups of more than 6
➡️ if you are required to self-isolate, please make sure that you do so for the time required
For anyone interested in the full Surrey data pack (for the period up to Oct 23rd) the link is below and I have copied in some of the Waverley relevant elements here as images
Any questions, please do let us know.
Best Regards,
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk

Surrey spends £20m on a new lighting strategy to save £2m a year

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When Surrey County Council agreed its Climate Change Strategy it pledged to do its bit towards becoming carbon neutral.

Now it is switching Surrey’s 89,000 Street Lights to LED Costs £20m to Save £2m a Year. This includes lighting up Waverley.

Surrey’s Community Vision for 2030 contains the ambition that:

“Residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities”

This ambition reflects the shared ambition of Surrey’s 12 local authorities that our residents live in clean, safe and green communities, where people and organisations embrace their environmental responsibilities.

In support of this ambition – and the UK’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – on 9 July 2019 the council declared a ‘climate emergency’ and committed to working with partners to agree Surrey’s collective response.

 SCC has published its Climate Change Strategy and a New Tree Strategy which establishes the approach for how Surrey’s local authorities and other partners will work together to put the county on the path to net-zero carbon emissions and strengthen climate resilience.  It believes success lies in everyone taking action to shift behaviour and to live more sustainable lives to help safeguard our communities and the environment.

The WW wonders if this includes protecting the countryside from the Oil and Gas exploration planned by UK Oil and Gas on a Waverley borough site in Dunsfold? A scheme strongly opposed by ‘Your Waverley.’http://www.wealdactiongroup.org.uk/why-we-dont-need-more-onshore-oil-in-the-uk/?fbclid=IwAR266UMlkoia8DOdFwOWO3wOQHgqPkVwIuYZz34_iEpmQYM4VA9VTPJj4NA

An application which was refused earlier in the year, but which now has to be reconsidered. Link: UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now? Surrey Dummies forced to do a Dun – re-run!

The Climate Change Strategy will work in conjunction with a number of existing strategies, as well as borough and district action plans, like the Surrey Place Ambition 2050 (PDF) and the Community Vision for Surrey 2030.

The consultation on Waverley’s Climate Change Strategy Action Plan has just ended with a good response according to the portfolio holder Steve Williams. Comments on the plan are now being analysed. However, early signs are: that residents believe the council’s efforts to tackle the climate emergency is important, and that the council should lead by example.


Cllr Matt Furniss and Skanska’s Simon Woodford, pictured before social distancing measures were in place

Surrey’s conversion of all Surrey’s 89,000 street lights to energy-efficient LEDs has begun in Guildford borough. Lights in Waverley and Surrey Heath will follow in the three-year rolling programme.

Currently keeping the lights on cost the county £3.8 million a year. LED ones will save £2 million a year, based on current prices and last 20 years, six times longer than traditional bulbs. If energy prices rise, the saving will be even greater.

County Cllr Matt Furniss (Con, Shalford), the cabinet member for transport, said:

“LED lights demonstrate our commitment to reducing our energy consumption. As well as supporting our aim of being net carbon zero by 2050, the reduced costs also benefit the taxpayer.

“The lights will be warm white, designed to direct the light more on to the highway so they’ll be less intrusive into people’s homes and gardens.”

 

 

Come on Surrey County Council – do the decent thing.

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Suppose we have to forgive them for getting their priorities right. Surrey is far too busy building a new empire to concern itself with the stuff of our disadvantaged children’s lives?
We all know where our Waverley MP”s stand on the subject. We wonder WHY?
So come on  Surrey County Council – get to it – and you can do it!
If they can do it in Conservative-run Kensington & Chelsea they can do it here in Surrey for our vulnerable youngsters. Children that have had their education and their lives, disrupted and will be paying for this pandemic for decades to come.

 

Free My Meal – a Godalming based outfit now has 6,000 members and almost 30 groups nationwide. 
A Godalming resident started @FreeMyMeal
from her home 9 weeks ago! Now it boasts over 6,000 members and nearly 30 groups nationwide! Check out our groups and the meal pledges for half term help! So far its supporters include Louis Tomlinson, Nigella Lawson, Lord Alan Sugar and Kathy Burke.

Ignore village leaders and the public at your peril Cranleigh Village Health Trust.

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CVHT care home refused in 2019. An appeal lodged in 2020. A new planning application lodged in June 020 - potponed in October 2020 until????d in 2019 Appealed in 2020 - Appeal withdrawn in 2020 and new planning application submitte in June 20 and now postponed untild

CVHT Private Care Home refused in 2019, appealed in 2020. The appeal was withdrawn in October 2020. New Planning application lodged in June 2020 – postponed in October 2020 – until???

Is the charity behind a bid to build a private care home and a residential development on former parish land ignoring Cranleigh village leaders and its donors?

Silence has been anything but golden for Cranleigh Parish Council – a former partner -of the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – which has now morphed into The Cranleigh Health Trust (CVHT.) It has failed in its repeated attempts to get answers to its concerns for many months.

Now – The Cranleigh Village Hospital Campaign Group, which is backed by many thousands of villagers, many of whom were donors, claim it to is being ignored. But will not sit idly by any longer!

Campaign leader Andy Webb has written to the CVHT informing it that the group he leads wants to be included in any further discussions it has with Cranleigh Parish Council. It believes it has the mandate to speak on behalf of villagers, following a pre-COVID public meeting held at the village hall in September 2019. It also has a petition with over 5,000 signatures calling for a halt to the charity’s 20-year battle. 

It also has the backing of the many hundreds of residents in the eastern villages who have objected to the Trust’s latest scheme. The Trust has a current live planning application with partner HC-One To build a private care home, and 16 community beds, and a residential block of flats for Surrey’s care workers. This despite the fact that all key stakeholders including – The Royal Surrey Hospital; The Integrated Care Partnership and Surrey Heartlands Trust have all withdrawn their support. Surrey County Council has also jumped ship. The Trust chairman has also publicly confirmed that it has no operator signed up for the private care home but would find a suitable partner once planning consent has been given.

Whose left to back a Cranleigh Charity’s bid to build a private care home?

So here you have it! Cranleigh Nursing Home circa 2001/2021?

However, according to Andy Webb, The Campaign Group’s leader, the e-mail requesting to be included in any further discussions has not, as yet, received a reply.

The Trust’s media company – Bamford Media was also asked for a statement regarding confirmation that CVHT has withdrawn its appeal against Waverley Planners earlier refusal for a larger scheme. But again, has received no response.

The Waverley Web (which has no connection with Andy Webb) received the following statement.

On 24 Oct 2020, at 08:43, Andy Webb <andy@andywebbphotography.com> wrote:

Dear WW, 

The reason I started this campaign was in memory of my mum and to get some answers for the community who have given their time and money to a charity which promised us a new fully functioning hospital and day hospital. 

 

Even after the hospital was a distant memory the charity still called themselves Cranleigh Village “Hospital” Trust which was very misleading to the public who were still donating money to them. 

Now, even though the CVHT has withdrawn its appeal against the “Not For Local Residents” Community Beds and Private Care Home, the fight to stop the new planning application continues. 

We have been pushed aside and kept in the dark for so long. We have been blocked on the CVHT social media platforms, read their so called myth busters and who was responsible for all of this?  None other than the media company they use to offload more garbage than an overfilled refuse truck. 

They have tried to dismiss the petition I set up but failed as everything was done legally and above board. 

They tried to play down the amount of money the public raised and what it was misspent on.

Even though the original landowner retained the strip of land around the Bruce McKenzie Field they deny it is classed as a ransom strip. 

 

What is the old saying? You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

With stakeholders pulling out and CVHT now desperately looking at hospices and other charities to dig them out of a hole, it proves that their proposals are not viable. 

As the community and local organisations have donated £1.8m to the charity we (the public) are classed as major stakeholders and therefore should be treated as such. 

It is now time for us to have our say in any future CVHT plans with the newly formed Cranleigh Village Hospital Stakeholder Campaign Group. 

 

With so many supporters and with petitions totalling nearly

5000 signatures we are more than just a few loud voices. 

With everyone working together we have a chance of stopping this application and if we are successful the Paddock Field must be returned to the parish and kept as a much needed green space. 

 

We will never give up on this and I would personally like to  thank everyone for their continued support and much valued help with the campaign. 

 

Our next step is to get as many objections against the planning application and to get the petition signed by as many people as possible. 

Our aim is to stop this planning application being approved once and for all and have the Paddock Field returned to the parish. Also, if any of the Charities money remains it should be donated to the League of Friends of The Cranleigh Village Hospital. After all, the community donated its money towards a Hospital/Day hospital and not a commercial venture. 

Please click on the link to submit your objections to the planning application. 

Here is the link to the petition.

https://www.change.org/campaigngroup

To have your say please join our Facebook Cranleigh Village Hospital Stakeholder Campaign Group. 

here is the link

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1269664776728773/?ref=share

Kind Regards, Andy Webb.

‘Your Waverley’ now has the second highest COVID infection rate in Surrey.

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nick palmer

WBC Labour Councillor and former Member of Parliament.

A missive from Executive member of WBC Cllr Nick Palmer.

 
The level is still rising locally – we have the second-highest in Surrey – so it seems only a matter of time before we move into Tier 2, the main difference being that people not in a joint bubble are then not allowed to meet indoors (or in crowds outdoors).
“The Government rules have peculiar exceptions – the notorious one is that it’s illegal for children to get together to feed ducks, but legal for adults to get together to shoot them (“field sports” are exempt from the rules).  The latest twist is that we’re allowed to have a big group sitting together inside a restaurant so long as we claim we’re discussing business, and the press has picked up cases where large groups are munching away and obviously not talking about business at all.”
DON’T MINGLE!
The point, though, is that the rules are to protect us, and whether we think the Government are geniuses or incompetent doesn’t actually matter – we shouldn’t want to mingle households and have big get-togethers, because we’re putting everyone’s lives at risk. In the same way, wearing a mask when we’re shopping or meeting people even outside, is good because we’re less likely to kill them and vice versa, not because a Minister has laid down a rule. There’s nothing political about it; it’s just common sense.
LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE
On the bright side, it does look as though vaccines will start to come through in a couple of months. Deciding on priorities will be the next job. I think it makes sense to give the first ones to NHS staff and carers, even though the very elderly are more vulnerable, because (a) the NHS and care staff come into contact with far more people, many of whom are vulnerable and (b) the vaccine trials are mostly of healthy adults of working age, and we won’t initially know whether the vaccines are equally helpful for the very elderly. During 2021, we can expect further trials to see which vaccines work best for each of us.
 
Godalming Community Store – do encourage people to use it!
A friend who helps run this cross-party Town Council community group asks me to encourage more people in difficulty to use it. She writes,
 
“When the country began going back to work, the call on the store reduced. But we’re well stocked and could help more people hit by the end of furlough in 10 days. I’m concerned the message doesn’t get to the right people. The experience of using the store is dignified and could be life-changing. But individuals and parents finding themselves struggling may never have been in this situation and would find the decision to ask for help and come to us a difficult one.”
If you know someone who might be struggling, do pass this message on. It couldn’t be less bureaucratic or embarrassing – you phone 01483 523575 or email office@godalming-tc.gov.uk to make an appointment, you turn up and are made welcome, and you take what you need. Zero paperwork or personal questions. Details are here: https://godalming-tc.gov.uk/community-store/which also has details of their Christmas raffle to raise funds to keep the shop stocked and the goods in shorter supply if you can help them in that way.
 
FREE SCHOOL MEALS
Given the billions being paid out to keep businesses going, you wouldn’t think that the modest cost of providing free meals for children outside term time was controversial – not many of us are comfortable with the idea that some children won’t have enough to eat over Christmas because their parents have lost their jobs in the pandemic.
Unfortunately, this seems to have turned into a political judgment for the Government – they gave in to Marcus Rashford’s first campaign as it was so popular (and decently gave him an award), but are resisting the idea of extending the concession over Christmas as they “don’t want a footballer pushing them around”. Really they should get over themselves and just do it – the cost is relatively trivial, and it’s a one-off since by Christmas 2021 we all hope the problem will have receded.
The 5 Conservative MPs who revolted on this (one even resigned from her Government position to do so) and backed Labour’s motion to extend the rules to Christmas deserve special credit. Our own MP’s,  Jeremy Hunt & Angela Richardson did not, nor are Surrey among the many educational authorities who are helping out.
Best wishes
Nick Palmer
(Chair, SW Surrey CLP and member of the Waverley Council executive)

Why did our MP’s vote against providing school meals – and will Surrey mind the gap?

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Angela Richardson's Boob with Boris

Now MP’s can claim the expense for the Poppy Wreaths they use for their picture opportunities. This picture appeared in 2019 on the Guildford MP”s Facebook page.

You can listen to Cllr Follows here:

https://fb.watch/1jHEP8xUFb/

Young Paul Follows – ‘Your Waverley’s’ Deputy Leader is not the only one questioning the wisdom of the Hon Jeremy and the Hon Angela’s recent No vote.

Many of us here at the WW were incredulous at your lack of compassion, as were many of our readers. This is not about politics – this is about children, who may be hungry. Winston Churchill said ‘ A nation that forgets its old – has no future.’ Well, we could say the same about the young. They are our future.

No sooner had the Hon Angie voted against extending free meals for those in need during the holidays than she was opening a new McDonalds in Guildford! Crass or what?

Our MP’s must be relieved that their  Government has just announced that they can now claim the huge expense of buying a Poppy wreath when they rock up to any Remembrance Day commemorations!

A question to both Mr Hunt and the Angie WHY did you vote No? Have you recently undergone a compassion by-pass? We recognise that with all your children being privately educated in schools where they tuck into the best fodder on offer, you many no fully understand how the other half lives? Or is it because you, like so many ignorant people around the country, believe that if you live in wealthy Waverley or Snobbish Surrey – the only thing you have to worry about is what type of gin to drink, or where to play bridge?

Wake up you guys – there are very real areas of deprivation and those areas are on your patch and are growing, faster than knotweed. Now we wonder? Will Surrey County Council stump up the cash like many other county councils in the country? Or will you leave it up to the borough’s and districts to mind the gap?

as Cllr Follows says – we need an explanation WHY?

Hundreds of thousands have signed a petition against using public money to support MPs’ food costs, amid the controversy over the Commons vote. 

More than 390,000 people had put their name to the appeal as of Friday evening.

The petition — called “No public money for MPs’ meals” — was set up after politicians rejected the proposal to keep providing free school meals to children in need during the holidays amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Its creator said she was inspired to set it up after feeling “angry” following the vote in the Commons

 

 

So here you have it! Cranleigh Nursing Home circa 2001/2021?

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Here they go again… let the trumpets blow again?


All that bunkum about postponing its planning application for a Private Care Home in Cranleigh was just that… a load of tosh!

Although the costly appeal has been ditched. The planning application, which the Cranleigh Village Health Trust had hoped would be heard on 21st October – yes – this week – will now be heard – at a later date?

And, there were all those objectors – including the Group campaigning to stop the development in its tracks thinking that – together with the withdrawal of support from its key stakeholders, Uncle Tom Cobley and all the 20-year saga would end. No way – this saga will not be over until the fat lady sings? 

Read this :

Whose left to back a Cranleigh Charity&#8217;s bid to build a private care home?

Now Tetlow King Planning has written the following to Waverley Planners – seeking yet another delay. This comes to you complete with grammatical errors!

Dear Sirs,

Although we have been pushing for the application to be heard at the 21st October Eastern Planning Committee, we now believe it is unrealistic to make that date. We, therefore, ask that the application is heard at a later date.

The main reason for this is that the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) have out of the blue with no warning, recently written to us stating that they have issues with their support, which we are seeking to clarify with them.

While the ICP’s very recent equivocation is disappointing, we remain fully committed to providing an appropriate form of health care for the local community, through Community Beds available at local authority rates, to the residents of Cranleigh and surrounding area. We are working to achieving this – still through the physical proposals as they stand in the application, but possibly using alternative organisations to the ICP (e.g. hospices, charities etc) who would use the beds that CVHT make available on the application site at local authority rates. There may still be a role for the ICP in this, as potentially one of bodies who use our beds. Nevertheless, the response from the ICP means that we will have to re-think some aspects of the structure for instance in the legal agreement and its mechanisms.

We are also awaiting your comments on the draft s106, our viability evidence and the appeal Statement of Common Ground. The late request in particular for the viability evidence also makes the October committee unrealistic.

I hope this is clear but please contact me if you require any further clarification. This should be resolved as quickly as possible.

Kind regards Oliver

Oliver Marigold BSc (Hons) DipTP MRTPI Principal Planner
TETLOW KING PLANNING

So all the “free at the point of delivery” community bed promises made by the Charity- were like pie crusts easily broken.

As The Campaign Group’s leader Andy Webb (nothing to do with the Waverley Web) says: “You can fool all of the people, some of the time, some of the people all of the time – but not ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME!

Tomorrow we will put the Campaign Group’s message on the Waverley Web.

Mention who dares the words – ‘Surrey Fire Fighters!’

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Now there’s a brave man. Waverley Councillor George Wilson Godalming, Farncombe and Catteshall.

He who dared to whisper the words – ‘Surrey Firefighters’ after being warned by the head honchos at Surrey County Council – not to do so!?!

What a perishing cheek! 

Profile image for Councillor George Wilson

Cllr Wilson said as a member of the Waverley/SCC Locality Partnership he had received an e-mail from a council officer with a warning!

The message was clear. Don’t discuss anything to do with the Surrey Fire & Rescue Service. And! Don’t answer any questions from members of the public either.

Get the drift – The Surrey Stasi are on patrol? 

Cllr Wilson told ‘Your Waverley’s Full council’s Zoom meeting last night that he/they/us/ were to refuse to allow any representation or contact from Surrey’s firefighters.  Siting confidentiality issues connected to a dispute.

A dispute with –  our brave men and women firefighters? The ones that beat a path to our doors in the blink of an eye, day or night to quench the flames, or drag us from our smashed-up cars. Or even act as first responders to save our lives from heart attacks? Yep folks those are they! The reason being that Surrey County Council is having a spat with the men and women who help us to sleep soundly in our homes and they don’t want us talking about it!  Because we are just voting fodder – get it? Pay your rates, put up shut up and certainly don’t stand up for anyone.

Cllr Wilson said he had concerns about the fire services manning and coverage issues that could put Waverley’s residents at risk, particularly when it was being asked to build more and more homes.

“In fact, I would like to hear from our professional fire-fighters. And as I do not wish to see our stations not fully manned I want assurances from the county’s Fire & Rescue service that this will not be the case.”

As it stands, if a member of the pubic raises the issue with us- will they be told there is a trade dispute, and it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to discuss the matter further!”

 “Does this council feel that an attempt by Surrey to stop us discussing changes in fire cover in Surrey is valid? Isn’t our remit to protect our residents? Because I think it is undemocratic and lacking in transparency were we not to do so. Anything that puts the lives of our residents at risk is most definitely our business and should be discussed in an open forum. -Will you support me in this?”

Leader John Ward said the council most certainly would!   Surrey’s attempt to prevent either Waverley or its residents from speaking up on important issues would not be tolerated. The Wellbeing Overview & Scrutiny Committee would certainly be discussing it.

“However, whilst however senior another council may consider itself to be in terms of its own importance Waverley would not be guided by what another council tells us.”

So there you have it, folks. If you are a local fire-fighter and want to get in touch with Cllr George Wilson – here’s his e-mail address: But, whatever you don’t tell him indoors! Or likely you will be looking elsewhere for work. Or it could be – as the song goes –  burn, baby burn when you gonna learn to put out that fire?

Mobile:  07508 839242

Bus. email:  george.wilson@waverley.gov.uk

Really? Surrey claps its care-workers one day and cuts their pay the next!

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SHAME ON YOU SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL! Give up your attendance allowances, give up your travelling expenses and your special responsibility allowances and help the people who do the REAL work?
Surrey County Council’s care workers have received a pay cut for weekend work as COVID-19 continues to strengthen its hold, including in ‘Your Waverley.’
Surrey care workers, who until now were paid a higher rate for the unsocial hours they worked in the homes of the vulnerable and the elderly throughout the early months of the pandemic, have had it withdrawn.
 As Covid cases increase, including parts of Surrey now facing a second lock-down, pay for the stalwart workers who willingly risk their lives to care for the vulnerable will not be paid for the extra work they do at weekends.
Pay enhancements were introduced in April to reward staff for the extra work they took on during the pandemic.

Unison is considering industrial action as care home staff employed by Surrey County Council are no longer receiving more money for working shifts that involve weekends, late nights and bank holidays.

Enhancements were introduced in April to reward them for the extra work they took on during the pandemic but were withdrawn earlier this month, 

UNISON branch secretary Paul Couchman said:

“Although always seen by the council as a temporary measure, for me it doesn’t make sense to take it away now, with cases increasing.

“They’re still going to need staff to step up to the plate and cover for people who are shielding and self-isolating.

“Whilst most residents have shown their support by joining in the clapping of appreciation  it seems the county council is unwilling to recognise the continuing sacrifices care staff are making.”

Nursing home worker Justina Faltado (Tina), who worked in a private nursing home here in Farnham, paid the ultimate sacrifice when she died of Covid-19 in May, aged 54.

She is among other care-workers of a similarly young age who have died after contracting the virus in Surrey. 

The council agreed to continue to pay enhanced wages if the evening and weekend work is overtime, but not when part of normal rotas.

A care worker doing a seven-hour shift on a weekend or bank holiday and finishing at 10 pm will receive less than £80 before tax.

Duncan Eastoe, Unison rep for Mallow Crescent, said: “This is a real kick in the teeth.” There have been three positive cases among residents at Mallow Crescent, a Guildford residential home for adults with learning difficulties, but no cases among staff.

Mr Eastoe said: “Social distancing is incredibly difficult, you just can’t do it when you’re shaving someone or making sure they don’t fall over in the shower.”

A few of the staff are over 50 and have underlying conditions, so it is down to their colleagues to share the load, he said.

Whose left to back a Cranleigh Charity’s bid to build a private care home?

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SIMPLES! The Cranleigh Village Health Trust!

THEY ARE IN A STICKY SITUATION?

 The charity formed to build a replacement HOSPITAL for the eastern villages – with publicly fund-raised money – skulks away – to find yet another cunning plan to build on formerly owned public land it bought for £1. Meanwhile, key stakeholders are dropping off its list faster than the fall of Autumn leaves.

On Thursday evening Cranleigh’s village leaders were the latest and the last of a long-line to ditch the plans for a 64-bed private care home for anyone from anywhere, and an accommodation block – for health workers from the outer boondocks. 

Cranleigh Parish Council has been licking the wounds inflicted on it by its predecessor’s crass decision-making. The cash-strapped council has sought legal advice on how it can get its land back and is continuing to do so, though it went behind closed doors to consider its next legal steps.

In a brilliant slide presentation by Council Clerk Beverley Bell on Zoom she spelt out the complex history advising councillors of the present state of play on both the current planning application and appeal against a previous refusal. Although the Charity – Cranleigh Village Health Trust (CVHT) states the schemes are halted, which has brought letters of objection to a halt… 

This is not the case – both are going ahead – and the latest scheme could be heard in November and the appeal in January. 

Andy Webb, the leader of the Campaign Group opposing the 20-year HOSPITAL saga, which has morphed into something unrecognisable to the donors who raised £1.8m, asked a string of questions. He was joined by former nurse Cathy Gould who has headed up the team’s efforts to seek a Charity Commissioner investigation! Although they represent many thousands of residents and donors in the eastern villages – the charity refuses to respond. They now want round-table talks with Cranleigh Parish Council and the Trust?

 Chairman Liz Townsend recognised their concerns and promised that the council would do its utmost to answer their questions during the meeting that followed. However, matters of a legal nature concerning the Covenant on the Paddock Field (the proposed development site) would be discussed in private, so as not to prejudice its position.

The Clerk presented a series of slides revealing some of the answers:

  • There was no longer support for the scheme from the Integrated Care Partnership!  Royal Surrey; SCC; Surrey Heartlands Trust and the Care Commissioning Group! * slide 1

  • There is no support from Surrey County Council! * slide 2

CVHT confirmed on 19th September: That the residential accommodation block will have no commercial or legal link with either HC-ONE or the 64-bed-care home! CONFUSED?

And there were we just a few short weeks ago told by the Chairman of The Trust Robin Fawkner-Corbett that it had no signed-up provider for the care home either? Does white man speak with forked tongue?

Could multi-millionaire care home operator Chai Patel still achieve his cunning plan?

It&#8217;s official. The Cranleigh Village Health Trust has NO partner for its bid to build a new Private Care Home.

So there you have it, folks. During the hour debate and votes that followed – Cranleigh Parish Council decided it WILL NOT support the building of a residential accommodation block or a private nursing home on land it sold for £1 in return for a playing field. It would also provide the Government Inspector with all the latest updates from the Integrated Care Partnership and Surrey County Council which revealed there was NO support for the scheme.

It reiterated its call to the charity to discuss the return of the land-based on an Agreement made between them * Slide 3.

WW Link: As another campaign begins to stop a Cranleigh Private Care Home being built parish leaders call for the return of village land.

The Charity might just as well have said: Stuff you! Slide *4

To sum up: there is now NO SUPPORT from any of the key stakeholders in the toxic project that has split Cranleigh asunder from:

Cranleigh Parish Council; Waverley Borough Council; Surrey County Council Adult Social Care; The Surrey Heartlands CCG; The Integrated Care Partnership – which includes The Royal Surrey County Hospital; Cranleigh League of Friends; The Cranleigh GP Practice; or The GP Federation; mental health; Community CCG’s; voluntary sector organisations; and… last but not least the thousands of people who signed Andy Webb’s Cranleigh Community Board petition and the many hundreds of people who have objected to the latest planning application.

What more does the charity need to halt this divisive and unpopular scheme which has divided the village?

OUR ADVICE. When you are in a hole – stop digging!

However, it is not completely ‘Billy No Mates.’ Abstentions came from three parish councillors. These included Hannah Nicholson of the defunct Cranleigh Community Board and now Cranleigh Conversations; Rosemary Burbridge of the “I need a care home for my husband;” and George Worthington who abstains from anything to do with the project leaving residents’ to wonder WHY WHEN he never declares an interest?

 

Some really helpful COVID information from ‘Your Waverley.’

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Cllr. Paul Follows – Godalming Central & Ockford  Deputy Leader of ‘Your Waverley,’ who still manages to keep smiling – keep calm and carry on. We salute you.
NEW GOVERNMENT THREE-TIER COVID SYSTEM EXPLAINED
WAVERLEY STATUS: MEDIUM 🟠
As many of you will be aware, the government recently changed its Covid threat rating system to a new three-tier status, with the lowest being Medium. One part of Surrey (Elmbridge) has just gone to stage 2 (High) but for now, Waverley is Medium.
If we all continue to do our bit we can hopefully stay that way! 👍
But what do the new tiers mean?
See the infographics below:
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley BC
Leader, Godalming Town Council
Paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk
PS: please don’t shoot the messenger, I am just trying to keep people informed about a pretty fluid set of government policies and Comms!

Nobody says it better – than the Farnham Herald.

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The King of Buy-To-Let has his say on housing numbers.

Well! He would, wouldn’t he? Because if the Waverley Borough sinks under a pile of concrete he won’t be wearing ‘Boris The Builder’s’ boots! Jeremy Hunt MP for SW Surrey, just might for fear of losing his seat, finally put his vote where his mouth is? However, on the other side of the borough, MP Angela Richardson has already warned the Guildford and Villages, voters… 

“To be careful what they wish for.” As they may end up with Guildford becoming a ‘high rise town.’ So she’s backing Boris – because if he asks her to jump – she shouts out – “how high.”

Jeremy Hunt who opposed building on the largest brownfield site in the borough of Waverley, and has sat back for years watching our countryside disappear.

And here’s what the man, who wants to fill Jeremy’s boots has to say: Paul Follows;  deputy leader of ‘Your Waverley’ who recently revealed the efforts the new coalition has made to increase the numbers of affordable homes in the borough. A task which will be made more difficult if the new Government White Paper is voted through.

 

How &#8216;Your Waverley&#8217;s&#8217; housing honchos just &#8216;Kept Calm and Carried On&#8217; during COVID.

 

http://Screenshot 2020-10-15 at 10.39.17.png

 

A wake-up call to MP Angela Richardson and all who sail with her.

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Alfold is Full come back in 2032… Please?

If only everyone took as much notice and was as concerned about Alfold as Denise Wordsworth. The virtual newcomer is passionate about the Surrey/Sussex border village.

Denise Alfold

 

Dear Alfold Parish Council,

 

I am writing to YOU but copying in random MP’s/Councillors that I have never met and quite possibly never will –  until election time – so just thought I would try to be a little more inclusive.

 I know we are a tiny Village – with a tiny voice – but sometimes I think we need to  Shout-Out. We are all concerned about COVID -19. However, life goes on and so do developers who hope that no-one will notice whilst we are preoccupied with the pandemic that the Government has issued a White Paper. A document that says put your land into 3 tiers Good, Better and BEST –  Bit like COVID really!!

WW Link: A few things you should know about the government&#8217;s new planning White Paper.

There is little to address the concerns of villages like ours. Villages that are unsustainable with NO: Doctors/Dentists/Schools/or decent shops within walking distances. Everyone that moves here will have to DRIVE. Our roads are rubbish and we have NO TRAIN STATION  within 10 miles … apart from fairy fantasy ideas of re-establishing the old train Network…

NOTHING!

We have multiple applications in this little Village that INSPECTORS regularly allow on appeal because the borough doesn’t have a 5 year Plan.

WW link: That man in Bristol has been busy dumping homes on Alfold &#8211; again! So it’s OK to DUMP Housing on this LITTLE village because the Borough doesn’t have a 5 year Plan??  Why stick it all here in. Cranleigh/Alfold/Dunsfold ??  

 It is Wrong – But it is EASY!  Dunsfold was the biggest Brownfield site (DISPUTE)  and the rest of the Borough said, ‘YES not in our town.’  So Waverley put the majority her in the eastern villages with a Minor A road A281 to Guildford/Horsham.

Our little semi-rural village is being bombarded by developers hoping that no one will notice – and they are right. No one does because they are suffering from FATIGUE – and have lost the will to care. Even the developers forget they have development rights as they appear to be LAND- BANKING!

This is the sort of feedback I get from people that genuinely care about the village – but have simply lost the will.

I told this person – I was fed up too – however, I keep trying as I do care about this village.  But, he has a point not everyone is an anal-retard like me who spends a ridiculous amount of time looking at this stuff.  I also told him I was giving up!  But I can’t! We moved here in our 50’s for our dog and a better life.  Alfold is a wonderful Village despite limited facilities,  which is fine for us, but hardly fine for people with young families needing to commute to London or other towns. There are no Trains and bus services are so limited as to be worse than useless.

This is the latest list of applications for our Village of 450 Homes (2011 Census) which I am afraid takes us so over the limit that it is ridiculous.

When a TOWN has shops doctors, Trains etc that is fine. Our Little Village doesn’t.  There is  NO Get GREEN BELT protection because we are COUNTRYSIDE BEYOND THE GREENBELT. This means we are Rural and do not need URBAN SPRAWL protection – but obviously, we do –  as Government Inspectors seem to think it is fine to give our small village over 200% of the allocation that was designated in the Local Plan. It is time to get angry about this now and I am afraid the village needs others’ support as they have lost the Will and NOBODY cares.

Well, I bally well do – so about time our MP’s started looked at US and doing something (Given the Covid Problem) If that is an issue – Pause all Planning applications until they can be taken seriously!  This is not Rocket science is it?

It’s  about time that Westminster and Surrey recognised these issues and until you do – I will certainly look forward to voting elsewhere next May – It saddens me but I see no other way. You have allowed a beautiful village to be screwed over by developers and we have more coming and no-one knows anything about it – Watch out WILDWOOD GOLF COURSE!

 

Denise Wordsworth

 

How to get a BEM in ‘Your Waverley’ in three easy lessons.

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Angela Richardson Offshore tax evasion
THE TORY GUIDE TO SURVIVAL IN THE HINTERLANDS
… no, not the Outer Hebrides but Outer Hindhead and Haslemere!
Life Lesson No 1

1.1      Ensure you are a TORY with a Capital T.

1.2      If you are a borough councillor, always keep your head down – unless, of course, you happen to absolutely have to bestir yourself on account of the pesky locals, who helped get you elected – and now want their just reward by demanding you look into a controversial planning application on your patch!

1.3      Sit on as few committees as is humanly possible and, by all that’s holy, keep your comments strictly limited to parochial issues.  And, whatever else you do, don’t involve yourself in the stuff of other people’s lives – eg, anything to do with Farnham or Godalming!

Most certainly not Cranleigh, unless of course, you want to support a Private Care Home on public land with public money!

Life Lesson 2

2.1      Leave the council whenever it suits you.  Everyone understands you need to support your local coffee shop, and do the odd jobs,  … well, maybe not now we’re all working from home on Zoom!  And, of course, you need to do the weekly shop at Waitrose, leaving the delivery slots for the elderly and vulnerable.  And, of course, you need to get your roots touched up and your dry ends trimmed with another lockdown looming.  God forbid, you have to resort to dying it over the bath again – your bathmat still hasn’t recovered from that unfortunate incident during the March lockdown.  

2.2      And, as long as you pop back into the chamber when the Tory-Tossers are having trouble finding a local candidate and ensure you don’t go around rocking the Tory boat, by disagreeing with the Party, all will be well.  Just follow Noah’s example in these dire times and remember that the animals went in two-by-two.  Otherwise, you risk being swept away in the flood when the day of reckoning comes – as it surely will!

And last, but certainly not least:

Lesson 3

3.1     Ensure you stick as many leaflets through local letterboxes as you possibly can, regardless of how many Louboutin trainers you wear out in the process!  What price vanity?  For and on behalf of Ewhurst resident and local MP, The Hon Angie – she of the Rupert Bear scarves, not The Queen Vic  – that’s a whole other story! – and the unforgettable Leprechaun outfit – who could forget the Leprechaun?!  No, this is The Hon Angie, who, even before the ink was dry on her acceptance of office, was telling former colleagues:

If you play your cards right I could get you an MBE.

We wonder if all those really deserving souls in the eastern villages, who have given their lives to public services in one way or another, could or should have any faith in the honours system if all you have to do is rock up to parish and borough meetings and become a Trustee of The Shottermill Recreation Ground Trust to get a BEM?

Eat your heart out Carole Cockburn and all those other Waverley Councillors who have been slogging their guts out for donkey’s years. Who have rocked up at every council meeting known to man and have produced not one, but two Neighbourhood Plans. But who, sadly, no longer appear to be singing from the same hymn sheet as their new choir mistress.

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/press/article/639/waverley_councillor_named_in_queen_s_birthday_honours_list

Is the Hon Angie helping Bumbling Boris prepare the ground for a behemoth unitary authority? Or is she busy helping to bury another algorithm now her Tory heartland is revolting?

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/press/article/639/waverley_councillor_named_in_queen_s_birthday_honours_list

Is the Hon Angie helping Boris prepare the ground for a behemoth unitary authority?

November earmarked for the county council to decide on drilling in Dunsfold.

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The Dunsfold drilling decision that was to have been held in October has now been delayed until  November.

Delays have been the order of the day for the UK Oil & Gas’s controversial scheme to drill on the Loxley Well site near Dunsfold.  Postponements began in 2019 and have continued ever since.

The decision on plans to drill two oil and gas wells near the Surrey village of Dunsfold has been delayed so many times now it is hard to remember exactly how many?  UKOG put in the application in April 2019. The proposals were originally expected to be decided by Surrey County Council in June, then August 2019, but a decision was postponed until September –   October –  and then November of that year. ‘Your Waverley’ objected to the scheme on numerous grounds – including the fact that it has declared a climate emergency. The gloves were on for Your Waverley&#8217;s new Rainbow administration​ as it Declares A Climate Emergency.

 The scheme was finally heard and refused at a catastrophic Zoom meeting in September  2020. When an amateur outfit of Surrey County Council’s planners made a pigs-ear of a virtual remote planning meeting. 
Councillors narrowly refused UK Oil & Gas PLC’s bid to appraise the well on land owned by an Alfold man – farmer Ashley Ward. The September 2020 hearing refused the scheme. But this decision was later ruled invalid. An investigation into complaints about the meeting, held virtually, concluded that irregularities arising from technical difficulties would…

 

“render any notice of refusal unlawful”.

So here we go again…

UK Oil &#038; Gas application in Dunsfold &#8211; Refused&#8230;for no

The proposed site sits almost on the doorstep of Waverley’s highly acclaimed Government-backed garden village – soon to boast circa 3,000 new homes. In fact, it appeared that if approved, the garden villagers – could literally have oil/gas wells in/under their back gardens.

The second hearing on the application by the county council’s planning committee had been expected on 22 October 2020. Now the council says that a committee report by planning officers couldn’t be completed in time for the meeting to go ahead.

The next scheduled planning committee is on Friday 27 November 2020Link to the meeting.

The officers’ recommendation will be published a week before the meeting. We understand November meeting will also be held virtually.  However, the county wallah’s aren’t going to risk another debacle like the last.  The chairman and key council officials are not expected to take part remotely but will be in the same room at county hall. Phew! that’s a relief!

Link to DrillOrDrop page on Dunsfold

Section of Dunsfold boreholes UKOG

Continue reading

Is the Hon Angie helping Boris prepare the ground for a behemoth unitary authority?

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Pretty damn sure she is.

But, as she said about the concerns Guildford residents have about the new housing targets that could be coming their way if ‘Bob The Builder’ Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick gets his way. 

“Be careful what you wish for,” 

 She recently told the amazing Guildford Dragon that if Guildford doesn’t  accept more homes in the countryside around Guildford they may end up with ‘high rise.” Watch it, Angie! Start telling your Tory voters that their treasured town may soon end up looking like Woking, and your stint at Westminster could be short-lived!

Regular readers will know that we certainly aren’t fans of La Richardson – she of the Rupert Bear scarves and unforgettable Leprechaun outfit (who could forget the Leprechaun?!) – but, regrettably,  the dishonourable Anne Milton former Conservative MP threw her toys out of the pram – and stuck two fingers up to Boris & Brexit, as a result, he threw her out of the Party and didn’t drape one of the most hard-working and highly respected MP’s Guildford has ever had, in ermine.  Standing as an Independent didn’t scupper the Tory Tanker either! However, Angie is now in post having helped fill the Tory coffers both in her constituency and centrally she surely earned her reward and is now a PPS to the beleaguered Gavin Williamson.

The MP for Guildford has spoken out for the first time recently revealing a hidden desire to see the County of Surrey become a behemoth Unitary Authority swiping out in its path to autonomy all the 11 other boroughs and districts. Some of whom cover large towns like Guildford and Woking – and other more rural borough’s such as ‘Your Waverley.’ Well, she would, wouldn’t she? She didn’t get where she is today without doing the government’s bidding. Look where that landed her predecessor Annie Milton – spending more time with her family – and serving the community by answering their e-mails?

Ms Milton must be seething to hear that the Hon Angie – who is getting brickbats for not dealing with constituency work, hinted she didn’t receive a handover of local casework from the former MP for Guildford and Villages! Really? Maybe Annie needs to get her Gun? The Hon Angie claims most of her good works are carried on” behind the scenes.”

It was also striking to hear that she knew that the Surrey County County Elections will be going ahead in May 2020 long before it was made public.  Because of course she has been kept regularly informed of the selection process for all the new Tory candidates by her Guildford  Conservative Association colleagues. Perhaps, before re-selecting Cranleigh’s little Povey the local association will need to find him first.

 She even spoke about the county council with the Royal “we.” Does the MP for Guildford & Villages really believe that the Tories have a divine right to rule for ever-more in Surrey?

MY LITTLE POVEY

Our Little Andrew Povey. Surrey County Councillor for Cranleigh and villages. 

The WW understands the cry’s have been going out at local parish councils.

 “Has anyone out there seen our little Povey?

Because not only has he repeatedly failed to rock up at parish councils on his patch, he never even bothers to send in a report.

 

 

 

As Blightwells continues to rear its ugly head the opening has been delayed – again.

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The controversial redevelopment scheme’s opening has been set back from March 2021 until July 2021.

Farnham Cllr Andy McLeod told Waverley’s Executive this week that another new team – headed by another new CEO had taken over management of the retail and housing scheme, and was making “a fresh start.”

It would appear to us here at the Waverley Web that developers Crest Nicholson changes it’s head honchos more often than one of our team’s blokes changes his socks!

However, onwards and forever upwards goes Blighwells – the result of a 25-year partnership between CNS, Your Waverley and Surrey County Council (SCC). With our money!

SCC heard that the scheme had lost yet another business. Ask Italian had gone into liquidation – which now leaves it with no restaurants. Only M & S Foods, Seasalt and Reel Cinemas were still hanging on in there. The Cinema was expected to open sometime in August 2021.

“We discussed possible rentals of the shops and it is, not a wonderful picture,” Cllr McLeod told his colleagues,”

However, Crest Nicholson was confident the shops would be let over a two-year period – and never expected that they would be filled straight away, he said.

However, here’s what the Farnham Society thinks of how Waverley’s Tories have changed the character of a much-loved market town. Article published in June.

20200908_094825

The Farnham Society’s planning committee chairman, David Howell, reviews the state of the Brightwells development. 

September 2020

I’ve been hearing from various quarters that Farnham residents have expressed surprise and bewilderment at the increasing height and dominance of the Brightwells buildings adjoining public spaces, notably on Dogflud Way, East Street and above the Sainsbury’s South Street car park. I thought I would give you a summary of what the development brings.

The Society’s position

The Farnham Society opposed the proposals from inception. We were appalled at the size and scale of the scheme and objected strongly every time the terms of the Crest contract were altered in their favour. For example, the decision not to retain the Gostrey Centre on site. But the old Waverley administration continued regardless.

The residents expressed their thoughts about the use of the site through a survey in the Farnham Herald before the Development Brief was prepared in 2000, twenty years ago, but the Brief completely ignored their opinions. In 2016 the Society was involved in launching the campaign to seek a Judicial Review, questioning the viability of the scheme and predicting the lack of take-up of retail space, given current trends in the high street.

Support from both the membership and residents was magnificent and more sympathetic alternatives to the scheme were suggested, all to no avail. The Farnham Theatre Association fought and lost their battle to save the Redgrave Theatre.

But we are where we are, we still dislike the development intensely but want some good to come out of it for the people of Farnham.

Current status

You may not need reminding that Surrey County Council has invested in excess of £50 million in this development. We are paying for it. The current Waverley administration has reported that the borough council will probably never make any money out of it. They have a chance if all the 25 retail units are let as soon as they are available and remain let. To date the only interested parties are M&S Simply Food, Reel Cinemas, Ask Italian and Seasalt. The Society predicted this years ago. The Crest Nicholson brochure boasts 8 restaurants. Are they sustainable in the current climate?

I haven’t analysed the area of accommodation still available in the development, but my guess is 75% which equates to 72,000 square feet. To put that into perspective, the Argos building has a total area of 7,500 square feet, Water Lane Sainsbury’s 80,000 square feet.

So, where does one start? The largest building I think, which is D8 and then continue anti-clockwise around the site looking at the buildings visible from the road or public access space.

Brightwells CN Plan 03 09 20

D8, Cinema and car park

This is the largest building within the development and will be visible to anyone, anywhere, in the unfortunate position of having a view of the development. Currently, the greatest impact is from Dogflud Way. The building dominates the view for those approaching Farnham town centre from the east.

The southern end of the east elevation illustrated below is finished with a green ‘living wall’ – an anachronism you may well think.

D8 East Elevation 03 09 20 Green Wall TFS

The building has a footprint larger than the sports centre and about 60% of Sainsbury’s Water Lane. Allowing for its four full floors, together with the lower ground floor car park, the building has approximately three times Sainsbury’s floor space. The capacity of the car park is recorded as 426 over ten levels.

“Access and egress from the car park are via a ramp from Dogflud Way. I saw overlay drawings several years ago and these showed the edge of the ramp within ten feet of the corner of the sports centre – the length of a classic mini.”

D8 East Elevation photo TFS

Photo illustrating progress at the beginning of September

There is a six-screen cinema in the building with a current provision of approximately 750 seats although I foresee the possibility of the actual number reducing to accommodate the luxury seats that Reel, the cinema operator, may decide to install. The building also houses no fewer than four retail units or shops most with additional space on the first floor. Ask Italian are currently taking unit RU5 which has first-floor space. There are a total of 33 flats within the building.

I have to say that I feel that the west elevation overlooking Brightwell House and Brightwell Gardens is a mess, see below. That’s my opinion. Some may disagree with me. Time will tell.

D8 west elevation photo TFS

D15, Affordable Housing

This is a three-storey apartment block housing 15 flats, mainly with 2 bedrooms. The flats have been acquired by Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) as affordable housing. The building extends right up to the boundary and dominates the car park serving Chestnuts, East Gate and the Clock House.

“There is no amenity space for the flats. In my opinion, it turns what was a reasonably pleasant, open, car park area into a fishbowl.”

D15 west elevation TFS

Elevation drawing and photo illustrating progress at the beginning of September

D6, retail shops and flats

The north elevation of this building sits facing East Street, adjacent to the entrance to the development and opposite the former Marlborough Head pub. Built over four floors it houses 11 retail units on the ground floor some of which have space on the first floor together with 42 flats with an even split between 1 and 2 bedrooms. There is no amenity space. Below a photograph taken earlier in September. The roof section of the building still has to be added so the building will increase in height a further storey. It already dominates the skyline, dwarfing the Marlborough Head.

D6 and The Marlborough Head pub 2

D14 and D1, retail shops and flats

D14 includes the Marlborough Head pub and extends back to connect to D1 forming an L shape arrangement which in turn faces Cambridge Place opposite Funkey Monkey Soft Play. D14 houses four retail units on the ground floor all with potential access to first-floor space. Crest’s press releases show Seasalt having taken unit 12, the one adjoining the Marlborough Head. This stretch of the development is two-storey and, I have to admit, is in keeping with the retained pub structure in height.

D1 D6 East Street Elevation drawing TFS

Elevation drawing of D1 and D16 on East Street

D1 is three storeys in its entirety with the ground floor providing three shop units. The first and second floors house a total of 16 flats, with an equal split between one and two bedrooms, the latter on the south side having views over the new ‘town square’.

The wall finishes are a real mish-mash, brickwork, painted render, slate hanging and timber boarding. Sorry, but it isn’t pretty, see below.

D1 South Elevation TFS

D21, retail units

This two-storey building has shop windows on all unattached elevations at ground floor level being fully glazed on the east side overlooking the ‘town square’. The rear faces Cambridge Place.

“Planning application drawings indicate a square vented chimney feature on the zinc pitched roof. Probably one of the more attractive buildings on the development in my opinion although probably better suited as a pavilion or seafront located building. Five retail units are allocated to it.”

D20, M&S and flats

M&S Simply Food will occupy the whole of the ground floor of this building. There is a smaller, so-called, mezzanine area which sits above part of the M&S space to the south. From recollection, this was the space that the Gostrey Centre was going to occupy or was included in their space. The north, east and south sides of the buildings are three or four storeys high around a residents’ shared amenity space at first-floor level which looks west overlooking the Sainsbury’s upper car park deck, see below.

D20 west elevation cropped

The building houses a total of 42 flats, a majority two bedroomed but with a couple of three bedroomed dwellings which extend up to the third floor. The four-storey parts of the west elevation totally dominate the skyline when you are in the car park. The building dwarfs the neighbouring Victoria Gardens, see below, the overlooking windows destroying its former feeling of calm and privacy.

D20 south elevation from Victoria Garden TFS

The west elevation will have a couple of brick finished chimneys trying to add a sense of domestic scale. The planning application plan drawing shows four lovely mature trees in the amenity space, which are in fact not shown on the landscaped west elevation.

D20 east elevation, tented B House

Photo illustrating the progress of the east elevation from the temporary bridge in September

D4B and D4C

As far as I can see these two buildings aren’t visible above the hoardings yet. Both are designated as purely residential. D4B houses a total of 39 flats, 14 one-bedroom, 18 two-bedroom and 7 three-bedroom. The four-storey building will tower above the 40 Degree building, and the sports centre glazed west elevation which provides light to the swimming pool. Several of the upper floor east facing flats have balconies, further compromising the youth club, see drawing elevation below. The building is finished with a mix of brickwork and painted render. Managing building maintenance will be an interesting exercise.

D4B East elevation TFS

D4C is similarly a four-storey building housing 34 flats, 5 one-bedroom, 19 two-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom. The main feature of the west-facing elevation, see below, is a simplified Jacobean Dutch-style gable.

“I ask myself, what were they thinking?”

D4C west elevation

D4A

The last but one of the buildings, this sits away from the existing perimeter of the site, as yet not visible from outside the site. Four storey’s high, housing one restaurant space and 16 flats over the four floors including two flats on the ground floor. Am I alone in thinking that the west elevation of the building is totally out of place, with pink painted render, elevation drawing below, probably more at home in Italy? The building boasts another square vented chimney feature.

D4A west elevation 03 09 20

Brightwell House, designated building number D12

A Grade II listed building which the former Waverley administration tried to demolish. Smallest building on the site although it is being extended with an appalling two-storey extension to the north side, see east elevation below. The building is currently ‘tented’. I am told it is being re-rendered and refurbished to the highest of standards. We will see. It will be dwarfed by the buildings that surround it. I recall reading somewhere that it was seen as a centrepiece. In my experience, you don’t surround your most treasured article with vast over-dominant other things.

D12 Brightwell House east elevation 03 09 20

The Farnham Society

We have a membership in excess of 650 – more than many other civic societies throughout the country. Our aim is to protect our town’s heritage while taking an active part in shaping its future. The scale of our membership is important for the impact it has on the different authorities and organisations we speak to, and it does make a difference. Thank you for being one of those members if you are. If not, why not join us. Explore our website.

If you would like to do more than just be a member, we are looking for support in one or two areas. If you think you may be able to help, please email 1memsec.fsoc@gmail.com or phone our Chairman, Alan Gavaghan on 01252 724714

David Howell

Chair of the Planning Committee

 

The future is no longer Orange. It is Orange right now for COVID in Waverley!

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Things are not looking good for our borough right now. Waverley is now on AMBER ALERT  with reported cases of the COVID virus on the up!

Waverley’s total infection-rate since the start of the pandemic is now higher than Woking – with its large ethnic population and is not far off Guildford.

There have been a total of 670 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Waverley since the start of the pandemic up to 2 October. However,  between September 26 and 2nd October cases increased by 64. Which has led to the borough being put on AMBER ALERT.

For the same period.

  • GUILDFORD – 82 new cases TOTAL of 777
  • WOKING  57 new cases 57. TOTAL of 552

Data is showing an increase in COVID-19 case numbers in other  areas of Surrey too and residents are being urged to be vigilant to slow any spread of the virus. 

As part of the Local Outbreak Control Plan for Surrey the county council made a commitment to be open and transparent about our response to COVID-19. Therefore, it is important to communicate any increase in cases, which is out of step what it would expect to see.

It has now confirmed that it is seeing significant rises in people testing positive for Coronavirus in Guildford and in Waverley. Similar warnings have been issued to Elmbridge, Woking,  Runnymede and Spelthorne, where cases are also rising.

Ruth Hutchinson, Surrey’s Director of Public Health said:

“I am grateful to everyone in Surrey who has listened to our advice and followed public health guidelines to help keep Surrey safe over the past months.

“We are continually monitoring the data across the county, and we now need to ask residents to help us stop the spread of the virus. 

“Rates of Coronavirus infections are rising fast across the country, and Surrey is no exception. Over the past few days we’ve seen significant rises in positive test in Guildford. We have issued similar warnings to Elmbridge, Woking, Waverley, Runnymede and Spelthorne, where infection rates are also rising fast.

“We’re at a crucial point and now is the time to do everything you can to limit the spread of the virus.   

“I can’t say it enough – keep washing your hands, wear face coverings when required, limit the number of households you are in contact with and don’t get together in groups of more than 6. Social distancing is one of the best ways to limit the spread of the virus.

“It has been a really tough year for all of us, and I know people are starting to feel ‘COVID fatigue’. But things are changing quickly and we need to get our infection rates back down.

“If we all follow the guidelines we still have the chance to get the situation in these areas under control and avoid any further restrictions.”

Weekly data for Surrey, broken down by Districts and Boroughs can be found at surreycc.gov.uk/covidcases

If you have Coronavirus symptoms – a persistent cough, high fever, or a change in smell or taste – then you should book a test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.co.uk/coronavirus.

Preventative measures are the best way to avoid local lockdowns.

Coronavirus advice and guidance: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/emergency-planning-and-community-safety/coronavirus/latest-information-and-advice#advice

Surrey’s Local Outbreak Control Planhttps://www.surreycc.gov.uk/people-and-community/emergency-planning-and-community-safety/coronavirus/testing

COVID-19 cases* in the UK up to 2 October 2020.  Daily cases by date reported the UK, up to 2 October 2020467,146 total COVID-19 cases in UK up to 2 October 2020.

 43,912 new cases this week (26 September – 2 October 2020)

6,968 COVID-19 cases in the UK reported on 2 October 2020