Every picture tells a story – follow it and join the fight.
Angie has a somewhat checkered record of responding to legitimate scrutiny from her constituents. If you are one of the lucky ones to get a reply – it will usually be a standard letter referring you to someone else – who might help! MP Angela Richardson turns her back on her constituents yet again?
Here is a typical response constituents are receiving from MP, Angela Richardson. It is word for word identical to the responses she has sent to dozens of constituents.
Thank you for taking the time to write to me about recent developments surrounding the Prime Minister.
I would like to thank all of my constituents across Guildford for continuing to share their views on this important matter with me.
We have all been forced to make hard sacrifices over the past two years, and I share the frustration and anger of constituents across Guildford who have lost loved ones, struggled with mental and physical health, and were unable to celebrate occasions that meant a lot to them and their families.
It should never be the case that any Government falls short of observing the very rules that they have introduced to keep us all safe. Therefore, the news that the Metropolitan Police has issued a Fixed Penalty Notice for breaches of Covid lockdown rules to the Prime Minister is disappointing.
It is helpful that with the Met’s action, we are further along the line of establishing the facts in this matter and Sue Gray is still to publish her final findings, which I expect to be published once the police have concluded their investigation.
I have been consistent in the view that no one, not even the Prime Minister, is above Parliamentary scrutiny or observance of the customs of the House. I abstained on the Owen Paterson vote and have always stated my clear belief that MPs should be held to the highest standards.
Last week, I was in the Chamber and prepared to vote in favour of the motion debated in the House to refer the Prime Minister to the Privileges Committee to investigate the circumstances of the statements that he gave to the House a few months ago. I believe that it is important and right that all the facts are established in a fair and transparent manner. The motion in question was passed without a vote, however, please be assured that I intended to support the motion if pushed to a vote.
I still hope that, following this investigation, the Prime Minister will take the important step of correcting the record of what was said to the House in December 2021 regarding parties in 10 Downing Street.
I will continue to hold the Government to account, as a critical friend, on the issues that matter most to the people across our communities and continue to work to achieve positive outcomes for residents across Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Angela Richardson MP
Said Alfold Mole Denise Wordsworth:
“There are so many applications in Alfold – it looks like Spaghetti Junction. I honestly do not think that WBC GET IT – It is all good looking at the planning applications – but unless you can VISUALISE what is actually Happening in Alfold no one can really get a handle on it. I do understand that many of these schemes were won on APPEAL and not through Waverley’s Planning Department who refused many of them, but (the picture above) shows there something is very wrong with the “planning system”.
The original intent of Witley’s Neighbourhood Plan was to identify the sites for the homes it needed. Then the planners in Waverley Towers swooped in and plucked out Milford Golf Course to include it in Local Plan Part 1.
And, Waverley’s Liberal Democrats who have been out and about canvassing outside the borough are cock-a-hoop.
Now the Waverley Web poses the question? What does the future hold at a General Election for Guildford MP Angela Richardson and South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt?
This is just part of a whole variety of initiatives in line with ‘Your Waverley’s Climate Emergency Strategy. A strategy spearheaded by portfolio Holder Steve Williams – the man recently described on some very Anti-Social Media as being in a “Fantasy World!” Despite town planning experts advising councils across the country to do the same.
The council has been working with Parish and Town councils as well as representatives from Godalming, Farnham, Waverley Cycle Forums and Haslemere Vision in a bid to provide new bike shelters in council-owned car parks across the borough.
The bike shelter project will take place in two phases with the first bike shelter hardstanding being installed in Village Way, Cranleigh on Tuesday 3 May with the bike shelter being installed in June.
It will replace the bring bank which has been removed now that the council’s new, free Textile and Small Electrical service has been launched to Waverley residents. Further details on the collection service, which collects residents’ unwanted items, can be found on the Textile and Small Electrical web page.
There will be a small number of car park spaces unavailable for the week whilst work is carried out.
Or, as one commentator said –
Could be more about Jeremy putting himself about so when the boundary commission changes come in and he has to pitch for a redrawn seat he can show his own (re) selection committee what a dedicated constituency MP he is…either that or it’s a warm-up for his next leadership bid….or a bit of both…
Avril, who was known by many Hascombe and Godalming residents, was the extraordinary family matriarch who enabled much of her husband David’s success both as a famous wildlife artist and conservationist. Avril worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure David’s work, clients and the Foundation he cherished were looked after with the same grace, kindness and quiet determination, she also displayed caring for her family and friends.
Avril was a Trustee of the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) for over 12 years between 2003 and 2015. She was a lifelong friend and guiding light to so many of DSWF’s wonderful conservation partners, friends and supporters.
Whilst Avril dazzled internationally at prestigious art galleries and events alongside David, she was just as much at home in nature and the wilderness of Africa. She calmly entertained the often wild and wonderful ideas which took her, David and their family to far-flung corners of the world. She was a fierce advocate in her own unwavering way for conservation and for all those who fought for the places and species she loved. Many of us remember her for her warm welcome and generous hospitality as she supported the work of DSWF.
Despite an adventurous life, Avril treasured quiet family time above all else and, with David, leaves a lasting legacy of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who she inspired to respect and fight for the natural world.
Click here to learn more about DSWF, its impact and how you can help to support the wildlife that Avril so dearly loved.
For years, the locals have taken a deep breath and stepped on the accelerator to get across the one-way bridge from Elmbridge Road to Cranleigh Common as quickly as possible. Villagers there know the dreadful state of the structure which once crossed the Horsham to Guildford railway line and now the Downslink.
Now that Liz Townsend has moved into County Towers as the local county councillor its highway honchos have agreed, at last, to put the vital works into their capital works programme – but not until later this year, or early next. Let’s all hope it lasts until then!?
Villagers wrote to us saying they are living in the hope it won’t take as long as the county council highway works that prompted a three-year road closure at Run Common to repair a bridge there. The road has now finally reopened. The works were completed on Thursday 14 April.
As background, three years ago Cranleigh Civic Society stalwart Adrian Clarke (a Chartered Builder and Committee Member ) visited the site of the Elm Bridge after being alerted about work being carried out there. A sub-contractor was filling in cracks on behalf of the county council with a weak mixture of sand and cement. Adrian noticed that a crack, not yet filled, had bulged further since his previous visit.
He claimed, filling in cracks with a weak mortar mix was a complete waste of money – and was purely a cosmetic job to hide a “very real problem.”
Following the recent death of Councillor Brian Adams, you will never believe who wants to take his place?
Non-other than David Munro – the former Surrey Police & Crime Commissioner and former Tory who was so angry when he was de-selected by his Tory mates that he left the Party to become an Independent.
Others in the running :
Following the Notice of Vacancy, published on 10 March 2022, a By-election has now been called by two registered electors from within the Borough. The By-election,it will take place on Thursday 12 May 2022.
|Publication of Notice of Election||Monday 4 April 2022|
|Publication of first interim election notice of alteration||Tuesday 12 April 2022|
|Receipt of Nominations||4:00 pm Tuesday 12 April 2022|
|Withdrawal of Candidate||4:00 pm Tuesday 12 April 2022|
|Appointment of Election Agents||4:00 pm Tuesday 12 April 2022|
|Publication of Notice of Election Agents||4:00 pm Tuesday 12 April 2022|
|Publication of Statements of Persons Nominated||4:00 pm Wednesday 13 April 2022|
|Last Date for Registration||Monday 25 April 2022|
|Publication of second interim election notice of alteration||Monday 25 April 2022|
|Receipt of Postal Vote Applications||5:00 pm Tuesday 26 April 2022|
|Publication of Notice of Poll||Wednesday 4 May 2022|
|Receipt of Proxy Vote Applications||5:00 pm Wednesday 4 May 2022|
|Publication of final election notice of alteration||Thursday 5 May 2022|
|Appointment of Polling and Counting Agents||Thursday 5 May 2022|
|First Day to Issue Replacement Lost Postal Ballot Papers||Friday 6 May 2022|
|Day of Poll||7:00 am to 10:00 pm Thursday 12 May 2022|
|Receipt of Emergency Proxy Vote Applications||5:00 pm Thursday 12 May 2022|
|Last Day to Issue Replacement Postal Ballot Papers||5:00 pm Thursday 12 May 2022|
|Return of Election Expenses||Thursday 16 June 2022|
Whilst the not-so-new Bursar of Trinity College – Richard Turncoat – continues to twiddle his fingers in his ivory tower, James Allum, of Columbia Threadneedle Investments, has confirmed what we already knew to one of the Waverley Web’s follows, Clifford Jones: that the American investment corporation is continuing with its long-drawn-out due diligence exercise on the aerodrome, no doubt with a view to chipping away at the price it originally offered the college.
If Bursar Turncoat wasn’t besties with several of the Columbia Threadneedle team – some of whom are former colleagues of his from his Blackrock days – he’d probably have kicked these corporate raiders into touch long ago.
As it is, it’s not just the stinky smell from the adjacent bio-digester on Stovolds Hill that is polluting the previously fragrant air around Dunsfold New Town these days. There’s a distinctly iffy-odour emanating from Richard Turncoat and his former cronies.
Whilst the Bursar fiddles, the green fields surrounding the aerodrome are being picked off one by one by avaricious developers including UK Oil & Gas. If the Bursar isn’t careful, with stagnation just around the corner and the recent housing boom about to goes bust, there’s going to be no one left to buy his houses … if he ever gets around to building them! Which most locals now seriously doubt, believing the aerodrome which, just a few years ago, was believed to be the White Knight to Waverley Borough Council’s housing shortage problems, is about to become a giant white elephant … and all thanks to one man: Richard Turnill! What an epitaph!
On the third floor directly above the cinema entrance. with 74sqm total living space – just above the minimum space standard of 70sqm is under offer for, wait for it… Guess how much…?
Yes, Three hundred and seventy thousand pounds!
But, then you could have the added benefit of listening to the latest Blockbuster – perhaps ‘Scream,’ ‘Jackass for Ever,’ or Saboteurs’ whilst lounging in your PJs in the comfort of your new home?
Do people of Farncombe & Godalming not possess a voice on social media?
Is their voice not as critical of local government shenanigans as it should be?
Great to see it boasts such members as the disgraced former County Council Tory Leader Andrew Povey who was unceremoniously kicked out by his own Tory colleagues for his dubious behaviour. Welcome to the Farnham & Godalming ‘Tory Voice Group World’ where only the card and baggage carriers are welcome?
However, this is not a new social media strategy for the local Conservatives, as the much-derided Haslemere Fact Check page has already demonstrated. It is like putting George Osbourne in charge of Private Eye – a great wheeze but just not very funny. Or maybe making your grandad the sole administrator of a Facebook Rant group. And – where would we all be without the regular slapping gums of Elstead’s Aunty Elsey?
Meanwhile, here at the Waverley Web which actually listens to council meetings, report debates and reads committee papers, scratch our heads at their latest rantings over at the Haslemere Fact Check. A site you are excluded from commenting on if you don’t happen to agree? Is it seriously suggesting Paul Follows should resign because somebody failed to put in a travel plan as part of a forthcoming planning application?
Is that the best it can come up with?! We’ve got 10 draft unpublished posts more coherent than this.
How about someone asks a really Big Question:
Q Who exactly agreed to bring in Waverley’s new and flawed Planning Information Technology – The Horizon Scheme?
P.S We have on record details of one Tory Waverley Borough Councillor and former Mayor, who was a member of the Labour Party elsewhere in Surrey, joined the Conservative Party, (was kicked out of the party – twice) and then became an Independent councillor and then a Conservative!
Because when you read the small print these affordable flats are part buy/part rent. in other words – shared ownership.
This linking of UKOG’s pathetic hydrocarbon exploration efforts with ongoing global crises is transparent say the group.
First expending lots of “private investor” cash to gain local hydrocarbons will help solve climate change!
Next, it will help the country with a shortage of medical tubes and PPE!
Now the Russian invasion of Ukraine makes it imperative to secure gas and oil for Britain and eventually we will return to hydrogen to solve the climate agenda!
The reality is that no independent person or oil company has any confidence in the suggestion that there is any significant hydrocarbon capable of being recovered under Dunsfold Park. Those that profess they do, have a vested personal financial interest in saying so despite many years of saying the exact same thing and failing, all the while drawing a significant salary for investing “other people’s money” (and none of their own) in this woeful enterprise.
All the supposed benefits are a long way off, assuming Gove permits drilling at Loxley, which even UKOGs “in the money” Chair Sanderson said at the appeal is in the “wrong place” (as a handy explanation to hard-pressed “investors” when/if he fails again).
If there is a national emergency and Gove believes that UKOG should be allowed to see if they can find anything under Dunsfold Park then he should order the “Biggest Brownfield in Waverley” to make an acre or two available, preferably on the fireground at the end of the disused runway where a couple of years fiddling around with drilling rigs will go unnoticed.
While Dunsfold Park now transforming into the “Biggest landbank in the south of England” is tossed around between US Hedge Funds for half a decade before anyone puts hand to shovel and actually builds any houses, the need for which, in this location, is highly questionable.
If hydrocarbons are found there will be a ready industrial or domestic gas consumer available on Dunsfold Park by the time they are in production and an oil well will sit happily beside the Wings and Wheels museum (already permitted) and the Wey and Arun Canal which, when fully restored, may become a very low carbon means of transport for crude oil down to the sea and on to Fawley, on its way eliminating road transport and revitalising industry by creating a demand for horse-drawn canal oil tankers to transport oil from Dunsfold and even a revitalised Broadford Bridge on to Fawley.
This will make Dunsfold a true hub of a circular industrial history as we head towards a no-carbon future.
But let’s not hold our breath.
Thank you for your take on things ‘Protect Dunsfold” and please keep in touch at email@example.com.
If this issue wasn’t so serious – it would be quite funny, wouldn’t it?
A public inquiry in July 2021 and residents in the villages around the Hascombe Hills are still waiting for Communities Secretary Michael Glove to make up his mind – WHY?
Could Waverley Borough Council hold the vital key to UKOG’s and landowner Ashley Ward’s cunning plans?
‘Your Waverley’ is responsible for the common land that UKOG would need to cross to start drilling on land off Pratts Corner if the Government gives the go-ahead. However, it has warned that it will not allow site vehicles to cross common land.
Its leader, Paul Follows, says
“If the application is approved the council is prepared to fight to protect the common land verges at Dunsfold.”
He said Waverley would install cameras at the junction and he expected local people would monitor traffic to the site. He certainly has the residents of Dunsfold and Hascombe behind him. But no doubt the Conservatives Fact Check website will blame him personally for putting the council’s weight behind objectors?
Waverley’s environment portfolio holder, Steve Williams has described public demonstrations at the site on Dunsfold Road as “magnificent.”
“Residents have demonstrated that it is not possible for HGVs, such as those used by UKOG, to get to the site that they propose to drill without encroaching on Waverley common land.”
Earlier this year SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt said the scheme by UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) would take the country in “exactly the wrong direction”.
Objectors showed that large heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) would be unable to manoeuvre around a tight junction without encroaching on common land.
Waverley Borough Council, which is responsible for the borough’s common land, has said it would not permit site vehicles to cross the common land.
Said Waverley Leader and Surrey County Councillor Paul Follows,
“If the application is approved the council is prepared to fight to protect the common land verges at Dunsfold.”
He said the council would install cameras at the junction and he expected local people would monitor traffic to the site.
The council’s environment portfolio holder, Steve Williams, described the public demonstration as “ magnificent.”
“they demonstrated that it is not possible for HGVs, such as those used by UKOG, to get to the site that they propose to drill without encroaching on Waverley common land.”
Planning appeal against the refusal of planning application ref WA/2019/0796 by Surrey County Council. Waverley submitted an objection to the planning application and participated in the inquiry as an interested party (Rule 6 Party).
Jeremy Hunt said:
“It is extraordinary after COP26 in Glasgow that we are even thinking about drilling for oil and gas in this area. And you can see, by the huge number of objectors representing all the local political parties, that we are completely united in our opposition.
Communities’ Secretary, Michael Gove, also a Surrey MP, will make the final decision on the scheme. However, he is certainly taking his time about it!
Villager advises Michael Gove.
“To listen to what people in the local area are saying and what the government is saying about its environmental objectives. We’ve got to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 on 1990 levels. This is going to take us in the wrong direction.”
Objectors stand with their toes on the edge of the verge as a life-size simulation of an HGV attempted to navigate the junction.
Site Address: Land South of Dunsfold Road and East of High Loxley Road, Dunsfold, Surrey, GU8 4BW
Appellant’s Name: UKOG (234) Ltd.Appeal start date: 1 March 2021
The Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government was Mike Robins MSc BSc(Hons) MRTPI.
The Core Document Library containing the proofs of evidence and other relevant appeal documents is available on the Surrey County Council website.
The Planning Appeals Casework Portal (reference APP/B3600/W/21/3268579) contains further information and when made the decision will be published here. Please note the deadline for representations has passed.
The appeal form (PDF – 73kb) and other appeal documentation can be found on Surrey County Council’s planning register under the SCC reference 2021/0034.
For further details also see the original planning application file SCC reference 2019/0072, which contains the planning application documents and plans, decision notice, officer report and other background papers.
For details relating to the response of Waverley Borough Council, WA/2019/0796
“For, two day trips per year – Summer to Worthing and in Winter to a city.”
Meanwhile, other Waverley wannabe developers are rubbing their hands with glee as Dickie’s failure to seal the deal has paved the way for every green field owner in the borough to seek and be granted consent to build houses until Waverley can demonstrate a robust housing supply!
How the hell has this come to pass? You couldn’t make it up; really, you couldn’t! The Flying Scot spent 16 long years trying to convince the planners and residents of Waverley that Dunsfold Aerodrome was a brownfield site fit for housing and, warning if they didn’t grasp the opportunity, their green fields were at risk.
Ostrich like, they ridiculed him and buried their heads in the sand. And the upshot was that only as one by one green field in and around Alfold, Cranleigh, Ewhurst and Dunsfold was concreted over, did the penny finally drop.
Only after multiple applications, Public Inquiries, and Call-ins by the Secretary of State (thanks for that Jeremy Hunt MP and former MP Anne Milton,) did the Flying Scot finally get consent to build on a brownfield site that should have been a shoo-in before a single hole was dug on a green field.
And then, just when the Flying Scot was about to break ground along comes Richard Turncoat, Trinity College’s new Bursar and the chocks were applied!
Twenty years on, not a home has been built! Meanwhile, 364+ houses have been built or consented on Alfold’s green fields; and 2,000 + homes built or consented on the eastern villages’ green fields. Meanwhile, the in-box of Waverley’s Planning Department is groaning and teetering on the point of collapse as the applications keep rolling in!
So what next in this never-ending sorry saga?
According to our Waverley Mole, the hopeless Turncoat has done another screeching U-TURN, and is about to do what he should have done a year ago by digging for victory – or, in this case, the new access road!
About time too! The Waverley Web understands that members of Alfold’s Allotments Association, Ladies of the Cranleigh Church Flower Arranging Rota and Dig for Dunsfold supporters are holding secret meetings to take matters into their own hands!
Taking a leaf out of Extinction Rebellion’s playbook, when climate activists dug up a Cambridge College lawn in protest over its role in a major development in the Suffolk countryside, these doughty country folk are plotting to descend on the Bursar’s garden to highlight the debacle he has presided over at Dunsfold to make him sit up and take notice.
Several incensed members of the WI are even talking about chaining themselves to apple trees on the college’s lawns to make the Bursar aware of their anger at playing fast and loose with their lives and the environment in which they live around Dunsfold.
‘We were promised a new village,’ they are reported to have said in secret meetings, ‘housing, shops, a GP surgery and a primary school. Where are they? All we’ve got is a greedy, rapacious landowner who has taken his planning consent and tried and – it would seem – failed to sell it to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, our precious countryside – which granting consent for this development was supposed to protect – is being concreted over by other greedy, rapacious developers!’
Another angry resident posted,
‘We want an apology from the Bursar. He sits in his ivory tower, hundreds of miles away, and has no idea and little care for the impact his shenanigans has had on the little people. It’s time for him to come to Waverley and look us in the eye and tell us what he’s going to do to make good on the promises the College he represents made to us. His disgraceful behaviour has created a sh*t-load of unwelcome development in the Borough and if he’s not careful we’ll be dumping a tractor load of unwelcome well-rotted manure on the lawn outside his office!’
The Archers have got nothing on this, folks! Like the rest of the borough, the Waverley Web waits with bated breath for the next episode in this everyday tale of country folk …!
Yet another government Inspector steps into the ‘Poor old Alfold’ Saga. Allowing one appeal and dismissing another.
Government Planning Inspector Mr S Edwards ruled that Waverley Planners were wrong to impose restrictive conditions on the new homes on Chapel Field in Alfold, but right to refuse a further phase of seven homes.
Appeal Ref: APP/R3650/W/21/3277100
Chapel Fields, Loxwood Road, Alfold, Cranleigh GU6 8HW
Agent Mr Richard Cooke appealed to the Secretary of State against conditions imposed by Waverley Planners when they granted planning permission in 2019. The eight dwellings and a mixed-use retail building and car parks have now been built in the Conservation Area of Alfold.
Inspector Edwards saw no reason for the conditions on the new properties when non existed on other properties in the Conservation Area.
So he lifted them for the following reasons:
The disputed conditions are not considered reasonable and necessary to protect the character and appearance of the countryside and the Alfold Conservation Area, as derived from its setting.
Accordingly, I find no conflict with Policies TD1 and RE1 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan Part 1: Strategic Policies and Sites (2018), and Saved Policies D1 and D4 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan (2002). These notably require new development to be of a high-quality design that responds to the distinctive local character of the area in which it is located, whilst recognising and safeguarding the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.
Here’s the full appeal decision.
And here’s refusal for seven further hones on the site.
Saying this would intensify development on the site to a substantial degree and change the scale of Chapel Fields.
“Not only in respect of the footprint and overall scale of the new houses but also in terms of the additional areas of hardstanding required for the provision of access, parking and turning. The proposed built forms and associated hardstanding areas relative to the size of the site would consolidate development along the road frontage and significantly reduce the amount of space available for the provision of meaningful landscaping, which formed an essential aspect of the previous scheme to soften the visual impact of Phase 1.
Furthermore, a large part of the terraced properties’ garden areas would be overshadowed by the trees. As a result, the proposed arrangement would likely subject the trees to additional pressure for pruning works or even felling, to bring more sunlight into the amenity areas. The potential loss of trees would exacerbate the harm that the development would cause to the area.
Due to the quantum of development proposed, but also its scale and layout, the appeal scheme would also have an urbanising effect. It would also be an incongruous addition, out of kilter with the semi-rural character and appearance of the surrounding area. It would thus erode the contribution made by the site to the spacious and verdant nature of its wider rural surroundings, and in doing so fail to recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.
For these reasons, the proposal would also fail to preserve the special interest of the Alfold Conservation Area, as derived from its setting, and cause less than substantial harm to this designated heritage asset, to which I ascribe considerable importance and weight.
Local Planning Authority Reference WA/2018/0977.
If you think you can satisfy the requirements and need a home, what are you waiting for?
If included on the register, applications will be assessed and placed in one of 3 bands:
Band A – Highest housing need and strong connection to Waverley.
Band B – High housing need and strong connection to Waverley.
Band C – Medium housing need and strong or medium connection to Waverley’s Discretionary Pool.
Some applications that don’t meet the banding criteria for band A-C may be placed in a Discretionary Pool. These include applications from households that the Council is legally obliged to consider and those the Council may need to house in the future, such as those in supported accommodation but who are not yet ready to live independently.
Who is a priority?
See more in the link below.
The full allocation scheme is available on Waverley’s website. Any further queries about the allocation scheme contact 01483 523197.
Note: Just because you are ineligible to go on the register does not mean help cannot be offered. Waverley’s housing options team work hard to provide housing options advice and assistance to Waverley residents. Further details are available at Waverley housing options or on 01483 523197.
Despite being faced with an officer’s recommendation to approve a cunning plan to set up a cattle finishing unit on a lane southof Dunsfold Road and east of High Loxley Road on 30 hectares of land which locals describe as
However, councillors were told on the night they couldn’t make a decision now . Despite it having the support of the council’s gullible and all too compliant planning department.
Planning officers advised them that the applicant had already appealed the scheme – and it would nowbe up to a Government Inspector to decide.
Now there’s a surprise?
Devious Mr Ward, predicting a refusal, believes by appealing to a Government Inspector for non-determination of the scheme within the legal time frame, he might still be in with a chance. The scheme has been languishing among the cobwebs in the planning department for months, like so many others.
If he gets the go-ahead to build the cattle finishing unit – he is halfway to getting the agricultural workers’ mansion that is on his wish list. And, If anyone knows how to do it ~Mr Ward does, having ploughed through ancient woodland to provide an access to build his former home in Alfold for another farming enterprise, and flogging it off to an A-list celebrity.
Planning Officers told the committee they could still make a recommendation to either approve or refuse the scheme but it had now been appealed. What they didn’t say was, that Mr Ward was hedging his bets.
They explained that Mr Ward had wanted to buy High Loxley Farmhouse – giving him control of the complete farm holding. However, he had been unsuccessful in persuading the family of the late owner to sell it to him, so was left with 30 hectares and land elsewhere, if available to rent.
Planning officers admitted they had provided members with inaccurate plans and drawings. They were also unable to answer many of the queries posed at a previous deferral of the application several months ago.
This included how long the 100 head of cattle were to be kept in the finishing unit, before going to the abattoir, and the sustainability of the proposed holding in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an Area of Great Landscape Value nestling into a backcloth of Hascombe Hills.
Numerous councillors reminded officers of the restrictive planning policies covering the area – and the long list of objections from residents and parish councils in Alfold and Dunsfold. Many believed the scheme was a cynical attempt to gain permission for housing development.
Alfold Cllr Kevin Deanus said:
We are being asked to allow a big building – a very big building – bigger than a Boeing 747 off the Dunsfold Road off a terrible access.”
He pointed to a string of restrictive planning policies against such a proposal and a previous decision to refuse a mobile home on the land.
Mr Ward’s bare-faced attempt to build another agricultural holding and a home in the countryside was refused by councillors by 10 votes to four, but the officers will now have to defend the decision at a forthcoming appeal.
Who dares wins?
What does the future hold for them?
A change in the method taxpayers’ £735,000 grant pot is distributed in future has cast a long shadow over the future operation of both day centres.
Age UK Surrey has taken over the Clockhouse in Milford. We know not whether Waverley is funding that organisation as the Portfolio Holder for the Thriving Communities Fund has been rather coy in publishing this information. If AUK Surrey is funding it- how and why?
The Waverley Web had gleaned much of the facts from the worried users of the older people’s centres, who admit they too are being kept in the dark by their Trustees! Though rumours are running rife! As you will see in the press release in the link below Rowleys Trustees, who recently warned staff to prepare for redundancy, have now called on the public to help keep its show on the road!
The upshot is that both Brightwells – which was kicked out of their East Street HQ to take up residence in the new multi-use and multi-million pound refurbished Memorial Hall, and Rowleys in Cranleigh may not survive.
The demise of Brightwells will probably be relished by the management team there, as it is now a multi-use facility. Waverley’s former Tory administration well and truly stuffed that organisation. It currently only “rents” a large room in the new Memorial Hall after being kicked out of its previous purpose-built home to make way for the Farnham East Street development. No surprise there, then? We seem to remember predicting there would be trouble ahead. Anything that Cllr Jenny Else (Con) Elstead has her mucky paws in usually ends in misery for older people in the borough.
Both organisations have been under the cosh for years. Waverley’s Tory councillors worked tirelessly to rid themselves of older people’s services throughout its term. The Tory ‘Grab the Rowleys 99- year lease campaign’ goes back a decade, according to local press reports.
First down the swanny river went Age UK Waverley – along with all its service Advice and Information, gardening and handyman’s schemes.
Brightwells and Rowleys are told that following a cut in their grants to just £40,000 p.a. They cannot apply for further funding until 2025. By which time they will no doubt have gone walking-sticks up?
Waverley manoeuvred Rowleys, with the help of Cranleigh Tory Cllr Patricia Ellis, into giving up its 80-year lease at a peppercorn rent in 2018, swapping it for a 25-year lease with 5-yearly rent reviews and a £6,000 rent. If the business is no longer viable, we presume the building part-funded by the people of Cranleigh will go back into Waverley’s ownership?
Whoops, there goes yet another publicly funded building lost?
Haslewey, in Haslemere and Farncombe day centres, appear to be getting total funding along with a three year Service Level Agreement. Perhaps they managed to get their Annual Accounts up-to-scratch. The WW has been unable to find even a sniff of Rowleys Accounts – so is its Trustee Board up to the job, dare we ask? And, are the town’s olds supporting the organisation – or have times changed and they are joining golf clubs instead?
The ‘Thriving Communities Commissioning Fund’ is now aimed at a wider audience. Strategic issues are identified in the Waverley Corporate Strategy. According to Waverley, the decision on which organisation would benefit was made by an experienced multi-agency panel that included Surrey County Council, a member of the Waverley Executive Cllr Kika Mirylees and a member of the Principal Opposition Party Cllr Jenny Else. The fund, was, understandably considerably oversubscribed, and now benefits a more diverse community sector. Including young people.
Presumably, someone, sometime, will eventually publish a list of the beneficiaries and details of the grants they will receive?
Here’s a communication to the residents of Cranleigh we have received from the Trustees of Rowley’s.
In layman’s terms, that’s the money developers have to shell out to build homes required by the Government. The money is supposed to go toward providing infrastructure – eg. road improvements, schools etc. And, would you adam and eve it, some goes directly to the towns and villages that are absorbing new residents coming from all over the country, and abroad.
CIL – superseded 106 legal agreements that forced developers to cough up for projects earmarked by planning officers to improve communities.
A bit like the £80,000 Dunsfold Park Limited lobbed into Surrey County Council’s coffers almost 10 years ago, as part of its mitigation for consent to build more industrial and education units at the business park. Money that was earmarked for a pavement along Dunsfold Road towards DP’s Compass Gate entrance. But the safety of pedestrians has been ignored and despite Alfold’s Cllr Kevin Deanus being a Surrey County Councillor and a member of its Tory Executive, the money languishes in Surrey’s bank account and homes and obstacles built subsequently right up to the highway!!
So how much CIL money has Alfold received?
Well! We cannot see any? Maybe we are missing something and the powers that be can tell us, and Alfold residents what they are getting for all the unsustainable development. We know about the S106 Contributions – But where is their CIL?? WW understands every town and parish council has to have CIL policy in place. Does Alfold have one? If not, why not? It has been a borough requirement for years!
This is what ‘Your Waverley’ says:
The total value of Demand Notices issued by Waverley Borough Council within the reported year is £337,207.81. Of this amount £258,896.23 is from liable floorspace, £74,056.44 is from surcharges imposed due to breaches of the CIL Regulations and £4,255.14 is from the accrual of late payment interest.
It should be noted that the values above refer to the Demand Notice issued within the period of the reported year. It may be that since the reported year these Demand Notices have been revised, for example, due to an appeal decision being issued or the application of surcharge or late payment interest.
The total amount of CIL receipts collected by Waverley within the reported year is £2,149,684.09. c) The total CIL collected by Waverley before the reported year that has not been allocated is £351,270.67. d) No CIL receipts were collected by the council, or by another person on its behalf, before the reported year which has been allocated.
Expenditure of Strategic CIL within Waverley will be allocated via an annual bidding cycle. The first Strategic CIL bidding round occurred outside of the reported year, and therefore will be reported in the 2021/22 Infrastructure Funding Statement.
The total amount of CIL receipts allocated, whenever collected, which were allocated but not spent during the reported year is shown in the table below:
Neighbourhood CIL receipts of £283,441.78 have been allocated but not spent within the reported year. These monies will be transferred to the relevant Town and Parish Councils. .They will be expected to prepare a report for financial contributions it receives for any financial year.No CIL receipts (including land payments) have been spent on items of infrastructure within the reported year. ii) No CIL receipts have been spent on repaying money borrowed within the reported year, including any interest. iii) The amount of CIL collected towards administration expenses within the reported year is – £107,484.20 This is 5% of the total CIL receipts collected (£2,149,684.09) in the year period. The amount of CIL spent on administration expenses during the reported year is £107,484.20. h)
No CIL, whenever collected, have been allocated but not spent within the reported year. This is with the exception of £283,441.78 of Neighbourhood CIL which will be transferred to the relevant parish council in the next payment period. The total amount of CIL passed to a Town or Parish Council under Regulation 59A and 59B during the reported year are as follows:
So where’s Alfold’s share?
Allocated and Spent Remaining Admin CIL £107,484.20. Neighbourhood CIL £414,423.55 £130,981.77 £283,441.78 Strategic CIL £0.00 £0.00 £2,016,790.37 CIL Land Payments £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 Total £521,907.75 £238,455.97 £2,300,232.15 Neighbourhood CIL receipts of £283,441.78 have been allocated but not spent within the reported year. These monies will be transferred to the relevant Town and Parish Councils.
The relevant Town and Parish Councils will be expected to prepare a report for financial contributions it receives for any financial year.
However, the Grayshott G.P. Surgery, the local Clinical Commissioning Group and both major acute hospitals – Royal Surrey and Frimley Park Hospitals – objected to the proposals.
After the demolition of this:
The scheme proposed by Seetwo Developments Ltd was refused in October 2021 by Waverley’s Western Planning Committee due to its scale and design. However, recently, despite the objection of health professionals and councillors recognised that the current scheme is the same size and as cramped as previously considered, permission was GRANTED.
Though all councillors said, they were voting “reluctantly.”
Why the volte-face? Because planning officers warned councillors that as improvements to the design had been made and the borough lacked a 5-year housing land supply, the ’tilted balance’ favoured the development and recommended it be allowed.
The proposed development for a 74 bedroom care home is on an existing underused brownfield site in a mix of uses, including retail, workshop, office and fitness studio. There are also two residential dwellings on the site. The site is an allocated site in the Pre-Submission Local Plan Part 2.
Here’s what the Doctor ordered – but didn’t get.
Dr Edward Bell spoke on behalf of his colleagues at Grayshott Surgery and his patients.
P.S. Regardless of health hazards anywhere in the borough, Thames Water does not object!
Having set up a company called Farmers Direct Ltd, Mr Ward has persuaded the useful idiots – AKA Waverley Planners – to recommend approval of his application to use the land for 100 head of cattle ahead of tomorrow’s Planning Committee meeting. The proposed development, Mr Ward alleges, will enable him to increase numbers to 400 heads per annum after building a new indoor beef unit at Loxley Park Farm.
If Mr Ashley follows the same game plan he has deployed elsewhere in the borough, if his application is successful, he will then set about convincing the planners that he needs to live on the site. That ploy would then lead to the erection of another property, just like his previous home, which will be off-loaded for a considerable profit, freeing up Mr Ward to sally forth looking for his next blank canvas – AKA a greenfield – where he can repeat the exercise all over again: graze, build, expand, apply for consent and bank the profits. Nice work if you can get it!!!
Of course, the planners could put an agricultural occupancy condition on the property but a clever planning consultant will always find a way to remove that and, Bob’s your uncle, yet another small-holding with a very des res will be sold on to a hedge fund manager, fresh-from-Fetter Lane solicitor or wanker from the city.
The Eastern Area planning committee considered Mr Ward’s application WA/2021/02308 earlier this year but requested it is deferred due to a lack of information.
Alfold’s Cllr Kevin Deanus cited objections from Alfold and Dunsfold Parish Councils:
• The siting of the mobile home would have an adverse effect on the landscape, particularly the view from Hascombe Hill.
• The applicant should provide a full business plan to confirm that, amongst other things, if constructed, the resultant business will be financially viable.
• Transport and highway issues
• The applicant should produce and provide a master plan rather than take a piecemeal development approach.
• Matters of highway safety, agricultural justification, visual impact, impact on the countryside and AGLV have been included in a report to councillors. However, the application can only be assessed on its own merits.
And 29 members of the public have also raised a host of pertinent objections but, undeterred, the Planners are bringing the application back to Committee tomorrow, Wednesday 5 April, and, yet again, officers are recommending that the application is granted! Mr Ward has form in this respect and the officers would do well to heed it!
One can only hope that members of the Committee will not be duped by Mr Ward, who appears to be morphing into a serial developer of green fields by cunning sleight of hand.
Is that the sound of chortling we can hear from the Tories? However, Waverley has scored a goal with the villagers of Alfold – even though it cost it £12,000 in an attempt to stop the rot and rape of Alfold’s countryside.
One villager told the Waverley Web – they expected nothing less of a planning and judicial system determined to concrete over the country’s green fields. But gave ‘Your Waverley’ ten out of ten for trying.
“What can you expect,- she said – Alfold Parish Council did everything in its power to stop development at Dunsfold Park – the borough’s largest brownfield site. It even helped Protect Our Waverley, an organisation that was nothing of the sort. If POW wanted to protect Waverley – then why didn’t it rock up at any of the Alfold public Inquiries or inquiries elsewhere in the borough? It was a one-trick pony that objected to all things Dunsfold Park, causing a delay and putting Alfold and other towns and villages in the fine mess they are now in.”
Thanks to the past Tory administration, MP’s , Jeremy Hunt, Anne Milton and other objectors, Waverley now has a 4.1 rather than a 5-year housing land supply and houses all of a similar design littering our countryside”
Bramley Councillors Richard, ‘All at Sea’ borne and Martin ‘Arsey’ D’Arcy, wanted the popular driving days either halted altogether, reduced or face much stricter controls. Despite permission being sought for a temporary period until 30th April 2024 at DUNSFOLD PARK, STOVOLDS HILL, CRANLEIGH.
Fans of Top Gear are familiar with the track at the aerodrome earmarked for a new Garden Village of 2,600 dwellings. Home of the world-famous BBC motoring show since 2002, thousands of motoring enthusiasts have enjoyed taking on its famous corners in a huge choice of cars thanks to Trackdays.co.uk.
Engineers designed Dunsfold Park’s track from Lotus to test the all-around ability of the cars that lapped it. As a result, Dunsfold has offered a combination of long straights, high-speed corners and tight, technical bends to enthusiasts from the UK and overseas.
In a report, the eastern planning committee heard that –
“Due to the strategic allocation and planned development of a new settlement at Dunsfold Park officers were satisfied that due to the phasing plans for the new settlement and anticipated build-out time frame, the temporary use of the track could easily be ceased and there would be no detrimental impact on housing delivery and the New Settlement being brought forward.”
Standing up for residents, Cllrs Seaborne and D’Arcy wanted the temporary period reduced to 12/18 months, the existing two weeks’ notice of events extended to 45 days, much stricter noise monitoring and a more robust real-time complaint procedure adopted by the applicants.
Cllr Seaborne (Con Bramley) said:
“I want to see real-time noise monitoring and real-time action on noise complaints.”
Cllr D’Arcy said, “Residents had given up complaining because no action was taken.”
However, officers revealed very little data showing complaints – and others argued that any aerodrome was a noisy venue.
Members heard a strong objection from a neighbouring wedding business set up long after the established driving days in 2014.
Here’s what Cranleigh Cllr Mary Foyszewski had to say:
Be careful what you wish for!”
The application was GRANTED by the committee with one against and one abstention.
These are the items included in the new noise management plan put forward by the applicants.
Work is currently underway in Godalming’s Waitrose car park to install new electric points.
On-street electric vehicle (EV) charging points are now live in three towns in Waverley.
Motorists using EVs can now use two charging points in Hale Road, Farnham; four charging points in Summers Road, Farncombe; and four charging points in Farnham Lane/St Christopher’s Green Haslemere. And more elsewhere. They also exist in the following in these locations:
EV chargers will be installed elsewhere to support the increasing uptake of electric vehicles.
Waverley’s Housing department has installed another EV charger. Working with Joju, EV chargers to provide a charger in Queensway, in Cranleigh
It will only take a couple of hours for the 22-kilowatt charging points to charge up to 80% of an EV battery at 30p per kilowatt-hour (kWh) (based on a Nissan Leaf 2018 with a battery capacity of 40 kWh).
A trial last year was funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, Surrey County Council, and Guildford, Spelthorne, Waverley and Woking Borough Councils. There will eventually be 20 charging points in each participating borough.
The trial reveals key issues to on-street charging and the impact of installing chargers – such as the cost, policies, public support and maintenance. It provides first-hand experience of installation, analysis of usage patterns and effects on air quality. The lessons learnt will inform the roll-out of charging infrastructure across Surrey.
Councillor Steve Williams, Waverley Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, said:
“We have made the commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2030 and making it more viable for our residents to switch to electric vehicles is a key factor.
“In order to achieve this, we need to ensure the correct infrastructure is in place. I look forward to seeing the results of the trial as the basis for a more ambitious programme of rolling out better provision for electric vehicles and encouraging more sustainable and active transport in the borough in the future.”
To find out more about Waverley’s plans for tackling climate change, go to its Sustainability web page.
The new tile factory at Ewhurst Brickworks <Horsham Lane will supply clay tiles to builders across the south of the UK allowing Weinbergers Doncaster factory to supply the north.
Ewhurst Brickworks (formerly Smokejack Brickworks) is located approximately 1 kilometre (km) south of the village of Walliswood, 3.3km southeast of the village of Ewhurst, 4km south-east from the village of Cranleigh; and 2km north of the county boundary with West Sussex.
MINERALS/WASTE WA/2017/1466 MO/2017/1432 DISTRICT(S) WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL MOLE VALLEY DISTRICT COUNCIL Land at Ewhurst Brickworks, Horsham Road, Walliswood, Surrey RH5 5QH Extraction of clay from an area of 43.2 hectares (ha) with restoration to agricultural grassland, lakes, woodland and grassland; together with the construction of a tile factory with a chimney, and the permanent diversion of footpath 89; and on a site of 113ha
So the site where dinosaurs roamed millions of years ago – could soon be churning up even more fodder for the Natural History Museum?
Much of Ewhurst Brickworks is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (Smokejack Clay Pit SSSI) for geological interest due to the ability of the clay for holding fossils including those of insects, ostracods, molluscs, fish, reptiles and gastroliths including most notably a partial skeleton of an Iguanodon.
The company intends to construct a new tile factory to provide new products to the southeast of the existing brickworks factory consisting of a single storey steel portal frame unit with steel profile sheet cladding. The factory would be 15m in height with a length of 165m and a width of 90m at its widest point.
A kiln exhaust stack up to 30m in height will be located adjacent to the building. The construction work will take six months with all materials and heavy machinery including cranes, excavators, brought in by HGVs through the country lanes.
The proposed tile factory would be a new factory to produce a new product at Ewhurst Brickworks therefore it would not be replacing any of the existing brickwork factory’s operations.
The County Historic Buildings Officer commented that although noise from the increased HGVs should be considered as there is a steady flow of vehicles through the village as well as aeroplanes taking off and landing, all of which generate noise he was of the opinion there would be no harm to the character of the area. HGVs would increase on average from 28 to 541 HGVs (through Okewood Hill) this would be imperceptible when considered against the existing traffic.
However, not everyone agrees:
There were objections from The Campaign For Rural England, parish councils including Ewhurst and Ockley. The Okewood Hill Residents Association objected saying that the traffic assessment was not adequate.
The impacts of the proposal on the local road network and the proposed increase in HGV movements to/ from the site alongside the continuing impact of HGVs on users of the road network including pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians and the site in an Area Beyond the Green Belt and within the AGLV and neighbours Okewood Hill Conservation area was not suitable for yet more industrial development.
The Woodland Trust has also objected due to damage and loss that would occur from clay extraction within areas located within ASNW and PAWS and a site designated as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The tile factory would fail to enhance the landscape character and impact negatively the tranquillity of the rural area.
But she says: “There is now a clear vision of the wood amongst the trees. Not withstanding the resource challenges and a long road ahead, there is a direction of forward motion for planning.”
Is that a sigh of relief we hear?
Why? Waverley Web wonders? Could it be that they are all working for wannabe developers? Or, are house prices too high?
Here’s her update on progress. VALIDATION: Project Clearance
With Covid working adjustments and Horizon teething problems playing a part, validation of applications became significantly backlogged and subject to delay. Project Clearance sought to resolve issues, streamline processes, and improve customer, partner, and client service.
DATE Applications awaiting review for validation
July 2021 697 in backlog (5 days or older)
November 2021 389 in backlog
January 2022 24 in backlog
March 2022 2 in the backlog – oldest application currently on hand 17th March 2022.
Summary: as you will see from the above snapshots in time, the extensive validation backlog has been cleared to the point shown, which now primarily runs to the local requirements of validation within five days of receipt of an application.
Sally Busby Commented: With a clear direction moving forward, the business support team is now focused on continued work for change, customer focus and service improvement. The next projects are process review, continued agent and partner engagement, and cross-team training for all technicians to ensure continuity and career progression during this difficult resourcing time, focusing on maintaining the service levels achieved.
As a result of the Validation clearance project, an influx of validated applications was assigned across Development Management teams for processing as cases for determination. The caseloads have been exasperated by the loss of officers, coupled with a significant resourcing issue experienced across local governments in general.
DATE Team Total Caseload Caseload per officer Decisions Issued Applications Issued in Time (or with EOT)
Jan 2022 A&E 598 71 51 49%
Jan 2022 M/M 265 53 22 25%
Jan 2022 Strategic 51 23 1 100%
Feb 2022 A&E 681 76 85 45%
Feb 2022 M/M 299 59 65 23%
Feb 2022 Strategic 51 23 0 100%
Feb 2022 A&E 681 76 99 45%
Feb 2022 M/M 299 59 26 23%
Feb 2022 Strategic 51 23 0 100%
March 2022 A&E 698 100 121 71%
March 2022 M/M 338 67 26 63%
March 2022 Strategic 56 46 – 100%
“While the service improvement is evident from the stats shown above, it is also clear that this level is by no means sustainable. With a 20% increase in incoming applications from previous years, there is currently no sign of a turning tide. 123 nationwide councils are suffering from under-resourcing. Remote working allows a wider cross-section of options for today’s job seekers thus making the staffing crisis a continued and significant challenge to Waverley and the planning services. Holes are being plugged with agency cover to a degree; however, it is important to note that this reliance has the knock-on effect of driving up hourly rates.”
Many changes have been made internally within our teams to improve processes, communication, support, and deliverables to achieve the positive trend shown above. However, the glass ceiling has, in my opinion, been reached and we will likely see a change to the detriment should we not be able to resource effectively and promptly to support our new processes and improvements.
Non-Major Planning Appeals allowed as a % of non-major application decisions made (Cumulative):
16 appeals allowed out 1616 non-major application decisions made – 1%
(LP152 – P3)Major Planning Appeals allowed as a % of major application decisions made (Cumulative):
6 appeals allowed out of 66 major applications decisions made – 9%
(P3) Planning Appeals allowed as a % out of ALL planning appeals determined (Cumulative):
22 appeals allowed out of 71 applications refused decisions made – 30%
Summary: The above shows an “as at today’s date” snapshot of our cumulative position in terms of appeal cases.
From the perspective of business improvement, the stats show an improving trend within the Waverley Borough Council Planning Service. That coupled with complaint emails vastly reduced, communications improved, and agents and clients complimenting officers for timely service, it is my opinion from the Business and Performance Managers perspective, there is now a clear vision of the wood amongst the trees. Notwithstanding the resource challenges and a long road ahead, there is a direction of forward motion for planning.
Alfold residents have appealed to MP Angela Richardson for help, to no avail; however, she may respond to cries for help from the village where her family resides in Ewhurst? Or, will she turn her back on them too and remain silent for her old Tory colleagues?
WHY? Because the eastern villages and the Surrey Hills are alive with the sound of objections from residents fed up with cement lorries rolling through their rural villages.
Former Tory county councillors Victoria & Alan Young want to join other successful developers currently concreting over Ewhurst, and villagers claim they are responding to “greed and not need.”
Mr & Mrs Young have submitted an outline planning application to build 20 homes at Tree Tops, Mapledrakes Rd, Ewhurst, following the demolition of an existing dwelling. Not that there are so many treetops there because lots of them, say The Forestry Commission have “illegally” been given the chop!
Letters are pouring into Waverley Borough Council’s planning department objecting to an application by Alan and Victoria Young, both former Surrey County Councillors for Ewhurst and Cranleigh.
Villagers say Ewhurst’s Neighbourhood Plan lays out in great detail (and after an enormous amount of time and input from numerous parties) why certain sites are more or less appropriate for development.
The recent developments in Cherry Tree Lane, Chanrossa and Firethorn Farm will result in a huge increase in traffic, air pollution, and excessive strain on local services and schools, and this development would only add to these problems. The original overall target number of new homes in Ewhurst by 2032 jas already been well exceeded.
This proposed site was not included in the NP and in fact, lies outside the settlement boundary of the village. As Ewhurst has already met and exceeded the quantity of expected development for Waverley council, it seems even more appropriate that the recommendations of the NP should be respected in full.
Others say in their objections on ‘Your Waverley’s ‘ Planning Portal:
We have been inundated with new houses far and above the original plan for Ewhurst.
The houses being allowed are not suitable for the village’s requirements ( i.e. affordable housing for the young and small homes for the elderly). The number of properties being approved is detrimental to the village, with no allowances made for the infrastructure.
All general services such as doctors, dentists, shopping etc. being located in Cranleigh.
“Mapledrakes Road is already over busy with parked cars causing a hazard for local users ( cars parked are not solely the residents). The proposed buildings are not in keeping with the surrounding area. This village is being destroyed through greed and not need.”
You can view dozens of objections here: Waverley Planing Portal – Treetops
I strongly object on the following grounds
Felling of ancient woodland and allegedly breaching Forestry Commissions act 1967 should itself be indicative of the lengths developers will go to in order to circumvent plans and push their developments through. Not only is the site unsuitable for this type and size of development it would destabilise the delicate eco structure of the woodland it is adjacent too and should be rejected in its entirety. I could go on but the dozens of objections expressed by residents and official bodies should give you a feeling that this development IS NOT NEEDED!!!
Here’s an extract.
“Then along comes former Conservative Surrey Councillor Alan Young snaffling up a property in Mapledrakes Road, Ewhurst, which he’s presently sitting on, keeping nicely warm and hoping to hatch another shedload of housing soon now that the trees have been felled? Oops did we forget, the property was purchased from a Ewhurst parish councillor, who threatened to sue the Waverley Web, after “a friend” informed us that it had been owned by the P Cllr’s late father not him personally !!
So what better time to hit ‘Your Waverley’ with planning application No: WA/2022/00763) for 20 homes at Cobblers Brook Mapledrakes Road Ewhurst – and who better than to pally up with Mr and Mrs Alan Young than the notorious developer Hamish Robbie. of Crownhall Estates?
Not that the owners want you to know it is their application!!.
Preserving the countryside –“I shall continue to fight tooth and nail to preserve our beautiful countryside and unique villages.”
So hard has he worked that in November last year, he clear-felled all the oak trees (some 100 years old) on the site a week before the Environment Bill was due to pass? We guess that he saw this in the paper: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/08/14/tree-felling-surges-england-tough-new-rules-come-force/
Now villagers are ganging up to object to the scheme, one says.
“Ewhurst is being destroyed through greed not need.”
Villagers’ reasons for opposing the scheme will follow in another post.
‘Your Waverley’ wants to help so here is the contact details.https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Benefits-and-community-support/Coronavirus-COVID-19/Financial-support-for-residents
If the latest offering for Alfold is anything to go by – then Milford/Godalming residents need to be prepared for what’s coming their way from the same developer on The Secretts site?
Waverley’s eastern area planners heaped insult after insult on the final scheme proposed to develop 86 homes on Sweeters Field, Alfold by Bewley Homes.
A scheme that Bramley Councillor Martin D’arcy described as:
“One of the worst layout housing schemes I have ever seen. I thought a previous Secretary of State for housing wanted to ‘build beautiful?’ Beautiful these are not, in fact, this is a crap design the developers are obviously clueless.”
Despite planning officers recommending approval of the extension to the recently completed Cala Homes Sweeters’ Copse development of 56 homes, committee members called for a deferment of a scheme by a different developer for 86 homes. Rumour has it that Cala off-loaded the land to Bewley Homes because it faced huge difficulty selling Phase 1.
Councillors asked for the scheme to be re-vamped, saying?
(on the planning portal, the developer says it is cheaper and less hassle than using renewable energy!
Councillors, including Alfold’s Kevin Deanus, were not impressed to hear officers plead the case for the need to increase Waverley’s five-year housing land supply. Which a Government Inspector ruled was only 4.1 years when he allowed another 86 homes near Alfold petrol station a couple of weeks ago!
According to Cllr Deanus Alfold deserved better and so did the new owners of homes at Sweeters’ Copse.
“It is their road and is unadopted by Surrey highways which they have to pay for the upkeep and insurance through a management company”
He said he intensely disliked the apartment block design, and the scheme needed huge improvements to satisfy villagers.
Rather than throw this out, let’s defer saying they could do better?”
Ewhurst Cllr Val Henry said she believed Alfold was getting ”a very bad deal.” The layout of homes was cramped, density too great, in a village that had no gas, had flooding and sewage problems.
Cranleigh’s Cllr Liz Townsend claimed there would be ~”issues for Chilton Close homeowners, with a lit parking court bang up against their boundaries in a village with a dark skies policy.
“Is this scheme really in keeping with a rural area like Alfold, she asked?
Councillors overwhelmingly voted to defer the scheme back to the developer with one abstention.
“You have pre-determined the decision because you are reading from your written notes.” he warned.
At least the Rainbow Coalition is taking action to save taxpayers money. One of these fine days, someone will reveal just how much the Blightwells fiasco in Farnham has cost Waverley taxpayers? The vanity project for the former Tory administration, hated by most, is now two years behind schedule and it looks like this! WW cannot help wondering who in the end will pay for these delays? just a guess – US?
Could this end up at the new Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council’s HQ?
Has Cllr Townsend put a rocket up the backside of Waverley’s planning department? Some might say – “not before time?” Pity, she couldn’t put the same rocket up the backsides of developers who have failed to actually build the homes for which they fought so hard to gain consent?
In January, Cranleigh’s Cllr Townsend took over a demanding new position on the Executive.
She became Portfolio Holder for Planning and Economic Development.
She also retains the leadership of the £20m Cranleigh Leisure Centre Project and the future development of Dunsfold Aerodrome – the largest development site in the borough.
Here’s what a villager has just written in pure exasperation to The “hardworking Clerk.” and councillors. – One of whom resigned on the night due to ill-health.
Oh! And we mustn’t forget the leader of Protect Our Waverley, who has spent a lifetime resisting anything and everything at Dunsfold Park because he lives on the perimeter and wants to become the next Chairman!!
Chairman! We hear you cry! Head honcho for the very same village on which he has helped to inflict serious harm?
First of all, I apologise for not including all members of the APC; I could not find Email addresses on either the parish or borough council’s Websites, apart from Julie, our hardworking Clerk. If I have missed something, do let me know?
In this age of digital communication, surely we should have this information? As I said at the meeting on Thursday – the lack of updates for the meeting (Agenda/Minutes) by Thursday 10th Feb was rather disappointing – I only found out about the meeting as a friend asked if I was going – as she couldn’t. So I attended but felt I was on the backfoot as I had no advance notice of the agenda until Julie emailed it to me just before 6 pm on the day of the meeting. At the meeting, I was the ONLY attendee – but that is hardly surprising when it wasn’t public knowledge that it was taking place. I was told l should have read the notice boards – I do not walk near them often, and when I do – I rarely have my reading glasses with me, so I rely on updates on Alfold Village Network Facebook, a brilliant tool for keeping the village updated. I do not think that is unreasonable these days – is it?
We have to get better at keeping the village informed of APC Meetings Minutes and the Alfold Neighbourhood Plan meetings. The Last minutes for this are Neighbourhood Plan Minutes 26_04_21 –
This was noted at the Horsham Road Appeal (for another 86 Homes on Wednesday by the BP station next to the Garden Centre) Development by the Inspector! Yes, another 86 homes!
The last minutes for the APC are
Whilst we all understand that APC is overwhelmed with the volume of work that appears to be singularly shouldered by the Parish Clerk – with little support from elsewhere?
As promised during my rather abrasive meeting on Thursday. I want to help APC, so I have read the 80 Pages of the AECOM report (A Housing Assessment study). Whilst detailed to the extreme, it is worth having the Information for reference, but I feel the Conclusions bring things back into perspective for the layman (Me!)
So I have re-typed them under my name (and tried just to put the salient points down 80 Pages is enough to make anyone lose the will!!!) – In case I have made any errors, and I do hope they help for anyone that has a life and doesn’t want to plough through 80 pages of the full report. It is fairly obvious the road we need to take to protect our village.
We need to get on with it. We are losing Appeals partially because of this
The AONB survey – but bearing in mind this has been going on since the Dunsfold Park application in 2014 – I fail to see how any weight can be accorded to it – until it happens. Whilst Dunsfold Park is mainly within the Parish of Alfold – It is considered a NEW SETTLEMENT by WBC and the Government. So bears no relation to OUR planning numbers. Nor do any applications on the site to continue the business part of the site. – Why wouldn’t they want to continue to operate as a business? If the new owners finally pull their finger out .. and either follow the existing Outline Plan (unlikely) or come up with a New Plan for this site, we will have to see – but as this was ALWAYS considered OUTSIDE ALFOLD as a NEW Settlement – Then it should have NO BEARING ON APCs Neighbourhood Plan.
Water/Sewage issues seem to mean nothing as all the statutory consultants say they require conditions (that are often ignored) but have no objection.
SCC pretty much always say the A281 and surrounding roads can cope, and there are no serious issues – they are happy to take the CIL or S106 Funds to fill its coffers. Very little ever seems to make it to OUR VILLAGE – which is currently taking such a hugely disproportionate amount of the Housing Need for Waverley. I would love to know how much revenue has been allocated via CIL/S106 to this village?
Either APC need to ask for assistance or we bury our heads in the sand and allow so many new applications in the village that we continue to lose on Appeal. Just look at the Figures – How many of our Local resident’s young families can afford to live in Alfold and be close to family and friends? – Unless you earn in excess of £42K annual Income for Shared Ownership (25% equity) or Affordable First Homes at £60K/Annum Income??? We will end up being a village with people outside Alfold wishing to move to the area because it is cheaper than some of the other London Suburbs (ie Weybridge) that can afford these lovely big homes. Or we will become a village that is just filled with old people – Like ME!!
I am afraid we need to engage MORE with the village and bring them on board as if they don’t know what is happening.
Thomas Harrison said of Haslemere’s ‘Not in My Back Yard’ brigade:
“They, (Haslemere residents) will say Haslemere can’t possibly support any more people while watching the high street shut down because there aren’t enough people to support the businesses.
These objectors can at least take comfort in knowing that if they successfully manage to strangle the life out of the town, they’ll have created a place people no longer want to live and the applications for new houses in the area will surely stop.
They all accept the UK needs more houses – just not near them.”
It wasn’t that it lied, but by leaving out some key bits of information – like dates – it manages to give completely the wrong impression and manipulate the truth…
The reopening of the railway line was not supported by SCC in its 2013 Transport Strategy – The line was closed in 1965 due to low profitability – Consideration was given by the County Council and the rail industry in 1996 and 1997 as to whether the Cranleigh to Guildford line could viably be reinstated. In 1996 Railtrack decided that this would be feasible from an engineering perspective but would have environmental impacts. –The 1997 report into feasibility by Surrey however concluded that most trips in the area were not between Guildford and Cranleigh and only 3% of capital costs would be recouped in the first year. The 2013 Surrey Rail Strategy notes that in 1997 reinstatement of the Guildford/Cranleigh line.
“was rejected because of the lack of a viable business case.”
Previous detailed feasibility studies into the scheme in 1997 carried out for Surrey County Council concluded that patronage would be insufficient to justify the significant cost of rail line re-opening. As SCC haven’t looked into this since 1997, there is obviously no evidence to suggest that the fundamental drivers of demand have changed substantially since these studies were carried out in the 1990s although they obviously have. The County Council, therefore, for reasons best known to itself (and certain people then in charge at Waverley) decided in 2013 to undertake no further work on this proposal.
It is suggested that improvement to bus services between Guildford and Cranleigh, and the measure to address current traffic congestion are developed rather than a rail solution”
(Well, that’s been a resounding success, hasn’t it?)
Surrey strongly supports the former railway line being used as a transport link for walkers, horse riders and cyclists but as the writer of this update sheet really wants to support this application by the Wey and Arun Canal Trust which helpfully destroys any chance of using the Downslink for other transport he won’t be backing the local walkers, horse riders and cyclists, Cycling UK and Surrey Countryside and Access Forum who all objected strongly to the Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s proposal.
The 2020 Surrey Rail Strategy by Arup also does not support the reinstatement of the line because they didn’t look at the reinstatement of any lines but Arups did say that as one of four major new housing settlements Dunsfold Park needed an alternative to rail but didn’t suggest what that might be.
Based on its 1996 and 1997 studies, and in spite of the fact they are now 25 years old, SCC still thinks the rail line may not cover operating costs or significant capital costs although in 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies thought it was one of the top 9 lines in the country with a financial case for reinstatement, but SCC still prefers and relies on its 1997 viability report, but what do they know?
According to Michael Goodridge, MBE, there is no capacity at Guildford Station to reintroduce the line.
Here at the Waverley Web, we find it inconceivable that after taking part in the debate, having their say, and listening to all views, including public speakers, that some councillors then ABSTAINED from voting.
“It would actually be great to get an M & S Food rather than yet another cafe but the problem is lack of parking. No one wants to have to haul their shopping trolley across the High Street to the Crown Court (nearest) car park and pay £1.10 an hour to boot.”
Some members of the eastern planning committee described the scheme as less of a canal extension and more of a boating lake and towpath that would be dangerous for cyclists and users of the Downs Link.
One councillor said, “My grandad fell off his bike into the Kennet and Avon Canal.”
Some claimed it wasn’t the restoration of the canal route but a deviation from it, and it would never link up. One public objector – the owners of Whipley Farm at Palmers Cross, said they would never grant permission for the canal to cross their land.
However, never is a long time – and the Canal Trust has already restored sections where owners had long-resisted.
Many believe the controversial decision effectively rules out ever opening the Horsham to Guildford Railway line, a victim of Lord Beaching’s axe in 1965.
So four months later, almost the same planning committee determined the same application again! Why must we all wonder? Had someone threatened a legal challenge? Oh! Yes, they did; we hear you cry.
Could it possibly be Friends of The Earth campaigner Kathy Smyth who is passionate about environmental issues whose legal eagles threatened action against ‘Your Waverley’ before issuing planning consent? Is it possible that just for once, Waverley’s slow planning process paid dividends for objectors, scuppered the Trust’s ambitions and saved taxpayers a pretty penny or two?
As a public speaker, she pointed out many reasons why the application should be refused. We would have included a clip here if the webcast had been operating correctly!!!
In recent years, Wey and Arun’s efforts to forge ahead with plans to open the canal from Sussex across the border into Surrey have moved on apace. The latest planning application to Waverley & Guildford Planners was to create a further 1,000-yard extension to the canal between Bramley and neighbouring Shalford. The masterminds behind the scheme believe the Wey & Arun Canal is an integral part of its plan to cut carbon emissions and restore the “Lost Route to the Sea.”
Some councillors feared that widening the Downs Link would damage the environment by removing trees and wildlife habitat. The Trust refutes this and boasts a well-proven track record for improving the environment rather than damaging it. Some are concerned an extension could scupper reopening the railway line as a “Sustainable Movement Corridor.”
However, it was difficult to understand precisely what Bramley residents want, or more to the point, what they don’t want? It appears they want the Downs Link – where many of them dump their garden rubbish, left as a narrow footpath. But are dead against a railway or any alternative form of public transport system.
Cllr Steve Williams claimed present energy circumstances would prompt a shift in transport solutions over the next five years, and objected to the removal of trees.
He was reminded that introducing a transport link, sometime down the line, would require the removal of many hundreds of mature trees.
Confusing information provided by council officers about 90 class A Oak trees that would be removed, sparked controversy when Cllr Liz Townsend described many of these as “self-seeded spindly saplings,” being replaced by 1,000 other trees. She argued transport studies had been bandied around for years, and costs estimated at £100m in the ’90s.
Car parks would be needed and you cannot put a light railway onto a main railway line, and land would need to be compulsorily purchased. The Downs Link, in its present form as a recreational route is not feasible next to a railway line. What we are trying to achieve is a sustainable movement corridor. there is no plannng reason to refuse this application.”
Cranleigh Cllr Patricia Ellis agreed. The W&AC Trust had a proven record for providing leisure and recreational facilities for Waverley residents and prided itself on protecting the environment. It would be wrong to stop the canal scheme for something that may never come about.
“Probably not least of which, Cranleigh would become more gridlocked with traffic than it is at the moment. It would become one large car park.”
Surrey County Council made it abundantly clear in a statement to the committee that it would not support re-opening the Horsham to Guildford railway line or safeguarding it for a future transport link. There was no capacity at Guildford Station.
The reopening of the railway line is not supported by SCC – The line was closed in 1965 due to low profitability – Consideration has been given by the County Council and the rail industry as to whether the Cranleigh to Guildford line could viably be reinstated. This would be feasible from an engineering perspective but would have environmental impacts. – Studies in the 1990s concluded that most trips in the area were not between Guildford and Cranleigh and only 3% of capital costs would be recouped in the first year. – The 2013 Surrey Rail Strategy notes that reinstatement of the Guildford/Cranleigh line. “was rejected because of the lack of a viable business case. Previous detailed feasibility studies into the scheme carried out for Surrey County Council concluded that patronage would be insufficient to justify the significant cost of rail line re-opening. There is no evidence to suggest that the fundamental drivers of demand have changed substantially since these studies were carried out in the 1990s. The County Council, therefore, decided to undertake no further work on this proposal.”
The 2020 Surrey Rail Strategy also does not support the reinstatement of the line. – The rail line may not cover operating costs or significant capital costs. There is no capacity at Guildford Station to reintroduce the line. – Surrey strongly support the former railway line being used as a transport link for walkers, horse riders and cyclists.
Here is just one heartfelt statement from Executive member and Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend.
Waverley’s Leader said the council had issued a formal statement of support and had raised the Ukrainian flag over The Burys earlier in the week. He said many residents had asked if they could donate and house refugees, but the council needed to wait for the Government to act.
All information can be found on Waverley’s website.
His tribute will follow.
Planning consents have or are about to be agreed upon for over 100 Gipsy families to move into land adjacent to Dunsfold Aerodrome a few miles from Cranleigh and in the Parish of Bramley.
Despite protestations from the area’s parish councils – gipsy families from all over the country – including Wales and Ireland – keep rolling in.
Heavy Plant and materials are being shipped into Stovolds Hill daily. Not for the 2,600 new hones planned in the proposed Dunsfold Garden Village – but the new Gipsy Garden Village nearby.
Dozens of newcomers have set up homes in a new Gipsy Park – named Willow Park.
The indigenous gipsy families who have occupied land in Stovolds Hill for over 30 years have decided to extend the adjacent Lydia Park, not only for their growing families but also for many others from elsewhere in the country. Static caravans and mobile homes are being rented out – and rental prices are rocketing.
Despite strong local objections, the list below shows just a few examples of planning consent given by Waverley’s Planning Officers under their delegated powers. Most parish councils, including Alfold, Dunsfold Hascombe and Bramley, regularly trot out their objection letters, with monotonous regularity, all of which fall on deaf ears.
Families rely upon local schools, medical facilities and services in nearby Cranleigh.
The Waverley Web wonder if ‘Your Waverley’ will ever have a strategy to deal with the huge influx of gipsies in the eastern villages?
Shouldn’t traveller accommodation be more evenly distributed around the borough rather than in just one area – Stovolds Hill, Dunsfold, and one of the accesses into Dunsfold Park’s New Garden Village?
There are now multiple sites in Stovolds Hill. Some sites have been there for over 40 years.
Hill Tops. New Acres. Lydia Park and now – The Willows.
Council tax has become so unaffordable for many that some require help just to afford to pay it. Elderly Care Council Tax is an absurdity for those in Surrey because most property owners are ineligible for elderly care.
Surrey returns more estate duty (Inheritance Tax) to central Government than any other county in the country, yet central government pocket it. Pensioners in the South East are twice as likely to pay for their own care as those in the North East. Nearly 1 in 3 pay for their own care.
The Surrey taxpayer may now be forced to pay an extra 3% council tax for elderly care from which they are barred. No wonder we have funding problems when SCC cannot get a fair settlement from central Goverment. Excessive punative taxes are a clear indication of a lack of governance. Cllr Oliver would be wise to take the advice of Lord Frost on excessive taxation.
The County Council now says it wants to …
In line with its ambition to tackle inequalities in health and ensure no one is left behind, older people with complex needs will be given a greater choice over their care and support under a new adult social care plan.
The plan was put together with input from residents, unpaid carers, staff and providers. It outlines how the council will work with the NHS and private care providers across the county to create more places in specialist facilities for those needing intensive support – whether they’re eligible for social care services or not.
SCC will invest more in services to help people stay healthy and happy in their local communities for longer, including enabling more residents to benefit from day services and activities.
The plan also sets out how people will be supported to live at home as long as they can, with care and support, including the use of pioneering technology that keeps people safe and independent at home – if that is right for them. More details about this are available in the full Surrey News story.
Central to its plan is to provide 725 homes by 2030 in extra care housing, offering people their front door with care and support always on hand. Find out more by watching the video below.
You can access the entire plan by visiting the council meeting agenda web page, item number 217/21.
Housing charity Shelter says the pandemic has been “atrocious” for struggling families.
The organisation said thousands of families across the country have become homeless during the Covid-19 crisis, and with living costs rising by the day, more are at risk now.
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show that 182 households in Waverley sought council support after becoming homeless between April 2020 and the end of September 2021.
Of those, 45 were households with children.
Across England, 222,360 households have been pushed into homelessness since April 2020 – equivalent to a city five times larger than Waverley.
Shelter said if someone has become repeatedly homeless over the 18 months, they would appear in the figures multiple times – though the charity estimates this to be a very small number of cases.
Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns, said the pandemic had been “atrocious” for struggling families even with protections like the eviction ban and the £20 Universal Credit uplift.
“Now, living costs are spiralling and all the protections are gone, even more people will be at risk of losing their homes.“The economic impact of the pandemic has exposed the true cost of decades of failure to build the social homes we need, leaving millions in insecure homes they can barely afford.”
Bailiff-enforced evictions were banned for a large part of the pandemic – a measure introduced by the Government to prevent renters from being made homeless – though the ban was lifted in England on May 31.
Containing the first three full months’ worth of data after the eviction ban was lifted, the latest statistics show 36,510 English households became homeless between July and September 2021 – the equivalent of 397 every day.
In Waverley, 32 households needed help because they were homeless over this time – up from 28 during the same period in 2020. ‘Your Waverley’ has introduced some innovative ways of providing housing.
However, according to Crisis, there are even more people across England “slipping through the cracks” who are not recorded in these figures.
Francesca Albanese, acting director of policy and external affairs at Crisis, said: “The pandemic showed us all just how important home is to a person, yet many thousands have been left without a safe and secure place to call their own.
“People are now struggling as the safety net of pandemic protections, such as the eviction ban and universal credit uplift, have been withdrawn. This also comes at a time when even more people are at risk of homelessness as the cost of living crisis squeezes household finances to breaking point.”
“Although the Council’s discussion of a new leisure centre at Cranleigh is welcome, £20 million is almost four times the price of the leisure centre built in Godalming only 9 years ago.
Why is the proposed price so expensive?
Additionally, it has been known by the authority since 2018 that Godalming Leisure Centre has vastly outperformed its estimated revenue, with the facility significantly oversubscribed. Additional facilities are needed for the centre. If Cranleigh is to benefit from a new leisure centre for £20 million, Haslemere enjoying the benefit of 2 leisure centres, why is no money available to expand Godalming Leisure Centre, a town twice the size of Haslemere that has already exceeded its allocation of new housing under the Council’s Local Plan 11 years ahead of schedule?”
Councillor Liz Townsend, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Leisure and Dunsfold Park, responded:
“ We as an administration are very pleased to be in a position to present a viable business proposal for a new Cranleigh Leisure Centre. The centre is 52 years old and has far exceeded its life expectancy and we are, therefore, at a point where the Council has to make a critical decision regarding the future of leisure provision in the Cranleigh area.
The cost of a new facility was based on guidance from consultants, Sport England and local leisure operators. Cranleigh was a larger site with more facilities than Godalming.
She said significant changes had occurred since building Godalming Leisure Centre in 2012, so a direct comparison did not give an accurate picture. The challenges of increased construction costs (labour and materials), a global pandemic, a corporate commitment and responsibility to reduce carbon emissions had increased costs.
The Council must consider its entire leisure stock and prioritise where it spent money to ensure that facilities met the demands of local communities.
“Cranleigh Leisure centre is over 50 years old and Farnham Leisure Centre is over 40 years old and as you highlighted Godalming is only 9 years old. However, a redevelopment of the Godalming Leisure Centre, to accommodate public demand, is still very much in mind and we await a decision from the Department for Education regarding the release of school land to enable the project to move forward.”
The pandemic had substantially impacted the leisure industry, and the Council needed to review all business decisions to ensure projects remained viable. Once the Council had received D of E approval, it would conduct a review.
COMING TO ALFOLD SOON ANOTHER 86 HOMES AND BUILDERS PORTALOOS TO LINE THE POCKETS OF LOCAL LANDOWNER ‘THE COVEY FAMILY.’
Government Inspector Peter Mark Sturgess followed in the footsteps of all his Inspector mates this week by overturning Waverley Planners’ refusal to build 86 new homes on agricultural land in the beleaguered little village of Alfold.
Another building site to join Sweeters Copse; Loxwood Road; Wyevale Garden Centre; Brockhurst; and the list just goes on and on ad nauseam in the village Waverley councillors dubbed “poor old Alfold.”
This latest decision will join others to impose approximately 439 new dwellings on the village. The Inspector recognised this was significantly above the 125 dwellings identified in Alfold’s housing allocation and more than the limited development Waverley’s Local Plan envisaged.
So that’s alright then Mr Sturgess – doubling the size of a village with no school, no decent bus service, shops or sewage and water supply is fine?
You can read his decision for yourself here – because even the Waverley Web is becoming sick and tired of posting this information. But hasn’t Alfold Parish Council something to answer for? It contributed to years of opposition at Dunsfold aerodrome and delaying the development of the largest brownfield site in the borough.
You can read our post about the next garden village currently being developed close to Alfold soon.
Our Alfold mole has been giving us the heads-up on the current planning issues in this beleaguered corner of ‘Your Waverley.’ Now, the former Wildwood Golf Club is in the frame.
Apparently, after Inspectors have allowed the village to double in size, and development is rumoured to begin on Dunsfold Garden Village’s 2,600 homes soon – along comes – the start of the Wildwood Retirement Village?
RE: WA/2022/00217 Wildwood Golf Course – New Access
Having examined the above application, it appears to hold no resemblance to an original application WA/2010/1489 for a hotel on the golf course at Wildwood on the A281 – Guildford-Horsham Road.
Villagers claim developers are making a mockery of the planning system by making new applications based on extant applications they have no intention of using. Therefore this new application is a means to start another application for a new…
Some residents fail to see how this application can be assessed without further information. Quote from their D&A statement
WA/2022/00217 Application Points:
3.2.1 WA/2010/1489 – planning permission granted on 10th August 2011 for the erection of an 84 room hotel with associated spa and leisure facilities; a golf academy building with associated offices and lodge accommodation to serve the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) regional headquarters; relocation of maintenance building together with the formation of access roads, parking and landscaping. Including the existing buildings (minus that demolished to facilitate the approved scheme), the Consent granted a total of 16,161sqm floor space. This permission has been lawfully implemented and is extant.
3.2.2 In 2020, pre-application planning advice was sought for the above development to be used as a retirement village to facilitate the construction and separate operation of THIS development, a new vehicular access is required to serve the golf course.
3.2.3 Accordingly, this application proposes new vehicular access and a car park for the golf course.
WHAT GOLF COURSE?? – Is this the 9-Hole as mentioned in the Press?? In which case the whole application has to be removed and this new application and any other to come forward must be judged on its own merits surely?
The original Application (WA/2010/1489) is only still Extant due to this Document ….
http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/civica/Resource/Civica/Handler.ashx/Doc/pagestream?cd=inline&pdf=true&docno=6988439 and nothing apart from willful destruction of a beautiful Golf course that over recent years has re-wilded, so any Ecology reports (ER’s) for 2010 are now useless.
The new (ER’s) only look at the new area and are mostly Desk-Based bearing no resemblance to the wildlife that we, and many other walkers, have seen on the Golf Course in the last 5 years.
There are still Mats, Dormouse & Larger Boxes on-site TODAY none of them was removed for analysis. The Great Crested Newt Bottles were taken away within a week of being put into the Ponds!
The developer acknowledges that there may be factual inaccuracies, quote:
This Report has been prepared using reasonable skill and care for the sole benefit of Peker Skyline Limited(“the Client”) for the proposed uses stated in the report by [Tetra Tech Environment PlanningTransport Limited] (“Tetra Tech”). Tetra Tech excludes all liability for any other uses and to any other party. The report must not be relied on or reproduced in whole or in part by any other party without the copyright holder’s permission.
Well whoops! it is on the WBC Planning Website so we can use it.
The survey is based on the small site for this new application and bears no relevance to the larger site that quite rightly shows the Ancient Woodland and GCN Sites as noted in the ACD Environmental reports of 2010 – this is an area of Local Importance. Villagers wish it was of greater importance as it shows the amazing result of what re-wilding can do saying,
“We see all manner of deer, and foxes and have seen Badger Pooh. The birds that we see and the amazing flora as well as butterflies I had never even heard of – most of which are not mentioned in the report.”
The data search didn’t cover:
This is an area with swathes of Ancient Woodland. Woodlands that take six hundred years to develop their ecosystems –
You simply cannot replant them!
There are Ponds all over the Golf Course that have Great Crested Newts – and this report acknowledges this – but Pond 41 by the new access route is one of them – so they plan to migrate them elsewhere. But what happens when the next batch of applications for the site come to fruition – do we just keep schlepping these poor creatures across the golf course until they hit the bit where there is no longer any more development??
Villagers are now asking Waverley Planners to protect their rural areas and prevent developers from concreting over them.
“We have a resolution with WBC to be one of the best Carbon Neutral Boroughs and this is a material consideration. There is nothing in this application that justifies this new access and has been pointed out by local residents it is on a dangerous bend of the A281 and will result in the removal of both ancient hedges and trees in the locale to enable the visibility splays required.
One resident revealed that the distance from the proposed new car park to the existing Wildwood Club House is about 600mtrs. – But that is as the crow flies, to actually walk the existing site and not straight through Tinkers Copse (ASNW) outside of the ownership of the site or across the Ponds, it must be in excess of that 600mtrs and more likely closer to 1000mtrs. The area between the Proposed Carpark and the Driving range – is fairly rough terrain and certainly unsuitable for wheelchair access, unless there is to be a new footpath/hardstanding.
This area in the winter is Boggy and hard for even the fittest, we walk it regularly.
WA/2010/1489 allowed for the following Car Parking:
That equates to in excess of 303 Car Parking Spaces
Why the need for another 66 at the most Southerly part of the site?
None of this makes any sense – so it is obvious to us ignorant villagers that something else is on the cards, and to date, there has been no Public Engagement with the Village.
A map of the whole site is featured above if anyone doesn’t know the scope of this place and what else could be coming forward on it!
Seems Surrey’s Tory administration doesn’t want to stop regardless of what anyone thinks!
So, whilst ‘Your Waverley’ and Guildford’s councils work tirelessly to find savings by collaborating, keeping their identities and local accountability, Tim Oliver wants to take a giant leap for Surrey kind?
He is not giving up his ambition whilst In the full knowledge that Surrey’s boroughs and districts are dead against one huge conglomerate that takes local accountability and democracy further away from us. Seems to us Oliver just wants more, and won’t stop regardless of what anyone thinks?
The Government White Paper.
The UK Government is establishing a new independent body in England focused on data, transparency and robust evidence.
Has the noble Baroness for Transport – ‘Vere of Norbiton’ joined forces with the Honourable Angie to put a spanner in the canal organisation’s engines?
Some believed the controversial decision effectively ruled out ever opening the Horsham to Guildford Railway line a victim of Lord Beaching’s axe in the 1960s.
Now, four months later the very same planning committee will determine the same application… again! Why we must all wonder? Has someone threatened a legal challenge? Oh! yes, they have we hear you cry.
Rumour has it that the noble Baroness won’t sign off on the Woking Heathrow project until all the relevant forces in that scheme put pressure on others to clear the way for her project to Cranleigh and Dunsfold. Possible light railway for the mega settlement because the roads can’t cope? Our Waverley New Year predictions – with a little help from our friends.
Letters went out this week from Waverley’s planning department to people who commented on the Wey and Arun application 2020/0004 to tell them that the ‘consultation was being extended’ and would close on 21 February.
Extended? What consultation? A feeling of deja vu washed over us guys at the Waverley Web. Did that, commented on that months ago, and then bought the Way & Arun T-shirt!
The scheme WA/2020/0004 was recommended for approval by officers and granted by majority vote. We never thought the day would come when we would pity planning officers, but they are overworked and under pressure! However, thankfully a delay in issuing consent may have saved a small fortune from a threatened Judicial Review?
Officers said back in October the canal trust’s proposal would “improve access to waterside leisure and enhance the landscape to the Downs Link”
They also said.
Whilst it may prevent the Downs Link from being used for large-scale sustainable transport infrastucture, such as for a tram or a train in the future, as part of the Guildford to Cranleigh Transport Corridor, no such scheme is planned at present, or has been found to be viable in the past. So the benefits of the scheme outweigh the benefits of safeguarding the land for potential transport use. The Downs Link will remain useable for walkers and cyclists.”
Rail enthusiasts in the Guildford/Cranleigh and Horsham areas fumed as Waverley’s decision effectively scuppered their long-held dream to re-open the line. The English Rural Transport Association (ERTA) has been campaigning to reopen the Guildford section of the Horsham line and re-open the line from Horham to Shoreham. Much of the trackbed still survives.
However, The Wey and Arun Canal Trust – established to reinstate London’s “Lost Route to the Sea” – was given the go-ahead to build 1,000 yards of a new canal from the Wey Navigation by the A281 bridge to a point near the historic aqueduct on Gosden Meadow by Tannery Lane, Bramley.
ERTA’s chairman Richard Phil said: “This will scupper the rail hope, but the association was not giving up its battle entirely.
“Obviously we wish the rail was put first rather than a canal, but we are not giving up as the corridor lends itself to expansion and new interpretation, so accommodating a railway, a canal and a cycleway/walkway means expansion is to be played for. This is a strategic missing link and deserves more strategic support and recognition.”
Now, for climate change/carbon reduction reasons some residents want the committee to refuse the Wey and Arun application re-run because the opportunities to decarbonise transport and reduce traffic in Surrey are few and far between. The application was only passed by a majority of ONE vote last time and there were two abstentions so objectors believe this time there is everything to play for.
It would appear that the long term game is to get new viability and feasibility study, looking not just at just heavy rail but also more modern alternatives. There is DofT money available for these things – provided you can get the right support.
So in the long term perhaps this is the answer to repeated cries for transport infrastructure, and is the only thing that will help take cars off the road from Cranleigh into Guildford and perhaps even to Dunsfold?
Oh! What a tangled web they weave?
The newly named ” Thriving Communities Fund” (TCF) is having teething problems.
Perhaps, unhappy is an understatement? Some Tories are fuming that a new way of dishing out funds to voluntary organisations has been given a make-over by the new administration.
A change that many believe is long overdue.
For many years some failing organisations have been propped up by taxpayers due to the council’s failure to grapple with changing circumstances of groups and the services they now deliver.
So Waverley’s new administration turned the old funding mechanism on its head, and opened up the bidding process to a wider section of the community. It wants to fund initiatives for a more diverse public sector in future, including the young as well as the old. However, the new process has fallen foul of some of the traditional groups who have benefitted for decades from taxpayers money.
The council (TCF) group, including all political persuasions, was formed to determine how a £700,000 money pot would be dolled out this year. An extra ‘one off’ £49,000 was added to help existing groups make the transition. Decisions were made behind closed doors, and members told not to divulge awards, or to whom they were given.
Secrecy – was not appreciated by many, mainly the Tory opposition. Cllr Jenny Else (Conservative Elstead) was told not to divulge any information even to Tory colleagues – ” so, I didn’t ” she told the Full Council Budget setting meeting last night. Good old Aunty Elsey kept shtumn changing the habit of a lifetime.
The Citizens’ Advice Bureau is peeved, big time, that it is losing out. So Tory Leader Stephen Mulliner gave the Rainbows a poke in the ribs, for not telling him earlier by how much, forcing him to rely upon rumour stories. You can read it here: A bit of a spat about a “rumoured” reduction in Citizens’ Advice Funding by ‘Your Waverley.’
Cllr Michael Goodridge was incensed that it was rumoured that an organisation, of which he was a founder member, was forced to endure a 30% cut resulting in a £60,000 loss of revenue. A promised £50,000 grant from SCC didn’t dampen his outrage.
“After all the CAB deals with four and a half thousand families in Waverley. said he!”
Ye, Gods how much in total does the CAB receive from parish, town, borough and county councils as well as national Government? Perhaps someone will tell us?
Here’s what was agreed: At a meeting between Waverley and the CAB this week.
The following funding was agreed in principle – £150k From the Thriving Communities Commissioning Fund, supplemented by £50k from SCC and an additional £40k in principle from COMF funding to support in the transition to the provision of outreach to communities with debt advice, budgeting and benefits advice. This enables CAW to maintain a continued presence in Haslemere and Cranleigh for the next financial year.
COMF stands for Waverley’s Containment Management Fund. Which apparently is not Waverley’s money, but Government money which can be used in emergencies.
Cllr Patricia Ellis (Con Cranleigh) really let rip about the loss of funding to Rowleys Day Centre. An organisation that she had admitted to the funders, was “failing,” and had been for many years. Attendances had dropped, it was closed to the elderly during Covid, staying open for a handful of Meals on Wheels. Rumour had it that staff were fully paid to do almost nothing.
The Trustees were told “their grant must remain confidential until after this meeting and not to apply again for several years.”
No mention was made of the £40,000 roof repairs to the Rowleys building included in Waverley’s Budget Papers. Cllr Liz Townsend gave a string of examples of how both she and the county council were advising on new initiatives.
Concerns about Milford’s Clockhouse Day Centre, also failing, which will now receive no funding since being taken over by age UK Surrey, had healthy reserves. Recently its CEO announced that it had “plenty of money.” Though it still sought support grant funding from Waverley.
Cllr Kika Mirylees Portfolio Holder for health & Wellbeing responds to her critics in the clip below.
“total disaster for the borough.”
There she crows pointing at the culprits – the deputy leader of the Tory opposition is in no doubt who to blame – no guesses there then? The Rainbow Coalition?
The councillor for Farnham’s Bourne says Waverley must now grant planning consents for sites that conform with the development plan because…
“Until the borough begins to grant permissions on suitable sites it will lose appeals on unsuitable sites. The borough needs a robust 5-year housing land supply, and a fuly adopted Local Plan. It is not the Government’s fault and the Lib Dems must stop playing politics with planning policy and must accept responsibility for it lamentable performance on planning as a whole.”
Now, here at the Waverley Web, we thought Cllr Cockburn was not only listening but heard both recent appeal inquiries?
But perhaps she didn’t want to hear the legal eagles consistently point to Waverley’s lamentable record of development in the early years of its Local Plan! Oh! Carole – you are not a fool – as the song goes, in fact, you are a knowledgable and savvy politician, who should know better than enter the blame game.
So when it comes to blaming be careful who you crow for?
So now who has to stop playing politics Carole?
However, there are no papers up on Waverley’s website giving funding figures for any of the recipient individual organisations!
Within moments of publishing this post we received this update from Paul Follows Waverley’s Leader.WBC CAW statement
The lack of information is causing angst among the Tory Group as rumours are rife that the CAB’s grant has been slashed.
Tory Opposition Leader Cllr Stephen Mulliner puffed himself up into a frenzy over the possibility that Waverley’s treasured CAB organisation was rumoured to be losing out on vital funding.
Only to be told that Surrey County Council was lobbing a huge £