Please Waverley Planners – can we have more concrete?

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What we need is more concrete to collect run-off!

While the world was looking back over this past weekend the people of Haslemere were looking forward too!

The Waverley Web did a reccy on our Haslemere Patch in Scotland Lane which was flooded out this weekend and where cars were abandoned. Other parts of the borough were also under water.

Isn’t this an ideal spot to put another shedload of new properties? A site earmarked by Waverley Planners for 30 homes in Part 2 of its Local Plan. A plan which has been withdrawn for “further consultation?”

Where are you now POW? Helping the people of Haslemere to protect their countryside?

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Oh No! Please tell us that this man is not bidding to become Surrey County Council’s new leader?

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mylittlepovey2Ever since the day Cranleigh’s Little Povey was ousted as Leader of the County Council and  Deputy ‘Hodge the Bodge’ jumped into his role – Our Little Povey (OLP) has been fighting to snatch that badge back.

David Hodge has told his Conservative colleagues, at the soon to be flogged off County Towers, that he intends to resign as leader in November. 

Possible successors, including Dr Andrew Povey, are already jostling for a position in the leadership stakes, according to our Waverley Council informants. But it is likely he may have competition in climbing up the political greasy pole, having unceremoniously slid down to the bottom after a vote of no confidence which saw the SC councillor for Cranleigh & Ewhurst leave politics altogether – only to return in the last election. But OLP, could be in for a disappointment because other equally ambitious Tories, one of whom believes he is heading for Westminster when the present incumbent takes a Leap into the ~ Lords!  

None-other than  Matt Furniss the deputy leader at Guildford Borough Council and the county councillor for Shalford.

But one county councillor said she thought it unlikely that Cllr Furniss, the youngest councillor at GBC, who was only elected as a county councillor in 2017, would be able to gather enough support to make a serious bid. So OLP -could be galloping into the home straight before you can say Puckamuck!

Or, perhaps it could be our Farnham Gal. Our very own Waverley Mayor Denise? Presently performing in her robes as a  vital part of the Surrey Chain gang. After all, it was she who persuaded the County’s Tory group to stump up over £50m from its pension fund to throw into the Blightwells pot, a retail investment for the county that would generate millions of pounds? Could the County’s finances be safe in her hands? But then wasn’t she heard urging her children to hang on tightly to their Canadian passports just in case Brexit went wrong? Nothing like hedging your bets?

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David Hodge pictured just before he passes a motion to slash £250 million off the Surrey County Council budget to prevent it going for broke? 

 

 

 

The CILly Season will begin soon?

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Here’s what one Waverley Councillor has to say about Community Infrastructure Levy – the means by which developers will in future contribute towards services, including leisure, education, transport and more.

In recent months the race by developers to get their plans approved has been evident, and many more will hope to trouser schemes before next Spring.

‘Your Waverley’ want this in place in the borough by March next year.

 

The man who presided over failed Daft Local Plans – now stands up to halt development​ on his own​ Haslemere patch.​

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Waverley’s housing allocations have been withdrawn for “more work” following protests.

Having failed when he was Council leader to get even a daft Local Plan onto the stocks, who better than Councillor ‘Bobby’ Knowless to criticise his successors’ efforts to get LP Part 2 underway! Part 1 of which is now protecting the borough.

But then having inflicted a Developer-led plan all over Farnham, Godalming and the East of the borough isn’t it typical that Councillors Carole King and Bobby Knowless call a halt to efforts to despoil their own patch?

Both Haslemere borough councillors spoke out recently urging Waverley’s ‘rushed’ Local Plan Part 2 pre-submission document to be deferred.

Councillor Bobby Knowless and Oh Carole! – King,  protested to Waverley’s ‘watchdog’ overview and scrutiny committee that the document was not ‘fit for purpose,’ as it made assumptions without evidence about housing sites in Haslemere that were not deliverable.

Committee members were being asked to comment on a document containing site allocations for the 11,200 homes Waverley is required to build by 2032. Without their intervention, the document would have gone out for public consultation at  Christmas – before being officially submitting for adoption.

Now due to the concerns raised by Bobby and Ms King, Witley councillor Nick – ‘the brick’ Holder and Milford’s Denis Leigh, Waverley decided to defer any further consideration of the document until ‘further work on site allocations’ has been conducted.

LP Part 2  was due to go to Waverley’s decision-making executive and full council at a special meeting, prior to approving the document for public consultation – but it has now been taken off the agenda. No date has been given for when the document will now be considered.

Waverley’s Tory leader Julia Potts, said: “This item is being deferred as councillors want the council to have more time to engage with the local community about some of the content of the draft LPPII before it is published, including further work on site allocations and gaining further feedback from key stakeholders such as Thames Water and local clinical commissioning groups.”

The pre-submission document contains some important changes to site allocations, following the last public consultation that triggered 990 responses borough-wide. But “watchdog” councillors objected it needed more work.

Urging that ‘reckless’ site allocations should be deferred, Bobby reminded members Haslemere had suffered days of water cuts and shortages during the summer because Thames Water’s reservoir was too small! Didn’t mention that when agreeing to all those development in the East or in Farnham, did he?

He said: “It seems a report has been tabled, where members are being asked to take the risk, of no water, gas or electric, as there is no confirmation from the responsible bodies that services can be supplied or maintained.”

“And make no mistake chairman, it will be members that take the blame when the lights go out for allowing this to proceed without the proper information.”

Bobby also objects to building 50 houses on Haslemere High Street Waitrose car park claiming it is undeliverable as there would be nowhere for the 143 displaced motorists to park while building work takes place?

Mrs King told the committee: “To be frank I am embarrassed by this report. It is sloppy and either ignores or puts aside major obstacles.

“As has been stated the National Grid, Southern Electric, Southern Gas and even the Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group has not responded.”

Hasn’t anyone ever told her they never do?

She continued, “How on earth can a report be put forward to the council for approval, when this vital information is missing?”

OH, Carole – because ‘YW’ of which you have the honour of being part does it all the time – where have you been for the past few years – on the Planet Zonk??

Mrs King also objected at WBC’s assumption that it could remove Wey Hill Fairground car park’s common land status.

Has Mr Angry of Haslemere finally picked up his phone to his Waverley councillor?

Alfold gets a new heart – and a safer village?

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Waverley councillors have approved a scheme to bring Chapel Fields into the heart of Alfold despite objections from planning ‘experts.’ 

As outrageous as it may seem it took a determined developer to devise a housing scheme that would fund basic highway safety measures!- Vital road improvements have been called for but ignored for decades by the county highway authority! But it is partly due to Surrey County Council’s own development on Lindon Farm adjoining Chapel Fields that prompted councillors to overthrow their planning officers advice to … REFUSE!

Thanks to the landowners – and a determined Agent – Alfold will get now get 8 new homes – from two to four bedroom, a shop and cafe, a play area, and a central village green – but more important than all those put together – a safer highway through the village.

Waverley councillors, some of whom have a personal connection with the tiny Surrey/Sussex border village were able to recount their own personal experiences of one of the most dangerous country roads in the borough.

The Loxwood Road is a popular route for lorry traffic from the Shoreham Docks, and a busy link into the A281 Alfold Crossways a scene of numerous accidents. One several years ago, saw a female motorist die outside the village shop. Her death brought appeals for the highway authority to provide safety measures. 

Alfold Councillor Kevin Deanus said his village had recently been bombarded with development. Development both “inappropriate and insensitive” and which had provided the village with “absolutely no benefits.” The application before the eastern committee offered numerous benefits welcomed by many, including the parish council. He claimed SCC’s development nearby had,  “changed everything.”

Cranleigh, and former Alfold councillor, Mary Foryszewski said the scheme would “enhance the Conservation Area,” and here, at last, was a developer putting something back into the community.

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Cranleigh’s Jeannette Stennett predicted the scheme would open up the village – give it a new heart and anyone who had ever driven from the bottom of the Loxwood Road past the sharp bend on the hill, would welcome with open arms the traffic calming measures. Saying, It was what Alfold had needed for a very long time. Alfold had lost pubs, a fine restaurant and with the Development at nearby Dunsfold now approved, this thriving community deserved more. “I am giving this all my support.’

Councillor Stewart Stennett said he had personal experience of his own traffic accident there, saying the extra 20 car parking spaces for the Chapel, and residents parking would be welcomed by all.

Bramley’s By-Pass Byham who always welcomes traffic improvements, said in all his time at Waverley he couldn’t recollect  Alfold Parish Council ever supporting “anything” – so would definitely supporting this application.

However, Wonersh’s  Grouchy Goodridge didn’t believe the shop or the cafe were viable and the scheme was just a ploy to get housing development onto the site. The councillor who regularly reveals he is permanetly joined at the hip of planning officers with superglue argued against. “The developer has dangled a carrot in front of us? So what happens when these facilities are unviable? I certainly won’t be voting for it.”

After Ewhurst’s Val Henry spoke of her “excitement” about a scheme bringing with a raft of benefits for Alfold people. It was then left to Chairman David Else to call for a vote?

Despite a bit of confusion, which was not helped by officers seemingly completely disinterested in advising members on important conditions to be imposed on the scheme it was agreed by 10 votes to two. With Groucho and Chairman David Else voting against.

Will Waverley councillors back a scheme that the locals claim could breath new life into Alfold?

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Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 20.04.34.pngOr will they follow the recommendation of their very own planning dummies and refuse a widely supported scheme for eight homes – a cafe shop – and a car park?

Tonight Waverley planning ‘experts’ will once again recommend refusing development on land in the Surrey/Sussex border village – which has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently! Will this site on which development has been sought since 1986,  once again be kyboshed by planning officers who are ignoring local opinion – including those of village leaders on the parish council? (However, shouldn’t  someone tell the parish council that Grampian Conditions aren’t worth the paper they’re written on).

Perhaps Alfold’s Councillor Kevin Deanus can be as persuasive in supporting this application as he has so ably demonstrated when objecting to other totally unsuitable schemes, that officers have backed to the hilt in the east of the borough?

It beggars belief that Surrey County Council with Waverley’s support can build on land to the rear of Lindon Farm, formerly part of the same holding on which permission was refused to every other applicant. But then grant itself planning permission for three large buildings for supported living accommodation for autistic children with access from a one-way dangerous country lane!  Every other past application had been refused by its very own engineers’ on highway objections! Double-dealing or what?

Then along comes a community facility – a Cafe and a shop, which locals say will complement the existing village shop –   in a village with scant amenities. Along with the added bonus of a car park (10 spaces for a village church and 10 for residents’ parking, plus a traffic calming scheme)  and a play area in the heart of the old village – and the planners say…

… OH NO!

Dumb or what?

Come on Councillor Deanus – get your truncheon out and knock some sense into your so-called experts and get Cranleigh’s Liz Means Biz, (not to be confused with Betty Boot), and your fellow councillors along with you?

Tell them about the numerous accidents that have occurred on the dangerous bend where a woman died just a year or so back. Tell them about the dangerous parking, and the numerous incidents, accidents, damage to property that are a regular occurrence in Loxwood Road.  (We have researched this and our followers over there have been writing to us)!

And… how can anyone claim this doesn’t fit into the street scene?

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Existing housing and church – a footpath eight homes and a car park, cafe and shop behind?  But the ‘experts’ don’t like it!

KA-POW goes KAPUT!

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Yet again Capt’n Bob Lies and his cohorts have been kicked into touch, this time by no less a personage than a High Court Judge.

As we reported yesterday, Judge Natalie Lieven dismissed all the arguments put forward variously by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Protect our Waverley (POW). They failed to derail not only Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan but also the planning consent to build 1800 houses at Dunsfold Park. 

 Our Legal Eagle followers of the WW are pouring over the Judge’s decision and we’ll report in more detail on the whys and wherefores when we hear from them.

In the meantime, we can only hope this will be an end to POW’s disgraceful shenanigans, which have cost Waverley Council Tax Payers, dear.  Whilst essential services are being  cut to the bone, the wealthy-well-to-do of Awfold, Dunsfold and Kerchingfold have  played fast and loose with taxpayer cash with no regard whatsoever to the hundreds of thousands of pounds it has cost ‘Your Waverley’ to repeatedly defend itself and its residents from their kamikaze-style antics in relation to the Local Plan. 

However, given their chutzpah, no such luck!  Capt’n Bob’s has already issued his siren call: “A peal!  A peal!  No!  Not a peal of bells, you fools – we lost!  APPEAL!  APPEAL!  All aboard the Good Ship POW!  Next stop the Court of Appeal!”

 This despite CPRE having leave to appeal refused yesterday by the Judge on Monday, we understand CPRE and POW’s lawyers are now crawling all over her decision looking for a foothold from which to launch an appeal …  Sadly, with CPRE’s liability for costs limited to £10,000 and POW’s limited to £30,000 they are clearly not only undeterred but determined to continue their bloody battle to the bitter end. 

The Pope and God are on standby we understand, with all leave cancelled in Cloud Cuckoo Land!

In Pow’s  Press Release Bob Lies accused the Judge of an ‘apparent misunderstanding of the details of the case and misinterpretation of planning law.’ 

We doubt anyone expected Bob Lies and Little Britton to be gracious in defeat but insulting a High Court Judge … well, that just smacks of contempt of court!

As Capt’n Lies blathers on, about POW standing up for the residents of Waverley but what he really means is standing up for the residents of Awfold and Dunsfold.  It’s about time someone challenged Protect our Little Corner on its oft-repeated but completely unverified claim that they speak on behalf of thousands of Waverley residents.   These bozos keep telling anyone who will listen – not to mention plenty who’d rather not! – how many supporters they have and yet no one – not even two High Court Judges – have insisted they back up this claim with a verifiable membership list! 

Why not? 

POW love figures; they’ve thrown them around like Smarties during their latest skirmish in the High Court but their own sums are entirely ambiguous and even their biggest fan couldn’t claim, hand on heart, they’ve been remotely transparent regarding them …

On the one hand, POW claims to have thousands of supporters and yet on the other they swear they have no money to speak of.  Are we the only people to think that doesn’t add up?  Awfold Parish Council, aided and abetted by Nik Pigeon and Crystal Tipps Weddell, laundered £256,000 for POW and yet, despite this, those mendacious mealy mouthed men argued vociferously that the costs of their latest failed High Court Challenge should be limited to a measly £10,000!  And even though the Judge raised their cap to £30,000 that still leaves the Waverley Tax Payer picking up the costs of the fight POW picked with the Secretary of State, Waverley Borough Council and the Dunsfold Developer.  That’s the equivalent of going on a spending spree with someone else’s credit card.  Nice work if you can get it but, at best, it’s deceitful and, at worst, criminal in our opinion!

If POW goes ahead with its threat of another challenge they will, no doubt, suddenly and mysteriously, have the funds in place to set it in motion  – as they have done at every twist and turn in the past!  It’s not a case of living hand to mouth, as they claimed to the Judge, it’s simply a case of refusing to explain how and from whom they raise their funds!  Never mind what they claim to have – or not have – in their bank account; what’s more important and key to their funding arrangements is…

…who exactly does it have in its back pocket! It certainly isn’t coming out of Bob L’s wallet – because local tradesmen are contacting the WW – claiming he isn’t paying his bills, and they are threatening  Court action!!

So who is really pulling POW’s strings?  If we were going to trot down to Bet Fred, our money would be on a few High Rollers and one or two local developers who were, and will now be, even more anxious to see development at Dunsfold Aerodrome go down in order to better their own chances a hop skip and a field or two away. 

THE PLOT THICKENS?

Which leads us to wonder?

Where this leaves Nik Pigeon and Crystal Tipps Weddell’s grand plan, in cahoots with Thakeham Homes and Little Britton, to inflict further development on Awfold?  With the consent for 1800 homes at Dunsfold Park now verified by a High Court Judge?

How NOW POW…?

… can Alfold Parish Council continue to justify its championing of development at Springbok – especially when the residents of Awfold (whom they’re, allegedly, elected to represent) made their feelings in this respect all too clear?  The residents of Awfold DON’T want further development now they have reached their quota.   We all know Nik Pigeon has admitted to a pecuniary interest in the Springbok scheme and has been angling for it to get the go-ahead from the get-go – even before it was put before the Parish Council first time around! – but we ask again (and we’ll keep asking until we get an answer!) what’s in it for Crystal Tipps, Betty Ames and Little Britton?

Dunsfold and Waverley’s Local​ Plan get the​ go-ahead​​ in the High Court today​.

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Remember – you heard it here first. This post will be updated throughout the day.

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Dunsfold Deja-vu. The WW has been saying this for a very long time.

IT AIN’T  OVER UNTIL…

 

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And she is singing at the top of her voice. 

Sadly we have not yet received an official comment from Protect Our Waverley or the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England – so instead we have used this as it might just sum up their feelings. Or, of course, they could all be heading for The Supreme Court or The Pope…?

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But never mind- we (POW) cost the Waverley taxpayers a small fortune in legal costs with the total support of all those generous parish councils. – Particular thanks from POW goes to our Bankers at Alfold Parish Council.

 

A full report of the Judge’s decision will follow. Including her ruling on whether or not Protect Our Waverley has been awarded a limit on its costs to just £10,000 under the Aarhus Convention legislation – (People for Justice). 

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The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (or some parts of it!) has been refused Leave to Appeal by the Judge. It will have to pay £10,000 in costs as it had Aarhus protection. 

However, POW has not been quite so fortunate. Its cap on costs was increased by the Judge from £10,000 to £30,000. This still leaves US the Waverley taxpayers with a big hole in their pockets!

Here’s Waverley’s Press Release. Julia Potts.

LATEST NEWS – THEY AIN’T GIVING UP UNTIL EVEN MORE OF THE TAXPAYERS’ MONEY GOES DOWN THE PAN!! But surely someone somewhere is going to have these people up for vexation litigation. Even the Judge knows nothing now!

Here’s Pow’s Press Release. http://powcampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Press-release-POW-Nov-5.pdf

Will the this year’s CILLY season arrive in March?

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Although it has already arrived at the Sorry Advertiser by totally confusing the handful of people who actually now buy it in Waverley. It has failed to mention to whom CIL applies, and grossly inflates figures.

C I L stands for Community Infrastructure Levy – sounds a bit boring – but it won’t be boring, in fact, it will be very useful when it arrives on ‘Your Waverley’s doorstep.’

Because our borough, in common with many others – including Guildford,- had no approved Local Plans in place, developers have dealt with their contributions towards such things as education, roads and leisure facilities through what are called 106 agreements. These agreements will continue for some very major developments in the future. So even if CIL had been available NOW in the case of Crest Nicholson; Cala Homes; Bewley Homes; Berkeley Homes; A2 Dominion; Bellway; Thakeham Homes;  Dunsfold Aerodrome; and on and on … it could not be imposed.

WHY

Because quite simply Waverley Borough Council does not have an adopted Local Plan! Why?  because it is presently being challenged in the High Court by Protect Our Waverley – known locally as stop Dunsfold at any price – and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE). Challenges that have cost millions!

‘Your Waverley’ has now agreed its CIL levy, which is considerably higher than other borough’s in the country. However, all credit to them for pitching the CIL high and sticking to their guns in the face of considerable opposition from developers. All the above with the exception of DunsfoldAerodrome – if it ever receives consent – pays minimal contributions in 106 contributions. 

The plan seems to be that anything granted after 1 March 2019 will now be liable to CIL. And yes, we are sure you agree – shutting the door after the horse has bolted comes to mind!

Also, see around para 68 re Dunsfold. Some people may not like the outcome but at least WBC’s approach has been independently verified.

The point which seems to escape people, including the Sorry Advertiser, is that building a new settlement is more expensive than bolting 200 houses onto an existing settlement where you can piggyback off the existing infrastructure. Perhaps the SAd should start looking at some of the other developer contributions? Including one who is contributing £174,000 towards a 3G sports pitch for one of the top public schools in the country?

And, for those who regularly accuse us of supporting development at Dunsfold. We have, and will continue to support development on brownfield land rather than concreting over the borough’s countryside – whoever it is built by and wherever it is.

Final Report to Waverley BC Sept 3 2018

 

 

 

Another little Awfuld scandal in the making?

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For donkey’s years, an Alfold farmer attempted to gain planning permission to build on his land at Linden Farm – even tried to convert the piggeries. NO, GO! said Waverley planners, again, and again, and is applications were…

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Then following his tragic death, villagers still talk about it they tell us, his family tried.  again.

Mainly on highway groundsrefused2 and objections from the former chairman of the parish council WHO lives opposite.

Then along comes, Surrey County Council that doesn’t require planning permission, just consults the borough council and hey ho – here we go! Planning permission granted.

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 09.34.03.pngNow, parents have criticised Surrey County Council for attempting to reduce the size of an activity centre on the site of a residential home for adults with autism.

Work has already begun on the building of Linden Farm in Rosemary Lane, Alfold, but parents of adults with autism will move in there say they are concerned with last-minute changes to plans.

They have lodged a formal complaint about Surrey County Council’s handling of the build and say it is “immoral” that £360,000 raised by The Simon Trust to help fund the centre has been turned down.

Sally Lawrence, whose son Simon has severe autism and will be one of 10 residents moving into the complex is chairman of The Simon Trust.

Addressing councillors at Surrey County Council planning and regulatory committee meeting on Wednesday, (17 October), she said the size of the activity centre and removing the horticultural area would negatively impact residents.

She said: “People with autism need space. Without space and meaningful activities, both indoor and out it will not be fit for purpose.”

Husband Peter Lawrence questioned why the cash they had raised had not been accepted and used by the council and urged them to work with the Trust and parents.

He said: “All we want is for someone to listen to people who actually know and understand autism. We want Linden Farm to be a success.”

Planning permission was granted in 2017 for the former pig farm, but since then further design work has taken place and “minor material amendments” to one of the conditions has been made include reducing the size of the activity block by 45 per cent.

Social workers from Surrey County Council Adult Social Care defended the changes saying it was “a positive change which offers a person-centred and flexible space” and they said the space for gardening will be revisited once the building work has completed.

Accommodation includes five self-contained units with overnight staff quarters, a share accommodation block plus activity centre with offices and staff facilities.

Councillors deferred the application in a bid to open dialogue between Surrey County Council adult social care teams and The Simon Trust and to ensure the complex becomes a centre of excellence for adults with autism.

Mr and Mrs Lawrence welcomed the decision and said after the meeting they would be open to discussions on how the council can use the money they have raised.

The moral of the tale: Don’t trust Surrey County Council with your money, your roads, your children’s centres, your recycling centres or…

Where are you now POW? Helping the people of Haslemere to protect their countryside?

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Or is Protect Our Little Corner of Waverley sweating on the top line awaiting the Judge’s decision on whether a brownfield site at Dunsfold will be built on?

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Over 70 residents were safely gathered in at a Haslemere Hotel to register their objection to the development of a former large estate in Scotland Lane  Nobody, including ‘Your Waverley’, is going to ride roughshod over them!   Even if a scheme for more than 30 new homes is included in its local Plan Part 2.

Whilst Haslemere Councillors were busy shouting down the LP 2 at Waverley Towers the residents of Haslemere were expressing their concerns about yet another green field in their town being covered in concrete. The LP 2 was subsequently postponed. Read in here on the WW Has Mr Angry of Haslemere finally picked up his phone to his Waverley councillor?

Bets are on that now Councillor Bobby Knowless has thrown his toys out of the pram – the newly appointed Haslemere Town Councillor Peter Isherwood, former chairman of Waverley’s most senior planning committee, will be opposing any further development in Haslemere too. So keep shouting Haslemere people, because those who shout the loudest normally get heard at ‘Your Waverley.’

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Let’s get those damn trees and hedgerow out and cover this land in concrete? After all, that’s if they did it in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh and got away with it, so why can’t we do it here? 

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Come on boys get chopping – they are only trees that have been there for hundreds of years! And Waverley Council won’t be looking – will they? Well, they weren’t looking in Wrecclesham, or Cranleigh or Ewhurst or Farnham or…?

 

 

 

Surrey’s Fly Tipping Horror

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Here’s what County Hall could look like in the future?


Just as residents reel from Surrey County Council’s shock announcement that it wants to close Recycling Centres around the county including  Cranleigh & Farnham – here’s a clip on what reduced recycling already looks like in the county:

The Council is “consulting” on permanently closing between four and six CRC’s.  Farnham is on the list – so is Cranleigh; Bagshot; Dorking; Lyne (Chertsey) and Warlingham. 

Residents in Farnham are foaming at the mouth saying they will be forced to travel to Witley or over the border into Hampshire. Cranleigh people are already travelling into Horsham across the West Sussex County boundary as their site is only open at weekends and is causing traffic chaos in Elmbridge Road.

 

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Cranleigh people are arguing their County Councillors to step up to the Mark. By the way, has anyone seen their Little Povey?mylittlepovey2 

 

 

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A Waverley Liberal and a Tory unite.

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paul_carole_farnham.jpgIt took an unlikely duo of a Godalming Liberal Democrat and a Farnham Conservative to overthrow officer approval for a development that reduced the number of affordable homes by 5 at Green Lane Farm, Badshot Lea in Farnham last night.

It might have been a sight to behold as Councillor Paul Follows proposed rejection of the scheme seconded by Carole Cockburn – except of course the webcast went down…again…and again throughout the debate.

However, the vote was still narrow – won by just 9 votes to 7.

The developer was asked to reduce their affordable housing contribution from 40% – agreed at the time of Waverley’s draft Local Plan in June 2016. Since then Waverley Tories took it upon themselves to change their draft plan down to 30% affordable housing with the aim of asking for greater S106 contributions for infrastructure – that is of course when they can remember to ask for them!
The developer had already taken account of the policy when purchasing the land beyond the greenbelt claiming  ‘exceptional circumstances’ to gain consent for 45 homes  – granted at appeal. It now wants to change the housing mix by adding several larger detached homes and tacking on a load of conservatories. It is believed, this would add over £1-1.5million to the developer’s profits by permitting the changes.
Changes that the officers were quite happy to rubber stamp with the support of seven Tories. 

Pity Farnham Councillor Chris Storey was prevented by the borough solicitor from reading out an -email sent a planning officer? 

He said “We are well used as members of this planning committee to being threatened with appeals by developers. But perhaps my fellow councillors would like me to read out an e-mail sent by this developer…

… when he was suddenly stopped in his tracks by the solicitor saying “It would not be sensible to do so.”

Why?

If developers are using threatening behaviour to councillors or officers, why shouldn’t the public be told?

This Inspector’s decision was deeply unpopular with councillors and officers alike, but none more so than for  Councillor Carole Cockburn who had walked every inch of Farnham with colleagues to devise Farnham’s Adopted Neighbourhood Plan. A plan which had been well-supported by the residents of Weybourne and Badshot Lea, and whose views had now been trashed by a Government Inspector – and not by Waverley.

She said “The people who live there will soon see for themselves how much the place “STINKS – IT JUST STINKS!” The band sits between the sewage works and the rugby field. Funny that! She was quite happy to consent to a similar site on a floodplain adjacent to a sewage treatment works in Cranleigh!

However, a man who can always be relied upon to stick up his mitt, that is of course if he’s awake! Councillor Michael Goodridge – who said his colleagues should set aside the “emotional baggage of fewer affordable homes and grant the application.”

Now let’s see this developer get this through at appeal too!

Has Mr Angry of Haslemere finally picked up his phone to his Waverley councillor?

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Why else would Waverley scramble to pull the Local Plan Part 2 meeting with only two days notice, in order to…

“consult further?”

Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “This item is being deferred as councillors want the council to have more time to engage with the local community about some of the content of the draft LPP2 before it is published, including further work on site allocations and gaining further feedback from key stakeholders such as Thames Water and local clinical commissioning groups.”

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A comment from the Waverley Web? No – a comment from Godalming Councillor Paul Follows.

“Well frankly I should think so too – so unbelievably rushed through and I can’t think of a single parish, town or area in Waverley that diPdn’t have some issue with this document or feel that more consultation was needed.
I had a huge feeling I was going to be one of very few councillors that were going to vote against this for exactly this reason.
Very sensibly postponed otherwise we would once again be paying lip service to localism.”

 

A group that ‘Speaks up for Cranleigh’ wants to know if residents want the Downslink upgraded?

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Hasn’t it heard – doesn’t it read the Waverley Web? –  A Hambledon councillor has met with the heads of Network Rail and SW trains and MP Jeremy Hunt to bring back the Horsham to Guildford railway line along the Downslink through Cranleigh.

Here’s what The Cranleigh Civic Society says:

Some people think that other countries are much better at encouraging outdoor activities; even for those who can only go for walks, bike rides and push-chairs or wheelchairs travel.

Have you ever visited French, German, American or other areas where it’s just normal to find well-maintained paths in and around towns, villages and the countryside?  Are those places popular with good quality tourists?

So how would it be if money from all the building works was spent of making sure we have a great footpath all along the Downs Link?

Wouldn’t it be great to no longer fear the railway line after rain for all the black mud created up one’s back when cycling, all over the dogs and unable to use pushchairs and wheelchairs?

(Not quite sure what it actually means in the paragraph above? – Do cyclists ride roughshod over dogs over there in Cranleigh?

Our Waverley would have to be made very aware of this public desire.  Let us know – by contacting us directly!

Here’s what Councillor Nick Holder told his Waverley Coucil colleagues. 

Ever wondered why the NHS is running out of​ money?

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Well – here’s your answer.

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You may remember way back when the WW posted on a Turnaround Director’s pay at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.

Two years ago he received £60,000 a month – £3,000 per day.

Focus on “financial position?” What’s it all about Alfie?

The Royal Surrey County Hospital’s Tax on the sick gets a top award!

But this poor devil on the Isle of Wight only received £1,920 per day because NHS England is cutting back!

NHS England approved the use of an interim director providing turnaround support for a clinical commissioning group at a cost of £1,920 a day, HSJ has learned.

The total costs – just under £300,000 including VAT, travel and expenses for work between July 2016 and March 2017 – were shared between the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group and the island’s trust, which also sought support from him.

 The money was paid to Cornwall based Orwin Algeo Management Solutions. Phil Orwin, a director of the company, appears in publicly available documents listed as interim turnaround director at the Isle of Wight CCG.

The appointment was one of 40 requests for approval of interims in CCGs costing more than £900 a day since new procedures were brought in from August 2016.

Since then, their appointments have had to be approved by NHS England’s commercial executive committee.

A total of 31 out of 40 applications have been approved according to information obtained by Health Service Journal under the Freedom of Information Act. The £1,920 daily rate on the Isle of Wight was the highest approved since the controls were brought in.

A spokesman for NHS England said: “NHS England brought in clear and tough controls for CCGs to stop excessive payments, which have resulted in a £33m reduction on spend and as a result people no longer receive these rates of pay.”

Maggie MacIsaac, chief executive for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight CCG Partnership, said: “There are occasions where outside, specialist expertise is needed in the NHS, for a short period of time, and during 2016-17 the NHS on the Isle of Wight was facing severe financial pressure.

“Specialist expertise was contracted to help get the Island’s NHS working together more closely, and more efficiently, and to better support frontline teams to deliver care. All governance arrangements in place at the time were adhered to.”

Needless to say, there was no comment from Orwin Algeo Management Solutions when it was approached for comment as it was busy laughing all the way to the Bank.

How will a second runway at Gatwick affect the residents of Waverley?

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Cranleigh and the villages in the East are part of the area knows as the Gatwick triangle.

 

The East of the borough including Haslemere, Chiddingfold, Cranleigh, Ewhurst and the villages in between are all affected by Gatwick air traffic. Some more than others.

The decision by Gatwick Airport to issue a Masterplan, which includes proposals to convert the Emergency Runway into a fully active second runway has prompted an outcry.

The Gatwick Area Conservation Campaign Chairman, Peter Barclay says – “We strongly oppose any second runway at Gatwick and we will fight this proposal tooth and nail.” He said the proposal could bring in an extra 80,000 additional flights a year.

Cranleigh has already been described by airport officials as The Gateway To Gatwick, but other villages including Rudgwick are affected by the increasing number of flights.

The Emergency runway is located parallel to, and approximately 190m north of the main runway. Planning permission was granted 40 years ago on the basis that it could only be used for emergencies. However, that legal agreement expires in August 2019. So Gatwick’s second runway could arrive through the back door. However, it will need approval from the CAA and other safety bodies, as well as requiring planning permission for a change of use.

Objectors argue should this go ahead, it will substantially increase the noise and disturbance to residents living to the north of the airport, particularly on those living and working beneath the now concentrated departure and arrivals flightpaths to both the east and west of the airport.

There will be a 12-week consultation on the Master Plan once published.

 

My my! – What high manhole covers the BB’s are building in Cranleigh.

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FINISHED FLOOR LEVEL – Otherwise know in Cranleigh as F**k the Flood Levels!

 

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 What high manhole covers the Berkeley Bunnies are installing on their site in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh!

An eagle-eyed resident who took this photo forwarded it to the Waverley Web as they couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing. ‘Surely, this must just be a positioning exercise?’ was the question they posed. One of our many Cranleigh correspondents wasn’t so sure and, after diligently checking the planning application came back and said, ‘Nope! What you see is what you get’!

Bluntly, both Berkeley Homes and Waverley planners knew that the Knowle Lane site wasn’t sustainable under the sequential test but they pushed it through anyway and the manhole covers will need to be this high above ground level in an effort to avoid flooding.

Few Cranleigh residents will forget the flooding in these fields – and elsewhere in Cranleigh – during the heavy floods of December 2013. But neither the Berkeley Bunnies nor  Waverley Planners care because they won’t be living in the houses the next time Cranleigh Floods.

Have we heard a peep out of POW about the ‘sustainability’ of this development? Not bloody likely? 
Where were POW when Cranleigh residents were fighting, tooth and nail to oppose development on a site that, in addition to flooding, is on a narrow country lane, betwixt and between the rear entrances to Sainsbury’s and Marks & Sparks – both of whom receive daily deliveries from HGVs – and a business, called Kerbside – which does what it says on the tin! – causing traffic chaos.

Not to mention CVNT’s (Cranleigh Village Nursing Home Trust’s) plans to build a private nursing home with a 28 flat apartment block adjacent to it, just a hop, skip and a field away across the lane?

If ever a development was unsustainable – one of POW’s favourite refrains – it was this one!

But, despite its name – Protect our Waverley – the only part of Waverley Capt’n Bob and his cohorts are interested in protecting is their own little corner, over there in Dunsfold. They really couldn’t give a damn if the good folks of Cranleigh see their furniture floating down the High Street as, memorably, happened in the great floods of 1968 … Nik Pigeon and Chris Britton hope to have sold their houses and wiped the dust of Waverley off their boots by then and Capt’n Bob, like Noah, will sail serenely on with Stacey Strumpett & Cliff Clavin on the Good Ship POW!

What a crock of crap poor old Cranleigh is sitting on thanks to the greed of the Berkeley Bunnies, the stupidity of Waverley Planners and the selfishness of POW and its supporters!

We simply console ourselves with the thought that what goes around, comes around and, talking of crap, just how is Awfold going to cope with the affluent’s effluent emanating from Thakeham Homes’ scheme at Springbok? No doubt bosom buddies Betty Ames, Chris Britton, Nik Pigeon, & Crystal Tipps Weddell have all the answers! And we just can’t wait to hear them … we could do with a good laugh in face of the latest crisis in Cranleigh!

And, we thought we had it bad over here in Farnham – beginning to make Crest Nicholson look like Mary Poppins.

Do you remember when we told you Scuba potholing was becoming the latest sporting craze?

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Did you know that Surrey’s roads are now sooooooo bad, that people have begun putting sticking plaster over the cracks?

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Some are so bad, residents are taking up Potholing at weekends in the country roads.

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Come to Surrey and visit the UK’s capital of potholes – on and off-road!

Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 09.39.35.pngHowever, the Waverley Web has decided to have its very own personal gripe to-day! Why shouldn’t we indulge ourselves from time to time? South West Trains – GRUHHHH!! Along with thousands of others, we couldn’t get to work in London yesterday due to a signal failure. So we tried to get there by road and due to the gridlock on the A31 and on the A3 due to gridlock in Guildford turned around and decided to take a long walk off a short cliff!

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Who exactly IS responsible for the Blightwells debacle?

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Here’s what one Farnham resident believes.

Sir,

— While feelings in Farnham, both among residents and the town’s many visitors, reflect a mixture of grief, anger and disbelief that we have allowed the catastrophe that is Brightwells to befall us, should we not reflect upon who exactly is responsible?

I don’t mean those that drew up the scheme in the first place since it was roundly and rightly rejected immediately by the Farnham public. But what about those that continue to support it now that it can be seen to be so completely outdated in concept and design and has proved to be a commercial flop before a single brick has been laid?

Latest in this group is Surrey County Council leader David Hodge, who has at the last minute committed £30 million of our money into dragging the scheme from the scrap heap where it belongs, having failed to raise any interest whatsoever from professional commercial investors?

In terms of council responsibility, it goes without saying that Waverley’s joint planning committee members cannot take all the blame since only eight of its current members actually live in Farnham against 38 that don’t (such is local democracy in our town these days), the latter presumably being only too pleased that schemes such as this don’t take place on their patch.

There are two local public servants, however, that do spring immediately to mind. The Right Hon Jeremy Hunt has maintained a complete and unforgivable silence on what is by far the most massive development ever to take place in Farnham, right in the heart of his constituency, arousing many querulous inquiries as to his motives. Then there is Julia Potts, leader of Waverley Council, who has remained pugnaciously opposed to any criticism of the scheme and immune to the deafening public outcry against it.

For Crest Nicholson’s part. a name familiar to those that attended the 2013 meeting to approve the compulsory purchase and closure of The Marlborough Head pub will be Chris Tinker, the company’s major projects chairman. His evidence’of commercial funding about to be confirmed for the project tipped the Government Inspector in favour of the purchase so allowing the project to proceed, a promise that evaporated as quickly as it had appeared.

Then finally there is Pam Alexander CBE. Ms Alexander is chairman of something called Design Council CABE whose raison d’être is to ensure that developers provide us with decent, appropriate, popular and well-designed schemes. CABE’s website states that “crucial to inclusive design is consultation with user groups, putting people who represent a diversity of age, ability, gender and community at the heart of the design process” and that “the effect (that such schemes) will have on the surrounding landscape and its distinctive historical and cultural context has to be evaluated as do the implications for the area’s circulation patterns, neighbouring activities and property uses. The views and sensitivities of the surrounding community should also be given weight”.

It is impossible to imagine a scheme less in line with the stated aims of CABE or with the needs and aspirations of a community such as Farnham than Crest Nicholson’s monstrous and destructive Brightwells development. One is led to wonder what convinced Ms Alexander to keep her eyes and ears so firmly closed with regard to the scheme during the six-year period to January this year while she was employed by Crest Nicholson as a non executive director on a ‘fee’ of 50,000 per annum, so making a mockery of her position at CABE.

So there we have it, my list of the wanted. Would it not be appropriate to spend the £100,000 pounds promised by Waverley and Crest on ‘public art’ for their scheme on a fitting monument of some kind to these people? Suggestions welcome. For starters, what about an edition of ‘Wanted’ posters to decorate the new East Farnham Wall that now surrounds the site …?

Andrew Jones, Fox Yard, Farnham

 

 

Just a few days ago there was a ​public outcry over potential damage to Ancient Woodland and protected trees on a housing development in Wrecclesham.

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Bewley Homes gallops into Farnham and rides roughshod all over ‘Your Waverley.’

Could this possibly be the tree that Bewley Homes left behind?

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As trees, hedges and even ancient woodland, bite the dust all over the borough of Waverley, the WW has injected just a  little humour into this very serious subject.

 

POW in takeover bid for Awfold’s Neighbourhood Plan?

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Left Councillor Kevin Deanus joins villagers to protest against the Springbok application – has the councillor who has fought development changed his mind? Has the Alfold Bobby’s tirade stopped the creation of Alfold New Town?

As if it hadn’t enough on its hands fighting the Dunsfold Park developer, the mutter in the Awfold gutter is that Protect our Little Corner is making a takeover bid for Awfold’s Neighbourhood Plan… and soon its parish council!

 Great, they’re going to stop development in Awfold, we hear you cry. And not before time! Finally, they’re taking an interest in somewhere other than Dunsfold Aerodrome. Well done, POW, you’re finally living up to your name!

Well, er …, no, not exactly! According to our informants – and they are many! – POW is planning to concrete all over Awfold’s green and pleasant fields in its latest bid to stop development just a hop, skip and a field away at Dunsfold Aerodrome, the largest brownfield site in the borough.

WHAT???

You couldn’t make it up, really you couldn’t! A scheme that was turned down at Appeal by a Government Inspector earlier this year is, only months later, is now being promoted by the Neighbourhood Plan Committee.

WTF is going on in Awfold, we hear you ask? Awfold residents could not have made it clearer how they felt about Thakeham Homes’ Springbok application – when they turned out in their droves to give it a big, huge thumbs down – but Thakeham’s supporters are determined to get the development back on the agenda.

Are Thakeham’s supporters now promoting another of its cunning plans?

You might well ask! Of course, everyone knows Nik Pigeon, Chairman of Awfold Parish Council, has declared a pecuniary interest in the Springbok scheme but, according to our informants – who have been busy trawling through Awfold Parish Council’s parish papers, following recent, startling revelations about the Parish Council’s money-laundering activities – piles of dodgy do-do are being uncovered. One of which whiffs to high heaven!

Apparently, in April this year, up popped POW’s very own slippery little hypocrite  Chris Britton, who, together with  his wife Cilla, now sit on Awfold’s Neighbourhood Plan Committee

So why would someone who lives in a house overlooking Dunsfold Aerodrome whose been fighting the Dunsfold Developer tooth-and-nail, to prevent development on his doorstep, want to team up with another developer to help them build homes just a hop, skip and a field away on the other side of the aerodrome on someone else’s doorstep? It really does beg the question what’s in it for him?

In fact, call us stupid but the Waverley Web, can’t understand why anyone is calling for more sites for development  there because the village only has to find 125 homes to comply with Your Waverley’s Local Plan and it already has:

• 55 consented – and going up fast – at Sweeters Copse as part of Phase 1, with further homes in the pipeline for Phase 2;
• 23 consented at Brockhurst Farm on the Horsham Road;
• 57?  at the former Wyevale Garden Centre, where consent has already been granted for part of the site and a new application is seeking to increase that number;
• 11 at Oakhurst Farm (SCC) 
• Not to mention numerous conversions of barns and outbuildings – including at the Alfold Craft Centre, and a number of individual new homes – all of which are described as ‘windfall’ sites!

So, without even trying, Awfold has already exceeded the 125 homes it needs by over a fifth and yet POW’s Boy Britton is busy promoting other schemes including at Springbok, owned by Care Ashore, or as some believe Thakeham Homes?

In addition, as part of the call for sites, numerous other Alfold landowners – most of whom objected to development at Dunsfold Aerodrome,  – have rushed to throw their land into the hat, including Care Ashore’s land south of Satchel Court Drive; The Nutshell, Horsham Road; Glebelands Farm, Loxwood Road; land at the entrance to Wildwood Golf Club; Bridian Farm, Little Bookers Lea Farm, to name but a few.

Carry on at this rate and Awfold’s green and pleasant fields will quickly become Awfold New Town whilst, next door, the largest brownfield site in the borough sits idle if POW’s Boy Britton has anything to do with it. What a treacherous little Weasel he is!

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

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Another shedload of homes on their way to the countryside in Alfold – adjacent to Dunsfold Airfield.

Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring! It’s only Awfoldgate again…

ANOTHER BAD NEWS DAY IN ALFOLD?

Follow me, ​Follows.

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There’s no doubt about it Waverley Town and Borough Councillor Paul Follows is certainly keeping his finger on Godalming’s pulse.  The town’s new boy is digging deep into development plans which could have a huge impact on the town’s future. We are sure others are doing the same -but are not quite so vocal? So the WW will go with the man who has his fingers on the keyboard.

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Here’s what is being proposed now that ‘Your Waverley” is rolling back the Green Belt around Godalming.

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UPDATE RE: OCKFORD PARK.COMMENTSS FROM SURREY HIGHWAYS AND NATURAL ENGLAND

Two of the main concerns that have been raised by residents so far have been regarding traffic and the environment.

Paul’s view:

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The application (on the Waverley planning portal) has now had two important comments logged against it – one from Natural England and one from Surrey Highways.

NATURAL ENGLAND

NE has in this case requested some more information about some of the protected animal and plant species that may be present: read its full comments here:

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/pla…/search-applications…

SURREY HIGHWAYS

SH has commented upon the methodology the applicant has employed, the mitigations proposed and other related matters and a number of other areas. It’s a bit of read but I really would welcome any comments on this.

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/pla…/search-applications…

Last week along with other Waverley councillors he attended a session with Ashill,  (the developer) Surrey Highways and other Waverley Councillors to informally discuss the application – so Paul welcomes any general queries. 

He was also a guest of Witley Parish Council (also discussing the application and the potential impact upon their area).

Oh Boy – Waverley’s new boy, certainly gets around!

Happy to discuss on here or at Paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk

Don’t Panic​ Mr Mainwaring! It’s only Awfoldgate again…

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unexplained_wealthAlfold Parish Council had a rude awakening this week. The usually sleepy parish which allows its Councillors to do pretty much what they like when they like, how they like, was called to account when one of its residents spotted that over a quarter of a million pounds had flowed through its bank account. Yep, you did read that right – a QUARTER OF A MILLION POUNDS!

Unsurprisingly, that gentlemen nearly choked on his cornflakes and uttered an Anglo Saxon expletive that we’re too mealy-mouthed to repeat here. Intrigued, we asked someone over there to investigate, which they duly did, and we posted their findings. After all, despite the alleged disdain with which the Waverley Web is held by the local establishment – by which we mean the Tory Party, Waverley Borough Council and the uptight Parish Councillors – we know damn well they all read us. The proof is in the pudding and our ratings shot through the roof during Awfold-Gate!

Oh boy, did we hit a nerve? Nic Pigeon – the chairman and local lawyer  – was on the phone to the Parish Clerk quicker than a rat up a drain pipe. Sadly, unlike the FBI, WW can’t tap phones, so we’ve made do with our fertile imaginations – believing the conversation went something like this:

Pigeon: Now pay attention, Beverley! We’re in, potentially, deep do-do over our love-in with POW and the other Parishes. Not that we did anything illegal, you understand, but, let’s face it, Capt’n Bob and the Boy Britten aren’t too popular with the Waverley Web and, somehow, they’ve managed to make them the laughing stock of the Borough. God knows how but we don’t want that happening to us. Mrs P would fall off her horse- and then we might have to give up our Springbok land.

Bev: ‘Oh, I wouldn’t go that far. I’m sure no one takes the Waverley Web seriously …’

Pigeon: ‘Are you mad, woman? Of course, people take it seriously! Even Julia Potts has been overheard admitting she reads the Waverley Web. WBC doesn’t bother issuing internal memos now – it’s a waste of time – because the Waverley Web knows what’s going on at the Burys before they do! We have to nip this in the bud and fast!’ Before they start looking at the VAT returns!

Bev: ‘That’s a shame. I’ve had several compliments from friends who’ve seen my picture on the Waverley Web.

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Oh, I know it’s not like being on the front cover of Vogue but, you have to admit, you’re no one in Waverley if you don’t get a mention on the Waverley Web. I’m quite enjoying my 15 minutes of fame and …’

Pigeon: ‘Dear God! Get a grip, woman! soon you’ll be suggesting I ring up and offer to pose for an official photograph to go with their next article!’

Bev:  Actually, a good idea. If you submit your own photos you could airbrush out the bits you don’t like. They managed a very flattering photo of me (thank God they didn’t find the one of me with my trousers rolled up, paddling, at West Wittering. 

Pigeon:  Never mind West Wittering. Stop wittering and CONCENTRATE! We need to think …  come to think of it you might just be on to something! That’s just what we need to do. I take it all back. You’re a genius! We need to start wittering. Take a letter, Beverley, we’re  writing to the Waverley Web …’

Bev: What?  Betty won’t like it …’

Pigeon: ‘Bugger Betty! Well, not literally, of course … God, perish the thought!’

Bev: ‘You cannot be serious?’

Pigeon: ‘What? About Betty? Of course not!’

Bev: ‘No, not about Betty. About writing to the Waverley Web!’

Pigeon:  I never thought those words would pass my lips, but, I’m afraid, we need to hold our noses and just do it. This is about damage limitation and the only way out of this is to offer a carefully choreographed explanation.  I know we don’t consider ourselves accountable to anyone but, sadly, the days of what goes on in the Parish Council stays in the Parish Council are long gone. Nowadays, what goes on in the Parish Council goes on the Waverley Web and what goes on the Waverley Web ends up on Facebook and Twitter! Their reach is … well, let’s just say it’s far-reaching. 

Why else do you think Groucho Ground retired and went to work for POW? Why do you think I’m retiring? Just you wait, Charles Orange The Big D’s final stretch.   will be the next one stepping down, mark my words. He’s never been the same, you know, not since they outed him as an out-of-town developer … And, no, I didn’t know about that. I must say he kept it very quiet – very, very quiet – but then, of course, he would. Not that I blame him, anyone would. Development’s a dirty word around here! You can be a developer’s solicitor, his accountant, his bank manager, his planner even … but you can’t actually be a developer! That really is social death! Unless, of course, you’re really, really, really successful and you do it in someone else’s backyard. It doesn’t do to dump on your own doorstep! That’s bad form. So,. Let’s put our heads together and see what face-saving narrative we can come up with for laundering all that cash for POW. Pity we didn’t let one of the other Parishes do it but it seemed like such a good wheeze at the time …’

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PS. Has anyone else noted that the Parish Council’s website is now, suddenly, bang up to date, with even draft Minutes being posted? Now there’s a first and, if nothing else, maybe they’ll be a little less complacent going forward.

Charterhouse headmaster meets​ Old Boy MP jockeying into position to be the next Prime Minister?

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For MPs, a Friday is Constituency Day – a chance to reacquaint themselves with whatever rotten borough lent them their seat. So on Friday our MP tweeted he had met his favourite developer – his alma mater.

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Having had a briefing from some worried Tory Councillors about restless locals, he hurried down to The Ming to get first dibs on the upcoming offer. Its a shame he didn’t have time to meet with the local ‘Broom and Lee – Keep Charterhouse Green Belt Greens’ campaign group at the same time.

You may think that’s strange, however, the Waverley Web couldn’t possibly comment.

ANOTHER BAD NEWS DAY IN ALFOLD?

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It’s  all kicking off in Alfold as news of the Parish Council’s unexpected windfall – of £276,400 – and subsequent spending spree – of the same – began to spread like wildfire around the village and the phrase, ‘WTF?’ went viral as residents across the borough, not just in Alfold, began to ask what on earth had been going on in not so sleepy Alfold (population circa 1000)?

Here at the Waverley Web, our inbox hasn’t stopped pinging. Many of the postings have been unprintable and speculation is rife about what exactly Alfold Parish Councillors have been up to, under the aegis of outgoing Chairman Nik Pigeon and Clerk Beverly Weddell.

The Waverley Web doesn’t know but the rumour mill has gone into overdrive and it isn’t just Alfold residents who are demanding an explanation.

Several correspondents have speculated that Crystal Tipps Weddell, who is up to her ringlets in Protect our Little Corner, has been laundering donations for the organisation through the Parish Council.

Assuming that is the case, Why can’t POW manage its own dirty linen? is a question that many people are asking.

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Others are surmising that POW, with the connivance of Alfold Parish Council and, in particular, Crystal Tipps Weddell might be concealing the true extent of its financial resources in order to improve its chances of securing protection from the costs of its High Court Challenge to Waverley Borough Council, the Secretary of State and the Dunsfold Developer. All under something called the Aarhus Convention.

We understand POW has been pleading poverty claiming  to have only pennies in its bank account –  which even the High Court Judge found less than credible – but if they’ve been ‘laundering’ their cash through the Parish Council’s bank account that would go a long way to explaining the, to-date, inexplicable paucity of their own bank account!

Is anyone going to inform the Judge of this latest development in POW’s financial affairs? Cue Julia Potts, Daniel Bainbridge, Tom Horwood, the Dunsfold Developer, the Secretary of State … Hello? Is anyone out there watching and listening to what’s going on under their noses?

The Waverley Web is no expert on the affairs – financial or otherwise – of Parish Councils but, helpfully, one of our readers is and she provided the following explanatory note for us:

‘I do know a thing or two about parish council finance and think this is worrying. I’ve had a little look at the APC website and I can tell you what is missing! The external auditor’s report has not been published – and the law requires that that should have been placed on the parish council’s website by 30 September. It is possible that the external auditor has not yet reported – the external auditor appointed to cover Surrey parishes has struggled with workload this year and some reports have been delayed (although I would have expected to see something to this effect published on the APC website by 30 September). The external auditor checks variances between years and asks for an explanation of significant differences – I’d love to see the explanation given here. I wonder how long it will be before the external audit report appears here with the rest of the annual accounts information? http://www.alfold.org/page12.html

So our question – and that of many other Waverley residents – is: Where is the external auditor’s report?

And, whilst we’re on the subject, a lot of people think Chairman Pigeon and Clerk Weddell have some explaining to do!

Rumours abound in the Alfold Barn and The Compasses, that Nik Pigeon is standing down as Chairman of Alfold Parish Council – before he’s pushed? – and Chris Britton (Cap’n Bob’s No2 at Protect our Little Corner) is going to be catapulted into his place.

What? WHAT? WHAT? we hear you say ... Well, it is only a rumour and we’d given it little credence to date – after all, what Parish Council in its right mind would elect a Chairman who hadn’t served a day, let alone six months as a Parish Councillor, in order to learn the ropes? But the mutter in the Alfold gutter is that Thakeham Homes – which may or may not have been contributing to POW’s coffers – is simply waiting for POW to get the Dunsfold Park decision thrown out by the High Court, before resuscitating its own application at Springbok. The plan, so we’ve been told, is to dust down the Springbok application and slap it in with slightly fewer homes, safe in the knowledge that if Waverley’s Local Plan goes down and the Dunsfold development with it, there will be a window of opportunity for other developers to fill the void and concrete over everywhere but the biggest brownfield site in the borough.

But of course, others may think that. The Waverley Web couldn’t-possibly comment. 

Nik Pigeon, who has previously admitted to a pecuniary interest in relation to the Springbok application, is thought to have been in favour of the scheme from the get-go and Chris Britton is happy to build anywhere in the Borough, absolutely anywhere, except at Dunsfold Aerodrome because his home, in Hall Place, overlooks the airfield. Poor old Awfold, talk about going from the frying pan into the fire … when it comes to Parish Council Chairman they’ve really hit bottom and yet, still they keep on digging!

So, there you have it, folks, another everyday tale of Country Folk … or do we mean Skullduggery in the Shires?

Watch this space for further developments (no pun intended!) and, in between times, keep checking the Awfold Parish Council website for the External Auditor’s Report.

A view from the gallery.

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Unlike Waverley Web’s view from the rafters of The High Court of Justices – here’s…

AN OPPOSITION COUNCILLORS VIEW OF POW / CPRE VS WAVERLEY ET AL’s Judicial Review.

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Waverley Councillor Paul Follows said. “Something I am keen to do is try to bring some of these detailed but important subjects (that are often kept behind closed doors and not really discussed in public) into the open a bit more (so people are aware and can engage with them).”
BACKGROUND
I spent two days this week in the High Court observing Waverley and others (including Dunsfold Aerodrome Limited – (DAL) and the Secretary of State for Local Government and Housing) defending themselves against the challenges of CPRE (Campaign for the Protection of Rural England) and POW (Protect our Waverley).
In the gallery were a number of interested parties, but in terms of Councillors, the Conservative Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council were present for both days – plus me representing the Opposition at Waverley.

I urge anyone associated with the groups involved to correct me if I have misunderstood or misrepresented the arguments they presented. I may be guilty of over-simplifying things and I am not speaking on behalf of any of the groups involved – or even Waverley (as I am an Opposition councillor).
There is also A LOT of emotive history on this controversial issue – which as a new (ish) councillor I have not been involved, and probably I am unaware of some of the issues – so I will attempt to present this as a neutral account so far as I can.
THE HEARING
on one ‘side,’ you have POW and CPRE.
POW is challenging the very existence of the Dunsfold site allocation of (2600)homes,  1,800 of which are consented, on a brownfield aerodrome, both included in the Local Plan). Their argument seemed to be based on a combination of the assessment of housing need and general issues about the site itself and the impact it would have.
CPRE seem to be arguing that the Local Plan (as currently passed) which includes the major modifications required by the Planning Inspector (Jonathon Bore) is subject to challenge because of the inclusion of part of Woking’s ‘unmet housing need.’ The basis, of which, they argue – is questionable and claim it was arbitrarily applied 50/50 to Waverley and to Guildford.
This increased the numbers that Waverley has to provide per year in the local plan and to meet that new number Waverley has added two new sites to the plan (both of which require their removal from Green Belt. One of which is in my  Godalming ward). They also challenged the evidence base regarding housing need – a subject I am interested in.

…And on the other ‘side’ – Waverley’s lawyer + the lawyers representing (DAL) and the secretary of state was defending a combination of some or all of the above.

MY VIEW FROM THE GALLERY
I believe POW struggled to make its case to support its argument. Some of which couldn’t be made without rehashing the (already concluded and failed) Judicial Review (JR) of the Dunsfold application and decision. So it relied on housing numbers and Woking’s unmet need. From what I can see, up to 2600 houses were allocated in the local plan prior to the inspectors’ modifications – and the only change afterwards was the dropping of the words ‘up to’. I believe the planning application already allowed 2600 at this point anyway.
CPRE however made (…eventually…I’m afraid their case took their counsel some time to deliver) a more persuasive argument about the input from the Inspector.
in part because Its argument is not a million miles away from the arguments that I made at the local plan vote back at the start of the year (and in part why I didn’t vote for the plan). As I did – they take issue with the idea of taking the ‘unmet need’ from Woking – and they take issue with both the concept of why Waverley should take it AND how it was calculated. There is no way I can adequately or concisely go into the detail of their argument on the calculations (it took the best part of half a day for it to be put across).
The critical point here though is that CPRE were not wholly reliant upon Dunsfold to demonstrate changes and harm from the modifications to the local plan – the Green Belt sites in Binscombe and Aarons Hill were totally new and only added by the Inspector and as a direct result of the changes). To put it simply – they argue the inspector made an error with Woking’s unmet need and the evidence base for housing need – therefore leading to a local plan that is unsound.

THE RESPONSE AND WHAT COULD HAPPEN
Waverley and others sought to refute these points. On the Dunsfold matter – if the site were taken out of the local plan, as POW want – the housing numbers in the plan would still exist. Whatever the merits or demerits of that application – sites for 2600 houses would need to then be found in the Borough. It is such a strategic plank of the local plan – the consequences would be severe.

 I want to understand from these groups the nature of their objections – and I hope you contact me and give me an idea. Certainly, I am aware of the transport issues – but I would love to know more and some of the history. But I do understand the potential consequences to everywhere else if Dunsfold is removed from the plan?
With regards to CPRE.  The court discussed possible methods for which ‘relief’ could be offered (what could be done) if the CPRE arguments were substantiated. This could involve the court directing the numbers to be changed, sites being removed – or even the outright quashing of the local plan entirely. I think these outcomes though are ultimately quite unlikely.
It is yet to be determined (the judge will not actually rule for some time) if those arguments will be upheld and if Waverley should or should not have defended some of this. We know £300k was allocated for the defence.
Happy to answer any questions – if you got this far – thank you for reading!
Paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk

Follow the money?

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One way or another, I’m gonna getcha? 

 

It began so well. On the second day of the High Court Hearing into CPRE / POW’s challenge to the Secretary of State, Waverley Borough Council and the Dunsfold Developer, Julia Potts went from fabulous to fishnets.

Of course, there were fewer bums on seats in the public gallery – having turned out to cheer on team POW on day one, POW’s supporters didn’t bother turning up. Why would they? They’ve never been interested in listening to anyone’s arguments but their own.

Despite eloquent counter arguments from Wayne Beglan, on behalf of Waverley BC, David Elvin, for the Dunsfold Developer, and the Secretary of State’s barrister, the Judge appeared sympathetic to poor little David’s fight against Goliath. Yes, things appeared to be going swimmingly for Capt’n Bob and Co. 

Here the WW want to make something clear. We have never opposed residents’ right to challenge. In fact, we have applauded that right. However,  we believe in honesty. This protest group was set up for one purpose and one purpose only – to Dump Development at Dunsfold. Nothing else. If POW cannot tell the truth – others will tell it for you. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of OUR money, has been spent by 11 parish councils,  some even from across the Surrey/Sussex border.

Did anyone ask YOU?

Which takes us back to yesterday’s hearing when the Judge turned her attention to the Aarhus Convention (The public’s right to justice which limits costs to just £10,000). POW’s barrister only just stopped short of pulling out his violin as he painted a picture of brave little David’s hand-to-mouth existence, passing round the begging-bowl every time they needed to mount yet another challenge against the Big Bad Developer and Wolfish Waverley, neither of whom gave a fig for local residents, both of whom were only interested in concreting over a big brownfield site to the detriment of all those living nearby.

Smiling graciously, The High Court Judge looked sincere and almost reached for her handkerchief. 

Capt’n Bob Lies and Boy Britten’s fizzogs were wearing huge smiles clearly believing they were home and dry on the costs front whilst, in the public gallery,  La Potts and Ged Hall gnashed their teeth.

And then a miracle happened. The Dunsfold Developer’s junior brief leapt up and with a few well-placed words turned the tide.  Mr Turney said POW was a single-interest group that, despite pleading poverty, had been successfully raising huge sums of money in order to fight/stop any development at Dunsfold Park at every turn. He strongly suspected POW was a front for a few “high net worth individuals” who had promised to cough-up whatever it took to stop the Dunsfold development in its tracks while underwriting the whole shebang. Mr Turney’s prose was far more elegant than ours and issued in a mellifluous tone that, whilst soothing, held just the right degree of indignation to get the Judge’s attention.

The Judge said she couldn’t help but agree with Mr Turney’s assertion – backed up by Mr Beglan on behalf of his client – that there was a lack of transparency on POW’s part about where their financial resources were coming from? Looked suitably pained, PoW’s barrister said the Judge couldn’t be suggesting that poor little David was trying to hide anything? POW simply lurched from one fundraising event to the next, raising dribs and drabs, against all the odds, as the need arose.

M T. was having none of it saying POW had raised vast sums in order to mount a challenge at the Public Inquiry. It was then the Judge’s sympathy began to wane and Capt’n Bob’s smile evaporated like Scotch mist when she said she was leaning towards proposing full disclosure from POW in relation to their funding sources. PoW co-ordinators Chris Britton and Alan Ground looked fit for the ground to swallow them. 

PoW’s Rumpole appealed again, surely not, the Judge couldn’t really mean it! But Mr Turney had shone a light on POW’s dirty little secret, revealing not the slightly dented, second-hand petty cash tin they claimed to keep their sparse funds in but a dirty great safety deposit box full of filthy lucre!

Apparently, they weren’t counting Doris’s pennies; why would they when, as Mr Turney disclosed, a small group of wealthy well-wishers were writing gold-plated cheques to the tune of £15,000 – £20,000 a pop with a flourish of their Mont Blancs!

 Whose to say same wealthy donors hadn’t egged POW on, agreeing to underwrite all their costs, whilst, at the same time, urging them to try to gain protection from Aahrus thus ensuring that the Waverley Tax Payer ended up footing the bill for POW’s largesse?

Mr Turney didn’t allude to it but the mutter in the Waverley gutter, which has been gaining momentum in recent weeks, reveals at least one devious developer is bank-rolling POW in order to stop development at Dunsfold Park to give his own sites, elsewhere in the Borough, a better chance of succeeding. A strategy right up POW’s lane as they don’t care what’s developed elsewhere in the Borough as long as it’s not on their doorstep!

And isn’t that’s exactly what happened in the case of Mr & Mrs House over at Milford? Their challenge, which was thrown out at the first hurdle, was funded by a developer eager to build in Godalming!

Against a background of excited chatter from the public gallery and red faces in POW’s camp, the Judge instructed the POW’s Rumpole that his clients had seven days in which to provide a full witness statement in relation to their funding arrangements/donations going back to the publication of Inspector Bore’s report. 

In the meantime, our advice to Dear Doris. Save your pennies for POW has no need of them. You and any other unsuspecting pensioner who’s donated precious funds they can ill afford have been deceived.

POW’s is a front for some serious High Rollers who don’t want development on their doorsteps but on someone else’s and are hellbent on ensuring it goes anywhere but Dunsfold and at taxpayer’s expense!  

In the meantime, we at the Waverley Web look forward to seeing how the Sorry Advertiser –  report The Great Dunsfold Dust Off.  Whose own High Roller boss lives on the boundary of Dunsfold Aerodrome  A “high worth’ individual who just happens to live so near he could spit at the airfield from his £8m and reducing, country pile.

Alfold Parish Council couldn’t possibly be acting as Banker – could it? No, not really, never?

We’re in the (unexplained) money!!

We’re in the (unexplained) money!!

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The Waverley Web has been contacted by a concerned Alfold resident whose husband nearly choked on his cornflakes and uttered an expletive which, she assures us, has never passed his lips before in her hearing – ‘WTF!!!’

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Pardon our Russian, but we’re only repeating what we’ve been told!  Apparently, the gentleman in question was perusing the accounts of the parish council, as he does every year – because that’s the type of person he is – and he noticed a major discrepancy.  So MAJOR at first he thought it must be a typo or had someone put the decimal point in the wrong place???

For, according to the January 9th 2018 budget, this tiny parish council which, in a normal year, has a turnover of £35,000 and, in the previous year, had grants and donations of £14,850, had received grants and donations of £276,400. and, even more staggeringly, had spent the entire sum on legal fees!!!

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WTF indeed!!!!!!!!!!

Who on earth is bank-rolling Alfold Parish Council to the tune of £276,400?   Its’ annual precept is around £25,000 and that money is usually swallowed up dealing with ditches, hedges and dog shit!  Anyone attending Alfold Parish Council meetings, even on an irregular basis, will know that Pooper-Scooping at the playground is a permanent preoccupation for the Parish Councillors and leads to much animated (pardon the pun!) discussion.

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The full accounts can be found by clicking  here.

Q

Has Alfold PC, unbeknown to its parishioners, given up scooping the poop and scooped the Lotto?  Or has someone died and left them a legacy?  And did they spend the lot desperately defending their scoop when disgruntled rellies contested the will?

Can anyone throw any light on what’s going on in Alfold – shortly to change its name to Kerchingold?!  Or, are we going to have to file for an Unexplained Wealth Order?  You know us here at the Waverley Web, we’re always on trend!

The next Alfold Parish Meeting will take place on.  Or will Nick Pidgeon have lived up to his name and taken flight?  But, even if he has, we’re sure the very competent Clerk, Crystal Tipps Weddell, will have an explanation.

Will it be rather embarrassing for Chairman Nik Pidgeon Partner at lawyers Charles Russell Speechlys? His Chairman’s 2018 report on the Local Plan said:

“In respect of Dunsfold Park, again we made representations during the planning process, and with the Joint Parish Councils, were represented at the Public Inquiry following the Call-In by the Secretary of State of the planning permission that was granted.
All this involved much work and expense. (WWethinks quite a lot of work and expense!!) Thanks in particular to Beverley for her assistance in keeping this organised. 

Yet there was NO mention of thanks to their donor of A QUARTER OF A MILLION POUNDS FOR LEGAL FEES?

We look forward to hearing from Alfold residents at mailtocontact@waverleyweb.org

Alfold Chairman’s Report: http://www.alfold.org/APC%20Draft%20MINUTES%208.5.18.pdf

Alfold 2017/2018 Budget: http://www.alfold.org/Annual%20Budget%20-%20By%20Combined%20Account%20Code%2030.11.17.PDF

The WW has just received a comment to : contact@waverleyweb.org  from an Alfold man very concerned that his comments may somehow be traced back to him! What are people afraid of in that village, we wonder? However, although we vet comments before they are published to prevent defamatory statements. We want to assure all our readers that unless you wish for your real name to be disclosed, and wish to use s pseudonym we pledge would never reveal your identity. However, although you may comment, we must ensure that we know your comment are from a bona fide correspondents.

 

Will the people of Haslemere vote for more of the same at a Town Council by-election to-day?

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Will Haslemere residents do what they did last time, even though the sitting Tory they are replacing hasn’t shown up for a year?

Or will they bring some balance back into Haslemere Town Council to-day and elect three councillors who will truly represent their views and end the Tory domination of a  council that had wanted to co-opt more Tories into its ranks?

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DAVIDSON Jerome (Lib Dem) says: “As a long-term resident, I am concerned that Hindhead and Beacon Hill often seem to be treated as poor relations by the council. Obviously, that wasn’t helped by the previous Conservative councillor Alex Ford, who didn’t attend a single meeting in the year following his election.

“Hindhead deserve better representation than that, which I am determined to offer. I would push for a better bus service for Hindhead – one that is co-ordinated with train times in the morning and a service that doesn’t end in the middle of the evening.”

Perhaps residents should take a look at what one candidate thinks off-record about another town and village in Waverley?

Be patient it does take a second or two to load, but it is well worth the wait. Don’t vote until you have heard it – scroll down to the video clip that didn’t get away.

As two of Your Waverley councillors sneer and deride the villages of Ewhurst and Cranleigh, officers are daft enough to remove the incriminating remarks from U-Tube.

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The Final Countdown?

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The phone lines between Waverley East and West hummed last night as those who attended the first day of the High Court battle between PoW and it’s bosom buddies CPRE versus Waverley Borough Council and the Secretary of State chewed the fat over the wires.

 It was Ground Hog Day with all the usual suspects present and correct in Court 76 – the same tired old room in the nether regions of the High Court that hosted the first Hearing earlier in the year. WW animated-spider-image-0157just hung on in there…

Cast List
La Potts was a resplendent Josephine in a technicolour dream coat boasting colours of the rainbow – red and yellow and green and blue … and put the more conservative Liz-the-Biz, Daniel Bainbridge, Tom Horwood and Paul Fellows in the shade. Although Denise Le Gal, Waverley’s Mayor, did her best to rival La Potts by turning up late in Leopard Print!

Alan & Sarah Ground – still, to their chagrin, of The Old Rectory on The Green. Regular readers will be aware they’ve been trying to flog their Dunsfold pile since March but, sadly for them, there are no takers. That’s what happens when you spend 15 years dissing your neighbours. You’d have thought they’d have realised that given their collaborator in Stop Dunsfold Park New Town (Rupert Howell of Trinity Mirror and Sorry Advertiser fame) has been trying and failing to sell his bigger and better pile, adjacent to the airfield, on and off for years now.

Bob Lies, CEO of Protect our Little Corner, huddled on the back bench next to instructing solicitors.

John Jefferies, a PoW supporter, rocked up late and plonked himself down next to Dunsfold Park’s legal team. Had the boot been on the other foot, you can bet your bottom dollar, PoW would have been hollering ‘Spys in the camp’ from the High Court turrets but the Dunsfold Developer clearly couldn’t give a toss.

The Judge, refreshing young – not in the first flush, we understand, but young for a member of the judiciary – was female and clearly mistress of her brief and keen to lose no time in getting the ball rolling.

First up was The Grinch – oops! we mean The Stinch – on behalf of Protect our Little Corner.

Predictably, he had nothing new to say and bored the pants off everyone by harking back – yet again – to 2009 when permission to develop housing at Dunsfold Park was ‘emphatically refused’ because the site was ‘inherently unsustainable’. Oh, change the record do! The world’s moved on since 2009 but, clearly, The Stinch hasn’t. All his harking-back revealed he had nothing new to say and was relying on old arguments that have been repeatedly and soundly rebuffed, thrown out both by Waverley’s Planners and the Secretary of State no less.

By mid-morning, we’re told, even the Judge had had enough and was beginning to bore of his arguments. The Stinch bandied numbers around like confetti as he tried to justify his badly mangled argument which boiled down to PoW’s contention that Inspector Bore had started with the wrong figure in relation to Woking Borough Council’s unmet need and because the figure was wrong he had no business allocating 50% of it to Waverley. The Judge seemed unconvinced, questioning whether The Stinch was trying to argue that a 50:50 split on its own was wrong in law?

 PoW looked pained as the Judge sliced and diced The Stinch’s waffle and cut to the chase. They weren’t remotely interested in Waverley’s housing numbers per se, they were simply interested in stopping housing development at Dunsfold Park, at any cost, and if crying foul over housing numbers helped them achieve that goal that was all they cared about, regardless of the outcome for the rest of the Borough which could well end up without the protection of a Local Plan by the time they’re finished!

Then up came Mr Westway on behalf of the Campaign to Protect Rural England – that’s the bunch who’s nationwide cri de coeur is ‘Brownfield first’ everywhere … except at Dunsfold! They’d rather Waverley built all over green fields and greenbelt than laid a single brick on the Borough’s largest brownfield site.

If the Judge was bored by The Stinch, her Clerk’s eyes glazed over listening to Mr Westway. Indeed, so did everyone else, when the Judge livened things up by accusing Mr Westway of ‘trying to argue the inarguable’ and levying ‘very unfair criticism at Inspector Bore’ but Mr Westway was unrepentant and well and truly cooked his goose when the Judge explained to him, very gently, that she knew where he was coming from and where he was trying to get to and he really didn’t need to spell out every single syllable of his argument for her as she had – ahem – read her brief! Unfortunately, the Patronising Puppy didn’t take the hint, droning on for another hour. By the end of his oration, the Grounds were dozing on each other’s shoulder, Bob Lies had his head in his hands and those on the opposing side had given up all pretence of polite attention and were busily tapping away on their ipads, catching up on the day job.

Wayne Beglan, for Waverley Borough Council, finally got to his feet mid-afternoon but the main thrust of his argument and that of the Secretary of State and the Dunsfold Developer will have to wait until today. 

What of Aarhus we hear you ask? We know many of you are very anxious to know if you, the Waverley Council Tax Payer, will have to pick up Protect our Little Corner’s costs or whether the Judge will rule – as Waverley Borough Council and the Secretary of State contend – they pick up their own. The Judge deferred this decision to the end of the Hearing, at which point we understand Capt’n Bob and his cohort, Chris Britten, rushed for the loos, leaving skid marks in their wake!

Who knows, by this time tomorrow it could be mi casa es su casa! And if that’s the case maybe Messrs Lies and Britten will bugger off and bother some other borough!

Or maybe not, for rumour has it Protect our Little Corner is still being incredibly reticent about the source of its funding and the mutter in the gutter is that’s because another local developer has been funding them in order to knock out Dunsfold Park thus ensuring his own plans to develop other sites elsewhere in the borough – Godalming –  stand a better chance of success …

To be continued … gossip and South-West trains willing!!!

Long awaited plans for new healthcare facilities in Cranleigh to be submitted. WHEN exactly?

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This is an announcement on the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust Website – which has now been re-named The Cranleigh Private Nursing Home website?

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Please note this announcement is dated 21st October 2016. So what exactly has gone wrong? You can read more here: Are there plans afoot to bring Cranleigh traffic to a standstill?:

Although THE CHARITY WEBSITE says – read more – you really won’t want to because the website is full of obfuscation and misinformation. 

Despite assurances from the charity new private nursing home to be operated by HC-One that a planning application has been imminent for two years – we ain’t seen nothin yet! Though the WW has heard the new plans will go on display later this month, Presumably with the news that…

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! ITS PARTNER HC-ONE HAS BEEN PUT UP FOR SALE BEFORE THE INK IS DRY ON THE SHODDY DEAL!  A deal with fills the coffers of Surrey County Council, through the sale of its nursing home site at Longfields in Cranleigh,  Assists with Guildford & Waverley CCG’s bed blocking problems for its 37 GP practices in yes, you guessed – GUILDFORD AND WAVERLEY – by including 10 NHS beds.

So now Cranleigh and the surrounding villages are asking – Please Sir – can we have our money back – over £1m quid of it, before it drops into Mr Chai Patel’s trousers with the other £1billion?

 

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No wonder Dr Chai Patel looks so smug. He must think he has struck gold – Cranleigh and the surrounding village’s gold from the public’s pockets.  Cranleigh Parish Council’s gold – a piece of land for which it didn’t even receive twenty pieces of silver. Just a peppercorn pound and a bit of agricultural land  – now a playing field – adjacent to which the charity now wants to put in a pay and display car park!

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SO IF THAT’S THE CASE … WHY IS IT SELLING OFF CARE HOMES IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY?

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Will the new Cranleigh Care Home be sold off before it is even built?

 

Have the residents of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages been duped? Has the parish council been duped? And will this, combined with all the other development going on, bring Cranleigh’s traffic to a halt?

One Alfold resident has already written to the Waverley Web suggesting it should all go to DUNSFOLD. Does he mean the Dunsfold that is today fighting a Judicial Review in the High Court?

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Are there plans afoot to bring Cranleigh traffic to a standstill?

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The Cranleigh Village Nursing Home Trust – previously known as the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – has been told by health officials it can no longer refer to its £38m development, with a private provider, as A ‘HOSPITAL’.

Poised to submit plans to build a 60-bed private nursing home for HC-ONE on land in Knowle Lane – which was once owned by the people of Cranleigh and for which it paid, £1! Yes, you did read that right, they paid the princely sum of ONE POUND for land that was valued by the District Valuer at £175,000!!!

Anger is now mounting amongst local residents who raised funds for a project that has strayed so far from its original dream, it has become something of a local nightmare! Not only for CVNT but for Cranleigh Parish Council, Cranleigh residents and now possibly, even Waverley Borough Council?

Q: Why?

A: Because Waverley Planners  could be faced with determining a planning application for a scheme that was originally intended as a replacement for Cranleigh Village Hospital but which has now morphed into:

• A Private nursing home – with beds priced at the market rate!
• 10 social care beds for Surrey County Council, which allows The County Council to flog off the Longfield Nursing Home site and trouser the cash! Longfield was a council run home once housing over 50 elderly residents and a specialist Dementia unit. 
• 10 community NHS beds – but those beds won’t be for the exclusive use of Cranleigh residents. Oh no! They will be available to anyone within the Guildford & Waverley CCG Area’s 37 GP practices!

And, which could now affect its aim to build a new – much bigger Leisure Centre.

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Says the Cranleigh Village Society?.

 

• Over £1m raised for a replacement Village Hospital came from men, women,  children, clubs, and local businesses in Cranleigh and the surrounding villages; it was never intended for the use of patients of 37 practices which make up the entire G & W CCG!

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The area shaded in blue covers the Guildford & Waverley CCG area

• In addition, the CVNT, intend to build a block of 26 apartments, adjacent to the three-storey building behind Wiskar Drive and M&S Foods – also on land once owned by the parish and designated by Waverley as an area of Strategic Visual Importance. This now includes an access over the Snoxhall Playing Fields directly onto the already beleaguered Knowle Lane – for which it paid the Parish Council – yes, you guessed it: Zilch!! Allegedly these apartments are ear-marked for “key workers”. But whose key workers? The WW hears, if that isn’t enough, CVNT wants an access over the Downslink – the very same route which Waverley intends to keep sacrosanct should the railway return to Cranleigh.All aboard the Cranleigh express?

Now here’s the rub.

Knowle Lane has a narrow access onto Cranleigh High Street. Traffic backs up there constantly because Kerbside Garage, living up to its name, has a consistent flow of customers who all park on the kerbside, thus reducing the narrow two-lane road to an even narrower one-lane!

Incredibly, juggernauts delivering to both M&S and Sainsbury’s go in either side of the lane, creating yet more, chaos. Oh, and and the icing on the cake is the lane regularly floods! You couldn’t make it up, really you couldn’t!

Almost directly opposite the proposed access to the new nursing home is the recently created entrance into the new Berkeley Homes housing estate – 450 homes consented, 55 of which are accessed off Knowle Lane, almost directly opposite the entrance to M&S’s carpark, Wiskar Drive, Lynn Murray & Associates solicitors and several High Street shops rear entrances.

According to our followers over there in the East, Cranleigh’s old Village Hospital has been smartened up by the League of Friends for ambulatory patients – many thousands of them in the future accessing the services of X-Ray, consultant-led clinics and a proposed MRI scanner. Will these patients come from the CCG area?

And now, the cherry on the cake, Waverley BC has pledged to spend £12m on a new leisure centre to serve Cranleigh New Town! And all of this is the same, small congested area between Village Way and the lane between Bet Fred and Boots!

And, just to add a little spice to the mix, the Devious Dutch Developer behind The Knowle Park Initiative, Nicholas Vrijjland – formerly known as the Lettuce King – wants to build a car park in Knowle Lane adjacent to the Bruce McKenzie field, which he swapped with the parish but which he has nicely wrapped up and tied with a bow, into a Ransome strip!

In addition to clogging up Cranleigh High Street the Devious Dutch Developer is currently clogging up Alfold Road in Elmbridge, where he’s flogged off his former lettuce nursery to A1Dominion – a director of which just happens to be – yes, you guessed it – a director of CVNT, one Andy Leafy. Leafy who is preparing to build 265 homes on the old lettuce nursery, and 26 on the nursing home site, which he and the Devious Dutch Developer claim is all about improving the lives of Cranleigh folk! We think they mean improving the lives of themselves whilst lining their pockets at the expense of Cranleigh folk!

Now the locals are screaming – ‘Anyone want to buy my home in the village that Waverley Planners dubbed “Poor Old Cranleigh?’

Is this Charity fulfilling the expectations of the people of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages? Is it fulfilling its charitable objects? And, has Cranleigh Parish Council achieved Best Value for its residents? Has it acted responsibly?

There are many unanswered questions? Perhaps these will be answered over the coming weeks as the Charity lodges its planning application and holds a public consultation exercise?

If not – why not?

 

 

Waverley’s residents are becoming increasingly concerned about rising crime.

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In and around the borough’s towns and villages, crime is rising – and in most instances, the police are turning a blind eye!

Postings on the borough’s popular Community Boards, Facebook and comments received by the WW – are highlighting rising crime and vandalism, some of it serious and life-threatening.

Ballbearings fired into moving vehicles is now becoming the latest dangerous sport. Although so far the damage has been mainly financial, it is only a question of time before a driver, or passenger is hit, resulting in serious consequences. 

There are dozens of instances, of crime, petty and some very serious.   Theft of cars in Alfold, Farnham, and Godalming are becoming a daily occurrence. Bikes chained to posts are being hacked from their moorings, including one treasured bike from outside The Cranleigh Co-op. Windows in cars and homes are being smashed, field gates stolen and outbuildings ransacked. 

We are printing just one account from one resident of the Surrey/Sussex border village of Alfold – but this is magnified by hundreds of incidents right across the borough.

WHY? 

 

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Now here’s a great suggestion. LET’S ALL RING ANNE AND JEREMY?

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And so it goes on.. and on

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All aboard the Cranleigh express?

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It came as a bit of a shock to Cranleigh’s borough and parish council when they heard that Waverley’s councillor for Hambledon & Witley is meeting rail bosses next week in a bid to bring the railway line back to Cranleigh. Now its the turn of Cranleigh ‘New Town’s business leaders to jump on the bandwagon.

Is this MP Anne Milton’s worst nightmare coming true? She has stated publicly that she believes that if the line is re-opened the massive expansion of Cranleigh will continue – unabated.

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Can’t see any mention of Cranleigh though?

Cllr Holder, a former borough councillor for Dunsfold told his Waverley colleagues he meets the Managing Directors of Network Rail SW Trains and Foreign Secretary,  MP for SW Surrey Jeremy Hunt. at Westminster on Wednesday, October 9. They will be discussing the borough’s “infrastructure” issues including the introduction of the Cranleigh to Guildford railway line. A line axed in the 60’s but the route of which forms the Downslink and which has now been protected by the borough council in its Local Plan Part 2, should it return.

No doubt the parish council will be writing to Cllr Holder in the hope that he may enlighten him before the residents of Cranleigh start buying their season tickets in the hope of jumping on the new Cranleigh Express? Perhaps they are in talks with the Chamber of Trade too?

We hope they tell Bramley’s By-Pass Byham too, who may need a heart by-Pass if faced with the prospect of telling his constituents, who may foam at the mouth when they hear that trains could be heading their way?

Councillor Holder will also be rattling rail bosses cages, due to concerns that passengers travelling from Haslemere/Witley/Godalming are forced to stand on their journeys to and from London!

Aren’t we all? Particularly the poor devils like us at the WW who travel to the city, and arrive worn out before the working day even begins and then do the same at the end of a hard day’s work, including writing the Waverley Web in our lunch-hour, because we can’t get a seat on the train!!

Now the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has jumped on the train wagon. In its latest missive it says:

Should the railway between Shoreham and Guildford, through Cranleigh, be reopened?

That’s the question being posed by the English Regional Transport Association (ERTA).

They are a voluntary membership-based, pro-public transport improvement association with its main projects initially in the Bedfordshire and surrounding regional areas, but now increasing its remit since several projects had a nation-wide positive benefit and impact.

Membership of ERTA is now open to all.

One of its proposals is to reopen the railway that used to run between Guildford, Cranleigh and Horsham, where much of the old trackbed survives.

ERTA will be holding a public meeting (forum) to-day Saturday 6th October 2018 from 1pm to 4pm at the Rodboro Buildings, 1-10 Bridge Street, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4RY. Members of the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce have been invited to attend.

Commenting on the proposals, we said:

“The Chamber of Commerce will watch with interest the proposal to reopen the line. However, it will take considerable local and national political will and a large government purse to overcome the logistical and cost challenges presented in face of the most optimistic forecasts of passenger numbers.

“Recognising these challenges we recently commissioned research from Sustrans to work out the costs of upgrading the line to an all-weather surface allowing shared use for walkers, horses, the disabled and cyclists. The costs to bring the track up to the standards of other shared greenways across the UK are a tiny fraction of the cost to reopen the line to rail.

“We would encourage the county councils of Surrey and West Sussex to seriously consider upgrading the whole Downs Link from Guildford to Shoreham.”

Presumably, the footfall predicted from 1,700 new homes now under construction is not enough for Cranleigh businesses? Or are they, like Councillor Holder, hoping that the Chinese will be arriving on Cranleigh’s Platform 1 to jump on  The Flying Scotsman sometime soon?

Here’s his shock announcement.

Cllr Holder to the rescue! He’ll be solving our trains … a new railway line for Cranleigh, and boosting Chinese tourism!

17.11.29 – Beeching lines may reopen…to boost housebuilding copy

How now POW’s (cash) cow?

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Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 18.51.12.pngIs the milk about to go sour in POW’s Brown Cow?

Forced to play Russian Roulette with their homes, by the High Court’s refusal to grant them the protection of the Aarhus Convention (People’s Access to Justice) in advance of the Hearing  relating to Waverley’s Housing numbers next week our mole inside the PoW camp tells us),  Protect our Waverley is becoming increasingly desperate in their attempts to avert a potential catastrophe.

Bob Lies and Co’s costs may not be limited to the £10,000 it had hoped under the convention mentioned above, but they will not know until the Judge has ruled on the day.

As our Dunsfold Correspondent points out, this gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Mi casa su casa’! Protect our Little Corner of the Borough has penned yet another open letter to Waverley Borough Council, literally begging it to allow POW to save face:

30th September 2018
Dear Councillor Potts and Mr Horwood

WHY WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL SHOULD CONCEDE THE S113 APPEAL

POW is writing to ask you to withdraw the defence of the housing numbers in Part 1 of the Local Plan in the interests of all the residents of the Borough.

Conceding our case will allow WBC to re-calculate the numbers on the basis of the new household projections published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on 20th September 20181. Barton Willmore has calculated 2, using the new NPPF ‘Standard Method’, that the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for Waverley is 27% lower than the Government’s comparable figure based on 2014 data 3. Over the 19 year Plan period, this equates to a very significant reduction of over 3,000 dwellings.

Furthermore, these calculations show that Woking’s unmet need has disappeared.

You have both claimed that if CPRE and POW succeed in their challenge, then the Local Plan will fall and the protections it provides will be removed. That fear is unfounded.

There is legal precedence that part of a Plan can be changed without affecting the remainder. In the case of William Davis Ltd and Others v Charnwood Borough Council (2017), Gilbart J concluded: “I am not willing to strike down other policies whose provenance was not contested before me. I shall, therefore, limit the relief granted to the quashing of that policy.”
A lower OAN will make it easier to meet the 5 year supply requirement, adding additional protection against unwanted and inappropriate development in the longer term.
WBC must avail itself of this unique opportunity to revise down its housing numbers presented by the High Court Challenges being brought by CPRE and POW, rather than wait until the 5-year review of the Plan in 2023. If it fails to do this, large sections of our beautiful Borough will be ruined by unneeded development – on Green Belt, on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Areas of Great Landscape Value – and future residents will be condemned to live in totally unsustainable locations.

Your duty, as political leader and Chief Executive of Waverley Borough Council respectively, is to protect the interests of Waverley’s residents, now and in the future. You will singularly fail in that duty if you do not take advantage of this unique opportunity to make an early amendment to Part 1 of your Local Plan by conceding the s113 Appeal. The benefits of adopting the reduced quota are significant – both for your Council and your electorate.

Yours sincerely

Bob Lees

cc Uncle Tom Cobbley et al.

Interesting that this missive was penned – no doubt in some haste! – after PoW’s latest Pass-the-Begging-Bowl-Bash at The Sun Inn on Dunsfold Common last week. The Waverley Web attended the event and, bearing in mind the number of cobwebs in the cavernous ceiling of The Sun, Incy-Wincy may well have gone undetected … 

But, given Capt’n Bob is – yet again – appealing to Waverley to surrender to PoW’s bobleesdemands and ditch the High Court battle PoW started (!), we can only assume the Fund Raiser didn’t go too well  and Capt’n Bob is desperate not to have to employ the services of Cranleigh Removals at Casa Lees!

The WW is beginning to feel almost sorry for him. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t!

Scenario 1: He can’t tell the High Court Judge – hand on heart – that he represents the majority of residents in the Borough – as he likes to brag! – if he doesn’t have a bank balance bursting with local residents’ contributions to prove it! After all, where is all this alleged support if the raggle-taggle PoW is surviving hand-to-mouth?

Scenario 2:  On the other hand, if he can and does demonstrate that he’s well funded by his enthusiastic and numerous supporters – rather than just a handful of high-rollers who object to the pollution of their Surrey Hills by an influx of affordable housing for the great unwashed (or, to paraphrase OJ, AKA Charles William Orange Esq of Hascombe Place, who objects to the creation of ‘a sink estate’ on his doorstep at Dunsfold Park) and write big cheques – then why shouldn’t the Judge insist PoW funds its own beef with Waverley BC rather than the Tax Payer having to foot the bill for them?

Oh what a tangled web POW  weaves whilst practising to deceive!

 

Quelle surprise! The Bats​ have abandoned Blightwells – just in time for demolition​ to begin​?

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The bat population of Brightwells packed their belongings and left … all in the name of progress?

Waverley planners are not bats, they are devious, dishonourable, and don’t even obey their own YES men/women!

Farnham Cinema (GONE), Farnham Theatre (GONE), Open Air Swimming Pool (GONE), Trees (GONE), Tennis Courts (GONE), Bowling Green (GONE), BATS (GONE)

BLIGHTWELLS COTTAGE (GOING, GOING…

All sacrificed on the altar of developer/local authority greed? Will the batty decision made last night see Farnham’s Bats result in the same fate for the fall of this historic town as that predicted if the Ravens leave the Tower of London?

 

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The Ravens of the Tower of London are a group of at least six captive ravens which live at the Tower of London. Their presence is traditionally believed to protect the Crown and the tower; a superstition holds that “if the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it”.

Despite a prediction by Councillor Carole Cockburn of “traffic chaos” – but, all in a good cause – and claims by Farnham Residents Councillor Gerry Hyman that Waverley continues breaking the  law by not carrying out proper environmental, traffic and air quality assessments, it is now full speed ahead, for a development which has been in gestation for over 20 years.

By the way, who did bosh the bats? Set fire to the Ivy at The Redgrave Theatre? Was it Adam or was it Eve?

The demolition of Brightwell’s Cottage, complete with its bats, “which don’t exist” according to CONFIDENTIAL reports, and if they do, will be encouraged to live on boxes up appropriately coloured bat poles, can now proceed unhindered.  In fact, the perfectly phased development will take place at exactly the same time as the demolition of  Farnham’s “most hated building” The Woolmead which is also set to commence this month. From that development alone 80 HGV movements a day are anticipated through Farnham.  The Surrey-based demolition and groundworks specialist Wooldridge Group said: “We are pleased to share with you a new contract awarded to Wooldridge Demolition, in Farnham, Surrey. Multiple commercial and retail units to be cleared for residential properties and more shops. 

So works on the Woolmead will clash with the construction of Waverley Borough Council’s adjacent ‘Brightwells Yard’ development!

Brilliant co-ordinated planning that? Wonder how many more Farnham shops will close?

The 11-week lane closure on the A31 has now begun and the construction of Brightwells’ temporary access bridge. Waverley’s development partner Crest Nicholson estimates more than 200 HGV movements – on average three a day required to undertake the works. Add this to the 80 HGV movements per day Berkeley Homes estimates will be required during the four-month demolition of the nearby Woolmead, with around 2,000 HGV movements in total expected during the initial basement excavation phase of around eight months. Result = chaos?

 Berkeley Homes was granted full planning permission in July to replace The Woolmead, with a new block of 138 apartments (non-affordable) above more than 4,000 square metres of shops and restaurants.

Even throwing a last-minute spanner into the works by suggesting that Crest Nicholson may not legally own, or have a legal interest in the land in Borelli Walk required for the bridge, did not deter the Tory-dominated council from giving the go-ahead by 17 votes to one last night – Wednesday. In fact, Oh Carole suggested the meeting to discuss the issue was a waste of everyone’s time  accusing  a colleague of using ‘delaying tactics.’

However, the committee was forced to concede,  if it was found that the developer did not have a legal interest in the site. Permission would be refused for what officers described “as the minor non-material amendment” to a development which  Leader Julia Potts said was as put a new heart into Farnham Town Centre.

Where exactly is Farnham’s beating heart?

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Why the hell Waverley planning experts couldn’t determine that little legal loophole before the meeting is anyone’s guess? It’s only taken 20 years to get a financial backer for a scheme which has been hoiked around the City and shunned by private investors for so long, it has become as stale as last month’s kippers! And despite the stink kicked up by Farnham people, Surrey County Council and Pension Fund Trustee and WBC councillor Denise Le Gal –  rescued our rotten borough with over £30m of OUR MONEY.

One financially strapped council bales out another?

But fear not Officers including Betty Boot said repeatedly – “we are satisfied” with our recommendation to approve this minor amendment so the bridge can now be constructed from the A31, and, “I am satisfied” we are acting legally, and “I am satisfied” that bat’s don’t exist in Blightwells and, “I am satisfied” with all the Environmental Impact Assessments and the CONFIDENTIAL bat surveys.

 She’s satisfied so that’s ok then, Isn’t it?

Here’s what one of our followers had to say: “Apparently the last look at the Maternity Roost had cobwebs and little to suggest recent occupation – I wonder Why???

It isn’t difficult to scare Bats they are timid gentle creatures …. But they do come back to roost eventually… and something better than those Cr*ppy Bat roosts should have been insisted on regardless of the state of the Maternity Roost in the Cottage.
They simply do not care.

 

Tales of the unexpected as Surrey’s Mr Tickle resigns.

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The tales from various ladies at political and community events are coming in thick and fast…

mrtickle.jpgGodalming’s Surrey County Councillor Peter Martin resigns as Chairman.

But you know – if you’re a Tory in True Blue Surrey, you can get away with almost anything? Unless, of course, if Miss Backlash gets to hear of it?

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And here at the Waverley Web, we have heard more… and we are tickled pink, so much so, we fell off our web.animated-spider-image-0201

 

Yes, Mr Wylde of Farnham – how WILL ‘Your Waverley’ meet its challenges?

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Probably by continuing to ignore you, us here at the Waverley Web, and every other bit of voting fodder?

But at least the WW has been mentioned in your despatches!

 Someone has unmasked you as being -THE Waverley Web.

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David Wylde (left, of the Farnham Five at the High Court) is not the only one to question the honesty, transparency and its claim to ‘use its resources wisely.’   in Waverley Borough Council’s Mission Statement.

This is his recent letter to The Farnham Herald letters page…

Sir,
– In the last year or so, every national press article I can find and every media interview I have heard about the High Street has put across the same message – restaurants and retail are in crisis and the best solution is to offer leisure and entertainment attractions to draw in the punters – shopping and eating are no longer enough.

The relentless onward advance of internet shopping is the white-elephant-in-the-room for East Street, with the added problem that the Woolmead development, with 11 outlets lying along Farnham’s main street, is due on stream before its rival on the other side of the road, a scheme that lies down a straggling narrow alley off the beaten track and which has struggled unavailingly for five years to fill more than two of its 24 retail and eight restaurant outlets. A six-screen cinema with seats for 750 doesn’t help. The Woolmead getting in first will make it even harder than before to attract retailers.

May I invite the leader of Waverley, courtesy of the letters page of The Herald, to tell us how the council plans to confront this challenge? Does it have creative ideas for providing replacement community assets, if and when, as seems ever more likely, restaurants and retail falter? Or does it believe that, uniquely across the country, it can buck this trend? If so, what is the hard evidence, as opposed to the wishful thinking?
If you ring Waverley and ask what the weather is like in Godalming, the answer is likely to be based on the assumption that it is a secret (unfair to the excellent reception staff at the council, but I hope you get the drift) so it is hardly likely Waverley will tell the likes of me, or the likes of you for that matter, who owns the leases. I find out what I can where I can, often from a wonderful blog called

Waverley Web (see below).

In this instance, I have gathered CNS has ducked out and has left the headache of unproductive leases to Waverley and/or Surrey.
If I was the portfolio holder for Surrey, I would be seriously worried about putting big dollops of money into what is little more than a bunch of shops with flats on top and dubious prospects. The scheme was old fashioned and outdated then. It is antediluvian now. Are not we, whose taxes will pick up the tab, at the very least entitled to know Waverley is taking proper precautions to protect our interests and our pockets in challenging times, by doing good contingency planning? It would be worrying indeed if the council was burying its head in the sand.
If Waverley is tempted to argue that it would undermine its sales pitch to potential retailers to publicly prepare for the opposite outcome to the one it is hoping for, have a look for a moment at the national scene, where the government is in the process of producing public contingency plans for an outcome – no deal – which is the opposite of its official policy, the Chequers proposals. Its contingency planning seems to have been generally accepted as good sense and good practice; were Waverley to do the equivalent, I suggest the reaction would be the same.

The world of retail is changing radically and forever, so we need a council that will change and adapt to meet its challenges and we need to know, too, the people who govern us can do so in a far-seeing and proactive way.
What do you see ahead, Miss Potts, and what do you plan?
What is your Plan B? If we are wondering whether or not to elect you, we will also need to know if you will measure up?

The by-line of Waverley Web is:
“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
when first we practice to deceive”.
Its aim is to expose deceit and concealment and celebrate honesty and transparency. It does so vigorously, scurrilously, colourfully and with glee and is hugely entertaining. To sign up, http://waverleyweb.org

David Wylde, St James Terrace, Farnham

They seek him here… they seek him there?

 

Bewley Homes gallops into Farnham and rides roughshod all over ‘Your Waverley.’

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Now the WW has to apologise too. It was Bewley  Homes that did it their way – and not Bellway Homes. Perhaps one day soon we will all be able to watch and HEAR – the webcast of Waverley meetings? 

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Dig, dig, dig – the whole day through! Dig, dig, dig, dig Ancient Woodland too!

THE CHEEKY DEVILS ADMIT AND APOLOGISE FOR DRIVING A COACH AND HORSES THROUGH PROTECTIVE POLICIES, INCLUDING:

 DEMOLISHING TREES COVERED BY PRESERVATION ORDERS (TPO’s)!

BUILDING A PUMPING STATION WITHIN THE PROHIBITED 15 METRES PROTECTED BUFFER ZONE OF ANCIENT WOODLAND.

AND

FELLING OR  DAMAGING A ROW OF MATURE SCOTS PINES ON THE SITE FRONTAGE!

So it could build 72 homes, 26 “affordable” – whatever that means – on land of Great Landscape Value at the Garden Style Nursery, in Wrecclesham near Farnham.

“Shocking,” Disgraceful; “appalling,” “amazing,” “criminal” ” treating the Waverley Borough like somewhere in the Wild West were just a few of the descriptions given to the misdemeanours of the “illegal” acts of vandalism carried out by one of the Nation’s largest house=builders!

Surprise- surprise – isn’t that the same housebuilder that committed exactly the same little misdemeanour in Cranleigh last Winter? Building too close to Ancient Woodland – moving badger sets, digging new holes for badgers who were later found – drowned dead!! God knows what Bramley’s Dotty Dardak would have to say about that!! No that was Bellway.

 Fear not, despite all the protestations –  Steven Strenwith? – Bewley Homes’ Land Director, or not, in this particular case, apologised to Councillors and officers for the errors in construction – but failed to mention the good citizens of Wrecclesham who have to live with his mistakes.  He said his company had a fine reputation for quality housebuilding, rabbit, rabbit, won’t be many of them left either, and it would all be alright on the night – or words to that effect.

 Officers waxed lyrical how the developer would be making amends by putting in trees to “mitigate” the harm, and Farnham’s Carole Cockburn after a minor rant,  said the developer had improved the site layout by adding another seven homes, so should be supported!

Ah well! That’s alright then! Isn’t it?

After a load of councillors followed Godalming’s Follows footsteps with furious rants, and Cranleigh’s Liz Townsend suggested the developer should not be allowed to ride roughshod over Waverley’s well tried and tested planning laws, it looked as though the application might be deferred or even REFUSED! Despite the principle of development being established when outline permission was granted last year!

WOW, not really? They couldn’t, could they?

Then Oh! Carole – reached into her big knickers for her big stick and began beating her colleagues into submission.  If permission was refused the developer could build the four-bedroom homes already granted and not the extra 7 semi-detached properties now offered.

So there you are! The principal of a Developer, who ignores the law on TPO’s, and strict laws that protect Ancient Woodland – a criminal offence, but offers an ineffectual apology,  has to be dragged kicking and screaming by officers into “mitigating” the offence by planting replacement trees,  has now been established!

After watching this shambolic meeting the WW was ashamed… and so were many others. We witnessed our Senior Planning Committee Chaired by Peter Isherwood – who should have been dumped after he rubbished the villages of Ewhurst and Cranleigh, but continues undeterred, to wreck our lovely borough! Is there anything now that is sacred in this rotten borough of Waverley?

We haven’t even mentioned Councillor Gerry Hyman’s continuous claim that Waverley consistently flouts European environmental Law by not providing the Appropriate Assessments required for Farnham’s Special Protection Areas. Accusations that ‘YW’ rubbish, and refuse to show evidence that AA’s have been carried out- including “bird numbers?”

When pressed officers said they “could” seek enforcement of the developers’ illegal actions, but that was  “A CONFIDENTIAL MATTER’ – so confidential no doubt, that it will never be heard of again!

But the WW will be watching carefully. We are still waiting for a report on the Police findings on the council’s false Air Quality Data Report?

Hang your heads in shame Waverley Borough Council for allowing developers to trash Ancient Woodland – woodland that is over 600 years old. It is no excuse that you cannot monitor developments!

Hang your heads in shame Bewley Homes, and we ask? How can these people ever be trusted to build in this borough again!!

Oh! and by the way- forget all that mock outrage. There were 12 votes in favour – two against and one abstention.

Presumably, two councillors who oppose such criminal behaviour Councillor Follows and Townsend – and one Councill Hyman –  who couldn’t even acknowledge an ‘illegal application!’ Our apologies if we have it wrong – because the cameras are turned away from the committee during voting! Wonder why?

 

Waverley’s housing​ numbers wrangle goes on and on!

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Some of our readers may have noticed the hysterical hyperbole spewed up at regular intervals on the WW by – Peppa Pig – we turned him into sausages but he reappeared out of the frying pan as Cliff Clavin –  whom we greeted with Cheers!  All of whom are, of course, non-other than – Protect Our Little Corner of Waverley! There was a little mole and he lived in a hole?

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Protest Group Scorned!

Now, the Waverley web hates peeing on anyone’s fireworks, or in this particular case, into their trough, but we want everyone to be aware of the FACTS as they stand at this moment in time regarding the housing numbers required by the borough. 

Now! Let’s get this straight – we are not asking you to believe us. We are just a bunch of bloggers doing our best to inform the public. Some local newspapers do a great job – Farnham and Haslemere Herald included. But we like to take a holistic approach to ‘Your Waverley’ by focusing on borough-and county-wide issues.

So here below is an article issued today by the highly respected Professional planning bible  – Planning Magazine online.

Housing projections are acknowledged, by most of us – including Waverley Planners, developers, and the general public to be an uncertain mess. But, with careful reading, it reveals that…

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“only local plans submitted for examination after 24 January next year should base their need upon the standard method – by which time the government will have changed the formula”.

So when the Judge hears the challenges from POW and the CPRE (Campaign to Protect some parts of Rural England),  if he knows his stuff, and we are confident he does,  he won’t let this latest ONS statement- that PP/Cliff Clavin/POW/CPRE/Bob Lies are  referring to on yesterday’s post – creep in? Or will he? 

Here’s the article. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures estimated that four million new households will be formed between 2014 and 2039, a drop of almost a quarter compared to figures published two years ago.

The household projection data is a key input into the new standard method of assessing housing need, and the new figures have prompted dramatic drops in many councils’ housing need figures when factored into the standard method.
Consultants have warned that confusion created by the new figures will lead to council plan-making being put on hold, and previously strong applications and appeal cases being undermined.
But it has emerged that the ONS plans to publish a different version of the 2016 figures on 3 December 2018.

In the document which explains the methodology used to produce the projections, the ONS says: “We are also planning to publish a set of variant 2016-based household projections in which household formation rates for younger adults (those aged 25 to 44 years) are higher. The purpose of this variant would be to illustrate the uncertainty in the projections around the future household formation patterns of this age group”.
However, an ONS spokesman said that the variant projections “will not change the overall household projections”.

The ONS’s willingness to publish “variant” projections reflects its acknowledgement of concerns about the new approach taken to drawing up the 2016-based figures. Unlike the 2014-based projections, which drew on data from as far back as the 1971 census, the 2016-based figures were compiled with statistics that only go back to 2001. Critics have said that the new projections thus ‘bake in’ the adverse consequences for household formation of housing under-delivery in this century.

In its methodology document, the ONS acknowledges those complaints. It says some respondents to its consultation on the new method thought that using data from only the 2001 and 2011 censuses would be “insufficient”.

The document says: “There was a view that only using the 2001 and 2011 censuses would result in a downward trend in household formation for the younger age groups, which in turn would downplay the need for housing for younger people”.

The government has already said that it “will consult on adjustments to the way housing need is calculated so it is consistent with delivering 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s”, and that it will do this “as soon as possible”.

Andrew Lowe, the senior planner at consultancy Turley, said the government should change the standard method so that it uses the “variant” figures, rather than those published last week.

“It’s hard to make a case for the government not to use this data to base its standard formula on instead if the purpose is supposed to be making a better housing market for younger people,” he said. “But this [variant] is not going to be available until December and the government needs to do something between now and December to tackle the uncertainty”

This article was updated at 15.30 on 28 September 2019 to include a statement received from the ONS.

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Are our towns and villages becoming a health and safety hazard?

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This rant from a Godalming mother, who we cannot contact to secure her permission to reprint this, is just one of the hundreds of messages on FACEBOOK, and all the borough’s Community Boards highlighting vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Sooner or later a child will be badly injured.

RANT TO THE PEOPLE WHO THINK ITS OK TO SMASH BOTTLES AT A PARK! MY CHILDREN CAN’T PLAY BECAUSE OF YOU!

THIS IS AT THE CHIPPY PARK!

ITS ALL IN THE PARKS!  ON THE BASKETBALL COURT AND  IN THE GRASS!

PLEASE STOP SMASHING UP AND RUINING KIDS PLAYGROUNDS!

THIS ISNT THE ONLY PARK THAT HAS GLASS!

BROADWATER PARK,

OCKFORD RIDGE PARK

 AARONS HILL PARK!

SERIOUSLY!  THIS IS BEYOND A JOKE. MY 9-MONTH-OLD IS ON THE MOVE AND HE HAS HAD GLASS IN HIS MOUTH FROM THESE PARKS! 

JUST PICK YOUR RUBBISH AND GLASS UP PLEASE!!!!

No automatic alt text available.

Just imagine something like this that looks like toffee or chocolate being picked up a child and eaten!!! 

Come on Godalming do you want to earn the title of … Godawfulming!  Other towns and villages in the Waverley Borough are suffering from the same problems!

There was a little mole and he lived in a hole?

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It would appear, whisper who dares, that unbeknown to the general populace,  Protect Our Little Corner of Waverley has just been forced to go back to the High Court Judge before a Judicial Review hearing on 9-10 October. This follows a bit of a setback it endured in the Court of Appeal when large parts of its case for Judicial Review were thrown out!

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Just a little recap for anyone who has just landed from the Moon!

Angered by a High Court Judge’s decision at a pre-Judicial Review hearing in the High Court in June when three of its grounds were thrown out for challenging   Waverley’s Local Plan and development at Dunsfold Aerodrome  – POW and The Campaign for the Protection of some parts of Rural England escalated their  case to the Court of Appeal. Now that appeal too has been thrown out – except for one aspect.

But the local Moles have been in touch with us again..!  Haven’t we told you that Waverley Towers and POW are a couple of great big leaky sieves?

This time with the news that POW as sought an emergency hearing prior to the big event in October, to obtain the judge’s assurance that it will not have to dig deeper into its pocket than the £10,000 under the Public Access to  Justice rules called (Aarhus).

In a nutshell that means the worried wealthy’s costs are capped and US, the taxpayers have to spend shedloads of money to defend the Plan to fight off the huge posse of developers lining up out there to throw even more applications at Waverley Planners on the green belt and countryside! 

 POW’s begging bowl goes out tonight?

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Apparently with the help of The Surrey Hills Organisation?

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 18.45.35.png (Isn’t that an organisation that is part – funded by both Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council? Isn’t Shamley Green and Cranleigh’s Councillor Rubber-Band on its Board of Directors? Funny that!

 

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Now that the Court of Appeal has dismissed the challenge – it’s up to another High Court Judge to rule on the remaining parts of their case.

Will the Secretary of State’s representatives have to rock up and explain why he allowed the development at Dunsfold – which of course, is what this whole expensive business is all about.  And will the judge rule on Woking’s unmet housing need? Watch this space… 

Anyone out there been to Woking lately? 50 storey blocks going up all over the town! 

 

Godalming’s Surrey County Councillor Peter Martin resigns as Chairman.

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Oh! Dear! I opened my mouth and put my foot in it?

Peter Martin a Godalming  Councillor for both Waverley and Surrey County Council has resigned as chairman of the county council.

The Conservative councillor resigned after admitting he had shown a lack of “cultural awareness” and “good judgement” during a recent interview.

Peter Martin, stepped down from his position at Surrey County Council after making the comments.

He said: “My judgment has understandably been called into question. I have apologised privately to the candidate.”

The council refused to confirm if it was investigating a formal complaint.

A spokesman said; “The appropriate complaints procedure is being followed in line with the council’s constitution. We don’t have any more to say at this time.”

‘Outdated remarks’

Mr Martin said: “For those of us in public life, the way that we conduct ourselves should be without question. In a recent interview with a candidate, I showed a lapse of good judgment.

“I fully accept that the language I used lacked empathy and cultural awareness and that my judgment has understandably been called into question.

“I have apologised privately to the candidate and hope sincerely that my apology will be accepted for what it is – a genuine expression of regret for my thoughtless and outdated remarks.

Exactly what was said, or the nature of the interview, is not yet clear.

A new chairman will be elected at a council meeting on 9 October.

The council’s leader, David Hodge, said he thanked Mr Martin “for recognising the importance of maintaining the values and high standards that go with public office”.

It is understood Mr Martin will continue as a Conservative county councillor. He also sits on Waverley Borough Council.

Every village has one – and Bramley’s is Dotty Dardak.

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Oh! We forgot – it also has By-Pass Byham.bypassbyham1

Every village has one:  the stereotypical silly old bat who never opens their mouth but a stream of utter nonsense pours forth but no one had the heart to stem the flow, they just nod sympathetically and get the hell out of there as fast as they can.

Even Capt’n Bob and his side-kick, Chris Britton, couldn’t get away from her fast enough at the most recent Public Inquiry into Dunsfold Park – and they’re supposed to be on the same side!!!

Poor old Birtley Green’s ‘”Dotty One” is dear Miss Dadak (DD) who fearlessly takes up arms against the Dunsfold Developer at every opportunity. Older readers will recall that DD turned up on the first day of the 2009 Public Inquiry into Dunsfold Park, waving a dead owl which she rashly accused the Dunsfold Developer of killing – Murderer!

Witnesses are still chuckling at the ‘ visibly startled MacAllister –  claiming to be a member of the Hawk & Owl Trust (whoever they might be!) – offering to take the bird off her hands, but Miss (not Ms!) Dadak was having none of it. The Flying Scot was obviously trying to dispose of the evidence and a clearly exasperated Council Official had to step in and offer to turn a Waverley Borough Council freezer into a temporary morgue. At that time, remember, the Dunsfold Developer and Waverley Borough Council were not an item and DD  was content to let the Council take custody of the incriminating evidence.’

What became of the body after that, no one knows, but rumours abound of Pidgeon Pie with chips appearing on ‘YW’s’ canteen menu the week after the Hearing closed!

Not content with accusing the other DD (Dunsfold Developer) of being the scourge of birds, now Dotty D  is accusing him of offering ‘lavish al fresco’ entertaining in front of a small aircraft prepared for take-off whilst, unforgettably a frail, harmless skylark rose from her grassy nest singing her joyous song of fulfilment, unwary of the inevitable fate befalling all wildlife-rural-environments in this horrible, urban, illegal (?) take-over of Waverley Borough Council.’

Now is Miss DD accusing the Dunsfold D of bribing officials with a picnic lunch and a free flight? Or of sucking more birds to their death in his propellers?

What we, at the WW want to know is –  how Miss Dadak inveigled an invitation to a ‘lavish alfresco’ entertainment, when we’ve not even been able to snaffle so much as a cup of instant coffee and a rich tea at the DD’s expense?

The closest we came to an invitation was when we passed one on from the DD, not Miss DD,  to Denise Wordsworth to take afternoon tea at the aerodrome and get the lowdown on his plans for the new village – oops, sorry Miss D, of course, we mean NEW TOWN! Whisper who dares – nobody has told her about the NEW TOWN down the road in Cranleigh!

About the only thing, DD  gets right in her latest Herald-diatribe is her description of Waverley as ‘urban’. Once, Surrey was a lovely rural idyll, where people like George and Mary Watts escaped to live the rural dream but not any more. These days Surrey is essentially one great suburb, its towns belted by ring-roads and submerged by shopping malls. Where the Bramley Babes wear Boden and Jojo Maman Bébé – rather than the bustles and top hats, favoured by DD – and shop in Bargain Booze!

Sorry Miss Dadak, we know you hark after a softer, gentler age when Bramley looked as if it was the role model for the traditional Quality Street Tin and girls in Kate Greenaway costumes wandered along the high street in lawn cotton, shopping at the butchers, the bakers and the candlestick makers but you’ve got to get with the programme … either that or move to Dartmoor, with its Neolithic tombs, Bronze Age stone circles, deep river valleys and rare wildlife. Although whisper it who dares, we hear Costa and Café Nero have, like Napoleon, recently crossed the county line but, fear not, we’re told the Dunsfold Developer too prefers the rugged scenery of his homeland and is more likely to be found grouse shooting in the Highlands than hacking on the moors.

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Waverley’s planning system is seen as the “battleground for the heart and soul​ of the borough’s future.”

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Is ‘Your Waverley’ about to go over the top? 

Waverley Councillors – could do better! Nil Point!! Go to the back of the class! Write 100 lines…

“We will not argue with planning officers recommendations – we will do as we are told and in future we will put up our hands or shut up!!”

That was the verdict of ‘experts’  brought in to revolutionise the way ‘Your Waverley’ conducts its planning functions in the future.

The report, which the WW found in a council wastepaper bin, probably because the recipient judged that’s where it belonged… soon had company! Our inbox was full of copies from councillors, some of whom were incandescent with rage at some of the proposals to smarten up ‘Your Waverley’s’ planning act.

That it needs smartening up – we agree! But ditching the ballot box – putting even more power in the hands of planning officers – giving an even bigger stick for Betty Boot aka Liz the Biz to beat us with?

NO BLOODY WAY – JOSE!

You can read the complete document below – and interesting reading it most certainly makes.

There are numerous quotes and comments highlighting the divisions between the council’s planning officers -v- councillors -v- public interest groups –v- developers -v- us the voting fodder!

Suffice to say – the so-called ‘Peer Review” (experts) want to do away with US, the moaning public and clear the path for developers. WHY? To do the Government’s bidding.

More important still, they really want to do away with councillors FULL STOP. Most certainly all the area planning committee’s that are full of people who were elected to speak up for their constituents.

GOING – GOING – GONE!

However, it is suggested they could rock up in the public gallery from time to time and let off a bit of steam, just in case they feel impotent.

Liz Townsend (Cranleigh); Paul Follows (Godalming) Jerry Hyman (Farnham) Andy McLeod (Farnham) Kevin Deanus (Alfold); David Beaman (Farnham); Mary Foryszewki (Cranleigh – though they’ve shut her up by making her deputy mayor) – and a few others who might as well take up knitting, spoke out!

And as for the most senior planning committee – known as THE JOINT PLANNING COMMITTEE – well that particular outfit will find itself reduced to a handful of councillors who will have their hands hung up so high they’ll think they’re in traction!

Mind you, not much change there then? Isherwood leading the posse of Carole  – the ‘villages of Cranleigh/Ewhurst aren’t exactly pretty anyway are they?” Cockburn; Rubber Band; By-Pass Byham; Mike (Wake me up when it’s time to go, go or vote Goodridge); Jeannette (we need more homes in Cranleigh-Stennett) and Patricia of the ‘secret meetings’ Ellis!

When they unveiled the expert’s tripe – which should be entitled ‘How to speed up planning and help developers in the Future.’ Councillors were given about 20 minutes to ask questions? Will the turkeys be permitted to vote for Christmas?

Needless to say the usual crowd of Follows; Deanus; Townsend & Co were against most of the proposals and a few of the ‘sheep’ chimed in too – so suffice to say, it wasn’t generally very well received. 

The idea of reducing the council’s planning committees to just one puppet committee is madness?

Clearly, officers were annoyed with members’ repeated questions…especially on big developments and affordable housing.

READ OUR LIPS YOU BLOODY COUNCILLORS MOST OF YOU ARE A PAIN IN THE ARSE SO BUGGER OFF TO THE BOONDOCKS WHERE YOU BELONG.  LET US ROBOTS SPIT OUT PLANNING APPROVALS AND LET US COVER THE COUNTRYSIDE IN CONCERETE!

The ‘expert” Cllr from Oxfordshire that was present was clearly all about funnelling planning consents down the Waverley conveyer belt as fast as possible. WW has heard they are doing a pretty good job in Oxfordshire!!   He thought ‘YW’ took far too much time actually debating applications!  Perish the thought!!

So there were we, the voting fodder,  thinking that our councillors wanted to be there, to speak and to vote and to argue on our behalf? Dummies that we are! 

Beam us all up, Scottie?

Happy bedtime reading?

Final Report to Waverley BC Sept 3 2018

 

 

 

Are Cranleigh New Town’s residents now witnessing the death throes​ of their High Street too?​

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When Cranleigh councillors joined forces with a gang of local developers to provide the new town’s high street with more footfall, we doubt they ever envisaged that residents might be forced to shop elsewhere.

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Has peddled off!

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HSBC Gone! But may have been replaced by another retailer – perhaps an optician?

With HGV’s thundering through its High Street, and approach roads and residential roads witnessing volumes of traffic previously unheard of, the thud of shops doors closing for the last time is deafening. It is now becoming all too common as struggling retailers give up the fight to stay in business. They include:

 https://www.primelocation.com/for-sale/commercial/details/47512773?search_identifier=c6f842e6fc7f28ec53ed425702f67871#vxH5rChvRcSus60x.97

Here’s another one.

http://www.westwoodandco.com/listings/prime-lock-up-shop-or-a2-office-to-let/

And another!

http://www.westwoodandco.com/listings/prime-shop-to-let-2/

  • National Westminster Bank and its ATM machine – GONE!
  • Barclays Bank – GOING
  • HSBC Gone
  • Santander – GONE!
  • Customers – GONE to Horsham or Godalming?
  • Ruby & Kind – GONE.
  • Magdalena’s Tea Rooms – GONE!
  • Raffles Bakery – GONE!
  • Bones Interiors – GONE!
  • Ask Italian Restaurant – GONE!
  • 137 Restaurant – GONE! 
  • Cranleigh Cycle Shop – GONE!
  • Timothy Pearson Hairdressers – Going…Going… Gone?
  • The Lemon Tree – GOING!
  • Carolyn Lodge Travel – GOING soon!
  • Barclays Bank – GOING in October!
  • Even the charity shops are closing! Cranleigh Nursing Home shop. Gone!
  • Too many small businesses to mention on the Smithbrook Kilns Industrial Estate – where now dozens of small shop units have or are being converted,  into – yes you guessed flats.
  • And The Smithbrook Forge Barns.
  • Wayahead – Going to another site off the High Street?
  • Plus numerous vacant offices in the High Street, Rowland Road, Collins Court and elsewhere all seeking planning permission for residential use.

Ran out of space – suffice to say more going!

Perhaps all those Waverley borough councillors who permitted over 1,700 new homes to be built there – were right when they used the soliloquy  – “Poor Old Cranleigh!”

Here’s what just a few residents are saying- about the Cranleigh New Town building site! Others have contacted the WW saying, although they want to remain loyal, they are shopping in nearby Horsham when they go to the BANK!

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https://www.primelocation.com/for-sale/commercial/details/47512773?search_identifier=c6f842e6fc7f28ec53ed425702f67871#vxH5rChvRcSus60x.97

Has Hambledon’s Holder’s thrown a hand grenade into the​ future viability of ‘Blightwells Yard’ in Farnham?

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Here’s our sticker book!

And below is one Farnham resident’s thoughts. Brightwells_storecounter

Sir,

– In July this year, the Government published a review of the problems facing retail in town centres. The Grimsey Review Part 2 had a title which said it all: The Vanishing High Street.

For the first time, we have been able to hear something of these concerns expressed openly in the Waverley Council chamber. Last week there was a meeting concerning the borough’s economic strategy, which has been recorded and is available to see on Waverley’s website (Tuesday, September 11’s meeting of customer services and VFMO).

Here’s an excerpt: Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

Councillor Holder raised several significant issues at the meeting, one of which indirectly is of concern to Farnham. His suggestion was that the chief executive should draw up plans if Surrey County Council should cease to exist and be replaced with four new unitary authorities. We have to question that in such an event, whether Surrey’s demise would place Crest Nicholson Sainsbury’s Brightwells scheme in jeopardy? The Farnham Theatre Association (FTA) understands from Waverley leader, Julia Potts that legal documents have been signed to the effect that Surrey County Council will meet the cost of the retail element of the scheme, once the development is completed.

Possibly to allay Waverley’s fears that its long-cherished Brightwells/East Street scheme might fail, councillor Holder has another plan up his sleeve. He has invited the Chinese Cultural Attache to visit Waverley with the assistance of Mrs Lucia Hunt (wife of our MP). She will address the Chinese delegation in mandarin to explain what Waverley has to offer Chinese tourists. Demonstrably, she will be able to explain that there is a wealth of beautiful scenery and historic architecture, but of course, no public theatre. Councillor Holder’s declared aim is to boost tourism in the borough and to bring visitors to our failing town centres. Could he possibly be considering Farnham with its Brightwells problem and that Chinese money might be the answer to the conundrum?

An open letter of mine was published in the Farnham Herald some weeks ago, which asked for thoughts and ideas about what would be best for Farnham if the retail element of the Brightwells development failed. FTA has always been clear. We propose a combined theatre/cinema operation as the focus for Brightwells (as described in the Farnham Society’s 2016 concept: Brightwells Restored). As the only purpose-built venue of this kind in Waverley, it could attract visitors and tourists to the whole borough, in support of our retail traders. Does anyone have better ideas? If so, please let us hear them!

Anne Cooper, (Farnham Theatre Association chairman), Nutshell Lane, Upper Hale

Charterhouse Green Belt campaigners take direct action.

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BE WARNED WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL GODALMING RESIDENTS MEAN BUSINESS! THEY WON’T BE SITTING  IDLY BY AND WATCH THEIR TOWN BECOME … GODAWFULMING!

 

A spider at Gownboys Hall tipped us off about the Charterhouse Greenbelt picket line on Saturday. Demonstrators against Charterhouse’s proposals for 132 houses on the Greenbelt playing fields took direct action with placards and stakeboards all along the perimeter of the threatened playing fields.
This happened to coincide with an open morning for prospective parents arriving down Queens Drive. Parents took a tour of the school with a pupil followed by a question and answer session with the headmaster. No doubt the question was – why the protestors at such a school?!

When they were given the answer, or not – all they had to do was look across at the playing fields and watch pupils enjoying a variety of sports on some of the finest playing fields of England, just before the earthmovers take over? Why? To support the viability of the school of course, and keep their fees down. And no doubt fill Waverley’s coffers with Community Infrastructure Levy?

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Honk if you want to save the Charterhouse Green Belt! The campaign is gathering paceNo wonder the security were looking rather twitchy!

 

Do you remember when the WW did a little fact checking on The Tory’s efforts to keep ‘IN TOUCH’ With Godalming’s electorate?

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Well, we have just completed a little FACT CHECKING exercise on  Waverley Liberals’ efforts in its latest Newsletter –  FOCUS.

 

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We have FACT-CHECKED this document – which gets 10/10 for accuracy and more important gets 10/10 for refraining from hogging all the praise for saving Green Oaks School instead makes reference to the ‘partnership’ fight between Lib Dems, residents and Green Oaks PTA.

You can read the Newsletter in Full by clicking on the link below.

Waverley Focus Summer 2018

In the interest of fairness and balance here is our post that FACT-CHECKED – VISION FROM THE GODALMING CONSERVATIVES.

Caption competition – Help the Local Tories with their leaflets?

Where exactly is Farnham’s beating heart?

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We understand from that glossy, expensive ‘news’ magazine called ‘Your Waverley’ that spins through our letterbox from time to time tells us that now the construction of ‘Blightwells Yard’ has begun it is…’set to give a new heart to Farnham Town Centre’.

In case you hadn’t heard developers Crest Nicholson have renamed it Blightwells Yard in Farnham’s Backyard?

We here at the WW thought Farnham Town Centre already had a well-tried-and-tested beating heart located in Castle Street and along West Street and Downing Street?

It may need a little tweaking here and there,  as one Farnham resident Mark Westcott recently suggested,  a little by-pass surgery wouldn’t go amiss to give Farnham residents a healthier heart with a respite from pollution? But surely not a heart transplant by a second-rate developer and an impoverished council to a location far removed from exquisite ancient buildings, and some speciality shops not just the same old, same old mass high street retailers?

Ah! But when your spending other people’s money  – in fact, OUR MONEY – then we have to admit it certainly has our hearts racing and our blood pressure going off the Richter scale?

• ‘Blatant untruth’ appears on the internet
The Farnham Herald letters page, Thursday 20th September 2018 – Vol.128 No.11

Sir,

– Weighed down as we are by the constant stream of broken promises and ‘terminological inexactitudes’ emanating from Waverley Council and Crest Nicholson over the Brightwells project, it is hardly surprising that neither party has been quick to correct a blatant untruth that appears on the GetSurrey’s website.

Oh! Not the Sorry Advertiser?

The site states, based no doubt on information provided by Waverley or Crest Nicholson, that Farnham residents and councillors claim “that Waverley Borough Council’s decision to approve alterations to the (Brightwells) scheme (in East Street) was unlawful” was rejected by the High Court.

This is totally untrue.

The court actually ruled that those bringing the action to test the legality of the council’s action by way of judicial review did not have the ‘standing’ to do so. Thus due to a tenuous legal technicality, and much to the obvious relief of Waverley and Crest Nicholson, the claim was never heard.

So there we have it. Yet another example as to how this discredited, defunct and as likely as not illegal monstrous monument to commercial greed and municipal vandalism that is Brightwells has been able, through the shameful denial of any pretence of democratic examination, to insinuate its way into our town.

Andrew Jones, Fox Yard, Farnham

 

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Round Two has been won but the protracted fight to defend Waverley’s Local Plan goes on… and on!

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Here we go again!

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Unless of course, it happens to be in the borough of Waverley?

 

The Court of Appeal has thrown out The Protect Our Waverley and the CPRE’s latest challenge to overturn High Court decisions made in July. These challenges affect the Dunsfold Aerodrome development and Waverley’s  Local Plan. 

Obviously, the anti-Dunsfold brigade have very deep pockets? Because although their costs MAY BE limited to £10,000 under Access to Justice Legislation called (Aarhus) they will be paying shedloads of dosh for the Rumpoles who represent them!

The appeals, lodged by POW Campaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey, followed a High Court’s decision on 12 July 2018 to dismiss significant elements of challenges to the Council’s Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s Dunsfold Park decision.

The rejected appeals sought to challenge the High Court’s decision to refuse permission to go to a full hearing in respect of the following grounds: In other words, the locals aren’t giving up until the fat lady sings?

  • · that the council and the Local Plan Inspector failed to consider environmental constraints (in the context of calculating Waverley’s objectively assessed need)

 

  • · that both the council and the Inspector did not correctly apply the two-stage test as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “I am pleased the appeals against the High Court judge’s decision have been refused.

“This is a small victory for us but we will still need to defend the council’s position in the challenge to Woking’s unmet housing need allocation in Waverley’s Local Plan.

“We didn’t bring these legal challenges and don’t want to be in this situation. I believe our Local Plan is the best plan for the borough and we have a duty to defend it; having a sound Local Plan means we can defend and protect the borough from inappropriate development. That’s why, after careful consideration, we think it’s absolutely the right thing to set aside funds to be able to defend the legal challenges.

“We will continue to defend our Local Plan and to use it to guide planning decisions.”

The Council and other parties will be attending a full Judicial Review hearing on 9 and 10 October 2018, which will consider challenges from POW Campaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey to Waverley’s Local Plan, relating to Woking’s unmet need allocation, and a challenge from POWCampaign Ltd to the grant of planning permission in respect of Dunsfold Park. Just a little thought on Woking’s unmet need straight from our sun lounger?

When  POW and CPRE  square up for Round Three at the High Court in October they will challenge both the legality of Waverley Borough Council’s approval of their Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s decision to approve development at Dunsfold Park (1,800 homes consented).

If this is thrown out then presumably His Holiness The Pope will be called in to rule and then if that fails The Almighty himself – the omnipotent one will be asked to make the final judgment no doubt?

A Judge decided at an oral hearing in July that parts of the POW and CPRE’s case had merit, but other grounds did not. (not entirely accurate)

POW and CPRE say they appealed on the rejected grounds and this week that appeal was dismissed. The principal grounds for the forthcoming cases remain – primarily the question of the burden of a housing quota for Woking’s unmet being placed on Waverley Borough. This will be heard in the High Court where Waverley will have to account for their actions. At the same court, hearing POW is also challenging the legal basis for the SoS’s decision to approve Dunsfold Airfield development.

Bob Lees, Chairman of POW said:

The situation is the same as when the High Court judge approved our case in July to go to full court in October. Waverley don’t need to defend the case – if POW and CPRE win this case they would seek a remedy of a reduction in the quota for housing – that will relieve some of the burden on the Borough of Waverley and Waverley Borough Council. This is not about the Local Plan failing. As for Waverley sending their legal team to attend the Secretary of State’s court case – that is their choice but is that really the best use of council tax payer’s money where the primary beneficiary of the SoS winning is a wealthy developer?”

WW. Which of course, what this whole very expensive exercise is all about?

The statement continues: “We have repeatedly asked WBC’s CEO to justify the council’s reasons for not considering a “do nothing” approach to the Court cases – I have yet to be re-assured they considered every option. Separately we have not received any justification from WBC for them spending £100,000 where they are not the defendant – they are merely an interested party in the SoS’s defence of the legal basis for approving a £1.1bn development of Dunsfold Airfield.”

What a hypocrite! Capt’n Bob and his motley crew don’t give a damn about the rest of the Borough. All they care about is stopping Dunsfold Park building on a brownfield site, adjacent to a major A-road. Where were Protect our Waverley when applications were submitted and approved for development on greenfields in Alfold, Cranleigh and Farnham what are they saying about plans to build on the green belt in Godalming?? Sitting around the kitchen table plotting their next move in the downfall of the Dunsfold Developer. They’re oblivious to what’s going on in the rest of the borough because they’re single-mindedly committed to stopping development on the one site that is crying out to be developed. What’s that old saying: there’s none so blind as them that can’t see …

If you can bear to read more: Does ‘Your Waverley’ have to manage a crisis now the High Court has allowed challenges to the Local Plan to be heard at a Judicial Review?

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Do we really need Surrey County Council, because it would appear it is sinking fast?​

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Surrey County Council will not have sufficient reserves to meet its funding gap in 2019-20 unless it acts now, accountants have warned in a report.

The Conservative-run  County Council, operating in the second richest borough in the country was accused last year of agreeing an alleged “sweetheart” funding deal with the government after it planned a 15% council tax hike.

However, perhaps the Waverly Borough Cllr for Hambledon had his facts right when he dropped this little bombshell into a recent council meeting of Waverley Council? Maybe, just maybe, we are watching the beginning of the death throes of county towers? Perhaps local government final salary pensions should be finally ditched to get our local authorities back in the black, instead of slashing and burning our services?

Listen here to a clip which has sent shivers down the back of doomed Surrey County Council.

Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?.

The new report says this year’s £36m funding gap could rise to £94m by 2021. Probably even further if it continues with Leader David Hodge’s present economic strategy. But fear not Surrey taxpayers, he said Surrey was “taking all the right steps”.

Finance warnings have been issued at other councils across the country, with East Sussex planning to strip services to the “legal minimum” and Northamptonshire warning of “radical” service cuts.

In a report commissioned by the council, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) said Surrey’s gross expenditure was expected to increase by 6.5% over four years, but funding would rise by “only 2.4%” over the same period.

It warned this would lead to a funding gap of £36m in 2018-19, rising to £86m by March 2020 and to £94m by March 2021.

The Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Surrey Chris Botten said:

“The CIPFA report says Surrey’s finance function is not fit for purpose. It is “too passive” and cannot provide the leadership required to address the current financial pressures in Surrey. 

The CEO Joanna Killian called in CIPFA because she was concerned to ensure that the finance function was strong enough and on the evidence of the report has taken the appropriate steps to put things right. 

The trouble is, it is seven years too late. Because the quality of financial reporting has been poor, and because of the reported “passivity” residents will face more sudden, deeper cutting service reductions because SCC didn’t start addressing the changing funding regime until a couple of years ago. The wasted years will leave a legacy of much-reduced services which will genuinely shock residents.

A classic case of too little, too late.”


Further Reading:
11.05.18 – Surrey Advertiser – What do councillors cost ratepayers per year copy

10.05.18 – Haslemere Herald – Councillors claim nearly £2m in expenseshttps://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-england-surrey-45552324

 

Is Guildford Conservative​ Association the latest breeding ground for developers?

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It’s no secret that Conservative Waverley Borough Councillors the Cranleigh’s Stennett duo was the first to leap onto the developers’ bandwagon trousering a few bob for their contribution toward helping to solve the borough’s housing problems – and in the green belt too!

Despite planning officers strongly recommending refusal – Councillors Stennett’s colleagues leapt at the opportunity to breach the green belt in Guildford Road, Cranleigh and grant consent. 

One agreed – more to go?

 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 PC’s late father not him personally !!

More to come?

Thankfully Cllr Young was found out in more ways than one by the Conservative Association, and the Tories dumped him for Andrew Povey. (Well! the less said about him the better.) Both are currently a complete embarrassment to Ewhurst/Cranleigh and the latter is now chairman of the Cranleigh Conservative Association.

Now the former Guildford Cons Treasurer, John Beckwith-Smith Councillor Young’s business partner, has pitched in with his scheme to build 53 homes at Windacres Farm, in Cox Green, which is on the Surrey/ Sussex border but within the Waverley borough. On the West side of Cox Green Planning Application: WA/2018/1109 

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As you will see Surrey County Council is perfectly happy to trouser £160,206 for early years schooling and £35,672 for Primary Schooling – ALL IN “POOR OLD CRANLEIGH!”

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However, it is slightly more circumspect about Secondary Education saying – there is plenty of Capacity at Glebelands.

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So more coming soon?

Just across the other side of Cox Green another Conservative Councillor – one Horsham Councillor John Bailey or (JCB) as he is known locally wants to build a further 57 on his farmland.

Ewhurst PC meeting has discussed the scheme and agreed to object, but its Waverley councillor (Con) Val Henry has already pinned her colours to JBC’s coat-tails saying she will support the application! No surprise there then!!

A difficult and potentially very unfair situation has now arisen in nearby Rudgwick. In the normal course of events, as Horsham District Council is the authority that determines planning applications you would expect that (JCB) the Cllr for Rudgwick Ward would be actively engaged in lobbying to help his constituents – 57 letters of objection have already been racked up but sadly  not possible as the applicant is its very own Horsham (JCB) district councillor!!

Instead it would appear although Conservative Cllr John Bailey claims quite correctly in his planning application for houses at Cox Green that his land there has not been farmed, except for haymaking (and the steam show),  that he has begun ploughing the land with a view to becoming the smallest arable farmer in England and to keep a few cattle for the first time in memory (years ago the Bailey business was local milk delivery). Might this have something to do with justifying his large barn?

So, in other words, Rudgwick & Cox Green have effectively, no representation on HDC or WBC to speak on their behalf.

And … there could be more homes in just one of the two developments than there are now in the whole of Cox Green (both in Sussex and Surrey).

 

Another shedload of homes on their way to the countryside in Alfold – adjacent to Dunsfold Airfield.

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A Government Inspector has just granted an appeal for a development of 23 homes, nine of which will be “affordable” at  Brockhurst Farm.

The site is adjacent to the Dunsfold Road (the approach road to Dunsfold Park)  on one side and the A281 at  Alfold Crossways on the other. The access will be from Dunsfold Road.

The development granted following an appeal hearing during the Summer is on a field of around 4.4 hectares subdivided by a conifer hedge between Dunsfold Road and the A281 Horsham to Guildford Road. Described by the inspector as being ‘unremarkable’ and due to its close proximity to the A281 was hardly “remote or tranquil.”

The Inspector refused another considerably larger appeal on the same land which is outside the settlement of Alfold saying it would harm the rural character of the area and the amenities of the nearby Brockhurst Cottages and nearby the residential properties of Spinners and Yeomans Cottage.

But he approved the second smaller scheme believing it would do less harm and was in line with the Government’s housing requirements as it would provide nine much needed ‘affordable homes’ in the vicinity. He also argued that insufficient site had been identified in Part 2 of Waverley’s Local Plan adding that Alfold’s Neighbourhood Plan had – “barely got off the starting blocks.”

His remarks that Alfold had no designated landscapes and therefore was not “a valued landscape,” will undoubtedly go down like a lead balloon with the residents of Alfold, a village it is no doubt already wishing that its county border of West Sussex, on which its sits, could be rearranged so it drops  into Sussex!

There are presently 55 homes under construction at Sweeters Copse in Alfold’s Loxwood Road and planning permission was granted recently for a similar size development on the Wyevale Garden Centre a short distance away at the Alfold Crossways. It is believed the developer is now seeking a larger scheme?

Screen Shot 2018-09-14 at 23.22.13.pngLocal campaigners including the Protect Our Waverley Group  (POW) and the Campaign For the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) have been given leave for a Judicial Review into both Waverley’s local Plan and The Dunsfold Park Scheme for a new village of  1,800 homes on the airfield site. This will be heard in the High Court on 9 -10th October.

The full transcript of the Inspector’s decision can be found hereAppeal Decision OT200-007-860 (1) (1)

 

They seek him here… they seek him there?

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You seek us here, you seek us there,
Those damned Councillors seek us everywhere!
Are we in heaven? Are we in hell?
Where are those damned elusive Waverley swells,
Who cause us all such utter frustration
Posting every day of the week!
Spoiling every lovely vacation
with our bloody cheek!

(With apologies to Baroness Orczy)

Like the Scarlet Pimpernel, who worked in the dark, his identity known only to his immediate followers, so, too, the Waverley Webbers are forced to hide our identities so that we may succeed in accomplishing the task we set ourselves.

Awareness is rising and tempers are flying as more and more fields are being concreted over and local residents wake up to the fact that neither Green Belt nor agricultural fields are sacrosanct, and SSSIs are barely hanging on by their fingertips. Hits on the Waverley Web are now at an all-time high as local residents – not to mention local Councillors – log in, desperate to know what’s going on – not only across the Borough but in the field at the end of their road! We hear that some councillors spend more time worrying about us, then getting on with the job they were elected for!

So, who are the Waverley Webbers and where do we meet is a question that is repeatedly and increasingly being posed by our readers … not to mention Julia Potts and Bob Lies, neither of whom would dream of admitting they read the Waverley Web … as if!

Sadly, we can’t name names because, if we did,  the public, officers and councillors would all stop confiding in us.

Suffice to say,

  • we’re the slightly plump, harassed-looking mother of two who slings her Barbour and Du Barrys on over her PJs, for the school run, and hopes no one notices!

 

  • We’re the chap in the bright red corduroys, purchased in Allans of Petworth, propping up the bar at The Sun Inn in Dunsfold.

 

  • We’re the silver-surfer, with the perma-tan, courtesy of regular trips to our villa in Umbria – so much cheaper and more upmarket than Tuscany, don’t ya know!

 

  • The slick, young lawyer who’s just moved down from London, into the big house up the road, because the kids got into Cranleigh School. Yay!

 

  • We’re the postman …, the plumber and the electrician … the people you chat to, oh so casually, and sound off to, over a cup of tea, after a job well done. We’re the hairdresser – who hasn’t told a soul about your facelift (honest!) – and the manicurist you prattle on to …

Like all caped-crusaders – Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, et al – we have to disguise our identities, otherwise, we risk getting L’Air du Novichok through the post or the poisoned umbrella treatment in the village shop from the Dunsfold KGB!

We are a broad church, we have no political allegiances – if anything we believe local politics should be A-political and entirely independent of any political party. We believe the make-up of councils should be balanced and not dominated by one particular party they should be open, honest and transparent. Not hold pre-meetings about pre-meetings about meetings that by the time they are held are so sanitised they are hardly worth listening to.

 Our methods may be a tad unconventional – you might have noticed, we don’t care about diversity or political correctness – but we’re all the more readable for it.

The Waverley Web was the brainchild of a Farnham resident who sat down one morning, with a cup of La Torcaza – that’s coffee to you and me – and tried to log on to Waverley Matters, a website he’d become addicted to because it not only told him everything Waverley Borough Council didn’t want him to know, it also made him chuckle with its irreverent prose. But, no matter how hard he tried – and, boy, did he try – he couldn’t find Waverley Matters. It had disappeared into the ether. After days of searching and weeks of despondency, deprived of his regular ‘fix’ of the mutter in the Waverley gutter, our Hero decided if Waverley Matters had crashed and burned – did someone die or did the author simply leave the Borough? – if no one else was going to dig-the-dirt in Waverley, he’d have to stop being an amused bystander and become the Borough’s new Caped-Crusader or arachnoid on the web.

We’d like to claim our Hero’s daily posts were an overnight sensation but, truth be told, it was more like waiting for a kettle to boil when the Aga’s in slumber mode! But with an explosion of development on their doorstep – the people of Cranleigh can’t step outside their porches without tripping over a concrete mixer – it wasn’t too long before our Hero’s in-box was groaning with posts from disgruntled and disaffected residents and that’s when the Waverley Web really took off.

In the early days no one used their real names – they were just anonymous fingers sending local news over the internet but slowly, gradually as trust built and outrage grew over what was going on behind ‘YW’s’ closed doors – never mind David Cameron’s Kitchen-Cabinet, Cranleigh Parish Councillors, Brian & Patricia Ellis and Stuart & Jeanette Stennett, were holding secret meetings with the Lettuce King and Andy Leafy, around their dining room tables! a coffee morning was arranged.

When Ford Prefect met Rita Skeeter and they were joined by Bridget Jones and Mattie Storin, coffee morphed into brunch, which slid into afternoon tea and before you know it they ended up in a lock-in at … That would be telling but, suffice to say, the rest is history. Those few brave souls, who’d had enough of developers appropriating their green and pleasant fields and dumper trucks ruining their quiet country lanes, they set about cultivating informants and using undercover agents to infiltrate the Council and, whisper it quietly officers too. And now that Charterhouse and Cranleigh schools are  planning to sell off some of their playing fields the people of both towns say ‘enough’s enough!’ and they, too, want to join the growing band of Waverley Webbers because if Waverley Officers, POW and the Campaign for some parts of Rural England (CPRE)  get their way development is coming to a field near you!

Clever Nigel Pilling has already found us in Broadwater Park. Full marks Nigel.

 

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That’s one helluva web you found in Godalming Nigel?

 

 

 

 

50 years ago today​ – the rains came down when Surrey – and parts of ‘Your Waverley’ went under water.

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Here’s a map showing all the serious flood areas including Farnham, Elstead, Bramley, Alfold   Cranleigh and Godalming.  Homes and businesses wallowed in floodwater and raw sewage, and despite the herculean efforts of firefighters, nothing could stop the huge flow of water. It cascaded down from the hills above Cranleigh into the valley below. Parts of Godalming were cut off when the River Wey flooded the Lammas Lands.

Now planning permissions have been granted for new developments on floodplains all around the towns and villages affected by the 1968 floods! But it didn’t just end there on the days following the heavy rains over the 14/15 September 1968. Parts of the borough flooded again in 1981, 1985, 2014 and they will again! It is just a question of time because before heavy rains fall on our parade! The Waverley borough sits on heavy Wealden clay and includes rivers like the Wey through Godalming and the Cranleigh Waters which run into The Wey and onto Guildford and The Thames.   So the Waverley Borough’s problems then become Guildford’s problem and beyond!

 

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Cllr Holder to the rescue! He’ll be solving our trains … a new railway line for Cranleigh, and boosting Chinese tourism!

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Even if you have never watched a clip from a Waverley Council  Webcast – this link below is a MUST DO!

If you watch one Scrutiny Committee this year – Cllr Holder’s comments on the Economic Strategy certainly are an eye-opener!

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• He’s meeting with Jeremy Hunt and the MD of the railways to knock the train capacities into shape.
• He’s also creating a new railway line between Cranleigh & Guildford
• He’s talking to the Chinese Cultural attache to encourage Chinese tourism, and he’s managed to find a local Mandarin speaker (Jeremy Hunt’s wife no less!) to translate his barmy ideas.
• He’s reprinting the pamphlet ‘Lutyens in Waverley’ in Mandarin to snare those Chinese tourists and to encourage them to visit Charterhouse School and our high streets to spend their Yuan.

The Councillor without portfolio for Hambledon & Witley and formerly for Dunsfold certainly loves a meeting with the great and good to show off his talents. But what exactly has he ever actually done, other than opposing development on the largest brownfield site in the borough and support development in the countryside?!

PS Apparently there a great deal of mutter in the Conservative gutter about the identity of the Waverley Web.

Coming soon – TheWaverley Web unmasked?

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Is a Godalming Tory jumping on the local residents’ bandwagon​?

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Have the residents of Godalming bounced the Tory-dominated town council into objecting to a planning application it would have preferred to see approved? 

Is one of the Tories now smoothing the way for the Tory-dominated borough planners to give it the go-ahead? 

You will see from the letter below that Godalming Town Council has registered its objection to a development of 262 dwellings on land between New Way & Aarons Hill, Godalming.

No surprise there then after more than 70 people turned up and another 170 registered their objection to development in the GREEN BELT that would join Godalming to Guildford Godalming Town Council backs residents’ fight – plans just not good enough for green belt site.

Or bearing in mind the Waverley Web’s post yesterday – perhaps that would be just what the new Unitary Authority would want? Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

Councillor Andrew Bolton reminds residents on Facebook that – it is Waverley Council that will determine the application, NOT the Town Council. No doubt, just in case residents dare to think their very vocal opposition is going to make one jot of difference at Waverley Towers. 

Please, Councillor Bolton, don’t treat the voting fodder like idiots! They know full well that it is the borough council’s function to refuse or permit planning applications. Residents aim of turning out in force was to register their opposition, to their town councillors, the people they elected to represent their views. Because like the residents in the East of the borough they know that if it doesn’t move, Waverley officers will recommend developing it, and unless councillors break the habit of a lifetime Tory councillors will follow their lead! Neither were residents asking you to predetermine an application. But just giving you a gentle reminder that it is your function as a Godalming Town Councillor to not only listen but HEAR and act on the concerns. You ignore the mood of Godalming people at your peril. 

To remind them of the lack of funds for Green Oaks and then mention that the developers’ twenty pieces of silver – or as you describe it as 106 monies for infrastructure, could provide “substantial support for Green Oaks School” and that it may not survive without it was not only disingenuous but a disgraceful veiled threat.  Dare we suggest you were more than a little put out that a motion to object came from the opposition? An opposition that is proving itself to be very effective?

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Don’t forget the changes to the Guildford Local Plan for the other half of the field. Guildford’s consultation started on 11 September and will run until 23 October 2018. You can all comment on the proposed removal from the Green Belt here: https://www.guildford.gov.uk/newlocalplan/examination

 

Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

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Councillors and officers looked like rabbits caught in a set of headlights as the member for Witley & Hambledon threw this little missile into the meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Value for Money Committee.

No doubt, Cllr Holder (Witley & Hambledon) is willing to help sabotage the county council because he’s preparing to join the big band of Conservative councillors intent on leaving the 50 strong Tory contingents at Waverley. Presumably in these discussions at a meeting yesterday on the borough’s future Economic Strategy he is predicting the demise of Waverley Council too?

So will  ‘Your Waverley’ be gobbled up by  Guildford and Woking?

WW bets that Surrey’s Leader – ‘Hodge the Bodge’ will be keen to scotch this?

 

 

Waverley’s Jim Edwards was so pleased with his new Economic Strategy …

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… that he took the Waverley executive on a coach tour of business parks, including this one at Dunsfold.

You know the airfield that the locals have repeatedly objected to its expansion for business or anything else!

The executives are pictured here on the starting blocks to push the council’s new economic strategy forward.  Or could it be the same as the old one, just with no officers left to carry it out!

 

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On your marks – get set – GO!

 

When members of Waverley’s Value for Money Overview and Scrutiny Committee sat down to scrutinise the draft strategy last night there were some glum faces. Waverley had brought in ‘experts’ (Atkins Consultants) to write a document which councillors said they hadn’t had time to peruse – some hadn’t even received it!

Ah well nothing, like scrutinising something you have hardly read, or haven’t seen at all, is there? A document that will go to the Executive for approval on 9 October!

Suffice to say those who had “skimmed through” the document said much was missing. No surprise there then!

Councillors identified that although there were 8,200 businesses in Waverley the document had not taken into account there were many rural businesses in a mainly rural borough but there was no reference to them. Dunsfold’s Councillor John Gray said the figures just didn’t add up – “It says here there are only 85 people employed in 165 rural businesses – what about agriculture, forestry etc?”

Councillor Mike Band wanted to know where was The Surrey Hills Management Plan was identified? A group partly funded by Waverley?

Richard Seaborne suggested the document, particularly the Executive Summary should be  “tidied up” and should include some important figures – like the size of Waverley’s economy which was £4.7billion. He said “A goodly number of highly educated highly paid people who live in the borough and use its services work outside the borough. I want to see more detail on the in-out economy? Does Waverly have the staff or the skills to monitor the document?’

The document didn’t portray an overall picture said, David Round. Including infrastructure, the overcrowded trains from Haslemere included. He claimed 80% of the money that flowed into Waverley came from the City – that is the driver of Waverley’s economy. He highlighted the amount of office and retail space being lost to residential partly due to increased business rates – “are we telling the Government – if we all bleat it may listen.”

Stephen Mulliner shared many of his colleagues’ reservations – “truth is –  a local authority is not best placed to carry out the actions in this document termed as – SMART – which he asked to be removed – we don’t have the money or the staff to do that. We are not a business” 

The man behind the document, Jolly Jim Edwards looking not quite so jolly at the end, said that the need for the important Economic Strategy was prompted by CRATUS – ( brought in by CEO Tom Horwood to review Waverley.)  “We all have to realise we are making a real sea change here  – there is a long way to go but at least we’ve made a start.”

Not a very good one, judging by the way it was received! A bit like Elsies – Culture Strategy?Do we have a Cultural Strategy or do we have 230 pages weighing over – 600 grams – of expensive tripe?

Councillors agreed to form a small group to do further work on the document urgently before recommending it to the Executive. 

 

 

Caption competition – Help the Local Tories with their leaflets?

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Conservative central office kindly sends out a template for local Councillors to fill in and pretend they are ‘In Touch’ This does rely on them having something to say. Nothing stops a Tory sticking out a leaflet with their faces in it – not even basic editing.

Unfortunately, the Godalming edition was sent to the printers with the templates still incomplete!
We’d like to offer a bottle of Silent Pool Gin to the best caption writer out there – Please comment below!

So which local Tory is being beaten up over this glaring error? Perhaps Jeremy’s agent and local co-ordinator Edward Norman will consider his position or is he now too busy in Woking, Runnymede & Weybridge to spot these glaring mistakes.

Here at the Waverley Web we have one of our own:

‘Hands up if you think we can manage to get our leaflets in shape- let alone protect Godalming.’

 

 

Four things Charterhouse Greenbelt campaigners are doing for Godalming.

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Godalming campaigners are working to save the Green Belt playing fields, where Charterhouse School wants to build 132 houses, have upped their campaigning game.

Here are four things that are pushing their campaigning activities forward:

  1. They have discovered Photoshop and have started trolling Charterhouse with these great spoof images:

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2. They have set up a campaign website, where you can find out about saving Broom & Lees playing fields here.

3. They have set up a closed Facebook Groupdo apply to join it. We understand that local Tory Councillors have been forced to log in and join to defend their actions – and their seats in 2019!

4. They have started leafleting the local community!

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Here at the Waverley Web, we applaud you. Well done, we support you bringing pressure to bear!

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CPRE helping to solve England’s housing crisis everywhere – except of course – in Waverley?

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The Campaign for the Protection (CPRE) of only some parts of Rural England and certainly not the green belt or Waverley’s countryside – claims the root of England’s housing crisis lies in how land is bought and sold. When agricultural land receives planning consent the land typically becomes at least 100 times more valuable.

It believes that more of this huge uplift in value should be captured to provide benefits to the community. If there was more confidence that more of the gains from development was invested in improved landscaping and attractive green spaces;  in affordable housing and public services like new doctors surgeries and schools, then there would be less opposition to new development and much better infrastructure.

Now there’s a coincidence! CPRE takes Dunsfold Park to Judicial Review in the Autumn actually preventing everything it cites as good planning above from taking place! Limits its costs for taking US – the ratepayers to the High Court at £10,000, and lands us, with a £300,000+ bill! 

The CPRE windbags claim the Government should think radically about reforming the way we capture planning gain for the community. Saying first, they should monitor the implementation of their welcome changes to Section 106 to ensure that councils deliver and developers do not continue to wriggle out of their commitments.

Or in Waverley’s case lets developers off the hook, either because they can’t get their act together with the education authority, or allow 106 contributions to fund expensive leisure facilities for private schools; or are duped by developers who convince them that they can’t make enough money, on some schemes if they build affordable homes!!!

Will Farnham’s Woolmead development – minus affordable homes – boost Berkeley’s profits even further?

CPRE (who will soon have a borough councillor from the local organisation in its midst after the 2019 elections- you heard it here first) say Government could give local planners a stronger role in buying and assembling land for housing. Thus, allowing them to plan new developments more effectively, share the benefits for the community and approve developments in places local people accept.

 They should reform the 1961 Land Compensation Act to clarify that local authorities are able to compulsorily purchase land at a fair market value that does not include prospective planning permission, rather than speculative “hope” value.

Too often in Britain, new housing is not good enough and comes without the infrastructure and public services required to support it. Other countries do a better job of making attractive new places to live, by making sure that development profits the community as a whole. Unless we learn from them, Britain’s housing crisis will remain.

WW can’t help thinking that if the national organisations followed the Waverley CPRE’s branch’s rhetoric no homes would be built anywhere – near anyone?

 

 

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Godalming Town Council backs residents’ fight – plans just not good enough for green belt site.

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Residents, backed by Waverley Councillor Paul Follows ensured that everyone was made aware of the threat of expansion into their treasured green belt countryside at Aarons Hill. 

Last night after a packed meeting Godalming Town Council heard some well-researched concerns and objections from residents and councillors alike. And the townsfolk were rewarded for their efforts getting the backing they had hoped for!

WW can’t help wondering why so many town councillors, who are also borough councillors backed a Local Plan that rolled back Godalming’s green belt in the first place? Could it be because they are Tories – one of whom later gave his Lib Dem colleague an ear-bashing!

A  resident told us that Tory “Town and borough Councillor, Comrade  Stefan  ” I voted for the Labour Party’ Reynolds’  interrupted his Lib Dem colleague after Councillor Follows claimed he was the only Waverley councillor in the room who didn’t vote for Waverley’s  Local Plan which included removing this site from the greenbelt! Following, Follows –    Comrade Reynold retorted – ‘well I didn’t!’ after which   – Councillor Follows was forced to remind him –  that was only because he DIDNT SHOW UP AT THE MEETING TO VOTE AT ALL!’

It seemed the Town Councillors had little choice but to represent their community, with only one abstention coming from the grumpy Steve Cosser (Con Charterhouse). Three Councillors were absent, including County Councillor for Aaron’s Hill Peter Martin. No surprise there then?

The upshot:

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Thanks to the efforts of the people of Godalming round one of the battle to preserve the town from becoming part of greater Guildford has been won. But the war with Waverley planners is to follow.

Godalming town council supported Paul Follows’s proposal to object formally to the development on Aarons Hill. A  formal letter will  be released by the council today (Friday)

Here’s how the Waverley Web has covered the tumultuous events of the past few days.

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

 

Will Farnham’s Woolmead development – minus affordable​ homes – boost Berkeley’s profits even further​?​

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HOW TO DUPE WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL… just follow the Berkeley Bunnies?

Recently Waverley planning officers persuaded councillors to support another housing development with NO affordable homes, despite having an agreed Local Plan policy to provide 30%!

So the Berkeley Bunnies will soon be burrowing into Farnham’s East Street without having to spend a penny on any ‘affordable homes because officers convinced everyone that ‘experts’ had deduced that if the developer was forced to do so the 147 dwelling development would be unviable. Same happened in Haslemere.

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For years Berkleys has been pulling the same old ruse with local authorities around the country. Raking in squillions over the past seven years – by not providing low-cost homes.

Everyone is still asking three years after consent was granted at an appeal for 425 homes, 30% of which were to be affordable in Cranleigh – where are they?

Hounslow council accepted that Berkeley could only build 20% of a 308-unit scheme as affordable – half the local authority’s affordable target! To build those units, Berkeley stated in a planning agreement, that would mean the scheme would be £24.6m in deficit. Berkeley told Hounslow that house sales would generate £132m. Berkeley did agree to make an extra payment to Hounslow capped at £8.3m in the event of the scheme performing well.

Land Registry data suggest that the scheme generated close to £250m, with one apartment selling for £4.55m.

Berkeley’s shares have soared on the back of the profits, creating a fortune for the company’s senior executives, who since 2008 have been given shares worth £610m. Pidgley himself holds an additional 4.4m shares, worth £163m. The shares have more than trebled in value over the past decade.

You can read one Waverley councillor’s’view of the recent planning decisions here: 

Is Waverley’s new boy concerned about his role on the planning committee?

The housebuilder Berkeley Group’s founder and chairman, Tony Pidgley, raised by travellers just outside the Waverley borough, has earned £174m over the past decade, and is set to be paid another £48m by the company over the next five years, which will make him one of the highest paid bosses of a public company in Britain.

His pay package has attracted the anger of politicians and housing campaigners as investigations uncovered that the company has reduced its affordable housing obligations in the overwhelming majority of its developments.

So watch out Cranleigh!

Berkeley’s shares have soared on the back of the profits, creating a fortune for the company’s senior executives, who since 2008 received shares worth £610m. Pidgley holds an additional 4.4m shares, worth £163m. These have more than trebled in value over the past decade.

However, the housebuilding barons are now selling shares worth £300m!  Among them, Chairman Pidgley (£65m) and Chief Executive Rob Perrins (£37m)

Is that a downturn in the property market we hear?

Although the company has restricted future bonus payouts following shareholder anger, the top six executives could still collect another £127m over the next four years. Pidgley, who has amassed a £310m fortune according to the Sunday Times rich list, is set for up to £48m.

The Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, said Pidgley and other housebuilders have a duty to the nation to build more affordable housing especially if they are personally making “vast fortunes” from building expensive homes.

“Tony Pidgley is rightly regarded as a sage of the housebuilding industry, with an impressive record of calling the housing market correctly. That explains why he is well-paid,” Cable said.

“But housebuilders who are making these vast fortunes must also understand that they have a social responsibility to make sure the country has the homes we so desperately need. Shareholders must make sure that executives are not rewarded for a poor record on affordable housing because that does not encourage them to do the right thing and make sure we have a sustainable housing market.”

Will Godalming​ get the traffic​ chaos and Guildford get the bunce?

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Last night Guildford Borough Council decided to forge ahead with its plans to join Guildford with Godalming putting almost 500 homes on the boroughs’ borders at Aaron’s Hill.

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You can read the complete report that was considered by Guildford BC’s Executive when it agreed to waive the call-in procedure and agree to the inclusion in the Local Plan to allow Ashill to build 200+ homes adjacent to the 263+ planned by ‘Your Waverley’ on the green belt boundary between the towns “immediately.’

But new Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Follows questioned the Guildford Executive’s decision asking how the extra burden of traffic and services on Godalming would be dealt with? It’s the same field – but half the residents would not get ANY services from Godalming!!!! Guildford will provide!

WW wonders why the Conservative councillors, supposedly serving their electors in Godalming are silent on the subject? Surely such an important strategic green belt site in the countryside that is now ‘an urban extension to Godalming’, must be of some concern to them too?

WW has heard that other than Councillor Follows and residents of his ward NOBODY, yes, NOBODY from Waverley attended. Not attending another boroughs executive when it’s this important? 

Also, Cllr Tony Rooth, IND (former Tory, Pilgrims Ward) had a crack at suggesting that the Aaron’s Hill bit be shelved but he was immediately trodden on from a great height by Guildford BC’s chairperson and his successor as leader. But full marks to him for having a go.

 The ‘masterplanning’ bit was obviously a total nonsense. Clearly, a full site plan exists.

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Let’s read that second answer from Guildford again: “We do not envisage that these homes will rely on services provided by Waverley Borough Council, which Guildford Borough Council would normally provide” And presumably not rely on any services from Godalming Town Council either?
• Will they be banned from the Wilfrid Noyce?
• Will they be excluded from the Godalming cemetery next door?
• Will they be uninvited to Godalming Farmers markets?!
• Will all the residents be shopping and parking in Shackleford (whose Parish they are now in)?!

It’s not as easy as Guildford Councillors are suggesting! What’s more, they know it, Waverley planners know it, and WE KNOW KNOW IT DON”T WE? Because more and more people are reading the Waverley Web!

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Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

GBC Questions: Supplementary Information Sheet

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt​ should be done.

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 Residents have decided they will not sit idly by and watch Godalming become Godawfulming or become part of Greater Guildford.

So they have put together a 72-page dossier that ‘Your Waverley’ will have to weigh-in rather than register!

Waverley’s new boy – Councillor Paul Follows – is it only six months since he was elected – seems like years – is, quite obviously, having an impact on the town he serves.  Because the good folk of Godalming are in fight-mode and planners may find it more difficult to support the spread of concrete across the green belt than they first thought? The proposed and combined development – a further 200 plus homes for Guildford would be the largest single expansion of the Godalming settlement boundary.

At a stroke, it would increase the population of Godalming by 4-5% and 8-10% taking the Guildford site into consideration.

objectionsubmitted.jpgResidents say the proposed development by Ashill in Eashing Lane ‘will have profound and long-lasting consequences for the whole of Godalming as well as the surrounding immediate area.’

You can read here why Godalming residents are so incensed by the bid to build 200+ homes on a site which has been included in the Local Plan, by rolling back the green belt.

WW wonders why the Tory councillors were so silent about the land being included in the Local Plan in the first place? 

Godalming Ashill Development is getting the bumsrush from residents.

Here’s the link to the 79 Page Objection Letter

Ignore the people of Godalming at your peril Waverley Planners!

Godalming Town Council will consider the application at the Town Council Meeting on Thursday 6th September at the Waverley Council Chamber.