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Sites for development allocated in Waverley’s LPP2 in Witley & Milford.

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Here are the proposed sites in these two villages now earmarked for development in Waverley’s Draft Local Plan Part 2.   The public will have an opportunity to comment on these proposals when the public consultation takes place sometime during October.

‘ Your Waverley’s’ long-awaited Local Plan Part 2 has been launched.

Knockdown not lock-down for ‘ Your Waverley’s Local Plan Part 2.

SITE ALLOCATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT POLICIES

However, in Chairman Carole Cockburn’s race to have her say on the next phase of the important new document, she said she wouldn’t refer to residents questions. She told the Overview & Scrutiny committee that the public should refer to the council’s website if they wanted to know what   Milford’s Kathy Smythe and Parish Cllr Gillian McCalden had to say.

The link is here:  Supplement Environment OS Committee 22 SEPT 2020 – Item 4. Questions from members of the public 22

According to the report considered by the Environment O & S Committee, the allocations for future development now proposed for Milford and Witley comprise three sites. Two of these (Land at Highcroft, between Haslemere Road and Petworth Road and Land at Wheeler Street Nurseries) were proposed allocations in the earlier draft presubmission document. They are relatively small sites (providing 7 and 20 dwellings respectively).

The other site now proposed  – (supported by Witley Parish Council in the link above ) for allocation, is the land at Secretts, Hurst Farm, and Milford.

The land and buildings on the Milford nursery site now stand derelict. No more pick your own?

The sites at Coneycroft and Manor Lodge, Milford and Land West of Petworth Road, Witley, that were proposed for allocation in the draft Plan considered in October 2018, are no longer included in the current draft  The Secretts site is not within one of the broad locations that LPP1 identified as having potential for removal from the Green Belt and was not, therefore, included as a proposed allocation in earlier draft versions of LPP2. However, officers have critically evaluated the situation and have also been mindful of the community support for the allocation of the Secretts site, expressed through the Parish Council. At a Witley Parish Council meeting on Thursday 27th February 2020, the following resolution was made:

“The preferred location for the majority of the remaining housing that Witley Parish has to deliver by 2032, to meet its target, is the land at the Secretts site in the centre of the village of Milford.” 

Given the local support for Secretts to be considered for allocation, the Council sought legal advice on whether any Green Belt sites lying outside the LPP1 ‘asterisked’ areas could be considered for removal from the Green Belt in LPP2. The advice given is that there is nothing in law to prevent the Council from considering sites outside the broad areas identified in LPP1. However, if the Council were to consider a site outside of these areas then there would need to be clear and cogent reasons for doing so.

You can read more on the link here: Draft Pre-Submission LPP2 – Committee Version – September 2020

The Tories are revolting.

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‘No community wants this’: Sussex new town plans anger local Tories

Although the Waverley Web mainly concentrates on all things Waverley/Surrey – the county is not an island and development on Waverley’s borders – e.g. Bordon – affects all our lives here in Farnham.

This scheme in Adversane adjoins the Surrey/Sussex border near Loxwood and Dunsfold and would mainly access the A281 Guildford to Horsham Road.

The scheme named Kingswood for nearly 3,000 new homes assembled by Sir Michael Hintze, who has given £4.6m to the Conservatives is a hop, skip and a jump from Dunsfold’s new garden village (2,600) homes on the former airfield on the outskirts of Cranleigh 

Sketches of the proposed new town of Kingswood, near Horsham in Sussex.
 Sketches of the proposed new town of Kingswood, on the Surrey/Sussex border. Not to be confused with Surrey’s Kingswood.

Plans for a new town in rural Sussex backed by one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors and close allies of Prince Charles are exposing a split in the Tory party over how to rapidly accelerate housebuilding.

The scheme for 2,850 homes, is being proposed on open fields at Adversane which has been assembled by hedge fund billionaire Sir Michael Hintze who has given £4.6m to the Conservatives. Its design is partly inspired by Poundbury, the ersatz Georgian town in Dorset created by Prince Charles, and Sir Michael Peat, the Prince of Wales’s former private secretary is a director of the development company.

But it is being opposed by local Conservative MP Andrew Griffith, who said:

“it is the wrong type of development in the wrong place” and local Tory councillors who have warned: “No community wants this on their doorstep.”

It looks set to be a test case for the government’s controversial new planning strategy announced last month which is set to relax national planning rules and set significantly higher local housebuilding targets in areas including Horsham.

John Halsall, the Tory leader of Wokingham borough council in Berkshire, which is also facing central government demands to build significantly more homes warned of a high political cost saying

“You won’t have a Tory left in the south or south-east of England.”

Some of the land is owned by Eton College, the alma mater of the prime minister, Boris Johnson. The largest parcel which would be built over is a farm purchased by Hintze for £10m from Mike Stock, the songwriter behind a string of 1980s hits by Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and Bananarama.

Local opponents say the project – which could ultimately create a town of around 10,000 people – threatens rare wildlife, an increase in car congestion and risks becoming a dormitory for London commuters.

“There is an enormous amount of antipathy to this scheme,” said Julian Trumper, a local resident organising opposition. “Horsham has already taken enough of Sussex’s requirement to build housing and this potential growth is unsustainable. Infrastructure and road and rail links are insufficient. The displacement to wildlife and established ecosystems by building a new town in the open countryside is incalculable.”

The project claims that it will: “focus on building a community for people of all ages and providing a platform for economic opportunity and sustainable growth” and will champion the principle of “beauty” in town planning identified by Sir Roger Scruton in his report to the government on planning and architecture.

Kingswood sketch
 Kingswood promises to be a ‘socially inclusive, mixed-income development’ with ‘community at the heart’. 

But the row over whether it should go ahead exposes a growing schism in Conservative ranks over two proposed reforms to accelerate housebuilding.

The first is a new planning system that will make it easier and quicker for developers to build on greenfield sites, which Conservative councillors have complained undermines local democratic involvement by proposing zones where detailed planning consents would not be required.

The second is new inflated house building targets which backbench Conservative MPs and council leaders have criticised as too high and ignoring local needs. The new target for Horsham would see the area required to deliver 1,715 new homes a year, more than double the current target of 800. 

Waverley Web: A few things you should know about the government’s new planning White Paper.

The high status of Kingswood’s backers – with close links to the top of government and the monarchy – has also sparked fears that local influence could be further undermined, with opponents citing the planning scandal earlier this year in which it emerged that the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, backed a project by party donor Richard Desmond against the advice of officials.

In other words, it is not what you know but who you know in the wonderful world of developers?

“After what we saw with Jenrick and Desmond, we have the impression that the property developers are doing all this with barely any local democracy at all.

 A spokesperson for Horsham district council said:

“Any site that is allocated in the next step of the local plan process will be subject to full public scrutiny at a public examination conducted by an independent planning inspector. Each site will be assessed to determine whether it is suitable, achievable and available, in a public arena.”

The local Conservative MP, Andrew Griffith, said: “We are building on greenfield, we’re not using brownfield land. This is the wrong type of development in the wrong place. The identity of the landowner is not important. I am giving voice to constituent concerns.”He told a Commons debate earlier this month: “So many of my constituents in villages of every letter of the alphabet, are having their lives blighted by the prospect of inappropriate and unsustainable development”.

Philip Circus, a Conservative member of Horsham council in whose ward the development is proposed, added:

“I am not interested that people are connected with royalty or people that donate to the Conservative party. It cuts no ice with me. We don’t feel any compulsion to doff our caps to anyone other than the residents. This is a rural community which in infrastructure terms does not look like an area for major housing development.”

The Kingswood masterplan has been submitted for inclusion in Horsham district council’s local plan, which is currently out to public consultation.  The director of the development company, Dominic Richards, was formerly a director at the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community – the heir to the throne’s architecture and planning charity which promotes traditional urbanism.

Could Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan put a spanner in the works of plans to build a new care home?

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Your Waverley’s Draft Local Plan Part 2 has now been published. Included, are Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI’s) (ASVI’s.)  This policy aims to protect areas from development

 Sites in Farnham, Haslemere, Godalming and Cranleigh are included which are considered by the council to be areas that contribute to the particular character of an area.

 In Cranleigh’s case, it aims to protect an area around the Snoxhall Fields and in particular, the site proposed by The Cranleigh Village Hospital Health Trust (CVHT) for a controversial new private 64-bed Care Home –   16 community continuing care beds – and an apartment block of 14 individual one and two-bedroom self-contained apartments. A scheme which is a 20% reduction on an application refused in 2019. An appeal has also been lodged Planning Inspectors reference: APP/R3650/W/20/3253368 against the refusal of the larger scheme for an 80-bed care home for Surrey people and 28 bedsits for health workers in Surrey. Comments can be made to the Inspector by the 23 October at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk Or by letter to Tommy Caie, Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN.

The former Guildford & Waverley CCG has since April 2020 become part of a huge organisation called Surrey Heartlands. This includes CCG’s from –  East Surrey; Guildford & Waverley; North West Surrey and Surrey Downs.

Links:

A Cranleigh Charity has now unveiled its new development plans to village leaders…

Zoom in on Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s latest cunning plan?

Could Waverley’s Draft  Local Plan Part 2 put a spanner in The works of a bid to build a controversial new care home in Cranleigh Town Centre.

 

Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVIs is a local designation that was developed as part of the Local Plan Briefs of 1981 and 1984. The importance of the designation is to protect areas of land unprotected by national landscape designations, but that still need protection because of the role they play in establishing the character of a locality and preventing coalescence between developed areas.

 The issues that the designation addresses are:

    1. Where land is vulnerable to development pressure
    2. Where protection is essential due to strategic visual importance
    3. Where there are strong environmental reasons
    4. For the preservation of the character of the locality
    5. In order to prevent coalescence
    6. Where parcels of land are relatively small and open on the urban fringe  The designation was reviewed as part of the LLDR undertaken for Local Plan Part 1 but detailed boundary changes were not considered. Local Plan Part 1 retains the existing ASVI areas under Policy RE3 following the conclusions of the LLDR, pending a review of the detailed boundaries in Local Plan Part 2.

So the question is? Will Waverley Planners continue once again refuse the scheme due to go before them shortly. bearing in mind that the site is – in the opinion of Cranleigh residents who signed off on the Cranleigh Parish’s `Neighbourhood Plan, now with Inspectors – an Area of Strategic Visual Importance?

Just hours after villagers delivered a crushing blow to plans to build a private care home in Cranleigh, the application​ was refused.

The residents over there in the eastern villages, who dug deep into their pockets to supply £1.8m to build a new hospital will now have to wait and see if Waverley Planners will succumb to the threat of a costly public inquiry before a Government Inspector that now hangs over them? 

Villagers are now asking? How can a local charity Cranleigh Village Hospital Health Trust (CVHT) afford yet another expensive planning application with all that it entails, plus an appeal that includes a public hearing, when it does not have sufficient funds in its coffers?

Although the Trust includes in the value of its accounts £2.5m for land it paid the parish £1, despite having no extant planning consent, it is claimed, it does not have insufficient funds for costly planning battles. Battles that have split the village, and increased Waverley’s officers’ workload as they are bombarded with hundreds of letters and a petition launched by Andy Webb’s (Nothing to do with the WW) Cranleigh Community Group which so far has 2,686 signatures. http://chng.it/VzZwfTL4PH 

 The ASVI in Cranleigh has been reviewed as part of the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan and so the boundary will remain unchanged until the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan is adopted with a new ASVI boundary. Policy RE3 of Local Plan Part 1 will apply to the Cranleigh ASVI as set out in Map 35 below until the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan is adopted, at which point Policy RE3 will apply to the ASVI as set out in the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan.

 Policy RE3 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan Part 1: Strategic Policies and Sites, will apply to the areas designated as Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI) in Cranleigh below.

The Triangle at the top of the land edged in green is opposite the new Berkeley Homes(425) site in Knowle Lane – formerly part of parish-owned Snoxhall playing fields.  The land which Cranleigh parish council has asked to be returned, as it claims the proposed use is not in the spirit of a covenant it signed over 20 years ago for a hospital and day hospital to replace the old Cranleigh village Hospital – which is now back in use. 

Letters for and against the scheme can be found here: http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning/search-applications?civica.query.FullTextSearch=0965#VIEW?RefType=GFPlanning&KeyNo=448559&KeyText=Subject

Click on comments.  There is also a petition against the application on the Cranleigh Community Board. Not to be confused with another board called Cranleigh Conversations where no dissenting view on the application are allowed.

New NHS app – let’s do what we can to beat the virus.

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Waverley Cllr Nick Palmer’s in one of his regular newsletters explains a little more about the new NHS App.

 

Should you download the new NHS app?

nick palmer

Nick Palmer – WBC Labour Councillor for Godalming Binscombe and former Member of Parliament.

Hi all,

Regular readers of my newsletter will know that I’m critical of the Government, which you might expect from the Chair of the constituency Labour Party – but I try to be constructive too. In the last resort, we are all facing collective threats, and while the Government may not always be sensible, they are not actually trying to kill us! So we should look at the new NHS app that they launched with an open mind.

Here’s the official launch site about the app:

https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/nhs-covid-19/

 

and here’s a guide on how to download it:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/sep/24/how-to-download-the-nhs-covid-19-contact-tracing-app

and a general discussion:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/09/25/nhs-covid-19-app-how-track-trace-work-can-download-now/

I have an iPhone 6 and found it really easy. It offers real-time checking of your environment for known infection sources, as well as easy check-in for public places like restaurants which are required to check your identity in case you need to be notified of an infection. It also enables you to report any tests you’ve had and to remind yourself of the symptoms to watch out for and the latest advice. Finally, it tells you the current infection level in your area. For GU7 it’s currently Medium, meaning that Waverley or a neighbouring authority has a high or rising level – this probably relates to Spelthorne, which was recently identified as a place to watch for rising rates.

There have been various criticisms, which I’ll look at simply as an informed observer – I have no official standing, so you shouldn’t take my advice as gospel, but for what it’s worth I have a mathematics PhD and I’m familiar with the way these things are developed.

If it detects every possible threat, won’t it go off all the time?

No. It keeps track of how closely and how long you’re exposed – merely passing someone in the street shouldn’t trigger it. So far, the rate of infection has I believe been around 1 in a thousand people, and many of those affected will be self-isolating. So if you go for a stroll and pass 10 people, it’s unlikely to react. On the other hand, if you go to an illegal house party with 30 reckless people, then it probably will warn you. So it should.

If it does warn you, what happens?

You are expected to self-isolate for 14 days and request a test (also available through the app). In practice, it’s up to you but you’re breaking the law if you ignore it and can, in theory, be fined. However, your app is anonymous and it’s not reporting to anyone but you. Clearly, you’ll normally want to self-isolate if you might have caught the virus unless you actually want to go around potentially infecting friends and family. The app will warn everyone who also has the app and has recently been in contact with you (it won’t identify you as the source). If your test comes back negative, they will all be informed and can forget the incident, though to be safe you’re asked to complete the 14 days’ isolation before returning to normal (or perhaps one should say “normal”).

Why is it important?

In practice, the Track & Trace network isn’t working reliably yet, because it’s dependent on people alerting each other by phone, a manual process subject to whether they find the person at home, whether they answer, and so on. If a good chunk of the population is carrying the app and respond appropriately, then the rate of infection will slow down automatically and we’ll all benefit. It doesn’t have to be universal – like a vaccine if a lot of people are taking it, it reduces the spread. But clearly, it’s not going to be so useful if only a few people use it, though it’s still helpful in alerting you if you visit a restaurant or another public place. Similar efforts are going on throughout Western Europe, with Ireland the most successful so far – around a third of the population is already using it there.

Should society just return to normal and take the risk?

If you do catch the virus, you probably won’t die unless you have a pre-existing condition or are over 60, and quite likely not even then. But the virus can have severe long-term consequences even if you survive, not all of which are yet fully understood. Catching it is a bad idea, even if you’re young and fit – quite apart from the issue of passing it on to others. We could collectively decide to ignore it and hope for the best, but inevitably the result would be a colossal number of deaths, dwarfing current levels, and a huge impact on the health of millions more. It’s hard to describe that as “the best”. In my opinion, we need to have a prudent year, even though it will mean less fun.

Will the app solve the problem?

No – for one thing, not everyone has a smartphone that can use it. But it’ll help. And that’s perhaps all we can expect for now. But we have a national crisis, and we should all try to do what we can to limit it.

Best wishes

Nick

More gipsy and traveller sites allocated In Local Plan Part 2.

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From this…

 

To this…

 

Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 requires the council to provide suitable sites to meet the needs of travellers and gipsies. Now in LP Part 2, they are being provided for.

Following an assessment made of their needs in 2017, it was found that 43 traveller pitches were needed plus two sites for show people. However, as some development has already taken place – 17 pitches have been allocated in the borough – mainly in Farnham and Cranleigh.

However. In the life of the plan, the Council wants to allocate additional sites to accommodate the potential need for those unknown households that were unable to be interviewed when a needs survey was carried out by consultants.

The potential need arising from unknown households could be a maximum of 24 pitches if all demonstrate they meet the planning definition. 

However, according to a report on Local Plan Part 2 considered this week by Waverley’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee, some further pitches have been granted planning permission since the base date, (mainly in Dunsfold) so had already contributed to meeting that need. However, these have formed households where was unknown if they meet the planning definition of a ‘gypsy and traveller.’

The WW does wonder why therefore was permission granted?

Taking this into account, the report says there is a need for 39 pitches over the Plan Period up to 2032.

Now with the new draft Local Plan Part 2 under consideration – the council has included a policy for meeting the needs of this specific group by providing a new range of homes and accommodation.

  • The council took the view when identifying suitable sites, that in the main, they should be contained within existing authorised sites.
  • Suitable extensions to available existing sites
  • Use available land within settlements and other brownfield and outside settlements
  • Or other land.

  The Government’s aim is for sustainable and mixed communities, and Waverley wants to deliver enough decent homes in suitable locations for everyone in the community.

The report says: Gypsies and Travellers have historically been part of the local community and continue to be so; they are important groups with specific accommodation needs. The Government’s aim is to ensure fair and equal treatment of Gypsies and Travellers, in a way that facilitates their traditional and nomadic way of life of while respecting the interests of the settled community.

The Council is required under the National Planning Framework (NPPF)  and the Housing Act 2004 accommodate the needs of the population within their area. The Act also places a duty on local authorities to assess both current and future travellers’ needs. They must set pitch targets for gypsies and travellers and plot targets for travelling show people in order to address the likely permanent and transit-site accommodation needs of this group in their area.

The Council must also identify a five-year supply of sites against their locally set targets, much the same way as is required with another housing land.

In 2015 the Government updated its Planning Policy for Traveller Sites to include a new definition of Gypsy and Travellers. The key change to the definition was the removal of the term “persons….who have ceased to travel permanently”

For planning policy, ‘pitch’ means a pitch on a ‘gypsy and traveller’ site and ‘plot’ means a pitch on a ‘travelling show people’ site (often called a ‘yard’). The full definition is in the National Planning Policy for Traveller Sites.

This means that those who have stopped travelling no longer fall under the planning definition of a Traveller in terms of assessing the needs for accommodation.

Waverley’s The latest version of the Waverley Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (TAA) was published in June 2017 and factually updated in 2018. It was undertaken by consultants who sought to identify all sites and encampments in Waverley and attempted to complete interviews during the non-travelling season with residents on all occupied pitches and plots.

They also gave the opportunity to traveller households in ‘bricks and mortar’ accommodation to engage in the process and engaged with seven nearby Local Authorities to understand the wider issues in the area. The assessment is based on the Government’s guidance in Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (2015) and the new definition of a Traveller.

The TAA concluded that, at the base date in 2017, there was a need for 27 additional pitches for households that meet the planning definition and up to 24 additional pitches from unknown households14 that were unable to be interviewed. Ten households did not meet the planning definition.

Based on the survey, the proportion of households in Waverley that meet the planning definition (26 households – 62%) versus those that do not (16 households – 38%), is higher than the national average (10% in 2017) according to statistics by Opinion Research Services (ORS).  The need arising from households that meet the planning definition translates into a minimum accommodation target that will be addressed through the site allocations process contained within Local Plan Part 2.

For contingency and resilience, it is proposed that two-thirds (66%) of the potential need from unknown households are built into the accommodation target. This higher number is in line with the local proportion of households in Waverley that met the planning definition in the TAA and gives flexibility and support to the delivery of the Plan to maintain a five-year supply of sites.

The TAA did not identify any need for the provision of a transit site due to the small numbers of unauthorised encampments in Waverley at the time of the fieldwork. 

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Knock down not lock-down for ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan Part 2.

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The committee charged with scrutinising the next phase of Waverley’s Local Plan gave it a  bit of a drubbing this week claiming it was weak and needed tweaking.

Chairman  Carole Cockburn (Con Farnham Bourne) was in fine voice and only narrowly avoided a row having hardly stopped for breath and only reluctantly allowing her council colleagues to speak occasionally and not receive answers to questions.  She said she couldn’t see them in the Zoom meeting, so we presume she thought they had nothing to say? Poor old Cllr Steve Williams was told he wasn’t a member of the committee ONLY a member of the Executive. In other words, put up and shut up!

Too much on the agenda officers? And when were you offered an opportunity to answer questions?

Elstead’s Aunty Elsey once again in her best seaside landlady biddy mode remonstrated, as she has done so many times before…yawn, castigating poor old Williams for not treating the chairman with the respect she deserved. All the poor devil did was try to get a word in edgeways! Since when has Elsey been Waverley’s appointed policeman for enforcing the code of conduct by waving her broomstick all over the place?

 Chief Planning Officer Zac Ellwood and Team’s presentation was slick, easy to understand and revealed how the Draft Local Plan Part 2 might look.  Once approved by the council it would go out to public consultation In October to be and examined by an Inspector in December.

He said  LP2  had been delayed for a number of reasons, ( withdrawn by the Tory administration before the May 2019 elections) including the new Executive’s wish to produce a robust and sound replacement for the 2002 plan.  It included implications for the environmental, design, transport, the settlement boundaries and future development in the Green Belt and rural areas. It also included site allocations for development.

It included energy efficiency measures, water supplies/wastewater where changes to infrastructure were required.  Improvements to the Farnham A31 By-pass (Hickleys Corner) which had dropped off the county councils agenda for many years and was now back on again.

There were new policies for new homes internal space standards and significant new policies for Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI’s).

He said on one particular proposed development site – Red Court in Scotland Lane, Haslemere, officers would make the site boundary clearer for the Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

All sites earmarked for development should be suitable, available and achievable, and in accordance with local Neighbourhood Plans.

He recognised there was concern about the visual impact of development in the countryside in Haslemere and that residents would prefer housing on brownfield sites, and a higher density of development within the town centre. There was also concern about the water supply.

Secretts was the preferred site option in Milford. He outlined policies for gipsy sites in the borough (the subject of a separate post).

However, it was Cllr Robert Knowles that landed the first punch claiming that the Plan did not take account of the severe water shortages in Haslemere.

 “Assurances by SE Water and Thames Water  – which had no connection with each other – that they could continue to manage demand, was… rubbish!”

He said Guildford, Cranleigh and Haslemere are outside the area and not connected to the network. “Indeed there is no nationwide network.”

“In the Summer during the Coronavirus, when there was a serious threat to health Haslemere’s water was supplied by tankers. This included Haslemere Hospital. This resulted in a meeting between Waverley and the water companies, when we were told our area is an island and we are not connected to the grid. However, this has all conveniently been left out of this report.”

“So in other words, there is no long term solution, though we understand there could be a solution when Abingdon in Oxfordshire comes online in 2032! He argued there were more suitable sites in Haslemere for development e.g. brownfield sites already served with water.”

Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman said he wanted LPP2 to include environmental policies that strengthen and implement protections that exist in environmental law.  This would benefit in particular the East of the borough (Cranleigh and eastern villages) as well as the west and central areas.

The plan should also apply the wording… MUST in certain policies not SHOULD where appropriate. 

Other topics affecting individual town and villages will be included in future posts.

 

 

A missive from Nick on Covid and County.

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Here at the Waverley Web, we have found Waverley Cllr Nick Palmer’s regular updates on the Covid-19 pandemic very helpful, easy to understand and relate to. 

Here’s his latest missive.

nick palmer

WBC Labour Councillor and former Member of Parliament Cllr Nick Palmer.

Hi all,

Just a few updates this time, but significant ones. Health warning: point 3 is partisan!

 

 

COVID-19

I won’t comment on the national debate, but it’s worth noting that the pandemic is edging upwards here in Waverley as everywhere else.

The latest daily reports note 558 confirmed cases so far in Waverley and currently an estimated 93 active cases, with 7 new cases this week. The active cases are not yet a big proportion of the population (around 1 in 1000) but it’s a reminder to stay on the safe side.

If you have a few contacts with people from other households now and then with luck, you’ll be OK, but if you see lots of people regularly without taking care you’re running a significant risk, especially if it’s indoors (e.g. a pub), which seems to have a much higher risk than out of doors. While it’s true that younger people generally don’t die from the virus, it can have nasty long-term effects on your health at any age, quite apart from the risk of passing it on. Wearing a mask when you’re out and encountering others remains a very good idea, both for you and for those around you.

Waverley Borough Council is quietly preparing to do all it can to help in the difficult months that we expect are coming. Please keep an eye on

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest updates.

Council power grab aborted?

Is Surrey County Council’s bid to abolish all borough councils collapsing? We can answer that with a firm “Maybe”. The ludicrous sequence of events has been this:

  1. a) The Government let it be known that it was planning autumn legislation encouraging abolition of borough councils, with their powers merged into one central county council to rule us all. This would, however, “only be done where there was consensus”.
  1. b) Thrilled by this Lord of the Rings-style prospect, Surrey County Council rushed into preparing a bid to be one of the first, employing expensive consultants, printing glossy leaflets and conducting push-polling (phone polls in which you indicate what you want to hear and ask if the recipient agrees).Bye, Bye ‘ Your Waverley’ Hello ‘ Surrey?’
  1. c) All 11 borough councils opposed the proposal, and a grassroots campaign against it rapidly gathered thousands of signatures. This appeared to demonstrate a lack of consensus.
  1. d) The Government indicated that when they said “consensus”, they didn’t actually mean that most people needed to agree. Encouraged, the County Council continued to press ahead.
  1. e) Then the Government let it be rumoured that on reflection, it wasn’t going to do it after all. The Surrey County leader said grumpily “I don’t know why the Government keeps starting fires and then walking away”, but conceded that this seemed to mean the proposal was dead.Is Surrey’s Leaders bid for a Unitary Authority crashing and burning.
  1. f) Further rumours now suggest that perhaps it may not be quite dead after all.

Government by rumour is just irritating, and when the County Council spends large sums of taxpayers’ money on an unannounced policy it’s ridiculous. And does it make sense to abolish local government at borough level at exactly the time when boroughs are being asked to prepare to be the front line of tracing COVID contacts through the winter? Note that none of this is partisan in itself. The Government, County Council and many of the borough councillors are Conservative. We are paying for them all to squabble among themselves. Wouldn’t it be good if they concentrated on the real problems – notably COVID and the impending impact of Brexit – facing us all? If you’d like to sign the non-partisan petition asking them to stop, it’s at

https://rassu.org.uk/     

County elections

You’ll be able to take a view on all this next May when Surrey is due to have County Council elections. The Government flirted with cancelling these in view of the imminent reorganisation, but they now look likely to go ahead. If you feel that the Conservatives are doing well, this will be a chance to confirm them in post. But if you’d like a coherent alternative, Labour is preparing actively and we look forward to playing our part in Surrey to showing that people across the whole country want a genuine, intelligent alternative to multi-level Conservative rule. If you’d like to look into joining in, the link is here:

https://action.labour.org.uk/page/content/join-2020

Best wishes

Nick Palmer

Is Surrey’s Leaders bid for a Unitary Authority crashing and burning.

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If Surrey’s bid to become a behemoth unitary authority wasn’t so serious – it would have had audiences laughing in the aisles of the home of farce at the Whitehall Theatre.

So far only £150,000 of taxpayers money has been tipped down Surrey’s sewers.  Flushed away by Cllr Oliver’s attempt to convince us that his vanity project still has some mileage left in it.

They say a week is a long time in politics. Just a few days in the case of ‘Bob the Builder’ Robert Jenrick’s White Paper.

Last week Surrey County Council Leader Oliver was throwing his toys out of his pram bemoaning the fact that – ‘Jenrick’ as he referred to the Secretary of State – had pulled the plug on Cllr Oliver’s cunning plan to turn Surrey into the largest authority in the country.

 Bob appeared to have pushed the destruct button on the Recovery and Devolution White Paper. Setting it back on to his ‘to-do list.’

BTB relayed the message that No 10 was not prepared to move further on local government restructuring as part of the devolution White Paper, due in the Autumn.

Over the weekend you could hear the tyres screeching on the Whitehall tarmac as yet another government U-turn took place. County council leader Tim Oliver’s power bid for a single Surrey unitary authority appeared to be over. Scuppered by Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick.

No surprise there then. The Government to-do list is growing by the day and so are the U-turns.

Up pops a fuming  Cllr Oliver (Con, Weybridge) who broke the news to his fellow Tory’s by email saying:

“I have asked Jenrick to confirm what the position is regarding Surrey and we are asking some of our MPs to find out but as far as I am concerned this kills our bid.“I will confirm the position for definite if or when Jenrick answers my letter but quite why this government keeps starting fires and then walking away I really don’t know. Disappointing.”

– Surrey’s Tim Oliver can’t quite make up his mind whether or not he is actually in control of another fine mess ‘Bob the Builder’ has dumped the country in.

So with the ink barely dry on the Surrey’s borough and district councils £50,000 cheques winging their way to enable consultants (KPMG) to find a more appropriate way of joining forces with neighbouring authorities than… Wham Bang – his game of thrones is back on again!

So just days later  according to Cllr Oliver its all back on again. Really – you couldn’t make it up!

“It is expected that a government White Paper on Recovery and Devolution will still be published in the coming months. In line with that, we have been working hard to determine the best system of local government for Surrey, to make sure that any devolution of power can be truly grasped by our local communities.“What is most important to me, beyond any structural change or governance, is our residents and giving them more influence over their own communities.

“We have so far received no instruction from the Secretary of State, either to proceed or to stop work on this.”

So if that’s the case why did he tell all his Tory mates it was all off?

Have the lunatics at Whitehall and No 10 taken over the asylum – or is Tempestuous Tim in such a hurry to become Surrey’s new Mayor, that he is blinded by ambition?

Could we all soon be saying – Bye, bye to ‘ Your Waverley?

So where actually are we now? Well, certainly our hard-earned council taxpayers’ money is over £750,000 worse off and Cllr Oliver isn’t giving up saying:

“We need to progress … the whole local engagement and empowerment piece and I am discussing how we work that with the local Conservative group leaders.”

Someone tell him please, that the Conservative Group leaders aren’t on-board with his cunning plans?

Cllr Oliver had launched his unitary authority bid in anticipation of the White Paper, a shock move that stirred deep anger among the county’s 11 borough and district councils, including ‘Your Waverley’ that would have been wiped out. The Conservative Group at Waverley led by Cllr Julia Potts is opposing his bid.

Amid a furore that followed the shock announcement including accusations of a “power-grab”, all council leaders formed a group to challenge the plan.

 

 

 

 

Three Cheers for the Society that speaks up for Cranleigh.

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After months of lobbying the Cranleigh Civic Society (CCS) has prompted Surrey County Council to withdraw its planning appeal APP/R3650/W/20/3253295 to build 91 homes on two former school sites in Parsonage Road.

The local Civic Society that speaks up on behalf of the residents of Cranleigh.

The local Civic Society that speaks up on behalf of the residents of Cranleigh.

The agent acting for SCC has advised that this is because the county council has decided not to progress the overall multi-million-pound project to re-provide new schools on an alternative site on playing fields at Glebelands School. It had intended to provide around 540 places for primary school children and 68 nursery school places. However, the CCS prompted a campaign to oppose the siting of the schools.

  New Schools for the eastern villages coming soon?

No doubt that volte-face means the long-awaited 3G pitch gets kicked into touch too? A row broke out when Berkeley Homes’ 106 monies towards the pitch were earmarked for a fee-paying school. Berkley’s did a U-turn when Cranleigh’s sporting organisations kicked off, saying the money was intended for community sports facilities.

Alfold Football Club puts its best foot forward – whilst Cranleigh’s 106 monies go to A Cranleigh top fee-paying​ school!

Here’s the link to Waverley planners refusal of 91 new homes which resulted in the appeal. 

Now, instead of going ahead with plans to relocate Cranleigh Infants, Cranleigh Primary School/nursery school, and the Cranleigh C of E Middle School county education chiefs will go back to the drawing board. Work has already begun on repairing the roof and toilet block on one school site where…

raindrops have been falling on the heads of pupils for years!

CCS says it is looking forward to working with the county council and the school to find the funds to carry out further urgent repairs as soon as possible.

So, at last, thanks to the campaigning of the CCS – led by the husband and wife partnership of Susan and Trevor Dale, the controversial plans which also included 91 new homes on the former school sites – one in Parsonage Road and another off Dewlands Lane and Church Lane have been dumped.

Its spokesman told the Waverley Web:

‘ We take this as a success and hope you do too – thank you to all who spoke up against losing fields, gaining more housing and being appalled at the design of the school entrance. Glebelands school playing fields are back in use for sport!  The school’s playing field, which were due to be built on, has now been reinstated as a U11 football pitch and is being used by the Cranleigh Community.

The local’s objected to the relocation due to the restricted access and traffic congestion in an inappropriate location.   It was agreed that the present site, on the same road,  is the best location for the school and should be retained.

Glebelands’ Governors have written to Liz Mills (SCC Education) to determine the future strategy for schools in the area.  They believe a meeting to discuss strategy along with the Heads of Glebelands and Cranleigh Primary School is now essential.  Cranleigh Parish Council has a strong voice in the bid to protect and improve educational facilities for the area. 

 Waverley Web wonders why the county council has suddenly dumped the scheme? –  New school places will be required to serve new housebuilding which continues unabated in the eastern villages? Could it be that it is predicting a big black financial hole in its finances?

CCS now wonders if the removal of the hedge alongside the bowling green will be completed.

We wonder whether Philip Roche (schools and major capital projects manager) will now finish his ‘general maintenance work of the site which included pruning, clearing and safety work on the social club site and the public footpath’   The Council denied that the removal of the hedge had anything to do with widening the access to the proposed site yet, since the withdrawal of the application, it has left the access to the playing fields in a real mess and far from making it safe for the children, they have left it in a hazardous state.  We can but keep trying….

A new Leisure Centre for Cranleigh coming soon?

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Cranleigh Leisure centre

‘Your Waverley’ has agreed – with some reluctance – to dump plans for leisure-centre improvements in Farnham and Godalming in favour of building a multi-million-pound leisure centre in Cranleigh.

Previous post:

A new multi-million pound Leisure Centre for Cranleigh is on the horizon but improvements to other centres across Waverley are delayed.

The centre may be sited in the Village Way car park close to the existing centre and when ‘Your Waverley’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee discussed the project this week there was all-round relief that an end to Cranleigh being the poor relation in the borough’s leisure stakes could be coming to an end.

Chairman Cllr Kevin Deanus said:

“Just to keep the existing leisure centre safe and workable would cost us £6m over the next 5 years. Which would just be throwing good money after bad. That should serve as a useful reminder to us all.”

Cranleigh had a strong supporter in Farnham Cllr Jerry Hyman who said he could never understand why the condition of the Cranleigh facilities had been allowed to get so bad.

“It’s nice to see that the people of Cranleigh – like us  in Farnham – who  have endured road chaos on our streets and with its high street constantly being dug up causing havoc will finally have some good news.  Particularly after all the building-work, they have been put through.

However, he wondered about the timing and the wording on the officers’ report saying…?

‘It is expected that a few assumptions that were made will now have to be revisited.”

He assumed this was a caveat to the amount of time it would take? He believed it was obvious that the project, whilst being thought about, may not go ahead for 4/5 years as there was a lengthy process to go through.

However, although there was now real hope for Cranleigh – what if Waverley didn’t exist any more would it  be reliant on Surrey County Council loving the people of Cranleigh?”

He called for a realistic timetable for the project. – “I would like to know and so would the residents of Cranleigh.`’

Cllr Deanus assured the committee that was why it was top of the council’s agenda.

“I want to ensure this project doesn’t fall off a cliff and we lose control.”

Leisure Manager Kelvin Mills was as keen as everyone to get on with the project – saying “we want leisure facilities fit for the future as much as you do.’  But, post-COVID who knows what the leisure market will be like in future. However, given the time it takes for tender and other work it gives enough lead time to establish a sustainable business model. Officers would look at the facility-mix in the light of the COVID pandemic’s impact.

 Cllr Deanus warned: “We will be keeping you on your toes on this one we can assure you.”

Another sigh of relief came from Cllr Mary Foryszewski. She said she had feared that Cranleigh’s new centre was destined to become a COVID casualty and was thrilled that the new Administration had ensured it would not.

 

How business community is faring – post COVID in ‘Your Waverley.’

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Leader of Surrey County Council Cllr John Ward who along with his team is grappling with the effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

There is little doubt that ‘Your Waverley’ has been doing everything possible to help businesses stay on track during the Coronavirus Pandemic. However, the picture that economic development manager Catherine Knight painted this week of the toll on the borough’s business community was not a pretty one.

” I spoke to one firm in Godalming that had to return £22m in holiday refunds – and it has now left the borough.”

She told the Community & Wellbeing Overview & Scrutiny Committee during a Zoom meeting that a survey of small businesses in Waverley had revealed that 30% doubted whether they could survive the COVID shock.

She said that from the outset of the lock-down, Waverley had been in regular contact with Chambers of Trade & Commerce and local parish and town clerks. It had compiled a large database of businesses and had monitored and spoken to many hundreds of businesses who were experiencing difficulties and had put them in touch with the Government’s Business Support Grant. It had worked with Surrey County Council and the Surrey Enterprise Partnership and had set up a Business Task Group to cover all the business sector.

“We have mentored many and given one-to-one support wherever we can.”

She said while many businesses had suffered from the loss of trade, others had experienced an increase in business, such as those providing Information Technology.

Her team was providing help to those who had lost their jobs or were expecting redundancy and were giving help and advice on setting up new businesses. Some flexible working space was being provided where possible. She urged everyone to access the Council’s Business News Letter published online every two weeks. It contained much useful information including signposting and new ideas.

The shock – and silence – among the committee members was palpable when she said:

There has been a massive increase in Universal Credit benefit claimants from 500 residents to 4/5 thousand and we expect this to increase!

 The council was continuing to work closely with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWPP) and Waverley’s Training Services was supporting people who had lost their jobs.

The government had announced a European Fund £15m Tourism Grant to help councils open up the country’s high streets and the council had received £111,000 and was working the towns and villages to access the money.

Cllr Jerry Hyman said: I thought that the government was going to reimburse us for our losses.’ Communities Minister Robert Jenrick promises councils will not be out of pocket by Covid-19. But ‘ Your Waverley’ is not so sure.

The remainder of the members of the committee – were obviously struck dumb by Catherine Knight’s revelations. Because it moved onto the next item… The borough’s leisure centres. The subject of another post. 

 

Let’s say Cheers and back Waverley’s breweries?

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The boys on our team are partial now and then to a decent pint of beer, and what better than a drop of the amber nectar brewed locally

Richard and Bill of the Firebird Brewery based in Rudgwick are currently on a mission and they need all the help they can get.

H

Here’s what they told us:
We’re not normally too serious, but just for now we’d like you to help us persuade the Government to change its mind about the tax on beer:
Local and small brewers are under threat as the Government looks set to increase the tax paid by some small independent breweries, including us. At the moment small brewers like us benefit from Small Brewers Relief, designed to allow us to compete with larger brewers by paying less tax than the big guys. Currently, the level at which this relief reduces (and we pay more tax) doesn’t come in until we sell at least 50% more beer than we do at the moment. However, the Government plans to change all this, meaning we would be paying more tax as soon as next year. At the same time, larger breweries (some of whom started as small as us not so long ago) will pay LESS tax.
This doesn’t feel like fair play to us!
Everyone has struggled with COVID, but you might be interested to know the support brewers have received has been limited pretty much to the furlough scheme. Other sectors have been given cash grants and other forms of support. We, along with other small brewers, have worked hard to stay alive, and we succeeded through hard work, ingenuity, and the support of our brilliant customers.
We really need your help again now!
Help us to protect local breweries, the beers they make and your choice at the bar by signing the petition urging the UK Government not to remove tax relief from the smallest brewers to allow larger brewers to pay less. If you can share this post widely we’d also be very grateful!
You can add your name to the petition on the UK Parliament website https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/334066
Thanks, Richard and Bill
Let’s raise a glass to Richard and Bill and all the other local small breweries in Waverley and elsewhere that may soon be under threat.

So how many homes ARE proposed at Haslemere’s Scotland Park?

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Residents in other parts of the borough are just as concerned as are Haslemere folk about the proposal to build homes in an Area of Great Landscape Value and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
WHY?
Because if they can build on the green, green grass of Haslemere in protected areas – they can build almost anywhere.
However, stranger things have happened at ‘Your Waverley.’ During the former Tory administration’s strong-hold on the borough council one of its members, despite officers’ advice to the contrary, managed to get his TT mates to approve building on the Green Belt in the Guildford Road in Cranleigh.
Wow! we hear you cry – not in THE green belt?

Flooded Scotland Lane

So where exactly are the homes proposed by Red Court Property developers? And how many?
It appears from the planning application just 50 opposite the Recreation Ground in Haslemere between Scotland Lane and Bell Lane. Potentially, a further 130 on the AONB land next to this site. However, WW understands that the Stantec report is based on the provision of 250 homes. However, if the new Government White Paper is approved – well – anything goes!
If you want to have your say on the planning application – the number is WA/200/1273.

 

 

 

‘Your Waverley’s’ long-awaited Local Plan Part 2 has been launched.

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The plan – which now goes out to public consultation – includes sites in Waverley earmarked for future development – alongside Local Plan Part 1(LP1)

Local Plan Part 2(LP2): Site Allocations and Development Management Policies form the second stage of Waverley’s new Local Plan.

Together with LP1: Strategic Policies and Sites, the documents – all 188 pages – linked at the bottom of this post, replace the current Local Plan (2002). 

Sites allocated include the controversial Red Court development in Haslemere called Scotland Park. This site in AONB – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – is allocated for ‘around 50 homes.’ Other major sites earmarked for large housing developments are in Witley and Milford.

To meet the 480 housing target for Witley and Milford – 64 of which have been completed – with 213 outstanding permissions – a minimum of 203 are required to meet their quota.

The sites earmarked to deliver 204 additional dwellings, against an outstanding requirement of 203 are:

Land at Highcroft, Milford – 7 additional dwellings; Land at Wheeler Street Nurseries, Witley – 20 dwellings; and  land at Secretts, Hurst Farm, Milford – equivalent to 177 dwellings

LP Part 1 is Waverley’s vision for future development for the period 2013-2032 and allocates nine strategic sites. It was adopted in 2018 and includes the new garden village at Dunsfold aerodrome. (2,600 homes).

 This Draft L  2, is a  ‘Pre-Submission Plan’, provides more detailed ‘Development Management’ policies, reviews a suite of local designations and allocates sites for housing and other uses in certain areas of Waverley.

LP 2 must be consistent with LP 1 and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2019). It must contribute to achieving sustainable development and be positively prepared. LP1 establishes the Council’s presumption in favour of sustainable development.  Planning applications which accord with the policies in the Local Plan (and, where relevant, with policies in Neighbourhood Plans) will be approved without delay unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

LP 1 and 2, together with any relevant Neighbourhood Plans, constitute the statutory Development Plan for the Borough against which future planning applications will be assessed. 

Included in the Plan are specific sites earmarked for gipsies.

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/s37636/Draft%20Pre-Submission%20LPP2%20-%20Committee%20Version%20-%20September%202020.pdf

If ever there was a reason not to have a Surrey Unitary Authority – isn’t this it!

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Munroe gets th boot

David Munro – Surrey’s Police & Crime Commissioner – who may become Surrey’s Mayor?

 

Could the man nicknamed ‘Mona-lot Munro’ become the Head of a giant Surrey Unitary Authority?

You couldn’t Adam and Eve it! Former Waverley Borough and County Councillor and PCC Chief David Munro has backed Leader Tim Oliver’s cunning plan for a Surrey UA and would like to head it.

The Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) who could never be accused of hiding his light under a bushel has told Surrey’s Leader Tim Oliver that he’s backing his bid to send 11 borough and district councils to the trash bin, and when there’s a Mayor, he just might put himself forward.

As Lewis Carroll’s  Lobster Quadrille quotes – “Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail, “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.

So be careful Cllr Oliver – you may have a Munro on your tail.

However, Cllr Oliver is opposed to his proposed UA being headed up by just one Mayor he would like a series of Mayors – so the “chain gang” as it is called in the business – would become more extensive and expensive in the future?

In the meantime, the 11 borough’s and districts have written to the Secretary of State for Communities Robert Jenrick opposing the move, and are employing consultants KPMG to find a better way of combining authorities. * Report

‘Your Waverley’ along with all the other boroughs and districts in Surrey is throwing £30,000 into a pot to fight the county council’s move to swallow them up and become the largest UA in the country.

But Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Munro is still in the day job for a little longer due to the COVID pandemic – as there should have been an election earlier this year to appoint his successor.

Earlier this month – via Zoom – Surrey Conservatives decided that criminal lawyer – “Munro: don’t you dare mention that woman’s name in front of me” Charlie Chirico, will be their official Tory candidate at next year’s PCC election.

Here’s why the Tories kicked him out of the party and provided him with the opportunity to become Independent. 

Police Chief David Munro booted by the Tories. Has everyone gone to the moon?

Mr Munro, who has had a very long career in local government representing Farnham thinks one UA with just one chief – preferably him- is the best solution for everything – including policing.

The letter to SCC and to the Secretary of State is included here Pages 17 to 20.

*Public reports pack 08092020 1800 Executive

Oh No! Not another Government algorithm?

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 When we were all locked down Government keyboard warriors were winding up their computers to devise yet another algorithm.  Haven’t they learned anything following the A-level and GCSE debacle?

So what chance do our green fields here in Waverley have against the concrete mixers?

 Having failed so miserably with one set of algorithms that have gone into the trash bin – now Ministers are reviewing another that is at the centre of a backlash from Tory MPs.

We understand from a couple of our friendly moles that even Guildford and Waverley’s to Hon Angie and SW Surrey MP Jeremy Shunt, are beginning to tremble at the outpourings of anger from residents. 

Both MP’s with considerably reduced majorities at the General Election will become thinner if the proposed changes to planning laws get the go-ahead. 

 Local discretion over the rate of housebuilding will soon be removed and Government will “distribute” an annual target, at present 337,000 a year, between local councils, which includes ‘Your Waverley.’ Councils will be required to designate enough land to meet that target whether they like it or not!

Analysis by Lichfields a well-respected planning consultancy, reveals much of the development outside London will be concentrated in – yes, you guessed – the constituencies of the Hon Angie and Jeremy Shunt.

We understand Jeremy is not nearly as concerned as Angie Richardson as a good deal of his support comes from Farnham which has the Special Protection Areas around the town. Though he needn’t be too complacent because Surrey County Council’s bid for Unitary Authority status – includes half a dozen growth areas. One of which is the Blackwater Valley area and Farnham!  Surrey has also earmarked the Hon Angie’s patch in Cranleigh see from the link below. Cranleigh and the Dunsfold corridor become Strategic Opportunity Area No 5. No wonder so many trees are being felled to make way for the bulldozers.

Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

Farnham is now experiencing traffic chaos never before seen, and drivers are beating their heads against their steering wheels in frustration. This week Waverley’s Leader John Ward pilloried the road barriers in the town-centre and wants them removed. Saying: “Something needs to be done – and done soon.” Even Jeremy wants them removed – so things must be bad!

Here at the Waverley Web, we see another U-turn coming before the ink is even dry on the Consultation White Paper. Because the housing ministry, under ‘Bob The Builder,’ has already accepted  ‘that a more refined formula is needed.’

In other words, is that the sound we hear of yet another algorithm going down the pan?

However, the government is retaining its central objective of building more homes in areas with the worst affordability – like many towns and villages in Waverley.

This means that there will be a significant rise in the number of homes in relatively affluent, predominantly Tory-controlled areas such as ours. 

The reforms have been met with opposition on all sides of the party. In London, Tory MPs are concerned that they will have to accept a huge increase in new homes in their constituencies, leading to concerns about quality.

Elsewhere Tory MPs argue that more homes need to be built in city and town centres, on brownfield sites rather than on greenfield sites.

According to Lichfields, new housing will be built predominantly in London and the southeast. The number built in London would nearly treble, to 93,532, and in the southeast would increase by 57 per cent to 61,000.

The increase in the East of England would be 52 per cent, the East Midlands 33 per cent, the West Midlands 25 per cent and the South West 41 per cent. The North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber would all have lower overall numbers of homes built than the present three-year average.

There are significant disparities within regions under the model. In Leicester new homes would fall by 32 per cent, compared with a rise of 70 per cent across the rest of Leicestershire. In Nottingham housebuilding would fall by 30 per cent, but for the rest of Nottinghamshire, it would rise by 73 per cent. In Liverpool, new homes would fall by 59 per cent.

Mr Johnson has promised to rejuvenate the economy with a “build, build, build” strategy. Councils are to be given up to three and half years to designate areas for growth, renewal or protection. Once agreed, however, local politicians will have little or no say over specific applications that fit the rules.

Ministers have insisted that local residents will be consulted about how land is designated. They are braced, however, for opposition from councils, especially Tory-controlled local authorities. Requirements for developers to provide affordable housing are to be relaxed.

Mr Johnson and his senior adviser Dominic Cummings have long railed against the planning system, which they argue puts Britain at a disadvantage against international competitors.

A spokesman for the ministry of housing said: “The Planning for the Future White Paper sets out longer-term reforms which will bring forward a simpler, more transparent planning system with a much greater emphasis on good quality design and environmental standards.

“In addition, the consultation on changes to the current planning system sets out the elements we want to balance when determining local housing need, including meeting our target of delivering 300,000 homes, tackling affordability challenges in the places people most want to live and renewing and levelling up our towns and cities.”

Cllr Potts aims for a hole in one and ends up in a bunker.

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Julia Potts went potty over a decision by Waverley’s Executive’s bid to get the best value for taxpayers at Broadwater Park Golf Club.

The controversy over ‘Your Waverley’s’ decision not to renew Broadwater Park Golf Club’s lease – took another turn this week.

A bid by a Tory threesome led by former Leader Julia Potts wanted to stymie a decision made by the council’s executive in July. But the bid failed.

She and two colleagues wanted to stop the council spending £50,000 on an options appraisal for the 8-acre golf club site in Godalming, plus £20,000 on possible legal fees.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORSDespite over three hours of talks, most of which was held behind closed doors, the special Overview & Scrutiny Committee ‘call-in” was thrown out by five votes to three with one abstention.

The Executive wants to spend £50,000 on independent professional advice to get the best value for a council asset once leased to the golf club. This followed a furore in May when the club announced that its lease would not be renewed. A media storm and a series of clashes during council meetings followed. The Waverley Web believes one spat between councillors may end up with the council’s Standards Board.

Elstead’s Aunty Elsey – v – Mr Deputy.

The  £20,000 was earmarked for possible legal fees for any dispute that may result in the change of direction with the golf club’s owners.

The nub of the Tory group’s argument centred around the new Rainbow Coalition’s ‘failure of process.’ The Tory’s complaining that the council’s decision not to renew the lease had not been explained properly.

The other three musketeers: Cllrs Stephen Mulliner, John Gray and Simon Dear argued there had been a lack of consultation with the ward members, local residents and the former leaseholders. Saying that an Executive that boasted of its transparent and open approach to business was anything but. They argued that the decision was “unsound” and needed further scrutiny to prevent taxpayers’ money being wasted at a time when Waverley’s finances were being challenged. Fencing the site on health and safety grounds would add to the costs. 

Cllr Potts claimed the site had numerous planning constraints saying only a small part could be used and even this was limited to education or community use.  

Mark Merryweather, chairman of the Executive, which had backed the plan said:

“We are concerned that the requesters may have formed the opinion that the site’s alternative value for money potential is so low that the cost of an independent professional options appraisal is disproportionate, and that no evidence has been presented to support that.

“The simple issue is that the view expressed by the requesters differs with the recommendation of our officers, which was itself based on Montagu Evans’ initial preliminary independent professional analysis, which clearly indicates otherwise.”

He said when the decision was made in July he had explained that the legal costs represent a contingent, but a necessary provision, that may not need to be spent. The Executive had no reason to differ with the recommendations, which were also based on independent professional advice.”

The agenda for the July 8th meeting of the executive states: “The Council’s Property Investment Strategy documents the Council’s proposals in relation to Value for Money, the need for the Council to maximise the financial benefit from its assets, and to consider the development opportunities for those assets where appropriate.”

And later, it states: “In order to demonstrate the Council is actively pursuing the development opportunity of the site, work needs to continue to the next phase of the options appraisal.”

An Exempt session lasted almost two hours. After which it was a recommendation to continue with the Executive’s decision by five votes to three –  with one abstention. 


  

Does this remind you of somewhere in ‘Your Waverley’ – Dunsfold Park perhaps?

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Dunsfold Garden Village-coming soon.

Could this be the reason Surrey County Council highway chiefs finally supported the development at Dunsfold Park – after opposing it for donkey’s years?

According to a report by a transport pressure group called Transport For New Homes, after looking closely at 20 Garden Community proposals it became clear that councils were using the concept to fund road infrastructure.

 No surprise there then?

The group has been studying master-plans – including those for Dunsfold Park – the former aerodrome soon to be home to1,800 homes in its first phase and heaven knows how many more after that.

Waverley’s Local Plan earmarks 2,600 homes on the aerodrome, but if the current Tory Government, headed by Bulldozer Boris and Bob the Builder ‘Jenrick’ have their way, there could be many, many more. After all, it is the largest brownfield site in the borough of Waverley, seen as ideal sites for development by the Government.  It is no secret that Guildford and Woking councils would love to welcome the inclusion of Dunsfold in their patch.

Maybe if a re-organisation of local government gets the go-ahead – that may yet happen?

Bye Bye ‘Your Waverley’ Hello ‘Surrey?’

Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

In the early days, the Government promoted garden villages as ‘beacons of integrated and forward-looking transport.’ A number were chosen, in part to finance a new by-pass here and a link-road or other road improvements there. Improvements that had been wanted for years.’

So in other words – is Dunsfold Park the cash-cow for road and transport improvements in Waverley, and in particular, the congested unsuitable roads around the eastern villages including Cranleigh?

In its consented masterplan, junctions on the A281 at Bramley and Guildford are earmarked for improvement, if our memory serves us well?

The report concludes that the 20 garden communities studied, risk creating up to 20,000 car-dependent households.  However, we can confirm that the developers of Dunsfold have signed agreements with Surrey county council to provide public transport ‘in perpetuity’ from its site to nearby towns. A commitment that is unheard of elsewhere in the country.

The report concludes: “This is not just about delivering homes – it’s about building places that people are happy to call home. We are clear this should include sustainable transport options that support economic prosperity and well-being for resides, such as public transport, walking and cycling.”

Most garden communities – like Dunsfold Park – are in their early stages of development. The details of the Masterplan for Dunsfold will be considered by Waverley Planners shortly.

 

A new multi-million pound Leisure Centre for Cranleigh is on the horizon but improvements to other centres across Waverley are delayed.

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Cranleigh Leisure centre

Cllr Liz Townsend told her colleagues on the executive last night that the council would stand by the commitment made by the Tory administration in 2018 – for a new or improved Leisure centre in Cranleigh.

This is urgent due to the existing centre’s poor condition. WILL A NEW CRANLEIGH LEISURE CENTRE SOON BE ON ITS WAY TO VILLAGE WAY?

 She was disappointed that the predicted improvements to both Godalming and Farnham’s Centres would be postponed – and the contributions from developers’ 106 Agreements would go into the council’s reserves for the time being.

She said the delay would give the council time to assess the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the borough’s leisure facilities.

Liz Townsend

Executive Liz Townsend

Cllr Townsend – the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development said she realises this was not the position the council had hoped it would be in when the original commitment for the borough’s leisure facilities was made.

We are very disappointed, but due to the condition of the Cranleigh facility, this project needs to go forward.

She said the other projects in Farnham and Godalming would progress. The council would begin to seek approval from the Secretary of State in partnership with Surrey County Council for the disposal of an area of land at Broadwater School to provide a car park to enable improvements to recommence for Godalming’s Leisure Centre in the future.

Cllr Julia Potts who announced the commitments to the borough’s leisure facilities shortly before the 2018 May elections, said although her group was disappointed at some delays it quite understood the reasons why.

“We know things are changing so quickly… but what do we do, we understand the rationale -even though I don’t like it.”

She spoke of her relief that the Cranleigh Project had not been taken off the table as it was in – “desperate need.” She was it was at the top of the council’s agenda and hoped it would progress over the coming months.

Deputy Leader Paul Follows said: “I think the Portfolio Holder would have had something to say to us if it had been removed!”

The Executive agreed unanimously to the Recommendation. 

That the Executive: 1.Notes that the investment in improvements in the facilities at Godalming and Farnham Leisure Centres are not being progressed;

2. Agrees that Officers progress with obtaining the Secretary of State’s approval, in partnership with Surrey County Council, for the disposal of an area of land at Broadwater School in Godalming to enable the development at Godalming Leisure Centre to recommence in the future; and,

3. Agrees that the multi-million-pound leisure investment project in Cranleigh continues at present but will be part of the Recovery Change & Transformation review of all corporate projects.

Was this a ruse by ‘Your Waverley’ to ensure that if Surrey does become a Unitary Authority that Waverley’s commitment to improving the borough’s leisure facilities doesn’t fall off the end of someone else’s the desk?

Continue reading

Why wouldn’t Surrey County Council want beds in a controversial Care Home?

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A Cranleigh resident has asked?

Why build another care home in Cranleigh when one lies empty and derelict?

The answer Michaela is quite simple. If you were a cash-strapped local authority would you prefer to:

(a) Continue using a former nursing home that is the most expensive police-dog training site in the country?

Or

(b)  buy 16 long-term care beds for the residents of Surrey in a private care home business funded by a private commercial enterprise. Built on land bought from the parish for £1 – and in a building which is being part-funded by the residents of the eastern villages?

(c) Or would you prefer to sell the land which you own – which once housed a facility called Longfields with 56 beds for long-term care, closed due to under-funding for years? Which then enabled you to sell it for squillions to replenish the rapidly diminishing county council coffers?

SIMPLES – NO CONTEST!

Michaela Clarke’s letter is one of many hundreds which can be found on the Waverley Borough Council Website – objecting to yet another application for a Private Care Home in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh.

An appeal has also been lodged against a previous application for a larger facility refused a year ago.



Pressure mounts to improve measures on the Downslink to prevent another awful tragedy.

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Following the death of a 20-year-old cyclist on a sponsored ride calls are mounting for improvements to a junction of the Downslink path through Waverley where it meets the A281 Horsham-Guildford Road.

The Downslink is a favourite route for cyclists. walkers and horse-riders. However, it crosses a notoriously dangerous section of the A281 Guildford Road from Horsham where the road dips several times from Bucks Green. In recent years the road has been used by many thousands of HGV’s every week mainly reinstating Cranleigh Brick and Tile Works in Knowle Lane and Rudgwick brickworks.

 Around 10.45 am on Wednesday, 22 July, police responded to reports of a road traffic collision involving a cyclist and a Renault HGV tipper lorry on the A281 Guildford Road, Rudgwick.

Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, 20-year-old Pathushan Sutharsan died at the scene. Pathu was a second-year student at Brighton University studying architecture, due to start his third year this week. He was taking part in a 120km charity bike ride for Yemen when the collision occurred. 

Read more details in the link below:

Here’s what a local resident Janet Spooner told the Waverley Web. 

This crossing has long needed something better happening than 40mph signage.

Not only cyclists use this crossing, but there are also plenty of pedestrians and equestrians having to negotiate this road, riders of horses even need to have their horse’s head and neck out over the road for the rider to even see what is coming.

It has been suggested that there should be self-closing gates on both sides, and yes that would be good. However, I have kept saying for many years, long before the road carried the speeding traffic that it does now, that there should be a traffic light crossing where a rider on a horse has a button to press at their level along with a lower button for everyone else. One was put up at Broadbridge Heath where the new estate has been built…where the vision was perfect and the traffic nowhere near so fast!! No amount of signage is going to make the slightest bit of difference on the A281. There are many, many drivers who either don’t see the signs or care about speed limits and on Sunday they can be even worse, seeing it as some sort of challenge to go as fast as possible up and down through the dip, motorbikes particularly.

This route is promoted as a national trail… it has been dangerous for a long time, tragically someone now has lost their life. The council, the Highways Dept, NEED to listen to the people who live here and use it constantly, DO something before there is another fatality. I have been told this sort of crossing is too expensive, sorry, what cost is a life….

How to obliterate a huge part of the beautiful countryside around Haslemere?

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A day or two ago we wrote about the proposed development of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Haslemere that could soon become home to a different species.

Coming to a greenfield in Haslemere soon?

This is one one of the many creatures to lose its home if the developer of Red Court, Scotland Lane, Haslemere is given the go-ahead by Waverley Planners.

Haslemere Town Council will consider the application and make its recommendations on Thursday. Plans have been submitted to ‘Your Waverley’ for the first phase of 50 houses on AGLV (Area of Great `landscape Value) and AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

One former Haslemere Town Councillor has effectively called residents opposing the scheme NIMBY’s and serving their personal interests as they live near the site!

Here’s what former Haslemere Town and Waverley Borough councillor Jim Edwards had to say on the Waverley Web:

The developer has indicated this is just a taster for the site with at least another 120 homes to follow. 

Local people predict that the development could have a devastating effect on a large part of the town’s beautiful, protected green landscape that rings the town.
Even worse, if successful, it is clearly stated that the developer’s real plan is to build a total of 180 houses with Phase Two across large sections of southern Haslemere’s ridge of AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a devastating impact on the neighbouring areas of National Trust Blackdown, Marley Common and the South Downs National Park.

The developer, claiming to be environmentally friendly, has already felled many trees, with hundreds more proposed to be cleared resulting in the displacement of a great many protected and endangered wildlife species. The developers themselves acknowledge that the site is currently a habitat to species including redwing and honey buzzards on the endangered Red List, as well as bats, skylarks, woodcock, hen harrier, greater spotted woodpecker, owls, dormice and slow worms.in Scotland Park, if his AONB land is developed. Object to the planning application now: details on

haslemeresouth.com@HaslemereH⁩ ⁦@MartinHGames

The Lib Dems provide good reasons to oppose Surrey’s “Monster Plan.”

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Five good reasons why the Tories’ ‘Monster Surrey’ plan must be opposed – and a better alternative created

The Tory administration at Surrey County Council has proposed to Boris Johnson’s government the creation of one single ‘Monster Surrey’ local authority in Surrey. The idea is described as ‘revolutionary’ (their language) by the Tories and it would be the end of all eleven borough/district councils, including Waverley Borough Council, Elmbridge Borough Council and others. Instead, they would be merged into Surrey County Council, creating a behemoth of 1.2m residents. 

The Liberal Democrats regard this as a shameless power grab by the Conservatives in Surrey, as well as nationally. Having lost their majority in several Surrey boroughs, it’s seen as a Tory tactic of trying to stay in control by centralising political power even more than is already the case.

The ‘financially distressed’ Surrey is trying to sell the idea of a single Surrey-wide mega council to residents as a way of saving money by making things simpler. But in Elmbridge, the Lib Dems question whether the Tory scheme is just a guise for robbing our ‘piggy bank’ as our own finances in the Elmbridge Borough Council are robust. What’s more, Surrey has an ominous track record of ‘outsourcing’ its services to us in Elmbridge but then failing to pay for it. 

Liberal Democrats are all for streamlining and economising local government by establishing unitary authorities. But the answer is not in a bloated and wasteful bureaucracy, where residents’ needs are compromised and the promised savings evaporate in pursuit of the Tories’ ruthless drive for more centralised control.

Here are five good reasons why we must oppose the Tory plan to create a ‘Monster Surrey’ authority.

Instead, we should seek to establish three or four reasonably sized unitary authorities, which are responsive to residents needs and service-minded in their operations. What’s more, being nimble in size and culture they would also save money, not waste it in inefficient bureaucracy.

Reasons why we should oppose the Tory plan for a single mega-size Surrey authority:

#1 Surrey residents have been ambushed

The Tory administration at Surrey County Council has ambushed Surrey’s residents by charging ahead with a single ‘monster authority’ proposal without asking for our opinion. We must insist on a proper and orderly consultation before Boris Johnson with his cabinet of yes-men (including Mr Raab) get to impose the plan on us. 

#2 Financial estimates pie in the sky

The Tory proposals promise lots of ‘back of the envelope’ savings by creating one elephantine local authority in Surrey. These are a pie in the sky based on estimates by politicians and designed to sell the plan quickly with a ‘sign here now’ tactic. Caveat emptor (buyer beware) is a sensible reaction to this ‘high pressure’ sales approach.

#3 The voice of local people will be marginalised

A single council of 1.2 million people would be too remote and even more unaccountable as is already the case with Surrey County Council. With all decision-making concentrated in just a few hands for the entire county, the voice of local communities and people will be marginalised and sidelined. 

#4 Surrey have mismanaged their existing services

Surrey County Council are incompetent and wasteful at managing services as is, let alone coping with the mega-sized bureaucracy required for the whole of Surrey. Would you trust them to do it well? Just check out their poor track record in Fire Services, children’s services, roads with potholes, ongoing cuts to social care, mental health and disability services. And yet their management costs remain among the highest of any county council in the country.

#5 A politically motivated manoeuvre at our residents’ expense

You have to ask why the Tory administration at Surrey County Council and their sponsors in Boris Johnson’s Conservative cabinet have decided to embark on ‘revolutionising’ (their language) our local government in the middle of the worst ever pandemic and with a prospective no-deal Brexit around the corner? What’s more, they are rushing to do it without any regard for the views and preferences of Surrey’s residents. It’s nothing but a politically motivated manoeuvre at our residents’ expense. 

A better alternative

Liberal Democrats believe that three or four unitary authorities in Surrey would strike the right balance in terms of democratic accountability, quality of services and value for money. The key principle in any re-organisation of local government must be put to our residents first.

Waverley Council’s Tory Group is also objecting to the Surrey County Council proposals.

A little helping hand from the Waverley Web on all things planning.

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If you want to comment on a particular application you can – go to Planning on the  website, put in the number WA/2020/???? and then click on the comment box .

Here at the Waverley Web we regularly check-out important planning applications on the Waverley planning portal. . At least, as many as we can.  However, our team –  guys and gals are working – so forgive us if, in the past,  we have picked  out the most controversial.

However, we are well aware that navigating websites isn’t the easiest thing in the world to master – so we have decided to do the hard work for you.

From now on we will post up the weekly lists at an easy click of the button. So you can know what is going on in a green field, or in the house next door to you.

Just click on this link on the main page under the Spider’s Web – which will cover applications made this week across the borough. Don’t be parochial see what is going on in the whole of ‘Your Waverley.’

Planning_applications_received_up_to_24 August_2020 (1)

Insects disappearing in ‘Your Waverley?’

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The young may not know it, but any older person remembers very well that up to about 20 years ago any car trip meant a windscreen covered in insects crushed by the impact. Today, that doesn’t happen in the same way anymore.
It may look great to travel with a clean windscreen but doesn’t that tell you something?
Where did all the bugs go anyway?
Scientists associate the dramatic decline of insect populations with agribusiness due to the destruction of natural habitats and pesticide application. The decline of insects, besides being a tragedy in itself, affects all earthly ecosystems, such as the diet of birds, reptiles and amphibians, and pollination of plants, etc.
The collapse of insect populations may be the first sign of the collapse of our earthly ecosystems? 
So go onto the Waverley Borough Council website and comment on the climate emergency initiatives and complete the survey on this link.  Survey on ‘Your Waverley’s – Climate Emergency Initiative launched.

Just a few of the many hundreds of letters pouring into ‘Your Waverley.’

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Waverley Officer laden down with applications or objections

 

Plus a bit of advice to possible supporters from one of the campaigners against using a site in Cranleigh intended for a hospital –  now earmarked for a private care home in Knowle Lane.

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

So … Cranleigh parish council isn’t happy about the private care home either?

 

Stephanie Howland 9 Dukes Close Cranleigh Surrey
GU6 7JU

I strongly object to this planning application.

• Traffic will also be a major issue, especially once the housing development opposite has been completed as all the vehicles will be exiting onto a narrow road that is already busy. Knowle Lane is little more than a country lane and it is not suitable to take all the extra traffic. What is more the junction with the high street is already difficult to enter and exit.

• There is also only a very narrow pathway leading from the high street to the rear of Sainsbury’s that is only wide enough for one person, meaning that you must step into the road to pass. There is a no proper crossing, which makes it extremely dangerous for pedestrians to cross the road safely.

• Any emergency vehicles (ambulances) will cause further chaos at this junction (especially during peak traffic periods) Therefore, this an over-development that will cause untold congestion, pollution, and traffic problems.

• Both the care home and the accommodation block are large buildings and not in keeping with the much smaller houses along Knowle Lane and John Wiskar Drive.

• The proposed care home and accommodation block will have a massive impact on the residents of John Whisker Drive who still have outstanding questions regarding the sound screen, light pollution etc which Cranleigh Village Health Trust (CVHT) have refused to answer.

• This application was it successful, would remove a valuable green area with a loss of trees and hedgerows which are the perfect habitat for wildlife whilst adding to the demand on an already overstretched utility infrastructure that serves this village

• There is no need for another care home in Cranleigh. Currently, Cedar Court has 75 beds, The Old Rectory Nursing Home in Ewhurst has 32 beds and Knowle Park Nursing, Cranleigh has 32 single rooms, 7 shared rooms and planning permission for a further 25 beds. The I.C.P. already purchase beds from these nursing homes and will continue to do so if planning on The Paddock Field is refused.

• These so-called community beds as stated in a recent interview with a representative of the ICP and the Surrey County Council stated that these beds are for ages 75+ who are unable to return to their own home and will need to remain in residential care. These beds are not free at the point of entry if you earn/claim over the threshold of £23,000 in addition the beds could be allocated to anyone in Surrey

• The villagers of Cranleigh and surrounding villages raised money towards a hospital to benefit the whole of the local community. CVHT has refused to answer questions or engage with the people who donated the money. The proposed Care Home does not represent what the Cranleigh Village Hospital (Health) trust was set up to achieve.

• What CVHT should be considering is the utilisation of the old Surrey County Council Longfield’s site or the remaining money in the trust should be given to the League of Friends at Cranleigh Village hospital to improve the facilities currently on offer.

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A letter from Martin Bamford who speaks on behalf of all the businesses and traders who are members of the Cranleigh Chamber?  Or doe he? The WW has contacted several members who say they are not supporting this letter.

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A snapshot of Cranleigh Parish Council’s minutes.

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Survey on ‘Your Waverley’s – Climate Emergency Initiative launched.

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nick palmer

Nick Palmer – WBC Labour Councillor and former Member of Parliament.

Here was the new Rainbow  Alliances first listening exercise – now for the second.
A message to the residents of Waverley from Cllr Nick Palmer.
 
As you may know, Waverley is one of the councils that signed up to the “Climate emergency” initiative, and a cross-party working group is studying which measures would be most helpful and cost-effective. As part of this effort, we have put out an online survey to see what residents feel would help them most – it takes about 10 minutes and is anonymous, though it asks at the end if you want to leave your email address so as to get updates on this subject. Do have a go, and forward this to your friends and family?
 

To participate in the survey, go to:

If you would also like to see our Sustainability and draft Climate Emergency Action Plan, it’s here in the link below:

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/info/200287/council_policies_and_

strategies/2191/climate_change_strategy_and_action_plan

 
Best wishes
 
Nick Palmer
Labour group leader

Coming to a green field in Haslemere soon?

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At last, the CPRE has come up fighting for a town in Waverley.

This development in the countryside in an Area of Great Landscape Value and in an Area on Outstanding Natural Beauty will not go ahead if the locals in Haslemere have anything to do with it.

Developers Redwood (South West) Limited has had the land off Scotland Lane in its mind’s eye for some years – chopping down trees – putting up wire fencing trapping local wildlife – deer in particular – and enraging local people. 

Haslemere

Haslemere South Campaign Group

It had been envisaged that Redwood would wait until Waverley’s Local Plan Part 2 was published before getting off the starting blocks, but the Governments new White Paper to build 300,000 homes per year including many more in Waverley has emboldened them. So the newly named Scotland Park is under starter’s orders.

On the application form, it would appear there are 35 homes in the first phase of development – it is hard to determine how many in total are proposed on the site?

The company consulted with the Town of Haslemere on 180! No doubt the final figure will be softly, softly catchee monkey?

Here’s what the Campaign for The Preservation had to say about the proposed development. The very same outfit that objected to the new garden village at Dunsfold Park. The largest brownfield site in the borough of Waverley. Objections that were finally ruled-out by the High Court causing huge delays in construction on the former aerodrome site!

Surrey CPRE director Andy Smith said: “This is a prime example of ‘green wash’ whereby developers pretend that their schemes are environmentally sustainable when in reality they are anything but.”

Anthony Isaacs, CPRE Waverley District chairman added: “The developers of Red Court claim in their literature that the proposals to build 180 houses on green fields designated as an area of great landscape value and/or within the Surrey Hills AONB ‘conform and align absolutely’ with CPRE policies on access to National Parks and AONBs.

“Most emphatically we do not share that view.”

 

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning/planning-documents?SDescription=WA/2020/1213

Grid locked traffic, barriers everywhere, leaning signposts – Farnham is a building site.

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Is it any wonder that everyone in Farnham has started headbanging?
 Motorists were seen beating their heads on their steering wheels this week when Farnham was finally completely grid-locked.
 Building works in the town centre have impacted on Farnham for years but this week everything took a turn for the worst when traffic gridlocked in every direction – including from Aldershot and beyond. All roads to Farnham led nowhere!
 Wide pavements with dramatically reduced footfall!
Space for cyclists? Where are they?
 Now we hear at the Waverley Web that it has been suggested that we, Farnham taxpayers, underwrite £10,000 to improve the “pig’s ear” of a social distancing scheme which is driving shoppers out of our town. The town council has been asked for cash to provide additional planters to make the streets look prettier!
 John Ward Waverley Borough Council leader and councillor for Shortheath and Boundstone complained  that the town still looked like a “building site”, and was littered with “wretched sandbags and cones.” He doubted the council could have any confidence that the new planters would be utilised given that SCC was “wedded to barriers and cones”.Others agreed, including Farnham Castle councillor George Hesse, who said:

“Surrey has made a right pig’s ear of the town”  asking  when the “experiment would finish?”

Town council leader John Neale explained it was a 12-week exercise, which would take the present scheme to mid-September. However, he believed it would go on for longer. He said the county council was exploring alternatives to barriers, including the potential for temporary kerbstones.

The Waverley Web cannot help wondering whether the town’s councillors knew what they were signing up to when they agreed to Surrey’s plan in the first place?  If they didn’t, it begs the question, why on earth did they approve the plans? Surely they too have to accept some of the responsibility for the mess the town centre is in? The WW heard from one couple who travelled from Guildford for a day’s shopping in Farnham, only to find the place in such a mess they turned around and went back home. So why waste another £10,000 of our money?

Town clerk Iain Lynch said funding was in place until March 31, 2021, and hoped the additional £10,000 would be covered by Surrey’s on-street parking revenue.

So it doesn’t really matter – because it is Surrey’s money – OUR MONEY – but from a different pot! But they cannot find the money for this…Has someone been leaning on a signpost in Farnham?

He reassured members: “If additional planters go in, the barriers would definitely be removed.” Although he recognised there had been “a number of issues” with the scheme,  there was no certainty when Covid-19 would disappear. 

 SCC says it has packed the barriers tightly together to ensure that children can not run between them into the road. It urges patience from the public to allow the scheme to bed down!  

 

The recommendation was agreed, with just one vote against. So more money down the proverbial pan? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A message from Nick to ‘Your Waverley.’

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nick palmer

WBC Labour Councillor and former Member of Parliament.

  The virus…
 
continues at a very low level in our area, and is being kept that way – so far – by people largely sticking very closely to precautions. The national picture is generally low level too, but with severe local flare-ups which force entire communities to go back into lockdown. A difficult winter is widely predicted because of the potential for flu symptoms to be confused with or aggravated by coronavirus – do get the flu jab when it’s available.
 
2.      How are Godalming and Waverley coping?
 
See the town council website
 
 
For a comprehensive overview of the Godalming position.  The high street pedestrianisation is largely seen to have worked well, though access for disabled people who normally rely on car drop-offs has been a challenge, and the times have been adjusted to give everyone the chance to access all the shops easily. The Community Store initiative (also on the website) has been a real success – please do contribute to their pickup points, and of course, don’t hesitate to use it yourself if you or your family get into difficulty.
 
The wider Waverley position is described here:
 
 
I think that we have a good deal to be proud of in the sensible way that people have been tackling the issue. We just need to be careful not to weary of precautions before a vaccine becomes available. At a borough-wide level, we’ve been trying to balance the need for enjoyable events with the need to put health first, and the council executive has rejected a general ban on events in favour of a nuanced approach, working with each event organiser individually to ensure that precautions are in place. Realistically it’s not easy for the police to break up a large event once it’s started if the organisation is sloppy, but there have been some really good public events which passed off without any problems.
 
The only serious issue has been at Frensham Ponds, where a surge in visitors during the heatwave got completely out of hand – the car park filled up and people double-parked illegally on the main road, social distancing was largely ignored and each day left a residue of huge mounds of litter, with booze bottles, discarded nappies, and other unwelcome waste left lying on the beach. Attempts by local council staff to persuade people to behave more sensible were greeted with abuse. As the Executive member responsible for enforcement I’ve authorised spot fines and brought in additional support from East Hampshire to reinforce our hard-pressed staff, and the position has now improved – but I’d still advise finding other less obvious beauty spots on really hot days.
Here’s what you left behind!

Are we all as sick as Waverley’s Parrott?

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WW followers may remember those heady days when Waverley Planning Policy Officer Graham Parrott burned the midnight oil preparing Local Plan versions 1, 2 and then 3 – which then once approved by a Government Inspector became the infamous Local Plan Part 1.

The poor s*d spent 15 years working with neighbouring authorities, including Woking & Guildford. Held public consultation exercises here there and everywhere with Tom, Dick & Harriet. Attended Examinations in public – High Court hearings and Judicial Reviews – phew!

Then with Local Plan, Part 1 finally agreed by Government Inspectors; the Secretary of State;  and ‘a bench’ of judges and with Local Plan Part 2 almost on the starting blocks heralding an end to the long saga of both Waverley’s and others’ Local Neighbourhood Plans in sight…  Up pops Boris The Bulldozer and ‘Bob The Builder’ Jenrick. The dynamic duo begins moving the development goalposts or ‘the ball’  as we know it – to enable development to be kicked onto a completely different pitch. It has announced the biggest shake-up of planning for decades to fast-track “beautiful” new homes across the country. Whilst in the process choking off affordable housing and diluting democratic oversight.

Poor old Graham – and you won’t have heard us pitying Waverley planning officers very often – so there’s one for the scrapbook!

However, it isn’t just The Waverley Parrott that is affected. We are all about to meet our new makers.  If you are not sitting down, and you haven’t seen this already, pull up a chair because this set us squawking and we suspect it will have the same effect on you? !  According to *Lichfields, under the new methods proposed by the Government for calculating housing targets, the Waverley target goes up to 835 homes per annum.

Yep – that’s right 835 – up from 590!

Read the link below and see for yourselves. Where you will see some of our Waverley neighbours’ new figures.

It even makes us here at WW as sick as poor old Parrott. How many other parrots are there in the country that have been working their ar*es off preparing Local Plans. Attending hearings – some of which were three weeks at a stretch – must have cost squillions of taxpayers’ money countrywide for paper exercises which are nothing more than a con trick to get us to accept more housing. 

https://lichfields.uk/grow-renew-protect-planning-for-the-future/how-many-homes-the-new-standard-method/

Litchfield’s

Town planning was a very new discipline when Nathaniel Lichfield set the company up. He was a pioneering economist and town planner, and the business was soon advising government, local authorities, and private clients on some of the country’s most significant projects – from new towns and airports, to the country’s first regional shopping centre, and the world’s most famous stadium.

It now gives practical and robust planning support for house builders, commercial developers, and local authorities as well as land owners and investors. 

A few things you should know about the government’s new planning White Paper.

Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

Has someone been leaning on a sign post in Farnham?

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Is a metal signpost about to fall on somebody’s head in Castle Street Farnham?

Apparently both Waverley and Surrey County Council have been informed but as usual, it appears to have been ignored by the authority responsible (SCC)! The very same county wallers who want to rule the world!

Bye Bye ‘Your Waverley’ Hello ‘Surrey?’

Would you want the same people who repair our roads to run all our services in ‘Your Waverley?

Let us hope that this little signpost near the corner of the street doesn’t drop on any certain little ladies going by? Oh! me oh my – as George Formby once sang … 

The other side of the story from a local worker of Public Health England.

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This message is a message we have received at the Waverley Web from someone who works for Public Health. Please read, it is very important.

“Very sombre team meeting today and my boss is both shocked and upset by the news that Public Health gets the blame and Public Health England is to be dismantled.
Every single public health personnel in the country has been working tirelessly on this Coronovvirus epidemic since March. I have colleagues who are overworked and frazzled – sometimes working through weekends only to be told by the Daily Telegraph that they are rubbish and not required.
Instead, Dido Harding ( who famously couldn’t even run Talk Talk call centres) and gave the go-ahead for The Cheltenham Festival is to be the head of the new outfit. She went to school with Boris and is “friends” with people. Dominic Cummings and is delighted and in fact most likely instigated this as he’s upset that Chris Whitty didn’t back Big Dom’s eye test drive to Barnard Castle.
Once again – the public & government – (who are in a public health pandemic – seem unaware what public health actually is) – and have forgotten, or are not aware that public health is also sexual health services, advisors on food standards, tobacco control, drugs and alcohol, data and health equity (stopping postcode lotteries) and behaviour change, mental well being, policy on air quality, child health services as well as improving the quality and safety of NHS services. Have they forgotten – or perhaps don’t care?
What government dismantles a public health organisation in the midst of a  health crisis? They even call the track and trace – the NHS track and trace – even though it’s not NHS.
They took Public Health out of the NHS – which means public health doesn’t have access to NHS data. They put their cronies in charge of Track and trace – sidelining local teams. Then they blame public health for failing. It’s a  ridiculous and very dangerous game they are playing with OUR lives.
And yet the Daily Telegraph, Times, Sun and Daily Mail readers believe them.
My boss said he felt like going on strike – though obviously we won’t.

Wake up Britain. The world is sleepwalking into a strange rabbit hole. This lot is not keeping you safe.”

A few things you should know about the government’s new planning White Paper.

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A few things you need to know about the government’s White Paper called Planning for the Future white paper

In a nutshell – Bob The Builder Jenrick & Co have come up with a cunning plan to make planning easier – for whom we hear you cry? Well, as far as we can see having worked through this 84-page consultation document it is giving more than a shake-up to the present planning system. More like a shake-down for us folks.

 

As far as we can see all those Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans the towns and villages have been working on for years and years will have to be updated, or rather updated straight to Waverley’s recycling bin. So there’s a few squillions going down the drain again!

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The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has now published its much-anticipated Planning for the Future white paper outlining far-reaching proposed changes to the planning system.

Here at the Waverley Web, we have trawled through the key proposals and points in the 84-page consultation document, which promises more than a major shake-up of the current system of local plans, development management and developer contributions, more like a local government shit show!

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The White Paper says:

1. Local plans would be simplified and focus on identifying three categories of land – “growth areas” that are “suitable for substantial development”; “renewal areas” that are “suitable for development”; and “protected areas”. In “growth areas.” Outline approval would be automatically granted for forms and types of development specified in the plan.

So where in the Waverley Borough has Surrey County Council already dubbed ‘the growth areas?’ Yep – you guessed. Farnham and the Cranleigh Dunsfold Growth corridoor. Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

Development in renewal areas would “cover existing built areas where smaller-scale development is appropriate”  and could include the “gentle densification” of residential areas, development in town centres, and small sites in and around villages. There would be a “statutory presumption in favour of development” specified in the plan. Protected areas, including green belt, conservation areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), would still be subject to “more stringent” development controls and full planning applications would be required for new schemes.

By gentle densification – we think they mean – higher, closer, less green space, with smaller gardens. Which they all claim will be “more beautiful.’

2. Local plans should be subject to a single and “simplified” statutory “sustainable development” test, replacing the existing “tests of soundness”. This new test “would consider whether the plan contributes to achieving sustainable development in accordance with the policy issued by the secretary of state”, the consultation states. The test could also “become less prescriptive about the need to demonstrate deliverability”.

Great less need to show deliverability! –  There are already £1m homes consented but not yet built. Probably lots more when homes go unsold?

3. Instead of general policies for development, the document says, local plans would be required to set out the site- and area-specific requirements for development, alongside locally-produced design codes. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) “would become the primary source of policies for development management”.

4. The legal duty to cooperate, which requires local planning authorities to continuously and effectively engage with neighbours on strategic issues such as housing need, “would be removed”. However, it adds that “further consideration will be given to the way in which strategic cross-boundary issues, such as major infrastructure or strategic sites, can be adequately planned for, including the scale at which plans are best prepared in areas with significant strategic challenges”.

Great! So need to work with neighbouring authorities – Waverley now becomes – an island?

5. The government is considering scrapping the five-year housing land supply requirement. The document says its “proposed approach should ensure that enough land is planned for, and with sufficient certainty about its availability for development, to avoid a continuing requirement to be able to demonstrate a five-year supply of land”. However, it proposes to “maintain the housing delivery test and the presumption in favour of sustainable development as part of the new system”.

So, therefore nothing to prohibit development – let Boris’s bulldozers roll?

6. Councils and the Planning Inspectorate would be required through legislation to meet a statutory timetable of no more than 30 months for plan preparation with “sanctions for those who fail to do so”. The average time taken from plan publication to adoption rose from an average of 450 days in 2009 to 815 days in 2019, the paper states, while there is “currently no statutory requirement around timescales for key stages of the plan-making process”.

As quickly as possible – with as little consultation as possible, no doubt?

7. The need for sustainability appraisals alongside plans would be abolished and instead a “simplified process for assessing the environmental impact of plans, which would continue to satisfy the requirements of UK and international law and treaties”.

Laws and treaties on environmental law that have been ignored by local councils – including ‘Your Waverley’ for years!

8. Local plans would need to be “visual and map-based, standardised, based on the latest digital technology and supported by a new standard template”, the document says.

Let’s go digital and rule all those pesky objections out?

9. The planning process would be increasingly digitised, moving from “a process based on documents to a process driven by data”. Local authorities would be helped to use digital tools to support “a new civic engagement process for local plans and decision-making”.

10. Under a proposed new “fast-track for beauty”, proposals for high-quality developments that reflect local character and preferences would benefit from “automatic permission”. New development would be expected to create a “net gain” to areas’ appearance.

Just like the net gain we are currently getting from little boxes, made out of ticky tacky that all look just the same? And, road called Bluebell Lane and Primrose Walk – where neither will ever be seen again?

11. Design codes, which would be expected to be prepared locally, would be made “more binding” on planning decisions. A new body would be established to support the delivery of design codes across the country.

Another Quango you have to be kidding?

12. The standard housing need method would be changed so that the requirement would be “binding” on local planning authorities who would “have to deliver [it] through their local plans”. The new method “would be a means of distributing the national housebuilding target of 300,000 new homes annually”. It says the requirement would be focused on areas where affordability pressure is highest and on brownfield land. It would also have regard to the “size of existing urban settlements” in an area and the “extent of land constraints”.

Areas like Waverley and the growth zones already earmarked – Farnham with a station on the A31, and Cranleigh with few buses, no station and the main A Road from Horsham – which is earmarked for 11,000 new homes.

13. A new ‘single infrastructure levy’ will replace the existing developer contributions system of section 106 agreements and the community infrastructure levy. The government says the new levy will be a nationally-set, flat rate charge and would be based on the final value (or likely sales value) of a development. It says it intends the new levy to raise more revenue than under the current system of developer contributions, and deliver “at least as much” affordable housing, and on-site affordable housing, as at present

14. The new levy could be used to “capture a greater proportion of the land value uplift that occurs through the grant of planning permission, and use this to enhance infrastructure delivery. But such a move “would need to be balanced against risks to development viability”.

15. The scope of the levy “could be extended to capture changes of use through permitted development rights”. Such a move “would allow these developments to better contribute to infrastructure delivery and making development acceptable to the community.

16. Big building sites would be split between developers to accelerate delivery. The government proposes to revise the NPPF to make it clear that masterplans and design codes for sites prepared for substantial development should seek to include a variety of development types from different builders, which would allow more phases to come forward together.

17. Community consultation at the planning application stage is to be “streamlined”. Instead, there would be “a new emphasis on engagement at the plan-making stage”, the document says.

18. The determination of planning applications “should be faster and more certain, with firm deadlines”. The “well-established time limits of eight or 13 weeks for determining an application from validation to decision should be a firm deadline – not an aspiration which can be got around through extensions of time as routinely happens now”.

In other words -no yellow notices on gates or trees warning of development coming to a field near you. No public notices in local papers – papers that rely on the income! Bye-bye – newsprint papers?

19. Applications should be “shorter and more standardised”. There should be just “one key standardised planning statement of no more than 50 pages to justify the development proposals”, the paper proposes.

20. Penalties for councils that fail to determine an application within the statutory time limits could involve “the automatic refund of the planning fee for the application”. Ministers also “want to explore whether some types of applications should be deemed to have been granted planning permission if there has not been a timely determination”.

So the climate of fear begins – read below. Grant permission or else! Local grassroots democracy consigned to the wheelie bins!

21. Where applications are refused and the decision is overturned at appeal, the paper proposes that “applicants will be entitled to an automatic rebate of their planning application fee”.

22. Each local planning authority would be required to have a chief officer for design and place-making.

23. Fees should continue to be set nationally but “cover at least the full cost” of processing applications, “based on clear national benchmarking”. It added that this “should involve the greater regulation of discretionary pre-application charging to ensure it is fair and proportionate”.

24. The costs of operating the planning system should be “principally funded” by developer contributions “rather than the national or local taxpayer”. Currently, the document says, “the cost of development management activities by local planning authorities is to a large extent covered by planning fees”. However, the “cost of preparing local plans and enforcement activities is now largely funded from the local planning authority’s own resources”.

25. The government has promised to “develop a comprehensive resources and skills strategy for the planning sector to support the implementation of our reforms”. Proposals for “improving the resourcing of planning departments” will be published “later this year”, it adds.

26. The paper promises a “deep dive regulatory review to identify and eliminate outdated regulations which increase costs for local planning authorities, especially to the decision-making process”.

27. Councils “should be subject to a new performance framework which ensures continuous improvement across all planning functions from local plans to decision-making and enforcement – and enables early intervention if problems emerge with individual authorities”.

So be warned ‘Your Waverley’ don’t you get above yourself and start thinking you are the planners for your area. Big Brother Boris and ‘Bob The Builder’ Jenrick are in charge from now on!

28. Consultation on the white paper proposals run for 12 weeks until October 29. The suggested changes to local plans, developer contributions and development management “would require primary legislation followed by secondary legislation”. Ministers “would expect new local plans to be in place by the end of the Parliament”.

The WW apologises for the length and breadth of this post.

New nursery school on its way to Hadrians near Farnham Hospital.

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Surrey County Council has backed a bid by ‘Your Waverley’ to convert a former Waverley-owned community centre into a nursery school. County Officials say more nursery places are needed in the residential area of council housing. The flat roof building is close to homes occupied by a large number vulnerable adults, including the physically and mentally disabled as well as those suffering from addiction.

Members of the Western Planning Committee heard from planning officers the building had a D1 use class, the patio would be extended for a play area and the footpath re-aligned. Seven spaces in a nearby car park would be reserved for six staff and the parents of the 40 children who would attend. Opening hours could be 9-5pm or possibly 8-6pm.

Screen Shot 2020-08-19 at 10.19.23.pngFarnham’s Cllr Carole Cockburn said she couldn’t think of a worse place for a nursery school.

” I think this is an absolute dogs breakfast.”

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The area is in Roman Way, off Hale Road, near the Six Bells Pub and Farnham Hospital. 

She would like nothing more than to see the building back in use, but not for a nursery school so close to nearby properties. What about the safeguarding issues. How can anyone possibly have a safeguarding policy here that actually works? She said the area around Hadrians was an absolute rabbit warren, was cramped and the small areas of green space there was well-used.

“Green space here is precious.and I cannot understand how anyone would think a nursery is the right use for a building surrounded by houses – and I am very worried about this application”

Others too, registered their very real concerns including the effect of noise on neighbours and parents of up to 40 children rocking up at similar times for drop-offs and collections putting pressure on the small car park nearby. The lack of lighting on the footpath concerned Cllr Brian Adams, as did the Range Rovers that would park there! Cllr Brian Edmonds asked if neighbours had been consulted? Cllr George Hesse said the natural noise from children playing was – “right bang next to neighbours’ windows.”

However, Planning Officer Ruth Dovey assured everyone that neighbours had been informed, lighting could be addressed, and parking was not a problem in the area. Any concerns members might have were not insurmountable.

Cllr Kika Mirylees argued lots of nurseries operated in residential areas.

The Western Committee voted six in Favour and six against – with three abstentions – so the planning application was passed with Chairman David Beaman’s casting vote.

The Waverley Web has never been quite able to understand why some councillors seem unable to use their vote – but are content to sit on the fence, wobble about and take no responsibility!

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As the exam fiasco hits ‘Your Waverley’ what have our MP’s said about another fine mess we’re in?

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Angela Richardson MP for Guildford & Villages – Nothing. Jeremy Hunt MP for South West Surrey – Zilch!

Lots on Twitter from Our Jeremy about getting out and about on his bike from his Pimlico flat to Parliament – and there we were thinking they were in recess. But Zero from Angela! Except of course yet another Twitter congratulating someone, somewhere, anyone for achieving… anything!

 

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With many thousands of young people in our borough wringing their hands in despair as they have watched their A-level exam scores downgraded, our GCSE hopefulls await their fate. Will they or won’t they receive their results on Thursday? Will another shedload of our young people’s hopes, aspirations and years of work be flushed down the nearest drain?

Guildford and Cranleigh’s MP Angela Richardson must have something to say on the subject surely – her boss Education Secretary Gavin Richardson is presiding over a system that has produced hundreds of thousands of unfair and inexplicable downgrades. Isn’t she working, or on holiday, from a department that has presided over the most shameful chapter in Education history? Surely she must have something meaninful and of value to say?

She regularly congratulates anyone and everyone – perhaps the time has come to say something meaningful to the young people whose lives have been turned upside down and inside out? Perhaps both she and Jeremy should study the picture above? Because the exam car crash has plumbed new depths of utter incompetence and this desperately cruel blow dealt to her constituents and their families will never be forgotten. It beggars belief that our MP’s who used every opportunity to gain our votes just a short time ago, are currently nowhere to be seen or heard. It really does beggar belief!

Perhaps our borough MP’s should take a leaf out of Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish book and if nothing else, at least apologise?

 

Will developers find another site to bring 5G to Godalming?

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Remember all you olds out there, what McCarthy & Stone promise you when you buy one of its properties isn’t necessarily what you get!

“These retirement living developments are carefully designed to provide the very best of independent living within a safe and secure environment. With an opportunity to benefit from companionship and also privacy, as required.”

Do you get it – ‘safe, secure – private?’

So when Arthur Hayes moved into Ceasers Place, Ockford Ridge he didn’t reckon on looking out of his window of his new home  at a 5.5m high alpha telecommunications pole 4x600m dishes and four equipment cabinets at rooftop level, with associated development. A base would put the white pole at 7.2m!  So – not quite what it said on McCarthy’s tin?

Thankfully two Godalming councillors -Paul Follows and Anne-Marie Rosoman called the application in for determination by the local committee. Due to their concerns, they also asked for a site visit so everyone could see for themselves the impact on residents from inside their flats. This occurred thanks to the residents who accommodated the (socially distant) site visit.

 

Cllr George Wilson who quoted McCarthy’s message to his colleagues said he believed it was “reprehensible” that the developer was putting the needs of its residents who had paid £500,000 for a two-bedroom home, second to the needs of the telecommunications industry and ‘money.’

Almost everyone on the committee agreed the need for improved 5G communications was vital in Godalming but wanted proof  this woud be part of a wider network of masts.

Cllr Liz Townsend argued that the system needed to be part of a much broader application for a 5G network in the area. There is no getting away from it, this mast is intrusive and if we are to allow this, and weigh the balance of benefit against the harm it must be a part of  much wider connectivity for 5G or it does not overcome the harm.  Or, is this mast so high because there are so few other masts around?

Planning Officer Beth Howland Smith said she was unaware of any other planning applications relating to 5G.

Cllr Steve Cosser was concerned about Cllr Townsend’s remarks claiming the commitee risked going down a path  that was “not appropriate.” We are judging the general beenfit here, not second-guessing what might be and, apart from the people living on this development, there’s not going to be much impact. “The officers have got it right.”

However, Cllr John Gray said the impact on residents was very clear. A mast on a building with no independent access has to be available 24/7. A building that is not manned all the time and locked up overnight would require the willingness of residents should maintenance be required. So the impact on residents was more than just visual! 

How sick we are here at the Waverley Web of hearing planning officers’ continually trotting out that applications they support will do – “less than substantial harm.” What exactly is that supposed to mean?

The Application was REFUSED – Six were in favour – nine AGAINST.

 

Will Surrey County Council give power to the people next May?

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You can bet your bottom dollar there will be no Surrey County Council elections next May.

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Because making housing development easier was one of the reasons given by SCC leader Tim Oliver for his bid to make Surrey the biggest non-metropolitan unitary authority in the country, more the twice the size of the next largest, Cornwall. 

We’re on a road to nowhere… if Surrey wins hearts and minds.The fight to stop Surrey County Council’s power grab has begun.

But the Waverley Web asks? Can such a momentous change to the governance of our county really be pushed through without the consent of those most affected, the citizens of Surrey? 

How about asking us – the voting fodder? Voting fodder that will include all those young A-level students who have been shafted by a Government engaged in a farrago of confusion and disappointment. Examples of unfairness are spreading much faster than the coronavirus.

Sir Paul Beresford, the Tory MP for Mole Valley, is so convinced of the merits of the scheme he doesn’t even believe consultation is required. But if the case is so overwhelmingly obvious then surely consultation would quickly show a huge majority in favour? Nothing to fear then Sir Humphrey? Where does our Jeremy stand on this one, and Guildford’s Aunty Angie?

How about this for an idea. Why don’t the Tories make the proposal part of their manifesto for the May SCC elections? Then, if they win a majority of the votes we will know it has our true support and the mandate for such a behemoth authority. Other parties can put their own proposals forward too and it will then be up to the voters to choose. That is the way our democracy is meant to work, isn’t it?

Or, will that little suggestions, which is being made by us, in common with many others in the press and on social media, not sit too well with HE who must be obeyed at Westminister. ‘Boris The Bulldozer  and Bob the Builder, who is seeking even more millions from developers to boost Conservative coffers?

Because giving us, the voting fodder a say won’t be their style in the central take-over which is occurring in front of our very eyes. Maybe the truth is more likely that electorate can’t trust the politicians?

Older readers might recall this extract from the episode of the BBC’s Yes, Prime Minister

Sir Humphrey to local council leader: “What do you mean, the people don’t want your policies?”

Council leader: “Well of course they would, if they could understand. But the ordinary voters are simple people. They don’t see their needs. They can’t analyse problems. They need leadership to guide them to the way they ought to go.”

Sir Humphrey: “Don’t you think the people would vote for such leadership?”

Council leader: “No, people don’t always understand what’s good for them.”

Sir Humphrey: “Ah! I do so agree with you.”

 

New Farnham car park – down by the riverside

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A temporary car park that floods; was built without planning permission, by ‘Your Waverley’ on land owned by ‘Your Waverley’ and dubbed by ‘Your Waverley’ as a park and stride into the Town of Farnham – and is more like a park and bike – has been given the go-ahead by ‘Your Waverley’s’ planners.

Riverside 3 Car Park in Mike Hawthorne Drive (WA/2019/2097 for the retention and permanent use of the car park was agreed by the Western Planning Committee.

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Surrey County Council said it had a full understanding of the environmental effects of the scheme and had no objection to the area becoming a permanent car park.

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Perchance to dream?

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CVHT t 2019-07-27 at 09.56.55

“To die, to sleep – to sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub, for in this sleep of death what dreams may come…” (Hamlet) This is said by Hamlet to himself when he thinks he is alone

Kathy Plank
Conservation is on my mind.
Thinking of a way forward to be progressive with the CVHT and the community.
Thinking about something a friend of mine mentioned. Seeing as the charity changed its name to a ‘Health Trust’ – this beautiful green space, home to dormice, bats even possibly an otter or two, could become a health and wellbeing space.
We have all benefitted from green, open space, particularly during the lockdown. A benefit to both our mental and physical health. A green, open space, in the middle of the village, open to the whole community, all ages, for yoga, pilates, workouts, walks, schools to see nature at work, a sanctuary for people with disabilities and difficulties to spend time with nature.
Forget all. the concrete and ugliness. A healing, health and wellbeing field of love and happiness. A lovely, lasting legacy for all involved. XXX💚🌿💚🌿🌻🌻🌻🌺🌺🌺

A message to Cranleigh people from Margi…

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The WW has received literally hundreds of messages and comments from people living over there in the eastern villages of Waverley. Lack of space prevents us from including all your comments on our posts.

CVHT - driving a split in Cranleigh
Margi Plank

You may have seen many posts on our various groups pertaining to the planning application by the Cranleigh Village health Trust (CVHT) for a private Care Home and block of flats. All on a small area of land behind Marks and Spencer’s car park and a small residential area of private homes?

There are many private residents against this development. At least 4,600 minimum to be exact.

Another petition has just been launched. https://.www.change.org/campaigngroup

 

“There are a few of us that are spokespeople passing on information and comments on behalf of these dissenters as best we can.
We have been blocked by the Admin of any group that is either in the employ of the CVHT or are actually part of the Trust themselves i.e. Trustees or those with a vested interest.
We are asking for this planning application to be deferred until a public meeting can be held so that CVHT can answer all the questions that remain unanswered.
Villagers raised the sum of £1.8m towards a new hospital for the villages in and around Cranleigh nearly 20 years ago and the money has all but disappeared down a black hole and the plan has morphed into a private care home for the elderly to serve the whole of Surrey. Users of the home’s services will be financially assessed in the usual way.
It has turned out that many of the statements made by the Trust may only become a part reality if planning permission is granted. However, there is no agreed partnership with the Care Home Company so no reality there!”
Many, many questions were unanswered.
  • Where has the money gone?
  • Why did land have to be swapped?
  • Where is the money coming from to build the Care Home and flats if their so-called ”partner” reneges on any verbal agreement – particularly as the company in question (HC-One) is millions of pounds in debt but still paying shareholders many millions in dividends?
  • This is a Care Home, the beds of which are for anyone in the county – and they won’t necessarily be free at the point of entry; the FAQs state “After initial assessment some patients will need to self pay”.
What is being sold to the public are free community hospital beds when this is not the case at all.
We have ascertained from experts that the beds are: “Continuing care beds for elderly or disabled people – for the rest of their lives.” Not for post-operative care as claimed by a Cranleigh parish councillor Richard Cole – or young mums with children, as claimed by Cllr Rosemary Burbridge! They too – are being misled!
Many statements are being made by the Trust’s PR spokesman under the headings Myth and Reality – most of these statements are untrue and are accusing innocent members of the genuinely concerned public of telling lies.
IT IS THEREFORE IMPERATIVE THAT FACTS HAVE GOT TO BE ESTABLISHED before any planning application is considered.
Please all remember!  The money raised was not out of a large developers coffers. It was raised by the villagers. Men, women and young children.   They need and deserve the truth.
It was also our land that was squirrelled away for it! Sold for £1.
If you would like to read the letters of support and objection, please go to Waverley Planning Applications
No.WA/2020/0965 these will give you a background of what has taken place over the years. 
And STILL, the support letters rolling in are trying to convince people it’s a HOSPITAL and will save them a trip to Guildford RSCH, even the landowner involved in the land swap!
When is the CVHT going come clean and state that the planning application is for a PRIVATE CARE HOME which will NOT be facilitating hospital treatment, so, therefore, will NOT save you a trip to Guildford?
Also, there is a large percentage of these support letters are coming from way out of the area, even hundreds of miles away. Only a handful mention having a relative living in the Cranfold area, so it begs the question WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE THAT ARE DELIGHTED TO KNOW A PRIVATE CARE HOME IS PROPOSED FOR CRANLEIGH. CVHT has obviously scoured the country for support for this.
We have received very few letters of objection from people out of the area but these include a former Cranleigh GP who was practising at our medical centre at the time of raising money and people themselves who actually donated and do not want their money spent on building a private care home. Other former GP’s have also objected.

Ruth Turner

Ash Barn, Church Lane, Monyash,

Derbyshire, DE45 1JH

When I first joined Cranleigh Medical Practice as a partner in 2002 the project to build a replacement health centre and village hospital was in progress. Initially, this seemed to me like a good idea. The old health centre and the wards in the village hospital were dilapidated, and there was great support for the project from the community. Indeed, a very large amount of money was raised by CVHT from the people of Cranleigh for it. At the heart of the project was the desire to replace the community beds which were under threat and subsequently closed by NHS Surrey.

However, five years ago, whilst I was still a partner at Cranleigh Medical Practice, there was no model of care agreed for the 16 community beds in the private nursing home (which the original replacement village hospital has now turned into) and I gather that this remains the case today. In my view, this is a fatal flaw for the project because, as we always used to say, you can stick a sign on the door which says “community beds”, but if there is no model of care and no secure funding stream agreed to utilize these beds, then these are just words. In which case the plans must surely be solely for a private nursing home. The original outline planning permission was granted for a replacement village hospital, not a nursing home. I would argue that another private nursing home is not needed in Cranleigh which is already a net importer of patients requiring private nursing home care. A fact which clearly demonstrates existing oversupply.

The twists and turns in the saga of this project caused me sleepless nights whilst I was working in Cranleigh because the original idea of community beds was attractive, but the many incarnations have all had the same fundamental problem. A private nursing home can make money if it’s big enough (clearly topping up the numbers with another 16 paying patients would help this equation), but genuine free at the point of delivery community beds are a massively expensive luxury, which I suspect renders them unaffordable in this setting. To me then, this has become another commercial private nursing home project which is why I object to the plans.

https://.www.change.org/campaigngroup

Charity bike ride on the Downslink ends in tragedy.

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Anyone who drives this stretch of the A281 – as reported on Facebook – knows it is THE worst signposted road junction with the Downslink, which is so popular with cyclists. 

 

A cyclist who died in a Rudgwick collision has been formally identified.

Around 10.45am on Wednesday, 22 July, police responded to reports of a road traffic collision involving a cyclist and a Renault HGV tipper lorry on the A281 Guildford Road, Rudgwick.

Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, 20-year-old Pathushan Sutharsan died at the scene.

Pathushan, known as Pathu, was taking part in a 120km charity bike ride for Yemen when the collision occurred.

His family have issued the following tribute: “Pathu was a compassionate, sensitive, generous and creative person who always had a positive outlook. He had a life board in his bedroom where he would write down all of his dreams and aspirations.

“Pathu was in his second year studying architecture at Brighton University, due to start his third year in September and was a very dedicated student.

“His passions were photography and singing; he had a music studio as his home in Morden, South London, which he was very proud of. Pathu was also very interested in You Tube and wanted to capture real life situations via his podcasts.

“Pathu was always thinking of others and this bike ride was no different. Although Hindu, he was participating in the charity ride to assist Muslims in the Yemen.

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“One of Pathu’s mantras in life included: ‘Will you be proud of the things you have done?’ 

“Well, us and his friends, although devastated by our loss, are proud that Pathu passed away trying to save the lives of so many people.”

His secondary school headmaster, Mr Bean of WCGS said on behalf of all staff at the school: “Pathu was a much-loved student and studied art, chemistry and maths at A Level. He was a very talented musician, often found in the main hall playing the piano and led Radcliffe as house captain with passion and creativity. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Pathu’s Just Giving page for his charity ride has now raised more than £15,000.  Let’s give it a boost – and let us all call for proper signage both on the Downslink and the A281 warning the thousands of HGV drivers and cyclists of the hazards ahead?

Police continue to appeal for anyone who witnessed the collision or who has dash cam footage to make contact with them. You can report information online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Oakford.

‘Bob The Builder’ Jenrick keeps Shtum on unbuilt homes?

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When the BBC asked ‘Bob The Builder’ Jenrick today what he intended to do about the 1m homes already consented but not built,  he stayed Shtum.

Now we ask MP’s Jeremy Hunt and Angela Richardson? Do you also intend to stay silent on the subject? If so, WHY? Because many of those consented homes are in Waverley, and on your patch!

And Angie’s patch is under threat because Surrey County Council has its beady eye on Cranleigh!  If The Government gets its way, which it will – Cranleigh’s floodgates will literally, be opened. Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

More than a million homes granted planning permission in the past decade have not yet been built, according to new analysis by the Local Government Association.

It is time to make developers pay for delays.

 

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This is more likely to be the reason why 1m homes remain unbuilt? Many developers are asking to reduce the number of affordable homes too!

Latest figures show that 2,564,600 units have been granted planning permission by councils since 2009/10 while only 1,530,680 have been completed.

The number of planning permissions granted for new homes has almost doubled since 2012/13 with councils approving 9 in 10 applications. But according to ‘Bob’ that’s not enough and great swathes of the countryside must now go under concrete, to provide jobs for the building industry?

While in some cases there is  a time lag between permission being granted and homes being built, new build completions have only increased by half as much in that time. 

Alongside the Government, councils have recognised the shortage of housing and the need to build more homes.

In Waverley’s case thousands of new homes have been consented and one major new garden village on a brownfield site at Dunsfold aerodrome. where 2,600 new homes are planned. 

However, the backlog of unbuilt homes shows the planning system is not a barrier to house building. The Local Government Association has called  on the Government to use its  planning white paper to give councils powers to take action on unbuilt land which has planning permission.

This includes making it easier to compulsory purchase land where homes remain unbuilt, and to be able to charge developers full council tax for every unbuilt development from the point that the original planning permission expires.

With the right powers and funding, the LGA said councils can play a leading role in helping the Government tackle the national housing shortage.

As part of its submission to the Treasury ahead of next month’s Budget, the LGA is also calling for the Government to reform Right to Buy, by allowing councils to keep all of the receipts of homes sold under RTB to replace them and to have the flexibility to set discounts locally.

Cllr David Renard, LGA housing spokesman, said:

“The planning system is not a barrier to house building. The number of homes granted planning permission has far outpaced the number of homes being built.

”No-one can live in a planning permission, or a half-built house where work on a site has begun but not been completed.

“Councils need powers to tackle our housing backlog and step in where a site with planning permission lies dormant and house building has stalled.

“If we are to solve our housing shortage, councils need to be able to get building again and resume their role as major builders of affordable homes.

“It is also vital that the planning process is protected, so that councils and communities can ensure we realise the Government’s ambition of building beautiful homes, which includes the necessary infrastructure and affordable housing.”

 

The figures analysed by the LGA are government data available here
Permissions and completions

2009/10

2010/11

2011/2012

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Total

Planning Permissions (units)

176,900

173,900

192,400

198,800

240,000

261,900

264,700

313,700

380,500

361,800

2,564,600

Completions

124,200

117,700

128,160

118,540

130,340

155,080

163,940

183,570

195,290

213,860

1,530,680

 

Surrey Dummies forced to do a Dun – re-run!

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Dunsfold drilling plans to be decided again after refusal ruled “invalid”

Remember guys and gals, this is the same outfit that wants to become your Unitary Authority and make all our decisions!

Bye Bye ‘Your Waverley’ Hello ‘Surrey?’

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The decision to refuse planning permission for oil and gas exploration in  Dunsfold has been ruled invalid following problems during a “remote” council meeting. You can read how the Waverley Web predicted – trouble ahead – here…UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?

Five weeks ago, councillors voted by six votes to five against plans by UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG) to drill and test vertical and sidetrack wells, despite council planning officers’ recommendation to approve.

The meeting was the first remote session of the committee, where members took part by video link from home.

The live feed of the meeting repeatedly dropped out and one member of the committee could not be heard.

The application will now be brought back to a future meeting of the planning committee – probably on 17 September – to be decided again

 Surrey’s monitoring officer, Paul Evans, said there was:

“a significant likelihood that the irregularities arising from the technical difficulties at the meeting on 29 June 2020 render the resolution to refuse invalid and would render any notice of refusal unlawful.

“The most appropriate and fairest course of action is to take the application back to committee. This is what the Council has decided to do. “In the circumstances the Council will in due course resubmit the application to the Planning and Regulatory Committee to be redetermined afresh with full entitlement given to members of the public and the applicant to make or remake their statements orally and with full provision for debate by members.”

A spokesperson for UKOG said:

“We welcome the chance to restate why the low-impact Loxley project is of material local and national economic importance, is fully compliant with Net Zero, and presents minimal local business, local highway and environmental impacts.

“We trust that the 17 September re-run will result in a decision fully commensurate with the facts presented, natural law and fair democratic process.”

A spokesperson for Protect Dunsfold, which opposes UKOG’s plans, said:

“Obviously we would prefer that this decision had stood but it is clear from the statement issued by Surrey that this has been referred back on legal advice because of technical problems on the day.

“We have every reason to expect that the Committee reaches the same decision for the same planning policy reasons when it is referred back to Committee and we see no reason why it shouldn’t do so.”

200513 View from site to High Billinghurst Farm 2

Investigation

UK Oil & Gas plc complained that there had been deficiencies in the decision-making process and asked for the application to be redetermined. DrillOrDrop understands there were also complaints from members of the public.

The complaints included:

  • The live stream of the meeting dropped out
  • Part of a speech by a councillor in favour of the plans may not have been heard by participants
  • A councillor speaking in favour may not have been heard by another councillor who was “waiting in the lobby” to access the meeting
  • A councillor could not be heard and had to use hand gestures and the private chat function to register his vote. He also appeared to be away from this screen at one point during the meeting.
  • Some councillors were helped by people who were not members of the committee

On some of these complaints, the council’s barrister concluded the meeting may have breached regulations:

“these were issues of greater concern, particularly given the close vote by which the resolution was passed.”

Surrey’s planning procedures require committee members to decline to vote unless they were present when an item was discussed. Under the remote meeting regulations, members are not deemed to be present unless they could hear and be heard.

The barrister said:

“There were times during the consideration of the application at the meeting when members would not be considered to be in attendance as a matter of law.”

One councillor may also have been deterred from seeking the opportunity to speak because of problems with the technology.

The barrister concluded:

“there was a significant likelihood that a Court would declare the resolution as invalid and unlawful, not least in light of the clear consequences of the Regulations.”

Other issues raised in complaints were “not necessarily fatal on their own”, the barrister said, but “would not help the impression that would be received if the matter went to Court”.

These included:

  • Lack of a summary of the salient points of the debate before the decision
  • Occasions where other household members appeared on screen with councillors, leading to potential suspicion of inappropriate influence from people not attending the meeting
  • Councillors used a private chat function to pass messages to each other during the meeting

The barrister said:

“Whilst it may well be the case that family members were simply assisting with the technology, there is the risk of a perception of unfairness.”

The investigation dismissed complaints that specific councillors breached the council’s code of conduct and planning protocols. The barrister concluded:

“All issues raised were due to the meeting being undertaken remotely with members being at home in the proximity to other household members to assist in the use of IT equipment or due to technical errors with equipment.

“This was a new experience for members and it is appropriate that if members found themselves in a position where it could appear there were alleged breaches of the code/protocol, that these be addressed with further training in how remote meetings must be conducted rather than any formal investigation.”

 

Do you remember the ‘Bring Sites’ that were so popular during lockdown?

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Well – they are going, going, gone  – according to Your Waverley!

The bins, that were popular receptacles for recycling during lock-down when the borough’s recycling centres were closed, are going. In fact, some have already gone!

The so-called “Bring Sites’ are being phased out as the range of kerbside services widens.

The mixed recycling bins will be removed from bring sites as part of ‘Your Waverley’s plan to phase out the sites and expand the range of materials that are accepted for kerbside collection. It believes this will help to increase recycling and lower Waverley’s carbon footprint.
All the materials currently accepted in the mixed recycling bins are able to be recycled via household collection in existing blue wheelie-bins.
Textiles and electrical equipment will continue to be accepted at the bring sites until this autumn.
Want to do your bit to help? Why not subscribe to the Surrey Environment Partnership YouTube channel for advice on how to #reduce, #reuse and #recycle more 👉 http://orlo.uk/7XPQo

WW cannot help wondering if we will all have to buy even more bins, or will everyone just stick their unwanted stuff in black bags or, even worse fly-tip? Surrey County Council is onto a winner here. It saves shedloads of money by either closing or reducing the opening hours of its CRC sites, and pushes the rubbish down the line to local councils to deal with?

Apparently, bin crews are dealing with much more rubbish – up around 14%. No surprise there then?

We are not eating out, we aren’t in our offices, our children aren’t at school we eat at home. So how do we produce less waste?

 

Here are  tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle 👉here http://orlo.uk/EsRrf

 

Do you want Boris’s boots all over ‘Your Waverley’s’ Great Crested Newts?

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Boris ‘the bulldozer’ Johnson says newts are a drag on the UK’s economy.

Here’s why he’s wrong

Last week the PM claimed conservation causes construction delays – but newts are not the pantomime villains developers’ some would have us believe. Many developers are just as concerned about the environment as we are, if not more so!

We have examples here in Waverley where developers have gone beyond the brief, to ensure wildlife is  unharmed. However, there are others who have desecrated both wildlife and habitat and have gone unchallenged! Felling ancient woodland and drowning badgers are just two!  

 

An adult male great crested newt
 No pantomime villain … an adult male great crested newt. Photograph: James Grundy/Freshwater Habitats Trust/PA

Lingering in the shallows of a south Norfolk pond, voracious amphibians rest ahead of a night gorging on slugs, worms and insects. The pool network, long grasses and shrubs in Silfield newt reserve are a perfect habitat for the great crested newt. Boris’s latest pantomime villain.

The UK’s largest newt takes its name from the striking, jagged crest that males display in the spring breeding season. It is a protected species under British law, thanks to the EU Habitats Directive, which the prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, had a key role in creating. Despite that, its numbers have declined rapidly over the past 60 years.

An unlimited fine and up to six months in prison await anyone found guilty of disturbing the newt’s resting places and breeding sites or taking their eggs, yet the Local Government Association says it is not aware of any evidence to suggest “newt-counting” is causing delays to housing developments in England and Wales. We can recount a couple of instances in Waverley, but nothing that caused delays.

“Great crested newts have become the comedy pantomime villain of nature conservation,” says Jeremy Biggs, director of the Freshwater Habitats Trust.

An obligation by developers.

Developers are obliged to take care of great crested newts if the amphibians are believed to be on-site or nearby under rules overseen by Natural England. Until the last few years, protecting the amphibians when their habitats were being destroyed by developments centred on catching and counting them and moving them to compensation ponds.

Great crested newts were mentioned eight times in Sajid Javid’s https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/590463/Fixing_our_broken_housing_market_-_accessible_version.pdf

Fixing Our Broken Housing Market, published in 2017 under Theresa May’s government. The paper criticised the “excessive bureaucracy” involved in their protection.

But a fresh approach to the conservation of great crested newts by Natural England and the use of new technologies when surveying habitats, such as DNA analysis and even, in the case of one water company the use of a springer spaniel trained to detect amphibians has rapidly reduced delays. the use of a springer spaniel trained

 

It is time to make developers pay for delays.

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As Government prepares to open the flood gates to developers – perhaps Bob the Builder Jenrick and his mates Boris the bulldozer and Cummins the? (we will leave a space here for your own personalised description) should look at the one million planning consents not yet implemented?

A day or two ago Cll Liz Townsend referred in the post here to homes consented, but not yet built. We could list a shedload of developments in our borough that remain green fields whilst the same developers say: The fight to stop Surrey County Council’s power grab has begun. If Surrey gets its way for a single Unitary Authority its new growth areas in its 2050 Vision come into play. So here in Farnham and Cranleigh our countryside is under attack! Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages and Farnham

Please Sir I want more?

 

How about, homes consented, but not built after say – three years, -should be long enough for developers to get all their diggers lined up… that they are forced to pay council tax, until they are? This could then be doubled, or even triped the longer the properties remain unbuilt. There is a case here in Farnham with Berkeley Homes. Others in Cranleigh, Godalming and the villages around where sites are surrounded by metal fences to keep wildlife out, or in, as th case may be to keep them in?

‘Your Waverley’ must build homes at the rate included in its Local Plan. If it doesn’t, under Gvernment rules it is not meeting its housing supply. Hence Inspectors then have the opportunity to grant appeal, after appeal.

It appears quite extraordinary to us mere mortals here at the Waverley Web that developers are allowed bank all those consents until they can maximise their profits.

This is not the first time that our MP’s Jeremy Hunt and former MP Anne Milton were reminded of this. Now, perhaps Mr Hunt and Angela Richardson will press for change when the shake-up of planning regulations come into force shortly. Oh! we mustn’t forget the public consultation that comes first – so he who must be obeyed can tell Parliament that the voting fodder have had their say!

We need to get the system changed – and changed now.

In th meantime – don’t let’s blame Waverley for the planning decisions it will be forced to make under the automatic green light for building in the biggest shake-up to hit this country since the second world war!

No more familiar yellow notices on lamp posts, or notices in local papers!   Bob The Builder Jenrick wants us to view them digitally.

 

We’re on a road to nowhere… if Surrey wins hearts and minds.

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As you may be aware in a blatant – rather underhand way the head honchos at Surrey County Council are engaged in a power grab. A grab that could see our county dubbed ‘the biggest single Unitary Authority in Britain’ if not Europe – with a population of 1.2+m.

We have been saying for years here on the Waverley Web that local government reorganisation is long overdue. In 2013 Tory-controlled Waverley pledged it would cut the number of councillors from 57 to 53. Instead, it kept the number at the same level and increased Cllrs allowances by 94%! Has made huge payouts to failing Chief Executives and has invested unwisely here in Farnham.

However, credit it where it’s due in recent years councils, regardless of party, have shared expertise and worked together in a bid to save manpower and money. But, more change is urgently needed particularly post-COVID. But certainly not with the unseemly and ill-thought-out haste currently proposed by our County Leaders.  Pick up 11 borough and district councils, lump them all into a big bag, shake them out… nd up pops a weasel?

Over the coming weeks/months here at the Waverley Web, will highlight some of the awful errors made by Surrey County Council.

Suffice to say – to highlight them all would require a book!

Some glaring examples that stand out among all others are (a) shocking and dangerous road and pavement repairs: Just like these below all taken in ‘Your Waverley.’ A  TV programme on Liverpool revealed that even in a street where houses were being sold for £1 they had better roads and pavements than Surrey.

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If Local Authorities we’re ranked Surrey would come last. What have the punitively taxed Surrey residents done to deserve such abuse?

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Cranleigh High Street – where workmen covered double yellow lines with bituminous macadam.

 

Potholes

Yes, council workmen really did such a bad job here that material was flying everywhere. 

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

Would you want the same people who repair our roads to run all our services in ‘Your Waverley?

Prompting graphics like this!

Pothole pic Hold on Jack

In a week, or maybe a month or two – after another shedload of ripped tyres and broken axles?

For years Surrey Highways has been operating a ‘tick-box’ exercise when dealing with planning applications. Time and again local councillors, attempt to do their jobs properly armed with in-depth knowledge of local traffic conditions in the areas they represent. Using any highway grounds as an objection means zilch!. Highway concerns are ignored and hey ho, off the developers go.  What do they leave behind? Simples – accidents, near misses and angry and frustrated locals.

Frustrated for being continually ignored – many councillors just give up to spend more with family. A Cllr dubbed ‘the Cranleigh lorry driver’ once pointed out that it would be physically impossible to drive a vehicle without causing huge traffic danger into an Ewhurst development. He said vehicles were too wide for the one-way road and would destroy the hedges and gardens in on neighbours properties. It was approved. They did. No hedges, and series of traffic dangers every day! With mounting incredulity, they ask: How can highway officers’ come to their conclusions when they don’t even visit sites?   Instead, they conduct ‘a desk-top’ exercise and scupper any meaningful decision. A decision which borough’s and districts in Surrey cannot challenge at appeal.

WW believes it should be mandatory for highway officers to visit a site – before putting forward any view. Recently SCC’s planning committee was poised to permit large-scale oil and gas exploration on a site in Dunsfold. A site which councillors had not visited. But would be offered a virtual drone tour of the area. How shambolic is that? Only public protest prevented the hearing. Subsequently, it was refused – but with no highway objection.

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

We could list thousands of cases – East Street, Farnham; Badshot Lea; Ockford Park, Godalming; Milford Golf Course; Amlets Lane; Cranleigh; Cranleigh Rd Ewhurst; Wildwood Lane, Cranleigh the list is endless…

The most recent in Witley:

This week  Cllr Paul Follows and Cllr Maxine Gale drew a line in the sand and deferred an item on Rokes Lane in Witley. They demanded that Surrey Highways come back and review the issues and the consequences of the development on the area – in person – and give a proper comment.

Let’s see how that goes! Well done Cllr Maxine Gale for seconding Cllr Follows’ motion to defer this application which the planning committee then supported. 

 

So … Cranleigh parish council isn’t happy about the private care home either?

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As letters continue to pour in – For and Against CVHT’s latest planning application – villagers have unveiled the man behind the scheme? Watch this space!

Cranleigh Parish Council

So it is not only eastern villages residents who want answers from Cranleigh Village Health Trust  – Cranleigh Parish Council wants answers too!

Here’s a PDF of its actual letter:

document-7951873

 Planning application WA/2020/0965 Erection of a building to provide a 64 bed care home with 16 community beds together with a building to provide 14 health worker accommodation units with access from Knowle Lane, associated parking and ancillary work (revision of WA/2018/1966)

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• Response as a local authority having regard to the public interest of its parishioners.

 The Parish Council discussed this planning application with the regard to the public interest of its parishioners. Concerns were raised about the benefit of the community beds to the Cranleigh community.

Questions were asked about the exact usage of the beds with regards to care, nursing, Alzheimer’s, post op and/or mother and baby care and how the provision of community beds in the CVHT care home differ in funding and allocation to the provision of NHS/Surrey funded beds in any other care home.

Q The Council would like to know the exact usage of these proposed community beds as this is currently unclear?

Q The Council would also like to know what the exact financial community benefit of the beds is and how this differs to other NHS/Council funded beds and how they would be allocated.

Q The Council also asked for confirmation of how the viability of the community beds had been assessed. The Council would like CVHT to clarify the qualifying criteria and to confirm it to Waverley Borough Council.

Q The Parish Council would like CVHT to clarify to us and to Waverley Borough Council the qualifying criteria for the proposed accommodation block as this is currently unclear. Is the accommodation for key workers or local healthcare workers? Should this application progress the Parish Council would like to see any appropriate qualifying criteria and allocation process secured through a legal agreement rather than a condition. We would also like to highlight that there is still no clarity on the legal agreement and connection between the care home and the separate accommodation block. This must also be established.

• Response as adjacent landowner and beneficiary of the restrictive covenant.

The Parish Council discussed this planning application as adjacent landowner and beneficiary of the restrictive covenant. The Council’s concerns are:

• Impact on the ASVI and views to and from the playing field and from Village Way.

• Flood risk – Concerns were raised that whilst the applicant may have mitigated flooding on their site, the discharge into the watercourse would have a cumulative impact, along with other significant local development on residents further downstream.

• Noise and disturbance from the development – odours, noise from machinery and equipment installed in the buildings for heating, cooling or circulating/extraction of air, light pollution. The overall impact on neighbouring amenity particularly on John Wiskar Drive and the Berkeley Homes development on Knowle Lane from what is a 24-hour business operating on site and its associated traffic, in addition to noise pollution impacting Snoxhall Fields and the loss of rural amenity to the recreation ground.

2 • Highway safety – Cumulative impact of additional traffic movements from this development, the Berkeley Homes development, and the operation of the commercial premises on Knowle Lane, particularly the long standing independent garage operating towards the junction of Knowle Lane which requires the parking of vehicles outside, reducing that area of the road to one lane.

The Council also wants to highlight the impact of this development on the dangerous pedestrian crossing between Knowle Lane and High Street as well as the impact on the crossing point from Snoxhall Fields to the Bruce MacKenzie Playing/Football Field. 

Would you want the same people who repair our roads to run all our services in ‘Your Waverley?

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Unitary Authority Map of Surrey

 Here’s a pretty picture of the county of Surrey – which could become a behemoth – Council with 1.2m residents called The Surrey Unitary Authority!

Why? Simples: As Cllr Liz Townsend said at ‘Your Waverley’s’ Full Council meeting recently, The fight to stop Surrey County Council’s power grab has begun.

Cllr Liz Townsend called the county bid “discourteous and predatory” and saw an even darker scenario behind the bid.

“This is an attempt to cut out and weaken the local planning process. To open the doors to development on more green fields. We would be better served to tell the Government that there are currently one million homes granted planning consent that have not yet been built and that is the real uncut truth.”

And here’s the man leading the power grab – Leader Tim Oliver.

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In Tim Oliver’s letter  to the Secretary of State asking for Surrey to become a Unitary Authority includes this sentence:-

“We can build more homes more quickly and develop the high streets and town centres of the future, but to do this we need to streamline decision making on planning and infrastructure with a single clear strategic approach.

We can tackle inequality and level up within Surrey to ensure inclusive growth. We can reach net-zero carbon emissions and deliver a greener future. Our One Surrey Growth Board is well-placed to provide the place-oriented leadership and strategic co-ordination to deliver this.”

Want to know which areas have been earmarked on Oliver’s Surrey Growth Board? 

You can read about those areas here: Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

The Government will publish a Recovery and Devolution White Paper in the autumn, setting out its plans for the devolution of powers, freedoms and flexibilities alongside intentions to increase the number of unitary and combined authorities and elected Mayors.  Doing so will support the achievement of the 2030 Community Vision for Surrey.

 

 

The fight to stop Surrey County Council’s power grab has begun.

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‘Your Waverley’ (YW) will stand with the 11 other borough and district councils in the county to stop Surrey County Council’s bid to abolish them lock, stock, and wheelie bin.

Almost to a man and woman, Waverley’s Full Council opposed a county bid for a behemoth Unitary Authority of 1.2m people.

YW,  with the exception of two Tory councillors – Peter Martin – a Surrey County Councillor, and Steve Cosser who abstained; have agreed to work with other Surrey authorities to prepare an alternative proposal for re-organisation. This would prevent Surrey becoming England’s biggest single, non-metropolitan, unitary authority.

Tim Oliver (above) Surrey’s leader has asked Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick to make the county a unitary authority – a preemptive strike before a Government White Paper on Unitary Authorities is published in the Autumn.

One councillor after another from every Waverley group or party – Independent; Tory; Labour; Greens and Farnham Residents’ Group registered their “disgust” that neither they, or any other Surrey borough’s leaders had been consulted before the plans were announced in the local government press. Cllr Oliver had, however, engaged with Surrey’s MP’s and in Waverley’s case Jeremy Hunt and Angela Richardson.  It is believed the leader of Woking Borough Council – may be backing Oliver’s deal – now dubbed – ‘we want more.’

When Waverley’s Leader John Ward addressed the zoom meeting he called the idea of a “monolithic” single authority “absurd, and “a misguided and blatant power grab.” Although “some” reorganisation was appropriate, this proposal would not serve Waverley residents’ well. “That’s what we are all here for – to do what is best for the residents of Waverley. “

Others were not opposed to some reorganisation but were against the county council’s unseemly rush to create such a huge organisation.

The general opinion was that a single unitary authority is too large and would have a detrimental impact on the social cohesion of the communities within each of the boroughs and districts. Cllr Simon Clark, said the usual size for a UA was between 300,000/400,000 and this rushed exercise was aimed at avoiding next year’s county council elections.

Elections that the Waverley Web does not believe will result in a Tory-controlled council. 

Cllr Nick Palmer – asked what is it that has driven this ill-thought-out attempt borne out of desperation and panic? Is it a cost-saving exercise by the government? “Let’s keep Local Government local.”

Peter Clark challenged Tim Oliver and his “power-grabbing band” to give the electorate of Surrey a chance to vote on alternative options. “Don’t be timid Tim and try to postpone next year’s county elections because that would not be democratic.”

Cllr Carole Cockburn warned that time was of the essence – and Waverley and others must not be overtaken by events, must mount a robust opposition by producing a strong case. “I am amazed at the way this has been done, but if we don’t propose something it will be imposed upon us.”

However, her Tory colleague Steve Cosser didn’t agree. He believed the residents of Waverley didn’t care who provided the services they needed as long as they were. There was a strong case for economies of scale.

Others said – they had wanted SCC abolished for years, saying it cannot even convince Offsted that it is competent to run its children’s services. Another asked,

“would you want the people who deal with our pot-holed roads to empty your bins?

Cllr George Wilson  claimed: Surrey was an authority which had shown it couldn’t even hold a virtual planning meeting – e.g. The recent UK Oil & Gas planning application – which he described as “A fiasco.” UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?

“They call this devolution when in reality it moves power and accountability further away from the voters. The sheer hubris displayed is breath-taking. Surrey is too big for a single unitary authority, and the timing of these proposed changes, given the pandemic, the economic crisis, and with the reality of Brexit looming, is completely reckless.”

 

Liz Townsend

 Liz Townsend

 Cllr Liz Townsend called the county bid “discourteous and predatory” and saw an even darker scenario behind the bid.

“This is an attempt to cut out and weaken the local planning process. To open the doors to development on more green fields.We would be better served to tell the Government that there are currently one million homes granted planning consent that have not yet been built and that is the real uncut truth.”

The WW understands that a letter is to go from, all but one or two local authorities to the Secretary of State voicing their concern and that the relevant chief executives would work together to put forward alternative proposals.

Guildford Borough Council has suggested a  contribution of £10,000 from each authority to commission the work looking at this further. 

Joss Bigmore (R4GV, Christchurch), who is expected to become GBC leader in September under the power-sharing agreement, said:

“R4GV is very supportive of this co-ordinated approach from the boroughs and districts of Surrey. We will not accept being told what is good for us by a county council that is more interested in Westminster and a ruthless desire to stay in power than what residents actually want and voted for in their thousands last May.

“They call this devolution when in reality it moves power and accountability further away from the voters. The sheer hubris displayed is breath-taking. Surrey is too big for a single unitary authority, and the timing of these proposed changes, given the pandemic, the economic crisis, and with the reality of Brexit looming, is completely reckless.

“There has to be a proper public consultation on the various options proposed but it seems SCC has already made their mind up on their preferred political solution, so how seriously they are looking at the actual business cases remains to be seen.

“We, with our partners across the county, will show our residents there is a better way, consolidation to improve efficiency without becoming detached from the very people who elect us.”

“The full [Guildford Borough] council has not debated this matter. It appears to have been promoted by Tim Oliver of SCC with Surrey MPs, following government pressure for devolvement, but without early engagement with local borough councils or residents and businesses.

“GGG advocate full transparency and involvement of all interested parties with a proper due consultation process.”

 

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

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The man who heads the Charity kicked off yet another row when he went head to head with leading protestors at a vigil in Cranleigh on Saturday. But it came straight from the Charity’s mouth that it has no Care Home partner and there is no plan B! 

Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett (DR FC) tackled members of the group protesting against a new 64 bed Private Care Home and 16 community beds, during a showdown on Cranleigh High Street on Saturday.

One couple of shocked passers-by contacted the Waverley Web. saying that the group was simply handing out leaflets urging people to object to the use of former parish-owned-land behind M & S in Knowle Lane for a private care home. The land was once earmarked for a replacement hospital/day hospital with funds donated by villagers. 

The couple said: We live in Cranleigh so please don’t mention our names – as this whole business is tearing Cranleigh apart including the closure of the once-popular community board.

It appears that anyone objected on the board to the forthcoming CVHT planning application: Here’s the link: http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning you were blocked by the administrators and the group of protestors said this was confirmed by the Dr.FC.

Days later a new board was set up by Bamford & Co, the charity’s front-man together with other members of his family, and a Cranleigh Parish Councillor. Thousands of its former members are furious that the popular board has been dumped and has been hijacked!

The couple said“This whole saga which has plagued the village for 20 years  is having a very damaging effect on Cranleigh and is a stain on its reputation. There is so much bad feeling here, and with COVID and BREXIT haven’t we enough to worry about?” 

They claimed villagers in Cranleigh and the nearby villages wished the plans could be halted until there was a proper public meeting when all their concerns could be addressed.

They said they were shocked to overhear a well-respected former Cranleigh Health practice GP  quarrelling aggressively in the street. Particular as he or his fellow Trustees have repeatedly refused to appear in a public venue to answer residents’ very valid questions. 

We understand from the group, that they had been under the watchful eye of ‘Bamleigh’s Stasi’ from outside David Manns department store, the group was expecting trouble but was shocked that it came from the charity’s chairman and not the Charity’s lapdog.

The main inquisitors – we will mention no names for fear of further reprisals in Stasi-controlled Cranleigh – did manage to obtain some hard facts.

  • DR FC He confirmed there was no signed partnership agreement with HC-One the private provider that is named in its planning application and on its website as its key stakeholder.
  • DR FC  did not have an answer to what would happen if no future provider came forward for the Care Home, and what would happen if the proposed development fell flat.
  • The Trust – which collected several million pounds of villagers money – for a new hospital and day hospital, on former parish land, now confirms it has no financial partner for the circa £30m development. Which confirms telephone conversations villagers have had with HC-One’s head office.
  • Campaigners against the scheme told him how abysmally the Public Relations had been handled, as any dissenters had either been shut down, blocked completely on the Cranleigh Community Board and/or vilified on Bamleigh’s personal Radio Station. Which, we understand has now been dubbed  “The Stasi’s Bamleigh Radio.”
  • He also confirmed that the benefactor for the residential block of 12 1/2 bedroom flats is former Trustee and property developer Nick Vrijland, who resigned in December and who, it is believed, has now moved away from the village. 
  • WW understands another Trustee name has gone AWOL from the Charity’s Website? Mr David Barry. (Our next post? – where have all the Trustee’s gone? 
  • UPDATE PS. We understand from a local informer Mr Barry is still a Trustee and appears on the new CVHealthT website. Our apologies to Mr Barry. 

Oh! another one bites the dust!

A former Chairman of the Trust – Mr Peter Nutting – himself a Ewhurst property developer – said in a letter to the planners this week.

“I now live in Hampshire and so would not benefit personally from this wonderful initiative by the people of Cranleigh. I was however chairman of the Trust from 2003 to 2006. I have some sympathy for the residents of John Wiskar Drive objecting ( not in their backyard) …”

So presumably living in Hampshire he now believes the residents of an adjacent   Waverley housing development in Wiskar Drive are Nimbies? 

Letters for and against the development are now piling onto Waverley’s planning portal.

Did Cllr Deanus’s hissy fit get the result he wanted?

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Or was it all a tale of political point-scoring  – and the decision to include the Alfold Councillor in the New Dunsfold Advisory Board was made weeks ago?

You can read the questions Cllr Kevin Deanus posed at the Full Council virtual meeting this week, and the answer he received from Leader John Ward. Not, we might add, Cllr Ward’s finest moment!

Did ‘Mighty Miffed’ Cllr Deanus get his place on the Dunsfold Garden Village Board?

It would appear that the whole show over the airwaves was a bit of a sham – as the decision on who was going to serve on the controversial board to oversee the New Dunsfold Garden Village was in chef’s speak ‘one that had been made earlier.’ A decision that Cllr Deanus was either probably, or could quite easily, have been aware of? 

As you will see – the group no longer sits with John Ward – the Leader of the Council – but with the Portfolio Holder for Dunsfold – Liz Townsend the Independent member for Cranleigh West. Good choice – as Cranleigh will be heavily impacted by a new settlement. 
What is the board looking for? Shedloads of housing – and a garden village that is environmentally sustainable. 
As you will see – all the borough councillors from Cranleigh and Dunsfold and Chiddingfold and Bramley have been included in the new board plus parish councillors from the same villages. ‘Your Waverley’ couldn’t get much more inclusive than that could they Cllr Deanus? Unless of course, the public could hear the meetings too?
So – Dunsfold’s Garden Village here it comes?
Dunsfold Garden Village
Dunsfold Garden Village

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Elstead’s Aunty Elsey – v – Mr Deputy.

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It was spats all round when the Full Council met on ZOOM this week – first The Leader John Ward and Alfold’s Cllr Kevin Deanus

Did ‘Mighty Miffed’ Cllr Deanus get his place on the Dunsfold Garden Village Board?

Then later Elstead’s ‘Aunty Elsey’ (Cllr Jenny Else) went for the throat of Paul Follows for daring to say at a previous council meeting that she obtained and then used information from social media, perish the thought!  She was of course referring to Facebook and not the Waverley Web. She wouldn’t read this scurrilous blog – however her husband does.

The fracas surrounds the new administration’s decision not to renew the Broadwater Park Golf Club’s lease. This overturning a Tory’s decision which, by the way,  it took years to make. The site now forms part of Waverley’s Property Investment Strategy – at a time when every penny counts.

However, as is Aunty Elsey’s style – armed with only half the facts, facts she could determine if only she only took trouble – instead went off at half-cock going for the jugular of the messenger. 

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They say a leopard never changes its spots – well Aunty Elsey went in for the kill at Full Council – when she demanded an apology from ‘Your Waverley’s Deputy Leader Paul Follows.

The spots were practically jumping off Aunty Elsey’s leopard-skin top –  sometimes she wears zebra stripes having a penchant for the out-of-Africa look – when she went in for the kill and demanded an apology.

In her best schoolmarm voice, she ranted about the councils’ “disgraceful and dishonourable” treatment of the Broadwater Golf Club and the way she alleges it has been treated by the council for not renewing its lease. She referred to the Deputy Leader’s “hubris.” She said Cllr  Follows had dared to question the ethics of a colleague.   ‘Not allowed in Waverley’s Code of Conduct,’ she roared!

It appears the minutes referred to Aunty Elsey gaining some of her information from Godalming’s social media board. She repeated the dreaded SM word over and over again.

“Untrue” the leopard roared! “You must treat your colleagues with more respect.”

She claimed she speaks to lots of people and gained her information about the controversial issue from letters and emails from local residents and not from social media. Aunty Elsey, who regularly uses social media particularly during elections, obviously doesn’t really like social media, unlike her councillor husband who really likes social media, and will probably respond to this post on the Waverley Web? She said references to her using SM – that is… social media and not Sado-Masochism – perish the thought, added “insult to injury” she said when it was included in the minutes of the Executive Meeting and she wants the minutes changed. However, Cllr Follows said not only would the minutes not be changed – they would be ‘improved upon.’

Then out came the normally gentle Cllr Follows’ claws:

“You lifted the comments from the Godalming Community Board on May 8 verbatim – I did not say that you were not contacted by others. However, I would urge you to remember the legal confidentialities here. Acting precipitantly without being aware of all the facts is potentially dangerous!”

Oh! come on Cllr Follows, do you really expect Aunty Elsey to make herself aware of the facts or stop act precipitantly when she has been doing that for years? Surely you don’t expect her to break the habits of a lifetime!

Of course, as always, Aunty Elsie believed  she had the last word – The leopard roared again! – ‘Don’t you belittle me, Cllr Follows, I don’t have to answer to you. I represent the people of Waverley and have done so for nine years. Stop this now or you will answer in front of the Monitoring Officer.  OMG  –  not Robin Taylor! Is that the sound of Cllr Follows’ knees shaking we can hear from over here in Farnham!

Then Blessed be the peacemaker Mayor Dr Penny Marriott held up her hands indicating ENOUGH! Saying  – take your argument outside!  Jolly good job the meeting was on Zoom?

So – will it be pistols at dawn over the simple matter of where Aunty Elsey gets her information from?  Perhaps someone should tell her? – Mainly from the dreaded word that we won’t mention?

 

 

 

Did ‘Mighty Miffed’ Cllr Deanus get his place on the Dunsfold Garden Village Board?

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Ignore the member for Alfold at your peril Waverley Borough Council.

As you will read in the post above Alfold’s Councillor Kevin Deanus has been struggling for 13 months to be seated on ‘Your Waverley’s’ Advisory Board for the new Government-backed new Dunsfold Garden Village.

Kevin Deanus

Kevin Deanus

He claims as the representative of the village most affected by the scheme to build 1,800 homes in the initial phase and another 800 in the second, his opinion on how things should progress has not been valued. In fact, numerous requests to Waverley’s Leader and Executive have been ignored.

“My views are simply not valued – and have been constantly ignored,’ he told the Full Council on a Zoom meeting last night. “And this from a new administration that claimed it would be open, transparent and communicate! In my opinion I have been dealt with in an unprofessional manner for 13 months.”

The full transcript of his five questions are included on the post in the red link above. Suffice to say, it is an understatement to mention that Cllr Deanus – is not a happy bunny!

Even ZOOM couldn’t hide Leader John Ward’s anger – his eyes bulged and his pallor changed as he warned Cllr Deanus that his 400 word ‘Intemperate questions strained the limits of the council’s procedural rules.’

He then reeled off a string of regular meetings, including the dates on which they were held, both internally with the developers of Dunsfold Aerodrome, and with external organisations – including Design South East and Homes England.  So whilst WW thought all was quiet on the eastern-front it has been anything but?’

Earlier Cllr D requested the minutes of all meetings held – will he get them? Watch this space?

Cllr Ward said both local borough councillors for Alfold and Dunsfold would be included on the DP Liaison Board, which had not met since March 2019.  As mentioned by Cllr Liz Townsend earlier in the meeting:  ‘Representatives from the parish councils of Alfold, Cranleigh & Dunsfold would be included in the new Dunsfold Advisory Board.’ However, the Leader omitted to mention whether Cllr Deanus would be among them, as he is not a parish councillor! 

Was Cllr Ward being mischievous, or being obtuse, we wonder? The answer may lie in the last paragraph?

The Leader said the development at Dunsfold was moving forward and the new Dunsfold Advisory Board would ensure the project is delivered in a timely manner.

“We are working very closely with Dunsfold Airport Limited (DAL) to bring forward an exceptional new settlement and a four-week public consultation on the Master Plan will take place prior to the reserved matters – (that is the details of the scheme) to be considered by Waverley’s planners. DAL had held its own consultation in October 2019 and if they wish the parish councils can hold their own consultations.”

John Ward

John Ward

“So,” said The Leader, “that’s the good news – now for the bad news, and, I notice from the language you use you are mighty miffed that you have not been selected based on your extensive knowledge of the site and the surrounding area, which has not been valued. But, it may come as something of a surprise to you and a distinct blow to your ego that you are not the only person in Surrey that has knowledge of the site and the surrounding area, but thank you for your questions.”

 

Oh, dear! It appears all is not sweetness and light at Waverley Towers – another post follows – on the spat between A Leopard from Elstead and Mr Deputy Dog!

 

 

 

All hands on deck at ‘Your Waverley’ to mind the gap.

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Cllr Penny Rivers taking part in a video urging residentsd to Keep Safe, Shop Local and help fill the £6.8m black hole in Waverley’s finances.

The COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Waverley’s finances – and with a £6.8m black hole. Only by making cuts and using £3m from its reserves can it balance the books.

With the unexpected hole in its finances officers and councillors have been burning the midnight oil in a bid to find sufficient savings to bridge the gap.

Despite receiving £1.1m Government money, the forced closure of Leisure Centres and other venues and most important the free for all in the borough’s car parks, Waverley Borough Council is not in a good place.

With a recruitment freeze already in place, saving £0.6m the authority hopes, there will be no redundancies. When a revised budget goes before the council in August more recently announced government grants might improve matters. 

Finance Director Grahame Clark painted a grim picture at the Overview & Scrutiny Value for Money meeting recently. 

Saying: “Although we are only four months into the financial year we are facing the biggest challenge since this council was formed.”

Cllr Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, said the council was still trying to determine all the issues it faced and was assessing how much money would come from the Government to get it through the uncertainty. The largest single impact was from the closure of Leisure Centres – closed by law – and the car parks which were completely emptied following the lock-down. It was too early to determine whether officers’ assumptions were correct on future car park usage. However, it was believed during July it could reach 50%, and hopefully increasing from then on. The only good news.  Commercial property tenants’ rents were holding firm, but the council had been “giving comfort” to some community tenants who had been hit very hard.

The huge reduction in planning work had to resulted in a £600,000 loss of income.

Work on savings, already underway prior to the pandemic, had reached £9m – “so Waverley was running a very tight ship.”

The council was pushing for a fairer formula for future business rates and seeking more Government help – along with other local authorities. 

He said removing £3m from the council’s reserves had been “an extremely painful and nasty process.” An act that could affect the council’s future plans.

(Later in the meeting the Executive went behind closed doors to consider the situation on its Leisure Centres.)

Was that thud the sound of Cranleigh’s New Leisure Centre going off the diving board? A £12.75m centre pledged by the former Tory administration shortly before last year’s May elections with money that the new council found once in power that it did not have?

The Voluntary sector had experienced an increased demand for services, particularly in the villages. However it was doubtful that sector could continue meeting such high demand, and Waverley may have to step in?

Councillors agreed to recommend increasing the costs of collecting green waste; look at ways of reducing grounds maintenance and at the agreements it had for funding community groups including day centres. Strategic Director, Annie Righton warned the council must prevent “double billing”‘ for the staff day centres had furloughed.

Following a suggestion from Cllr Jerry Hyman (Farnham Residents’)  it was also agreed to investigate further a way of removing money from Farnham Park SANGS.

 The next six months would be crucial in determining how much further the council’s income would deteriorate or improve.

It was unanimously agreed that if further Government funding was received – that money would be used to replenish the council’s reserves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it. One of our Waverley MP’s spends most of her time ‘congratulating’ anyone and everyone – while the other one…

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Spends his time prodding and criticising the Government!

Local MPs in Commons Questions, Why the Variation in Hospital Covid-19 Mortality Rates?

By Martin Giles of The Guildford Dragon

Guildford’s MP Angela Richardson (Con) highlighted the quick provision of the new isolation ward at the Royal Surrey during a COVID update debate in Parliament as Health Secretary Matt Hancock took questions.

Ms Richardson said: “On Monday morning [July 20], I will attend the opening of the new Guildford ward at the Royal Surrey, a 20-room, fully equipped with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), isolation ward built in just four months.”

She complimented Guildford Borough Council for ensuring the planning process did not delay construction “Will my Right Hon Friend join me in congratulating the local council on the pragmatism shown and the hospital on its forward planning?

“Does he agree that in the event of a localised spike in cases requiring hospitalisation, the Royal Surrey will be well-placed to deal with it effectively?”

Mr Hancock said: “Yes. My hon friend is a great champion of the Royal Surrey at Guildford. The hospital has done a brilliant thing by, in short order, expanding its capabilities in this crisis, as have many other hospitals around the country.

“One of the positive things that has come out of it has been the dynamism and flexibility of parts of the NHS and their collaboration with local authorities.

“Both of those have risen to heights never previously seen, and I hope we can bottle that best practice and make sure we keep a dynamic, flexible NHS that works collaboratively with local authorities long into the future.”

In the same debate, Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative MP for Guildford’s neighbouring constituency, SW Surrey, who chairs the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee, focused on the unexplained differences in COVID mortality rates between hospitals in Surrey. RSCH has the lowest number of Covid-19 deaths.

See also: Royal Surrey Staff Feel Treatment Approach Has Kept Covid-19 Survival Rate High

He said: “I want to ask the Health Secretary about the worrying variation in coronavirus mortality rates between hospitals, which appear to range from 12.5% to 80%.

“There may be some issues of deprivation or ethnicity, but some of that variation is likely to be due to a failure in some hospitals to adopt best practice, which is what the Getting It Right First Time programme, led by Professor Tim Briggs, addresses.

“Will my Right Hon friend agree to meet me and Professor Briggs to discuss whether the Getting It Right First Time programme could help to reduce COVID mortality rates?

The Health Secretary said: “As my Right Hon friend knows better than almost anybody, the unjustified variation in performance between different hospitals within the NHS is a huge issue across the board because if the standards in every hospital were the same as the standards in the best hospital, the performance of the whole would be so much higher.

“That is exactly what the Getting It Right First Time programme was designed to deliver.”

At Prime Minister’s Questions last week Boris Johnson for the first time, last week committed to an “independent inquiry” into the coronavirus pandemic.

He said now was not the right time for an investigation but there would “certainly” be one “in the future” so lessons could be learned.

The group “Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice” said the PM’s pledge was a “long way from what families need to see” and that the PM has refused to meet them to discuss their concerns.

The UK has “suffered one of the worst death rates in the world and Europe’s worst death rate for health and care workers,” said acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey.

 

Ignore the member for Alfold at your peril Waverley Borough Council.

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Kevin Deanus

Cllr Kevin Deanus – Tory Member for Alfold, Cranleigh Rural and Ellens Green.

Because – he’s mad…

very mad or as Blackadder would say, “He’s madder than Mad Jack McMad – the winner of last year’s Mr Madman competition!

Cllr Kevin Deanus – one of the few councillors to be returned to Waverley  unopposed wants answers.  

WHY? Because he represents the people of Alfold – slap bang next to the proposed new Dunsfold Garden Village  which is in his ward. However,  he claims he has been shunned, ignored and sat upon, from a great height – by Waverley’s new boys on the block.

The Tories once did it to one of their own when they were in power. They refused    to allow Cllr Liz Townsend to join the influential planning committee to prevent her fighting against the huge growth of Cranleigh New Town. Now she’s an Independent with a role on the Executive. 

At Wednesday’s Full Council Cllr Deanus wants answers: Here are his comments and questions.


Dunsfold Park is situated within the Ward of Alfold, whom I am proud to represent. The planning permission granted to build 1800 homes, and ultimately, 2600 homes, is the most significant approval in Waverley’s history, both in terms of size, and the disruption to local residents over many years.

On the 8th June 2019, some 13 months ago, I emailed the Leader, Councillor Ward, and copied all Councillors, about my concern how the executive planned to oversee the development at Dunsfold Park. On the 16th July 2019, when raised at Full Council, the leader stated,

“Regular meetings will continue, and we are in the late stages of the process of establishing a Dunsfold Park Garden Village Board”.

On 18th September 2019, at Full Council, the Leader presented the new Corporate Strategy. He will recall that I spoke on the matter with both dismay and astonishment when I read from the Corporate Strategy,

“We shall develop a more open, inclusive approach to communications and decision making”, and “we will be an open, democratic and participative Governance, valuing the worth of all residents”.

I reminded Councillor Ward that he had failed on all of these Corporate Priorities as I was still waiting for the decency of a discussion about how the Dunsfold Park Governance would work.

On the 8th October 2019, a Dunsfold Governance Structure was finally presented at Council. I had not been consulted, and my extensive knowledge of the site and surrounding area was clearly not valued, or simply ignored. I pointed out the glaring and obvious omissions. The structure had failed to include the ward member (and members from surrounding wards), the Parish Council, who represent the community at ground level, and members of the public. I reminded Councillor Ward of the Corporate Strategy and how it had failed at every hurdle. Members of the Executive looked extremely embarrassed, and the leader did offer a form of apology, stating it would be sorted. An informal discussion took place after the meeting, and later I followed this with a further email requesting a resolution.

Councillor Ward did respond and promised to send some dates to arrange a meeting. Some 9 months later I am still waiting for this to happen. I also spoke to a member of the Executive, who I will not name, who was embarrassed and apologised.

Q To summarise my questions are:

1. Since the 16th July 2019 to the current date, can the Leader detail the formal meetings with Dunsfold Park senior management he has held regarding the development, and provide me with copies of these minutes?

2. Can the leader detail meetings held within the formal Governance Structure, approved by full Council on the 8th October 2019 to the current date, with copies of the minutes and dates, and additionally, those from the Dunsfold Park Village Board meetings identified and raised by the Leader at Council on the 16th July 2019?

3 . Having highlighted the blatant omissions regarding participative governance, local engagement and valuing residents, does the Leader believe this is a good example of his Corporate Plan aspirations?

4. As we are now 13 months on, will the Leader confirm he actually will discuss the issue with me and produce an amended Governance structure that includes Alfold Parish Council and Local residents at the appropriate level?

5. Would the leader agree that the community have been dealt with in an unprofessional manner or will he say he is proud of this reoccurring reluctance to engage. After 13 months the issue of local Governance has not been progressed, promises of meetings have been ignored, and the Governance structure from the 8th October 2019 still remains unchanged?

Watch this space when the leader John Ward has to answer on Wednesday at Full Council – on Zoom. 

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It’s official – The Cranleigh Community Board has been hit by an internal Cyber Attack!

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Has Cranleigh Village Health Trust opened up a giant fissure in Cranleigh?

Cranleigh Community Board – going …. going … GONE!

Has Cranleigh Parish Council become embroiled in a little local difficulty with one of its village Community Boards?  The Cranleigh Community Group – run by Andy Web – we stress – nothing to do with the Waverley Web – is still going strong. 

Membership of the – once-popular – local chat board (AKA the Cranleigh Community Board) dropped from 9,600 followers to 4,800 in just a couple of days. The majority left in disgust at the blatant propaganda being pumped out by the Community Board in support of Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s latest planning application.

Others were banned, cancelled, removed, spiked or simply wiped-out for daring to ask questions or register their opposition to the private care home which is being proposed on parish owned land once earmarked for a village hospital and funded with money raised by local residents and businesses.  

“But why?”- we hear you cry. 

Because some followers have dared to ask questions about what’s going on.  Questions which CVHT doesn’t deign or wish to answer.

The Cranleigh Parish Councillor who has headed up the Community Board faces an investigation from Waverley’s Monitoring Officer after a string of complaints were received. And, despite repeated protestations from the Chat Controller, it is common knowledge that Bamleigh, aka Martin Bamford, had his sticky little paws all over the Board, he once controlled.

The control-freakery that reared its ugly head on the Community Board stems from just one issue: Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s Appeal and re-submitted planning application to build a private care home on parish owned land with funds raised by local residents and businesses.

The suspicion is that a Community Board – that was originally set up as a voice for Cranleigh residents – has been hijacked and became a mouthpiece for a Cranleigh developer, who is behind the so-called Charity.  An all-out PR campaign has been waged by the so-called Community Board, Radio Bamleigh and Destination Bamleigh in favour of the private care homes scheme.  The latter two funded by ‘A Benefactor’ thought to be behind CVHT.

A ‘Benefactor’ who it is believed may have even left the village after resigning from the Trust, probably to spend more time with his family?

Amidst rising fury and resentment, the Cranleigh Community Board has now vanished into the ether overnight, dropped into the trash can that lurks on all our screens.  Good riddance to bad rubbish is the sentiment being expressed by those who were ‘cancelled’ by the so-called Community Board.  If only the Chat Controller, in his testosterone-fuelled Tesla, would vanish as quickly and effectively!  

It was a dark day in Cranleigh when the Chat Controller took over the ether and the airwaves WW can’t help wondering when he will take over ‘Bamleigh Parish Council?’ Or, perhaps he already has?

. Has Cranleigh Parish Council become embroiled in a little local difficulty with a village Community Board?

. So who exactly is partnering the charity proposing a Private Care Home in the heart of Cranleigh? Here they go again…we hear the CVHT trumpets blow again…?

 

 

Remember, there are valid reasons why not everyone can wear a mask.

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Perhaps we all need to carefully consider the new Government rules about wearing masks in shops – as there are very valid reasons why some people just cannot wear them.

 There is absolutely no excuse for the type of behaviour experienced by one young woman who was traumatised by Godalming yobs, with nothing better to do than abuse a young autistic woman.

Waverley Web hopes that Angelina reports this disgusting incident to the police, and there is a message here to the parents of these young and ignorant yobs, and to the group of middle-aged women, she refers too.

It is really quite simple –

better to keep your mouth closed ...

There are numerous and perfectly legitimate reasons for not wearing a mask – too many to mention here. 

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Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

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Cranleigh and eastern villages are now officially dubbed as  – ‘The Dunsfold and Cranleigh Corridor.’ It now rubs  shoulders with such heavyweights as Staines – Woking, Redhill & Reigate and Guildford as a ‘Strategic Opportunity Area.’

The Cranleigh & Dunsfold Corridor has been chosen by Surrey’s Future Steering Board to get star rating and ranks alongside all the other seven big boys in… the Blackwater Valley, Croydon, Leatherhead and Farnborough and others mentioned above to help grow Surrey. 

Wow! Perhaps that explains our recent post – for the new community of ALDUN and why developers are falling over each other to get in quick? Is there a new garden village named ‘ALDUN’ being planned in Waverley?

All those Tory Cranleigh councillors who sat behind closed doors and carved up all the development opportunities in the village – may soon have all their wishes granted. The genie is popping out of the bottle. Waverley’s newest town has been born and, if SCC gets it way is about to mature into something –  bigger, much bigger!

So at last Cranleigh, WILL get the footfall it has been praying for. However,  will it sacrifice on the developers’ alters – the once-proud place  that boasted the title – ‘The largest village in England.’ 

So there we have it! Whilst we have all been watching ~Netflix during lockdown SCC has been busy sticking a pin in to show all its new growth areas of the county. When did it hold one of its ’round table discussions?’ – in January 2020 – just as the COVID cloud hung over us!  the next stage of the strategy is to prepare an ‘Implementation Framework with a clear set of strategic priorities for the partners to deliver during the first 10 year period (2020 to 2030).

Perfectly in line with a new Unitary Authority when truly local decision-making will disappear along with billions of pounds of local borough & district council debt – no doubt covered by the Government in a bid to gain more control?  Bye Bye ‘Your Waverley’ Hello ‘Surrey?’

And then just to make things just a little worse – We stumble on this website SURREY Fixtures 2050 – Look at Cranleigh S085 – Is that Dunsfold or something Else? Look at the TRANSPORT Network – Where is ours?? 

No doubt we can rely on the Hon Angie who proposes ‘repurposing the Horsham to Guildford railway line’ Guildford MP pitches to open Guildford – Cranleigh train line.

So there you have it, folks. All bodes well for Waverley – the ar*se end of Surrey in the new shakedown?

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Then look at their plans for Road Infrastructure…Oooopps NOTHING in the chosen area just lots of rural countryside ripe to be covered in concrete! And is everything between Cranleigh and the Surrey/Sussex border villages up for grabs?

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If you haven’t already choked over your cornflakes and want to learn more just click on the link below…

Surrey 2050 Place Ambition Conference page.http://summary%20of%20roundtable%20discussions%20january%202020%20%28pdf%29/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homes available at 70% of open market value for sale or rent in Dunsfold.

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 Not to be confused with the proposed development at  Dunsfold Aerodrome – these new homes are available in Dunsfold Village nearby.

The housing association that has built these homes, has been building in the village for twenty years, and has worked with Dunsfold Parish Council and villagers to provide ‘affordable’ homes for village people.

Whilst others wait, with eager anticipation for work to begin on the new Dunsfold Park Garden Village – the silence on the site earmarked and consented for a couple of thousand new homes is – deafening!

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During these unprecedented times, rural residents have had added reason to appreciate their surroundings and close communities.

We have seen a huge resurgence in the number of people volunteering in Waverley for their communities and many parish councils have set up COVID 19 mutual aid groups, neighbours have helped neighbours and local communities have supported local businesses.

 

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TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HOW WE CAN WORK WITH YOU AND YOUR
LOCAL COMMUNITY PLEASE CONTACT LOUISE WILLIAMS, RURAL HOUSING ENABLER LOUISEW@SURREYCA.ORG.UK

 

Bye Bye ‘Your Waverley’ Hello ‘Surrey?’

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Now with councils like ‘Your Waverley’ and Guildford Borough Council losing Tory control, who better to bring them all into line than – The Tory Controlled Surrey County Council?

So there you have it folks – as we revealed on the Waverley Web a few days ago the head honchos at Surrey – wallowing in their own mire – after successive bad investment decisions have found a way out of the mess they, yes they, and the Government have created.

 While most of us are still struggling with furlough, homeschooling our kids, or waiting for our redundancy notices, Surrey County Council’ has been planning a takeover. A massive takeover – of all the 11 borough and district councils in Surrey. 
Yep, they put all our councils in a great big paper bag, threw them up in the air, and guess what came out on top, you guessed The Unitary Authority of Surrey County Council.
The WW can hear SCC Leader Tim Oliver from over here in Farnham shouting from County Hall Towers –

“I’ve got a cunning plan, we can cover up all our unwise investments in places like Blightwell in Farnham – and from Camberley to Cumbria by getting together with our colleagues in Spelthorne.’

Oh, dear! Spelthorne could be the giant hole in his bucket – because it’s prudent borrowing of £1.5 billion for the acquisition of mainly commercial property has seen Tory councillors walking out in their droves. Not too many bins likely to get emptied there then?
Another hole in Oliver’s bucket could be Woking borough council which has also taken on £0.6 billion of borrowing from the Public Works Board. 

Recent years have seen a marked rise in ‘prudential’ borrowing, driven increasingly by local authorities taking advantage of low-interest rates offered by the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB). Local authorities’ PWLB debt has risen from £64 billion in March 2015 to £66 billion in March 2017 and now stands at

£77 billion in March 2019. 

Spelthorne’s PWLB borrowing has mainly financed the acquisition of commercial property. The Council argued that it was using fixed low rates of interest to “help offset the impact of disappearing general revenue grant support from the Government”. On its largest investment so far – the £385 million purchase of the BP campus in Sunbury-on-Thames – the independent auditor of its accounts cited a “number of significant weaknesses in the Authority’s arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources”.c Since then Spelthorne has made further high-value property purchases – an office block in the City of London and another office development in Nine Elms, Battersea – more than doubling its PWLB borrowing.

Woking Borough Council has also taken on £0.6 billion of PWLB debt since March 2017, financing the acquisition of retail and property sites, with its largest investment so far the new Victoria Square commercial and property development (at an estimated cost of £500 million).

In May 2019 the Public Accounts Committee highlighted concerns that while governance arrangements for the sector as a whole were “generally robust”, some councils have

audit committees that do not provide sufficient assurance, ineffective internal audit, weak arrangements for the management of risk in local authorities’ commercial investments, and inadequate oversight and scrutiny”.

So while Cllr Oliver is preparing to run up his Unitary Authority flag up the County Towers pole, and preparing his role as the First Mayor of Surrey,  next week this report will go to the Cabinet.

The report and annexe (letter to Secretary of State) can be found under item 14 here:
However, fear not voting fodder there is a process to go through with various milestones, hoops and debate and the SCC elections are planned next May COVID  permitting?
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PS. You will all be delighted to hear that “final salary” pensions are not affected by reorganisation. 

 

 

So who exactly is partnering the charity proposing a Private Care Home in the heart of Cranleigh?

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Tonight Cranleigh Parish Council’s planning committee will comment on a  planning application which is tearing the village apart!

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Now – this comes with a Health Warning – This is the heading on Charity’s website – we may be drawing the wrong conclusions, but do you really believe that HC-ONE intends to build the £14m development? We will let you make up your own minds?

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The Question is? Is the Cranleigh Village Health Trust buddied up with the Kind Care Company – HC-ONE to build the above?

Here’s a question posed by one of those nuisance villagers over there in the eastern villages to Christina Pierce the former plumply-salaried former Secretary of The former Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust and now a Trustee of the recently formed Cranleigh Village Health Trust. Bit confusing, we know, but the whole hospital/care home sage is just that – confusing!

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This was the response from CVHT to a villager who has been described as being an antagonist and in the minority. This is CVHT’s comment: “A small number of people have repeatedly asked the same questions via the virtual exhibition, but also made it clear from their social media content that they have already formed an opinion, do not support the plans and are actively encouraging others to join their campaign to block the return of Community Beds to Cranleigh.
As a result, CVHT has determined not to enter into further correspondence with this small group of antagonists. Instead, we urge these individuals to seek the factual information they require from our website.

Ah, ha! So there we have it! When this toxic outfit has planning permission tucked under its belt, either as a result of an appeal to the Government for the larger application – or the slightly smaller one now sitting on the desks of Waverley Planners  – only then will it “consider its options.” In other words, it has no provider all signed up and sealed up? 

No doubt it’s due diligence will include a thorough investigation into how its proposed care-home provider has fared during the COVID-19 catastrophe that has engulfed the care sector? How secure its finances are? Not forgetting who is the latest buyer of the company that tucks its profits into the Cayman Islands, despite raising the alarm over its ability to carry its debt burden.

An outfit threatened with the closure of one of its homes for being”unsafe.” Cedar House in Harefield was ruled inadequate by the social care watchdog, which discovered safety breaches, and that was last year – before the coronavirus pandemic. A company praised by the CVHT, which during the lockdown brought in care workers from Kent – 645 miles away from its Home Farm Home on the Isle of Sky – one of the worst affected homes in the country – where numerous workers and residents died.

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Dr Chai Patel, who has recently retired as chairman of care home provider HC-One – probably, to the Caymen Islands?   Patel, who will continue to be an active investor and substantial stakeholder in the company, founded the operator in 2011, serving as chairman throughout its history and also as its chief executive between March 2015 and September 2017….

 

As three months rubbish continues to pile up, the Cranleigh tip opens up for green waste only.

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Hordes of residents from Cranleigh & the eastern villages of Waverley are being turned away from recycling centres across the Surrey/Sussex border – now Horsham District Council has guards on the gates!

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 Frustrated householders now have to travel either to Guildford or Witley in their gas-guzzling cars to dispose of any household items they have accumulated over the three-month coronavirus pandemic when centres across the county were closed.

Some have found their way onto road verges, farmers’ fields and onto the Surrey Hills. Others rot in back gardens or are dumped outside Charity shops, many of which have not yet opened.

Waverley Web cannot help wondering why it has taken until recently (July 4)  for the sites at Cranleigh and Caterham to open their doors. Even now, they are only open for green waste.

We understand SCC employees have been employed by councils throughout COVID-19! Haven’t we all been still paying our council tax? Or have we missed something?

Check full details before you travel

l here 👉 http://orlo.uk/2o6VV @Surrey_Matters

 

Surrey’s Electric Vehicle Charging Points – could be arriving in all Waverley’s towns except Cranleigh – where bikes are big business?

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Surrey County Council’s nod and a wink towards its declared Climate Change Emergency included a pilot scheme for five – or was it nine – or maybe 11 possible electric vehicle charging points in ‘Your Waverley?’ 

Watch out – one of them might be appearing outside your home soon? So be alert and watch out for notices or letters for a charging point coming to a spot near you.

At up to £40,000 a throw – we hope the public in Farnham, Godalming & Haslemere appreciate the efforts being made by the county wallers to meet the county’s climate change credentials.

In July 2019 Surrey County Council followed the Government’s lead by declaring a Climate Emergency and is committed to becoming net-zero carbon by 2050.

In order to meet this challenging target, the Council recognised that it must work with partners, residents, businesses and Government to deliver urgent action to reduce carbon emissions produced in Surrey so it is currently finalising its climate change strategy for the county, working closely with its borough and district partners, including ‘Your Waverley.’

At a recent joint SCC/Waverley partnership meeting officers announced that the following sites had been earmarked for possible electric charging points in Waverley. But not all of these would be given the go-ahead.

  • Beacon Road, Beacon Hill, Farnham
  • Falkener Road, Farnham – presumably for all the students – who don’t have electric cars?
  • Summers Road, Godalming
  • Wey Hill, Haslemere
  • Christopher Green in Haslemere
  • Croft Road, Godalming
  • Windrush Close, Bramley – where everyone owns an electric vehicle?!
  • West Street, Farnham – where parking is at a premium?
  • Hale Road, Farnham 
  • High Park Road, Farnham

Highway officers said although Cranleigh was now ‘ a TOWN,’ (that will no doubt go down well with the locals) – it has not been included in Surrey’s plans for on-street electric charging points, so none were proposed.

Love them or hate them – cyclists apparently rule the roads around the eastern villages, according to the Cranleigh Cranlinati, a group that throws the odd criticism at the lycra lovers over there. However, you are not allowed to criticise or comment upon the hordes of cyclists swarming through the villages and taking over the Surrey Hills on the local highly censored community board.  

It says because its  rules barely get to see the light of day, it has taken to Twitter to promote some of Cranleigh’s residents’ righteous stance on cycling.

Waverley’s representatives were asked to support the pilot project for charging points which included the sites mentioned above, but not everyone was happy with the locations – particularly the Croft Road, Godalming site. That went down like a lead ballooon with the town’s representatives, who claimed losing parking spaces in a road where they were at a premium would not be popular with the locals.

 

Could we all soon be saying – Bye, bye to ‘Your Waverley?

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Having decimated the finances of our local authorities what better time for the Government to issue a White Paper on their devolution.

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 09.59.48.pngAs we type this post Cllr Tim Oliver the head honcho at Surrey County Council, whose once plump coffers are now heavily depleted through such unwise retail investments as shopping malls – e.g. Blightwells in Farnham, is on the case!

He claims councils shouldn’t be waiting for the Government’s Autumn White Paper but should be pressing ahead – to…

“secure greater powers and responsibility and the right structure for Surrey’s future, to tackle the challenges faced and the opportunities coming our way.’ 

By that does he mean secure greater powers and responsibility for – yes you guessed – Surrey County Council – having swallowed up the 11 borough and district councils – including ‘Your Waverley.’  What better way to cover up the county’s financial mess and sticky situation it has got itself into?

We all have huge confidence in the decision-making record of Surrey County Council – don’t we?

So has Cllr Oliver been working behind closed doors, whilst the rest of us have been living behind closed doors? Nothing like a coronavirus pandemic for the opportunists to make a power-grab out of a crisis?

No doubt Cllr Oliver and his Government buddies already have a cunning plan, which comes at exactly the right time to cover up all the terrible mistakes the county council has made. Had it not been for the County Hall wallah’s, Blightwells in Farnham’s East Street would never have got off the ground. When private investors couldn’t be drummed up for love nor money to host the regeneration project – up comes former Tory Waverley & SCC councillor Denise Le Gal to persuaded her county colleagues to stump up £58 million from its pension fund to finance all those shops and restaurants!

So is ‘Your Waverley’ now talking – behind closed doors – to all the other council chief executives – in this secret and rather underhand process?

Do we see the hand of Boris’s BIG DOM here?

The little local Chamber of Commerce in Cranleigh has been calling for Waverley’s demise since 2018. Ever since SCC predicted making £200m worth of cuts by 2021. It’s President Rosemary French proposed a radical overhaul of the ‘cumbersome and oftentimes duplicating three tier system of county, town, district and parish council structure of our local authorities.’

And at some time – will we, the voting fodder of Surrey  get a say in the process, for what is already looking like a done deal? Ah! well another nail in the coffin of local democracy? Remind us – who was that Prime Minister that talked about ‘Localism’ – a long, long time ago?

Will opposition councillors be rolling over and giving Cllr Oliver a free hand?

 Do we really need this distraction on top of everything else we are all experiencing right now? Like the loss of loved-ones, the terrible situation we have experienced with family members in Care Homes – home schooling our children, and the loss of part or all of our incomes?

Next May we go to the polls in Surrey to determine who will run the county business for the next four years. Or do we?

However, if it would mean that all those public sector workers who are now ‘pension aristocrats’ with their gold-plated retirement pots from final-salary pension schemes were to go along with those 11 councils. Then who dares wins.

Because according to the Office of National Statistics only 11 per cent of private sector workers are now in the generous final salary pension scheme that public sector workers enjoy.

 

 

 

 

Has Cranleigh Parish Council become embroiled in a little local difficulty with a village Community Board?

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The Waverley Web understands that numerus complaints from Cranleigh residents are winging their way to ‘Your Waverley’s’ Monitoring Officer about a  recent spate of spats on the local chat board.  They concern Cranleigh Parish Councillor, Hannah Nicholson, who has been commenting, ill-advisedly, on the village chat-shop, AKA the Cranleigh Community Board. Not to be confused with the Cranleigh Community Group, run by Andy Webb.  

Nothing to do with the Waverley Web we stress.

 The heavily censored Cranleigh Community Board only allows comments on certain subjects and by certain individuals as long as said comments and subjects are approved by its Censor-in-Chief, Martin Bamford – otherwise known as the Chat Controller!

The Waverley Web has been banned by the Chat Controller because he doesn’t approve of our content or tone and certainly not the truth.  The Chat Controller has made it his business to, slowly and stealthily, take over most of Cranleigh, and is now doing his best to ensure all roads lead to Bamleigh.  The man now heads up the Bamleigh Chamber of Trade/Commerce, Bamleigh in Bloom; Smart Bamleigh; Informed Voice; Destination Bamleigh; Bamleigh Radio; Bamleigh Village Health Trust and is a Trustee of Bamleigh Knowle Park Initiative – and that’s just his starter for ten!

Rumour has it, in his spare time, he sweeps Bamleigh High Street, with a brush up his a**!

But, we digress!  Apparently, Parish Council Chairman, Liz Townsend, had to issue a warning to her fellow councillors, during a recent parish council meeting – no names, no pack drill.  

Ms Townsend reminded her colleagues that voicing their opinions on the Cranleigh  Community Board could be misconstrued as voicing the views of the parish council.  Councillor Townsend said she would like to make it absolutely clear and issue a word of warning to the operators of the Board that she had received a number of messages about the comments made thereon and these comments DO NOT reflect the views or opinions of Cranleigh Parish Council.

“As parish councillors”, she told her colleagues, “we sign up to a Code of Conduct. You are all representatives of this council and when you comment the public will view what you say, as a member of this council, and that is how you and we will be judged”.

Parish Councillor Ms Nicholson remained schtum, whilst the meeting was being watched by – yep – you guessed it, the Chat Controller. Perhaps he has his eye on Bamleigh Parish Council next?

 

 

 

 

Is there a new garden village named ‘ALDUN’ being planned in Waverley?

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Is the little village of Alfold under siege by developers eager to join it to Dunsfold’s new garden village?

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Will Alfold + Dunsfold – be renamed ALDUN and Dusted soon?

Developers are working in a pincer movement from the north the south, east and west of the two villages on the Surrey/Sussex in a bid to build more homes.

Now villagers are asking – with no development yet appearing at the new Government-backed garden village at Dunsfold – is Alfold destined to become Garden Village Phase 11.

Or ‘ALDUN’ – New Town?

Alfold_planningOnly the width of a 40ft wide B road separates Alfold village from Dunsfold Garden Village – with consent on the former Dunsfold Aerodrome site for 1,800 homes – and earmarked for a further 500+ in the Local Plan. 

Developers have been emboldened by a recent Government Inspector’s decision to allow an appeal by Catesby Strategic Land Ltd for a further 80 homes at the Cala Homes site where 55 homes are currently being built at Sweeters Copse off Loxwood Road.80 more homes on their way to Alfold as a Government Inspector hits ‘Your Waverley’ in its pocket too! The appeal site is located on the edge of Alfold, beyond the currently defined settlement boundary for the village and therefore, in open countryside.

However, the Government’s signal to developers appears to be  – if it doesn’t move  build on it?

Villagers have until Wednesday to comment on the consultation exercise by Thakeham Homes to build 99 homes on land at Springbok in Loxwood Rd. Fear not, you will have longer to comment on the planning application once lodged.  As we post there are no plans on the planning portal. http://thakehamalfold.com/?fbclid=IwAR1wuSjQoLY6t7nWIEJ6SGzABEjQtheDB_eG7wpjbmYvhTc4m6N0jwe1lic https://www.facebook.com/stopalfoldnewtown/

In the same Loxwood Road road – eight new homes are under construction in the Conservation area – adjacent to another construction site of residential units for young disabled adults consented by Surrey County Council, nearby. Alfold gets a new heart – and a safer village?

Developers are now converging on Alfold in their droves – with another 80 homes awaiting determination adjacent to the Esso Service Station with direct access from the A281 Horsham/Guildford Rd at Alfold Crossways. Alfold’s cross, are getting crosser – as the story unfolds on shedloads of new homes on their way to the little village.

In his shock decision on the extension to Sweeters Copse earlier this year, Inspector Michael Boniface also awarded costs against ‘Your Waverley.’ Despite Waverley, Planners claim that Alfold had more than adequately satisfied its share of the 125 homes proposed in Waverley’s Local Plan.

Adding insult to injury he decreed that Waverley did not have, as it had argued – a five-year land supply, and, had been unable to answer basic questions on its approach to calculating its supply. When given an opportunity in a round-table discussion to alter its approach Waverley continued to claim it had a deliverable 5-year supply only to change its position a day later that it could only demonstrate a four-year supply!  Its volte-face will now cost the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds.

The Inspector found the council to have acted unreasonably for wasting the applicants time and money, so awarded the developers’ costs against it.

Now for the second time in two years – following a 2018 public inquiry – dismissed by an Inspector villagers face yet another stab at development by Thakeham Homes on land, also in Loxwood Road formerly owned by Care Ashore – The Seamans’ Charity at Springbok. It wants to build 99 homes in a village with little or no infrastructure. No school – little or no public transport; a village and garage shop – and no GP practice. The village regularly floods with water and sewerage, has no gas, and poor water supply. A new access on Loxwood Road would be provided by demolishing an existing bungalow owned by – yes, you guessed – Thakeham Homes! NO PLANS HAVE YET BEEN LODGED.

It is believed the Seamans’charity may now have sold-out to ‘the – have another go brigade’ -Thakeham Homes. But this time for a smaller scheme – being dubbed – ‘the thin end of the wedge’ en-route to the future development of the huge Seamans’ Union land-holding at Springbok in the future.

If the new proposed sites are given planning approval its will result in the eastern part of  Waverley contributing to well over 50% of all the development proposed in the borough!

Public Inquiry decision on Care Ashore and Thakeham Homes’ boat sunk by a Government Inspector!

Appeal Decision 3237359 on Sweeters Copse

Here is the Sweeters Copse information.https://www.catesbyestates.co.uk/land/sweeters-reach,-off-loxwood-road-&-chilton-close-alfold?r=1

Cheers Jeremy

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One of our local MPs enjoyed a pint at The Merry Harriers in Hambledon on Saturday, doing his bit to ease lockdown with some amber nectar.

Trust Jeremy not to go for a straight glass though!

Dunsfold Heroes and Zeros

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Link to post on the decision earlier this week.UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?

Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council Paul Follows obviously doesn’t have a vain bone in his body – certainly not ignoring the rules on getting a haircut – only a  days to go eh! Paul?

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Oh dear – share price drilling down…

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

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Whether you like it or not Cranleigh people – you are going to get a damned great big Private Nursing Home on your land – run by HC-ONE – which has the dubious honour of boasting over 700 deaths in its care homes, including its staff,  from the COVID-19 pandemic. 
So a national care-home operator up-to-its-neck in debt gets to set up shop in the centre of your village so that the NHS/Surrey County Council can get 16 beds – free at the point of delivery to serve the people of – yes, you guessed – Surrey, and … Cranleigh if there are any left?

A couple of weeks ago CVHT chairman Dr Robin Fawkner-Corbett warned the parish council, which provided the land for the development after a land swap – 20 years ago that a new scheme was in the pipe-line and an appeal was being lodged.

Its former ‘parish partner’ has subsequently written to the charity seeking the return of the land as it had not adhered to an agreement between the parties that the land would be returned to the parish if a Hospital was not built within five years. This followed a mandate voted on by residents at a public meeting.

 

The Waverley Web wonders if the Charity will attempt the same ruse it used last time the scheme went to Waverley planners…? It almost got away with funding a dedicated planning officer, a colleague of one of the CVHT Trustees to assess the scheme. Of course, CVHT saw this as it mentions on its website as “unfortunate” as the officer had a good grasp of the scheme. Possibly a similar grasp as the Waverley solicitor – one Daniel Bainbridge son of yes, you guessed – one of the CVHT Trustees.

Is it any wonder the eastern villagers don’t trust this dodgy outfit, which is already being lambasted on the Cranleigh Community Boards. Apparently, its hospital spokesman and chief marketeer Martin Bamford (BB) has prompted his mates to call to kill-off the Waverley Web. We wonder why?

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This clip taken from the CVHT Website! There are questions to be asked of Waverley Planners here?

Over 2,400 suspected cases at HC-One care homes

The leap in care home figures for England and Wales, follow Age UK’s warning to the government that deaths in care homes are “running wild”.

Sir David Behan, director of HC-One, Britain’s largest care home operator, has told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, coronavirus is already in two-thirds (232) of the group’s care homes.

HC-One operates around 330 homes. By Monday night (13 April) there had been 2,447 cases of either suspected or confirmed COVID-19 within its care homes.

The deaths included one staff member.