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As one villager said – ‘how many more bloody houses are they going to dump on Alfold?

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Yet another planning application has been submitted for the former Wyevale Garden Centre in Alfold – and just like Topsy – it has “just growed and growed.”
Developers Alfold Real Estates which already has permission for 56 homes tucked into its back pocket now wants to up the ante to 78!

And neither can the Royal Surrey Hospital! It comments in its letter to Waverley Planners.

“The Trust’s utilisation of acute bed capacity is at 95% which significantly exceeds the optimal 85% occupancy rate. This demonstrates that current occupancy levels are highly unsatisfactory, and the problem will be compounded by an increase in need created by the development which does not coincide with an increase in the number of bed spaces available at the Hospital. This is the inevitable result where clinical facilities are forced to operate at overcapacity. Any new residential development will add a further strain on the current acute healthcare system.”

It wants £160,000 if the development goes ahead towards providing healthcare.

Dear God, how many more bloody houses are they going to try and squeeze into a village that has no amenities?
Denise Wordsworth  says: 
Once again we have a developer trying to increase the number of Housing for this small Village with limited facilities or infrastructure. A village that has met its housing obligation of a min 125 Homes and in fact far exceeded it!
It is simply not good enough to expect a Tier 3 Village to take on this volume of housing. There has been NO PUBLIC consultation on this – minimal for the previous application limited to a few local (Or not so local as we live closer and had none) neighbours, and the APC. They are basing this yet again on the fact that WBC MAY OR MAY NOT have its  5 year husing supply. – But that does not mean that housing should be DUMPED here in one of the smaller Villages.
Planning has to be appropriate to the location with it’s needs and resources and this simply isn’t. The fact that the Inspector granted the original application for 56 Homes and took no consideration of the other appeal applications – just shows the system is flawed.  Reliance on the Dunsfold Park Application is NOT RELEVANT – It has not gone to Reserved Matters and should therefore not be considered and until it does.. this is flagrant Piggy-Backing off a development under review in Planning terms.
I have no doubt that if this is refused they will re-apply for the 88 homes they also put into the mix. This is simply wrong and puts all smaller applications in jeopardy – which are the sort of applications the village can deal with. I will resubmit my original opposition under separate cover. But For now, I simply OBJECT
The application reference is WA/2021/0462.
The deadline for comments is 16 April 2021. But you can keep sending them in.

 

 

 

Latest update on road closures in Waverley & Guildford.

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Surrey County Council

Is this the new dangerous sport coming soon for Surrey’s pot-hole filled roads?

Here are the latest updates for Waverley and Guildford – road closures and traffic lights.
Click on these links to avoid the road closures and traffic lights – if you can!

Following Follows and Rivers on their journey to Surrey County Council.

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Here at the Waverley Web, we have been an admirer of Paul Follows since he first arrived on the scene at Waverley Towers. And the answer is NO – if you believe it is because he is a Liberal Democrat. the truth is far simpler.

It is because he tells it as it is, warts and all.

He communicates directly with the public. Not through a laboriously long-winded and slow communications machine – where the language is couched in ‘council speak’ and where misuse of words blunts the edge of the message. 

Paul Follows is not on a “direction of travel’ or ‘engaged in a piece of work.’ He is making a plan and doing the job – and telling everyone in the process – including the Waverley Web.  The same Waverley Web that is loathed by the Conservative Group who believed in doing things behind our backs – making decisions in Group Meetings – which we understand is still in Committee Room 1 – a domain normally reserved for the ruling group, not the largest group? The same group that failed consistently to deliver a robust Local Plan, and which for years ignored the largest brownfield site in the borough! Which has now dumped us in a developers hole!

On 6 May the party’s stranglehold at Surrey could end, as it has in Waverley and other councils across the county. Tories currently hold 61 of the 81 seats.

That the dream team the Lib Dems have come up with will make a massive difference at County Towers – we are in no doubt. Particularly when Cllr Mark Merryweather joins the county fray. We Bet Fred, or anyone else, that once in the hot seat ‘MM’ will be trawling through Surrey’s accounts and going through them with a fine-tooth comb. He might not only discover WHY Surrey wants to take over the 11 boroughs & district councils but actually tell us what fine mess it is really in?

 

Here’s his message from a brave man who made it before the hairdressers opened

 

Not a shaggy dog story but a sad dog story?

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Here at the Waverley Web we never write about children or animals.

 

Not because we have anything against them – in fact, we love children and are nuts about our own animals.  There have been times during this Pandemic when homeschooling and being around our children 24/7 stretched our parenting abilities to their limits at times. But our dog/s were our saviours. They never complained and stuck by us on some of the longest walks they have ever been forced to take, without as much as a whine. They helped save our family’s sanity.

So when we saw that this girl’s eyes gazing at us from the screen we felt we had to do our bit to help reunite her with her loving family.

Call us sloppy, but she melted the hearts of everyone on our team here at the Waverley Web and judging by the comments of Surrey Police, they were smitten by her too.

So let’s do everything we can to get her back home soon – by sharing this post far and wide?

Godalming’s Labour Candidate ready to fight for county seat.

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Despite everything that has gone on over the past year, we are having County Council elections in Surrey on 6th May.

So this has given a new boy on the block  Toby, a Digital Assessment Officer at the University of Surrey, an opportunity to throw his hat into the ring for the Godalming North seat on behalf of the Labour Party.

Here’s Toby Westcott-White’s message:

I’m proud to be running as the Labour candidate in Godalming North, which encompasses Godalming town centre, Farncombe, Binscombe and Charterhouse.

I moved to the Godalming town centre almost four years ago just after graduating from university. I grew up in Haslemere and currently work in Guildford and tend to spend most of my free time exploring our wonderful countryside on foot and on a bicycle.

Why am I running for Surrey County Council?

I do not believe the people of Godalming are getting the investment they deserve from the Conservative-dominated council.

The Tories have controlled the County Council for nearly all my life and they have been ruthless in their cuts to our public services. We can clearly see that roads are poorly maintained, cycle paths are rare and our fire services, which keep us all safe, are being cut.
We need a county that has excellent transport links, world-standard education and outstanding public services – from which we all benefit. 

If elected, I will be a radical voice to stand up for genuine investment in our public services.

This May, you can send a message that Surrey can and should be better. Let’s send this message by voting Labour.

Toby Westcott-White
Labour Party Candidate for Godalming North 

County elections

The County Council elections are on May 6, and I’d urge you to get a postal vote if you haven’t already. See here for how to do it: https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Council-information/Registering-to-vote-and-elections/Absent-voting-postal-or-proxy.

But of course, you’re free to vote in person if you’d prefer it!

A further message from Waverley’s Labour Councillor and former Labour MP Nick Palmer.

Surrey is dominated by the Conservatives, who hold 61 of the 81 seats. But – and here I’m being party political, of course – Labour is putting up a serious challenge this time, with candidates in every division and an impressive range of energetic young talent to take on the tired and complacent Council leadership.

I’d urge you to vote for whichever party and candidates actually impress you most when you compare their literature. Labour’s Godalming candidates are Toby Westcott-White in the North and Zahoor Zahida in the South.

Voting Labour also sends a signal to the Government not to be too complacent – when even their Surrey bastion starts to swing, they WILL take notice.

The LibDems always use each election to ask for tactical votes from Labour voters “just this once” and then at the next election cynically use that as an argument to do it again (“see how weak Labour was last time, so vote for us”). 

Labour is in practice the only credible alternative to the Conservatives nationally – nobody really thinks that Ed Davey might be the next Prime Minister, but Keir Starmer might well be.

It’s important to show that Britain isn’t as divided as people say and Surrey voters are interested in a credible alternative as well. I hope I contribute usefully to local politics – if you vote Labour, you’re voting for a fresh wind at the County level too!

 

“Your Waverley’ unimpressed by Government changes to the New Homes Bonus.

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To say that Waverley’s Executive is unimpressed with the Government’s Consultation on the changes it intends to make to the New Homes Bonus is an understatement.

Consultation description

The Government introduced the New Homes Bonus in 2011 as an incentive to encourage housing growth by local authorities in their areas. The aim of the bonus was a financial reward to encourage them to help facilitate more housing. 

The present consultation covers a number of options for reforming the programme and claims to provide an incentive that is more focused and targeted on ambitious housing delivery. It also claims it will complement the reforms outlined in the government’s Planning White Paper, and dovetail with the wider financial mechanisms the government is putting in place, including the infrastructure levy (CIL) and the Single Housing Infrastructure Fund.

So it will come as no surprise that following The Spending Review in 2018 the government decided to make savings of at least £800 million – probably more Post-Covid, – and direct the money it saves toward county councils to fund social care.

 The consultation sought views on:

  • reducing the number of years for which the Bonus is paid from 6 years to 4 years, 3 years or 2 years
  • withholding the Bonus from areas where an authority does not have a Local Plan in place
  • abating the Bonus in circumstances where planning permission for new development that has only been granted on appeal
  • adjusting the Bonus to reflect estimates of deadweight (introducing a baseline above 0%)

Following a consultation, in 2017/18 the Government implemented changes to:

  • reduce the number of years the Bonus is paid to 5 years in 2017/18 and 4 years from 2018/19
  • introduce a baseline of 0.4% growth of housing stock below which the Bonus would not be paid (and retained the option of adjusting the baseline to ensure allocations remained within the funding envelope)

Documents for yet another Consultation are in the link below.

CouncillorsHere’s what Lib Dem Cllr Mark Merryweather, Waverley’s Portfolio Holder for Finance & Commercial Services had to say about the Government’s Consultation – which Waverley has now responded to in writing.

A Consultation which he described this week as a …

“very important matter.”

 

When you are in a Haslemere hole – stop digging Ged.

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According to wannabe Surrey County Councillor Ged Hall – Haslemere’s potholes need fixing?

Wouldn’t it be great if he managed to get a hold of the facts before he started digging the dirt? It was ‘job already done’ by Cllr Nikki Barton who he wants to oust!

 We know it was April Fools Day when the Tory candidate for Haslemere’s county council seat lobbed one at the sitting Independent for not ensuring Surrey’s roads were kept up to scratch. However,  he dug a mighty hole for himself. A large one that in the future, he may need to fill?

Whisper who dares?

Hasn’t anyone told the Tory hopeful that the county council has been dominated by Conservatives for the past four years and more? The Conservatives currently hold 61 of the 81 seats, which by anyone’s reckoning seems to us like nobody, including Cllr Barton, gets a look-in?

However, if the Tory bastion starts to swing another way – the Tory Government just might have to give a little more seed corn to the cash-strapped local authority.  It has already lost the overall control of both Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils. It won’t want to lose Surrey.

SCC has invested 59m into the Farnham scandal that is Blightwells. An unpopular scheme to provide the town with 28 new shops and eight new restaurants, and more housing. A development partnership between Waverley and Surrey that Cllr Hall backed all the way from Godalming to Farnham – and back again when he was Waverley’s deputy leader. 

 Perhaps the money could have been put to better use?  Among them filling many thousands of dangerous potholes, or perhaps even go a step further and do a proper job and re-surface Surrey’s third-world roads?

THE Tory backlash in 2019 where Ged Hall lost both his seats slashed the number of councillors from 49 to 23.

Does Mr Hall ever listen to the SCC/Waverley Highway Partnership meetings? Meetings where sitting county and borough councillors regularly rabbit on about the state of our roads? There is more rabbiting there than on Watership Down about the king-size holes appearing across every highway and byway in Waverley, and the officers’ answers remain the same. “There’s not enough money.” 
You have to move to Sussex if you want decent roads, and even across the Hampshire border, it too has problems. 

But who better to blame, when you are a hole and want it filled than to blame SCC Cllr Nikki Barton who currently represents Haslemere. And, a damned fine job the Independent councillor has made of it too.

Come on Nikki, surely you have a spare shovel and a barrowload of tarmac, and a few hours to spare? OK, we know you have long been calling for the repairs, and have had assurances from highways officials that said holes at the Liphook Rd and Critchmere Junction will be filled, and subsequently have been. But that doesn’t satisfy the bloke who lost his seat on Waverley Borough Council so now wants yours! 
We know, and he knows his story is full of holes – but he needed a headline story.
So when Cllr Hall joins County Towers in May will he be having that conversation he promises with the head highway honchos to fill the potholes in Surrey’s roads – all of them? Or just the ones in Haslemere?
Earlier this month pothole complaints achieved a record when 586 were received in just one day. So, we wish you well Cllr Hall. No doubt you believe that as you can walk on water when you arrive at County Towers on May 7th they will give you a wheelbarrow and a shovel, so you can really start digging the dirt? 

“Hold on Jack” – Surrey County Councillor Ged Hall is on his way.”

 

 

 

1
3
@VoteNikkiBarton

Replying to

It would be helpful if Ged Hall, Tory candidate gathered the full facts before making public statements via

implying I was not taking full responsibility for securing funds for this repair in Haslemere. 3/

Put the clock back two years – and visit Haslemere pre-COVID

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Look back and perhaps ask – why weren’t we more prepared?

You can even play spot yourself and the Waverley Borough Councillors who took part?

Paul Ross said:
My cousin worked on a BBC TV programme (Contagion) which modelled the outbreak of a contagious virus in the UK:
 It was first broadcast
Thursday, March 22nd 2018 nearly 2 years to the day before we entered lockdown due to a pandemic!
 It was based in Haslemere where the first person caught COVID 19  in the UK.
Freaky… or what?!

One cannot help wondering – if this modelling was carried out by scientists and recorded by the BBC – why weren’t we more prepared?

Could you have answered the question posed? Did you know what the biggest disaster to hit the world was in the last 100 years?

Our MP for South West Surrey and former Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt knew the answer?

 

 

A Farnham planning-shambles at ‘Your Waverley.’

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Providing late paperwork for councillors on a Farnham development an hour before the meeting did not go down well with Chairman David Beaman. It also scuppered the chances of a Farnham man’s bid to build 24 apartments.

“I am not happy, words fail me” Chairman David Beaman  told his colleagues on the Western Planning Committee – “to receive important up-date papers at 5 pm – how about you?”

 The beleaguered applicant – a Mr John Boyce (apologies if we don’t have your name right) sat in the Zoom wings – watched helplessly,  while his scheme for 24 dwellings, 7 of which are affordable homes – bit the dust for another month.

He told the committee the application was due to be considered on 15th July 2020 and it had cost him a “considerable amount of money” waiting month after month for a decision.

Outline application for the demolition of an existing bungalow and erection of 24 apartments with underground parking.WA/2020/0558 – LAND AT THE OLD MISSION HALL, HOOKSTILE LANE, FARNHAM.

The application, which is already out of time for a decision, was recommended for approval by the officers.

Despite it languishing in Waverley Towers since last July, the committee unanimously decided to defer determining his scheme until April 26th. As all admitted they had not had time to read the paperwork.

Waverley’s Tory Group has complained about a proposal to cut meetings from four area planning committees down to two – leaving less opportunity for councillors to represent their constituencies. The Tories claim too many important decisions are being delegated to officers.

The matter of managing council business post-COVID is being discussed at a special Executive meeting on April 6.  However, the Leader of the Council Farnham Residents’ John Ward said earlier this week that the Government was making it extremely difficult for councils to work now that Zoom meetings would be forced to end on May 6.  Self-distancing in the council chamber for major meetings would be difficult if not impossible.  

Along with councils around the country Waverley has appealed to the government to allow virtual meetings to continue for the time being. But the numerous requests have fallen on deaf ears.

You can hear this part of the Western Planning Committee meeting here:

 

 

 

 

‘Your Waverley’ to put its money where its mouth is to fight UK Oil & Gas fracking.

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Waverley’s Executive agreed this week to stump up £30,000 to join Surrey County Council in its fight to stop UK Oil and Gas from fracking in Dunsfold.

Link to the previous post: Councils in Waverley are urging everyone to object to an appeal by UCOG to drill in Dunsfold.

Councillors heard that it had been given leave to become what is known as a Rule 6 Party in an appeal by UK Oil & Gas (UCOG) against Surrey County Councils refusal. But Waverley has to seek approval for a supplementary estimate to cover the fees of an external consultant to represent both it and local residents. It did not have a sufficient budget to meet the costs – and would require £30,000 from its reserves.

Cllr Steve Williams Green Party Portfolio Holder for Climate change.

Cllr Steve Williams told his colleagues that, a “Listening Panel’ made up of cross-party representatives had been highly effective in engaging with local people to gather evidence to fight the proposal by UCOG to drill for hydrocarbons in Waverley.

A bid, “which was not only obtrusive in our beautiful natural environment but is contrary to both ours and Surrey’s declaration of a climate emergency.”

He claimed that Surrey Planners had not put up a particularly robust case on its own, and had been highly reliant upon Waverley’s own planning officers help.

“It is an outrageous expectation to drill for hydrocarbons at Dunsfold. If it was in any other country in the world it would have been defined as FRACKING – but is defined in this country as DRILLING. It should be thrown out.”

Others agreed it would be money well-spent if it prevented further desecration of the countryside and it had the support of all the neighbouring parish councils including Alfold and Dunsfold.

Cllr Paul Follows, who is seeking the Godalming South seat in the forthcoming county council elections, alongside his Cranleigh colleague Cllr Liz Townsend featured in the clip below said: 

We have a duty to fight this proposal, and although Surrey’s case was quite weak, as a critical friend, we will fight this with as much force as we are able.”

Cllr Liz Townsend is the Lib Dem candidate for the Cranleigh & Ewhurst seat at SCC in the forthcoming election:  Conservative Cllr Andrew Povey has held county seat for many years.

Are Godalming residents being misled by the Tories?

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Is Kirsty playing dirty to snaffle a seat on the county council?

A Tory leaflet, which others claim could be a  deliberate attempt to mislead the public is being bandied around Godalming and on Social Media.. (photo below).

https://www.facebook.com/135691707151701/posts/762797174441148/?d=nI

Let’s do a FACT- OR FICTION -finding exercise, Megan Markle style?

FICTION OR FACT?

  • FICTION The claim that Waverley is a ‘Liberal Democrat Dominated |Council?’
  • FACT. The largest Group on Waverley Borough Council is … THE CONSERVATIVE GROUP.

GONE TO POTTS?

N.B. THIS  CHANGED SLIGHTLY OVERNIGHT AS CONSERVATIVE LEADER JULIA POTTS ANNOUNCED THAT CLLR BRIAN ADAMS HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FROM WAVERLEY’S CONSERVATIVE GROUP AT ‘YOUR WAVERLEY’ AND SUSPENDED FROM THE S.W.SURREY CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION!

  • FICTION Perhaps it wants to close Broadwater Golf Club for “an unpopular housing development?”
  • FACT. A housing development has never been mentioned. Why not use the word perhaps it could be ‘a refuse tip’ or perhaps ‘a multi-storey office block?’
  • FICTION. It made decisions behind closed doors.
  • FACT. It discussed the issue in public – but on the direction of officers, including the borough solicitor, made the decision privately from the public, but not the council, for sound commercially sensitive and legal reasons.

Should Ms Waldron win the Godalming South county council seat, she will, of course, want to adhere to officers’ advice in her new role, particularly when sensitive legal issues are involved?

FACT. Kirsty Waldron says if she is elected she promises, yes “promises,” the people of Godalming that she will fight to keep the club and protect recreational spaces which she uses regularly with her young (4 years old) daughter. 

Here’s what Cllr Paul Follows her Liberal Democrat opponent for the county seat has to say on the issue. 

FACT: https://www.facebook.com/135691707151701/posts/762797174441148/?d=n

 

A message from us to Cllr Paul Follows.

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Here at the Waverley Web, we want to take this opportunity of thanking Cllr Follows for keeping us all informed here in the borough of the frequent rule and advice changes throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.

It has been a superhuman feat to keep Waverley residents engaged and informed every step of the way, whilst continuing the day job, leading Godalming Town Council and serving as the Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council.

On behalf of our followers, who have followed you in the press and on social media, we would like to say a huge

“Thank you.”

Yesterday we took a small but significant step towards the end of lockdown. 

The “stay home” message has officially been scrapped and people are now allowed to meet outdoors in groups of six or two households, while organised outdoor sports have also returned.

 

 CORONAVIRUS ROADMAP – CHANGES IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY 29TH MARCH 

Good afternoon. Please see below a short summary of the changes that have now come into effect.

 Social contact

From 29 March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
 Business and activities
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part informally organised outdoor sports.
✈️ Travel
The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. Residents should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.
Please do let me know if you have any questions about this.
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Leader, Godalming Town Council

Today Guildford. Tomorrow Cranleigh? As wannabe developers buy-up ancient woodland plots.

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The recent Government White Paper on reforming the planning system, although a mixed blessing, includes a welcome emphasis on “protection” for green belt and other sensitive landscapes.

But it fails to address planning enforcement.

Is there any point in having a planning system if it can be flouted with impunity? Wannabe developers need to understand that if they break the rules they will be penalised, and swiftly.

Yet the disaster that is presently being inflicted on Wanborough Fields in the green belt north of the Hogs Back in Guildford – may now have arrived in Cranleigh. The beleaguered eastern part of Waverley earmarked as a new Waverley town. Developers have moved in and are building – north-south-east and west of the former village.

Cranleigh is Full Come back in 2033

Cranleigh’s village leaders heard concerned residents say that London developers had bought five plots in Cranfold Wood – an area of woodland off the Ewhurst Road between Cranleigh & Ewhurst. One said: 

“Another chap turned up and bought another few plots and started work there over the weekend. “What exactly are the rules over development in ancient woodland? What happens if they start pulling caravans onto the land?

Chairman Liz Townsend said if anyone did start felling trees they (the public) should contact the parish council and her personally. They should ring Waverley Borough Council’s Planning Enforcement Dept. , “I have all the emergency numbers,”  she said.

If they are clearing woodland their actions would be subject to enforcement action. If they have bought the land they will need planning permission before anything can take place there.” She believed that any development would be highly unlikely that planning permission would be granted in ancient woodland.

It is believed the owner of the former owner of the land is Ewhurst resident – Sue Hayes.


Yet the disaster now being inflicted on Wanborough Fields in the green belt north of the Hog’s Back and to the west of Guildford suggests there is little prospect of protection or enforcement. Residents are fuming at the inaction of Guildford Borough Council.

The upper portion of this site is within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and qualifies for a degree of national protection. The lower portion has the local designation of Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV).

Wanborough fields designated an Area of Great Landscape Value (viewed from the west).

Since 2013, planners have been waiting for the government’s environmental adviser, Natural England, to perform a boundary review that should lead to AGLV’s incorporation in the AONB. This under-resourced adviser moves painfully slowly; if at all, and an online petition is calling for it to move more quickly, and with very good reason.

The Wanborough crisis started with the sale of the land by a large estate and its subdivision into individual plots of varying sizes by the land agent who bought it. These have been marketed with the suggestion that they may be suitable for residential development, subject to securing “appropriate planning consent”.

That such consent is highly unlikely in such an environmentally sensitive area has not deterred the agent nor, it would seem, the buyers of the Guildford plots.

Could this be now be happening in Cranleigh’s Cranfold Wood?

Any development in Cranfold Wood would fundamentally threaten the character of this precious ancient woodland. Let us all hope for the locals’ sake Waverley’s Enforcement Officers are onto it!

 

MP Jeremy Hunt gets close and personal with Waverley’s residents?

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Are we here at the Waverley Web the only residents to be surprised to get a letter and survey from Jeremy Hunt, with no reference to a political party?

Surely not – we hear you cry? Not with the county elections due in May? He cannot be on the campaign trail, supporting his Tory colleagues, can he – surely not?

The fine,  print on our copy says…

“Your name and address were obtained from the Register of Electors, provided to us as a Registered Political Party”?

Please note the “us.”

Unless of course, Jeremy is using the royal “us,” it presumably means the Conservative Party. So actually if one responds to the survey, one is replying to the Conservative Party? And yet the reply address is a choice of two different Parliamentary ones, not to be used for party purposes.

So is it a party letter? (in which case the Parliamentary addresses shouldn’t be used) or is it a private letter? (In which case the Conservative permission to access the unpublished sector of the register shouldn’t be used)?
Just a thought Jeremy – perhaps someone could contact us, and all the other residents you wrote to, and explain? At contact@waverleweb.com
However, we won’t hold our breath awaiting a response – because breath is so good for us!

Councils in Waverley are urging everyone to object to an appeal by UCOG to drill in Dunsfold.

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On one side of the borough, the townsfolk of Cranleigh are fighting to stop a gas-fired electricity generating plant. On the other side of the town, others are working to stop UK Oil & Gas(UCOG) from exploratory drilling in Dunsfold. 

Here’s a link to an earlier post on the Cranleigh Plan – which has yet to be determined: Will Cranleigh be part of the biggest ever energy shake-up in the UK energy sector?
In a pincer movement, local parish councils are urging everyone to write to a Government Inspector to oppose UCOG’s plans to drill on the High Loxley Road, Dunsfold. The site is near the aptly named Pratts Corner! 
However, as Peter Lambert-Hartley remarked:
‘Good Luck with that.
I logged into the ‘User-Hostile’ Government Planning Inspectorate Appeals Casework Portal. After FINALLY managing to get the website to accept my details, and password (after 3 attempts), I was asked to give full details of the planned Development, including area and space and locality.
The Government Portal REFUSED to accept the reference.’
 UKOG is appealing the decision by Surrey County Council to refuse the proposed drilling for exploratory oil and gas in Dunsfold.
Alfold Parish Council (alongside other local councils) have resolutely objected to the application on the grounds of traffic, traffic safety, amenity value/impact on the landscape and local businesses in-line with objections raised by Waverley Borough Council.
Waverley has been granted leave to be a material part of the hearing alongside the Surrey County Council.

County planners have refused the application TWICE, but Ashley Ward, the Alfold owner of the land refuses to accept the local decision and is pinning all his hopes on the Government over-ruling local decision-makers.

The Appeal is listed for July and evidence can be submitted by residents, but there is not much time as this must be done by 6th April 2021, directly to the Planning Inspector online at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk quoting reference APP/B3600/W/21/3268579 (Loxley Well Site) or write to:
Elizabeth Humphrey
The Planning Inspectorate
3/J Kite Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Bristol BS1 6PN

Alfold Parish Council says it will be submitting further written submissions to the Planning Inspector, with particular reference to its previous concerns, however, it is urging everyone to do the same using the contact details above.

You may like to list personal concerns, including (but not limited to):
  1. 1. Any concerns you may have about traffic safety (extra-large abnormal loads and articulated tankers are not the same as smaller ‘HGVs’ and are unsuited to the local roads)
  2. 2. Mention your use and enjoyment of the local Public Rights of Way network (noting that the important Bridleway 280 passes through the field in which the oil/gas well is proposed)
  3. 3. Mention your love of the countryside (the oil/gas well will be visible from Hascombe Hill AONB, and is in farmland designated as being of Great Landscape Value) even more important since pandemic?
  4. 4. Mention the negative impact on local businesses, while no proven benefit of oil/gas (even if it is found, which is uncertain).
 Any questions, contact Julie: clerk@alfoldparishcouncil.co.uk.

Is it easier to get in touch with the Pope than Waverley’s planning dept?

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Is that the Vatican? Do you think the Pope could help me get in touch with a planning officer at ‘Your Waverley?’ I want my application determined before I drop off the perch!

Sing-a-long to – “Hanging on the telephone.’ 

We are all well-used to listening to automated messages. You know the ones that ‘thank you for your patience,’ while you wait… tearing your hair out from the roots. The message that tells you, you are in a queue of Numero Uno – and 25 minutes later, whilst still thanking your for your patience  – someone finally answers! Then, as you try desperately to remind yourself why you were ringing in the first place, you ask the receptionist to put you through to a named planning officer – at ‘Your Waverley.’

You then take a deep breath when the receptionist tells you she/he only works a couple of days a week – and guess what – yep – you guessed. She is not there on the day you rang! But then after ringing on the day, named planning officer is in – she’s out! However, a helpful receptionist takes your number sends him/her an e-mail message with your contact details – so you wait for another few days for him/her to return your call. By which time they have left the building/home/ and won’t be back until next week!

To say that the strain of COVID is taking its toll on Waverley’s Planning Department is an understatement. We are told that applicants are waiting many months for decisions. Many from last year!

When you do finally speak to someone – they cannot access your planning application with ease – and they tell you they are ‘collapsing  under a pile-of paperwork.’ And the last person dealing with your application has left, and one before him/her was only “temporary.”  After a little commiseration, giving you time to remember why you were ringing, – they explain despite applications festering in the bowels of Waverley Towers for many, long, months…

“There’s no point in you going to appeal for non-determination because you will be waiting even longer.”  

So, as the wheels of Waverley Planners grind ever more slowly – and the planning portal is on a go-slow that makes a tortoise a dead certain bet over the sticks at Cheltenham Races – is it any wonder that some frustrated customers – are building first and asking after? 

Some of the frustrated applicants who are writing to the Waverley Web at contact@waverleyweb.org are urging us to highlight the problem and beg council staff to get back to the office and start dealing with the backlog of planning applications. Or soon there will a protest march to the doors of the council offices at The Burys in Godalming. Oops! perhaps not as the police are the only occupants of the building.

Recently Elstead’s Cllr Jenny Else asked at an Overview & Scrutiny Committee if she could have a more detailed explanation than that contained in the meeting’s paperwork for the reasons why so many complaints were being levelled at the planning department. 

From what we hear from our followers Cllr Else, you have no idea of the number of complaints because most people are so frustrated, they don’t even bother to complain – believing that everyday life on Planet Zonk is so short and so difficult that it is just too stressful to put pen to paper.

We understand that the Planning Department under its new head planning honcho Zac Ellwood is undergoing a complete overhaul. No prizes for guessing why.

More “affordable homes” on their way to Godawfulming?

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Whilst promoting national house builders is usually at the bottom of our ‘to do list’ – we thought our readers would like a glimpse of the imaginative and architectural genius revealed in some of the homes now being built by Cala Homes at Ockford Park in Godalming.

Unlike Pete Seeger’s famous song – ‘there’s a green one and a pink one…’ Cala Homes appear to be fans of brown and grey – perhaps to suit the mood of our times?

However, the three-bedroom semi-detached homes priced at £500,500 could be just what young families looking for “affordable properties” are searching everywhere for? They just might be… right up their street?

Plot 6-3, Ockford Park, Godalming, Cala Homes South Home Counties

If you would like to see more of these aesthetically pleasing properties: follow this link:https://www.rightmove.co.uk/developer/branch/CALA-Homes/Ockford-Park-228623.html

 

Will Cranleigh be part of the biggest ever energy shake-up in the UK energy sector?

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Not if the townsfolk have anything to do with it as they fight yet another green field from biting the dust.

More than 300 letters of objection from the townsfolk of Cranleigh are flooding into Waverley Towers. Many asking? Why hasn’t it advertised the controversial proposal more widely?

As ‘Your Waverley’s Planning Portal gets another beating from objectors one of THE top planning and development consultancies in the UK prepares to move Conrad Energy onto a site to the West of Stonescapes in the Guildford Road in the settlement of Rowly.

Lichfields claims to have – 

“Helped create great places for over 50 years”

and has lodged a planning application for a – Flexible Electricity Generation and Battery Storage Facility, on behalf of its client, Conrad Energy (Developments) Limited [Conrad], for the…

 It claims it is a ‘much-needed facility to serve Cranleigh and beyond – in line with Government’s National Policy for Fossil Fuel Electricity Generating Infrastructure (ENI).’

It explains…

‘As electricity demand increases locally, for instance as a result of new housing and commercial development, the network reaches the point where it needs to be reinforced. Building this facility in this location will help to avoid the need for reinforcement of the distribution network because power is generated close to where it is used at 11 kV, which supports the local grid network.  The proposed development, therefore, provides the dual benefit of helping National Grid balance electricity supply and demand nationally, while also strengthening the distribution network locally. Building this facility in this location avoids the need for reinforcement of the distribution network because power is generated close to where it is used.’

Did you see that? – To boost the network “Nationally?”

Be careful what you wish for?

So there you have it Cranleigh folk. All those guys and gals, three of whom live only a few hundred yards from the proposed facility – who wanted more footfall to the Cranleigh shops and were part of the posse of local councillors and developers who met in secret with Waverley Planners to build, build, build Cranleigh New Town – are now going to reap the benefits – along with their constituents?

The case of biter bit comes to mind!

LinK: Oh! No – not more secret meetings with developers!

Link : The Hoppa Bus will be departing shortly for the latest of Waverley’s ‘Not-So-Secret’ Secret Meetings

 

So here’s what the company claims is required to meet the electricity and energy needs of Cranleigh tomorrow – today!

All just a hop, skip and a jump away from the homes of former Councillors Stewart and Jeannette Stennett. The home of former councillors the late Brian and his widow and WB Cllr Patricia Ellis and almost opposite the home of former Mayor Cllr Mary Foryzewski who attended the meeting but claims – she ‘didn’t speak’ and only attended to find out what the others were up too!

So here’s the development that will “fill the energy gap at short notice ‘ locally during high demand – when renewable energy can’t cope.

As the ‘last line of defence’ to prevent serious fluctuations and blackouts.

 

The flexible power generation plant is part of the Government’s Electricity Market Reform [EMR] package attracting  £110 billion of investment to replace and upgrade the UK’s electricity infrastructure. The EMR was introduced by the Energy Act 2013 and adopted in June 2014. It is considered to be the …

‘biggest-ever shake-up of the UK’s energy sector and designed to • Decarbonise electricity generation; • Keep the lights on; and, • minimise the cost of electricity to consumers. It will also provide 15 jobs on the Cranleigh site.

This will be provided:  • Up to 3 containerised gas-fuelled power units and a stack height of 7m; • 1 containerised battery storage unit (with a finished height of circa 4.5m); • Radiators; • Oil Tanks; • Welfare Cabin; • DNO Substation; • Gas Kiosk; • LV & HV Cabin; • CCTV • Transformer; • A 2.5m high-security fence surrounding the site; • Gated site entrance; and • Internal access road. Access and Security. 

So how do Waverley borough and Surrey County Councils argue against such a proposal when they have both declared A Climate Emergency? Will they be between a rock and a hard place? Though the  WW believes this proposal is in direct conflict with the principles of Waverley’s Carbon Neutrality Action Plan 2020 – 2030.


The access to the site is off the existing access point on the B2138 Guildford Road at Stonescapes close to the entrance to the Manfield Park Industrial Estate. It is on farmland and in The Green Belt.

However, The eastern planning committee has already over-ruled an officers recommendation to refuse development in the Green Belt in the Guildford Road! For whom we hear you ask? Yes, you guessed Cllr Stewart Stennett!

Philip Scattergood a former parish councillor in Bramley Surrey says:

“As a Homeowner, I am advised by Government Planning NOT to replace my Gas Boiler with an alternative Gas Based Boiler. To comply with the Green Policies surely this should use an alternative to gas such as Solar Panels so this location would be inappropriate.”

A villager and neighbour says:

We live on Guildford Road only 353 metres from this Green Belt site and have very grave concerns about the impact this application could have on our home and lives as well as that of our friends, neighbours and fellow villagers. This site has a very sorry history and we have already experienced considerable upset and turmoil trying to continually protect our home from misuse for over 15 years. We are saddened, exhausted and distressed that once again there continue to attempt to destroy our rural surrounding and enjoyment of our home in the Green Belt. We wish to most strongly object to this application for the following reasons:

– Unsuitability of the Green Belt Site There needs to be exceptional circumstances for development to be permitted in the Green Belt. A case for exceptional circumstances has not been met by this application so we cannot see any reason for this to be allowed. It’s frankly ludicrous to think that this site and the other sites they propose in Cranleigh/Rowly are the only places in the County or Country where there are a substation and gas supply in the vicinity. Let us not be deceived by the applicant’s weak attempt to say this is the only place this development can go.

Why should it go to Cranleigh at all???

The Assessment Criteria for the site is totally incorrect as follows! Physical Development Constraints – The site is surrounded by residential properties and sensitive receptors!!! Visual Intrusion – It will cause visual intrusion as it will be clearly seen from the Guildford Road and surrounding residential properties to the South, South East, East and North East !!! there is only screening on one side! Also, the Stonescapes current planning permission is not for an industrial site (as they keep quoting) in the application!

The green space is gradually being eroded outside of the permitted area of the current Certificate of Lawfulness and no one is doing anything about it. On 6th October 2015, the Waverley Head of Planning Services wrote to the Traffic Commissioner and said that in Waverley’s view the use of the site as an HGV Operating Centre would result in unacceptable traffic, noise, vibration and fumes. He also wrote it would result in an unacceptable level of visual intrusion in the Green Belt. Thankfully the Traffic Commissioner agreed and refused the licence. We now wholeheartedly hope that the same sentiment from Waverley will be upheld to protect the Green Belt from this far worse proposal.

Many hundreds of other objectors provide a whole gamut of reasons why the development should be opposed. They cite:

  • Road danger, policy constraints, no need for more power from out-dated technology – (due to the movement away from gas); noise and pollution, 7 metre-high chimneys; contamination and more, much more.
  • There are also some strong objections to the existing Stonescapes facility where the locals claim the owner appear to run rough-shod over the planning system – and nuisance caused by Tunnell Grab Services lorries. 

More information on this subject and public comments will be included in future posts on the Waverley Web. – including those of Cranleigh Parish Council. 

NB.  An application for two gas-fired units was granted Nr Selby in Yorkshire in 2019 by the Secretary of State for Energy & Industry. His decision was appealed in the Court of Appeal – but was subsequently granted by the Court.

 

 

 

Don’t forget its Census Day on Sunday.

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We do our very best here at the Waverley Web to keep our followers informed of matters that concern us all here in the borough of Waverley and beyond. 
However, we know a man who does it even better. Communicating with the public has been a top priority for Cllr Paul Follows from the moment he first appeared on our pages – when he fought the Godalming South, Milford & Witley seat to join the council. Paul Follows chats to Waverley​ electors. Although in his early days representing the people of Godalming, he was put down at every opportunity by the ruling Tories, he refused to be silenced.
Since establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with at Waverley Towers – the new kid on the block is now well-rooted in the hearts and minds of residents. Because, he did what it said on the tin, he has kept them informed. He has achieved this throughout THE most difficult and traumatic year in the council’s history.

Here’s a message from ‘Your Waverley’s Deputy Leader Paul Follows. The man who keeps us all informed on local issues in the borough – and who is standing for the Surrey County Council elections in May as a Liberal Democrat Candidate for Godalming South.

Paul Follow. Deputy Leader of ‘Your Waverley.’ Lib Dem candidate for the Surrey County Council Godalming South seat.

2021 CENSUS

Hi everyone. I have just attended a council briefing from the government Census 2021 team and so if any residents have any issues with this or need any assistance I should now be in a position to give that help.

➡️ What is the census?
The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.
Your answers to the census questions will help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services in your area, including transport, education and healthcare.
➡️ How long does it take?
The census should take about 10 minutes for the household questions and 10 minutes per person for the individual questions.
Every household in Waverley should now have received a letter and this includes details of what to do next, how to request a paper copy if you need one and other important information.
If there is any support or clarification I can give as one of your local councillors please do let me know.
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk

Wannabe county councillor shows Godalming’s electorate how to multitask?

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Kirsty Walden has a keen eye on the Godalming South seat in the forthcoming Surrey County Council elections. So you can expect to see a lot of the Tory candidate in the coming weeks.

As every woman knows, good multitasking skills are essential to juggle work, family and council duties.  Whereas, for most men, it simply means screwing up several things at once!!!
However, should Kirsty really be trying to burnish her green credentials (promoting the merits of driving forward the carbon zero economy, which is in line with the county council’s adoption of its own Climate Emergency Strategy) by taking pictures of her reducing electric charge whilst driving at 54 miles per hour on the M25 as she heads towards the Cobham Services?!   That’s a bit like being a brunette and having a blonde moment at the same time! She also boasts of having a DOB – daughter on board!

 

It begs a serious question, though: Does the woman have a death wish or does she simply not realise it’s illegal to drive whilst using a handheld device?  A worrying conundrum and one that requires an answer from the woman who would be one of our elected representatives?

Tempers continue to rise as social media storm; Kirsty hits Godalming.

Promoted on Facebook by Sean Donovan-Smith on behalf of Kirsty Walden and South West Surrey Conservatives.

Waverley’s housing delivery supply is heavily dependent on Dunsfold’s garden village.

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Could Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 – the borough’s blueprint for future housing development  –  be in jeopardy if work on Dunsfold’s new garden village doesn’t begin soon?

That was the concern expressed at Waverley’s Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Monday – and not for the first time. There are fears that the highly acclaimed and long-awaited Dunsfold Garden Village development may have stalled.

However, a Waverley planning officer assured the committee that all is well and negotiations are continuing with the developers concerning time scales for build-outs.

The issue over progress on one of the borough’s critical large-scale developments was raised by Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman. He was concerned about the borough housing and land supply figures and how this would affect the outcome of current and future planning appeals. An appeal for 140 homes in Lower Weybourne Lane  in Farnham was due to begin the following day (Tuesday, March 6.) If allowed by an Inspector this would blow a huge hole in Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan.

Chairman Cllr Carole Cockburn said recently that Farnham is beginning to look like one large building site.  A recent The Farnham Herald headline…

“It is stated in our report that one of our achievements has been our robust housing land supply figures – and this will be a big issue in the determination of planning appeals. My concern, as far as I know, our position is highly dependent on Dunsfold which is one-quarter of the housing delivery that we have in Waverley over the coming years. In fact one-quarter of the whole period. I am a bit concerned that it doesn’t appear there is much happening, and we have been told we don’t have any staff working on this at the moment. I would like to have a brief summary of what impact any delay at Dunsfold will have on forthcoming appeals and Local Plan Part 2?”

 

With 1,600 homes earmarked and consented for the former Dunsfold aerodrome site near Cranleigh – and another 800 included in the important Local Plan – any delay could have a significant impact on the borough’s important 5-year land supply. A land supply figure that has featured in numerous past planning appeals. Appeals which have been granted as a series of Inspectors refused to accept Waverley Planners’ claim that it has more than 5-years supply in the bag.

Dunsfold Aerodrome is one of​ two Surrey sites​ chosen to be among 17 other garden​ villages to be built across the country.

Dunsfold Park (Waverley Borough Council) – an opportunity for up to 2,600 homes in the form of a new free-standing settlement by 2032.

However, all is well at Dunsfold as you heard will have heard in the clip above. Waverley’s Planning Policy Manager Graham Parrott assured everyone that the council was liaising closely with the developer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little light relief from Australia – a country that is kicking COVID into touch.

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Alfie Date, Australia’s oldest man at 109, knits little jumpers for penguins caught up in oil spills. You’ve just gotta love his latest.

WW can’t help wondering why Alfie Date hasn’t knitted this little fella a mask? Since the pandemic, ever-so-slightly hit the Antipodes – everyone there has been wearing face masks.

As a matter of interest, the Waverley Web travels far and wide and we have comments and information from our Australian friends. Our followers, many of whom once lived in Surrey, tell us how COVID has impacted their lives too.

One follower wrote to the Waverley Web saying she had popped out at the height of the lockdown at 7 pm to beat the 8 pm curfew and was followed by the police from her home to her local Chinese takeaway restaurant. After the meal was put in her boot she was followed by the police back to her Melbourne home. Could you even imagine such strict controls here?

 

 

Early last year, the Australians took aggressive public-health measures of physical distancing and lockdown to bring the virus to heel. They understood that an ounce of prevention is worth pounds of cure.

As part of that, they immediately brought in border-control measures, including mandatory quarantine facilities for travellers – measures used by other gold-medal countries, from Hong Kong to South Korea.

Australia is no longer in a race between virus variants and vaccines; it stopped the virus in its tracks. When the pandemic is over and the butcher’s bill is delivered, our southern twin’s tally of dead and hospitalised will be a tiny fraction of ours.

And once Australia starts vaccinating, it stands ready to outpace many other countries.  Last year Australia signed contracts for a variety of promising, in-development vaccines. But it didn’t stop there. It also ramped up domestic manufacturing capacity and licensed the AstraZeneca vaccine.

 Australian pharma giant CSL is now producing approximately one million AstraZeneca doses a week, in Australia. That’s in addition to the country’s contracts for millions of imported doses. Australia further insured itself by licensing a leading vaccine for domestic production.

With one million locally manufactured doses a week, Australia will soon be vaccinating at least 4 per cent of its population, weekly.

 

 

 

COVID hunts out and hits our Jeremy – MP for SW Surrey.

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Poor old Jeremy – first a broken arm after falling over on the ice, and now COVID has struck down the former Secretary of State for Health – who is now -Chairman of the Health & Social Care Select Committee. Despite having the vaccination for the dreaded coronavirus, our SW Surrey MP is self-isolating with mild symptoms – so far so good – along with the rest of his family.

Even hiding behind the trees at his country home in Markwick Lane didn’t help MP Jeremy Hunt avoid – COVID- 19.

 

The moral of the tale here is quite simple: ‘Have vaccine – doesn’t automatically mean immunity.’ We here at the Waverley Web have heard of a considerable number of our friends and family who know of others who have contracted the disease, despite having been vaccinated!

You will see from our MP’s article in the Farnham Herald that he has congratulated track and trace. However, a member of our team here at the Waverley Web has been waiting 14 weeks for his test results – and has heard Zilch from Track & Trace.  We are also aware of many, who are ignoring the rules on self-isolating and travelling vast distances!

We wish JH a speedy recovery. Because after all, he has much to do. Our Social Care system is quite simply, broken and unfit for purpose. It is a national disgrace.  Two wheels had already fallen off our SC system BC (Before Covid) now PC (Post Covid) the other two have rolled down the hill to join the others.

So where to now Jeremy? The Chancellor made no mention of the huge great elephant in the room. There was no reference to the biggest problem facing our country – WHY?

There is a huge lack of human help out there in the big wide world that is Britain today, and our old and frail folk are suffering badly. Here in Waverley, the once-proud borough introduced to a fanfare of trumpets, accompanied by shedloads of cash – Age Concern Waverley. Which we understand became – AGE UK Waverley. An organisation that boasted hundreds of gardeners, handymen, volunteers and administrators to help the elderly remain independent in their own homes. According to newspaper cuttings of the day, that organisation was sent to the scrapheap by the Tory administration at ‘Your Waverley.’

During this pandemic, some of our old folk have become the great unwashed. As their carers have failed to turn up.

So while isolated in one or another of your luxury home, watching Netflix, and playing board games spare a thought for all the poor older souls out there. Those who live alone and have experienced three lockdowns – with reduced help and assistance. Some of whom have now, simply given up!

However, Waverley Council is to be congratulated for its enormous and successful efforts to help out locally wherever and whenever it can. 

The older and fitter voters are rising up – fast. They are beginning to shout louder and will not be letting you and your party get away with breaking your election promise to fix our broken system social care system.

Our suggestion to the old and the bold in ‘Your Waverley.’

Write to your MP – the elusive Angela Richardson – in Guildford and Villages and Jeremy Hunt MP for SW Surrey and demand to be told what they are doing to provide a decent-level of elderly social care. If they don’t respond let’s start shouting from the rooftops …

PROVIDE DECENT AGE-CARE OR GET ON YOUR BIKES!

Should GP’s get back to being … GP’s?

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Several NHS organisations say there is now a strong case for many GP sites to stop vaccinating to enable them to step up other services, with concerns about untreated health problems building up in recent months.

One ICS leader here in the South of England called for urgent clarity from the Nation Health Service Executive on its view about the mix of vaccine centres to be used for the next phase saying it would be best for “GPs to get back to being GPs”, with a shift towards mass centres (now formally known as “vaccination centres”) and community pharmacies.

One local trust leader involved called for “urgent agreement” on the respective roles of GP/PCN sites, mass vaccination centres and pharmacists, saying the current approach would soon come apart. The source questioned whether GP sites were “the most cost-effective way”, and “who is undertaking the core GP work”. Another ICS lead said some larger PCN operations could carry on with other services while vaccinating, but for some practices, it displaced core work, so they may need to stop.

GP sites could be asked to give a second dose to the older and high-risk groups who they have already vaccinated once, while under-50s are sent elsewhere, several sources said. It is unclear in the current GP enhanced service contract for vaccination whether their role would continue for all cohorts.

Empty centres

Meanwhile, mass vaccination centres in many parts of England have been running well below capacity in recent weeks, because people are not booking into them, leaving those involved frustrated that they are missing the chance to vaccinate faster, and wasting the time of staff and volunteers.

A senior figure at one centre said  GPs and local commissioners were heavily pushing the PCN sites, and the government should do a better job of promoting the offer at mass centres, as well as allowing them more flexibility to move onto cohorts ahead of primary care and to vaccinate people from outside their immediate patch. It is understood they are generally not permitted to book people from outside their ICS area.

“There are empty NHS vaccination centres around the country,” the person said. “GPs are used to running big flu vaccination programmes. But I question whether we are now taking a bit too much from their day job.”

However, a local GP leader following the issue argued mass centres should not be opened while supply is tight to PCNs which could deliver a lot more. He said:

“Dragging people from disparate areas into mass vaccination centres, even socially distanced, is at odds with the core message of ‘don’t travel’. I suspect… the cost per jab is lower in GPs/PCNs than in vaccination centres.”

An NHSE spokesman said: “NHS teams around the country, working closely with local authorities and other key community partners, are working flat out to deliver the largest vaccination programme in NHS history, and with supply the limiting factor, vaccine distribution is quite rightly co-ordinated so that doses can be directed across the country where they are most needed to target people most at risk, which means the most vulnerable people are protected first.”

 

Battle of the Boundaries in ‘Your Waverley.’

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As many of you may be aware ‘Your Waverley’s boundaries are being reviewed. The Rainbow Alliance that now controls the borough council is following Government guidance to slim down local authorities in a bid to save time and money. Which is no bad thing as Government money is now in short supply – and cash-strapped local authorities the length and breadth of the country are struggling to stay afloat. Some of whom have already SUNK!

Just a sample of Waverley’s new administration. An administration that has dealt with one of THE most turbulent chapters in the council’s history.

 

‘ Your Waverley’ could soon be on a strict diet if the Boundary Commission has its way.

The new administration has proposed and has agreed to reduce the number of councillors from 57 to 50, some are even calling for a reduction to 44. It believes efficiencies can and should be made.  Reducing the council representation of the borough’s towns and villages in the present climate, and in line with the Boundary Commissions’ advice is both a necessary requirement and a sensible move.  However, Surrey County Council would like to go even further.

If the Tory-controlled county council has its wicked way, it will dump all 11 of Surrey’s boroughs & District Councils altogether to provide us with one behemoth Unitary Surrey Authority. Don’t be fooled, its bid has only been postponed – not cancelled! It wants to be one of the largest authorities in the country in a bid to dilute grass-roots democracy as far as it can. 

Now with councils like ‘Your Waverley’ and Guildford Borough Council losing Tory control, who better to bring them all into line than – A Tory Controlled Surrey County Council?

Bye Bye ‘Your Waverley’ Hello ‘Surrey?’

For many years now, successive Governments have been quietly stripping away local democratic powers. Particularly with planning. It will not have gone unnoticed by our followers that more and more planning decisions are granted on appeal by Government Inspectors.

And, as the song goes …

‘That’s the way WE like it.’

What a difference the years make?

Isn’t it strange that a large number of Tories are now kicking up a stink about the reduction proposed? –  Just a few years ago, so we are told by councillors serving their areas at the time,  the Tory administration pledged to stop cutting the grants to voluntary organisations (which they subsequently did anyway – and instead reduce their own overheads by doing what is now proposed by ‘Your Waverley’s new boys and girls!

Did they carry out their pledge to cut the number of councillors?  Like hell they did – just words – Tory turkeys don’t vote for Christmas do they?

 

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Will Farnham’s dogs be forced to trot to Church Crookham for a walk in the woods?

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S52/2019/0006, Land west of Green Lane, Farnham Request to modify a section 106 legal agreement (WA/2015/2283 outline application) relating to the SANG contribution.

When is a SANG not a SANG? When you have to drive past the original Sang to get to the new one?

A bid by Taylor Wimpey to move a proposed SANG – (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space) from Farnham Park to Church Crookham has angered the Farnham Society.

What is this con trick devised by the Government to provide developers with ways and means of shelling out shedloads of cash to provide green spaces for dog walkers and exercise elsewhere, in a bid to protect the areas around Special Protection Areas?

In other words – developers paying for planning consents to build lots of little boxes, all made out of the same ticky tacky – and all looking the same?

If you stood in the middle of some of the housing estates now popping up faster than daffodils in Waverley you wouldn’t know whether you were in Farnham or Fareham – Alfold or Aldershot. On estates with roads like Bluebell Walk, where a bluebell will never rear its beautiful head ever again!

Now the national housebuilder wants to use its Naishes Wood SANG in Church Crookham in Hampshire – yes really in another county altogether.  Thereby withdrawing its contribution to ‘Your Waverley’ for the management and maintenance of Farnham Park’s SANG!  Kerching!

To get to Church Crookham of course you have to load up the dog/s and drive twice as far past? Yes, you guessed – Farnham Park!

In other words – Taylor Wimpey’s cunning plan to use a SANG it already owns elsewhere because presumably, it isn’t making enough money from its Farnham development. Or as Leader and Farnham Cllr John Ward might say…

Have boots and dogs – will travel?

No wonder the Farnham Society – the organisation that speaks up for us here in the Town is so pi**ed off.

Its spokesman David Howell has written to Waverley Planners urging them to refuse the revision, saying:

Although the site is included in the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, the proposed development will have a negative impact on our already congested roads. Congestion and pollution are already above acceptable levels in some areas of Farnham. Promoting additional car journeys of increased length should be avoided. The committee accept that had the SANG proposed been closer to the development site, but outside the local planning authority’s area of control, the case for refusing the application would be less. However, that is not the case. Natural England’s view should be sought but it should confirm that the Special Protection Area policy has significant weight and allocating contribution to another borough in this instance is unacceptable. The Society is of the strong opinion that the SANG contribution arising from this housing development should stay within the borough and with the community in which the site is located.

We strongly object to this application and respectfully request that it is refused.

Planning Application S52/2019/0006 
Here’s the Farnham Society’s letter to Waverley Planners.

 

Farnham Society letter:

document-7534737.pdf

Local author publishes – A tale of two Farnham theatres – and then some.

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Author and theatre-lover Anne Cooper has recently published her second history on Farnham’s much-loved and much-missed  Redgrave Theatre. It is called Theatre in Farnham: at Church House between the Wars.

Anne has put the lockdown period to good use by delving into the history of the famous theatre, which although staffed by amateur actors were led by a professional who had contact with some of the most famous names in the theatre-world of the day.

The story of theatre at Church House has been culled from an old photo album, once the property of the local artist, Marshall Barnes, who went on to become the scenic designer at the Castle Theatre. The story will interest anyone familiar with theatre, either amateur or professional, and also anyone interested in Farnham’s social history. The booklet reveals a glimpse of life in the 1920-30s and there are references to names that are still familiar in the town today.

Dare we, here at the Waverley Web, suggest that some of those 28 shops and 8 restaurants planned for Farnham’s Blightwell development, former home of The Redgrave, take on a different role than that currently envisaged? Yes, of course, we dare. Perhaps everyone involved should get their heads together and come up with a Plan B? an entertainment and theatre space?

It will soon be Easter Farnham residents – let’s stop hatching eggs and start hatching some ambitious plans to take some of the Blight out of Blightwells?

Particularly as there appear to be almost no takers for the huge number of vacant retail units. Surely the great investors – ‘Your Surrey County Council’ and ‘Your Waverley’ don’t want to see tumbleweed bouncing through the site in East Street – do they?

We can now all see for ourselves what we suspected all along. The overbearing size, scale and bulk of the buildings. Particularly the Block – called D8 – which has been nicknamed cell block H. Its horrible bleak facade hits you as you walk around from Dogflud. Four-storey blocks of bricks and concrete bearing down on Farnham, destroying our market-town. One of our old friends who recently travelled back to Farnham due to a COVID bereavement was in tears at what Farnham had become.

Where are you now-former Cllr Adam-Taylor Smith and all your Tory colleagues? Stand up and be counted and tell us that you are proud this monstrosity is turning out to be the fantastic model you claimed it would be. A development for which you sacrificed so much of our money and our town?

This ghastly ghetto should have your name emblazoned on its most ugly facade in neon lights. We are sure ‘Your Waverley’s` Licensing Committee will have no problem approving flashing lights over Farnham. Particularly as the committee is headed up by the Tory Whip – who claims “there isn’t a Tory Whip”  – none other than – The Tory Whip – Cllr Michael Goodridge.

 

 Farnham’s earlier Theatre history, A Tale of Two Theatres, told by those who knew Farnham’s Castle and Redgrave Theatres has been very well received as witnessed by many reviews, of which here are just two:

A Tale of Two Theatres … – what a fascinating read. So many contributions from people whose lives were enriched by connections with the Castle and Redgrave Theatres; you have made certain that Farnham’s theatrical history is kept alive in people’s minds. Your brilliant book gives a lively history of the two theatres and shows just how far-reaching are their influences for good.

 

PJ This book is a joy both to dip into or to read from cover to cover for the story of the development of the theatres and their varied fortunes and personalities is utterly fascinating. SW We have all been delighted by the continuing response to the book and confirm that it is very much available through lockdown from sales@farnhamtheatre.co.uk even if the regular outlets, Waterstone’s, Pullingers and the Museum of Farnham are having to be necessarily closed. However, lockdowns have given opportunities for more research into Farnham’s history of theatre and this has resulted in another publication for the archives. FTA is delighted to announce a new illustrated booklet, Theatre in Farnham: at Church House between the Wars. This covers the pre-war period and involves a company called The Church House Players. Although these actors were amateurs they were led by a professional who had contact with some of the most famous names in the theatre of the day.

Here is the FTA Newsletter which announces detail of our brand new Farnham theatre booklet and how to get hold of your copy. It’s an intriguing read with many references to local people and places. One not to be missed.

 

Plus there’s news of the Guy Vaesen prints that are available at some excellent low prices – while stocks last!

All the details can be found on the link below.

Newsletter 64

 

 

Residents of a new/pedestrian Alfold development could soon have a pedestrian/cycle link.

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However, Alfold Councilor Kevin Deanus is hell-bent on protecting the privacy of the homes where pedestrians will walk and cyclists will ride by. The former bobby on the beat – wants to ensure that the residents’ privacy is not impaired – as the public path will be very close to the homes of Chilton Close residents.

 

80 more homes on their way to Alfold as a Government Inspector hits ‘Your Waverley’ in its pocket too!

Catesby Estates was given ‘Your Waverley’s’ go-ahead for a pedestrian/cycle link across Council owned land at Chilton Close, Alfold in order to comply with a planning requirement that the second phase of a residential development site is sustainable and reasonably linked to the settlement of Alfold.

Phase 1 of the development of 56 homes by Cala Homes off Loxwood Road is now almost complete. Now another developer is moving in to build another 80 homes on adjoining land at Sweeters’ Copse, Loxwood Road. As you will have read in the link above, the further extension of another 80 homes was granted appeal. An appeal during which a Government Inspector slapped a very plump bill of costs on Waverley Planners for daring to refuse it! The Inspector claimed that Waverley Borough Council did  not have a 5 year-land supply. Now other developers – including Bewley Homes scheme for 140 homes at Weybourne Lane, Bdshot Lea in Farnham – are claiming the same. A four-day ‘virtual’ planning Inquiry starts on March 6th.

Now its Waverley’s Turn to Slap a tidy bill on the developer.

In February 2015 Cala Homes was granted access rights over a strip of common land – for which the developer was forced to stump up some very useful cash for the council.

Now with Phase 2 on the cards following a successful appeal another developer will be shelling out an un-named sum for the right to use the footpath and cycle link through Chilton Close – a housing association development.

The council described the sum as “a substantial capital receipt.”

Said Cllr Mark Merryweather – “We have engaged with our advisors and valuers to get the maximum return and which will raise much- needed capital for our council services and facilities.

But if Cllr Deanus has anything to do with it – some of the funds raised will be coming Alfold’s way! Cllr Merryweather – the Executive for Finance tipped him the wink – that it would be remembered.

councillors

Alfold Cllr Kevin Deanus

Cllr Deanus called the design of the footpath “bizarre’ as it has been designed to take users 200 yards futher away from the village shop and centre, however,  he wasn’t looking a gift horse in the mouth.

His concern was the future privacy of homes in Chilton Close, as in some cases the path would be  only 10/15ft from the doors and windows of some properties and along the back gardens of others.

“These are council properties and we owe them (the residents) a duty to ensure that people are not walking alongside their properties looking in.” 

 

 

 

Godalming’s Lib Dem duo ready to run towards County Hall.

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Surrey County Council could soon be wearing some new faces come May 6 – when the polls open to herald a new era at county towers.

 

Here’s a message from Cllr Paul Follows on behalf of two of the candidates who have thrown their hats into the election ring. Messages from other candidates in ‘Your Waverley’  will follow. That is of course – if we receive them!

Cllr Follows.

Many of you will be aware by now that May 6th this year is Election Day for Surrey County Council.

‘A significant number of the messages I get from residents as a #Godalming Town and Borough councillor are actually about County issues – such as roads, schools and Children’s centres and do my best to address these.

But without being a county councillor there is only so much that I can do on these things. I have decided to throw my hat into the ring and stand for the County Council which is why my page has changed a little today.’

The Godalming and Villages area is split into TWO county areas:

➡️ Godalming North – where the candidate for us will be the always fantastic and dedicated PENNY RIVERS.

➡️ Godalming South, Milford and Witley – where I have the honour of being our candidate from today.

We want to bring compassion, competence and community back to Surrey County Council and both of us are standing because we want to make where we live a better place for everyone.

You can let us know your priorities for Surrey with our Residents Survey and very happy to hear from residents any time on Facebook or using the email contact on this page.

➡️https://digitallibdems.typeform.com/to/IX3PjDYE

Cllr Paul Follows
Candidate for Godalming South, Milford and Witley

FIFTY SHADES FREE(D)HAND DUNSFOLD

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Did Two Wrights make a wrong?

The residents of one road in Cranleigh have been unable to stop giggling after one of their neighbours came home from work with a tale his spouse couldn’t resist sharing over the garden fence – as you do in these days of Covid.

The neighbour, who works at Dunsfold aerodrome, told his spouse that workmen emptying a storage facility at the industrial park, which had been abandoned by a tenant – who’d cut and run leaving a trail of substantial debts in its wake – were left goggle-eyed when they found a haul of pornographic videos amongst the junk left behind by the former tenant.

According to our source, the stash left the workman a bit hot-under-their-overalls and wondering just what type of videos the former tenant, Freehand Limited, had been filming at the industrial park …

Apparently, Freehand Limited, which went into voluntary liquidation recently has, miraculously, risen from the ashes, phoenix-like, just a hop, skip and a business park away – at The Old Forge, Smithbrook – in its new guise as Freehand Services Ltd.

‘They always gave the impression that they were a very respectable company, creating digital signage and marketing videos for businesses but this casts a whole new light on their enterprise,’ remarked our mole.

 ‘The joke now doing the rounds amongst tenants at the aerodrome is, ‘Have you heard about Fifty Shades of Freehand …’

 

Chris Wright, who founded Freehand Limited (now in liquidation), is thought to have sold the Company’s assets but, crucially, not its debts (before he entered into a voluntary liquidation arrangement) to his son, Matt Wright, who founded Freehand Services (not very imaginative for a creative company but cleverly tailored not to raise suspicion amongst existing clients) in order to carry on servicing – nudge, nudge, wink, wink – Freehand Limited’s former customers without the cloud of debt that was hanging over Mr Wright senior’s head.  It’s a dodge as old as time which allows bankrupt, washed-up businesses to walk away from their creditors and start with a clean slate and no debt, whilst their creditors are left with no option but to pick themselves up, brush themselves down and write off the bad debts.  Harsh or what?

Messrs Wright & Wright’s conspiracy puts an entirely new spin on Christian Grey’s infamous line to Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey: ‘Oh fu*k the paperwork!’  Presumably, Messrs Wright & Wright thought, ‘Oh fu*k the creditors!’

And in a similar vein, we can’t help wondering if Messrs Wright & Wright’s shenanigans caused many a company’s debt collectors to exclaim:

‘You’re making my palm twitch [Mr Wright]!’

But enough of the Fifty Shades jokes!  It’s no joking matter for Freehand Limited’s creditors. Maybe, just maybe, if Messrs Wright & Wright had taken a leaf out of the book of the bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey franchise they wouldn’t have left Dunsfold airfield under a financial cloud with their reputation in shreds and fellow tenants wondering exactly what they were filming in their storage shed?! 

Fifty Sheds of Grey anyone?

And the moral of this story:

If you’re going to do a bunk, adding insult to injury by leaving a skip full of rubbish in your wake, check you’ve not left your dirty linen amongst it, cos someone’s likely to air it for you!

Will UK Oil & Gas be arriving soon on this green field in Dunsfold?

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Not if these councillors have anything to do with it.

They want us to ‘all stand together.’

The oil and gas giant (UCOG) has decided to ignore the decisions of Waverley Borough and Surrey County Councils. Instead, it will ask the Government to over-rule the refusal for a drilling site on land owned by Alfold man Ashley Ward.

However, the deputy leader Paul Follows and his colleagues, including Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend and Godalming’s Green Party Cllr Steve Williams want residents to know – they are on the case.

They say:

Cllr Steve Williams   Portfolio Holder for Climate Change.

 Many of you will be aware the UKOG has filed an appeal against the refusal decision issued to it several months ago. They were attempting to create and maintain a new oil drilling site in Waverley, just outside Dunsfold.

We have been given a date for that appeal now, which is scheduled for 10:00 on 27 July 2021.

Waverley Borough Council has decided to take up its legal right as what is referred to as ‘rule 11 party’ to take part and fight this appeal too. We do this on behalf of those residents and businesses that are directly impacted, but also on behalf of all residents in defence of our natural environment and in-line with the values we have declared as part of our climate emergency motion.

Councillors

Executive Cllr Liz Townsend

 

Cllr Liz Townsend, Cllr Steve Williams and I (Cllr Follows) have also been in discussion with a large local residents group on this matter (Protect Dunsfold), Waverley Friends of the Earth, a number of local businesses as well as the local parish councils that are impacted (Alfold Parish and Dunsfold Parish).

 

Deputy Leader  Cllr Paul Follows

We have now reached an in-principal agreement to stand together as a united front in this matter, in which Waverley Borough Council will take the lead as the local authority. 

As this was a minerals planning application, Surrey County Council is the authority UKOG is appealing against – so it is our intention to be a ‘critical friend’ to Surrey in this matter and ensure that they put up a robust defence of their aspects of this.

I know many residents will see this is very good news and I am very proud that we here at Waverley BC will be stepping up to fight this.

Should Jeremy secretly plug County Council Candidates in his newsletter?

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There were, however, one of two little tidbits that MP Jeremy Hunt fails to mention in his hidden message to the voting fodder of his SW Surrey Constituency.   So in the public interest, we here at the WW feel we should mention how these two candidates for the county council elections fared when they were Godalming Town councillors.

 

This is an interesting document setting out the attendance record for both former Cllr Young and former Cllr Walden…

During the two years before Cllr Young resigned from Godalming Town Council, he was, what the Tories jokingly refer to as a ‘CHINO. Councillors Here In Name Only.’ Why? Because his attendance record for representing his electorate was, quite frankly, abysmal.
So Mr Hunt – be careful what and who you wish to promote for public service? 
You can click on these links and see for yourselves.

The May Surrey County Council election is on. According to Government guidance from 8th March canvassing and leaflet drops can commence.  The Government has also advised local authorities so can  ‘banging on doors.’ A bit surprising – when our guys can’t get their bonces polished until sometime in the middle of April?

Comment from Cllr Nick Palmer. The Government proposal to allow canvassing from next week is absolutely bonkers. SW Surrey Labour has proposed to all parties that we hold up all door-to-door campaigning (and, for fairness, paid-for leafleting) until Easter. I gave a Radio Surrey interview on this: https://fb.watch/3-7RYt1AGB/

The Great Wildwood Golf Club debate continues unabated.

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Villagers in Alfold are becoming angrier by the day – as they are forced to stand idly by, and view at arm’s length, the destruction of treasured wildlife habitat.

Here’s what the eastern villages were promised.


The course near Cranleigh was given permission for an 84-bed hotel, 40 lodges and the PGA regional headquarters back in 2010 but it closed in 2017.

For almost a year villagers, including the parish council have been bombarding Waverley Planners with complaints about the activities at the former Wildwood Gold & Country Club. Every day HGV’s pound up and down the A281 – plastering the Guildford to Horsham Road with mud causing a danger to motorists.

Here’s the – mud, mud glorious mud – all being travelled by HGV’s out onto the A281 at Alfold Crossways!

Hundreds of HGV’s travel down that part of the A281 road towards Cranleigh Brick & Tile. One every 4 minutes for five years was anticipated when consent was given for in-fill works at the redundant site.

The current permission – granted in June 2015 –  involves capping the pollution on site with waste material, primarily from other construction projects. This is why motorists have watched in disbelief as the lorries, 32 tonne/8 wheel vehicles carrying 20-tonne loads thunder along A and B roads in all directions.  Monday to Friday between the hours of 7:30 am and 6:00 pm. The lorries also run on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. It was stated this would continue for a minimum period of 5 ½ years. 

And the HGV movements go on and on…

The Big lorry dash has begun! But you ain’t seen nothing yet!

 

Apparently, it is common knowledge that Pond 19 (the recognised home of Great Crested Newts) has been filled in. People living near the site have confirmed to the Waverley Web that the 5 day limit of Trucks accessing the site is complete “RUBBISH.” That rule has been consistently abused by the developers. They work whenever he feels like it- including  Sundays! Despite other people living on the access road.

Neighbours have been aware for months that the Pond was to be in-filled. So where is Natural England – and what about that Stop Notice issued months ago by Waverley Borough Council officers?

 The Waverley Web has had numerous letters complaining about the inaction of the planning authority and residents are urging us, and the local press, to highlight their concerns for Alfold’s disappearing wildlife. A council that has declared a Climate Emergency!

One village has been prompted to put up drones over the site to view the works.

One exasperated Alfold mole told us –
“All they are doing is creating Massive Soil Mountains all over the place. Rumours, (unsubstantiated)  that they are going to demolish the Club House soon.  Which was not in the original Application.”
She told Waverley planners:

“If you do not respond to me I will be writing to the Surrey Press and WW asking them to look into this as I feel this is about to kick off and I have no intention of letting them get away with this.  I will ensure that all the press know exactly who has been notified of this since October 2020 and I hope they hold them to account. Once they fill the Pond we are scuppered. Please just let me know if you are doing anything –This is simply Not right and I am sorry to be a pain – But I have to be. I understand we are going through this horrible CV But there is no excuse to let this continue, If I have to still work remotely then so do youPlease do not treat me like an idiot – They were working on-site this Sunday – which I doubt is right or within the bounds of the Conditions and local neighbours state that the trucks are well beyond the 5-A Day stated. They seem to be oblivious of any Planning Regs.”

I just remind you of the article from   “In Your Area”  – 23rd November 2020     https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/wildwood-golf-club-swinging-back-in-action-as-new-owners-reveal-plans/

The owners reputed to be Pekar Holdings Ltd claim they now own the controversial site and are putting plans in place to bring the site ‘back to life. After years of neglect.’

It is currently assessing its options, but proposals include reducing the course from 27 holes to nine. It is not yet known what the rest of the land will contain, although the idea of a self-sustaining and carbon zero settlement has been considered.

A hop, skip and a jump away from Dunsfold’s new garden village with planning permission for 1,800 homes and 2,300 included in the Local Plan.

Wildwood was first opened in 1992 and Waverley Borough Council classified it as ‘countryside beyond the Green Belt’ in their Local Plan.

Turkish businesswoman Aysegul Peker runs Peker Holding and intends to donate some of the 230 acres back to the community, so will consult residents to find out what they would like to see that land used for.

You can read about him on Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedat_Peker

No New Year walking on the wild side at Wildwood in Alfold?

Alfold’s mole watches holes being dug at Wildwood Golf Course.

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

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

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

Says ‘Angry of Alfold’  who has now become ‘Very Angry of Alfold.’ 

“I may be being difficult – But I think this site is worthy of protection and if others do not then that is their prerogative, but these developers should be held to account and I will ensure they are.”

 

A new way to pay your rent in Cranleigh?

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Cranleigh hitting the headlines again…?

‘Sex-for-Rent’ Case: Cranleigh Man in Court

 

A Cranleigh man accused of offering accommodation in what is believed to be the first sex-for-rent allegation in England and Wales has appeared in Staines magistrates’ court.

Christopher Cox, 52, who was born and brought up in the village is said to have posted adverts on a classified website offering young homeless women a place to stay with him in his house.

He is accused of asking the women to send him pictures of them in bikinis and providing sex in exchange for a free room between May and November 2018.

Mr Cox did not indicate a plea to inciting prostitution for gain and pleaded not guilty to controlling prostitution for gain.

Mr Cox will appear at Guildford Crown Court on March 25.

A Tory rant has upset ‘Your Waverley’s residents.

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Right here – right now – the residents of Waverley are grappling with failing businesses, COVID or post COVID, hanging onto their jobs and homeschooling their children.

There are others, with nothing better to do than criticise what people wear, and what their background is when they are on Zoom.

 

Dear Councillor Follows,

Here are our WW guys views on your attire for the recent Full Council meeting of Waverley Borough Council.

  • If you were wearing jogging bottoms or were sitting in your underpants – we don’t give a damned. We are far more concerned about what you say – and how you represent our views.
  • We think your sartorial elegance was exemplary – you didn’t need a tie.
  • After 9 hours on Zoom – because we presume like us, you have a day job too – we are amazed you can even see straight. Our eyes are bloodshot and look like road maps. Our ears are ringing like the bells of St Clements – and our brains are turning to mush.
  • As for the disgraceful remarks from a former council leader about officers’ children daring to rear their nasty little voices in the background during your hallowed meetings. What exactly are your staff supposed to do? Put their children into care during COVID?
  • We will not comment on the “unmade bed bit’ for a councillor who we presume has to use his bedroom for Zoom calls rather than his study! Surely everyone has a separate study these days don’t they. Perish the thought that they are deprived!
  • Except to say:

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought to be a fool, than open it and remove all doubt.”

You can watch it here: No room for Zoom. A Waverley spat but not as bad as Handforth.

Taken from Cllr Follows Facebook Page

That we still have a councillor using their speaking time to comment that they don’t think someone has dressed appropriately in 2021 is a disgrace.

Can I ask, are residents alright that after 9 hours on zoom today I am not wearing a tie to this council meeting this evening?

PS: below is me dressing offensively to some conservative councillors tonight. You would think they would like blue?

Has a Cranleigh Charity’s planning battle entered the realms of farce?

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Waverley Planners were reluctantly called to yet another meeting on Wednesday to REFUSE a planning application from the Cranleigh Village Health Trust.

ACT ONE – To defer or not to defer? That was the first question?

REQUEST REFUSED.

There was a feeling of de-ja-vu for planners as they considered another revised scheme from a beleaguered charity that refuses to take No for an answer, regardless of how many times it is refused, or costs to the charity or the taxpayer.

A controversial scheme for a private nursing home that some councillors claimed could become a Big White Elephant in an Area designated as an Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI). The site known as The Paddock Field valued at £250,000 was sold by the parish council for £1 – in a land swap agreed over two decades ago for a Hospital/Day Hospital and Health Centre.

After 20 years, it has morphed into a 64-bed Private Care Home – a residential block of flats for key workers, and 16 community beds. Beds, which officers stressed, were NO longer free at the point of delivery and had no health or local authority backing.

 The Waverley Web has lost count of where the latest scheme ranks in the pecking order of the former HOSPITAL Trust that changed its name to  HEALTH Trust.

Plan A for a hospital was granted as an ‘exception’ and permission lapsed. Plan B was dumped for Plan C, and then Plan D and then E. Now after a string of refusals, a cancelled appeal, deferrals, and re-designs it was back on the table again this week for yet another lambasting from councillors across Waverley’s eastern region.

 Planning officer Kate Edwards – said the applicant wanted to defer the scheme for yet further negotiations with the county council, which had withdrawn its support, contradicted statements made previously.   Mrs Edwards said it had also argued that…

... the statements I have made in the report before you are prejudicial.

In the ongoing blame game – It had also complained that the council had not allowed it to work up a legal agreement for various ways the community beds could be used and funded. This was, said Mrs Edwards, not the council’s practise and was not prudent when officers recommended refusal.

Any community benefit in the previous refusal was now further reduced – as Surrey County Council and its partners The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) had withdrawn support and now intended using an entirely different model of care in patient’s homes.

Godalming Cllr Steve Cosser was”sympathetic” to the Trust’s difficulties and supported deferral. This was promptly refused by the committee, believing any further delays of the long-running saga should be resisted.  Cllr George Wilson reckoned Cranleigh people had waited long enough as the scheme had been hanging around for “such a long time, we should get on with it.” 

Full marks to Officer Edwards, who despite the noises off, forged ahead undeterred and composed, with her presentation, and reasons for the recommendation. 

There was a total of 465 objections, 39 added in the past few days, and 240 in support. The Applicant had claimed letters had been duplicated – so after further analysis, letters in support had been reduced!

She described the proposed two and three-storey care home and accommodation block buildings as very large, and very close to the Downs Link footpath.

Rowena Tyler spoke against the scheme on behalf of Cranleigh Parish Council, also an adjacent landowner. Whilst it had long supported the creation of a new hospital/day hospital and GP led Health Centre, a use which had been “exceptional” and backed by the public, this was no longer the case and there was now NO community benefit.   The land had been designated an ASVI in Waverley’s Local Plan, and there were restrictive planning policies against it.  Health and Social care supporters had all withdrawn.

“This scheme is for two very large buildings on a green field outside the settlement of Cranleigh, for beds, that the authorities say they no longer need or want and backed by an anonymous benefactor of whom we have no details. There is no CIL -( funding for infrastructure) and therefore no benefit to the Cranleigh community, and we strongly object.

Andy Webb spoke up for the Campaign Group that had, over time, generated petitions with more than 5,000 signatures opposing the development and calling for the land to be returned to village leaders. There would be a detrimental effect on residents of Wiskar Drive, increased hazards at the Junction of Knowle Lane and High Street, in an area that floods.

With no support from the ITC, SCC or the Cranleigh GP practice, “which isn’t what you would expect.” The community beds were no longer free or needed. There were numerous nursing homes within a three-mile radius and many more beyond.

He said: “The people of Cranleigh don’t want a great big Monolith that will become a white elephant in the years to come.

 Arguing for the applicant John Sneddon maintained there were numerous community benefits and every effort had been made to overcome previous objections. The size of the buildings had been reduced and open space increased. The development would be a huge community benefit housing older people while satisfying the CVHT’s charitable objectives.

“How can the health authorities say one thing in 2019 and change their minds in 2020?”

 

Cllr Liz Townsend centred her opposition on the numerous “unidentifiable benefits” of a scheme, that had no support from health and social care experts, and had no named nursing home operator. As for providing 14 affordable homes; 1,600 homes had already been granted in Cranleigh – 480 of which were affordable, many within walking distance.

She rejected the applicant’s claims that there been a small number of vocal objectors saying, this is just not accurate.

It was quite simply the landscape for health care had changed. It’s tough for the charity, but it has not kept the community which had contributed £2m on board. It had continually refused to meet residents and the attempts by the parish council had also failed.

“CVHT has simply closed its ears to the voices of the public, and should be refused for all the reasons stated by our officers.”

Alfold’s Cllr Kevin Deanus – said the scheme breached eight of the council’s planning policies,  asking everyone to visualise the huge sizes of the buildings.

One almost 200ft (60m) long and the accommodation block – 122ft long and 66ft wide – in the middle of an Area of Strategic Visual Importance! 

The impact will be huge – this is not what Cranleigh is about – this is horrendous!

” I can’t see any benefits from this development whatsoever“, said Godalming’s Cllr Paul Follows, and criticised the charity’s tenuous efforts to provide residential development in the grounds of a private nursing home. He put great weight upon the objectors and parish council’s comments. “The list is endless.” He said the reasons for a virtual meeting called by Cranleigh Cllr Patricia Ellis would require further investigation.

Cllr Steve Cosser said there was a ‘very angry mood in Cranleigh.’ However, the ICP had not proved very helpful and should have provided a written statement. (Its statement is included in the officer’s report below!)

However, there was one champion for the scheme.- The lone voice of Cllr Ellis, who used her council prerogative to prevent an officers refusal under delegated powers, was fully in support.  Although much was centred around the old cottage hospital, and previous attempts to build a hospital. She believed having a private care home plus 16 community beds would be an asset.

But it was Cllr George Wilson that once again raised the spectre of the elephant in the room. Claiming the withdrawal of support, from the public, private and health authorities could result in a white elephant when SCC had left a former residential care home to rot.

With numerous care homes in Cranleigh and a different model of future care proposed, Cranleigh Cllr Ruth Reed said Cranleigh’s last central green lung should remain.

The application was refused by  11 votes with one in support and one abstention.

WA/2020/0965 – Erection of a building to provide a 64 Bed Care home including 16 Community Beds together with a building to provide 14 Health Workers accommodation units with access from Knowle Lane, associated parking and ancillary work (revision of WA/2018/1966 and as amplified by letters received 14/12/2020 and 15/12/2020). at Land South Of John Wiskar Drive On East Side Of Knowle Lane, Cranleigh

Officers’ Report

It is acknowledged the scheme would bring some public benefits, in the form of care home provision, housing provision with an affordable element for key workers and 16 care home beds which would be let at a lower rate for selected residents of the Cranleigh area. Page 27 Agenda Item 8.2 The scale of the public benefits proposed, however, would be lessened from the previously refused care home scheme, where there was an identified need for public beds and informal partnership with the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). The public benefit would also be substantially reduced from that which would have been provided by the previously consented Village Hospital and Health Centre scheme, which would have provided essential infrastructure of significant benefit to a large number of people. It is not considered, overall, that the public benefits of the scheme would outweigh the substantial resultant harm to the ASVI and the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside. On this basis, it is recommended that permission be refused. 

. Planning Policy Constraints ASVI (Area of Strategic Visual Importance) Long Distance Footpath (Downs Link) Countryside Beyond Green Belt (outside any defined settlement) Bridleway Within 20 metres of River Bank Flood Zones 2 and 3

Integrated Care Partnership

Continues to object to the proposal in response to the amended information with regards to how community Page 36 beds would be provided. – The ICP has withdrawn their support for the uptake of the community beds and they would not provide a significant community benefit which is such as to outweigh the harm to the ASVI. – The terms of the legal agreement as to how the beds would be allocated has not been shared with the PC. – No infrastructure contributions provided. – The terms of the community benefit could be varied and removed by the applicant. – There would be a negative impact on residents of John Wiskar Drive. – Flood risk, noise and disturbance and highway safety concern

Cranleigh Parish Council

Continues to object to the proposal in response to the amended information with regards to how community Page 36 beds would be provided. – The ICP has withdrawn their support for the uptake of the community beds and they would not provide a significant community benefit which is such as to outweigh the harm to the ASVI. – The terms of the legal agreement as to how the beds would be allocated has not been shared with the PC. – No infrastructure contributions provided. – The terms of the community benefit could be varied and removed by the applicant. – There would be a negative impact on residents of John Wiskar Drive. – Flood risk, noise and disturbance and highway safety concerns. As the owner of adjacent land and beneficiary of a restrictive covenant, concerns expressed in relation to impact on the ASVI, offsite cumulative flooding impact, cumulative transport impact and environmental pollution (e.g. noise, light and smell pollution).

Surrey County Council (SCC) has confirmed that it would no longer be able to commit to block booking beds due to the Discharge to Access scheme. SCC has confirmed that the beds would not be free at the point of access. The Parish Council can no longer support the proposal.  The accommodation block would not be linked to the care home only (ancillary) and on this basis cannot be supported.

 

Thames Water

  The inability of the existing water infrastructure to meet the needs of the development has been identified and a condition is therefore recommended to ensure this is addressed. – Drains passing through the site – these cannot be built over – I

 

The Difference in the previous proposals.

The primary differences between the current proposal and that application are; – The quantum of development has been reduced by 1439m2, including a reduction in the footprint of the proposal by 856m2. – The previous application proposed an 80- bed care home with a provision of 20 community beds and 26 health care worker rooms. The current application proposes a 64-bed care home with 16 community beds and 14 key worker accommodation units. – The key workers’ accommodation block is now proposed to be positioned in the northern part of the site rather than the southern part. – The parking is now proposed centrally, unlike the previous proposal where it was divided into that serving the care home and the accommodation block. – The health care worker accommodation previously proposed was not self-contained, with single bedrooms and communal cooking facilities. Page 47 It is now proposed that all accommodation units would be fully self-contained and with 4 two-bedroom units. This would represent a material change of use within the proposal from sui generis as previously to C3 (housing) as currently proposed.

Integrated Care Partnership

The ICP, which had made a minimum 5-year commitment to block-book beds within the previous scheme, but is no longer able to make this commitment. This is due to developments in how care is provided, such as a move to assessing people’s care needs in their own homes following discharge from hospital, rather than within ‘step down’ beds in care homes. As mentioned above, there are other potential considerations around a Local Authority allocating beds only to Cranleigh residents.

Retained Policy C5 of the Local Plan (2002) states that: “The Council will seek to ensure that the appearance of Areas of strategic Visual Importance, as shown on the proposals map, is maintained and enhanced. Development inconsistent with this objective will not be permitted.” Page 52 The proposed development is accompanied by a Landscape and Visual Assessment. This concludes that “The proposal site is well contained by trees, settlement and topography and there will be minimal visual intrusion beyond the site itself with no effects to the views from the wider rural landscape which affect the character and setting of Cranleigh.”

it is not considered that the visual harm to the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside of the scheme is substantially reduced by this reduction in scale. Both proposed buildings would continue to be extremely large and elongated in scale, at 60m in length on both axis for the care home and 37m by 20m for the healthcare worker accommodation block. Further, the built footprint would continue to be very spread across the site with little meaningful negative space remaining due to the necessary separation of the two large buildings and the cruciform design of the proposed care home. In the officers’ view, notwithstanding that the floor area of the proposed building on site would be reduced from that of the consented 3 storey hospital building, the current proposal would actually have a greater visual impact given the proposed spread of built form across the site. The siting of access points, in a central position to the site off Knowle Lane for vehicles and near to the entrance to John Wiskar Drive, is a continuation of the previous scheme in terms of visual impact. The car parking was previously separated into two areas for the different uses but in the current proposal is indicated to be sited centrally within the site in the form of one large car park. This would result in a very significant expanse of hard surface concentrated in one area, which would be visually detrimental. Page 53 The overall visual impression of the proposed built footprint and layout would be one of the significant urbanisation of what is a greenfield site outside of the developed area boundary.

 

It is acknowledged that the tree line does limit some views in some directions of the site but it does not provide total screening and the development would remain highly visually perceptible from Knowle Lane, including from the access road. Whilst the playing field use of the site has now ceased and been re-accommodated, the site continues to adjoin and visually read as part of the adjacent open parkland which is both an appropriately open countryside use and containment of the landscape sprawl of the settlement. The development of the site would substantially impinge upon this currently tranquil space. Nighttime illumination of the site would represent a substantial change from the current nighttime darkness which would be perceptible from some distance. The site is within a designated Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI). The applicants indicate that they disagree that the area should be identified as such and indicate that they consider the designation out of date. However, this is a Local Plan designation and is extant and not outdated. The buildings would undoubtedly lead to harm to the open nature of the site and lead to harm to the ASVI. The urbanising impacts of 4,741m2 of development up to 12m in height would be highly perceptible and represent a substantial change from the current greenfield status. This would be exacerbated but the sheer scale of the two buildings proposed. It would be highly perceptible for users of the Downs Link, which is the major key public footpath within the borough. Whilst the re-siting of the accommodation block to the north may reduce clear views from the playing field, it would make it more visually prominent from Knowle Lane and the Downs Link, which are both key public views. On this basis, it is considered that the development would continue to lead to landscape harm

You can listen to the meeting here.

 

No room for Zoom. A Waverley spat but not as bad as Handforth.

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A couple of councillors went head to head at a recent meeting of ‘Your Waverley’s Standards Board.

Former Council Leader – Robert Knowless – was firing on all four cylinders when he went into battle to express his misgivings about the way councillors and officers behaved on virtual Zoom meetings. The Government has ruled that virtual meetings will end on May 7, when it’s back to business in the Council Chamber. An edict that has already upset some councils.

It wasn’t quite up to the standard of the spat experienced by the Handforth Parish Council which recently earned national and international notoriety, but nonetheless – it had ‘Your Waverley’s’ Zoom listeners pricking up their ears.

You can hear Cllr Robert `Knowless’ – the member for Haslemere here:

 

And here’s the response from Waverley’s Deputy Leader – Paul Follows who appealed for a “reality check” on behalf of his colleagues and officers of the council.” Officers who he claimed – deserved an apology.

And here’s Cllr ‘Holier than thou Knowless’ at that very same meeting giving the longest yawn in Waverley’s history. – This shows he has the utmost respect and always upholds the council’s standards for the office that he holds.

We agree with you, Bobby.-  Councillors shouldn’t exhibit sloppy behaviour. They should uphold the same strict standards on Zoom that are expected of them in the council chamber!

 

The latest leak in Cranleigh?

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There’s no better way to embarrass a water authority than to post pictures on social media revealing its inadequacies.

Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend 

Cranleigh councillor Liz Townsend – speaking up for Cranleigh… again… and again.

For many months Thames Water has been made aware of a serious leak affecting the Downslink pedestrian footpath which runs through Cranleigh. The public right of way regularly used is more of a paddling exercise than a walking exercise, and it has nothing to do with rain and everything to do with lack of pipe maintenance.

So get off your butts TW – and fix it! Or don’t even think about bringing in a hosepipe ban when the sun starts to shine, because the people of Cranleigh will not take you seriously.

Leaking water pipes are nothing new to the residents of Cranleigh. Once-upon-a-time the leading flood authority and all the statutory agencies met with villagers including the Cranleigh Society at regular flood forums called by former MP Anne Milton. Now, with MP Angela Richardson in the chair – numerous forums have been postponed or cancelled. So get your keyboard out Angie, and start writing – now?

And perhaps we should also mention that as your Government has decreed that it will be illegal for local authorities to hold Zoom meetings from the 7th of May, may we respectfully suggest that you and your colleagues get back to realtime meetings in Parliament?

Perhaps like local authorities, you could also continue to work through the summer recess?  Then you could re-start the regular flood forums on your patch – and hold bodies like Thames Water to account?

 

A new way of targeting tumours at The Royal Surrey.

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Royal Surrey’s New High-tech Machine Uses AI To Target Cancer Tumours

The Ethos machine radiotherapy team

Royal Surrey has launched online adaptive radiotherapy treatment, a revolutionary technique that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to target tumours with extreme precision and provides a personalised plan for cancer patients on each day of their treatment.

The Trust has invested about £2 million in setting up adaptive radiotherapy treatment using the Varian Ethos© machine. This is only the second of its type in use in the UK and fully rolled out will help 175 cancer patients a year.

The machine’s AI software helps the radiotherapy team adapt and update each patient’s treatment plan in real-time, according to a patient’s anatomy on the day.

This online adaptive approach to radiotherapy has the potential to improve treatment accuracy and consequently reduce the dose delivered to surrounding organs, thereby decreasing radiation side-effects.

A patient using the new  radiotherapy machine

Patient experience has been at the centre of the design of the treatment room, using SkyInside© ceiling panels and calming lighting to help soothe and distract patients during treatment. They have a choice of overhead projections to watch, including beautiful underwater scenes, rain forest canopies, cherry blossom trees and starry night skies.

Marianne Dabbs, associate director of operations for oncology, said: “The Ethos AI software lets us fine-tune and tailor patients’ treatments on the day to take into account any changes affecting their body, such as weight gain, or bladder or bowel emptiness compared with when they had their planning scan.

“It has many benefits, including anticipated improved accuracy. The environment is a fabulous space to improve the experiences of both the patients and staff. There is also the potential for it to reduce the need for some invasive procedures where ‘markers’ are inserted to aid tumour location during radiotherapy.”

Peter Gable, 66, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer in April last year, is the first patient to receive the new online adaptive treatment. He said: “It’s brilliant to have the chance to try out this new treatment with the latest technology.

“It looks a lot less clinical and daunting when I go into the treatment room and I can see how it’s going to make things simpler and easier for me.

“I really liked seeing the different scenes on the overhead screen in the scanner and being able to choose what music I could listen to as well.”

Louise Stead, chief executive of Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, said: “A great deal of work has gone into researching and investing in the best available options to treat our cancer patients and we’re excited to have this ground-breaking technology to help us achieve the very best health outcomes for them.

“We are extremely proud to be at the forefront of radiotherapy treatment and taking advantage of the latest AI software technology. There are only 10 countries offering this treatment and only one other Trust in the UK.

“At a time when the NHS is under extreme pressure from the Covid pandemic, it is a lovely boost for our patients and staff to launch this new pioneering treatment.”

Town leaders have objected to a Godalming assisted living scheme.

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The former Moles Country Store in Brighton Road – will not become a large four-storey apartment block to join the Birchgrove stable of up-market rental homes, if the town council has anything to do with it.?

The bulk, scale and massing of the huge block of bricks and mortar is too much of an overdevelopment of the former retail site in the opinion of Godalming’s Town councillors. The members of its planning group claimed it would look ‘out of place.’

Does the artist’s impression included in the plans look like a two and three-storey block to you? Have we logged onto the right plans? Because ‘Your Waverley’s newly up-dated Planning Portal has gone into a go-slow – that has brought it almost to a STOP. Not much of an incentive for comments – is it?

Coming soon to a controversial site in Godalming?

There were also concerns about the cost of the new units – believed to be in the region of £5,000 per week based on similar Birchgrove properties, including those already built and occupied in Woking. Councillors also said the huge impact of the buildings would impact on all the other buildings in the area and the ‘built heritage’ of Godalming.

Councillors claimed the building is likely to be considered oppressive by people in the area that surrounds the proposed 49 flats in the two and three-storey buildings, two-flats in another two-storey building and a two-room extra care facility in the former Scats office building. A unit which is described as a Grade 11 listed former cow house. The company also proposes to include communal gardens and parking, a restaurant, lounge bar and guest bedrooms.

Neighbours and others have already registered their objection to the proposed development, describing it as ‘downright ugly and people living on South Hill are concerned that they would be overlooked. However, the company argue it will meet a pressing need for specialist accommodation for older people in the Godalming area and will free up other properties. It will also generate jobs in a development close to the town.

Says one objector.

‘Planning of high rise building will impact views on housing in surrounding areas. This site could be used to bring trade into the town which is already struggling. A lot of housing has been built in the area already without any improvement to infrastructure. Not in keeping with designs in the area. Will impede on traffic to the bottom of Brighten Road.’

 

Godalming’s Neighbourhood Plan indicates it would ‘strongly encourage more older people’s developments in the Farncombe and Godalming area.

 

Will ‘Your Waverley’ roll over and allow yet another deferral of a controversial Cranleigh application?

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Cranleigh Village Health Trust says it is disappointed that Waverley Borough Council is recommending its plans be REFUSED when councillors meet to determine its planning application next week.

‘We’re in yet another sticky situation.

NOW THERE’S A SURPRISE!

The so-called – Cranleigh Charity doesn’t like the recommendation to REFUSE its latest application for a 64 Private Care Home with 16 community beds and a residential block, so it wants yet another deferral. This despite the fact that Cllr Patricia Ellis has called for it to be heard by the eastern committee next Wednesday!

What part of the words ‘ WE OBJECT’  doesn’t Waverley Borough Councillor Patricia Ellis understand?

Waverley

Oh, dear! The load gets heavier every day. As letters and petitions opposing the CVHT scheme pour in every day. 

So far – the delays – repeat correspondence informing the public of deferrals, withdrawals, and revisions. Together with pamphlets giving Zoom and public speaking arrangements has cost us, council taxpayers dearly.  Shedloads of cash running into many thousands of pounds for a cash-strapped local authority coping with a pandemic!

However the charity – which garnered several millions of pounds from public donors for a HOSPITAL AND A DAY HOSPITAL – says it has good reasons for seeking yet another deferral for yet another planning application on its 20-year hike. 

WHY? SIMPLES – because it doesn’t like the possible outcome. It is also blaming? Yes, you guessed – Waverley’s planning department and Surrey County Council. Why not the Waverley Web we wonder?

The Cranleigh Community Board crashed overnight along with its 9,000 subscribers because it refused to let the public have their say on this toxic project.  CVHT was Verboten!

Who else could the cloak of blame fall upon? Surrey Heartlands Trust no doubt? Or perhaps the key stakeholder in the project – Cranleigh Parish Council – speaking on behalf of the villagers they represent, and who it was claimed, had refused to speak to them!  Cranleigh charity’s request for ‘private meeting’ UNANIMOUSLY REFUSED.

CVHT says:

Our planning consultant has today requested that the council defer the hearing of our application at committee, for two main reasons.

Reason No 1

Firstly, the report comments about the lack of clarity around how the proposed funding of community benefit would work in practice or be secured via a legal agreement.

We feel this statement is unfair and prejudicial to the application, as we have been awaiting comments from Waverley Borough Council about the draft legal agreement, known as a Section 106 agreement.

When our earlier application was refused in November 2019, the report at the time explained that “The case for development at this large scale is considered to be substantiated and it is reasonable to concur that the community beds can be secured via a legal agreement”.

There now appears to have been a significant change in this view, but we have not received any explanation for the change.

As we have not been given the opportunity to engage with Waverley Borough Council about the wording of a legal agreement, to demonstrate how this would work, we are concerned that councillors will have an unreasonable doubt in their minds on this matter.

Reason No 2 –

The second reason for requesting a deferral is to give us more time to consider the newly submitted comments from Surrey County Council.

“These comments suggest that Surrey County Council has ‘sufficient capacity for residential care beds through its existing block contract arrangements with care home operators in Surrey.”

We feel this statement contradicts the earlier committee report which states: “…there is a shortage of affordable residential and nursing care home beds that are in line with Surrey County Council’s (SCC) guide price.”

While we accept that there have been some changes in the adult social care sector since this report was published in mid-2019, we have been given no evidence that the massive shortfall mentioned previously has been satisfied, and our proposals would go towards meeting the capacity shortfall, in line with the Surrey County Council guide price.

We need some time to explore this issue by engaging with the Integrated Care Partnership and Surrey County Council, to establish for councillors the current position.

We are also disappointed that our affordable health care accommodation for key workers is given so little positive consideration when it has been improved in terms of the size and type in line with past local comments. Our plans will deliver a form of affordable housing tenure which is the same as that which forms the majority of the affordable housing delivered in Waverley in the last 5 years.

This application for health worker accommodation was first made a long time before the Covid crisis and a direct response to the requests of various local public health bodies.

Our planning application remains the best possible way to fulfil our charitable objectives; securing community benefit through the provision of affordable community beds, along with the significant benefit of genuinely affordable housing provision for our valuable NHS and care sector key workers.

CVHT

Andy Webb the man who heads the Campaign Group that was formed to oppose the scheme and return the land to the village said this morning.

Dear Waverley Web,
“So now the CVHT want to deter their planning application because WBC recommended refusal. 
How long can they drag it out for this time?”
So when will this outfit get the message?
The public who paid for it – don’t want it? Surrey County Council doesn’t want it! Surrey Heartlands Trust doesn’t want it and neither does Cranleigh Parish Council.
So we ask? Cranleigh Village Health Trust? – Apart from a handful of new boys and girls on the block now called Directors who appear to have a big fat egotistic goose laying a huge golden egg in their laps to pay for this local farce? Who actually does want it? 
So come on Waverley Planners – isn’t it time to tell this outfit its time is up?

What part of the words ‘WE OBJECT’  doesn’t Waverley Borough Councillor Patricia Ellis understand?

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Make a date with Pattie on Waverley’s YouTube channel – 6 p.m. on Wednesday 24 February?

Erection of a 64 Bed Care Home, 16 community beds and 14 flats off Knowle Lane Cranleigh.

Cllr Pat Ellis, the last time something or someone disagreed with her.

Surely, her perverse and myopic view cannot be due to the fact that she and her late husband, both former parish councillors who (a) agreed to parish land being swapped for £1 – without seeking a mandate from the public, could it? BIG MISTAKE!

or (b) failing to take The District Valuer’s advice on his valuation of £250,000 for the land? Even BIGGER bloody MISTAKE!

Or maybe it was (c) that while the deceased former Chairman, Brian Ellis (Aka – “they will build homes at Dunsfold over my dead body.” ) agreed to change the wording of the Legal Covenant to make it more open to abuse? COLOSSAL MISTAKE!

Or perhaps it was (d) because the parish council flatly refused to take the land back after the Cranleigh Village HOSPITAL Trust failed to build a HOSPITAL on the land after their five years were up?  EXTRAORDINARY, SHOCKING – ALMIGHTY MISTAKE!

Or perhaps, having supported past plans – in all their guises – and having called it in, despite advice to the contrary on previous occasions – Cllr Patricia Ellis truly believes that what Cranleigh needs is a private nursing home and residential development in the centre of the village? Possibly as a monument to a shed load of mistakes made by herself and her late, unlamented husband and their cronies on the parish council at the time. 

Added to which it would be a slap in the face not only for Cranleigh residents, the MAJORITY of whom are bitterly opposed to these proposals but also to those existing parish councillors – who were not a party to Pattie & Brian’s disastrous decisions – and are now trying their damndest to rectify the mistakes of their predecessors.

Waverley

Seriously, Pattie, you need to stop defending the indefensible and if you can’t help yourself, then just butt out! This is the second occasion you have called in this application after officers had refused it under their delegated powers. So you have sent another shedload of our cash-strapped local authority’s money down the pan!

Or, are you prepared, as is the view of many of your constituents, to sacrifice Cranleigh on the alter of a couple of narcissistic men’s egos?

Here’s a link to the parish council’s most recent letter OBJECTING. May we respectfully suggest to Cllr Ellis, that it might be a good idea to read it?

Better to keep your mouth closed and thought to be a fool than open it and remove all doubt?

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/civica/Resource/Civica/Handler.ashx/Doc/pagestream?cd=inline&pdf=true&docno=8135313

P.S  Just down the road, is the boarded-up Surrey County Council’s Longfields Residential Nursing Home at Killicks in Cranleigh. A former county council dementia and nursing home for 56 residents lies, rotting away – because it and Surrey Heartlands Trust want to provide a different model of care in future by keeping people, wherever they can, in their own homes. A site now included in ‘Your Waverley’s land availability Assessment for 20 dwellings.

Taken from the top of the Waverley Borough Council Planning Portal. There there are now 458 letters of OBJECTION and a petition and 253 in SUPPORT – many of which are for a HOSPITAL and from as far afield as Jersey!

Plus another 64 letters of objection and one of Support since this snapshot was taken!
Parish or Town Council Comments – 25.01 Cranleigh PC Comments pg3
5 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response
    5 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Pat Shepherd (Object)
    5 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Shelly Taylor (Object)
    5 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Andrew Stephens (Object)
    5 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Terence Smith (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Clive Walker (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Jc Napier (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Reg Marchant (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Shane Marriott (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Christine Makubale (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Charlie Elliott (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Michael Brown (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Julian Croft (Object)
    4 February 2021
  • Committee Call-in Correspondence – Councillor Ellis reasons for referral August 2021
    3 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Hilary Wilson (Object)
    3 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Jane Heathcott (Object)
    3 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Linda Halls (Object)
    3 February 2021
  • Neighbour Response – Graham Matthews (Object

Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust – That changed its name to Cranleigh Village HEALTH Trust.

And the list goes on, and on.  One local warrior has even carried out an exercise to identify where the SUPPORT comes from. Which include numerous family members of Trustees, duplicate letters from Trustees, and many who still honestly believe the Cranleigh Village Health Trust is going to build them a HOSPITAL!

 

Cllr Ellis’s letter: Dear Kate.

Thank you for your email and whilst I have not predetermined the matter I do believe that should the officers be minded to refuse this application it should be openly considered and determined by committee.

I believe that many of the objections raised with regard to the previous application have been addressed and that the provision of this facility, which is conveniently situated in the centre of the village, will help to alleviate increasing demands on health care facilities and that the community beds will greatly enhance the existing services available to all residents of Cranleigh and the surrounding area.

The provision of on-site accommodation with private en suite bathroom facilities and individual kitchens will be most helpful to those employed within the health care services who currently find it almost impossible to find affordable housing in the area.

Many thanks and regards. Patricia Ellis
Councillor, Cranleigh West.

Here’s the Officers’ recommendation for the virtual Zoom meeting onWednesday  24 February at 6 p.m.https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/g3742/Public%20reports%20pack%2024th-Feb-2021%2018.00%20EASTERN%20Planning%20202021.pdf?T=10

‘Your Waverley’ continues to support community organisations – including one in Guildford.

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The council has recognised that during the pandemic Waverley’s local community organisations have been going through a torrid time.

 

 Cllr Michaela Martin told  Waverley’s Executive that the COVID-19 pandemic had proved a challenging time for everyone. She recommended that the current 3 year Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) for twelve community organisations should remain the same, but only for one year. This would give all the organisations some certainty for budgeting, staffing and services, until such time as they are able to look again at their business plans and strategies to determine how they would deliver services in the future.

Deputy leader Cllr Paul Follows was pleased to see that certain grants had been reinstated. Two had now been more fairly proportioned – in particular to The Hazelway, in Haslemere and The Clockhouse in Milford.

“It is all about fairness, and recognising the work that is being done by these two organisations.” he said.

Haslewey, Haslemere – An Exemplar Model.

The Haslemere centre had been funded for 2 ½ years towards services for older, lonely and isolated people only. Haslewey had continued to develop its services and provide an exemplar model of delivery. It had worked positively with the Council and is always willing to adapt and try new things. It was felt that this approach should be recognised and increased funding would bring Haslewey up to similar levels of the other day/community centres. The funding would contribute towards the development of services as well as contributing towards overheads.

 Brightwells Gostrey, Farnham – It was proposed that the ‘higher needs grant’ be withdrawn. As staff delivering the higher needs service had been made redundant and the service had ceased operating.

However, the centre continued to deliver the Community Meals Service but had ceased providing all other day centre services. Its board was taking this opportunity to review and refresh all services and the future shape of the organisation. The proposed funding would continue to contribute towards running costs, anticipating that new services/activities will have been shaped by April (restrictions permitting), and possibly elements of the Community Meals Service delivery for 2021/22 only.

The former Tory administration spent £3.2 million on the Gostrey Centre extension to the Memorial Hall – a project which originally was to have been built by Crest at the Brightwells development in East Street at their expense!

How did Waverley Conservatives manage to shrink the Brightwells dividend so much?

Cllr Follows said whilst it was recognised there was a need to look at the ways future grants were paid,  to change them during the present pandemic when organisations were working under such difficult circumstances, would be a deeply troubling thing to do.

  Cllr Martin said the funding would be paid according to the individual SLA agreements, either for the full year, quarterly or half-yearly. This would support the individual organisations’ budget forecasts and cash-flow.

Officers would then work with organisations so that if they were unable to deliver against their SLA, they could adapt their services in such a way as to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, particularly in relation to mental health, loneliness and social isolation as part of their local community response.

Looking to the future.

In 2021 – post-COVID, the relevant Portfolio Holders would work with Officers and the Community Wellbeing Overview & Scrutiny Committee to develop appropriate proposals for longer-term funding based on community needs. 

The Head of Housing and Communities wrote to all 12 organisations in November 2020 advising them that the Council is going through a period of change and facing significant financial challenges, highlighting that the Council needed to find an additional £8 million over the next 4 years. The letter explained that this will have an impact on any commissioning process and funding decisions in the future. The SLA budget is a discretionary fund and, along with its other budgets, the Council will need to review its future financial support to community organisations.

This Annex provides details on all the grants provided by Waverley Borough Council in Waverley and in Guildford.

Annexe 1 – SLA proposals 2021-22

     The Executive RESOLVED to:

  1. i)approve the renewal of the current SLAs with the 12 partner organisations for one year only, 2021/22 at the proposed levels of funding as shown in Annexe 1 and as part of the budget setting process.
  2. ii)approve the withdrawal of funding to Brightwells Gostrey for the higher needs service and divert these funds to Haslewey to support services for older people and contribute towards running cost as shown in Annexe 1.

       Agree on the establishment of an Executive Working Group to review the councils funding mechanism to voluntary sector organisation from 1 April 2022.

Organisations WBC  funds through Service Level Agreements

 

Funding levels

Three-year SLAs, 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2021

Organisation Funding per year
Citizens Advice Waverley £210,000
Waverley Hoppa Community Transport £108,000
Farnham Maltings Outreach £33,000
Haslewey Community Centre £26,000
The Clockhouse £53,000
Farncombe Day Centre £66,000
Cranleigh Arts Centre £22,000
Brightwells Gostrey Centre £55,000
Rowleys Centre for the Community £55,000
Voluntary Action South West Surrey £8,000
Farnham Assist £8,000
Age UK Surrey £26,105

Is time for the people of Waverley to come to the aid of Farnham?

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If a Government Inspector allows Bewley Homes to develop land in Badshot Lea it will send an Exocet missile through Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan and could herald open season for other developers to build in Farnham.

Waverley

Is another Neighbourhood Plan about to hit Waverley’s wheelie bin?

        Oh! Carole

The very integrity of the Neighbourhood Plan that  Waverley Borough Councillor Carole Cockburn slaved over for years is now at stake with this single application. Is it any wonder she looks so glum?

Last week it was Haslemere calling for support from everyone: The temperature may be dropping in ‘ Your Waverley’ but its rising in Haslemere.
So WHY DOES Farnham needs your help. National Housebuilder Bewley Homes has appealed the refusal of their application for building 140 houses at Land at Lower Weybourne Lane, Badshot Lea. The site was excluded from both the 2017 Farnham Neighbourhood Plan and the revised 2020 copy which received the full backing of residents with an extraordinary 95.5% support.


The Farnham Society strongly objected to the application when it was considered and subsequently refused by Waverley `Planners. It will submit similar comments to the Planning Inspector for his consideration at the Public Inquiry.

It is now asking everyone to write to the Inspector and record that the site is not included within the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan 2020 and the appeal should be dismissed.
Waverley Planners refused the scheme because:
  • It outside the settlement
  • In the countryside
  • On Flood Zone 2
  • On land that is potentially contaminated
  • The Strategic Gap between Farnham and Aldershot.
  • On land that planning consent has been refused in: Twice in the 1950s;1986; 2013; and 2020. 
After all – it isn’t just Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan that is at stake here, is it? A decision here could impact on all those other local plans – Haslemere; Godalming; Cranleigh’s and others that are either completed or well on their way.



Application Reference: WA/2019/1905

Planning Inspectorate Reference: APP/R3650/W/20/3262641

Deadline for commenting: Thursday 25 February 2021

Address for hardcopy letters: Alison Dyson, The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN

Historically the Inspectorate has required three copies of any written representation.

Representations can be online via https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ 

Enter the Planning Inspectorate number 3262641 in the ‘Search for a Case’ box and then click on the ‘Make representation’ box which moves you towards an opportunity to complete a request for your details.

If you can find time to write to the Inspector and simply say that the proposals are contrary to the ‘made’ Farnham Neighbourhood Plan the Society says it would be very grateful.

Coming soon to a controversial site in Godalming?

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Now’s the time for the residents of Godalming to have their say on the future of the Mole Country Store formerly the  SCATS  buildings.   Retail went a few years back. Now developers want – the important site to make way for posh assisted living units.
Typical rent for a two-bedroom property is in the region of £5,000 per month – but with only council tax to pay. All other utilities and services are included.
More detail here.
Birchgrove wants to build 53 flats with 24-hour care in a three, and part five-storey building, in extensive landscaped grounds. There would be two buildings and alterations to the listed building – formerly Alan Paine Knitwear, following demolition of the existing buildings. 
Birchgrove operates a portfolio of extra-care developments offering contemporary self-contained apartments in new purpose-built facilities. There is already a Birchgrove home in nearby Woking.

Different from your usual assisted-living home.

 

The company claims to be different from most other extra care developments in the country, as it works on a rental model. It believes that renting a home instead of owning is the most liberating form of tenure for older people seeking extra care. This offers the benefits of independent living whilst removing the complication of homeownership? The proposed one and two-bedroom apartments are only available for weekly rent to people over the age of 65.
Typical rent for a two-bedroom property is in the region of £5,000 per month – but with only council tax to pay. All other utilities and services are included.
So if you want to have your say: on the former Moles Country Store in Brighton Road – speak up now or forever hold your peace.

Cllrs call for comments.

The official description for the application is as follows:
WA/2020/2123
Erection of 2 buildings and alterations to existing Listed Building to provide 53 assisted living units (Use Class C2) with associated communal facilities, landscaping, amenity space and parking following demolition of the existing warehouse building.
 Link to the application and to comment:

A nasty shunt for the hapless Hunt?

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Plastered – NO SILLY! Not that kind of plastered (although you could be forgiven for thinking he’d had one too many in the circumstances) as our MP recovers in the arms of the NHS at The Royal Surrey after hitting the road.

This week will not go down as one of his finest for our South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt and Valentine’s hug for Mrs H is looking decidedly awkward.

Our keen runner took a tumble on a patch of ice – not exactly his first slip-up though is it?

It may be churlish to hit a man when he’s down. But this week he made a Mea Culpa – in fact, a Maxima Mea Culpa. Saying: “I share blame for NHS response.”

About time too!  Was the muttered opinion of one or two of our correspondents but others felt he deserved praise for his honesty.

The Rt Hon gentleman admitted and has accepted that he shares some of the blame for the slow response to the pandemic because the health system was “on the back foot” due to decisions he made as health secretary.

Praise the Lord!  At last!  A politician owning up to his mistakes.  Did he take the lead from the Head-Honcho, when Boris humbled himself before the country when the death toll reached 100,000?

We here at the Waverley Web wonder what JH thought of the comments made by Annabel Denham, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, in our post yesterday? A failing NHS or poor Government policy and decision-making?

A failing NHS or poor Government policy and decision-making?

Mr Hunt, who was health secretary from 2012 to 2018, said he regretted failing to boost the NHS workforce numbers earlier in his tenure. He said failure to ensure adequate staff had held back England’s test and trace efforts. He also acknowledged “groupthink” in focusing pandemic preparations on influenza, rather than on more virulent Sars-like pathogens.

Well done Jeremy – you have lifted our spirits, here at the Waverley Web, even though yours may be a little low at the moment. A man prepared to admit his mistakes is as rare as hen’s teeth.

We at the Waverley Web wish you a speedy recovery and hope you enjoy spending more time with your family – even though they may be painting a picture that you would rather not have on your drawing rooms walls?!

 

A failing NHS or poor Government policy and decision-making?

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One of our followers watched this debate this week. Within moments of watching the smug, opinionated Annabel Denham of the Institute of Economic Affairs we began tearing our hair out from the roots. Somewhat difficult for some of our more follicly challenged guys! 

No doubt NHS workers were too busy on the front-line, suffocating under the weight of their PPE, masked up, gloved-up and booted to listen to the insufferable Annabel who works for the right-wing think tank which is funded by anonymous donors. The very same think tank that was involved in a cash for questions row? Perhaps they will watch this if they are not too exhausted if, and when they ever get home! 

So the question is?

Q Is the National Health Service to blame for all our ills – or is it poor political decision-making by successive Governments? We will let you be the judge.

Staffing is an issue keeping NHS leaders awake at night. And just like ‘Your Waverley,’ it is the staffing budget which consumes a large part of its spending. In the case of the NHS – two thirds.  

For most NHS workers the last 11 months have been the most stressful of their careers. A horrible mixture of last-minute redeployment, understaffing, exhaustion, and facing a brand-new disease with initially few treatment options. They reached their limit months ago.

With barely any time to briefly recover, the second wave hit, seeing acute, general and intensive care beds fill up.

Well-being initiatives ebbed and flowed – with some trusts scrapping things (like free car parking and hot meals at night) only to bring them back again as the second peak emerged.

And the government’s hard-line on staff pay will not have helped to boost fading morale. In fact, we here at the WW have first-hand knowledge of senior staff who have just given up.

Although COVID hospital admissions have started to fall and 13 million people are now vaccinated, staff are still under immense pressure in all care settings. Any pressure from the centre to start recovering suspended services would be premature.

The public will, of course, be hopeful that normal service will resume from the spring, and fairly so, but this is not only dependent on hospital capacity but also staff recovery. It is perhaps easier to focus on available beds rather than the number of people able to staff them.

Commenting about staff well-being on Twitter, following a piece from NHS Providers’ Chris Hopson, chief executive of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital FT Sarah-Jane Marsh stressed:

“There can be no service recovery without people recovery.”

“In children’s services, people recovery means actually treating children again,” she added, highlighting how the impact of COVID has spread far beyond acute and intensive care.

With trusts making very positive sounds about their staff vaccination campaigns, they are right to be hopeful sickness rates will improve. But there is currently no vaccine for burn out.

NO VACCINE AVAILABLE FOR BURN-OUT.

Due to a change in rules, key workers are able to carry over four weeks’ leave into the next two years, and employers should ensure staff do this. Without giving staff a proper break the NHS risks losing its greatest asset.

 

Farnham’s Blightwell’s not coming soon?

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The opening of Surrey County Council’s flagship development at Brightwells Yard was to have opened next month – then postponed to July – and now until September. Will the 25 shops and restaurants open in time for Christmas?

As you will gather from the clip Waverley’s Portfolio holder for Planning & Development is full of optimism prompted by the developer. Possibly as a Surrey County Councillor, he needs to look on the bright side of life, as a former administration there invested a shedload of money around £54million when a private investor couldn’t be found to back the scheme. The mixed housing/retail development in East Street includes 25 retail units 8 of which are restaurants.  Here’s the present state of play on our specially designed Waverley Web sticker board. For those in the borough that don’t shop in Farnham – Sainsbury’s has been there for years.

Here’s what The Farnham Society thinks of the unpopular development in the link below.

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

He also gives an update on Local Plan Part 2 – which has been out for public consultation.

Farnham

Will the High Street blight hit Blightwells?

You do have to admire developer Crest Nicholson’s supreme confidence in its abilities to let 70% of the units. Perhaps its a BOGOF – buy one get one free?

 

Flooding in Cranleigh Waters affects Rudgwick.

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Looks great doesn’t it – that is until there is heavy rain and your brand new home is near to the Cranleigh Waters.


Looks and sounds idyllic until he rains come down?

 

Tanisha Mancini and her family were grateful for the help of friends and villagers to stop floodwater entering their homes recently.

EDIT – have managed to get the water redirected, thankyou everyone
Barley Croft estate, 4 of our gardens have flooded rising up to our doors, can anyone help?????????

  • Houses in fields don’t work without the right environmental protections being put in place 1st. Ring the developer and get them to sort it out.
    Something the planners, and Developers had not looked into being on clay ground, it’s obviously not been checked out beforehand on the ground surveys, being on fields proper drainage, and flood defences couldn’t have been put in, also is not this development near the top of the hill off Church street just below the Kings head and Church, no great comfort being the people that got their new homes flooded but it’s quite clearly a claim worthy problem as you are victims of failings at the roots of the development. If not sorted it could be an ongoing problem and may affect the foundation of your homes.
    Tanisha Mancini

    Thankfully managed to stop it from coming in and redirected the water! Hopefully having everything sorted! X

 

Some day over the rainbow in Haslemere’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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If the people of Haslemere could wish upon a star this Area of Great Landscape Value, Outstanding Natural Beauty and Green Belt will stay just as it is pictured here.  A greenfield burgeoning with wildlife. 

With Waverley’s Local Plan Part 2 public consultation now closed, officers are currently sorting through the responses. The consultation called for the public to support or object to sites within the plan which includes this land At Red Court in Haslemere.

Only 7 days to pitch in to help Haslemere protect its green spaces.

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

Let’s hope for the sake of Haslemere people Waverley’s new administration will do what it said on the tin. Be open, honest and transparent and listen to the views of local people.

 

It must be an election year in ‘Your Waverley?’

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 Watch out there’s an election about!

Elections Ballot Box

Where will you be putting your vote in May’s Surrey County Council Elections?

Despite being in the middle of a Pandemic and told  to hunker down we hear the county election is ON. Even in Woking where hanging out of the window for a breath of fresh air looks a strong possibility! 

For those of you who read the Waverley Web, it will come as no surprise then that in recent months our Tory-controlled Surrey County Council has been throwing money and ideas at us. Or perhaps they should be called bribes? WHY? Simples – because it wants to take control of the whole county, dumping 11 borough and district councils along the way!  After, all isn’t that what everyone wants – one huge behemoth Unitary Authority based in Leatherhead?  

: Bye Bye ‘ Your Waverley’ Hello ‘ Surrey?’

Here’s another: Roll up, roll up for the Big Surrey Giveaway.

Wow! £100 million pounds – and the race to snaffle some of the cash has already begun! Strange that?   Do the head honchos at Surrey really believe the county’s voting fodder is completely stupid? Too preoccupied with trying to feed their families, home-school them – and hang on to thier ever-increasingly precarious jobs to actually notice that we are facing record council-tax and service tax hikes? Too dumb to realise that the county council is facing massive losses on its investment income in retail outlets – like Blightwells here in Farnham and retail parks around the country?

Perhaps they think we are no longer aware of the ever-increasing potholes  because we are forced to ‘Stay at home – Stay Safe and Save the NHS?’

Did Surrey County Council celebrate National Pothole Day?

So what are the Tories up to – as they prepare to smash any opposition to their rightful fiefdom of County Hall?

Let’s begin with Godalming: Where finally Cllr Peter Martin –  former SCC Council Chairman leader has now thrown in the towel.

Life for him hasn’t been quite the same since he was thrown out of his job and forced to apologise for inappropriate remarks to a wannabe employee!

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

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

So who is the incumbent county councillor hanging over the baton too?  None other than young Mum Kirsty Walden. Who says on her Facebook Page:

“As a local resident to (SIC) Godalming for over eight years and Mum to a young four-year-old daughter attending a local school, I care deeply about local matters that affect us all.
I hope to be elected as your County Councillor to take an active role in ensuring the voices of our community are (SIC) heard.
With the current strange new virtual world that living with Covid means, I’ll use this page to post updates about those matters that are important to you over the next few months – please do take a moment to follow this page. Further details on virtual events and other ways to share your views will follow.
Kirsty x

Perhaps someone can remind us? Wasn’t it Kirsty who was working abroad when she stood in the 2019 election for a seat on ‘Your Waverley?’ No worries there then?  Although she failed, she should take a leaf out of Guildford MP Angela Richardson’s book and take heart from one of her Tory colleagues who also failed in her bid to represent Cranleigh. The Hon Angie  failed to secure a seat at Waverley Towers but just look at her now! – Private Secretary to non-other than Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson! So being a Boris Buddy does work!

? It cannot be true – can it? Another Tory CHINO – who wants to join ‘ Your Waverley.’

And then – in comes Frank: Standing in Godalming North and Binscombe – who says he doesn’t care who you usually vote for – because in future he wants you to vote for him.
Frank Young says he doesn’t want to be “political point-scoring” candidate and then wades straight in on a political point-scoring argument over the slight extension of the Godalming Community Store that resulted in two of his Tory mates Steve Cosser and Peter Martin refusing to back the Lib-Dem controlled Town Council scheme to extend its life by a few months. Realising the electoral error – The Tories, desperately sought to shrug off the ‘Nasty Party’ image and is now claiming they, and the local MP, back the community store but not at The Wilfred Noyce Centre, which they want for activities –  no doubt ZOOMBA? 
OH NO -Not another TORY chino! ‘Councillor Here In Name Only?’

Interestingly we see that Frank Young has already resigned once in March 2017 (Elected 2015 Godalming, Binscombe), due to ‘work pressures.’

After working as a Conservative party campaign manager, he got a job in October 2015 for a far-right think tank, the Centre for Social Justice, set up by Iain Duncan Smith and Tim Montgomerie of all people.

So tell us please Frank? How on earth can you represent residents at Surrey County Council, a body which meets during the day?

A spokesman for Godalming Town Council said at the time: 
“Godalming Town Council has regretfully accepted the resignation of Cllr Frank Young.  Cllr Young has found it increasingly difficult to balance his full-time job in London, family commitments as well as his responsibilities as a town councillor and fulfilling his duties of representing the residents of Binscombe.”
So where do the other candidates for a county council seat stand?

Here’s what Lib Dem Paul Follows says:

“Well, it’s sad to say that you can already tell there is a county election coming.

It disappoints me greatly that certain people are content to just outright lie and mislead – even here at the local level. I have grown a thick skin these last few years with the threats, nasty comments etc. But watching them lie to residents crosses a line.

Paul Follows – Chairman of Godalming Town Council and Leader of ‘Your Waverley.’ Pictured here at the High Court in London where he attended the hearing to save Waverley’s Local Plan.

My message to residents is this.

“I hope it’s clear that I am around all the time on social media, and not just for elections.
We may not always agree but I hope you feel you can certainly always talk to me about whatever the concern is.
Please always feel free to check with me if you see comments about me elsewhere or about something I’ve supposedly said.
With a pandemic going on I think we could all do without the electioneering – but that’s a part of democracy. Outright lies and trying to mislead residents is not!
I urge you to call those people out when they do.
My pledge here and now –
➡️ if I quote anyone else I will provide evidence / a source.
➡️ if I’m talking about something and referring to outside evidence, I will always share a link.
Ask for sources. Ask for evidence. Let’s have a fair election.
Thank you.
Cllr Paul Follows
We here at the Waverley Web could also add – how about judging candidates on their past efforts – not what they claim their future efforts might be?

Is a Cranleigh charity’s latest cunning plan based on ‘a wing and a prayer?’

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So where exactly is the community benefit in return for the loss of one of the last areas of open green spaces left in the centre of Cranleigh?

That was the question that village leaders asked themselves at an Extraordinary Virtual Meeting of Cranleigh Parish Council on Monday.

Councillors gathered online to consider yet another set of plans from   Cranleigh Village Health Trust (CVHT) to build a 64-bed Private Care Home – which included 16 community beds – and a residential accommodation block of 14 flats for health-workers. A charity that over 20 years collected millions of pounds of public money to build a replacement Hospital/Day Hospital with hospital beds. But which – due to support being withdrawn by local health and social care bodies now wants to fulfil its charitable objectives – in a different way.

Before debating the issue which has driven a stake through the heart of Cranleigh the council wanted to hear villagers’ views – FOR or AGAINST? 

A controversial planning proposal that has driven a stake through Cranleigh and the eastern villages. Splitting it apart.

Clerk Beverly Bell gave a slick slide presentation outlining the complicated recent history of the issues before them.

These are included here: Slides – Cranleigh Parish Council

ParishCouncilMeetingHiLights

First to speak was Andy Webb who heads the Campaign Group he founded to stop the development and return former publicly-owned land to the village.

He told councillors that the charity had underestimated the community’s opposition to the project. Having read the applicant’s Agent’s report, it was clear there were NO guaranteed benefits to the community, and if planning permission was granted, the community beds could eventually become part of the Private Care Home.  The junction proposed onto Knowle Lane, combined with accesses to local businesses – (including Sainsbury’s Depot  Marks & Spencers)  was dangerous for both existing traffic and future construction traffic. The loss of valuable green space and the noise and light pollution to the neighbours in Wiskar Drive were strong reasons to refuse. He reprimanded the CVHT for failing to meet the parish council and the public.

Said Mr Webb.

“I can assure both this parish council and the CVHT and anyone else who may be listening that we – the public – are, and always have been, open to having a polite and civilised meeting with them – and we do not take kindly to the suggestion that it would be otherwise.”

 

CVHT had blamed the parish council by letter for its failure to meet them before re-submitting their application. A claim that has upset parishioners, the parish clerk and councillors. All of whom voted to meet them in public, offering them privacy for any commercially confidential information. Their behaviour has been seen as reprehensible towards a key partner – who provided public land valued at circa £250,000 in exchange for agricultural land and a peppercorn pound.

 Retired Nurse and resident Sue Mellor claimed the community beds, in their present form, were no longer needed. There were now 24 extra beds consented at the Knowle Park Nursing Home nearby. 

She asked? Is it now possible for the parish council to re-claim the land?

She said health bodies, all of whom had withdrawn their support – were now proposing a very different model of health-care outside nursing homes, in a bid to keep patient safer at home.

During the lengthy debate, Cllr Richard Coles said many of the council’s previous concerns remained. Changes proposed different access for users of the community beds, which would now be down to the CVHT. However, the beds would be the same as available elsewhere  – they were no longer free and it would be up to individuals to pay at means-tested local authority rates.

“This is a greenfield site where there is increased traffic. It doesn’t seem that the benefits to the community are any better now than from previous schemes- in fact, I think it has got worse.”

Documents on the Waverley Planning Portal show that the Circa £7m private nursing home with 64 beds would charge residents £1,200/£1, 310 per week.  WA/2020/0965.  http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning/search-applications?civica.query

The 16 community beds would be circa £725 p.w. IF, the local authority will buy them? Surrey Heartlands Health Trust and the county council pulled out of the scheme 3 months ago – saying they now want a different model of care for their clients in future.  It wants to move away from nursing home-based healthcare and support Cranleigh people in their own homes.

A £2.5m accommodation block of 14, flats proposed for health-care workers, mainly employed by the private nursing home would be let for £195 62 pence p.w for one bed and £253.15 p w for 2-beds. But no 106 legal agreement currently exists? 

A fact which, Cllr Rowena Tyler claimed, was not particularly affordable for an average health-care worker and similar properties, with gardens, were available on Rightmove in the area at a similar rent!  

 CVHT – would expect a 7% – ‘developer’s profit – from the residential investment together with a 10% management cost.No allowance had been made for any S.106 contributions albeit it is known that a travel plan will be required for both the care home and the accommodation block. Neither is there any Community Infrastructure Levy  (CIL).  Money towards making improvements to Cranleigh’s infrastructure as resulting from the impact of the development.

Cllr Nigel Sanctuary’s assessment of the community beds was no longer (as has been claimed by the charity) ‘free at the point of access.’  Both Waverley’s and CVHT’s Viability Statements were complicated, and sometimes vague. The Charity’s lacked any clear, legal, or binding commitments. He also failed to understand the figures put on the value of the land. But his major and overriding concern was “future usage of those community beds”

“This is on the cusp of viability, and we could be left with a white elephant in future. There is no certainty over a future operator – all we know is – that we just don’t know?”

Rowena Tyler claimed there was no evidence on the sustainability of the project – or what would happen to the Paddock Field, should permission be refused. Local people also wanted to know who the ‘Benefactor/s’ referred to in the documents actually were?

Cllr Dave Nicholas – said his previous concerns were already well documented. ‘Overdevelopment of the site.’

“However, we just cannot ignore the strength of opposition from the community – most people who speak to me – just don’t want it. The risks of embarking on the charity’s present chosen pathway which says- let’s sort out the detail later, could come back to haunt you.’

Cllr Rob Denton’s concerns were the separation of the residential accommodation block from the Care Home, which he said:

Cllr Marc Scully agreed.  “This project just doesn’t stack up –  there are insufficient funds for this to work in the present fluctuating market.’

 Cllr Cole said he didn’t  wish to object on the basis of the Viability Assessment, but on the lack of legal agreements, community infrastructure levy, and the loss of green space on a site outside the settlement zone of Cranleigh, in an area designated as an ASVI – (Area of Strategic Visual Importance.) He also agreed with Cllr Taylor’s concerns about the uncompetitive rents proposed for the flats.

Chairman Liz Townsend said the parish council could not rely on others tying up the loose ends of the proposed scheme later and was opposed to the accommodation block not being ancillary to the Care Home.

“What we are talking about here is an exceptional site where development can only be approved in exceptional circumstances. This is mini-Green Belt and an ASVI, where a replacement hospital, supported by the community, was once proposed. We have to ask ourselves – is, this proposal for a private care home and residential development for the benefit of our community, when there are lots of affordable and shared ownership homes being built here in Cranleigh?

 It was finally agreed that unlike on previous occasions when as a major key stakeholder in the hospital project, the parish council had ‘not supported the scheme.’ On this occasion, – Cllr Taylor proposed that the council should go further and OBJECT, and provide Waverley planners with a host of reasons why. She was seconded by Cllr Jeacock who said: “This application must be refused.”

The recommendation to OBJECT was agreed by 8 votes. (Cllr Richard Cole was AGAINST.)  Cllr Townsend abstained saying she would save her vote for the Waverley planning meeting which is expected to be on February 24th. Members of the public have contacted us here at the Waverley Web surprised – that on every occasion that the CVHT planning application – or any other matter concerning this development has come before the council – Cllr George Worthington has Abstained from voting, but has not declared an interest?

May we respectfully suggest – Don’t put your son on the council, Mrs Worthington – until he can either declare an interest or jump off the fence? 

Q for the future? Has Cllr Hannah Nicholson jumped ship?

Waverley’s Viability Assessment concludes.

 In summary, we can conclude the development does not generate a surplus over the benchmark land value, and thus the number of open market care home beds is less than is necessary to provide full funding to the community beds and health worker accommodation. The balance of funds required has been pledged by CVHT and local benefactors who wish to see the scheme proceed and the public benefit from these facilities be realised.

Good reasons to stay even safer in Waverley?

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Was there ever an even better reason to stay safe and vigilant in ‘Your Waverley?’

 The recent outbreak of the more infectious South African COVID variant just down the road in Woking – should serve as a timely warning to us all.

 

COVID variant identified in Woking leads to surge testing launch.

Surrey Local Resilience Forum (SLRF) is working with Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care to carry out a localised ‘surge testing’ programme in the Goldsworth Park and St Johns areas of Woking.

Just a very short distance from Waverley, particularly Godalming, Farnham and Haslemere and the villages on the Waterloo railway line?

This follows notification that a specific variant of COVID-19 has been identified from two, and now three, positive tests in the area, in residents who have no links to travel or previous variant cases. The variant is known as the SARS-CoV-2 variant (also known as VOC-202012/02) which originated in South Africa.

Further details can be found in the surge testing statement on Surrey County Council’s website. 

It says on Waverley’s COVID WEBSITE. It is important that all residents of Surrey remain vigilent (SIC) and follow the hands, face, space guidance.

 It is even MORE IMPORTANT for the residents of our borough to obey the rules – to keep the strain OUT of our borough to prevent even more lives being lost!

An Extraordinary Meeting in Cranleigh to consider yet another cunning plan?

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Tonight – Monday – Village leaders will once again sit down to consider yet another reboot of the Cranleigh Village Health Trust’s ambitions to build on land it sold to the charity for £1.

Cranleigh Parish Council will decide whether it will back yet another incarnation of a scheme that has driven a stake through the heart of Cranleigh and the eastern villages.

Over the years hundreds of letters and a petition containing 4,000 signatures have been posted AGAINST. There have also been hundreds of letters in SUPPORT. Many of which have been for a HOSPITAL!

NOTICE OF AN EXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL

Councillors are respectfully summoned to attend an online extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council to be held at 7.00 pm on MONDAY 01 FEBRUARY 2021 To join the meeting: Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM (GMT)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/829134269

You can also dial in using your phone. (For supported devices, tap a one-touch number below to join instantly.) United Kingdom: +44 20 3713 5028 – One-touch: tel:+442037135028,,829134269# Access Code: 829-134-269 New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:

https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/82913426

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

Over the past 21 years – successive parish and borough councils have ruminated and cogitated over a scheme that was perhaps once, a long, long time ago – referred to as a ‘beacon for healthcare.’  At least that is how it was referred in the archive pages of the “Sorry Advertiser. back in the ’90s.

As the decades have rolled on  – the scheme has morphed from a Hospital/Day Hospital/GP Surgery into a Private Nursing home, with so many different numbers of private, and or, community beds, that forgive us please if we don’t refer to them because we have lost count. Now,  like most of the population of the eastern villages – we and they have joined CONFUSED DOT COM!

In the life of the present scheme, we believe it has now changed from  64 beds in the private nursing home – and 14 community beds to 60 private and 16 for the community. First, they were FREE then they weren’t, first it was a HOSPITAL, and then it wasn’t. Then it was for a named care-home provider – HC-ONE and then it wasn’t or maybe it will be?

Will, they won’t they join the club? Here’s what the Chairman says:

So there you have it, folks. The Cranleigh Village Health Trust is confident it will have an operator for a damned great private nursing home slap-bang in the middle of your village. It is also confident that everyone will want to go into the new nursing home – because, after all, we all lust after going into a nursing home don’t we? And the half dozen or so already in the Cranleigh environs aren’t enough.  Are they? 

And – the fact that your health authority says it wants to provide you with a different type of care in future – in your own home, must mean that another Care Home is required – doesn’t it?

No doubt the poor old parish councillors will have burned the midnight oil trawling over this document from Tetlow King – the Charity’s Agent. A letter which gives all sorts of assurances about the future use of said beds, and the residential flats! Even, chortles on about it is a plus that the Surrey Heartlands Trust and all the other health and social care honchos have now pulled out! Kindly leaving the community beds for the very people who contributed circa £2m and a chunk of public land to provide them with the proposed – private care home! 

document-8117664

The arrogant Agent even goes on to say…

It is incomprehensible to me that any group, the community at large or planning officers would not see the benefits of this development on a piece of land that sits in a sustainable location between extensive built development on either side where this Council has given permission on several occasions in the past.

 

And just for the record. Planning permission has not been given for this scheme on several occasions in the past!

The Waverley Web cannot help wondering how much this – and all the other applications have cost ‘Your Waverley.” We calculated that if it wrote to everyone on the planning portal that has made a comment it has cost many more thousands of pounds of OUR money!

A Cranleigh development dubbed as ‘awful and objectionable’ has been thrown out by Waverley planners.

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Councillors from Elstead, Cranleigh and Bramley joined together to deliver a swingeing attack on the design of a controversial development on the former West Cranleigh Nurseries site in Alfold Road.

The outline planning application – vehemently opposed by Cranleigh people and many local councillors was passed in 2017 on the casting vote of Tory chairman Peter Isherwood. Now four years later – after being sold by Dutch lettuce grower Nick Vrijland it has finally reached the design and landscaping stage for 118 homes by new owners A2 Dominion.  However,  building won’t start until later this year with the completion of some properties in 2022.

West Cranleigh Nurseries bounces back like a rubber ball and councillor Peter Isherwood scores a goal!

Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend administered the first blow – after an introduction by ‘mystery planning officer’ Patrick Arthurs – who, surprise, surprise, left the council last year – but returned in voice only, to present the scheme. 

She was promptly followed by Bramley, Busbridge & Hascombe Cllr Martin D’Arcy who expressed  “dismay” that there was no landscaping or management plan and that on an utterly treeless site, 16 types of specimen trees were proposed of which only three were native species.

On the subject of energy sustainability, it was in his opinion “quite bizarre” that all 118  proposed dwellings were to be fitted with gas boilers. Boilers to be phased out by 2030 and with solar panels fitted to only three large apartment blocks.

 

But it was Elstead  Cllr David Else who described the scheme as –

“probably the worst we have ever seen.”

But it didn’t get any better – with the exception of  Chairman, Cranleigh Cllr Richard Coles, who said he was perfectly satisfied with the design, saying – 

“I find it rather attractive”

Not a problem then for a man, who it is rumored,  is leaving the borough for a new home in the West Country?

Which prompted officer Arthurs to openly criticise councillors for not raising their concerns earlier, saying they should have told him before the meeting if they didn’t like the design!

Ah! So now a Waverley planning officer/developer is asking councillors to pre-determine planning applications before they are heard in public are we? Now – there’s something for the monitoring officer to chew over?

At which point we thought Cllr Liz was going to explode – and literally take off on Zoom to box the ears of officer Arthurs. Saying-

“don’t blame us, that’s what this committee is here for – to make a decision and I really object to being told we should have made this decision earlier”

She said she had made her concerns known in the past, but this was the first time members had seen these (warehouse) apartment blocks, due to the high degree of affordable housing.

They are not in keeping with Cranleigh and are akin to an industrial unit, not a home! The character of the area will be deeply affected by these blocks.

According to Godalming Cllr Paul Follows – once again the council had been bitten by an approved outline scheme when it came to the detail – and…

I agree with every word Cllr Townsend has said:

“This is a design I cannot stand.”

Before deferring the application by 14 votes to one (presumably the chairman) with a strong message to the developer to go back to the drawing board and come up with something more appropriate it was Cranleigh Cllr Ruth Reed’s turn to hammer the last nail home.

You can listen to the whole meeting here.

https://youtu.be/1OQygjVRy3U

Does another threat hang over our Surrey Hills?

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Having kicked into touch the bid by UK OIL & Gas to drill in Dunsfold – near Hascombe Hills in Waverley – the battle by exploration companies could continue elsewhere.

County planners refused the scheme to drill at High Loxley Road near Dunsfold aerodrome. twice.  Once in June 2020 – a decision ruled invalid due to technical problems during the online meeting. It was refused again in November last year.

Link to the first decision: UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?

Local campaign group Protect Dunsfold said: “Protect Dunsfold and all involved in fighting that application from UKOG was extremely relieved that the application has been refused on certain planning grounds.

“We feel this is a very fair and realistic judgement in today’s world of climate change.”

 Image courtesy Ackroyd & Harvey/ Surrey Hills Arts / Photo From The Air

However, The licence to drill for oil and gas, not so very far away from Dunsfold, in the area pictured above covering Leith Hill in Surrey, will still be offered to exploration companies, even though successive companies have failed to drill there.

Leith Hill, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, was the site of controversial plans to drill for oil by successive companies over a 12 year period. Europa Oil and Gas pulled out of the site in 2018 after a lengthy legal battle to get planning permission to drill at the site. 

UK Oil & Gas Plc (UKOG), Angus Energy and Egdon Resources Ltd took over the licence from Europa and said they were considering plans for a horizontal drill under Leith Hill from the A24. They gave it up after concluding:

“the required long-reach/shallow target-depth wells are neither technically viable or economically feasible”

James Knapp, on behalf of A Voice For Leith Hill, contacted the Oil and Gas Authority to request an update on the licence now no oil company seems likely to be able to use it. They replied: “We can confirm that PEDL143 was relinquished on 26th September 2020.  The OGA cannot speculate on future out-of-round licence applications that may encompass this area or the outcome of any future licence rounds”.

James Knapp said.

“The licensing system is broken. The Oil and Gas Authority should remove unworkable areas from the licensing rounds.”

“The rules say that companies have to drill, or the licences must be relinquished. This licence area has proved unviable and the blight on the local community and the environment should be lifted by drawing a line under PEDL 143. The Oil and Gas Authority should review its broken licensing system and free wide swathes of the country from the threat of oil and gas drilling.

“In the year of COP26, when we are supposed to be working towards net-zero, it should be routine to withdraw unlicensed areas because there is no requirement for an operator to be compensated. Other countries have stopped fossil fuel exploration altogether. Where is the ambition of this Government?”

For further information about drilling at Leith Hill visit http://www.wealdactiongroup.org.uk/leith-hill/

Contact: info@voiceforleithhill.co.uk

 

Hospital’s in Surrey & Sussex reach ‘tipping point.’

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So ensure when you are called – don’t hesitate – go for it. Stay Safe and Save the NHS.

The Surrey & Sussex Healthcare Trust has warned it may reach a ‘tipping point’ where it is ‘impossible’ to separate COVID positive and negative patients.

The (S&SH ) includes Surrey Heartlands Trust – the organisation that covers the borough of Waverley.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust also revealed in papers published ahead of its Thursday board meeting that it planned to distribute a “duty of candour” leaflet for patients, warning them of the risk of contracting covid in hospital.

The papers noted covid patients at the trust increased from 80 pre-Christmas to 230 by January, filling half its beds.  figures suggest covid patients at the trust continued to rise until around 14 January before dropping back slightly

The report from the trust’s safety and quality committee said:

“It is becoming more difficult to separate the covid+ and covid- patients. In an increasing number of instances, patients are admitted to cold areas for non-covid treatment and without symptoms but then test positive. These patients then need to be admitted to hot areas and any contacts (including patients from the same bay) isolated.”

“At some point, a tipping point could be reached where it may be impossible to retain hot and cold areas.”

The paper added the criteria for admission to hospital is higher than normal, with patients only being admitted if the risks of not doing so outweigh the risk of contracting covid during their stay. On the other hand, it added criteria for discharge was lower.

The document noted the trust has added intensive care unit beds in converted wards but one patient still had to be transferred to Torbay, where the nearest available ICU bed was sited. Cancer operations are continuing at an independent sector site but much elective work has been cancelled, with only urgent procedures being carried out.

The trust has already reported a number of serious incidents involving hospital-acquired COVID. In one case, three patients died following an outbreak of probable or definite hospital-acquired COVID on two wards. In another, a patient who had shared a bay with someone who developed COVID then died from the disease.

As of 25 January, an estimated 37 per cent of SASH’s adult general and acute beds were occupied by COVID positive patients, a figure which appeared to be stabilising in recent days.

Michael Wilson, chief executive of SASH, and a former director of The Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford said:

“We have seen unprecedented numbers of patients with COVID being admitted and requiring critical care. Staff continue to pull together to provide safe care and it remains important to inform patients about the risk of infection, the things we are doing to prevent spread and how they can help while in hospital.”

 

The temperature may be dropping in ‘Your Waverley’ but its rising in Haslemere.

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The residents of the much-loved town are flooding Waverley’s planning portal and social media sites with calls to ditch a controversial development site in Haslemere.

Waverley Officer laden down with applications or objections

With only a matter of days to go before the consultation ends on Waverley’s blueprint for development – Local Plan Part 2, officers are set to deal with shedloads of objections.

The consultation ends on Friday, January 29.

You will see from the comments below, and on the planning, portal objections are not from the worried wealthy or the Nimby’s – (Not in My Back Yard’ or even the Nimfy’s Not In My Front Yard) they are from correspondents genuinely concerned about a developer who wants to build in an Area of Great Landscape Value – An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and adjacent the South Downs National Park. In fact, if Red Court Ltd get away with this one – nowhere’s safe in Surrey, is it? The developer intends to build a phased development of around 180 homes on a site which is also a wildlife corridor and home to precious flora, fauna and endangered species called – Red Court.

So will ‘Your Waverley’ say as the Tories did with Blightwells in Farnham – ‘bu**er the bats and the wildlife, to hell with heritage buildings and green space, let’s build 28 new shops! Or, as they did in Cranleigh and in Milford ask? ‘flood plains’ what flood plains?”

Or will the new Rainbow Administration that now controls Waverley Borough Council do what it said on the tin when elected?  LISTEN to the people who care about development that will lead to huge biodiversity loss.

 

All the contact details for having your voice heard are in the link below:

So use it or lose it?

Only 7 days to pitch in to help Haslemere protect its green spaces.

The Cranleigh Health Hydra – rears up with yet another head.

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Cranleigh Village Heath trustees, – who now call themselves  ‘Directors,’ – are boasting a new registered office address in the home of an Investment Company, called Omnium Wealth.  All sounds a bit too ominous to us!!!

They are also pressing ahead with their latest planning application – an application that has been languishing among the dusty files at Waverley Towers since last Spring.

So What’s new pussycat?

Same old, same old, as far as we can see: a 60-bed Private Nursing Home, but this time around we know not for whom!  But the ‘Directors’ of CVHT are supremely confident that some care operator will be interested in taking it on once they’ve secured a planning consent to tuck beneath their bloated corporate bellies!

A residential accommodation block is still included but – quelle surprise – this time around it’s not for Surrey’s health-care workers because, so toxic has the Trust’s brand become, even the, grandly named, Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care Partnership and all the Health Honchos – not to mention Surrey County Council – have withdrawn their support for the commercial enterprise that has wrapped itself in a so-called  ‘charitable’ blanket!

Cranleigh residents need no reminding that this toxic endeavour has all come on the back of former parish-owned land sold for a measly £1, together with circa £2 million of public money that was earmarked for a hospital – with outpatient facilities, an X-Ray department, a day hospital with all its other facilities, and hospital beds.

So here hangs the eternal question? What and where is the community benefit? And, what are the people of Cranleigh and the eastern villages – all of whom dug deep into their pockets during this 20-year hike haul – getting in return for their buck?  Precious little bang, that’s for sure!

In fact, we’d go so far as to say, SOD ALL! when you read the letter from the Cranleigh Village Health trustees’ agents which we have included here:

document-8117841

The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noted the company address has not yet been changed to reflect the new information at Companies House. You also may have noticed that the residential accommodation – dressed up as health workers accommodation – is available to anyone at a market rent generating income of £90,000 per annum – providing an income stream for the -so-called ‘charity’ to fund ‘local health care priorities.’ Pull the other one it’s got bells on, is the phrase that comes to mind!  Wake up CVHT – the public doesn’t trust you.

Is there anyone left in the borough of Waverley that believes one single pledge this outfit makes?

Once again the trustees/directors are telling bare-faced lies and don’t even have the grace to blink or blush!  Even stooping so low as to blame village leaders for not allowing them to consult them.  The very same public body that 20 years ago was the major stakeholder in the project – handing over public land and which has repeatedly been fed on a diet of duff information.

Local residents may be surprised to learn that COVID-19 didn’t stop the Trust meeting the parish council. It was the Trust’s demands that scuppered any meeting.

Q: WHY?

A: Because the Trust wanted a meeting “in secret”, claiming ‘commercial confidentiality’ – and the now wide-awake parish councillors said they were happy to meet IN PUBLIC – so everyone, including donors, could hear what the Trust had to say! But were unanimously opposed to any meetings on “a supposed ‘community project’ behind closed doors… again!

You can read all about it here:

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

So now – the Trust wants to put 16 community beds in a 60-bed private care home for fee-paying residents – which will be “means-tested” – their words, not ours – for recipients, who MAY find their fees subsidised by a commercial residential housing venture.

 

 

 

All we can say is this. If Waverley Planners consider that this is a ‘Community Benefit’ for the people who willingly dug deep into their pockets some providing as much as £25,000 a pop – when the old Cottage Hospital,  just up the road, is providing a wealth of new facilities – including X-Ray, ultrasound, maternity services, physio, et al to outpatients and could soon have an Urgent Treatment Centre – then they need to dig out their hard-hats and Kevlar jackets because local residents may well have rather a lot to say about it!

If ever there was an outrageous waste and misappropriation of public money and public land, this is it!  Where’s Panorama when you need it?!

About Us at Omnium Wealth.

Established in 2002 and employing a team of highly qualified and experienced consultants, Omnium Wealth is a wholly independent and privately owned financial planning business providing a structured investment strategy for individuals and their families.

We take the time to fully understand your needs and wishes, to help formulate a long term investment strategy, with the aim of maximising the opportunity to achieve your goals, without exposing you to unnecessary risk.

We take the stress out of your financial planning, but with real-time online access to your investments, ensure you know what is happening as often as you choose. Our approach allows you to focus on your career, family and future, while we take care of the details; minimising tax liabilities, protecting those closest to you but, most importantly, giving you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy what you have now.

The Waverley Web would like to thank Andy Webb (no association with the Waverley Web) of the Cranleigh Community Group for providing and helping us with much of this information.

**The Hydra monster has many heads. If you cut off one hydra head, two more would grow back in its place.

Only 7 days to pitch in to help Haslemere protect its green spaces.

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There is massive opposition in the town of Haslemere to the inclusion of parts of its treasured green spaces being sacrificed on the alters of developers. Whilst sadly, other cherished green spaces have already gone under concrete all over our borough including Farnham and vast swathes of the land in the eastern villages around Cranleigh, Haslemere is calling for everyone’s help.

The Waverley Web has received the following information: But will ‘Your Waverley’ listen? Here’s what Waverley’s Deputy Leader thinks.

A Message from Kirsten Ellis – Independent Cllr for Haslemere.


Kirsten believes it is possible to combine pragmatic, necessary development and housing expansion with planning that does not sacrifice AONB in the town centre.

Dear Friends of our Green Spaces,

We only have 7 days to complete our responses to Waverley BC’s Local Plan Part 2. Some of us will already have got to it; others not. There’s still time…!

We in Haslemere who care as a community about protecting green spaces and biodiversity appeal for your support of Haslemere Town Council’s recommendations to Waverley Borough Council, especially in relation to our settlement boundary and in asking for the removal of the site allocation DS06 (Red Court) from LPP2.

Please submit your views to the LPP2 public consultation before the deadline of 29 January. Lack of response to this crucial LPP2 consultation at Reg 19 stage will be taken as consent and approval by WBC.

The overwhelming majority of Haslemere residents, as reflected in our Neighbourhood Plan and supported by last night’s vote at the Haslemere Town Council, object that WBC seeks to impose on us the site allocation of Red Court, a biodiverse-rich Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which is also a wildlife corridor and home to precious wildlife and endangered species. 

A little background: Robert Hunter, the co-founder of the National Trust, was first Chairman of our parish council of Haslemere. This is the town he chose for his lifelong home, and from here, led his fight to protect open green spaces from development, beavering over policy to turn his dream of preserving nature for humanity into hard legal reality.  When, in non-Covid times, we sit on our now town council, we are between the same walls where he made many passionate arguments about the vital importance of protecting from development common land (later classed as Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Area of Greater Landscape Beauty) for future generations. Last year, with our new influx of Green, Lib-Dem and Independent Cllrs, we declared a biodiversity emergency as well as a climate change emergency.

The settlement boundary that HTC has approved (as opposed to the boundary which WBC seeks to impose) respects the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Haslemere residents who voted to protect and conserve the countryside encircling us in a ring of green and within the town centre. Only 8% were supportive of development in the category of the Red Court site, and 89% were against. 65% voted against allowing even small- scale developments building outside the settlement boundary. In the last elections, due to public anger over the perception by the community that their views on wishing to protect their environment were not being taken into proper consideration by the then-Tory majority, half the HTC Conservative Cllrs lost their seats, to be replaced by Lib Dems, Independents and Greens.

As well as HTC and Haslemere Vision, Haslemere Society, Natural England, Surrey Hills AONB, CRPE, Surrey Wildlife Trusts and Black Down and Hindhead Supporters of the National Trust, there were over 530 objections to Red Court from all over Haslemere and beyond when its planning application (WA 2020/1213) was submitted to WBC late last year (outcome pending).

Please find attached the statement made to WBC last October about this site’s regional importance by Tom Oliver, Professor of Applied Ecology at the University of Reading, Senior fellow on Defra Systems Research programme and member of European Environment Agency Scientific Committee.

Professor Oliver’s expert view is that WBC’s allocation of Red Court in its draft LPP2 is “not commensurate with the recent national pledge to safeguard biodiversity and WBC’s own policy declaration on the Climate Emergency which commits the Council to regard climate change as a serious threat that requires urgent action to reduce carbon emissions and conserve biodiversity. His assessment concluded: “In summary, there will be a substantial net biodiversity loss from this development on AONB and AONB-candidate AGLV land, which conflicts with both local and national policy targets.” When I asked Professor Oliver about why he felt it was important to speak out for protecting Red Court after he had studied all its characteristics and context, he said that he saw this site as an important AONB case study and that “the more precedent there is for developing on high biodiversity value AONB land, the easier it becomes for other cases.” 

Natural England has said developing on this site will have an adverse effect on the Wealden Heath and significant impact on the setting of the Surrey Hills. By its own assessment, Redwood has stated they intend to fell at least a further 40% of the mature trees on this land to develop the estate. 

WBC have a legislative duty of care to conserve biodiversity and ecology on their watch, and LPP2 is a generational blueprint affecting future development in Waverley for a decade that coincides with a major shift in awareness about how crucial it is to stabilise our climate and protect against biodiversity loss and stabilise our climate.

Haslemere

Can you help Haslemere folk?

WBC’s planners have said that having listened to Haslemere, they have committed to saving 95% of its AONB, AGLV and Greenbelt. But the AONB and AGLV sites they have removed from the proposed LPP2 in order to justify Red Court’s inclusion do not have the same high-biodiversity as Red Court and are listed (DS 11& 13 in LPP2 2018) as “without a significant landscape impact”. They have made it clear they want the Red Court allocation to be retained and say that they are not able to make up the required housing numbers without it, an assertion which is being challenged by HTC and Haslemere Vision. Research shows that our housing numbers can be met without needing to build on greenfield outside our Council-approved settlement boundary, and this is reflected in our Neighbourhood Plan.

If WBC gives a green light to this allocation, it will reward and enable a property speculator who knowingly purchased AONB/AGLV designated for protection — a rich ecological and biodiverse habitat — with the intention of destroying it for profit. WBC would not only be acting against national policy guidelines and their own Corporate Strategy but also acting against Haslemere’s Neighbourhood Plan, ignoring the democratically expressed wishes of the Haslemere community and its Council, a blow for Localism. Haslemere is currently the only town whose Neighbourhood Plan is not reflected in alignment with the proposed LPP2! It is important to note that LPP2 has achieved alignment with all other Waverley localities, a significant achievement. Come on Waverley, you are almost there, go the extra mile!

Haslemere’s Mayor John Robini, Surrey County Councillor Nikki Barton and the majority of HTC Councillors voted to reflect the views and aspirations of our community in a vote last night supporting the following response to WBC:

https://www.haslemeretc.org/uploads/1/1/5/9/115942197/appendix_8_-_lpp2_consultation.pdf

Our Neighbourhood Plan understands that Haslemere’s collective wealth lies in protecting its natural environment and biodiversity; much of the area is among some of the earliest National Trust land acquisitions and we are the gateway to the South Downs National Park. We value our treasured ‘Dark Sky’ status which would be eroded if we do not develop wisely. We also prize our town’s connections to the National Trust, and as the chosen home for writers and artists who sought inspiration in its natural beauty: Tennyson, George Eliot (who wrote Middlemarch here), Arthur Conan Doyle (who used Hindhead heath as his inspiration for The Hound of the Baskervilles) and the artist John Tyndall, and additionally we are proud of history for community-building dating back to the time of the Arts and Crafts movement. We are willing to accept higher density in our town centre and want to give preference to the allocation of brownfield sites first.

Personally, as someone who lives in close proximity to the Red Court site, I — like many who live in the heart of Haslemereappreciate the beauty and richness of its nature, birdlife and biodiversity, which Tennyson walked past on his daily walks. But for anyone concerned about the preservation of AONB at a national as well as a local level, it’s not difficult to see the allocation of this site as a proverbial canary in the coal mine.

If you care about protecting the Surrey countryside for future generations, please state that DS06 (Red Court) is not a suitable site allocation. People, not just locally, but nationally, will look at how WBC behave in relation to the duty of care of such high biodiversity land. 

Respond here:

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Planning-and-building/Planning-strategies-and-policies/Local-plan/Local-Plan-Part-2

Kirsten Ellis (PhD)

Independent Councillor, Haslemere South

Please find these additional links to Haslemere community and residents’ association websites for further information:

https://haslemerevision.org.uk/response-to-scotland-park-planning-application/

http://www.haslemeresouth.com

http://www.haslemeresociety.org/uploads/1/0/3/8/10380361/ths_redcourt_wbc__wa2020_1213_f.pdf

WBC has a legislative duty of care to conserve biodiversity and ecology on their watch, and LPP2 is a generational blueprint affecting future development in Waverley for a decade that coincides with a major shift in awareness about how crucial it is to stabilise our climate and protect against biodiversity loss.

Did Surrey County Council celebrate National Pothole Day?

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The residents of Waverley need no prompting to vilify Surrey County Council for the state of many of our borough’s roads. In fact, it is driving many of us around the bend!

However, with election fever now building in the county, now might be the right time to remind our sitting councillors of just how bad some of our roads are? Or perhaps ask some of the wannabe councillors to take action on this highway curse – that is getting worse!

Pothole pic Hold on Jack

Gather around your nearest road crater and make a wish.

Here’s one pothole filled in by workmen in Cranleigh High Street!

The UK’s road quality ranks 37th in the world, closely followed by Rwanda in 39th place. Our potholed roads are now becoming a national obsession and a national disgrace.

Potholes have become a blight, and even worse, a very real danger – as playing dodgems is the latest sport of many a motorist. Lorry, car drivers, cycle and motorcyclists regularly weave their way around huge potholes, putting both their lives and the safety of oncoming traffic at risk. 

During the pandemic, we were encouraged to get on our bikes and 1.3million of us did just that. However, some cyclists are dying in the attempt to get fit on our potholed roads – not just the bumps, broken limbs, scrapes and life-changing injuries but in the past five years, 250 of us have died as a direct result of potholes!

We have heard from many of our followers that the A281 Horsham to Guildford Road in the east of the borough is an absolute disgrace. it says something about the state of Britain’s roads that we now have a special day dedicated just for potholes on the Nation’s calendar every year!

Are you aware in the Budget last year Rishi Sunak pledge £1.6 billion to fix potholes?

With the pandemic forcing people to stay at home and fewer cars on the roads, Surrey has the perfect opportunity to crack on with repairs.

While we’re all paying our taxes, taxes set to increase and now we are staying indoors as much possible, councils must do everything they can to annihilate these pothole atrocities and save our lives and our money?

So what can be done? As well as scheduled inspections, local authorities accept reports of defects from the public. If there’s a particular pothole you have a gripe with, we thoroughly recommend logging on to Surrey County Council’s website and report it. However, we did – having lost yet another tyre, but received no compensation whatsoever, as the pothole had not been previously reported. 

 

 

 

Dr Povey prepares for Surrey elections by sprinkling stardust.

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When times are hard – a little faith, trust and pixie dust are always welcome – and the county councillor for Cranleigh & Ewhurst has just discovered his wand.

The councillor – who has neither been seen nor heard for most of the past four years has suddenly emerged. Just in time to slide back into the seat, he intends to reclaim at the May county council elections?
He recently positioned himself outside the Cranleigh recycling centre. A centre that has been closed most of the year, and which now opens only a couple of days each week. A move that has sent residents of the eastern villages schlepping over to the Witley Recycling Centre.

Then he began trumpeting the Surrey county council community fund.  A  £100 million Surrey County Council giveaway, or should it be called bribe? 

You can read all about it here:

He then did a run – presumably his usual morning run, along the Downslink checking the fallen trees. 
“As a result of recent high winds, a number of trees were blown down and blocking the Downslink. I ran down the section from Cranleigh to Baynards Station this morning and pleased to see the Surrey County Council Countryside Access Team have cleared this section. It was a beautiful sunny morning for a run but it is very muddy in places.”

Here’s what Cranleigh’s Little Povey says:

The Surrey County Council community fund (your money) is now live on the SCC website. This is a large capital fund for community projects that residents can suggest. You can comment on the suggestions that are put up. There are two that have been suggested so far for Cranleigh, a Biodiversity and Sustainability Education Centre and a Mentoring Programme. Please take a look. Suggestions can be made in outline first and a full business case can follow later.

So what’s his next giveaway? Don’t hold your breath… 

In the caption below County Cllr Andrew Povey reveals the electric charging points that villagers won’t be plugging in to – and asks to hear residents’ views?

Views? Nil Point – comes to mind. Is it time to move over Dr Povey?

The electric charging points that Cranleigh & Villages – won’t be plugging in to!

Come on Waverley residents? Pile in to help Haslemere.

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The public consultation exercise on ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan Part 2 ends on January 29th – just nine days time.
Included in the plan are sites allocated for development in the borough – some highly controversial – others not so. It also includes a section on Gipsy & Traveller sites – where these should be situated and the number of pitches. 
Residents in Haslemere are claiming that ‘Your Waverley’ has acted on other Neighbourhood Plans in the borough except Haslemere’s by including the controversial ‘Red Court’ – pictured above –  in their allocation of sites. Residents claim by doing this they are ignoring the wishes of both the Haslemere Town Council and the local community.
So with time running out the people of Haslemere are asking everyone to ensure their voice is heard before January 29 – when the consultation closes.
Last night at Waverley’s Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee – head of planning Zac Ellwood told members the response to the consultation – so far – had been light with very few responses. However, he expected a rush of comments in the days leading up to its closure.
Outlining the timetable, after responses had been logged and reviewed, in April/May the final plan, which could include minor modifications, would go to the Secretary of State for examination in public by an Inspector. If sound it would become law between November and February 2022.  However, there could be further delays of several months if there were major issues around certain allocated sites.
I am not second guessing, but there has been a lot of debate in Haslemere about sites put forward, and we have to look carefully at the evidence.”
Many residents of Haslemere are up in arms at the proposed loss of this an important green space in their town and have been campaigning for several years to stop development there. Coming to a greenfield in Haslemere soon?
Mr Ellwood said Neighbourhood Plans for other areas including Chiddingfold and Dunsfold was progressing. However, Cranleigh’s Plan had been delayed as a site which it had relied upon would not now come forward for development, so its plan was at a different stage in its progress.
Officers faced a huge amount of work over the coming months, and this was the “calm before the storm.” Staff would need to move fast to meet the time-scale – stressing the adoption of Local Plan Part 2 was vital to show that Waverley had a 5-year land supply.
Developers want to build a phased development (50 homes in phase 1) of 180 homes on The Red Court site off Scotland Lane. Developers Redwood plans to build many more if/when it gets the go-ahead in an Area of Great Landscape Value and Outstanding Natural Beauty on the edge of the South Downs National Park Scotland Lane/Red Court, (AGLV/bordering AONB land, part of the biodiversity-rich Wealden Heath.)
They claim Waverley would be acting in blatant contravention of its own NFFP Government policy. Over 500 objection have been made – however, the Waverley Web wonders if these have been directed at the Consultation on LP2? Hence the call to make their voices heard NOW before it is too late!
Despite 89% of residents being opposed to the plan – three Tory Conservative councillors voted for the Red Court site to be included in LP2.

 

Have trolley – will travel for ‘Your Waverley.’

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You could trawl through Waverley Council’s  Overview & Scrutiny Value for Money Committee Agenda for its meeting this week – however, you could lose the will to live! So here at the Waverley Web one of our blokes with nothing better to do trawled through until he got to page 190 where he found this?  So there you have it – we, the ratepayers bought a supermarket on 1st December – just in time for Christmas. ‘ Your Waverley’ has won the Supermarket Sweep.

I

I’ve been shopping – says ‘Your Waverley’s Deputy Leader Paul Follows.

 

However, thankfully we have this information posted on the Waverley Web comments page from Deputy `Leader ~Paul Follows – who is as good as his word about being “transparent honest and open with us” – the voting fodder.

Here’s what he had to say:

‘So let’s try and answer some of the questions:’

1) We (WBC) own the freehold;
2) the tenant is M&S in West Wickham (specifically an M&S Food)
3) we have factored in their plans when the current lease is up for renewal.

More detail now available in the public domain, please see the VfM reports pack on the WBC website for the meeting of that committee next week.

So our sticking a pin in the map wasn’t far wrong – though our guys first thought the supermarket was in Hampshire, but then Kent.

Reading other reports of meetings to be held this week it is quite obvious that unless councils make investments like these to generate further income – in a few years time they will go BUST! It would appear this year it gets NO Government grant. So we’re home alone folks!

 This is due to central government’s year by year plan, to strip local authorities  (especially Borough and district councils) of proper funding.

 There is no doubt that some councils – including several in Surrey – have overstepped the bounds of prudent housekeeping, but Waverley has restrained itself with the exception of Brighwells which is funded by circa £53m of Surrey County Council’s pension-fund money. A move which scared the previous conservative administration witless, but which, despite many warnings, it carried on regardless. Only time will tell if Farnham’s Brightwells is a big golden egg or a big white elephant? It hopes to open the development in July – with the Reel Cinema opening in August.

The new administration with Mark Merryweather at the helm as Portfolio Holder for Finance has struck a different tone completely with open and honest accounting. The supermarket investment mentioned is a four-year contract to generate funds to balance the books that have been stripped by the pandemic (HM Government is not keeping its promises to cover losses of revenue due to the lockdowns, despite pledges to the contrary) Communities Minister Robert Jenrick promises councils will not be out of pocket by Covid-19. But ‘ Your Waverley’ is not so sure.