This is the stash of drugs picked up by a one-year-old toddler out for a walk in the park.
Wouldn’t Jack Phillips be turning in his watery grave if he knew that this stash was found next to the kiddies swings – where it could have killed, or seriously injured a child!
Where better to dump your drugs than in the Memorial Garden dedicated to a hero of the Titanic!
Jack Phillips, the wireless operator who died at his post whilst sending SOS signals on that fateful night of 14 April 1912 when The Titanic sank in the fateful collision with an iceberg.
The Jack Phillips Memorial Cloister garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll, with its magnificent brick cloister 80 feet square designed by Hugh Thackeray Turner, was laid out, built and opened exactly two years to the day after the sinking of the Titanic. The memorial is situated between the River Wey and Godalming Parish Church in the Phillips Memorial Park.
The Phillips Memorial Cloister. Photographs courtesy of John Young.
Within the cloister, the Wireless and Telegraph Company commissioned and had erected a memorial stone tablet to the perpetual honour of this brave man,
Memorial Stone Tablet, Godalming Museum Collection
Phillips family grave (photograph by John Young)
On the 90th anniversary of the loss of the Titanic, in April 2002, Godalming Town Council refurbished the Phillips family grave of Jack’s father, George, and his mother, Ann, and twin sisters, Elsie and Ethel, in the Nightingale Cemetery, Deanery Road. In the centre of a six-foot square curb all in white marble, is an obelisk in the shape of an iceberg, a fitting memorial to Godalming hero Jack Phillips.
During one of the most ill-tempered planning meetings, the Waverley Web has ever witnessed, it became apparent that Haslemere is not only full of NIMBY’s (Not in my backyard) but BANANA’S. (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone – in Haslemere!) Ok, ok we used a bit of poetic licence! But you get the gist.
Tempers rose higher than the stifling temperature inside Waverley Towers last night as councillors grappled with a controversial scheme proposed by Winchester based developer – Alfred Homes. It wants to build 50 two/three and four-bed homes at Red Court in Scotland Lane, 15 of which are “affordable.”
Did the Western Planning Committee give the scheme the green light?
A big Fat NO, despite being unable to come up with any plausible PLANNING reasons. They left it to the council’s officers to figure it out for themselves having. REFUSED the scheme by 5 votes to seven with two abstentions.
Is that an appeal – with costs awarded against ‘Your Waverley’ we see coming on?
Despite giving colleagues a piece of her mind about the borough’s duty, and the duty of individual towns and villages to identify sites for development, Farnham’s Cllr Carole Cockburn may just as well have saved her valuable breath.
Parts of Farnham’s countryside are being developed faster than you can say the word concrete. The same applied to Cranleigh, Godalming, Farnham and small villages like Alfold cried the experienced councillor recently awarded a BEM for masterminding Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan.
“We are here to make decisions for the whole borough of Waverley all 130 thousand people -not just one part of it. Everyone has to take their fair share of development and with 990 homes earmarked for Haslemere, it hasn’t got anywhere near meeting its allocation. What about the 2,000in the countryside in Cranleigh 400 in the countryside in the village of Alfold and as for Dunsfold and Farnham, thousands more!
We, and they, didn’t want to lose our green fields either, but our Neighbourhood plan earmarked sites, unlike Haslemere! We might as well say – goodbye to Weybourne and Badshot Lea!”
Earlier the Agent acting for the developer said Haslemere’s had so far met only just over 200 of its allocation of 990 homes.
Alfold with only just over 400 households is already providing twice as many as Haslemere and three appeals in the pipeline for many hundreds more! But then their little voice is not quite as loud as those in Haslemere!
Some councillors said they didn’t want to be pilloried for granting permission for development adjacent to homes already built in AGLV (Area of Great ~Landscape Value.)
Blame the Conservative Government – they cried. They want to bury the South East of England under homes we don’t want or need. Write to your MP’s they cried.
Cllr Simon Dear rubbished the validity of the deluge of objection letters to a low-density scheme adjacent to nearby homes, with decent gardens and outside space that was near the town centre of Haslemere and only 20 mins from the railway station.
He said they came from addresses from as far afield as Pontypool to Petworth, Glasgow to Bournemouth, Birmingham and Bognor. He called it a contrived opposition operation in deceit and exaggeration.
Chairman David Beaman said residents had made accusations that a decision to GRANT was a ‘done deal.’
Oh, dear! There’s nothing like an Englishman’s defence of his castle – especially if you live in Scotland Lane and Scotland Close, Haslemere.
Public speakers and Haslemere councillors claimed there we other more suitable sites on which to build.
Chief planning Officer Zac Ellwood said whilst every effort was made to represent public opinion, he warned, that councillors were there to determine this particular application, not listen to arguments put forward for alternative sites.
It was the opinion of planning officers that the harm was outweighed by the benefits. The scheme was sustainable, met all planning policies in the NPPF including the most recent additions received today. He reiterated officers concerns over Waverley’s lack of a five-year housing land supply. (It stands currently at 4.26) The argument of the lack of water supply could not be challenged as Thames Water had raised no objection. No objection from Natural England or Surrey Highways.
However, Waverley Mayor and Haslemere town councillor John Robini told his colleagues:
“You shouldn’t be afraid of appeals – we don’t want expensive housing for commuters. We have to hang on to our precious and dwindling number of greenfield sites.”
Presumably, he meant as long as they are in Haslemere? Bugger the rest of the borough!
Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman made the argument for refusing the application on the grounds of the lack of an Appropriate Assessment and the effects of the Special Protection Area on the Wealden Heath 5m from the site. He said the officers did not have an AA? – They said they did! He said they didn’t, they said they did! At which point we are not sure who had the hot flush. Cllr Carole or Officer Zac? Suffice to say – all were the colour purple!
Farnham Residents’ Cllr Kika Mirylees clip.
The WW has to admit to losing the will to live while councillors wrangled over trying to find enough reason for the officers to have any defence whatsoever, for, not IF, but WHEN, the application goes to appeal.
Said poor old Zac.
“To be blunt – you must provide us with your reasons for refusal – we are working blind here. Just give us your clear reasons.”
At which point – we left the webcast and let them all fight out between themselves to come up with some VALID planning reasons that they simply couldn’t find.
Comment on the decision from Waverley’s Leader Paul Follows.
Cllr. Paul David Follows
Red Court application in #Haslemere is REFUSED by the Western Pla. of WBC – a great victory for residents, progressive councillors and the community at large. Brownfield over green should ALWAYS be preferred. Guess what – the only people that voted for it were the local Tories.
And there we were here at the Waverley Web actually believing that Planning came before Politics?
Can you Adam and Eve it – the Alfold and Dunsfold councillor who opposed a new Garden Village at Dunsfold Aerodrome has now scuppered Waverley’s bid to stay shtum on buying the 600-acre site.
Kevin De anus just couldn’t contain himself when he rocked up at a recent Alfold Parish Council meeting. He let the cat straight out of the bag, blabbing to parish councillors that he didn’t agree with Waverley spending taxpayers’ money on buying Dunsfold Aerodrome!
Of course, he probably felt entirely comfortable alluding to the fact that behind closed doors – quite sensibly on this occasion for “commercially sensitive reasons” – the borough council wanted to keep its powder dry.
With only a couple of members of the public present, one of whom the Waverley Web understands was snoozing – just going to prove the not so old adage, You snooze, you lose! – and the other a parish councillor’s husband – a man who never dares utters a word – Alfold PC is as close as you can get to the KGB outside of The Kremlin!
Alfold Parish Council, on the Surrey/Sussex border, has demonstrated repeatedly over the years, that it can do whatever it likes, without any complaint from the public. Why? You may well ask! Because nobody attends the Alfold parish council meetings: meeting dates aren’t advertised on the Alfold Village Network, the font of all knowledge about Alfold. Neither have the meeting Minutes appeared since October 2020! Presumably, the Clerk can’t be arsed to inform the public … Or maybe Alfold parishioners simply don’t care what goes on in their locale. But, as far as Alfold Parish Council is concerned, they stand by that old Navy adage of Mind over Matter: We [the Parish Council] don’t mind and they [the residents] don’t matter!
Perhaps all the newcomers flooding into Alfold’s ever-expanding new developments will pick Alfold PC up by its fraying bootlaces and shake it until it rattles? Even the football club has been taken on by players from as far afield as Crawley Town? What’s local about that and, more pertinently – how the hell did that happen?
It appears to some who have contacted us, that Alfold Parish Council has gone to pot under the ‘leadership’ – we use the word advisedly, you understand – of Penny Main since the former chairman left. Talk about grabbing the Main Chance!
We understand from a villager, who heard it on the grapevine, that Cllr Deanus’s little indiscretion met with stony silence. Except for Cllr ‘Little Britain’ who bemoaned all the noise emanating from the aerodrome. No doubt little Britain would love for Waverley Borough Council to OWN the Aerodrome. Then he could leverage his influence to show them what’s what!
Come back Beverley ‘Crystal Tipps’ Wedall all is forgiven! After all, it can’t be nearly as much fun running Guildford MP Angela Richardson’s office as it was laundering all that ‘Protect Our Waverley’ money to stop the development at Dunsfold? A bid that delayed development there for three years, peed off Trinity College Cambridge – and heavily influenced the College’s decision to do a heavy-duty doo-doo all over ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan!
If Dunsfold Garden Village had got out of the starting blocks three years ago – before the advent of Covid and the New Bursar, Richard Turncoat – Alfold wouldn’t now be on schedule to quadruple in size! And who does it have to thank for that? None other than Councillor Little Britten & his cohort Bob Liars – who’s he? You might well ask as defeated, he disappeared back into the obscurity he came from! Wonder if POW ever paid Waverley’s costs? Thereby hangs another tale?
Meanwhile, back to ‘Your Waverley,’ which is keeping its bid quiet in the hope, it may become a ‘preferred bidder’ when Trinity College Cambridge finally gets down to spinning the roulette wheel. Where will the red ball drop this time we wonder? Who will be the new purchaser? The Chinese – in which case, hold onto your hats, because they’ll have built London’s third runway there before even thinking about asking for permission! … Or Lakshi Mittal, who might turn it into Britain’s new steel-making plant, cos there’s no denying there’s a real shortage of steel at the moment! … Or will it be George Lucas and Tom Cruise, hell-bent on filming blockbusters there? In which case, we all need to reach for our hardhats and ear muffs if the Mission Impossible franchise is anything to go by!
Never mind that Waverley desperately needs the promised housing at the Aerodrome to help it meet its five-year land supply – which now stands at a miserable 4.26 years. With Thakeham Homes now launching its appeal against the refusal to build homes on the Springbok Estate land owned by Care Ashore, what we predicted all those months ago, could be about to come true …
With the site only a hop skip and a jump away from the airfield – and the proposed new Wings Museum – we could end up with a new garden village called…
Surrey MPs in a bid to protect their backsides have told Housing Secretary the county’s housing figures are too high.
Guildford Borough’s MPs (left to right): Michael Gove (Surrey Heath), Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley), Jonathan Lord (Woking) and Angela Richardson (Guildford).
Surrey’s MPs met recently with the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick and say they have made it “abundantly clear” that the housing figures for Surrey should be reduced. They claim there is…
“a grave danger that bad decisions will be made on the basis of bad data.”
However, it is widely known that Surrey MP’s are acutely aware that their strong Tory base is shrinking. This was emphasised by the county council election resuts in May. This combined with previous borough council elections when former Tory-controlled councils lost control. The change of allegiance of disenchanted voters has been marked in Waverley and neighbouring boroughs. The proposed changes in the Government’s White paper, which reduces the strength of the local voice still further, whilst forcing yet more housing (little of which is actually “affordable”) into Green Belt and the countryside is proving increasingly unpopular.
With shrinking majorities and with the Liberal Democrats snapping at their heels Waverley MP’s SW Surrey, Jeremy Hunt and Guildford & Villages, Angela Richardson, are worried, very worried.
Publicly, Guildford and villages MP Angela Richardson says she doesn’t believe the Conservatives will lose their grip of the ‘safe seats’ in Surrey. Despite the shock by-election win for the Lib Dems in Buckinghamshire, where she canvassed last month. However, privately she knows her future political fortunes rely on her constituents willingness to accept wholesale development on her patch. There is widespread unease about the number of appeals stacking up on her patch.
The Conservatives’ planning policy reform proposals were cited as a key reason for the result in Chesham and Amersham on June 18 and with development constantly top of the agenda here too, some insist a similar upheaval could be seen the next time Surrey residents vote.
In Guildford, Lib Dem candidate Zoe Franklin was more than 17,000 votes behind former Conservative MP Anne Milton six years ago. But this margin was slashed to a mere 3,337 two years later when Mrs Richardson triumphed, a trend replicated across various Surrey constituencies.
Mrs Richardson believes the defeat in the traditionally Conservative Buckinghamshire seat will make her party’s top officials listen more closely to the views of MPs on the ground within the home counties. Privately, she is known to have said she is concerned that if housing quotas earmarked for her constituency are realised, she will be in very big trouble. She says, neither infrastructure nor services ar keeping up with the present growth – let alone a further increase. Post pandemic traffic congestion is rising as more people return to work.
However, Mrs Richardson said:
“I am not worried. The by-election result means the party will be listening even more intently to what people like me are saying in places like this, and there is plenty of opportunity for me to make the case to ministers.
“However, the one thing I would do is push back hard against the Lib Dems as in councils across the UK they run, numbers of new houses often exceed the figure required to be built.“They need to be careful not to say one thing to the electorate and do another. They need to be consistent. Everyone accepts we need housing that is affordable in places that are growing.
“If Guildford is dynamic, thriving and has the inward investment, it will create jobs and opportunities and we need to ensure we have houses for those people coming.”
Development is a contentious topic in Cranleigh which falls under Mrs Richardson’s wing. Many residents fume that they are unfairly taking the lion’s share of housing compared to Godalming, Farnham and Haslemere. But Cranleigh and the eastern villages have been earmarked by Surrey County Council as a growth area. They recently kicked out Tory Andrew Povey and replaced him with Lib Dem Liz Townsend. Pictured here yesterday with Waverley’s Leader Paul Follows visiting Cranleigh.
However, the New-Zealand born politician who lives in Ewhurst is adamant that as a former Cranleigh parish councillor, she speaks up for their best interests at every opportunity.
She added: “It is simply because they are in the countryside beyond the green belt and haven’t had the protection so, within the Waverley Local Plan, the village was made to absorb housing that was not able to go into large areas of Waverley.
“Cranleigh has taken a big number of development sites but we are not seeing the infrastructure come along with it. That frustrates my constituents the most.
“Dunsfold is in my patch and was meant to be coming through but now it has been delayed, the concern is Waverley will not have the housing numbers to meet the targets set on them by the government.
“Then, the council will be penalised and have to find an additional 20 per cent. The worry is they will come and have a look for space in Cranleigh again, as the other sites are green belt protected.”
So what can be done to protect Cranleigh now? Mrs Richardson insists Waverley should be looking at its own brownfield assets for building such as car parks and offices, especially to replenish social housing stock.
Two of Angela Richardson’s fellow Waverley MP Jeremy Hunt opposed development on the largest brownfield site in the borough of Waverley at Dunsfold. Together with MP Anne Milton they had it called into the Secretary of State – delaying the development for years. It is now up for sale.
It’s hot, it’s holiday time and it’s Surrey Highway’s favourite time of year.
Wonersh Parish Council calling all motorists.
Communication from Surrey County Council regarding the closure of the B2128 between Wonersh and Shamley Green next week and the impact upon bus services and routes.
This is to make you aware of the upcoming closure of Cranleigh Road, Wonersh and the impact it will have on some local bus services in your area.
Due to dangerous trees in urgent need of felling, Cranleigh Road, Wonersh will be closed for 3 days from Wednesday 21st July (09:30 – 16:00 only).
As a result of this closure, the Arriva 53/63 will be on diversion between Shalford and Cranleigh during the above hours only. From Shalford, the bus will divert via Christmas Hill/Kings Road/Wonersh Common to Wonersh, and will not serve stops between Shalford and Bramley on the A281 Horsham Road as usual.
From Wonersh it will then travel along The Street/Station Road towards Bramley, serving all stops as usual, albeit on the opposite side of the road from normal. From Bramley, the service will then travel to Cranleigh via the A281 and Elmbridge Road, through Birtley Green, Grafham and Elmbridge Village. It will pick up its normal line of route from Guildford Road in Cranleigh (near to Cranleigh Common).
This diversion will also apply in reverse for the Arriva 53/63 travelling from Cranleigh to Shalford.
Due to this diversion Shamley Green, Stroud Common and Rowly will not be served between 09:30 and 16:00 from Wednesday 21st July for 3 days. We have instead arranged for a free hourly shuttle bus service to be provided to local residents, operating between Shamley Green (starting at the “Nursery Hill” bus stops) and Cranleigh town centre. Passengers wishing to travel towards Guildford can use this service to get to Cranleigh and catch a bus back towards Guildford (such as the Arriva 53/63 and Compass 24 services).
We are aware that Wednesday 21st July is the last day of term at Glebelands School in Cranleigh. As a result, we have asked that the shuttle bus serves the school (via the bus stops on Parsonage Road) to help children who live in Shamley Green, Stroud Common and Rowly to get back home. We expect to have a copy of the shuttle bus timetable available.
WW: (Go to the Wonersh PC Facebook Page – far easier than navigating the SCC site as there are dozens of road works all over the Waverley borough.)
We will also update the Surrey County Council website once all the details have been finalised.
But in the days since so many shops and businesses have been forced to close, there are now too many to mention, and the situation is changing as we type! We apologise most sincerely to Godalming’s Naval Club for mentioning that it was closed. It isn’t and has full safety measures in place to ensure its customers remain safe.
However, with rising infection rates, we are hesitant to put up a figure as earlier this week it was rising by 30% in Waverley, higher still in other areas and particularly high in Woking.
Here’s another typical message popping up faster than daisies in our towns and villages across Waverley.
So that’s OK then? Waverley Planners are satisfied that the benefits of Harry Hall’s application to cover 90 acres in big white plastic polytunnels outweigh the detrimental impact on residents, heritage buildings, and the road network near Milford. So up goes the green light for an industrial-size fruit factory.
Fruit farming has been going on here for the past 20 years!
WA/2020/2055: Retention of 20 hectares of polytunnels throughout the year (5.6 hectares heated by heat pumps drawing heat from the on-site reservoir, 14.4 hectares without heating), (located in particular fields identified as acceptable) on Tuesley Farm, Tuesley Lane, Godalming. 40 further hectares of polytunnels to be on-site (in fields identified as acceptable for polytunnels) from 1st April until 31st October; with the retention of hoops on the further 40 hectares of polytunnels (removing the plastic covers only between 1st November and 1st April).
Owner Harry Hall gave an upbeat take on his fruit farming operations which provided 2% and 3 million tonnes of the country’s blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Employing 130 Full Time staff and 500 seasonal workers. Consent would increase the growing season and boost production by 15%. Local fruit would reduce the carbon footprint of fruit from overseas.
Councillor Richard Seaborne, whose history reveals loves to build on the Green Belt (unless it is to change the use of a hotel garden and tennis court, into a residential garden tennis court) asked for the application to be considered by the Eastern Area Planning Committee. The application was deferred in April which resulted in Natural England changing its original objection to support!
It also allowed the Secretary of State to give his seal of approval to the massive proliferation of polytunnels across the Green Belt. Saying the scheme didn’t need an Environmental Impact Assessment.
Does Robert”Bob The Builder’ Jenrick really want The Tories kicked out at the next general election?
Though we have to mention that Cranleigh’s Lib Dem councillor Ruth Reed waxed lyrical about the benefits of…
Blueberries on my breakfast cereal and strawberries at Wimbledon!
Looking anything but merry, Mr Merriweather painted a gloomy picture on behalf of local residents adamantly opposed to living in a world of 90 acres of ugly white plastic and HGV’s from 5 am in the morning until 11 pm thundering through country roads like Station Lane Milford! But his appeals to stop the expansion from a large to an industrial-sized fruit farming operation fell on some very deaf ears. Councillors listened – but they either didn’t hear or ignored his pleas.
Because the application was approved by 11 votes to two with one abstention.
However, the lone voice of a brave Waverley Tree officer had described the proposed operation to supply 2% of the country’s fruit from an ocean of polytunnels as…
A blot on Waverley’s landscape.”
But everyone was assured that Surrey County Council Highways was happy there would be no increase in HGV traffic due to the expansion. So everyone slumped back in their seats in the certain knowledge that everyone can always rely on SCC highways to get it right?
However, that didn’t satisfy Alfold’s former Bobby Cllr Kevin Deanus. A man who knows a thing or two about traffic.
He said the report before them stated…
“HGV’s are delivering to the site – carefully,” to a background of laughter -he said – if I ever see one that is careful – I will let everyone know.”
He didn’t believe enough weight had been given to the impact on the heritage properties around the site. It would spoil the setting of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and he didn’t have confidence in experts who always contradicted each other. He believed lorry movements should be restricted, and should not move during school arrival and leaving times. Such restrictions were made at Dunsfold Park on lorry movements, so should be imposed here.
Like Cllr Deanus, the WW has often wondered what this well-rehearsed officers’ statement means:
“The development will cause less than substantial harm!”
Statements made in the officers report that Station Lane would be improved with wider pavements as a result of the Milford Golf Course development visibly upset Cllr Maxine Gail.
“There may be an economic benefit for Waverley, but none for the local residents!”
She reminded officers that the golf course development may not go ahead – and was covered by a restrictive covenant.
The application proposes to retain 20ha of polytunnels throughout the year, 5.6ha of which would be heated by pumps drawing heat from the on-site reservoir and 14.4ha unheated. The polytunnels to be heated would be those closest to the on-site reservoir. These fields are those that have been identified as acceptable for year-round coverage.
Permission is also sought for a further 40ha of polytunnels across the site in fields identified as being acceptable. These would be erected on-site between 1st April and 31st October. The plastic sheeting of the polytunnels would be removed between 1st November and 31st March each year, with the legs and hoops remaining.
The application is supported by a Transport Statement by Bellamy Roberts LLP which sets out that the proposal would not result in an increase in vehicular movements during peak times. The proposal would increase the picking season by approximately 2 months but would not impact upon yield at peak times. No material impact on road safety is considered to result.
The following plan shows the proposed extent of polytunnels and their locations across the farm.
The site description.
Green Belt – outside of Rural Settlement Area Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) Adjacent to Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Nearby Listed Buildings and Historic Parks and Gardens Heritage Features Flood Zones 2 and 3 Nearby SNCI Ancient Woodland Ancient Woodland 500m Buffer Z0ne Wealden Heaths I SPA 5km Buffer Zone Wealden Heaths I SAC 2km Buffer Zone Section 106 – original agreement in relation to application WA/2007//1962 with numerous variations since Area of High Archaeological Potential Footpath 162 Gas Pipe Line
The Aerodrome near Cranleigh has become the Surrey Hills answer to the Californian Home of Big-Budget Blockbusters. As in “Welcome to Hurtwood.”
Tom Cruise dropped in on Wimbledon and the European Cup fresh from filming ‘Mission Impossible,’ at Dunsfold and Winterfold. Is Waverley Council now embarking on its own mission – not entirely impossible – by bidding zillions to buy the largest brownfield site in the borough?
Bidding for Housing against Hollywood?
Is the Waverley Web putting two and two meetings behind closed doors together recently and making five? One of which was held last night?
The Overview & Scrutiny committee shut the doors on the public. But decided not to refer the decision made by the FULL COUNCIL last week back to the EXECUTIVE. However, the Tories who called it in for further scrutiny – gave the Executive a rap on the knuckles for not :
“holding enough interactive meetings with them , and not sharing information with them earlier.”
OH, dear! The Tories have their knickers in a knot again because that pesky opposition is being proactive… again! Here it is folks – you can hear what they want you to know right here – right now? Just leave it to us to tell you the rest.
PS Cllr Martin, you may think we weren’t still listening – but we were!
Has our council thrown its hat into the ring along with the big boys? Bidders, that include Warner Brothers and a few other movie moguls keen to snap up a nice little earner by being among those on the “Buy Dunsfold – Preferred Bidder List?”
Rumours are rife around the Dunsfold Homestead, so much so that ‘Little Britain’ the Alfold parish councillor who lives just a hop, skip and jump away from the site is beginning to hyperventilate. The man who previously played a lead role in ‘Protect our Waverley’ (POW) is now preparing to join”PHOBS’ – Protect his Own Backside – as he fears the worst. That, ‘Your Waverley’ may buy, and actually, build the 2,600 new home Dunsfold Garden Village! With lots and lots of really affordable homes.
Following Trinity College Cambridge’s decision to press the nuclear button and sell Dunsfold Park to the highest bidder, Waverley Council has been forced to admit it does not have a five-year housing supply. In fact only 4.2 years. The housing it expected to come on stream at Dunsfold Park is now delayed by at least two years and, worst-case scenario, delayed to sometime never if the film moguls get their way!
The name’s Cruise. Tom Cruise!
Others are convinced Surrey County Council may want to bid again. it tried to buy Dunsfold when it was sold to Trinity. Or perhaps the Chinese could expand its use as a private airfield, under cover of which they would establish a top-secret facility for overseas espionage overseen by the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the United Front Work Department and People’s Liberation Army …
Although most acknowledge that the airfield’s value is intrinsically linked to its existing planning consent for 1800 homes with another 500 (Total 2,300 or more) to follow over time, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that someone with deep pockets – such as the aforementioned Chinese government, a Russian oligarch (in plentiful supply in the Surrey Hills) or, whisper it who dares, local resident and Indian Steel Magnate, Lakshmi Mittal (reputed worth £19.3 billion!) will snap it up. After all, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a multi-billionaire must be in want of a private airstrip within cycling distance of his country estate! The eye-watering cost of acquiring Dunsfold Park would be small change to any of the aforementioned.
But, on a serious note, our sources tell us that Waverley Borough Council has been pooping its pants over the very real threat posed to its Local Plan by the potential loss of Dunsfold Park to any use other than housing. So that would account for all those “secret” meetings, during which the Tories are doing their utmost to shove a spanner in the works no doubt? After, all what a feather that would be in Leader Paul Follows cap?
Make no mistake, a delay in housing delivery at Dunsfold Park is a serious issue for Waverley. Hence its decision to join the bidding round.
Numerous developers and wannabe developers are drooling over the prospect as they feverishly measure up yet more fields in this green and pleasant borough. Many of whom have lined Tory grandees pockets with silver, in readiness for pending appeals they can’t fail to win now that the future of Dunsfold Park is, at worst, in the balance and at best, horribly delayed.
Meanwhile, while the reputation of Trinity College Cambridge is in tatters. So much for the College’s long-cherished and much-envied reputation for taking the long-view. We now all know it is only really interested in making a quick buck.
Trinity College is the wealthiest of all the Oxbridge colleges with published assets worth £1.3bn in its latest accounts
Dunsfold Park, with its Green Agenda and eco-credentials, should have been a jewel – if not THE jewel – in Trinity’s crown. But could it now become a scintillating jewel in Waverley’s crown?
One Waverley councillor told the Waverley Web…
Our Conservative predecessors and MP’s who were adamantly opposed to Dunsfold (the largest brownfield site in the borough) prompting years and years of delay, are now watching a complete volte face under the new administration’s strong leadership which is determined to do its utmost to make it happen, and they aren’t happy!”
Or – where does the buck actually stop at Waverley Towers?
Members of ‘Your Waverley’s Value for Money Overview & Scrutiny Committee – were -‘ not happy.’ Not the usual, ah well we all make mistakes ‘not happy,’ but really we have had enough not happy! Now that councillors are back in the council, having left their Zoom days behind, they want their paperwork to help their decision-making – not hinder it!
The reversion to the new normal has prompted councillors to demand that reports that included sections mistakenly copied and pasted by mistake from reports provided yonks back don’t occur. A few months back one plumply salaried officers giggled her way through her grudging apology for the cock-up, as if it was a huge joke! – No names, no pack drill, as they say in the British army.
Now – it is back to The Burys for some officers councillors say they want the officers who compile reports to up their game. Provide proper page-numbering and tracked changes.
Looking decidedly poo faced Cllr Steven Mulliner said:
“one of the biggest failures in the way that Waverley does its business is in its version control. It makes it difficult for councillors to know what has been changed in our reports. It makes a great deal of extra work and leads to uncertainty when we are dealing with different versions. This is a serious complaint – a complaint that has been made many times before and it is quite disappointing that it continually falls on deaf ears. I want the Chief Executive Officer to take this up. I want an explanation now on how this will be dealt with?”
Oh, dear! Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman has been rattling on for years about the inaccuracies, but then nobody takes any notice of what he says … do they? Others echoed the same concerns, saying the frequency of errors is increasing and they want to be supplied with tracked changes.
So up popped a very apologetic CEO Tom Horwood to agree. “Yes,” he said the problem had grown in frequency. “It is happening a great deal more” and if he was given examples in an e-mail he would be reminding colleagues to do more to address the issue.
We thought some of our followers may be experiencing the same problems as Grumpy of Alfold. ‘Trying’ is an understatement as frustrated motorists navigate their way around the proliferation of roadworks. Some of which are a disgrace to the road-laying profession. Some resurfaced with tar and chipping are already showing signs of chipping wear, and have required remedial action. Perhaps Surrey highway officers should take a trip across the border into Sussex on the A281 – where its roads are resurfaced properly with bituminous macadam?
We received this from Alfold resident Denise Wordsworth.
“I have no problem with SCC doing roadworks and I think we all welcome them, our roads are a mess… But for goodness sake give us the correct information, such as making sure the actual dates of the roadworks are accurate?? make the Signage & Diversion signs accurate. Make sure if you have closed the road there is someone actually …
… DOING SOMETHING
Also, perhaps recognise there are certain parts of the borough where diversions are not applicable because the Road Infrastructure is so LIMITED ie East to West. So do the damn figures, and work out how people are supposed to get to work when you cannot be bothered to inform us how we get from A to B – These roadworks have been shambolic, to say the least.
I would hope that someone, like Richard Cooper from SCC – who smiles his way through Planning Applications and says there is no issue with the road Infrastructure here in the East would explain the chaos this has caused us and the rest of Waverley. We drove through countless Villages that said the roads were closed – But obviously NOT. If I can read the long-range weather forecast it doesn’t take a rocket scientist from SCC to do the same if the rubbish weather is the issue????
After a 2.5hr round trip to Hindhead from Alfold on Saturday morning – It was enough to make my blood boil – Now I have the same issue during the working week and with the next batch in June – I will have to go with the rush hour to avoid the 9 am Closures on the A281 at Graffham. – Why not at least make it traffic lights so you know you can get through albeit planning for a delay?
There is a complete disconnect between these people at Surrey County Council and those that live in the Villages that have no train stations nearby they can WALK /CYCLE – not like us who have no access to Hospitals etc, without access to the A281.
WHEN WILL SOMEONE WAKE UP?
This is what makes me so Bally angry with all this Planning Vs Sustainability – It must now be obvious that where we are here in Alfold and the surrounding villages there is NOTHING Sustainable… They close the A281 and our businesses and our lives suffer!
WAKE UP WAVERLEY and SCC
I just hope some of the councillors that read your site WW will take this on board and do something about it – Because at the moment I have heard nothing other than “Sorry more roadworks!………..” Just not good enough. I am a tiny self-employed person – But sure there are plenty of other more substantial businesses that are feeling it worse.
Really GRUMPY from ALFOLD Denise
Sadly Denise -nobody takes any notice of anything that we say. However, we live in hopes that our new Surrey County Councillors, like the couple featured here, can make some impact now they are all covered up and ready to roll! How they will all recognise one another is quite another question?
Farnham Company Biocompatibles UK – has gone to greener pastures in Ireland and Gordon Murray Designs has ditched its plan to build a new multi-million headquarters at Dunsfold Park and has gone to Windlesham?
The Farnham medical technology company once operated with a large workforce from the Farnham Business Park. The medical technology company works in the field of drug-device combination products and was acquired by BTG plc – the pharmaceutical giant in 2010.
Approved oncology products were supplied and marketed from its facilities in the Farnham Industrial Estate in Weydon Lane and in Oxford, Connecticut in the USA. Now the company is moving to Ireland.
Biocompatibles announced in 2018 an R&D agreement with US firm Boston Scientific Corp to develop its main product, a coated surgical stent, in the areas of vascular and arterial-venous grafts. Since then it has gone from strength to strength.
The company signed distribution deals with firms in France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Argentina, Slovenia and the Czech Republic to market its stents.
In 2011 BTG ACQUIRED BIOCOMPATIBLES UK -Boston Scientific as part of its strategy of acquiring niche, high-value products targeting the specialist hospital market.
At the time it said: “ This is an excellent opportunity to combine its commercial infrastructure with Biocompatibles’ specialist products.” The enhanced resources of the enlarged group will allow accelerated investment in Biocompatibles’ products and development pipeline. The addition of revenues from Biocompatibles was expected to increase BTG’s full-year revenues by about £5m from its previous guidance of £93m to £97m.
Louise Makin, BTG’s chief executive, said:
“Through the acquisition we are creating a growing, financially robust, international specialist healthcare business.”
The industrial side of Dunsfold Park was all set to welcome the impressive Headquarters of the Gordon Murray Group. Then Oops off its goes to Windelsham – leaving behind just the manufacturing facility at Dunsfold Park.
Was the long delay in getting the go-ahead for the new Garden Village, behind its decision to go elsewhere?
The car designer recently unveiled a £250m expansion of its automotive business as it taps the burgeoning demand for electric vehicles.
Mohr Davidow is pumping the money into The Gordon Murray Group in addition to £50m the venture capitalist has already committed to fund the new headquarters for the company.
A scheme was approved by Waverley planners for a new headquarters in 2019.
The new UK headquarters that was planned for Dunsfold Park – and which is now in Windlesham!
Over the next five years, the business will increase research and development and create a division focused on design and engineering for environmentally-friendly electric vehicles. This will also include developing electric power trains that will be used by global car companies. The company expects to generate another 200 jobs at its base in Windlesham and at Dunsfold where the manufacturing is carried out.
Hailed as one of the premier automotive designers Prof Murray was behind the McLaren F1 road car and also claimed five Formula 1 championship as technical director of the Brabham and McLaren racing teams.
Surge testing for the Indian variant of the coronavirus will begin on Wednesday in postcodes bordering our borough of Waverley.
Surge testing will begin tomorrow after confirmed cases of the variant first identified in India have shown up in the areas of Rushmoor and Hart in Hampshire, and some areas of Aldershot, Ash and Ash Vale.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed on Monday (May 24) that the testing plan would be rolled out around Rushmoor and Hart in Hampshire, as well as some postcodes in Ash and Ash Vale all on the borders of Waverley.
Residents and people working in the affected postcodes – GU11, GU12, GU51 and GU52 – will be invited to take a test. They cover towns such as Aldershot and Fleet, plus the surrounding areas.
The GU12 postcode covers the area to the east of Aldershot and takes into account Ash and Ash Vale, meaning those in the Surrey areas can get tested.
Broadly, all of Ash and Ash Vale will be affected,
It comes after the confirmation of a small number of confirmed cases of the variant first identified in India. All the confirmed cases have been told to self-isolate and their contacts have been identified.
All those aged 12 and over who live and work in the affected postcodes will be strongly encouraged to take a coronavirus PCR test from today Wednesday (May 26), regardless of whether they are showing symptoms.
Residents will be able to take a test at one of a number of mobile units that will be open for two weeks from Wednesday.
Further testing is also being deployed at a school in Hampshire, which started on Monday.
PS. Here’s the latest highway update for roadworks in Waverley – just in case you are trying to get anywhere soon!
As workmen busy themselves scrubbing out the Berkeley Bunnies phone number from the Woolmead hoardings in Farnham now who do you call for information?
But I do know a thing or two about a controversial development in my constituency.
BERKLEY WOOLMEAD DEVELOPMENT update from SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt.
Yesterday I requested up to date information on what is happening with this frustrating Farnham development after a number of community group concerns.
I have now heard back from Tom Horwood, CEO at Waverley that the current hearing will remain open until the 26th of this month to allow for the Inspector’s site visit, Waverley’s statement and the appellant’s final comments – thereafter, the Inspector will begin deliberations. With regards to the management of the project,
Waverley has not heard anything about a takeover by someone other than Berkeley and pointed out that the appeal was made on behalf of Berkeley Homes.
Here’s the background to a decision made by Waverley `planners, which has led to the Appeal hearing which is currently taking place.
Cllr John Neale said at the time the permission was refused.
“Does the developer really want to risk damaging its brand by building a blot on the landscape in Farnham? It is a big concern that the site could go undeveloped, however the people Farnham would prefer to take that risk. The longer it is delayed, the more it will cost“
Cllr Dear congratulated Mr Gilchrist, of Berkeley, for being able to keep a straight face during his presentation, ‘as I sincerely could not understand the construction costs or the Independent Viability Report – and that is with 35 years experience in the business.’ He said the developer was trying to drive a coach and horses through both Waverley and Surrey’s established planning and transport policies to the detriment of our town.
Cllr Peter Clark said: “The very fact that Waverley’s planning officers could support this gives me great cause for concern.”
Here’s the background to a decision made by Waverley `planners, which has led to the current appeal hearing.
Following Trinity College Cambridge’s new bursar – Richard Turncoat’s – decision to press the nuclear button and sell Dunsfold Park to the highest bidder, Waverley Borough Council has been forced to admit it does not have a five-year housing supply. The housing it was expecting to come on stream at Dunsfold Park from 2022 is now delayed by at least two years and, worst-case scenario delayed to sometime never!
Rumours abound that the overwhelming influx of Hollywood blockbusters being filmed in and around Waverley, both at Dunsfold Park itself and across the Hurtwood, could see the former aerodrome being snapped up by a movie mogul who would think nothing of paying gazillions to secure the aerodrome’s exclusive use for future projects.
The name’s Cruise. Tom Cruise!
Indeed, this has led some local wags to suggest that the Surrey Hills should invest in its own riposte to the American landmark Hollywood sign that is situated on Mount Lee, in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains. It would certainly make an interesting addition to Lord Justice James’ seat.
Forget HOLLYWOOD … WELCOME TO HURTWOOD!
Others are convinced the Chinese are going to buy the aerodrome and expand its use as a private airfield, under cover of which they would establish a top-secret facility for overseas espionage overseen by the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the United Front Work Department and People’s Liberation Army ...
Although most acknowledge that the airfield’s value is intrinsically linked to its existing planning consent for 1800 homes with another 500 (Total 2,300) to follow over time, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that someone with deep pockets – such as the aforementioned Chinese government, a Russian oligarch (in plentiful supply in the Surrey Hills) or, whisper it who dares, local resident and Indian Steel Magnate, Lakshmi Mittal (reputed worth £19.3 billion!) will snap it up. After all, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a multi-billionaire must be in want of a private airstrip within a hop, skip and a jump of his country estate! The eye-watering cost of acquiring Dunsfold Park would be small change to any of the aforementioned.
But, on a serious note, our sources tell us that Waverley Borough Council is now pooping its pants over the very real threat posed to its Local Plan by the potential loss of Dunsfold Park to any use other than housing.
Make no mistake, a delay in housing delivery at Dunsfold Park is a serious issue for Waverley and numerous developers and would-be developers are licking their lips and rubbing their hands in glee as they feverishly measure up yet more fields in this green and pleasant borough and begin racking up fees for planning applications and budgeting for appeals they can’t fail to win now that the future of Dunsfold Park is, at worst, in the balance and, at best, horribly delayed.
Meanwhile, the reputation of Trinity College Cambridge and its new bursar – Richard Turncoat – is in tatters. So much for the College’s long-cherished and much-envied reputation for taking the long-view. Mr Turncoat’s only interested in making a quick buck.
Trinity College is the wealthiest of all the Oxbridge colleges with published assets worth £1.3bn in its latest accounts, compared with St John’s College, Oxford lagging way, way behind with a mere £600m in assets.
For Trinity’s sake – not to mention his own – one can only hope Richard Turncoat knows what he’s doing and doesn’t get his finger’s – not to mention the college’s coffers – burnt with his fire sale of Dunsfold Park. With its Green Agenda and eco-credentials, Dunsfold Park should have been a jewel – if not THE jewel – in Trinity’s crown. Forget Extinction Rebellion protestors digging up your hallowed lawns, Mr Turncoat, it will be angry Waverley residents digging up your runway in protest at the College’s broken promises!
Indeed rumour has it that Thakeham Homes will name its development at Springbok in Alfold – Richard Turnill Estate in honour of the man whose actions laid the foundations for them securing planning permission, against all the odds, to concrete over yet another few acres of the borough of Waverley!
One Waverley councillor told the Waverley Web…
Looks as though our Conservative predecessors who were adamantly opposed to Dunsfold whih prompted years of delay, may now have inflicted a mortal wound on the whole of this borough? There are a lot of very worried people around here!
I was elected to Waverley Borough Council by the residents of the Godalming Central and Ockford Ward a little over 3 years ago at the end of 2017 and I was the sole Lib Dem member of the council.
In 2019 those same residents (and nearly 900 more) honoured me with re-election and following the wider success of like-minded groups across the borough – I helped negotiate a cross-party alliance with the leaders of all of the non-conservative groups to form a new administration at Waverley Borough Council and served as its Deputy Leader from that point.
This week I was honoured to be nominated and then elected to be the next Leader of Waverley Borough Council (proposed by Cllr Penny Rivers and seconded by Cllr Andy Macleod). Elected by a majority of councillors and all 35 councillors of what is often referred to as the ‘Rainbow Alliance’ of the non-Tory groups.
I want to repeat my thanks and enduring respect to my coalition partner and the outgoing leader, Cllr John Ward – who has himself now been elected Deputy Mayor of the Borough.
It is a great honour to serve my community at all, let alone in this way and I will endeavour to ensure that we govern to the best of our abilities for all the people of Waverley.
Then we have this in the Farnham Herald which highlights the threat to Farnham and all the other towns and villages in Waverley. Both Farnham and the eastern villages in and around Cranleigh are particularly vulnerable.
Waverley Councillors were left reeling last night when it was announced at a meeting of the full Council that Dunsfold Aerodrome Limited is to have “changes in its ownership.”
In other words following the appointment of a new Senior Bursar at Trinity College, Cambridge (the owners of Dunsfold Park) the College has decided to cut and run from its commitment to create a new village at the former aerodrome.
The new Bursar, Richard Turnill – fresh from BlackRock, where he was the Global Chief Investment Strategist – is now responsible for the College’s endowment fund that, according to its blurb, provides 75% of its operating income.
It would seem that Mr Turnill, unlike his illustrious predecessors, doesn’t favour taking the long view, which is what those who invest in property are generally required to do. Being a city man, he prefers to play the financial markets instead.
Maybe, before it’s too late, but should we send Mr Turnill a little light bedtime reading by way of a copy of Jeffrey Archer’s latest novel (Turn a Blind Eye), which our Webbers have been reading – in which it’s somewhat presciently noted that:
‘The land that surrounds Felixstowe Docks is owned by Trinity College, Cambridge, and is one of its most valuable assets. The college bursar at the time, a Mr Tressilian Nicholas, purchased the 3,800-acre site on behalf of the college in 1933, along with a road that led to the then-derelict docks. His successor, a Mr Bradfield, spotted its potential, and it’s now the largest port in Britain and makes the college a small fortune.’
Lord Butler, a former cabinet minister, and master of Trinity asked Bradfield at a finance meeting if he realised that the college-owned a tin mine in Cornwall that hadn’t shown a return since 1546, to which the bursar famously replied,
“You’ll find, master, that in this college, we take the long view.”
It would seem that in declining to take the long view at Dunsfold Park, Mr Turnill is turning his back not only on centuries-old tradition at Trinity College but on the residents of Waverley and their councillors, who were relying on Trinity to deliver on its promise to create an exemplar new eco-village at the former aerodrome, and thus, in one fell swoop, alleviating Waverley Borough Council’s housing shortfall and rejuvenating the former airfield which is home to many local businesses and jobs, which have done well to survive the current Corona Virus pandemic.
Read yesterday’s post: Are the floodgates for further development in the eastern villages about to open?
The Waverley Web revealed “the change of ownership” last week here:
Without Dunsfold Park’s contribution to its housing numbers, Waverley falls way short of its housing supply, leaving the door wide open to every cowboy developer roaming the green fields of its fair Borough.
Following the bombshell news, Waverley’s councillors and planners alike are feeling abused, bruised and used by the actions of Mr Turnhill. Not that they mentioned him, but we have been doing a bit of our own espionage work around the Dunsfold delay with a few of our Cambridge informants.
Our spider’s 8 highly efficient pedipalps reach far and wide but it is their other two peds they use as hands that do all the work!
And what of The Flying Scot, Jim McAllister, who has spent the past 19 years trying to bring his grandiose plans for an exemplar eco-village to fruition?
In Trinity College, Cambridge, with its illustrious history, deep pockets and famous ‘long view’, McAllister no doubt thought he’d found the perfect partner to embrace and deliver on his vision but, unfortunately, it now appears he backed the wrong horse, not realising it would throw the jockeys mid-race!
That’s the problem with horses – you need a big shovel to clear up the TURDHILLS they leave in their wake!
WA/2020/1213 – LAND AT RED COURT, SCOTLAND LANE, HASLEMERE
Tonight Waverley Planners want to give the go-ahead for a development of 50 homes In Scotland Lane – despite objections from Haslemere Town Council, Haslemere Vision and some local residents.
The site is a 20-minute walk from Haslemere Station and is close to the existing settlement and nearby houses. It is in the countryside beyond the Green Belt and has been earmarked for development in Waverley’s Local Plan.
So, will councillors send yet another scheme to a Government Inspector to determine?
Officers will remind members of the Western Area Planning Committee tonight that it does not have a five-year housing land supply. In fact, last week Waverley’s Chief Planning Officer told a council meeting it now has only 4.26 years. This refers to homes actually built – not homes that have received consent.
“The site lies within the AGLV and within the setting of the AONB and underdeveloped countryside and therefore the introduction of built form would inevitably result in a change to the landscape character and visual appearance of the site.
Whilst Officers acknowledge that the proposed development would result in a change to the site within the setting of the AONB, as a result of the landscape mitigation proposed and in considering the presence of existing residential development along the south of Scotland Lane, which would be seen in context with the proposed development, it is considered the proposal would not cause material harm to the setting of the AONB to such a degree that would outweigh the presumption in favour of sustainable development. The proximity of Grade II Listed Buildings at Red Court means that the proposal would result in less than substantial harm to them. “