No cover-up? Pull the other one Waverley…

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via Haslemere Herald

No – of course you didn’t cover anything up – like hell you didn’t. You just didn’t tell anyone and hoped you would’t be found out to be the disingenuous bunch you are. WBC – you knew exactly what was going on, and in your normal style, you hoped all would not be revealed, now you are hiding away under the blanket of:

“We cannot comment because it is the subject of a police investigation”

Now, 18 months after the event, one of your own former managers is spilling the beans – a whole catering tin of them. He claims the decision not to publicise the £200,000 fraud in the build-up to the elections  was surprise, surprise – politically motivated.

A meeting was hastily organised by Executive Director, “Wonder Wenham” and HR Director, “Name the Gane“. Senior Managers were told the fraud investigation had to be kept quiet and out of the press, due to the build-up to the 2015 elections. The whistleblower said the meeting was symptomatic of the “bullying culture” at Waverley, claiming staff morale was at an all-time low as a result of the council’s draconian and humiliating policies. No Councillors were briefed, after all they are just voters’ fodder!  In the interest of balance, WBC has denied any such meeting took place, Well, they would wouldn’t they.  Who do you believe the Whistleblower or Waverley Borough Council? Answers in the comment blob above.

A spokesman for the council said, it had no policy on reporting serious matters, such as fraud investigations to councillors, either in public meetings or private briefings, beyond signing-off committee minutes at meetings of the Full Council.

LESSON NO. 383 FOR COUNCILLORS:
READ THE DAMNED MINUTES/PAPERWORK IN FUTURE!
OTHERWISE, GOD KNOWS WHAT YOU MIGHT BE SIGNING OFF!

Beware all the new Independent Farnham Residents councillors! Question your betters as you have started to, and you will get the same treatment metered out to the likes of UKIP councillor Diane James – and we all know what happened to her! Remember what Councillor Band told you “your comments are not helpful”.Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 21.04.03

Doctor No-Where soon?

via Daily Mail

via Daily Mail

Good old Jeremy Hunt, now he’s upset all those dedicated young doctors all over the country that are working around the clock looking after the sick and dying.

One doctor at a local hospital, (no names; no sacking) has asked everyone to remember that Junior Doctors are all doctors, that are not Consultants – hardly Junior then! They say, that being a doctor is all about their patients, and they are fearful that the Government’s proposed new contract is fundamentally dangerous and unsafe for patients.

Whilst our Waverley MP, and Secretary State for Health, the Right Honourable Jeremy Hunt MP, is busy moving into his new home in Markwick Lane, just off the Dunsfold Road, and is equally busy trying to pedestrianise our streets in Farnham Town Centre, the entire doctor community is threatening to go on strike.

Said one Doctor coming off a 16 hour shift: “I am so tired at the end of a shift, I can barely spell my own name, let alone make life and death decisions. There is not a Doctor in the UK that trusts Jeremy Hunt.”

Didn’t we do well in Waverley? We voted the saviour of the National Health Service back in! In the Daily Mail this week, we read: Hunt “will end up replacing junior doctors with migrants’.

via The Spectator

via The Spectator

Consultant Surgeon J. Meirion Thomas, the fearless Welshman, says the row will leave the NHS more reliant on doctors from overseas. Up to 15,000 junior doctors are just 11 days away from voting to strike over changes to their pay and conditions, which JH is determined to push through. Well, you don’t get to be PM by not being drastic, JMT!

No problem here in Surrey – the borough and county councils, aided by the Bishop of Guildford, are busy making plans to take as many migrants as they can – let’s hope some of them are doctors and they can speak the lingo!

THE SCOT’S BEEN FLUSHED OUT!

It looks as if WW has flushed out the ‘coy” Scot regarding his plans for Dunsfold Aerodrome – or did we just get lucky?

WHAT WW WANTS TO KNOW IS -WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!

What a pity he didn’t repay our timely prod by giving us an exclusive…instead that honour went to the Surrey Advertiser. No doubt he believed WW is not widely read enough yet – only just over 3,000 hits in two weeks, but don’t worry Scottie, in future you will read things here first because we are growing by the day.  Maybe he thought we had stuck a cattle prod where it wasn’t welcome?

But never mind, we mustn’t be churlish! the important thing is that the residents of Waverley are now aware of some of what is happening at the airfield. The new owners are coming forward with a new proposal to help meet the borough’s housing need and, if they pull their finger out and get on with it, they might even be in time to save a few of the borough’s green fields before the concrete mixers start churning…

Watch out all you eager beavers out there, you and all the other concrete merchants eager to build on our green and pleasant land in Haslemere, Farnham, Godalming, Cranleigh…the borough’s sleepy Scotsman is about to rouse himself from his slumbers – he might even Roar.

 Don’t by shy you can contact us on our private e-mail address any time you feel inclined – lots of other people do.

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HERE WE GO AGAIN – ALFOLD?

Villagers are reeling from the shock after a tragic accident near the dangerous bend outside the village shop this morning in which a 50 year-old woman died…..

NOW

Yet another developer has thrown its hat into the ever-widening ring and most want to create accesses off the dangerous Loxwood Road, the scene of numerous accidents.

It would appear every man and his bulldozer wants to roll into the Surrey/ Sussex border village, “First, we thought we were just under siege, now we are beginning to feel there is an avalanche of developers beating a path to our door”  one contributor told WW.

They said residents recently told a  public meeting they feared for their lives every time they moved out of their drive onto the Loxwood Road, but that their very real  concerns were treated, by some, with derision .

Could this be coming to a site near you?

Coming to a site near you?

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DESPERATE DAN AT WORK IN ALFOLD?

House to house lobbying of residents, claims of bully boy tactics against some of the  Charity’s residents by its own officials, these are just some of the concerns that are surfacing, and the atmosphere in the small rural village on the Surrey/Sussex border appears anything but tranquil.

WW is hearing from its mounting number of contributors, we are now at an amazing 11, after only a few weeks, – and some are claiming that all is not well in leafy Alfold.

“We really are under siege here, people knocking on the doors, asking us to send letters supporting Thakeham Homes scheme, and this week something really bizarre happened, a number of us had the Lords’ Prayer on a white sheet of paper with no name or contact details pushed through the doors. What is going on – do we have to start praying for deliverance from damned developers?” We understand the same tactics are being used in Cranleigh.”

Another villager claims there is an unhealthy friendship between one of the Charity’s Trustees who is also a borough councillor with a villager called “Oh Carol.” They say, “ it is beginning to smell very strong around here.”

Another called “Alfold fighting Back” has passed a document to WW which reveals that the Charity, Care Ashore, which  claimed at a public meeting it is “impoverished” has recently bought a bungalow on the Loxwood Road for its Chief Executive for £555,000 and has millions in reserves.

Other developers are also jumping onto the Alfold bandwagon.  A screening opinion has gone into Waverley (SO/2015/0000) for up to 60 dwellings on land west of Sweeters Copse, Loxwood Road, Alfold. There are several others revving up to put in applications too.

Whose fault is that?

No Local Plan ! 

No Defence!

No Comment.

OH! COME ON WAVERLEY COUNCIL – THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH A VILLAGE CAN TAKE!

 Click here: Hollyoak Ownership Details

ELEMENTARY MY DEAR READERS! Is more of our money about to go down the pan?

Conan Doyle house battle to return to High Court So, presumably WBC will be shelling out more of OUR money!

Whilst we were all away in August sunning ourselves on beaches at home and  abroad – the Silly Season was in full swing at Waverley. Safe in the knowledge that they had bounced back into power, hanging on the coat tails of a General Election, all was well.  Whilst they topped up their tans, back at the ranch, they heard the following:

Campaigners seeking to protect the former home of the author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from redevelopment, have been granted permission for a judicial review of the council’s planning approval for its conversion into a school.

Conan Doyle wrote many of his best-loved Sherlock Holmes stories whilst living at the  Victorian house, Undershaw, in Hindhead, Surrey. Plans to redevelop the building have had a long planning history. Waverley Borough Council’s planning consent to convert it into eight homes was struck down by the High Court three years ago.Click here to Read more.

In March, the council granted planning approval to allow its conversion into a school for children with special needs.

But now, High Court judge Mr Justice Singh, has granted John Gibson – an author who has written books on Conan Doyle’s life and is director of the Undershaw Preservation Trust – permission to mount a full judicial review challenge to the grant of planning permission.

Paul Stinchcombe QC, for Gibson, claimed the council had shown a “cavalier disregard” for Undershaw’s “irreplaceable” status.

The school development would involve a “hugely damaging extension” to the house which would destroy its character, he argued.The Victorian Society, English Heritage and others had objected to the DFN Charitable Foundation’s plans.

John Hobson QC, for Waverley Council, said the council had approved DFN’s proposals after “thorough and exemplary” consultation with heritage bodies.

Just because English Heritage and others disagreed did not mean that the council’s decision was wrong, he added.

Describing Waverley Council’s handling of the issue as “impeccable”, he said the harm caused to Undershaw would be “less than substantial.

” Well that’s alight then! says WW.

Work on converting it into a school was already well underway and the council had rightly taken into account the “conspicuous public benefits” of the scheme. Opening the way for a full judicial review, however, Justice Singh said Gibson’s complaints were “at least arguable”.Planning law in relation to listed buildings was in need of clarification and the case raised “issues of general importance”, he added.

Gibson’s challenge will now go ahead to a full High Court hearing on a date which has yet to be set.R on the Application of Gibson v Waverley Borough Council. Case Number: CO/2154/2015

HAS DUNSFOLD PARK GONE AWOL?

We all know silence is golden but there are occasions when it can give rise to the suspicion that it is deliberately designed to mislead.

Why is it, we ask ourselves, that Jim McAllister – who has never been short of something to say, we might add – has uttered not a word since selling out to Trinity College Cambridge?

The man – whom many now admit was simply ahead of his time – has spent the past 14 years lobbying Waverley to solve its housing problems by creating a new settlement at Dunsfold Aerodrome, suddenly disappears off the radar just when all the other developers start to crawl out of the woodwork with their plans to concrete over the borough’s green fields.

Was Dunsfold Park at the not-so-secret meetings between the Cranleigh Kooples (Councillors Brian & Patricia Ellis and Stewart and Jeanette Stennett), Waverley planners and developers?  Not that we can discover.   Is that simply because Dunsfold Park isn’t in Cranleigh?  Unlikely, because Springbok isn’t in Cranleigh either but Thakeham Homes was at the party.

Maybe Dunsfold Park’s new owners, Trinity College Cambridge, have other plans.  Maybe they no longer want to create a new town on their prime brownfield site adjacent to the A281 Horsham / Guildford Road?  Perhaps the reason they and Jim McAllister are content to sit back and let the likes of Berkeley Homes, the Knowle Park Initiative, Thakeham Homes and all the other developers who are raring to concrete over Waverley’s greenfields, steal a march on them is because they no longer see housing as the Aerodrome’s future.  Perhaps they have bigger fish to fly …  ooops!  Freudian slip, we meant fry!

Now that Gatwick Airport boss Stewart Wingate has challenged his opposite number at Heathrow to come clean about his funding plans for a third runway, on the grounds that Heathrow is telling porkies about how many more billions it will cost than the figures they are quoting, maybe plans are afoot for Dunsfold Aerodrome to play a role. Some are wondering if Gatwick is

talking to Dunsfold’s new owners about using the Aerodrome as a flight testing and repair centre for their main carriers, to free up space at Gatwick to accommodate a new runway and to park more planes.

Local residents living in Alfold, Rudgwick, Cranleigh and Ewhurst have noticed that planes are flying over them with far greater regularity than before; one a minute or less at peak times and with new jet routes from Gatwick opening up to fly around the world on a daily basis – Gatwick to Costa Rica; Gatwick to Peru; Gatwick to six Canadian cities (Calgary; Edmonton; St John’s; Toronto; Winnipeg; and Vancouver) – perhaps there is some truth in the speculation that the man formerly known as the Flying Scot has more on his mind than a new town at Dunsfold.

For many years, before they woke up,  and it dawned on them that housing was coming, whether they liked it or not – to a green field near them – many local residents railed against any housing at Dunsfold Aerodrome but the recent consultation carried out by Waverley Borough Council revealed there has been a dramatic sea change and a staggeringly large percentage of the population now want the vast majority of the borough’s housing need met at Dunsfold.  They want a new settlement with its own brand new infrastructure and an access directly onto the A281, which doesn’t involve building on green fields, clogging up the narrow lanes around their villages and over burdening the already groaning infrastructure.

The irony of it all is, if Waverley Councillors and Planners hadn’t vetoed Dunsfold Park’s first attempt to create a new town at the Aerodrome, we would not now be facing such an onslaught on our green fields because if planning permission had been granted Waverley would now be well on its way to meeting its housing need and very well positioned to rebuff the current greenfield rush!

Those who objected to Dunsfold Park first time round may well live to rue the day they ignored the old warning, ‘Be careful what you wish for …’ if, indeed, Mr Wingate has plans to take space at Dunsfold.

We think it’s time the man formerly known as the Flying Scot came clean and told us what his plans for the Aerodrome really are … Go on, beam us up, Scottie, because some of us are beginning to fear that we could be under siege from both above and below!

2,000 hits in just 10 days!

Waverley Web has been going just 10 days and already has quite a following – we reached 2,000 hits yesterday morning!

As explained on the Home page, the reason WW was born, is really quite simple – to inform local residents and other interested parties about what is really happening in the borough of Waverley – some people don’t want local residents to know what is really going on and our aim is to foil their plan

So far, most of your comments have been sent privately to contact@waverleyweb.org and we fully appreciate and respect the privacy of our contributors and pledge to continue doing so.

There has been much speculation about who is behind WW – several names have been bandied about and they are all so wide of the mark, we can’t make up our minds whether those behind the speculation are simply deluded or grasping at straws!

Our anonymity is as important to us, as it is to our contributors and for very good reasons. There are currently nine contributors to WW – some are ‘insiders’ and their positions are at stake, others are just ordinary members of the public, tired of being treated like mushrooms – kept in the dark and having buckets of manure regularly thrown over them by Waverley councillors. We are, quite simply, a small, but growing, group of people who care about the borough of Waverley.

Seasoned journalists are following us – as sadly, they too are constrained by their paymasters – many of whom live locally and are part of the establishment. For instance, the Chief Executive of Trinity Mirror, which owns the Surrey Advertiser, lives on the outskirts of Dunsfold. Sir Ray Tindle, owner of the Farnham and Haslemere Herald lives in the borough too.

Without the help and guidance of the public and its readers, WW will never succeed in its ambition to tell you everything you want to know.  Information is power to the people and there are a great many people out there, with a vested interest in ensuring you only know what they want you to know and no more.

So, do please keep in touch and let’s ensure that we all know what we really need to know..

Awfold… Alford… or could it be Alfold that developers are invading?

No-one seems quite sure how to spell the name of the Surrey/Sussex border village, but never mind, what’s in a name?

Horsham based developer, Thakeham Homes, is delighted that it’s been involved in Waverley’s ‘not-so-secret’ meetings. Its spokesman has said that it welcomes working with others on its 400 plus proposed homes in ‘Alford’… (Don’t get too hung up on the name of your village Alfold  – nobody gives a damn what its name is, only how much farmland can be plastered with concrete – the more the better.)

The spokesman continues:

“We welcome the opportunity to be involved with councillors”.  

Oh we bet you do! It certainly helps that one of those borough councillors, the former member for Alfold, also happens to be a Trustee of The Springbok Charity, that owns the site that you want to develop – there’s a bit of luck!

He continues to say how delighted the company is:

“to work with other developers to discuss ways for the local authorities and developers to deliver these vital homes and infrastructure”.

Vital to whom? The Springbok Charity which has declared it will go under, if planning permission is turned down. This is the same charity that invited villagers to “be a part of our charitable community” but when one tried recently, and dared to say she did not support more than doubling the size of the small village, was told in no uncertain terms, not to come again! How very charitable of them…

Who else has jumped on the Alfold bandwagon? Surrey County Council no less – it has bought Linden Farm, opposite the Craft Centre in Loxwood Road, with access off  Rosemary Lane. What for? To build homes for 10 disabled adults. All on the site of the old pig stys, on which development has been turned down on numerous occasions by WBC and Inspectors at appeal. Not sure that SCC will have too much of a battle twisting Waverley’s arm – Hey ho here we go AWFOLD…

      

BAMFORD ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS

Martin BamfordThe u-turn experienced by one Cranleigh resident can only be compared to the biblical one. A huge supporter of The Cranleigh Society, local businessman, Martin Bamford (a Chartered Financial Planner and a Certified Financial Planner) has had a complete change of heart. He thinks the Civic Society is a bunch of women with too much time on their hands – should they all be in their pinnies  in the ‘Great British Bake Off’ Martin? He also appears to think they are among the NIMBY’s who don’t want more homes in Cranleigh or anywhere else for that matter.

Martin – just because you have jumped on the developers’ bandwagon; put your name forward as a possible trustee of one scheme to give the Knowle Park land to the village and brought the Chamber of Commerce to heel on behalf of the same developer, (who now owns a major village retail store according to the press) – you wouldn’t forget all your past principals and sell your soul would you now?

Just in case you’ve forgotten, here’s what you said just a year ago:
(have a little read just to remind yourself)

“Building on Cranleigh’s green field is causing much consternation. Beautiful fields prone to flooding. Leaving aside the environmental concerns, villagers are concerned about the impact on local infrastructure. Instead of mass developments on green fields, developers and local authorities should be proposing and supporting plans on brown field sites. We can keep voicing our concerns and suggesting viable alternatives to ‘crazy planning applications’ which would decimate green field space and exacerbate already serious flooding risks.”

Fast forward to January 2015, commenting on his blog, about a meeting he is hosting for local MP Anne Milton:

“Clearly not everyone in the room agreed that more affordable housing is needed, especially those that say no to everything and would prefer to see all new housing directed at Dunsfold Park. For my own part I continue to support the Knowle Park Initiative, as I believe they have brought forward the best proposal for the village.”

Oh come on Martin… in August 2014, you were calling for the protection of green fields (especially those that flood) and encouraging the owners of brown field sites to come forward. Roll on January 2015 and you have changed your tune and done a complete volte face, by deciding that the green fields should be built on – particularly those that flood and cause flooding…

We at WW are almost, but not quite speechless… What a hypocrite! What’s in it for you Martin? Free lettuces for life..?

PS. Just in case you didn’t know – the Civic Society is not opposing all development, they just want to make sure it is in the right place, doesn’t ruin Cranleigh and homes don’t end up deep in flood water.

A blog post, posted on the 13th August 2014 by Martin Bamford, reads as follows:
(Update 26 October 2015: it now seems to have mysteriously disappeared into the ether!)

Following rumours that a BBC film crew were lurking in Cranleigh High Street yesterday afternoon, a short film has appeared this morning on the BBC News website.

The two-minute clip is worth watching if you’re a local resident or business owner, or if you live in another village threatened by greenfield development.

By way of background, Cranleigh is (technically) a village, nestled at the foot of the Surrey Hills between Guildford and Horsham. According to the latest Census, the civil parish of Cranleigh has a population of close to 11,500 people. We have a bustling High Street, on which Informed Choice is based, along with three supermarkets, five pubs, a variety of restaurants and cafes, many independent retailers and (some would say too many) charity shops.

The village of Cranleigh has changed a great deal since we moved here in the early 1980’s. Gone is the Regal Cinema, several pubs, one of the petrol stations, Village Video and more recently Blockbuster Video, and (not during my lifetime) the railway station. So Cranleigh has changed dramatically over the past thirty years. 
There have been several new housing developments around the village and currently there are plans, either submitted or about to be submitted, for several more. It is these proposals, all of which are on green field sites, which are causing such consternation among local residents.

Berkeley Homes have submitted proposals to build up to 425 homes on the green fields south of Stocklund Square (pictured), just off the High Street. This is a beautiful set of fields, prone to flooding, with access onto tiny country lanes. Another development at Amlets Park is proposing up to 150 homes, on green fields right at the foot of the Surrey Hills, another site prone to flooding and with access onto country lanes whiter in a poor state. 

Other developers have put forward plans at exhibitions for as many as 325 more homes at two other sites, behind the High Street and off Horsham Road. Leaving aside the obvious environmental concerns, the local residents we have spoken to about these proposals have big concerns about the impact on local infrastructure.

Building more homes, whether on green or brown field sites, means more people putting pressure on health care services, schools, water and the roads. Without a rail link to Guildford and London, people living in Cranleigh are left with little choice but to drive for work.

Driving the 9 miles from Cranleigh to Guildford during rush hour in the morning can often take an hour or longer, because the A281 through villages like Bramley and Shalford cannot take the weight of existing traffic, let along another 1,000 or more commuters. With thousands of additional residents in Cranleigh, getting an appointment to see a GP or a primary school place would become more of a Herculean task than it currently is.

Imagine what extra demands these new homes would place on an already creaking water and electricity supply in the village; every winter in living memory we have had lengthy power cuts and water supply problems. This is not to say that we are opposed to change and growth; in fact, we support it.

What is particularly needed is affordable housing for first-time buyers and homes of a size which reflect the reality of how families live today; more one and two bedroom properties, not five bedroom McMansions.

This development needs to be gradual, rather than a village like Cranleigh to have 400, 500 or 900 new homes dumped on its greenfield sites in a short space of time. Instead of mass development on sensitive greenfield sites, developers and the local authorities should be proposing and supporting plans to identify brownfield sites each of which could accommodate a couple of new properties, and add these to the village gradually year on year.

Local brownfield sites, such as Dunsfold Park, should be used to take the pressure for new housing off villages like Cranleigh, assuming any large-scale developments threefold with all of the required infrastructure to make them self-sufficient and address the road capacity problems associated with the A281. Of course, sensible as this sounds, it won’t happen.

Cranleigh doesn’t have a ‘Local Plan’ yet, so developers will no doubt find a way to weasel past local politicians and get their plans approved at a national level.

Of the four greenfield site proposals currently in motion for Cranleigh, we believe two-thirds of the proposed housing, around 600 properties, will eventually be built – it would not surprise us if the Dunsfold Park development then proceeds, throwing a further several hundred (or more) houses into the local mix.

Until then, we can keep voicing our concerns and suggesting viable alternatives to crazy planning applications which would decimate green spaces and exacerbate already serious flooding risks.

Be careful of taking his advice – he just might change it!