15.10.09 - Build 500 new homes a year until 2033Waverley’s Deputy Leader could hardly contain her glee when she announced how many homes the borough would have to take each year and guess what, she says seven sites have been identified for them in Cranleigh and 25 in the villages and she even names some of the possible sites above.

Well that’s all right then – over here in Farnham it has the protection of the Wealden Heathland – hasn’t Cranleigh got some of that too – though not quite so lucky as Farnham which has the Thames Basin Heath almost surrounding it.

Woking has to build 517 homes per year and Guildford 693, Waverley 519,  but this is only the councils’ chosen figure the Inspector has not got his hands on any of their Draft Plans yet, so watch this space it could be very many more. Waverley has already ignored its, highly paid consultants’ advice which advised considerably more, as well as earmarking more space for business expansion.

Councillor Potts says, “It is also essential that the emerging local plan takes into account our main landscape designations and has the appropriate infrastructure in place to support any future housing.” No problem there then. Your secret meetings with some of the Cranleigh developers is certainly getting to grips with that little conundrum Oh Potty one. Not quite so sure that your comment – “the most important thing is to build homes in the right place and that the council works with local residents to ensure it has the right strategy in place.” We think you should re-phrase that, working with wannabe developers and borough councillors more like.

Funny really – we thought you held a very expensive Public Consultation exercise last year – you know all those workshops around the borough, questionnaires posted to every home etc, etc, and the public told you quite clearly – they don’t want Waverley’s green fields covered in concrete and asked you not to allow buildings on areas that flood ! Have we actually seen the report on that exercise yet? Oops perhaps we missed it. Now you see it – now you don’t.

So what is the first thing you do – turn down the Hewitts Industrial Estate, over there in Cranleigh – a brown field site in the middle of a residential area. Blimey – stupid or what!  By the way, anyone out there knows how much that consultation exercise cost? Whatever figure Waverley admits to, it will not take into account, officers’ time, because presumably its staff don’t get paid anything – they work for free, gratis and for nothing and only go there for the fun…

The Civic Society is certainly battling Cranleigh’s corner, as does the Farnham Society – but neither are  holding their public spirited breath that they will be consulted. We all know in the end all the development – like East Street – will go to the highest bidder.

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