That was the overriding message from Waverley councillors at a meeting on Monday evening to its planning officers.
Said Councillor Jim Edwards:
I want to say to Paul Wenham (he was referring to the plumply salaried CEO of WBC), this Local Plan has dragged on long enough. I don’t care if the officers have to work seven days a week – this thing is going on and on – For Christ’s sake, get on with it!
Others warned planning officers that if they didn’t meet the Government’s deadline, Waverley would have development imposed upon them.
Others questioned the validity of the increase in housing figures from 420 to 519 per year, and others who would not countenance the largest brownfield site in the borough being used for development. This included a string of reasons why it shouldn’t be used by Waverley’s Mayor Mike Band, (who, by the way, completely ignored council rules prohibiting him from making any controversial remarks during his mayoral year). So he put them in writing…
Farnham councillor, Carol Cockburn said officers must do more work to ensure the Dunsfold option was brought forward and on which the public had been consulted and was overwhelmingly in favour.
There is not a site in the Borough that ticks as many boxes as Dunsfold Park. It was large enough to provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure its sustainability, and the countryside around the towns and villages around Cranleigh and Farnham need not be sacrificed and could retain their character.
Chief Planning Officer Matthew Evans said the figure of 519 new homes every year was ‘non negotiable’ and warned that traffic congestion could not be used as a reason for refusing development. Others said ‘a colossal number’ of homes – over 1,200 could be inflicted on Cranleigh – and the roads could not cope there either.
Cranleigh councillor Brian Ellis said:
He feared for Cranleigh as it did not have the planning constraints enjoyed by others. Developers are hovering over Cranleigh like bees around a pot of jam.
Well, if anyone should know, Cllr Ellis should. He has been chairing secret meetings for months at Waverley with a bevy of developers, including: Berkeley Homes, Crest Nicholson, Crown Hall Estates, Threadneedle, Knowle Park Initiative, Thakeham Homes and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all except, we believe, Dusfold Park.
In a complete volte face, he then spoke of Cranleigh High Street’s traffic problems – and that with another 1,200+ homes and their cars traffic would move at a snails pace along the High Street.
If homes were allowed, the high street would be at a standstill- equalling a Co-op Delivery van every half an hour – we may have strong support for Dunsfold Park – but what about the people of Alfold and Dunsfold.
Cllr Ellis failed to mention that one of the developers at his ‘secret meetings’ was the very developer that wants to double the size of Alfold by building over 500 homes there. What a disingenuous bunch of b******s politicians are… Can we trust the future of our towns and villages to the likes of Ellis & co? Can we really?
Bramley Byham said he might be a voice in the Wilderness – the silence that ensued, showed he was – but he wanted to see Dunsfold as a Research Park/Business Hub and didn’t wants its traffic clogging up Bramley. No problem there then ‘Bozo Byham’ – no cars needed for business or research then! Do we parachute stuff in?
Would you believe, he then actually said:
It would be better to inflict the pain of traffic on Cranleigh.
Well that’s alright then, because they will leap over Bramley. Then all about, started to lose their sanity, when Councillor Ellis said if Britain left the European Union there would be no need to provide habitat around Farnham for the Dartford Warbler because it would be moving North.
And then, just when we thought the lunatics had finally taken over the asylum – a beam of light shone upon the chamber in the form of Councillor Mary Foryszewski, who said: Ignore Dunsfold Park at your peril – for heavens sake, let’s get some vision around here!
Vision! What the hell is vision? WBC wouldn’t know what that was if it jumped up and bit them in the a***.