Our Alfold correspondent was mightily entertained at a recent meeting of Alfold Parish Council… read on, and if it wasn’t so serious…you could have a good laugh!
The meeting was called to take soundings of what residents wanted the Parish Council to make to Waverley Borough Council’s consultation on Dunsfold Park’s latest proposal to build 1800 houses at the Aerodrome.
Around 30/ 35 people turned out, a surprisingly low turn out for such a major application. WW recalls there was standing room only at similar meeting last year to debate the Thakeham Homes’ application for 500 homes at Springbok.
Chairman Nik Pidgeon’s impartiality might be called into question as we’re told his opening gambit was to inform those present that he was not in favour of the Dunsfold proposal. No surprises there then! Councillor Pidgeon has made no secret of his opposition to housing at Dunsfold Park and rumour has it that he has had more than a passing professional interest in the Springbok application, which is thought unlikely to succeed if Dunsfold goes ahead. Oh what a tangled web they weave!
As one might expect, most of those present were against development at Dunsfold, primarily on traffic grounds. However, a few brave souls put their heads above the parapet and dared suggest that Dunsfold’s ambition might be the answer to a few of Alfold’s problems: there was, whisper it who dares, merit in building on a brownfield site to save the village’s green fields, and the provision of a new primary school and doctor’s surgery at Dunsfold Park could replace the primary school Alfold has lost, not to mention the Post Office & General store which is hanging on by its fingertips! A surgery to prevent villagers having to travel to Cranleigh would also be welcomed. One dare-devil went so far as to point out that traffic on the A281 was already a problem and supporting development at Dunsfold Park might help to alleviate the situation as a project of that size had the scope to look at, and deal with, traffic management.
Parish Clerk, Beverley Weddell (she of the Crystal Tipps hair-do – an allusion that will mean nothing to those born after 1974!) expressed carefully worded concern that the Dunsfold application looked very attractive on paper because it ticked a lot of boxes, especially for people in the wider borough – in other words those not living in Alfold or Dunsfold!
Just when our correspondent felt they might die of ennui, if Councillor Betty Ames ,who happenes to lives on the approach road to Dunsfold Park, was allowed to drone on any longer about her action-plan to oppose the application, Chairman Pidgeon, pitched in! Having tried repeatedly but unsuccessfully to interrupt Councillor Ames in her prime, was forced to deliver a knock-out blow, telling her in no uncertain terms to SHUT UP! Way to go Mr Punch!!! Did he succeed? did he hell!
Mention was made of Alfold Parish Council’s joining forces with neighbouring parish Councils to object to Dunsfold. It was then poor old Councillor Foryszewski – the former Waverley Member for Alfold, Cranleigh Rural & Ellens Green, before she jumped ship and swam upstream to her native Cranleigh East – came in for muttered criticism. Apparently in her capacity as Chair of Cranleigh Parish Council’s Planning Committee, she over saw that Parish Council’s decision not to comment on Dunsfold Park’s application because it was felt inappropriate for Cranleigh to comment on application’s outside their own Parish. As you might imagine, dear readers, that went down like a tonne of lead bricks in Alfold!
And what of the developer? According to the Clerk, Dunsfold Park had declined an invitation to send a representative along to the Public Meeting. Good call! The man formerly known as the Flying Scotsman, had obviously learned from past mistakes. And who can blame him? Why step into the Lion’s Den if you don’t need to? A baying crowd of Alfold residents made mincemeat of Thakeham Home’s MD when he dared to think he could persuade them of his company’s charitable credentials in riding to the rescue of Care Ashore at Springbok, all the while refusing to answer questions from the public gallery about how much profit he expected to make out of his charitable venture!
Our Alfold correspondent holds no brief for Dunsfold Park or any of the other developers who are trying to build all over the village’s green and pleasant fields – the latest to jump on the developer bandwagon is Wyvale Garden Centre, who is submitting plans to build houses at its premises on the Horsham Road in Alfold – but they can see a tiny silver lining in the Dunsfold scheme since the sh*t hit the fan in Alfold. As they explained to us:
With Alfold’s affluent flooded out by Alfold’s effluent, why not ask Dunsfold Park to get them out of the sh*t? Thames Water has admitted the Alfold pumping station can’t cope and is reduced to bringing in lorries to pump out thousands of litres of foul water every time it rains – and, boy, has it rained a lot recently!
Loxwood has told Alfold in no uncertain terms it doesn’t want their sh*t being pumped down the A281 towards them, so where else can it go?
Thakeham Homes has offered to make Alfold’s No 2s their No 1 priority – in exchange for permission to build hundreds of homes at Springbok – but their solution is to pump it all in the opposite direction up the A281 to Cranleigh, whose own pumping station is also at capacity! So Cranleigh is unlikely to welcome Alfold’s sh*t with open arms either!