The WW was at the Farnham Town Council Meeting,  but instead of reporting it ourselves  we have let our own  resident/s have their say… Oh and if anyone wonders where we were – we were sitting near the back in a mask, and cape…looking a bit like this really 

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So HERE WE GO AGAIN  in Farnham with the annual ritual of the Town Council Meeting for residents but no elephant in the room under the twinkling chandeliers of the Bush Hotel’s conference room?

No need for an  elephant,  Farnham has its own monster looming over the town and threatening to trample  over the will,  wishes and good sense  of its protesting citizens.

We have East Street,  Brightwells Development Scheme, which has  loomed large for so long that some people had almost ceased to believe it was real. But after 15 weary years, the alien creature is getting  off its knees and showing worrying signs of life.

After a restless crowd had listened  in  polite silence to  a beaming  Pat Frost, so happy to have been Mayor in this lovely town, and  the usual procession of worthy councillors reporting on the flowers and festivals, cemeteries and allotments. Came the crunch.

Everyone knew why, just like all previous years, the room was full of undercurrents, a mumbling grumbling presence and the reason that most of the Farnham Folk had made the effort to turn out on a wet Thursday evening. They’d come to have their say about the monster.

And a new presence filled the room, knowledge of the shock revelations that very day on the Waverley Web, that excellent source of news for Waverley  people, and the only way that they learn the truth about the dirty dealings going on behind closed doors.

WW says, “The shock and  anger was palpable. Residents fumed, the air was combustable -and at one point we thought it would implode!”

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But who was going to let that go when all around resolutions were being made to check the alibi, sift out the facts and take it to the top. Surrey Pensions Committee Chairman and Waverley and Surrey Councillor, Denise Le Gal, has a lot more questions to answer. They all know in Farnham that the scheme has been rejected over the years as an investment by reputable city institutions so what does ‘Denise the Girl’ know that wiser men than her have been unable to discover. You said it – it’s a rum business.

Another big question had to be about that doomed daft Local Plan:

“In the context of Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan, residents were  told that Waverley BC  was commissioning a thorough professional report of traffic around the town conducted by Mott Macdonald in the same way that  a review had been commissioned and completed in respect of the development  proposed for 1800 new homes  at Dunsfold Park.

As we have heard recently that the new homes allocation for Farnham in Waverley’s Local Plan is to be increased to 3000 (yes, that’s right, 3000), it obviously becomes ever more crucial that a full-scale traffic review for Farnham is completed urgently and before the Local Plan is put the Inspectorate for Examination. If this is not done it will be impossible to adjudicate on whether the 3,000 figure is  sustainable. We would then be left with another failed Plan and a continuing invitation to  developers to despoil  green fields.

Please would a member of the Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan team tell us what they know about the progress or otherwise of the traffic review and give assurances  that they will press Waverley for completion of the LP – as a matter of urgency?” A roar of approval  and an  enthusiastic round of applause followed. People wanted  answers  but there were none.

Even Carole Cockburn  lead Councillor for Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan, was being kept in the dark by Waverley Planners. A promise was made to press for action so we will watch and wait. What choice do residents have in the face of the absolute, secretive and undemocratic power exercised by Waverley?

And finally, what must have been the highlight of the evening. An initiative from ex-Farnham Councillor, David Beaman, a councillor who always did an excellent job for the town and his electorate until he was unfairly given the heave-ho by a combination of bad luck and political manoeuvring. He put forward a resolution asking the audience to vote for their Town Council to support the Farnham Interest Group in taking legal action against WBC/CNS to stop the iniquitous use of a variation of planning permission to get round proper procedures for that Brightwells Scheme. (Full text to follow)

Residents voted resoundingly for the motion so now  Iain Lynch, the Farnham Town Clerk, Ian Lynch has the task of asking Town Councillors to obey the will of the people.

Just in case anyone forgets here it is:


Farnham Town Council (FTC) has consistently expressed its desire for an alternative development of the East Street site and has objected to a number of applications to implement and vary the present planning permission granted for this site. Members will also be aware that doubts have been cast on the legality of the existing planning permission and each application to vary the existing planning permission has been subject to close scrutiny by the Farnham Interest Group (FIG). Following the latest application to vary the planning permission (WA/2016/0268) FIG has written to WBC and every individual WBC councillor warning that the proposed variation is illegal and that if pursued legal action could follow. I therefore wish to propose that should FTC also object to the proposed application on the same grounds as FIG, electors at this meeting resolve that FTC should support a public appeal to raise funds to cover the costs of any legal action that may ensue.

Farnham is clearly not in the mood to give way to its monster, its bete noir. So watch out Waverley Council the people of Farnham  are in a fighting mood!

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