Justice is being seen to be done in Farnham – Heineken – the Successor to Farnham United Breweries has put a stop to “Your Waverley’s” devious little scheme to make a few bob by building houses on a Memorial Ground founded in Memory of brewery employees killed in the World Wars.
And close a door to Waverley Borough Council.
Read Chief Reporter Daniel Gee’s article in The Farnham Herald here: 16-06-09-brewery-put-spoke-in-scheme copy
They are at it again… trying to pull the wool over residents’ eyes – and using Waverley taxpayers’ money to do it- Fifty thousands pounds! But, as one Tory Councillor said: It is only £50,000 its not millions!
Well we must all be thankful then – mustn’t we? Councillor Wacky Wyatt, because next time it may be millions?
In May Waverley COUNCILLORS signed off £50,000 for a feasibility study into the relocation of Farnham Town Football Club to a former landfill site in Weydon Lane and to use the Memorial Ground in West Street, yes, – you guessed …for housing!
At the time, some Farnham councillors, tried to stop the attempt by Waverley’s special interest group headed by Councillor Pat Frost. It wanted to move Farnham Football Club onto a former landfill site, known locally as Brambleton Park.
Needless to say those councillors were the only Independent and two Farnham Residents’ members.
They argued that both the Memorial Hall – shortly to be converted into a day centre for the elderly, and the sports grounds, were donated to the people of Farnham after the War as a Memorial to employees of a brewery who had lost their lives. They claimed Waverley was already breaking covenants on the Memorial Ground’s Deed of Gift, namely by proposing to use part of the sports ground to extend the hall.
Where have we all heard that one before – Cranleigh? Beryl Harvey Memorial Fields – getting to be a bit of a habit isn’t it?
Waverley estimates this option will cost £2.75 million – chiefly for the decontamination of the ex-rubbish tip as well as installing FA-regulation facilities for the football club – with the sum to be met by the release of Farnham Town FC’s present home at the Memorial Ground for housing.
Said Councillor Andy McLeod “If we build these houses, we will be breaking another covenant which states ‘the council shall not build or allow to be built in any part of the said premises any building or erection other than in connection with…sporting purposes’.
“Covenants are not something that should be ignored, and can only be returned if it can be shown that the beneficiaries no longer exist. Well, the beneficiaries of this covenant are the people of Farnham and last time I looked there were quite a few inhabitants of Farnham and a lot of young people who want to use sports grounds.”
Leader of the council’s official Farnham Residents opposition group John Williamson added: “Let’s avoid wasting time and money – this proposal looks fraught with possible legal and financial challenges, such that nothing at all may come of it, or it may go on for years and years as it already has.
“The flooding issues of the current football ground [cited by Farnham Town FC as motivation for their desire to move] could probably be solved by spending that £50,000.”
Mr Williamson also queried why the same covenants restricting use of the Memorial Ground do not apply to the proposed extension to the Memorial Hall to accommodate the Brightwell’s Gostrey Centre.
He added: “When I asked a question related to the covenants at a previous council meeting I was shouted down and told they could be ignored.
“Surely if it held water for the Memorial Hall, the same should surely apply for the development of the Memorial Ground for housing, or was the previous decision on the Memorial Hall incorrect?”
Rowledge councillor, and Waverley’s portfolio holder for finance, Wyatt Ramsdale welcomed the feasibility study however and expressed “puzzlement” at the attitude of some fellow councillors.
He said: “To me, what’s potentially on offer is a much better facility for Farnham Town FC and a walking space for the dogs, and spaces for junior football to be played. That seems to me to be a terrific gain for the town, and I’d really like it to happen.
“Clearly, looking at the options has identified a number of problems – one of them is the covenants, and another will be the attitude of the people in the town whether or not they want a facility in that location compared to the centre of town.”
“So what the motion says is that we’re going to do this study, let’s crack on with it. It’s £50,000, not millions at risk.”
No of course it isn’t millions of pounds – it is only £50,000 of “OUR MONEY” you intend to waste isn’t it Councillor stupid Wacky Wyatt. But now the Heineken Brewery has put a stop to your little housing game – thank God someone, somewhere has some common decency left and respects those who lost their lives defending ours, and your, freedom.