All this effort by “Your Waverley” deserves a little ditty – doesn’t it!
While officers and councillors of “Your Waverley” had a hard days night examining the most important planning document to come out of the council for many a year, the Waverley Web will condense the 231 + page document and its numerous Annexes into bite sized chunks in this and future posts.
The development blueprint for housing, leisure, transport and “hoped for” Infrastructure has been described as a”living breathing document” that will “evolve.”
WW asks Does this mean it could change?
Certainly some councillors hope so…
In a nutshell “evidence” reveals that Waverley’s housing need is 519 houses per year for the lifetime of the plan or 9,861 homes in total between 2013/2032 .
Waverley Officer Graham of “sick as a” Parrot fame, who is still reeling from the drubbing he received at the hands of a Government Inspector in 2013, was challenged at the outset, to provide councillors with “evidence”the plan was robust and could not be challenged by the Government Inspector “again!”
Councillors expressed concern about the uneven spread of homes around the borough. In particular earmarking the”towns” of Farnham and Cranleigh for the lions share!
To expect Cranleigh and the villages around to take 48% of all Waverley’s future housing was too high and the lack of infrastructure could prove catastrophic for the area’s character.
Officers gave assurances they would provide the Inspector with the rationale behind the need to develop around Cranleigh and Dunsfold airfield (2,600 houses) in particular, and the reasons would be added to the plan. The fact is, Cranleigh does not have the same constraints as other parts of the borough, they claimed.
Councillors concerns about the “officers optimistic” delivery of a huge number of homes in the first five year of the plan have asked for it to be “toned down” to a realistic number to save possible future “embarrassment.” Councillors questioned how the Brexit decision could impact on developers’ ability to deliver homes in large numbers. “After all we don’t want shoot ourselves in the foot if we cannot deliver do we?” said one.
A question on the effect the country’s decision to leave the European Union could have on the housing numbers proposed in Waverley’s Local Plan was quickly batted off by Chairman Pat Frost. She said “let’s stick with what we know.” Despite hearing that Guildford’s Local Plan was undergoing considerable change due to the decision she said the future was”unknown.”
Officers said individual towns and villages Neighbourhood Plans would form a significant part of the Local Plan. But despite concerns about the lack of infrastructure – especially those services that were described as “creaking” in some towns and villages, Chief PlanningOfficer Liz Simms said the statutory authorities had a “duty” to provide the services required by developers!
Well we say – that’s alright then? And if Liz the Biz says it will be all right on the night then it will – won’t it?