It would seem that we at Waverley Web are not the only ones to be a tad fed-up with former city-based lawyer Groucho Ground (AKA Alan Ground, former Chairman of Dunsfold Parish Council) dredging up old, dystopian arguments about Dunsfold Park’s unsuitability for housing development which are well past their sell by date – a bit like the man himself?
In a typically prosy letter, published in both the Farnham and Haslemere Heralds, Groucho Ground rehashes all the old prejudices that he and fellow anti-Dunsfold Park Campaigners keep harking back to.
Has no one told him that ship has sailed … that train has left the station … Elvis has left the building, along with Mrs MOP (AKA Mrs Pett-Orton)?
Wakey, wakey Groucho! We’re living in a brave new world, one where Donald Trump is moving into the White House, in which even Waverley Borough Council seems to recognise that it might have to build a few houses in the borough and …. whisper it who dares …might even be seriously considering building some of them at Dunsfold Park! Never mind how much you and your fellow Grumps grumble, “How dare they? Don’t they realise that Dunsfold is hallowed Ground?” No pun intended!
Groucho’s letter is given the somewhat fancy title ‘Fallacies about Dunsfold status’ but the only ‘fallacies’ are those being pedalled by Mr Ground and the only question in the minds of those at Waverley Web is – to misquote his namesake Groucho Marx – “Who are [the readers of the Heralds] going to believe [Groucho Ground] or [their] own eyes?
What the Dunsfold Park Planning Appeal Inspector said in his conclusions, at Paragraph 358, was:
“The grassed areas in between the runways are functionally related to them. They provide safe run off areas for aircraft and a means of direct access to them for emergency vehicles. They are managed so as to maintain the necessary visibility for aircrew, air traffic controllers and emergency staff. They include a grass runway for aircraft that cannot land on concrete. These areas are all ancillary to and essential to the established use of the site. In short, the operational part of the aerodrome, including the runways and interstitial grassed areas, is …
Our thanks to someone describing themselves as ‘Furious of Farnham’, who went back to the Inspector’s 2009 Report and diligently read it to ascertain whether Groucho’s recollection of the Inspector’s report was as straightforward as he would like gullible readers of the Farnham and Haslemere Heralds to believe or whether, as ‘Furious of Farnham’ suspected, it was a very selective spot of cherry-picking! No prizes to regular readers of Waverley Web as to what he found; those who are against development at Dunsfold Park have proved themselves very adept at that particular skill!
Re-reading the Report was, apparently, a worthwhile exercise as ‘Furious of Farnham’ also came across another little gem at paragraph 387 which anti-Dunsfold Park veterans, like (GG) tends to gloss over:
“Despite its disadvantageous location relative to the surrounding transport infrastructure, the appeal site has many advantages. When seen in the context of other options the appeal proposals may well prove to be the best solution for meeting the SEP [South East Plan] housing requirement. However, those other options have yet to be explored. The SEP had not even been approved at the time of the Inquiry and the Council does not yet have an adopted Core Strategy. The superiority of the appeal proposals cannot be assumed. A decision to allow the Eco-Village to proceed at this stage, prior to the formulation of the LDF [Local Development Framework], would be premature and would effectively pre-empt the proper consideration of alternatives as part of the develop [sic] planning process.”
Groucho and his fellow Grumps need to get over themselves. The Inspector indicated that he felt the scheme was premature in relation to the Local Development Framework and recommended that it be taken forward and re-examined alongside other proposals. Which is what happened and, lo and behold, when told it was a straight forward choice between building on Dunsfold Park (AKA a brownfield site) or local green fields those who responded to Waverley Borough Council’s consultation voted with their pens and put Dunsfold Park at the top of their wish list for future housing development.
The anti’s are like the Brexit-Bemoaners, flailing around mis-informing, mis-quoting and shamelessly cherry-picking reports in a belated and desperate attempt to force a u-turn or another vote but, as we said …
that boat has sailed, that train has left the station and Elvis and Mrs MOP have left the building.
The Borough of Waverley is a very different place in 2016/17 to what it was in 2009. Eight years have passed and even Waverley Borough Council has had to come to terms with the fact that, sadly, the Borough isn’t an island, nor is it immune to what is going on in the rest of the country. The government – indeed all political parties – recognise the urgent need for more house building and they’re determined to get on and do it everywhere – even in little old Dunsfold!
We like to be fair- Read Groucho’s letter here – but it comes with a Health Warning!16-11-10-fallacies-about-dunsfold-status