AN OPEN RESPONSE TO THE WORRIED OF WAVERLEY AND…
DEAR DENISE WORDSWORTH.
No one is saying that Dunsfold Park is the perfect site. What they’re saying is that, considered in the round against all other potential development sites in the borough, the advantages of building housing at Dunsfold Park outweigh the disadvantages.
But, true to form, you have latched on to the one negative from Surrey County Council in an otherwise favourable 266-page report from Waverley Borough Council in which they say: and believe us we have trawled through every page and all of us here at the Waverley Web have eye balls resembling roadmaps.
Page 41 ‘No objection is raised [by Highways England] to the development …’
Page 50 ‘SCC is now satisfied that the totality of mitigation on this corridor provides an adequate improvement to the whole corridor performance, so that the additional traffic likely to be generated by the development of the site will not lead to the overall worsening of performance of this corridor.’
Page 52 ‘In terms of congestion and performance of the network, the auditing of the A281 model shows that in overall terms the corridor will be better in journey times than would be the case without the mitigation.’
Page 54 ‘… the agreed transport package provides sufficient mitigation to provide overall benefits to the A281 corridor.’
So there you have it, dear Denise, journey times on the A281 will be better if Dunsfold Park is developed and their mitigation measures introduced than if it isn’t and they aren’t! It really couldn’t be clearer!
Yes, Surrey County Council has attempted to throw a googly on page 54 where they claim the site is unsustainable but – and we’re sorry to burst your bubble here – that comment is superfluous because in the context in which it’s made it’s outside the Council’s remit. And, if we were minded to be mean, we might even point out that this little outburst is akin to a stroppy teenager who, struggling to admit they’re wrong [SCC opposed the application in 2009] and having lost the intellectual argument throws a petulant taunt over their shoulder as they flounce out of the room!
But, hey-ho, it’s nearly Christmas and Surrey CC didn’t have to admit it was wrong, it simply had to accept that times have changed and what was not acceptable in 2009 is acceptable – desirable even – in 2016. Which, dear Denise, they have done, albeit not as graciously as they might.
As for the claim that Dunsfold Park is in a remote location, that’s risible – in fact, we’d go so far as to say, it’s clutching at straws. The site’s adjacent to the A281 with direct access on to that main road which will take residents directly to Guildford or Horsham and various points in between without them having to traverse narrow, winding B-roads which is the case with any development in Cranleigh or for that matters Alfold and Dunsfold villages!
Furthermore, a new development at Dunsfold Park will be largely self-sustaining. To remind you it will have:
accompanying retail and existing industrial space that will provide services and jobs for people living in those homes
cafes/restaurant/takeaway and/or a public house
a health centre, a community centre; a primary school; water bodies; outdoor sports and recreation facilities; cycleways and new roads; car and cycle parking.
It will have its own energy plant; water supply and telecommunications.
And its own drainage system and waste water treatment facilities.
But don’t take our word for it, read the application or, if you don’t have time to do that, just read the latest letter from Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning Services at Waverley BC, dated 5th December, in which she summarises the application in five paragraphs!
Tell us, Denise, can you name any other developer or development in the borough of Waverley which is so self-sustaining and not simply piggy-backing on the existing – and in many instances – failing infrastructure? If you can, you’re better informed than us Gunga Din!
As for the Environment Agency’s comments.
We here Waverley Web are not experts on water but what they actually said is, ‘if it can be demonstrated that there will be no deterioration in water quality, etc … a planning condition may be a suitable mechanism to agree the principle of the proposed development and to seek the finer details of the sewerage scheme.’ They also said, ‘The applicant may be able to overcome our objection by providing further clarification and evidence to address the points [we raised].’…
… In other words, it would appear the Environment Agency is looking for clarification in respect of some aspects of the planning application and once they have that information they are likely to rescind their objection.
Let’s face it, Denise, if Berkeley Homes and Crest Nicolson can get planning consent to build 425 and 160 homes respectively on land in Cranleigh with no drainage, that floods regularly during high rainfall and with their sewage going into holding tanks because the treatment plant is at capacity, it seems likely that Dunsfold Park will be able to address whatever concerns the Environment Agency has. So we suggest you stop grasping at straws.
It’s not rocket science, Denise. In fact, in the immortal words of Aleksandr Orlov, it’s ‘Simples’: Do we develop on green fields or brownfield? In case you hadn’t noticed, there isn’t a sit on your hands and do absolutely bugger all option in the daft Local Plan!
And as for your mealy-mouthed admission that Dunsfold Park is ‘partial brownfield’. Durhh?!?!
86% of Dunsfold Park is designated brownfield. 86% cannot, by anyone’s definition – even one as prejudiced as yours – be described merely as ‘partial’ when it is, in fact, the MAJORITY of the site!
You need to wake up and turn right out of your parallel universe into the real world, Denise. Forget the PoW Bubble where the answer to all questions relating to development at Dunsfold Park is to say, in the now infamous words of Amy Winehouse, ‘No! No! No!’ Cos we all know how that turned out don’t we …
You can’t simply say ‘No’ to development or push it all onto the existing towns of Cranleigh and Farnham, because the infrastructure in those towns is on its knees! And… development has not even begun there … yet! But you probably haven’t noticed that in your insular little PoW Bubble because, despite the all-encompassing name – Protect our Waverley – the only thing PoW is interested in protecting is its little corner of Alfold and Dunsfold. Parochial is the term that best sums up PoW and its aims!
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating: Waverley Web holds NO brief for any developer despite what certain individuals and pressure groups would like to believe. We support development on the largest brownfield site in the borough because it’s the right thing to do, the best thing to do in all of the circumstances.
Waverley BC has spent over 10 long years procrastinating over Dunsfold Park. It no longer has the time to indulge in further procrastination. The clock is ticking and the Council has to finally **ss or get off the pot! No doubt Pow would like it to get off the pot. The problem is, if the Council gets off the pot the Government will take its place and then there is a very real danger it will well and truly **ss all over Waverley’s parade …