You make me want to shout!
PoW want to make their feelings known and ensure every Waverley Borough Councillor who walks into the Council’s offices on Wednesday will have to walk the walk past an intimidating crush of protesters waving banners and placards.
Never mind that this group of mainly well-heeled Tories will almost certainly have a median age in the mid-eighties, it’s bums on seats in the public gallery that count!
Almost to a man and woman, they encapsulate those with comfortable homes of their own. The needs of those who simply cannot afford them don’t even enter their heads. But they would all do well to remember the words of the Planning Inspector who heard the Dunsfold Park Inquiry way back who said : ‘Everyone attending needs to be able to do so without fear of intimidation or harassment.’
It’s not quite rent-a-rabble but there’s a lot at stake here: the haves -v- the have nots.
This is a once in a generation opportunity for Waverley Councillors to ensure the provision of affordable homes for many hundreds of people who otherwise wouldn’t have a hope in hell of buying or renting in what is, undeniably, one of the most affluent, attractive and desirable areas of the country. And we’re not just talking about low paid workers, but key workers – firemen, policemen, nurses and teachers.
Across the mass media PoW has made its feelings clear: If Waverley’s Councillors heed POW then they are making a catastrophic error! They have a choice between the Goodies (PoW) and the Baddies ( who want to develop Dunsfold Park) and if they choose the latter, ARMAGEDDON could ensue!
Waverley Web is no fan of developers but there is something profoundly dispiriting – disturbing even – about the behaviour of PoW who, when faced with a decision that flies in the face of everything they have campaigned for – they react not just with outraged disbelief but conduct a smash-and-grab raid on reports that they cherry-pick to aid their dystopian programme of misinformation.
“Of course the country needs more housing … just not near us! We’re too remote! Too rural! It’s not sustainable! We are, we must be the exception to the rule!”
What’s so special about Alfold, Bramley, Chiddingfold, Compton, Dunsfold, Hambledon and Hascombe that they should be exceptions?
Why should the wily-well-to-do and well -housed of Waverley – think it’s acceptable to deny those who aren’t even the chance of a property.
“It’s lack of infrastructure!” they wail. “Where are all these houses – that we don’t want or need – going to pump their effluent? Where are all the children living in those houses going to school? What about all that traffic? All those HGVs on the A281 come from and go to Dunsfold. …”
WAKEY-WAKEY! HELLO? ANYONE HOME?
If they bothered to read the planning application instead of their own hysterical briefings, they’d know that Dunsfold Park is the ONLY development in the South East of the Borough that plans to build:
- Its own sewage treatment works, a primary school (in addition to already being home to two award-winning schools – Little Harriers Nursery and Jigsaw School for Autistic children – and with a legal agreement to be entered into with Waverley BC and Surrey CC, spend muchos-muchos millions of pounds improving the existing road network.
No other developer is shelling out the multi-millions that Dunsfold Park will if granted consent. Not Berkeley Homes with their approval for 425 homes on Knowle Lane; not A2 Dominion (formerly Knowle Park Initiative) with their application for 265 homes also on Knowle Lane; not Threadneedle Investments with their application of 120 homes at Hewitts Industrial Estate; not Thakeham Homes with their application for 400 homes in Alfold; not Cala Homes with their consent for 125 homes on Amlets Lane in Cranleigh; not Crest Nicholson with their 149 homes on Horsham Road in Cranleigh … we could go on … but regular readers will get the picture!
Not one of those developers is being asked or is offering to divvy-up anything approaching the huge sums that Waverley BC and Surrey CC (and anyone else who can remotely justify getting their hand in the cookie jar) are demanding of Dunsfold Park, despite the fact that, collectively, if approved all these other developments will come within spitting distance of matching the number of homes proposed by Dunsfold Park.
Which begs the question: Why?
Dunsfold Park it would seem is the Cash Cow for Waverley and all the other developers are riding on their coat-tails, offering the bare minimum to improve infrastructure or in any way compensate the communities in which they will have such a detrimental impact.
So why isn’t PoW all-over these other developers in the same way they are all-over Dunsfold Park?
PoW think it’s acceptable to sneer at people who support development at Dunsfold Park because they believe they are intellectually and morally superior to them.
Yes, that’s right, all those Captains of Industry, bankers and estate agents, QCs, solicitors and surveyors, the project managers and town planners, all those people who make their bread and butter – not to mention a healthy dollop of jam and in many cases cream too – out of the housing market – funding them, selling them and building them – think they’re morally superior to the supporters of development on Waverley’s largest brownfield site. Many of them are involved in the housing and development market themselves but they don’t build in their own back yard preferring to build in someone else’s … doesn’t matter where!
So, they’re not morally superior they’re simply hypocrites, utterly lacking in empathy for those who, unlike themselves, can’t afford that first step on the housing ladder – and would prefer pulling up the ladder behind them.
Sadly, there is none so blind as those who can’t see. For PoW is making the same mistakes that handed Brexit to the outers and the keys of The White House to The Donald. They are speaking up for themselves – a group of narrow-minded, primarily privileged home-owning individuals – and if they think their increasingly hysterical distortions of the truth are going to see it off !
We must all hope they are gravely mistaken. Because if they succeed it won’t just be a few of Waverley’s green and pleasant fields that are concreted over but most of them. Because behind every hedgerow there is a wanna-be-developer waiting to pounce.
Our message to those who will have to brave POW’s wrath on Wednesday is:
Sometimes as leaders and members of a community we have to think about more than just ourselves. So please, please, PLEASE, ignore PoW and vote to save our green fields by building homes for all us young people on brownfield first!