Guess what ‘Your Waverley” has been meeting Developers – to determine why the bricks aren’t being laid fast enough!

Funny really – we thought the bricks were being laid faster than the manufacturers could deliver them and HGV grab lorries over there in the East are enough to make By-Pass Byham want to build a Bramley By-Pass! Of course it’s the same over here -but Farnham has a By-Pass!

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These are the developers/officers/councillors who didn’t turn up to hear Council Leader Gone to Potts deliver her sermon on Mount Waverley. Not sure who did!


 Councillor Brian Adams – Waverley BC, Peter Hall – Surrey CC, Peter Tanner – Renaissance Group, Tim Johns – Hewitts, Mark Russell – MMC Real Estates, Ross Samuel, Andrew Rinaldi, Taylor Wimpey, David Guilcus – Berkeley Homes.

Agenda and draft minutes take from the council’s website complete with mistakes.

Developers Group    Agenda  Introductions and purpose of Meeting

Cllr Julia Potts, Leader and Chair of the meeting, welcomed everyone to the first Developers’ Meeting. She outlined to developers the purpose of the meeting and that today she wanted to hear directly from them about what the barriers to development were and how processes could be improved at Waverley to help them from submitting a planning application to obtaining planning permission.

Cllr Potts explained that everyone in the room was at different stages of development and this was an information gathering meeting where she wanted, without prejudice, free and open discussion of developers’ views. There was a lot of pressure on local authorities to build and where planning permissions had been granted officers would like an understanding of why these sites were not yet being developed and explore what the barriers were. Notes would be taken and circulated following the meeting as well as be placed on the website so that this was an open and transparent process and to make it clear that any matters discussed and views expressed did not bind officers or members to any course of action. The discussions were completely without prejudice to the Council’s position on any planning decisions/Appeals going forward.

Round Table discussion

The Chairman opened up the meeting to those present to outlining the issues they had experienced and the barriers to development within Waverley. Below is a note of the main key points:

Utility Companies
Difficulty was expressed in moving development forward because utility companies did not forward plan. They were reactive rather than proactive so once an application was approved developers could not progress the development as the utility companies were not in the financial position to move forward.

There had also been difficulty with the Environment Agency who took a significant amount of time to make decisions on submitted impact studies further delaying the process.

· Statutory Consultees
When an application was submitted it took some time for responses on the applications from statutory consultees. This has resulted occasionally in applications not being able to come to committee as Officers had to wait until these had been received so they could be reported on.

A developer advised that Horsham had a regular meeting with key consultees to discuss sites and this had proven particularly useful to ensure everyone was engaged and there was forward planning for all involved.

· Public speaking arrangements
It was noted that at meetings, developers found it difficult to reply to inaccuracies once the Committee debated the application. Surrey Heath, Croydon and Reading all had public speaking schemes which allowed the applicants/agents to come back towards the end of the debate to answer questions/clarify any factual points which couldn’t always be answered (or on behalf of) them.

· Pre-Application process/Communications
The Developers expressed their willingness to work with Officers, Towns and Parishes, Ward Councillors and local residents. If they could meet with all parties at the same time, rather than on separate occasions, there could be common understanding from the start about the application and the issues to be resolved. Solving these at an earlier stage would help developers in moving forward more quickly. It was noted that resources were tight with all Local Authorities but would like to receive communications in a more timely manner from officers so that applications could be revised sooner.

· Decision Making
Concern was expressed about the time it took between an outline permission being granted and moving onto reserved matters. Furthermore, this involved seeking a further committee date and, therefore, a further delay. Officers advised that the council diary was very full with meetings taking place most evenings and previously they had one meeting an evening. However, they would be looking at planning for holding an outline application and a reserved matters application (for a different site) to happen on the same evening as the latter did not normally tend to be as contentious as the former. Developers stressed their keenness in delivering a quality product and to use quality materials and recognised that this was crucial for many Members, hence their wish to engage further at this stage with ward members and Town and Parish Councils.

It was suggested that at future developers meetings that the Chairs and … view the full minutes text for item 3.
A number of issues had been identified at the meeting which are outlined in these minutes. The Leader and Chairman of the Group thanked everyone for attending and officers would look into these points and a meeting would be arranged in due course.


2 thoughts on “Guess what ‘Your Waverley” has been meeting Developers – to determine why the bricks aren’t being laid fast enough!”

  1. Latest update from the Inspector Re the Local Plan … I am biased – Obviously!!! But he raises Some issues that we need to think about – ALL OF US….

    5. Spatial strategy
    Note: this is a general section on the soundness of the spatial
    strategy. The site allocations, and any Green Belt issues, will be
    dealt with separately.
    5.1 Paragraph 3.2 of the Plan states that most of the new
    development will be located in and around the main settlements of
    Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh which have the best
    available access to jobs, services, housing, community facilities and
    so on. How can the Dunsfold Aerodrome allocation be justified
    against this spatial strategy?

    5.2 To what extent does the apportionment of housing in Policy
    ALH1 reflect the needs of the settlements themselves?
    5.3 Does the apportionment of development in the Plan have proper
    regard to the quality and capacity of the road network, and the
    quality and capacity of public transport? What are the principal
    transport improvements and projects that are required for the
    implementation of the Plan?
    5.4 As Farnham is the largest town, with a good range of shops and
    services, excellent access to the national road network and good rail
    and other public transport links, why hasn’t more housing land been
    allocated there in the interests of a sound sustainable development
    5.5 Will the Plan provision for Farnham fall significantly short of
    identified need, for both market housing and affordable housing?
    5.6 Having regard to the spatial strategy, why hasn’t more housing
    been allocated to Godalming and Haslemere?
    5.7 Is Cranleigh, which is a considerably smaller town, a suitable
    location for the volume of growth proposed?
    5.8 Does the Plan strike the right balance in its apportionment of
    development to the other settlements?
    9. Dunsfold Aerodrome
    9.1 What is the realistic volume of car trips that can be expected
    from the site, given the probability of car-based movements for
    commuting and shopping trips and the potential for car movements
    for educational trips (there being no proposed secondary school)?
    9.2 On which communities will the main environmental effects of
    additional traffic movement from Dunsfold Aerodrome fall, having
    regard to the above?
    9.3 What are the implications for the road network, including:
    – the A3
    – the A281 and other routes into Guildford
    – the character of roads in the countryside, AONB and AGLV
    – roads in other districts?
    9.4 In terms of transport, what is the timing of the “package of
    measures” in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan” (including any
    outside the Borough) and should this be in the Local Plan?
    9.5 What degree of:
    – environmental mitigation
    – traffic mitigation
    could realistically be expected from these measures?
    9.6 What key non-highway infrastructure measures are required on
    or outside the site, what are the risks to delivery and the
    implications for the trajectory from the site? (see also question
    9.7 What justification is there for regarding this site as mostly
    “previously developed land” given that the majority of the site is
    open and grassed?
    9.8 What will be the effect on the setting of the AONB, particularly
    important panoramas from viewpoints within the AONB?
    9.9 Would the range of employment and retail and social facilities
    proposed for the site allow for an adequate degree of selfsufficiency
    or would the scale of development be inadequate to
    support a critical mass of facilities?
    You HAVE to look at it – Not happy reading for anyone!

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