Potts lambasts the challengers of Waverley’s Local Plan as “despicable.”

Potts goes Potty… AGAIN!


POW (Protect Our Waverley) the CPRE (Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England) and Mr and Mrs House (though she didn’t mention them by name) came in for a right rollicking from leader Julia  Potts at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday.

She began her tirade of chastisement gently saying  “how extremely disappointed” she was, by the three legal challenges, and how “unfair” it was of “them” to involve local taxpayers in £200,000 plus of legal costs.

But then she revved up the rhetoric, saying: ” I am appalled  I am absolutely horrified that these groups want to waste taxpayers money by trying to   sabotage the Local Plan – it is despicable.”

She said both POW (a limited company) and the CPRE had ticked the box on the legal papers marked AARHUS  (The Arthur’s convention which set a limit on costs of £5,000 for individuals and £10,000 for companies) – thereby limiting their individual costs to just £10,000 whilst the cost to the borough would be huge.

But she warned, all challenges would be defended robustly, with no stone unturned, all those involved in the Judicial Review had been given ample opportunity to have their say since 2013, and their concerns had been heard, listened to, and debated upon. The Local Plan was approved and would be fiercely defended.

Cranleigh Councillor Mary Foryszewski shared her “anger” and asked would the courts allow the challengers  to risk so little of their money after forcing  the Council to, “Spend, spend, spend.”

Councillor Jed Hall said – “the armchair pressure groups” should not be allowed to undermine local, and national planning decisions.

… However,  not everyone agreed.

Farnham Residents’ Councillor Jerry Hyman side-swiped the leader Julia Potts for her inexcusable use of the word “despicable” saying to describe Waverley residents as “despicable” was taking too harsh a line. “We should respect our residents’ and their right to challenge – if the courts decide they are wrong then so be it. But it was their right”  He said there were also many other residents of the borough who believed it was wrong that Waverley should be forced to take part of Woking’s unmet housing need.

Councillor Wyatt Ramsdale – admitted he wasn’t a massive fan of the LP,’ but, “this plan is better than no plan. Our residents have every right to criticise but the NIMBY approach here is just for their particular area!”

Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor Christopher Storey stressed that the Local Plan meant Waverley was no longer Developer-led, but Plan lead, and it carried full weight and would be defended. Any attempt to question its entirety would destroy the council’s credibility.

A Question from Godalming Councillor Paul Follows “What if the challenge succeeded?” fell on deaf ears!

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7 thoughts on “Potts lambasts the challengers of Waverley’s Local Plan as “despicable.””

  1. Waverley BC have long proudly ignored their obligations under the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters the Aarhus Convention, was signed on 25 June 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus. It entered into force on 30 October 2001. As of March 2014, it has 47 parties—46 states and the European Union.

    If WBC were subject to the Rule of Law they would also be obliged to consider
    The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017
    4. (5) The relevant planning authority or the Secretary of State must ensure that they have, or have access as necessary to, sufficient expertise to examine the environmental statement.

    No wonder WBC force council tax payers to waste money on legal challenges

    1. You must be referring to theEast Street Development in Farnham where Waverley Borough Council break every rule in the book? And… seemingly get away with it. That is why it faces so many legal challenges – nobody trusts ‘Your Waverley.’ Not a day goes by when we here at the Waverley Web hear of yet another misdemeanour. But then we are mere minnows who write about its indiscretions, gathered from inside and outside WBC’s hallowed halls. Don’t believe that officers are any more impressed with the administration than many residents. We hear from them regularly, even though they do it on pain of death. But they contact us because they believe it is in the public interest.

  2. Well said Cllr Hyman!
    I agree that to finally have a Local Plan is better than no Plan – But doesn’t mean I have to like what is being proposed and have every right to criticise it as does anyone else in the Borough and when 42% of the total allocation of Housing proposed is in the East of the Borough – it is hardly unsurprising that people in this area feel aggrieved – I do NOT call that NIMBYism and we know where Cllr Ramsdale hales from!

  3. One of the other things I asked during that session was for assurance from the borough solicitor and the leader of the council that we actually had a good chance of winning these challenges. The last question (as mentioned in your article) I will be resubmitting as a written question for the next executive.

    Worse case scenario we waste a lot of money fighting something we can’t guarantee that we will win – and then face whatever consequences losing has (which were not elaborated upon at all).

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