It’s official – Waverley Planners have gone Bats!

Crest Nicholson get Licence to Kill…bats!  And if you link into the comments box – you can hear the debate which was very kindly sent to us here at the WW by Mushroom Management. Presumably, because they (WBC) keep most people in the dark and throw a bucket of sh*t over them?

Potty & Co go batty! 

Lies, damned lies, and no proper statistics – for the endangered bat population of 
Blightwells, Farnham’s infamous multi-million-pound development in East Street.

Easing into her new role as part of the England Team and with Nikes at the ready, Chief Planning Officer put the boot in on councillors  in readiness for her World Cup debut, when they dared to ask too many questions and took more than their allotted four minutes on Crest Nicholsons’s planning application to mitigate the loss of habitat and “protect” the Blightwells bat population.

Whilst everyone is aware from previous surveys that there are bats in the Redgrave Theatre, the Blightwells Cottage, The Marlborough Head, and elsewhere on the site all either demolished or awaiting the swinging ball,  – there is to be NO MITIGATION – for the loss of the Maternity Roost, NO BAT HOUSE, as previously agreed with Crest Nicholson just a handful of aluminium poles stuck up around the site with  bat boxes on the top!

There will be no bat houses to replace the maternity roost despite calls from rebellious councillors  Farnham Residents’  Jerry Hyman and John Ward, Paul “fearsome” Follows, and  Cranleigh Tory Liz Townsend,  who was sitting on the Joint Planning Committee for the first time and who might just have to watch her seat!  Disobeying Betty Boot on your first outing!

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 Watch out Liz, or we might have to start referring to Cranleigh’s ‘Liz as the Biz.”

There were some lovely quotes from councillors:- here’s just a few to make you smile.

“If we go ahead and grant this… it could be A LICENCE TO KILL – BATS!

Godalming’s Paul Follows: “Isn’t it an offence to disrupt or injure roosting bats.”

Cranleigh’s Liz Townsend: ‘How will the bats survive if the Blightwells Cottage is demolished?”

Anna James (Chiddingfold): “I’m quite happy to grant this application as it stands.” In other words Bug**r the Bats!

John Ward (Farnham)If we don’t have a maternity wing- we may not have any more little bats.”OH! and I object to the Chairman asking us at the start of this meeting to “curtail the debate.”

Jerry Hyman (Farnham) “It’s not rocket science if  they, (the developers and the planning officers) don’t care about endangered species, and the environment – what do they care about?”

You may well ask – WWethinks … letting developers do whatever they like?

Planning Officer: “Natural England has issued a licence, and under the terms of that licence the developer cannot damage bats. Followed by: “Natural England have not actually assessed it?”

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 20.17.48.pngBetty Boot: Then dons her steel toecap Nike’s saying:”We are quite confident about our recommendation to approve this application because it is sound. and… In the big scheme of things, this is an insignificant matter”

Insignificant matter?

Here’s what many Farnam people think!

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 19.22.07.pngAnd… didn’t our Betty do well last night in her first World Cup game against Tunisia? But, she gets a lot more practice than most of the team, she puts the boot in on a daily basis. 

However, we have just heard from one of her fans, that it isn’t her fault – she is just doing her Master/Mistresses bidding!

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8 thoughts on “It’s official – Waverley Planners have gone Bats!”

  1. This one was interesting because almost all the councillors had sat through a fairly thorough briefing on the habitats directive and associated legal judgements for 2hrs that very afternoon.

    It is also an example of where (in my opinion) the borough is sticking to technical compliance with the law but not the spirit of it – in this case ticking the boxes vs actually assessing environmental harm in full. I could only conclude the reason most other councillors voted no here was that we (increasingly) don’t want to put the developers out…:/

    Personally I’m more inclined to be working for the people I represent (and in things like this, the people of the borough) , and the spirit of the legislation in question.

    1. Well, hooray for you! We here at the Waverley Web believe that is what EVERY SINGLE borough councillor is there to do, work for the people they represent. People who actually care about our environment. Sadly we do not even believe the council is technically compliant. But then what are few fewer bats between friends.

    2. Accountability! Are you saying there should be accountability within ‘Your Waverley?’ This council does not know the meaning of the word – until of course – someone, somewhere is held accountable for their actions and goes to prison. And since when did planning officers answer councillors questions fully! Ask Hyman; Follows; Townsend and Ward if they received satisfactory answers. However, we were remiss in not telling everyone that good old sleepy Goodridge who prides himself on never having to be elected in Wonersh, suggested the aluminum bat poles were unsightly and should be painted GREEN!
      Was this the same man that supported officers taking enforcement action … TWICE …against one of his constituents for building a little duck island in the middle of his Wonersh lake? And which cost the taxpayers the applicants costs of over £18,000!

  2. Here’s the position on disturbing bats copied and pasted from the Government website :

    “You’re breaking the law if you do certain things including:

    deliberately capture, injure or kill bats
    damage or destroy a breeding or resting place
    obstruct access to their resting or sheltering places
    possess, sell, control or transport live or dead bats, or parts of them
    intentionally or recklessly disturb a bat while it’s in a structure or place of shelter or protection
    Either or both of the following could happen if you’re found guilty of any offences:

    you could be sent to prison for up to 6 months
    you could get an unlimited fine”

    The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 places obligations on local authorities under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). If Natural England has issued a licence, Waverley officers and councillors would be breaking the law if they then granted planning consent knowingly or in ignorance (“ignorance” because they had not properly checked before the JPC meeting) that disturbance to hibernation and maternity roosts would breach the licence. One assumes that the planning officers should have carefully checked this all before the JPC meeting, but I am just querying this because Waverley Web you stated “Planning Officer: “Natural England has issued a licence, and under the terms of that licence the developer cannot damage bats. Followed by: “Natural England have not actually assessed it?” ” Bat roost mitigation is a complex subject and Waverley would leave themselves wide open to prosecution if they have not dealt with this properly.

    If Natural England has not assessed this site, then how can Waverley Planning Officers and Borough Councillors knowingly give permission to develop this site, if some of the Councillors raised law compliance objections at the JPC meeting which from your notes Waverley Web did not appear to have been answered fully?

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