Hold the front page- there’s a Tory councillor on Facebook! And then along comes a Godalming Liberal Democrat to speak to his residents.

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Who better than Bramley’s By-Pass Byham to launch into social media to defend ‘Your Waverley.’

Surfacing only when all the complaints about car park charges imposed on the borough’s commons are attributed to Waverley, where he is a Councillor as opposed to where they really belong, at Surrey County Council.

Who better than Bramley’s By-Pass Byham to launch into social media to defend ‘Your Waverley.’

Why isn’t he responding to some of the more serious complaints regularly trotted out regardless of which authority they are aimed at?  Perhaps Farnham’s Air quality issue is just one example? But at least he has taken to social media – hopefully in time to be re-elected in Bramley and prevent being By-passed by his residents?

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image1Then along comes, Councillor Paul Follows who regularly engages with the public on social media to show the Tories how it works.

Dear Resident,

Likely you will have seen notices and received literature from a developer regarding a proposed development of 262 houses within the ward (application WA/2018/1239).

My view is that consultation has been minimal and as one of your ward councillors I wanted to provide you with some updates about what is happening, to tell you about our concerns and let you know what you can do to engage and when.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

– The formal consultation period for this application ‪ends Friday 31st August‬.

– Godalming Town Council will consider the application ‪on Thursday 6th September‬ to provide its comments to Waverley Borough Council.

– The Joint Planning Committee of Waverley Borough Council (date to be confirmed) will then formally consider the application and make the decision to grant or to reject planning permission. Waverley will contact anyone who registered an objection or comment.

– If rejected at that stage, the developer could appeal.

OUR CONCERNS FOR THE COMMUNITY

The density of the site (262 houses) with a high possibility of nearer 500 if and when the adjacent land in Guildford is considered in a future application.

– Significant Impact upon local wildlife and the environment.

– Significant impact on traffic and roads.

– Significant impact upon already-stretched infrastructure.

– Need for truly affordable and social housing (for first time buyers, key workers and locals)

– Need for an integrated community, not two very separate residential areas.

– Design and layout of the scheme.

However:

– Development may benefit local schools such as Green Oak and Rodborough who would likely receive direct infrastructure contributions and increases in pupil numbers.

– Proposed community building could benefit the community as a whole. We have proposed a clinic/dentist or youth centre as some possible uses.

– Increased numbers of residents in the area may (in time) drive other changes – such as increases in public transport provision.

It is important to us that ANY development benefit existing residents, that you have the chance to be heard and that those views are taken seriously by the council.

I want to understand your views and concerns so that I can better represent you as your ward councillor on this extremely important matter.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

– Make sure to have your say on this application via the planning portal on the Waverley Borough Council website or in person at the council offices. Application WA/2018/1239

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning‬

– Attend the meeting of Godalming Town Council ‪on Thursday 6th September at 7pm‬ at the Council Offices. Any questions need to be sent to the Town Council in advance with at least two full working days before the meeting.

https://godalming-tc.gov.uk/contact/‬

– You can also do the same for the meeting at Waverley Borough Council when a date is set to formally decide upon this application (likely to be some point in October).

– You can also review the community petition that has been organised in cooperation with other concerned residents and local groups. You may have already seen and signed this, but the aim is to engage as many people in the Ockford Ridge, Eashing and Aarons Hill area as possible in the time remaining.

https://www.change.org/p/waverley-borough-council-ask-waver…

And finally:

Contact your local Liberal Democrat Councillors using the details below, on this or any other issues that are concerning you!

Cllr Paul Follows
‪paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk‬
www.Facebook.com/PaulFollowsGodalming/‬

Cllr Ollie Purkiss
‪Ollie.purkiss@godalming-tc.gov.uk‬
www.Facebook.com/OlliePurkissGodalming‬/

That’s how to  engage with the public Councillor Byham!

Godalming Ashill Development is getting the bumsrush from residents.

Godalming residents are waking up and smelling the concrete that could be about to cover part of the town’s once protective green belt.

If recent planning officer recommendations are anything to go by its a given. The mantra in ‘Your Waverley’s ‘ planning department is – if it doesn’t move grant permission!’

Last night at Western Planning officers were quite happy to convert a shed into a house near Farnham Castle’s Conservation Area!!

Residents are beginning to question why farmland should be removed from the Green Belt to provide more housing in Eashing Lane. Some residents are posting videos on the Godalming Community Board generating over a 100 comments in the GREAT GODALMING GREEN BELT DEBATE

  • What do they get in return for 262 houses?
  • A mystery Community Building and a footpath into an existing field they are calling a ‘new Country Park’ – (as it’s too steep to build houses on!)
  • More traffic?
  • Services under stress?

Meanwhile, the developers have released a “Community Update Newsletter” ahead of the Planning Application consultation closing this week.

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Here is the link to download the newsletter.

Respond NOW! here to Waverley by Friday 31st August for WA/2018/1239

One resident and video poster Nina M has also started a petition, which we would like to bring to your attention, seeking toAsk Waverley BC to rethink housebuilding & reject Ashill development on greenfield land”

Good Luck – We’ve seen how the  East of the Borough, has been treated without the area benefitting from  Green Belt protection! As councillors sat with their hands in the air consenting development after development even on floodplains, they called it ‘Poor Old Cranleigh.”

No doubt they will stick their hands in the air and call our town – “Poor Old Godawfulming!’

Not a single Conservative Councillor has responded as to WHY they took this land out of Green Belt, as opposed to any other space, given the very narrow roads into Godalming or the bottleneck that is the A3 to Guildford.

Perhaps they will break the habit of a lifetime and write to us here at contact@waverleyweb.org

Guildford allocates 42 homes a year for Woking.

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Guildford Borough Council has allocated an extra 42 houses per annum to its revised Local Plan to help meet Woking’s unmet need. It has agreed to the Planning Inspector’s recommendations, just as Waverley has, which lead to the current Judicial Review. Guildford will now have to build 672 homes a year, up from the previous 654 planned last year.

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The report (here)  and annexe here goes to the Guildford Executive on 4th September for the recommendation, with a 6-week consultation to follow. The report explains that:

Woking’s unmet housing need is 225 homes a year
Waverley was directed to take 83 homes a year by the Inspector
Guildford will take an extra 42 houses a year

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 11.40.37Waverley Web asks? – Does this undermine the current action from CPRE and PoW? Guildford says it is more constrained than Waverley in taking this housing. Does such precedence now pull the rug from under this appeal?

Perhaps the best outcome is a reduction in Waverley’s numbers between 42 and 83? Will that justify the apparent extra £300,000 set aside by Waverley to fight this JR?
What if the judge says Waverley is MUCH LESS constrained than Guildford – might Waverley’s numbers actually GO UP? (Not again!!)

Is anyone going to ask Surrey Police what’s happened​ to that air quality investigation?

Surely the Farnham Herald could give Surrey Police a ring and put us all out of our misery? Isn’t it time they handed out that official quote they have had sitting on their desk for weeks?

It is now six months since ‘Your Waverley’ referred for its publication of incorrect nitrogen dioxide figures to Surrey Police to investigate. All we can hear is the sound of silence?

Has someone – somewhere contrived to ensure that Waverley residents choke on their own, and everyone else’s exhaust fumes in Farnham and die waiting for the police investigation to produce some answers?

You can read about it here:

Surrey Police has confirmed that, so far, no arrests have been made at ‘Your Waverley.’

At least one lane of the A31 will be closed for up to 28 weeks, to allow the Blightwells development to go ahead so there will be less air pollution? – Or maybe there will be more? Answers to contact@waverleyweb.org

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Here’s what Farnham’s graffiti artists have posted on development hoardings just in case anyone forgets it’s elephant in the room!

SURREY County Council’s area highways manager, John Hilder, has shed light on Crest Nicholson’s temporary access “haul road” from the A31 across the River Wey to the Brightwells site, and the anticipated lane closure on the eastbound carriageway of the Farnham bypass to facilitate the works.

Crest’s 2012 planning consent for Brightwells (WA/2010/1650) states: “Traffic congestion will be created on the A31 and associated parts of highway network not only during construction/dismantling of bridge and access but for entire East Street construction period of 2.5 to 3 years.”

However, responding to a question from Farnham Residents leader Jerry Hyman at the latest meeting of the Waverley Local Committee, Mr Hilder shared his “understanding” with councillors that the lane closure would only be in place during the construction and removal of the bridge, a process expected to take up to 28 weeks in total according to the 2012 consent, not for the entirety of the works on the wider scheme.

Crest Nicholson added in a statement: “One lane of the A31 was closed for a day for tree works in February 2018, and will be temporarily closed again later in the year for the creation of a new bridge. The bridge will be used to divert construction traffic off the A31,” added the developer.

“Waverley Borough Council, Surrey County Council and Crest Nicholson are currently in discussions over the length of this temporary closure and are keen to keep this as short as possible to minimise disruption. The closure is likely to be required from early August 2018 to mid-November 2018.

“Following this work, both lanes of the A31 are expected to be open as usual.”

The meeting, at the Hale Institute on March 9, was the first held by the Waverley Local Committee after an unconditional contract was signed between Waverley Borough Council and developer Crest Nicholson last month, allowing the Brightwells scheme to proceed and confirming Surrey’s £40m investment in the retail element of the East Street redevelopment.

Bourne resident actor Abigail McKern asked committee members what Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council Plan B was if the retail take up for the Brightwells project fails: “in light of 25,000 shops closing in the last 15 years.”

Waverley Brightwells sticker book launched!

Officers informed the meeting, Brightwells’ retail offering was an “evolving picture”, with only M&S Simply Food and Seasalt stores so far confirmed as tenants for the scheme’s 24 retail units.

Please,​ Sir can we have some more… (houses)?

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Never has the division between Town and Gown been starker than in Godalming at (Charterhouse School) and in Cranleigh – at (Cranleigh School!) Both private schools want to flog off their Green Belt playing fields to secure their futures!

Here’s the public presentation that was given by Charterhouse School to justify building 132 houses on their Broom & Lees playing fields. Cranleigh School’s offering is still on the blackboard!

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What struck us here at the WW was how out of touch / desperate was Charterhouse School’s justification for concreting over the green belt: Can’t help wondering if the Campaign for the Protection of some parts of Rural England, or perhaps even Protect ~Our Waverley, will have their say? Or, are they too busy girding their loins to stop development on the largest brownfield site in the borough at the Judicial Review due this Autumn?

The Broom and Lees Playing Field is Green Belt land. However, we believe that the proposed expansion creates a number of ‘Very Special Circumstances’ to justify this development, namely:

  • Providing new School places to widen choice in education
  • Improving the diversity and inclusivity of Charterhouse
  • Protecting and enhancing an established education facility
  • Protecting and enhancing a major local employer
  • Creating additional employment opportunities
  • Investing in and enhancing listed buildingsWithout the funding provided by the sale of Broom and Lees, the expansion and improvement of the School simply cannot proceed.

YOUR FEES ARE £32,364 a year for a day pupil! Surely you don’t have to pave over some of the finest playing fields of England to improve a school whose alumni include:

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To name just a few!

(left) Jeremy Hunt Foreign Secretary.

(Right) Jonathan King Singer, songwriter, composer and.. lad about town.

 

Just to add insult to injury £174,000 of the 106 monies provided by the developers’ of Cranleigh’s new 450 Berkeley homes, now under construction, has been earmarked for… a new 3G Pitch for Cranleigh School! Alfold Football Club puts its best foot forward – whilst Cranleigh’s 106 monies go to A Cranleigh top fee-paying school!

 

Waverley Brightwells sticker book launched!

Waverley Web has launched the Blightwells Sticker Book – inspired by the recent article by Julia Potts in ‘Your Waverley’. We’ll keep the book updated every time a store is announced! Isn’t Sainsbury’s already there? And isn’t ASK closing restaurants? 

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We here at WW were inspired by David Quick and his desire to get an answer from Julia Potts following the publication of ‘Your Waverley’ the borough’s very own newsletter – once called ‘Making Waves’ which underwent a makeover as the name was considered inappropriate as it sounded too confrontational!

Because he couldn’t get a pip or a squeak out of Julia Potts he was forced to turn to contact the developer Crest Nicholson direct. So let’s crowdsource the sticker book so we can keep the good people of Farnham updated!

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Letting ‘Your Waverley’s’ head honcho have his say on Blightwells.

BUT DO WE BELIEVE Waverley’s new boy CEO, Tom Horwood?  – THAT IS THE QUESTION?

And.. when Waverley’s new 106 Officer arrives – will he be empowered to shine a light on all those 106 Agreements (Agreements with developers to spend money on infrastructure to mitigate the effects of development) in the areas where the effects of that development will be so keenly felt? Because if he is – he’s in for a BIG JOB!

A VERY BIG JOB!

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Does his letter prompt more questions than answers?

Does Blightwells actually have planning consent yet?

Funny comment where he says “I don’t recognise the figure of 20m.”  He wouldn’t recognise too much about the figure – which was exactly £18m – the time, because he is still a new boy on the block and wasn’t actually around at the time all these figures were being aired publicly.

Is the whole borough confused about where the 106 monies go? Do they benefit the whole borough? Or, do they benefit the areas where developers are contributing to the housing and retail stock?

Because in Cranleigh there is much angst about several hundred thousand pounds from the Berkeley Homes (450 home) development, and monies from other developments, being contributed to provide improved sports facilities ( a 3G sports pitch) into Cranleigh Public School, a registered charity and one of the most expensive public schools in the country!

Another 462 houses for Farnham?

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 Farnham Town Council has launched its public consultation on potential new housing sites in Farnham. They have to find at least another 450 houses over the next 15 years to comply with the revised Waverley Plan Part 1.
(Unless the current Judicial Review to the Plan reduces Waverley’s allocation of Woking’s unmet need – which could be as little as – oh – about 450!)

Here’s the map of Farnham showing the proposed new housing sites (all on brownfield) and their capacities. The other coloured sites are ones identified by Farnham in their previous 2017 Neighbourhood Plan.

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Here is the breakdown of those sites – you can respond to Farnham’s consultation here.

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At first glance, all we can say is well done for finding enough Brownfield sites and all within the built-up area boundary. It’s a shame the roads are so terrible that you can’t accommodate Cranleigh and the eastern villages allocation too!

Now we all know why ‘YW’ wanted to move its training services into the Memorial Hall.

Read more from the Farnham Herald here: IMG_2913.JPG

Honestly, we are not laughing – because it’s​ too damn serious but…

Residents could soon be launching a sweepstake on whose in line for the next Great Big Surrey Smash and Grab?

If your local ATM is not included in the list of ramraids on the sites already targeted below – then be vigilant – your town or village could be next! Or maybe, you are one of the lucky ones – and you don’t have an ATM anymore!

 

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Farnham’s East Street after the smash and grab.

 

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Here’s a Dear John letter to Surrey’s Police & Crime Commissioner who is currently away on holiday, but cannot wait to get back to answer the huge volume of e-mails that await him?

In the meantime, the great Surrey crash and grab continues, but thankfully residents are emptying some ATM’s before the raiders get to them – one raid only managed to steal a measly £200! Some areas are even thinking themselves lucky they don’t have an ATM anymore – because the Big Bank raiders got there before them – Nat West, Lloyds, etc…!

Dear Mr Munro…

 

FactCheck – Your Local Tory leaflet?

People Power or Political Power?

Never before have we seen such scrutiny applied to a piece of Conservative propaganda as this piece of fiction that was delivered in Central Godalming, and has caused quite a stir on the Godalming Community Facebook Group. Thanks, Elaine for the post!

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Godalming Residents, the Green Oaks PTA and parents have been steaming at the idea that Cllr Andrew Bolton is taking credit for “allowing the school to remain open for a year”, generating 98 comments of outrage in the Facebook Group. Elaine asked the Group: “I thought the Liberal Dems councillor Paul David Follows was the main campaigner of keeping Green Oaks school open? Have I got that wrong?”

 

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It was well known that the Conservatives wanted to close the school, which had caused them some headache over the years, ruining the Education Cabinet member Cllr Peter Martin’s Waverley statistics. No wonder Peter took every opportunity to brief against the school, and apparently urging fellow councillors that the closure was inevitable. This briefing then led to Jeremy Hunt issuing this unfortunate press release reported in the Sorry Advertiser:
Jeramy Hunt backs Green Oak school closure decision as public meeting called. Jeremy Hunt said: “although he sympathised with parents and children, he understood Surrey County Council’s decision. It is a great shame that Green Oaks CofE Primary School is set to close and I fully appreciate the concerns of parents who are understandably worried about what will happen to their children and where they will continue their education.”

Sometimes Jeremy you need to consult the actual people rather than your Tory cronies as to the will of the people!

Godalming Town Councillor Richard Wainwright jumped in to try and defend Peter Martin and Andrew Bolton and received very short shift!

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Richard was also noted for taking credit for the Godalming Neighbourhood Plan, something he admitted was nothing to do with him, although he did apparently amend a line in it at the consultation stage. Bravo Richard!

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Of course Green Oak parents are also furious that the Conservatives  say the school only has a years’ reprieve!

That’s  not what the parents have been told – and is hardly likely to encourage people to send their children there with its future in limbo!

If you receive an election leaflet, from whatever party, do send it in to us at WW and we will be happy to fact check it with you!