While our team was away we received the comment featured below, and further comments from others, on the JR Local Plan and Dunsfold Aerodrome High Court hearings- here’s our rather belated response.
Dear Mr Ruffles
Apologies for the delay in replying but even the Waverley Web needs to take a break and hang out somewhere else!
We were not represented by any of our correspondents at the High Court on 12 July. However, that doesn’t mean our post was a work of fiction. We received feedback via a mole at Waverley Borough Council and from one or two boasts by the rather smug members of the PoW Campaign who didn’t realise they were confiding in the wrong person!!
Clearly, as we weren’t present, we can’t vouch for the veracity of everything we were told but have heard several accounts of the proceedings from people who were and having cross-referenced them we were happy to report with the caveat that if anyone who was present took issue with our post we would be happy to issue an amendment or clarification if necessary.
With regard to how well Waverley Borough Council was represented, we were told Waverley’s Chief Executive Tom Horwood; the Leader, Julia Potts; Head of Planning, Elizabeth Sims and her sidekick “Sick As A” Graham Parrott were present in Court. Given the importance of the occasion – the potential voiding of Waverley’s latest Local Plan – a Plan, moreover, that has been many years and many hundreds of thousands of pounds in the making – so they bloody should be! If the Plan gets thrown out – thanks to CPRE and PoW – it will be CATASTROPHIC for both the Borough and its residents! Particularly Cranleigh – whose countryside will go under concrete faster than knotweed can spread!
And, with that thought in mind, it was right and proper that the Council fielded its senior team. Indeed, given the importance you place on PoW’s arguments to the whole of Waverley and its Local Plan, we’re only surprised that you’re quibbling about Waverley fielding its movers and shakers! You really can’t have your cake, eat it and have some left over for a trifle, Mr Ruffles!
Who the Dunsfold Developer chose to rock up with is neither here nor there, as far as we’re concerned, because we, the Waverley taxpayers, aren’t footing the bill! However, we understand their CEO, AKA the Flying Scot and their lead on the Dunsfold development, Jerry Forrester, were present. It’s hardly surprising that a ‘gentleman from Trinity College’ was present given they’re the site owner! Bloody rude if he hadn’t shown his face if you ask us.
We love the phrase contrived to sit ‘hugger mugger’ with the WBC team. According to one of our moles, the Dunsfold Developer and his team sat on the right of the courtroom, very properly behind their legal eagles. It was the PoW supporters who plumped themselves down behind the Dunsfold Developer, despite their legal team being on the left side of the courtroom! What was all that about?
However, it’s summer and the sun’s shining, we’re just back from our hols (the Charlotte’s Web Barn, in case you’re interested!) and we’re in a good mood.
Turning to your final paragraph, WBC has failed miserably, prior to the appointment of Julia Potts and Elizabeth Sims, to get its act together and produce a Local Plan. Had it done so under the previous regimes of the unlamented Mrs Mary Orton-Pett, Councillor Richard Shut-the-Gates and Councillor Robert Know-less, Waverley wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in today. Those three, burying their heads in the sand and sticking two fingers up to the government, has left WBC with a disastrous legacy which La Potts and Sims have struggled to overcome. It just goes to show, if you want something doing, ask a woman!
No one – least of all La Potts and Sims – want to inflate Waverley’s housing numbers, though it sometimes appears the latter tries hard – but the fact remains that without an adopted Local Plan the entire borough is in deep do-do and at risk of even more development than under the current challenged Plan.
You may choose to think PoW’s motives are as white as the driven snow but we beg to differ – as pure as the driven slush more like! The only thing Bob Lies and his cronies care about is killing off the Dunsfold Development and in questioning the housing numbers – which WBC was forced to accept, under duress, in order to get an adopted Local Plan in place – they saw an opportunity to upset the Dunsfold decision. Whoopee! Never mind that no housing at Dunsfold Aerodrome means more housing in Cranleigh, the eastern villages and Farnham. Who cares about those towns? Certainly not the inappropriately named Protect our Waverley!