Despite the usual protestations of “we are between a rock and a hard place,” and “what a shame we cannot even provide a few affordable homes” and even a sour snipe at Cranleigh developers from Councillor Mary Forysewski that “at least these Haslemere one and two bedroom properties will be cheaper than those being built in Cranleigh where a small proportion of affordable homes were being built by developers of £1.2m and £1.7m properties – “for heaven knows how much profit.”
So because these poor Haslemere developers can only manage to scrape together a profit of between 15% and 25% – according to another band of EXPERTS, employed at enormous expense by ‘Your Waverley’ there will be no “affordable homes,” insufficient car parking spaces, little or no disabled spaces, insufficient electric charging points and nowhere for anyone to park a mobility scooter to take them to the nearby Haslemere station! And, possibly only food bins, because…
THE SITE IS NOT VIABLE! GET IT?
Councillors were given the financial information on PINK papers, for the uninitiated, information that is not for public consumption, because we might come to a different conclusion? Suffice to say The Developers convinced the planners that:
“in culmination with costs to remediate the contamination from the land, the planning infrastructure contributions, abnormal costs (such as the provision of a new substation and contiguous piling and acoustic fence provision along the railway boundary) and the quality build costs, the proposal would be unable to viably support on-site affordable housing provision or a commuted sum.”
But, they didn’t convince councillors including Gerry Hyman; John Ward; Liz Townsend; and even chairman David Else and certainly not Godalming’s new boy Paul Follows: Who argued the application should be refused until the developer could come up with at least a few affordable homes!
The Council appointed independent viability consultants to analyse the developer’s figures, unfortunately, details are exempt and for Councillors Eyes Only!
What does it cost to cover the Councils’s infrastructure asks? A mere £200K on a £11M project!
Transport Contribution: (SCC) £41,640; SPA Contribution for a National Trust Warden in Hindhead! £40,000; Education: (Early Years) (SCC) £30,287;Education:(Primary again SCC) £42,969; Play Areas (WBC) £25,312.50; Playing Pitches (WBC)£27,562.50; Recycling (WBC) £99.50 for food bins:
The good news is: Councillors have asked officers that in future they would like to be a great deal smarter – yes SMARTER, about the 106 contributions provided by developers towards infrastructure. SMARTER! We nearly fell out of our web. After consenting thousands of homes across the borough they decide that now, while the stable door is closing they want to be smarter?
Because soon it is to be replaced by something called CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) which is three times higher, which if applied to most developments in the borough will almost certainly result in NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVISION ON SITES IN FUTURE!!
Here’s a response we received from a follower.
Well, what a surprise -It has had been granted – But at least they will have Food Caddys – even if not proper Bins (question again not properly answered!!) Presuming the Management Company will provide them – What Management Company I hear you ask???
What a shambles – Honestly you couldn’t make it up – questions half answered (because the PO’s don’t have the bally answers)
Lack of parking – Having a father with a Disability scooter – I know how important it is to have space for them as well as somewhere to charge the damn things – We used to have to drag an extension lead into the underground parking to charge his – which caused untold issues with the Management Company (Health & safety etc…) But they refused to put electric points in even though we offered to pay for one) so we did it anyway!
As mentioned if you only provide the BARE MINIMUM ie 1 space/Flat then you are bound to get overflows not only from Visitors but from the two-bed flats that possibly have two professionals that have to drive to work, therefore, two cars. I do understand this is a Town Centre development and they SHOULD ALL TAKE THE TRAIN – But things happen and no doubt they will which will result in overflow parking for local residents.
I understand that it is an eyesore in Haslemere and has been for 12 years – But for goodness sake make it something that will add to that pretty town – and not something that the residents will be ashamed of in future years because WBC couldn’t get it right NOW.
I don’t want to hear any more excuses about the fact they didn’t get it right in the past and therefore they now have to suck it and see – Make a stand now – or they will be saying this for the next 10 years. But they don’t and certain councillors who will remain nameless (for now) – but I think we know who they are, keep supporting the Officers and if someone dares to gainsay or slightly misquote them – they come back and say they DO SUPPORT it – If they got any closer up the Officers Nethers – they would be quite rightly considered ventriloquists!