Waverley’s housing​ numbers wrangle goes on and on!

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Some of our readers may have noticed the hysterical hyperbole spewed up at regular intervals on the WW by – Peppa Pig – we turned him into sausages but he reappeared out of the frying pan as Cliff Clavin –  whom we greeted with Cheers!  All of whom are, of course, non-other than – Protect Our Little Corner of Waverley! There was a little mole and he lived in a hole?

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Protest Group Scorned!

Now, the Waverley web hates peeing on anyone’s fireworks, or in this particular case, into their trough, but we want everyone to be aware of the FACTS as they stand at this moment in time regarding the housing numbers required by the borough. 

Now! Let’s get this straight – we are not asking you to believe us. We are just a bunch of bloggers doing our best to inform the public. Some local newspapers do a great job – Farnham and Haslemere Herald included. But we like to take a holistic approach to ‘Your Waverley’ by focusing on borough-and county-wide issues.

So here below is an article issued today by the highly respected Professional planning bible  – Planning Magazine online.

Housing projections are acknowledged, by most of us – including Waverley Planners, developers, and the general public to be an uncertain mess. But, with careful reading, it reveals that…

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“only local plans submitted for examination after 24 January next year should base their need upon the standard method – by which time the government will have changed the formula”.

So when the Judge hears the challenges from POW and the CPRE (Campaign to Protect some parts of Rural England),  if he knows his stuff, and we are confident he does,  he won’t let this latest ONS statement- that PP/Cliff Clavin/POW/CPRE/Bob Lies are  referring to on yesterday’s post – creep in? Or will he? 

Here’s the article. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures estimated that four million new households will be formed between 2014 and 2039, a drop of almost a quarter compared to figures published two years ago.

The household projection data is a key input into the new standard method of assessing housing need, and the new figures have prompted dramatic drops in many councils’ housing need figures when factored into the standard method.
Consultants have warned that confusion created by the new figures will lead to council plan-making being put on hold, and previously strong applications and appeal cases being undermined.
But it has emerged that the ONS plans to publish a different version of the 2016 figures on 3 December 2018.

In the document which explains the methodology used to produce the projections, the ONS says: “We are also planning to publish a set of variant 2016-based household projections in which household formation rates for younger adults (those aged 25 to 44 years) are higher. The purpose of this variant would be to illustrate the uncertainty in the projections around the future household formation patterns of this age group”.
However, an ONS spokesman said that the variant projections “will not change the overall household projections”.

The ONS’s willingness to publish “variant” projections reflects its acknowledgement of concerns about the new approach taken to drawing up the 2016-based figures. Unlike the 2014-based projections, which drew on data from as far back as the 1971 census, the 2016-based figures were compiled with statistics that only go back to 2001. Critics have said that the new projections thus ‘bake in’ the adverse consequences for household formation of housing under-delivery in this century.

In its methodology document, the ONS acknowledges those complaints. It says some respondents to its consultation on the new method thought that using data from only the 2001 and 2011 censuses would be “insufficient”.

The document says: “There was a view that only using the 2001 and 2011 censuses would result in a downward trend in household formation for the younger age groups, which in turn would downplay the need for housing for younger people”.

The government has already said that it “will consult on adjustments to the way housing need is calculated so it is consistent with delivering 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s”, and that it will do this “as soon as possible”.

Andrew Lowe, the senior planner at consultancy Turley, said the government should change the standard method so that it uses the “variant” figures, rather than those published last week.

“It’s hard to make a case for the government not to use this data to base its standard formula on instead if the purpose is supposed to be making a better housing market for younger people,” he said. “But this [variant] is not going to be available until December and the government needs to do something between now and December to tackle the uncertainty”

This article was updated at 15.30 on 28 September 2019 to include a statement received from the ONS.

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Are our towns and villages becoming a health and safety hazard?

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This rant from a Godalming mother, who we cannot contact to secure her permission to reprint this, is just one of the hundreds of messages on FACEBOOK, and all the borough’s Community Boards highlighting vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Sooner or later a child will be badly injured.

RANT TO THE PEOPLE WHO THINK ITS OK TO SMASH BOTTLES AT A PARK! MY CHILDREN CAN’T PLAY BECAUSE OF YOU!

THIS IS AT THE CHIPPY PARK!

ITS ALL IN THE PARKS!  ON THE BASKETBALL COURT AND  IN THE GRASS!

PLEASE STOP SMASHING UP AND RUINING KIDS PLAYGROUNDS!

THIS ISNT THE ONLY PARK THAT HAS GLASS!

BROADWATER PARK,

OCKFORD RIDGE PARK

 AARONS HILL PARK!

SERIOUSLY!  THIS IS BEYOND A JOKE. MY 9-MONTH-OLD IS ON THE MOVE AND HE HAS HAD GLASS IN HIS MOUTH FROM THESE PARKS! 

JUST PICK YOUR RUBBISH AND GLASS UP PLEASE!!!!

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Just imagine something like this that looks like toffee or chocolate being picked up a child and eaten!!! 

Come on Godalming do you want to earn the title of … Godawfulming!  Other towns and villages in the Waverley Borough are suffering from the same problems!

There was a little mole and he lived in a hole?

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It would appear, whisper who dares, that unbeknown to the general populace,  Protect Our Little Corner of Waverley has just been forced to go back to the High Court Judge before a Judicial Review hearing on 9-10 October. This follows a bit of a setback it endured in the Court of Appeal when large parts of its case for Judicial Review were thrown out!

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Just a little recap for anyone who has just landed from the Moon!

Angered by a High Court Judge’s decision at a pre-Judicial Review hearing in the High Court in June when three of its grounds were thrown out for challenging   Waverley’s Local Plan and development at Dunsfold Aerodrome  – POW and The Campaign for the Protection of some parts of Rural England escalated their  case to the Court of Appeal. Now that appeal too has been thrown out – except for one aspect.

But the local Moles have been in touch with us again..!  Haven’t we told you that Waverley Towers and POW are a couple of great big leaky sieves?

This time with the news that POW as sought an emergency hearing prior to the big event in October, to obtain the judge’s assurance that it will not have to dig deeper into its pocket than the £10,000 under the Public Access to  Justice rules called (Aarhus).

In a nutshell that means the worried wealthy’s costs are capped and US, the taxpayers have to spend shedloads of money to defend the Plan to fight off the huge posse of developers lining up out there to throw even more applications at Waverley Planners on the green belt and countryside! 

 POW’s begging bowl goes out tonight?

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Apparently with the help of The Surrey Hills Organisation?

Screen Shot 2018-09-18 at 18.45.35.png (Isn’t that an organisation that is part – funded by both Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council? Isn’t Shamley Green and Cranleigh’s Councillor Rubber-Band on its Board of Directors? Funny that!

 

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Now that the Court of Appeal has dismissed the challenge – it’s up to another High Court Judge to rule on the remaining parts of their case.

Will the Secretary of State’s representatives have to rock up and explain why he allowed the development at Dunsfold – which of course, is what this whole expensive business is all about.  And will the judge rule on Woking’s unmet housing need? Watch this space… 

Anyone out there been to Woking lately? 50 storey blocks going up all over the town! 

 

Godalming’s Surrey County Councillor Peter Martin resigns as Chairman.

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Oh! Dear! I opened my mouth and put my foot in it?

Peter Martin a Godalming  Councillor for both Waverley and Surrey County Council has resigned as chairman of the county council.

The Conservative councillor resigned after admitting he had shown a lack of “cultural awareness” and “good judgement” during a recent interview.

Peter Martin, stepped down from his position at Surrey County Council after making the comments.

He said: “My judgment has understandably been called into question. I have apologised privately to the candidate.”

The council refused to confirm if it was investigating a formal complaint.

A spokesman said; “The appropriate complaints procedure is being followed in line with the council’s constitution. We don’t have any more to say at this time.”

‘Outdated remarks’

Mr Martin said: “For those of us in public life, the way that we conduct ourselves should be without question. In a recent interview with a candidate, I showed a lapse of good judgment.

“I fully accept that the language I used lacked empathy and cultural awareness and that my judgment has understandably been called into question.

“I have apologised privately to the candidate and hope sincerely that my apology will be accepted for what it is – a genuine expression of regret for my thoughtless and outdated remarks.

Exactly what was said, or the nature of the interview, is not yet clear.

A new chairman will be elected at a council meeting on 9 October.

The council’s leader, David Hodge, said he thanked Mr Martin “for recognising the importance of maintaining the values and high standards that go with public office”.

It is understood Mr Martin will continue as a Conservative county councillor. He also sits on Waverley Borough Council.

Every village has one – and Bramley’s is Dotty Dardak.

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Oh! We forgot – it also has By-Pass Byham.bypassbyham1

Every village has one:  the stereotypical silly old bat who never opens their mouth but a stream of utter nonsense pours forth but no one had the heart to stem the flow, they just nod sympathetically and get the hell out of there as fast as they can.

Even Capt’n Bob and his side-kick, Chris Britton, couldn’t get away from her fast enough at the most recent Public Inquiry into Dunsfold Park – and they’re supposed to be on the same side!!!

Poor old Birtley Green’s ‘”Dotty One” is dear Miss Dadak (DD) who fearlessly takes up arms against the Dunsfold Developer at every opportunity. Older readers will recall that DD turned up on the first day of the 2009 Public Inquiry into Dunsfold Park, waving a dead owl which she rashly accused the Dunsfold Developer of killing – Murderer!

Witnesses are still chuckling at the ‘ visibly startled MacAllister –  claiming to be a member of the Hawk & Owl Trust (whoever they might be!) – offering to take the bird off her hands, but Miss (not Ms!) Dadak was having none of it. The Flying Scot was obviously trying to dispose of the evidence and a clearly exasperated Council Official had to step in and offer to turn a Waverley Borough Council freezer into a temporary morgue. At that time, remember, the Dunsfold Developer and Waverley Borough Council were not an item and DD  was content to let the Council take custody of the incriminating evidence.’

What became of the body after that, no one knows, but rumours abound of Pidgeon Pie with chips appearing on ‘YW’s’ canteen menu the week after the Hearing closed!

Not content with accusing the other DD (Dunsfold Developer) of being the scourge of birds, now Dotty D  is accusing him of offering ‘lavish al fresco’ entertaining in front of a small aircraft prepared for take-off whilst, unforgettably a frail, harmless skylark rose from her grassy nest singing her joyous song of fulfilment, unwary of the inevitable fate befalling all wildlife-rural-environments in this horrible, urban, illegal (?) take-over of Waverley Borough Council.’

Now is Miss DD accusing the Dunsfold D of bribing officials with a picnic lunch and a free flight? Or of sucking more birds to their death in his propellers?

What we, at the WW want to know is –  how Miss Dadak inveigled an invitation to a ‘lavish alfresco’ entertainment, when we’ve not even been able to snaffle so much as a cup of instant coffee and a rich tea at the DD’s expense?

The closest we came to an invitation was when we passed one on from the DD, not Miss DD,  to Denise Wordsworth to take afternoon tea at the aerodrome and get the lowdown on his plans for the new village – oops, sorry Miss D, of course, we mean NEW TOWN! Whisper who dares – nobody has told her about the NEW TOWN down the road in Cranleigh!

About the only thing, DD  gets right in her latest Herald-diatribe is her description of Waverley as ‘urban’. Once, Surrey was a lovely rural idyll, where people like George and Mary Watts escaped to live the rural dream but not any more. These days Surrey is essentially one great suburb, its towns belted by ring-roads and submerged by shopping malls. Where the Bramley Babes wear Boden and Jojo Maman Bébé – rather than the bustles and top hats, favoured by DD – and shop in Bargain Booze!

Sorry Miss Dadak, we know you hark after a softer, gentler age when Bramley looked as if it was the role model for the traditional Quality Street Tin and girls in Kate Greenaway costumes wandered along the high street in lawn cotton, shopping at the butchers, the bakers and the candlestick makers but you’ve got to get with the programme … either that or move to Dartmoor, with its Neolithic tombs, Bronze Age stone circles, deep river valleys and rare wildlife. Although whisper it who dares, we hear Costa and Café Nero have, like Napoleon, recently crossed the county line but, fear not, we’re told the Dunsfold Developer too prefers the rugged scenery of his homeland and is more likely to be found grouse shooting in the Highlands than hacking on the moors.

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Waverley’s planning system is seen as the “battleground for the heart and soul​ of the borough’s future.”

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Is ‘Your Waverley’ about to go over the top? 

Waverley Councillors – could do better! Nil Point!! Go to the back of the class! Write 100 lines…

“We will not argue with planning officers recommendations – we will do as we are told and in future we will put up our hands or shut up!!”

That was the verdict of ‘experts’  brought in to revolutionise the way ‘Your Waverley’ conducts its planning functions in the future.

The report, which the WW found in a council wastepaper bin, probably because the recipient judged that’s where it belonged… soon had company! Our inbox was full of copies from councillors, some of whom were incandescent with rage at some of the proposals to smarten up ‘Your Waverley’s’ planning act.

That it needs smartening up – we agree! But ditching the ballot box – putting even more power in the hands of planning officers – giving an even bigger stick for Betty Boot aka Liz the Biz to beat us with?

NO BLOODY WAY – JOSE!

You can read the complete document below – and interesting reading it most certainly makes.

There are numerous quotes and comments highlighting the divisions between the council’s planning officers -v- councillors -v- public interest groups –v- developers -v- us the voting fodder!

Suffice to say – the so-called ‘Peer Review” (experts) want to do away with US, the moaning public and clear the path for developers. WHY? To do the Government’s bidding.

More important still, they really want to do away with councillors FULL STOP. Most certainly all the area planning committee’s that are full of people who were elected to speak up for their constituents.

GOING – GOING – GONE!

However, it is suggested they could rock up in the public gallery from time to time and let off a bit of steam, just in case they feel impotent.

Liz Townsend (Cranleigh); Paul Follows (Godalming) Jerry Hyman (Farnham) Andy McLeod (Farnham) Kevin Deanus (Alfold); David Beaman (Farnham); Mary Foryszewki (Cranleigh – though they’ve shut her up by making her deputy mayor) – and a few others who might as well take up knitting, spoke out!

And as for the most senior planning committee – known as THE JOINT PLANNING COMMITTEE – well that particular outfit will find itself reduced to a handful of councillors who will have their hands hung up so high they’ll think they’re in traction!

Mind you, not much change there then? Isherwood leading the posse of Carole  – the ‘villages of Cranleigh/Ewhurst aren’t exactly pretty anyway are they?” Cockburn; Rubber Band; By-Pass Byham; Mike (Wake me up when it’s time to go, go or vote Goodridge); Jeannette (we need more homes in Cranleigh-Stennett) and Patricia of the ‘secret meetings’ Ellis!

When they unveiled the expert’s tripe – which should be entitled ‘How to speed up planning and help developers in the Future.’ Councillors were given about 20 minutes to ask questions? Will the turkeys be permitted to vote for Christmas?

Needless to say the usual crowd of Follows; Deanus; Townsend & Co were against most of the proposals and a few of the ‘sheep’ chimed in too – so suffice to say, it wasn’t generally very well received. 

The idea of reducing the council’s planning committees to just one puppet committee is madness?

Clearly, officers were annoyed with members’ repeated questions…especially on big developments and affordable housing.

READ OUR LIPS YOU BLOODY COUNCILLORS MOST OF YOU ARE A PAIN IN THE ARSE SO BUGGER OFF TO THE BOONDOCKS WHERE YOU BELONG.  LET US ROBOTS SPIT OUT PLANNING APPROVALS AND LET US COVER THE COUNTRYSIDE IN CONCERETE!

The ‘expert” Cllr from Oxfordshire that was present was clearly all about funnelling planning consents down the Waverley conveyer belt as fast as possible. WW has heard they are doing a pretty good job in Oxfordshire!!   He thought ‘YW’ took far too much time actually debating applications!  Perish the thought!!

So there were we, the voting fodder,  thinking that our councillors wanted to be there, to speak and to vote and to argue on our behalf? Dummies that we are! 

Beam us all up, Scottie?

Happy bedtime reading?

Final Report to Waverley BC Sept 3 2018

 

 

 

Are Cranleigh New Town’s residents now witnessing the death throes​ of their High Street too?​

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When Cranleigh councillors joined forces with a gang of local developers to provide the new town’s high street with more footfall, we doubt they ever envisaged that residents might be forced to shop elsewhere.

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Has peddled off!

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HSBC Gone! But may have been replaced by another retailer – perhaps an optician?

With HGV’s thundering through its High Street, and approach roads and residential roads witnessing volumes of traffic previously unheard of, the thud of shops doors closing for the last time is deafening. It is now becoming all too common as struggling retailers give up the fight to stay in business. They include:

 https://www.primelocation.com/for-sale/commercial/details/47512773?search_identifier=c6f842e6fc7f28ec53ed425702f67871#vxH5rChvRcSus60x.97

Here’s another one.

http://www.westwoodandco.com/listings/prime-lock-up-shop-or-a2-office-to-let/

And another!

http://www.westwoodandco.com/listings/prime-shop-to-let-2/

  • National Westminster Bank and its ATM machine – GONE!
  • Barclays Bank – GOING
  • HSBC Gone
  • Santander – GONE!
  • Customers – GONE to Horsham or Godalming?
  • Ruby & Kind – GONE.
  • Magdalena’s Tea Rooms – GONE!
  • Raffles Bakery – GONE!
  • Bones Interiors – GONE!
  • Ask Italian Restaurant – GONE!
  • 137 Restaurant – GONE! 
  • Cranleigh Cycle Shop – GONE!
  • Timothy Pearson Hairdressers – Going…Going… Gone?
  • The Lemon Tree – GOING!
  • Carolyn Lodge Travel – GOING soon!
  • Barclays Bank – GOING in October!
  • Even the charity shops are closing! Cranleigh Nursing Home shop. Gone!
  • Too many small businesses to mention on the Smithbrook Kilns Industrial Estate – where now dozens of small shop units have or are being converted,  into – yes you guessed flats.
  • And The Smithbrook Forge Barns.
  • Wayahead – Going to another site off the High Street?
  • Plus numerous vacant offices in the High Street, Rowland Road, Collins Court and elsewhere all seeking planning permission for residential use.

Ran out of space – suffice to say more going!

Perhaps all those Waverley borough councillors who permitted over 1,700 new homes to be built there – were right when they used the soliloquy  – “Poor Old Cranleigh!”

Here’s what just a few residents are saying- about the Cranleigh New Town building site! Others have contacted the WW saying, although they want to remain loyal, they are shopping in nearby Horsham when they go to the BANK!

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https://www.primelocation.com/for-sale/commercial/details/47512773?search_identifier=c6f842e6fc7f28ec53ed425702f67871#vxH5rChvRcSus60x.97

Has Hambledon’s Holder’s thrown a hand grenade into the​ future viability of ‘Blightwells Yard’ in Farnham?

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Here’s our sticker book!

And below is one Farnham resident’s thoughts. Brightwells_storecounter

Sir,

– In July this year, the Government published a review of the problems facing retail in town centres. The Grimsey Review Part 2 had a title which said it all: The Vanishing High Street.

For the first time, we have been able to hear something of these concerns expressed openly in the Waverley Council chamber. Last week there was a meeting concerning the borough’s economic strategy, which has been recorded and is available to see on Waverley’s website (Tuesday, September 11’s meeting of customer services and VFMO).

Here’s an excerpt: Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

Councillor Holder raised several significant issues at the meeting, one of which indirectly is of concern to Farnham. His suggestion was that the chief executive should draw up plans if Surrey County Council should cease to exist and be replaced with four new unitary authorities. We have to question that in such an event, whether Surrey’s demise would place Crest Nicholson Sainsbury’s Brightwells scheme in jeopardy? The Farnham Theatre Association (FTA) understands from Waverley leader, Julia Potts that legal documents have been signed to the effect that Surrey County Council will meet the cost of the retail element of the scheme, once the development is completed.

Possibly to allay Waverley’s fears that its long-cherished Brightwells/East Street scheme might fail, councillor Holder has another plan up his sleeve. He has invited the Chinese Cultural Attache to visit Waverley with the assistance of Mrs Lucia Hunt (wife of our MP). She will address the Chinese delegation in mandarin to explain what Waverley has to offer Chinese tourists. Demonstrably, she will be able to explain that there is a wealth of beautiful scenery and historic architecture, but of course, no public theatre. Councillor Holder’s declared aim is to boost tourism in the borough and to bring visitors to our failing town centres. Could he possibly be considering Farnham with its Brightwells problem and that Chinese money might be the answer to the conundrum?

An open letter of mine was published in the Farnham Herald some weeks ago, which asked for thoughts and ideas about what would be best for Farnham if the retail element of the Brightwells development failed. FTA has always been clear. We propose a combined theatre/cinema operation as the focus for Brightwells (as described in the Farnham Society’s 2016 concept: Brightwells Restored). As the only purpose-built venue of this kind in Waverley, it could attract visitors and tourists to the whole borough, in support of our retail traders. Does anyone have better ideas? If so, please let us hear them!

Anne Cooper, (Farnham Theatre Association chairman), Nutshell Lane, Upper Hale

Charterhouse Green Belt campaigners take direct action.

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BE WARNED WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL GODALMING RESIDENTS MEAN BUSINESS! THEY WON’T BE SITTING  IDLY BY AND WATCH THEIR TOWN BECOME … GODAWFULMING!

 

A spider at Gownboys Hall tipped us off about the Charterhouse Greenbelt picket line on Saturday. Demonstrators against Charterhouse’s proposals for 132 houses on the Greenbelt playing fields took direct action with placards and stakeboards all along the perimeter of the threatened playing fields.
This happened to coincide with an open morning for prospective parents arriving down Queens Drive. Parents took a tour of the school with a pupil followed by a question and answer session with the headmaster. No doubt the question was – why the protestors at such a school?!

When they were given the answer, or not – all they had to do was look across at the playing fields and watch pupils enjoying a variety of sports on some of the finest playing fields of England, just before the earthmovers take over? Why? To support the viability of the school of course, and keep their fees down. And no doubt fill Waverley’s coffers with Community Infrastructure Levy?

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Honk if you want to save the Charterhouse Green Belt! The campaign is gathering paceNo wonder the security were looking rather twitchy!