Godalming Town Council backs residents’ fight – plans just not good enough for green belt site.

Residents, backed by Waverley Councillor Paul Follows ensured that everyone was made aware of the threat of expansion into their treasured green belt countryside at Aarons Hill. 

Last night after a packed meeting Godalming Town Council heard some well-researched concerns and objections from residents and councillors alike. And the townsfolk were rewarded for their efforts getting the backing they had hoped for!

WW can’t help wondering why so many town councillors, who are also borough councillors backed a Local Plan that rolled back Godalming’s green belt in the first place? Could it be because they are Tories – one of whom later gave his Lib Dem colleague an ear-bashing!

A  resident told us that Tory “Town and borough Councillor, Comrade  Stefan  ” I voted for the Labour Party’ Reynolds’  interrupted his Lib Dem colleague after Councillor Follows claimed he was the only Waverley councillor in the room who didn’t vote for Waverley’s  Local Plan which included removing this site from the greenbelt! Following, Follows –    Comrade Reynold retorted – ‘well I didn’t!’ after which   – Councillor Follows was forced to remind him –  that was only because he DIDNT SHOW UP AT THE MEETING TO VOTE AT ALL!’

It seemed the Town Councillors had little choice but to represent their community, with only one abstention coming from the grumpy Steve Cosser (Con Charterhouse). Three Councillors were absent, including County Councillor for Aaron’s Hill Peter Martin. No surprise there then?

The upshot:

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Thanks to the efforts of the people of Godalming round one of the battle to preserve the town from becoming part of greater Guildford has been won. But the war with Waverley planners is to follow.

Godalming town council supported Paul Follows’s proposal to object formally to the development on Aarons Hill. A  formal letter will  be released by the council today (Friday)

Here’s how the Waverley Web has covered the tumultuous events of the past few days.

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

Godalming residents show Waverley residents how objecting to development in the green belt should be done.

 

11 thoughts on “Godalming Town Council backs residents’ fight – plans just not good enough for green belt site.

  1. I shall be watching with interest to see if Cllr Cosser is quite as grumpy about opposing development at the Broome & Lees Site. Resisting the weight of public opinion and abstaining from a vote because the housing might contribute to the affordable housing targets in the Local Plan (!?) could be presented as a matter of principle. But, to be convincing it has to be carried through to a development in his own backyard – will he abstain when voting upon an issue that affects people whose votes he needs?

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    • What enrages me about Cllr Cosser is he spoke at length about the provision of affordable housing and the allocation for Ockford Park as calculated by As***le are inadequate. His female councillor to the right was right to suggest that you can’t afford a home in Godalming unless you’re in your mid thirties and we need to support key workers in the local plan.

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      • If he had succeeded in persuading his Conservative colleagues to select him to stand for Waverley in the Central & Ockford Ward in 2015 (they selected Andrew Bolton instead) it might have been a different story. As it is he is caught between a rock and a hard place; he does genuinely want to see more affordable housing (to keep his own offspring local) and would much rather see it anywhere other than in his ward. I’m predicting that he will oppose the Broom & Lees development vociferously despite the fact that will contribute to affordable housing numbers. And, he will be eloquent about why the one site is different from the other etc etc.

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  2. Good morning!

    And what a night was yesterday for actual democracy in Godalming!

    So I now know what it takes for an opposition motion to win – shaming half of the councillors into it by encouraging the residents they apparently serve to attend. But it was the usual mix – I didn’t need to convince the moderates, they just needed a good excuse to join me. The usual suspects I think had to be forced into it, but an excellent meeting all around, and the right outcome for the town council.

    I have said so on the Facebook group looking at this, but I am also happy to meet with the Charterhouse campaign people to lend it our support. I am sure everyone understands that I must put my own ward first, but we have some time now until the JPC consider this – as such my wider responsibility to Godalming demands we assist here wherever we can – and I would like to if that group are willing.

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  3. Our biggest concern here at the Waverley Web headquarters has always been APATHY! The east of the Waverley Borough has demonstrated what apathy can do to an area. Most residents over there have, in the past, been completely oblivious to what was going on behind the scenes. They allowed their councillors, four, in particular, to meet behind Waverley’s closed doors with developers to create Cranleigh New Town. Now, this is underway, they are waking up smelling the concrete rather than the Costa!
    However, thank heaven, Godalming hasn’t fallen into the eastern trap, in part because it has a local councillor who is actually serving his electors by informing them of the vital issues that will affect their everyday lives. Hence, apathy transforms into activity and engagement. Following Follows has caught on – let us all hope this volte-face is replicated right across the borough.

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    • Ha – Well done Godalming residents and Paul Follows, but what double standards from Waverley Web? – “apathy in the East?” So the huge campaign to fight Dunsfold New Town that you personally have done so much to derail (because you think what is “bad for Cranleigh is good for Farnham” ) is now described by you as apathy.

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  4. Perhaps you have missed the point here Mr Clavin. Godalming is fighting to protect the Green Belt – got it? The campaigners to stop Dunsfold New Town – are attempting to prevent development on a BROWNFIELD SITE – get it? The very brownfield sites that the Campaign for the `preservation of Rural England is urging everyone to build on – to prevent the very development that Godalming residents are trying to stop. The apathy in the East that we refer to is from Cranleigh and the surrounding villages, who only now are shouting their support for the development at Dunsfold because they are waking up to the sound of bulldozers on the countryside all around them. We would never accuse the Protect Our Waverley group of apathy, only stupidity.

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  5. Pingback: Is a Godalming Tory jumping on the local residents’ bandwagon​? | Waverley Web

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