Bewley Homes gallops into Farnham and rides roughshod all over ‘Your Waverley.’

Diggers in Farnham


Now the WW has to apologise too. It was Bewley  Homes that did it their way – and not Bellway Homes. Perhaps one day soon we will all be able to watch and HEAR – the webcast of Waverley meetings? 


Dig, dig, dig – the whole day through! Dig, dig, dig, dig Ancient Woodland too!






So it could build 72 homes, 26 “affordable” – whatever that means – on land of Great Landscape Value at the Garden Style Nursery, in Wrecclesham near Farnham.

“Shocking,” Disgraceful; “appalling,” “amazing,” “criminal” ” treating the Waverley Borough like somewhere in the Wild West were just a few of the descriptions given to the misdemeanours of the “illegal” acts of vandalism carried out by one of the Nation’s largest house=builders!

Surprise- surprise – isn’t that the same housebuilder that committed exactly the same little misdemeanour in Cranleigh last Winter? Building too close to Ancient Woodland – moving badger sets, digging new holes for badgers who were later found – drowned dead!! God knows what Bramley’s Dotty Dardak would have to say about that!! No that was Bellway.

 Fear not, despite all the protestations –  Steven Strenwith? – Bewley Homes’ Land Director, or not, in this particular case, apologised to Councillors and officers for the errors in construction – but failed to mention the good citizens of Wrecclesham who have to live with his mistakes.  He said his company had a fine reputation for quality housebuilding, rabbit, rabbit, won’t be many of them left either, and it would all be alright on the night – or words to that effect.

 Officers waxed lyrical how the developer would be making amends by putting in trees to “mitigate” the harm, and Farnham’s Carole Cockburn after a minor rant,  said the developer had improved the site layout by adding another seven homes, so should be supported!

Ah well! That’s alright then! Isn’t it?

After a load of councillors followed Godalming’s Follows footsteps with furious rants, and Cranleigh’s Liz Townsend suggested the developer should not be allowed to ride roughshod over Waverley’s well tried and tested planning laws, it looked as though the application might be deferred or even REFUSED! Despite the principle of development being established when outline permission was granted last year!

WOW, not really? They couldn’t, could they?

Then Oh! Carole – reached into her big knickers for her big stick and began beating her colleagues into submission.  If permission was refused the developer could build the four-bedroom homes already granted and not the extra 7 semi-detached properties now offered.

So there you are! The principal of a Developer, who ignores the law on TPO’s, and strict laws that protect Ancient Woodland – a criminal offence, but offers an ineffectual apology,  has to be dragged kicking and screaming by officers into “mitigating” the offence by planting replacement trees,  has now been established!

After watching this shambolic meeting the WW was ashamed… and so were many others. We witnessed our Senior Planning Committee Chaired by Peter Isherwood – who should have been dumped after he rubbished the villages of Ewhurst and Cranleigh, but continues undeterred, to wreck our lovely borough! Is there anything now that is sacred in this rotten borough of Waverley?

We haven’t even mentioned Councillor Gerry Hyman’s continuous claim that Waverley consistently flouts European environmental Law by not providing the Appropriate Assessments required for Farnham’s Special Protection Areas. Accusations that ‘YW’ rubbish, and refuse to show evidence that AA’s have been carried out- including “bird numbers?”

When pressed officers said they “could” seek enforcement of the developers’ illegal actions, but that was  “A CONFIDENTIAL MATTER’ – so confidential no doubt, that it will never be heard of again!

But the WW will be watching carefully. We are still waiting for a report on the Police findings on the council’s false Air Quality Data Report?

Hang your heads in shame Waverley Borough Council for allowing developers to trash Ancient Woodland – woodland that is over 600 years old. It is no excuse that you cannot monitor developments!

Hang your heads in shame Bewley Homes, and we ask? How can these people ever be trusted to build in this borough again!!

Oh! and by the way- forget all that mock outrage. There were 12 votes in favour – two against and one abstention.

Presumably, two councillors who oppose such criminal behaviour Councillor Follows and Townsend – and one Councill Hyman –  who couldn’t even acknowledge an ‘illegal application!’ Our apologies if we have it wrong – because the cameras are turned away from the committee during voting! Wonder why?


19 thoughts on “Bewley Homes gallops into Farnham and rides roughshod all over ‘Your Waverley.’”

  1. Criminal damage should be reported to the police otherwise it will go unrecorded and escalate. What is the point of Tree protection Orders if they are ignored with impunity? Householders are forced to comply with TPOs why not Developers?

  2. Of course, you are absolutely right. But breaking the law appears commonplace within ‘Our Waverley’ so developers follow where they are led. Let’s all wait to see what measures WBC takes against this developer. Perhaps if the Courts started to take strong punitive action, it would serve as a reminder not to break the law. However, how could Waverley take action when its own head of planning Elizabeth Simms suggested a while back that Ancient Woodland (on the Berkeley site in Cranleigh) – “can always be replanted!”

  3. As I said on a previous post. They should be told to take down the Pumping station and build it elsewhere – or even where it was supposed to be in the first place… But Oooops they didn’t spot the Overhead Cables – How did they miss that little error? If they have to build one less home to accommodate it then that is what they should be made to do.

    This is a dangerous precedent- If you let one Developer flout the Planning Conditions they will all feel they can do the same with impunity – and let’s be honest a lot of them do it anyway behind the hoardings. The fact that they had the Gall to chop down Huge TPO trees which were quite obviously on the roadside seems to suggest that it was a calculated risk they were willing to take, because YW has NO TEETH

    The other breaches as you say are Confidential – Why? Is it because the Planning Officers are busy negotiating Minimal Mitigation by the developers? This sort of information should be in the Public Domain. Then again if Bellway Homes apply for another Application, this criminal behaviour would “Not be relevant..” to the next application anyway.

  4. I hope nobody objects to me having a little bit of a rant on this occasion….

    This had to be one of the most INFURIATING planning committee sessions I have ever had the displeasure of having to sit through – and (with the notable exceptions of Cllr’s Townsend and Hyman) I actually thought the entire thing was some kind practical joke..

    The developer breaks conditions – flagrantly. Despite the apologies and the niceties it doesn’t take much prodding from me and a couple of others to establish that this developer clearly did not come to WBC planning officers and contritely offer to make amends – they had to be forced into it.

    So for me – the idea that we just sit there and go ‘no harm no foul’ and let these things be retrospectively allowed (and of course, the reason they were actually here was to INCREASE the size of the plot) was utterly unforgivable. We are supposed to sit there and approve a development from a firm that has broken conditions and is UNDER INVESTIGATION for it? I am meant to ignore that? I argued for a deferral until that investigation was concluded…surely not an unreasonable suggestion?

    And if we rejected it…well I know appeals can be costly – but the council needs to draw a line under this sort of nonsense and make a stand. I think I have said something akin to this now at 3 Joint Planning Committee sessions recently (the previous occasions when the committee blithely waived the affordable components at the Woolmead in Farnham and at the previously discussed site in Haslemere).

    The largest development for some time in Godalming (app. WA/2018/1239), in my ward – comes before this committee on October 30th. I consider myself fortunate to at least be a member of the JPC and so can speak on the day – but what confidence does anyone have that it will be adjudicated properly when we repeatedly have sessions like this. My compliments as always to Cllrs Townsend and Hyman (we are all of different political groups) but we three at least are standing up to this idiocy.

    Ok rant over, back to professional Councillor Mode!

    1. Cllr Follows, I hope that you Three continue to Rant – someone has to. A deferral would have been the most appropriate decision.

      The “we can’t do anything about this issue…” is just not good enough. Why can the Pumping station not be taken down and sited elsewhere? If I got Planning permission to put up a garage to the side of my House – then built it next to my neighbours property – I am pretty sure Planning Enforcement would be on me like a ton of bricks.. How do Developers get away with it?

      Is there a Condition that states they must replace the Mature tress with ones of a similar height (15mtrs) when they are planted and not saplings that will take years to mature?
      Cllr Deanus asked some pertinent questions and unless I am going deaf I heard no answers. Minimum Size standards are just that – I know it isn’t written into the Plan … But really 6 of them and I bet they are Affordable homes in the two little Ghettos.

      Did Cllr Hyman get his Appropriate Assessment – they said it would be forwarded to him?

      Finally the Planning officer did say that the Confidential details of the investigation could be revealed Off-Camera – did anyone get the details?

      This is probably one of the worst JPC’s I have had to watch. There is no sense of engagement between the Planning Officers and Councillors. Apart from Elizabeth Sims – they are mostly youngsters who wouldn’t know an ancient tree from a daisy

  5. Sadly everyone can rant, jump up and down until steam comes out of their ears, but most councillors will put up and shut up, and so will officers. Then developers like Bellway Homes will continue laughing all the way to the bank – well that is if they can find one?

    But Isherwood, who is standing in an election shortly for a seat on Haslemere Town Council should be given a red card by its electorate and shown the door. He is a disgrace, and his arrogance at seeking another seat is legendary.

    Wake up Haslemere!

      1. Puppet ???? I can think of plenty of other names – But don’t want to be rude on this Website

  6. I don’t know why all the people commenting on this seem so surprised? We know that the Waverley Planning Officers and most of the Borough Councillors voting at JPC meetings aren’t remotely interested in environmental matters. For example, before the 425 unit Berkeley housing estate application at Cranleigh was waived through, Cranleigh residents carefully explained at the JPC planning committee meeting that you can’t mitigate for the loss of ancient woodland by planting new trees elsewhere, but no one was interested to pick up on this. I understand that Government housing targets need to be met by local authorities, but Waverley planning officers should ensure that environmental (and infrastructure) considerations are dealt with before recommending schemes to the JPC committee.

  7. Not really surprised – Just angry that the Developers disregarded the Ancient Woodland and the Conditions placed on them, and constructed (or have started) A Pumping and Sub Station within the Buffer zone – Without notifying the Planning Officers or anyone else; as for the Destruction of the Douglas Firs – that is criminal too. I too think that the Berkley Homes development was shocking – But Planning Officers Approved it – as they have with the Ancient Woodland for the New Dunsfold Park access road. They have no regard for them and as you say you cannot Replant Ancient Woodland Unless of course Ms Sims reckons she will be around in over 400 years to check.

  8. The real problem is that these developers have an interest in only the bottom line. Our Enforcement Officers could presumably treat them as they would us and tell them to take the ILLEGAL buildings down but if they refused they would probably be fined a pittance. What does a fine of £20000 when they can build a couple of houses for £1,000,000.
    I am afraid the NPPF has totally torn up any effective rule book.

  9. Corrected. Perhaps one day soon Waverley’ residents will be able to properly see and HEAR its webcast. See no evil, some of the time, Hear no evil a lot of the time – and speak no evil of planning officers – all the time.

  10. Didn’t watch it – but I have no doubt you are right. Apparently the last look at the Maternity Roost had cobwebs and little to suggest recent occupation – I wonder Why???

    It isn’t difficult to scare Bats they are timid gentle creatures …. But they do come back to roost eventually… and something better than those Cr*ppy Bat roosts should have been insisted on regardless of the state of the Maternity Roost in the Cottage.
    They simply do not care.

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