Both Haslemere borough councillors spoke out recently urging Waverley’s ‘rushed’ Local Plan Part 2 pre-submission document to be deferred.
Councillor Bobby Knowless and Oh Carole! – King, protested to Waverley’s ‘watchdog’ overview and scrutiny committee that the document was not ‘fit for purpose,’ as it made assumptions without evidence about housing sites in Haslemere that were not deliverable.
Committee members were being asked to comment on a document containing site allocations for the 11,200 homes Waverley is required to build by 2032. Without their intervention, the document would have gone out for public consultation at Christmas – before being officially submitting for adoption.
Now due to the concerns raised by Bobby and Ms King, Witley councillor Nick – ‘the brick’ Holder and Milford’s Denis Leigh, Waverley decided to defer any further consideration of the document until ‘further work on site allocations’ has been conducted.
LP Part 2 was due to go to Waverley’s decision-making executive and full council at a special meeting, prior to approving the document for public consultation – but it has now been taken off the agenda. No date has been given for when the document will now be considered.
Waverley’s Tory leader Julia Potts, said: “This item is being deferred as councillors want the council to have more time to engage with the local community about some of the content of the draft LPPII before it is published, including further work on site allocations and gaining further feedback from key stakeholders such as Thames Water and local clinical commissioning groups.”
The pre-submission document contains some important changes to site allocations, following the last public consultation that triggered 990 responses borough-wide. But “watchdog” councillors objected it needed more work.
Urging that ‘reckless’ site allocations should be deferred, Bobby reminded members Haslemere had suffered days of water cuts and shortages during the summer because Thames Water’s reservoir was too small! Didn’t mention that when agreeing to all those development in the East or in Farnham, did he?
He said: “It seems a report has been tabled, where members are being asked to take the risk, of no water, gas or electric, as there is no confirmation from the responsible bodies that services can be supplied or maintained.”
“And make no mistake chairman, it will be members that take the blame when the lights go out for allowing this to proceed without the proper information.”
Bobby also objects to building 50 houses on Haslemere High Street Waitrose car park claiming it is undeliverable as there would be nowhere for the 143 displaced motorists to park while building work takes place?
Mrs King told the committee: “To be frank I am embarrassed by this report. It is sloppy and either ignores or puts aside major obstacles.
“As has been stated the National Grid, Southern Electric, Southern Gas and even the Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group has not responded.”
Hasn’t anyone ever told her they never do?
She continued, “How on earth can a report be put forward to the council for approval, when this vital information is missing?”
OH, Carole – because ‘YW’ of which you have the honour of being part does it all the time – where have you been for the past few years – on the Planet Zonk??
Mrs King also objected at WBC’s assumption that it could remove Wey Hill Fairground car park’s common land status.