Godawfulming – here we come?


Undeterred by hundreds of residents packing out rooms in Waverley Towers – objections from hundreds more – including the town council, and with many more watching the website – Waverley Planners have inflicted an £82m development on Godalming for a developer’s sop of £3.8m for infrastructure. to shouts of – “we’ve been robbed.”

Was anyone missing? Yes, the one trick pony called Protect Our Waverley.

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 22.53.38.pngLocal resident Michael Voisin called the public consultation – “shambolic” calling the  Aarons Hill  development “flawed and unsustainable.”

If possible,  the WW will use a clip of his objections on behalf of residents in a separate post. Do we see a Judicial Review on the horizon?

He claimed, Waverley council too had a cavalier disregard for local consultation and had put another nail in the coffin in the meaning of the words – “full consultation.” Ignoring the heritage concerns of The Victorian Society and the National Trust on a highly valued Gertrude Jekyll garden.

Paul Follows the visibly fuming ward councillor for Ockford castigated the developers aptly named – ASShill – for not consulting properly with either residents or the Town Council. He claimed there were presently 395 unoccupied homes in Waverley and 405 second-homes – and yet the site removed by a Government Inspector from the Green Belt, for the proposed 265 homes had been accepted with scant regard to the strength of local opposition.

“I didn’t vote for the Local Plan, and I will not be voting for this.”

He said in five weeks time CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) would come into force – and by permitting this scheme now his ward would be “robbed” of £4m as, under the existing 106 arrangements, only £3.8m would be provided for infrastructure. Waverley’s only Lib Dem, who joined the council a year ago, blamed the Tory administration for not having a Local Plan earlier, therefore no CIL,  effectively shutting the door after all the horses had bolted.

Councillors wiped away crocodile tears as they sympathised with the problems Godalming faced with traffic generation in the areas of Eashing Lane and its junction with Portsmouth Road. And almost everyone was unimpressed with the design of the very “grey” homes, with inadequate parking, industrial style square chimneys, and flats resembling “prison barrack blocks.” But then went ahead and by …


Former portfolio for planning Councillor Brian Adams,  looking visibly relieved that he no longer held the post, saying there were lots of blocks of little houses with ugly square chimneys. Others argued that there were insufficient parking spaces, some in parking courts and homes with no garages.

But Godalming borough and county councillor Peter Martin argued the development would produce plenty of children for Green Oaks School, which was presently unviable and the £800,000 plus it would receive from the developer, may ensure its future. Can we hear the money talking?

Councillor Mary Foryszewski said in so many words that Cranleigh, which had no protection, had suffered enough and decisions on meeting the housing supply must be made “borough-wide.” Earlier planning officer Betty Boot handed out a veiled warning – that if development in one part of the borough was sacrificed, it could result in it going to another  – either Cranleigh or Farnham! Despite that Farnham Residents’ councillor, Jerry Hyman reiterated his mantra that it was “unlawful” for Waverley to grant permission without proper Habitats assessments, but was given a couple of kicks from Bet’s boot and a slap from two lawyers – one Waverley’s and the other Sleepy Goodridge now retired – hopefully soon for everyone’s good!

So there you have it. Godalming’s contribution to its’ housing requirement of 1,520 new homes in the Local Plan until 2032 has now reached 1,600 homes – and there are lots more to come as confirmed by Surrey County Council highwayman Richard Cooper.

He said developments at Milford Golf Course, Ockford Ridge and elsewhere had all been taken into account when assessing the accumulative increase on Godalming’s traffic. And – NO – there wouldn’t be improvements to pavements in Eashing Lane – at least not until the proposed Guildford Borough Council element of the development went ahead. However, he said there would be access improvements and the authority would fiddle around with the traffic lights to improve flows.

Better flows that, according to Godalming Councillor Peter Martin,  who is undoubtedly an expert fiddler, was down to him! You have to take your hat off to the man – don’t you?

Godalming social media seemed pretty disgruntled with the decision, with eagle-eyed serial FOI requester Daniel declaring war on the local Tories:

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People in this post: Peter Martin: Tales of the unexpected as Surrey’s Mr Tickle resigns. Godalming’s Surrey County Councillor Peter Martin resigns as Chairman.


22 thoughts on “Godawfulming – here we come?”

  1. Deception appears to be the name of the game when it comes to Tory Councillors ‘lets see what happens when development at Charterhouse comes up for approval very much in councillors Backyards…….

  2. I’m surprised you’re surprised – local Tories will have been falling over themselves to agree to additional housing in an ward where the electoral damage to themselves is a calculated risk. Councillors Bolton and Pinches are dispensable. This way they can protect the Tory heartlands such as Charterhouse ward by opposing development on the school playing fields (at least “the tosser” was honest about this) and Holloway ward – Cllr Martin is hoping no one spots the development potential of Ladywell farm.
    And as for the inadequacy of consultation – when the Town Council signals its “can’t be arsed” (your words) attitude by abolishing its Planning Committee what is a developer expected to do? We may have thought we elected them to represent the community – they know that the interests of the party come first every single time.

      1. Go for it. Godalming deserves a planning committee. Even the tiniest vilages in Waverley have one. Why not Godalming? Tell us please?

      2. The ‘why’ that I have always heard (and it makes sense to them I’m sure) is that so many on Godalming Town Council (10 out of 20) are usually also WBC councillors and sit on the Central Area Planning committee that they didn’t want to hear things twice :/

        My view of that is a) it’s not the same and b) you don’t alter the committee structure of a council to suit the whims of the current set of councillors.

        I have already notified the officers of the council my intent to restore if if I have a Lib Dem or cross party group majority at GTC from May (something that I really am aiming for).

  3. We wholeheartedly agree, what a sad inditement of the old saying – “We get the Government’s we deserve.”
    It’s time to wake up the voting fodder of our borough to what is happening around them. Yesterday – Aarons Hill – tomorrow somewhere near you?
    Tell us more about Ladywell Farm?

  4. Hi WW
    Afraid I missed the Webcast – Working too late and as ever it is not up on the Waverley YouTube site yet – last one 6 days ago – What a surprise – I don’t suppose you have a link to it do you?

    All I can say to Poor Godalming is we are ALL being shate on from a great height, It started and is still ongoing in Cranleigh.. If the rest of the Borough thought that voting for Dunsfold Park Development was the answer and would stop development in their towns they were very sadly mistaken. Many of the reasons that Godalming residents don’t want this development also apply here and more so; we have no trains, limited Public transport, creaking Medical facilities and the A281. Shops are closing in Cranleigh, the high street is like a car park… and they are still putting in more development applications.
    I don’t think Any of us deserve this…

  5. Yes, and there will be shedloads more in Cranleigh soon – watch this space!!

    Sadly we don’t have the link – and as you say it will take ages to go up. But when it does we hope the whole borough watches what these councillors are doing to this borough of ours.
    Well done Godalming people for turning out in force. They really know how to make their presence felt. Pity others didn’t take a leaf out of their book? Most in this borough of ours are still asleep.

  6. Ah well – Will have to be patient – I wouldn’t want Waverley to think I wasn’t paying attention….. As you quite rightly say there is plenty more on its way to Cranleigh… Cranleigh School, Notcutts and of course various other plots along the B2128. And once the A281 becomes Gridlocked then they will start using this little road to leave Cranleigh which will no doubt impress the residents of Shamley Green & Wonersh

  7. Dont you worry the councillors of Shamley Green and Wonersh – Band and Goodridge have happily consented to everything in Cranleigh, and are proud of doing so. You won’t see either of them when the next election takes place in May. Let’s hope the residents of Shamley Green and Wonersh will thank them kindly for the huge increase in traffic they will be forced to endure.
    But you know what – they will probably be on the BBC as they “Escape to the Country.” Once retired from Waverley Towers.

  8. Good evening everyone. Has taken me a long time to start to get calm today. And then I spent an hour in my other hat as a Godalming Town Councillor and the anger came flooding back.

    Suffice to say – anyone reading this who wishes to discuss any of the aspects of that rediculous session of the JPC please do shout.

    It is a session that has demonstrated in reality what I have been saying in the chamber for months could happen in regards to the omnishambles that is taking the best part of a year to get CIL going after LPP1.

    I’ve tried to explain my major concern in this little video:


  9. The WW believes the residents of Waverley owe Councillor Follows and Councillor Gerry `Hyman a debt of gratitude for taking a stand against what was quite obviously a – “let’s stand together” moment last night by this discredited Tory administration.

    1. I want to personally thank Councillor Hyman for his actions and words yesterday evening too. I hope the shape of the things to come in cooperation between the Godalming and Farnham bases of opposition.

  10. I will wait until I see the Webcast – As I do try to up front – I know I thought the Application was a disjointed, uninspired and an inept load of Tosh – Why two Borough Councils can’t pull their fingers out and come out with something decent or Quash it is beyond me – Bunch of inept Councillors (changed the word for propriety)

    Really who is running this Borough/County/Country??? We all have Cr*p roads, Planning decisions made by people who are UNELECTED – What the hell is this country coming to?

    I spoke to a client today who is in OZ and she was mightily glad she is in another country until April and I do not blame her – I would be there too if it wasn’t for the New Puppy! We are in one hell of a mess and what are the residents of this Borough going to do????

    1. Gloves are off now Denise – I am done trying to be civil and reasonable with these people after this.

      In May I will work with any and all candidates who will be good councillors that will work and if all the pre-planning, effort and work that has gone on in the background between those of us that share the view that enough is enough actually pays off – then I can assure you some change is coming.

      I have reached the limit of what I can do by myself, but it was never ever my plan to be here alone forever and I’ve been working on that now since the local plan part 1 vote back in Feb.

  11. You are not alone Councillor Follows. We have received a host of private e-mails and comments from those who do not wish to make their views public.

    Many are saying the same thing – that you are breath of fresh air permeating the dreadful smell that eminates from Waverley and that is now wafting right across the borough.

    Ask the people of Farnham – and over there in the East of Waverley where villages are being buried under concrete.
    We have heard from residents over there in Cranleigh who fear for the Downslink now that Berkeley Homes are being built almost on top of it! And, with a relief road by stealth going through it.

    We say again – you are not alone.

  12. I was a Tory but am disgusted by the most recent local events and will not vote for Waverley at the next elections. I have long heard that Waverley is the most corrupt council for miles around and unfortunately they are doing nothing to disprove this belief! With the exception of a couple of councillors, the rest of you need to grow up and think of people other than yourselves and certainly not of your pockets!

  13. You just watch Tricia – once the elections are called many of those who made these decisions will be GONE – but the residents of the Waverley borough will take the consequences

    . Some councillors have already trousered their consents, others have ensured that their mates have. You have one councillor who in his professional capacity as an architect is on Waverley’s register of approved Agents!! How does that work? His wife too is a Waverley Councillor.
    The Tory rump will remain to do even more damage to this once great borough of ours.

    How can councils approve their own planning applications?

    And how can Surrey County Council do just what the hell it likes, by just consulting with parish and borough councils – completely ignore everything they say – and just CARRY ON! The lack of local democracy rears its ugly head, time and time again.

    Our advice to the few decent councillors is – become Independents, or local residents groups and stand up for your communities. If the officers get their way planning committees​, will in future, be reduced to a bunch of selected YES MEN/WOMEN.

    Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 runs from 2013 until 2032 – why the rush?

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