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.
Local 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 …
16 VOTES TO TWO AND SUPPORTED IT!
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:
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.