Another slice of Waverley’s former Green Belt – about to bite the dust – as planners ​get set to change​ the face of Milford?




Building on flood plains comes as second nature to ‘Your Waverley’ so it is no surprise that land opposite Milford Golf Course has been earmarked to go under concrete.

The 13.28 hectares of land once reserved for golfers and wildlife – and which served to soak up the Wealden clay groundwater – will,  if the planners have their way Tomorrow WEDNESDAY  – provide 200 new homes – 30% ” affordable.” Unless of course when the scheme reaches the detailed stage the affordable home figure is reduced  – or delayed which is happening elsewhere in the borough!  

 Waverley Planners are between a rock and a pile of concrete,  as a Government Inspector – dragged areas of the borough out of the Green Belt before approving the Daft Local Plan.  These included the villages of Elstead, Chiddingfold, Witley and the part of Milford Golf Course now under consideration. He argued there would be…

 “sufficient infrastructure contributions to mitigate the impact of the development.” He also said: “These contributions towards open space, education and improvements to the Downs Link are made to mitigate the effects of the development.”  So where is the contribution to the Downs Link we wonder? 

Was he thinking of the Community Infrastructure Levy Contribution or the 106 Legal Agreement Contribution? 

Because CIL – TO BE INTRODUCED ON MARCH 1 – would provide 7.5m compared with £1.5m  in 106 contributions – so if ‘YW’ wasn’t in such a rush to cover the borough in concrete Milford villagers would at least have trousered £7.5m the same amount of money as the owners of Milford Golf Course – filling at least a few holes in one!

A jubilant Guildford Borough Council has now had it’s precious Green Belt areas re-instated after the same Government Inspector said theirs must go too.

According to the 109-page report –  residents will be forced to use a Board Walk on stilts America style to be provided by the developers to reach the SANG – (Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace) with their dogs, not on leads but on doggy-stilts! This has to be provided on land in Flood Zone 3 because as it says on the tin – it floods!  These mitigation measures are required on a site within 5km of a SPA – Special Protection Area so you can be sure Cllr Hyman won’t be voting for this one?

Perhaps the homes will be on stilts too – on Flood Plains 1 and, 2. With the green space on Zone 3 and leisure facilities provided in Godalming…more traffic?

But one sentence you will hear repeated over and over again by officers when Stretton Milford Ltd’s scheme is considered by the Joint Planning Committee. The Development will cause…Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.27.18.png and:

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.23.13 it’s ok to put the SANG in a swamp!

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 Hundreds of objections have poured into Waverley Towers hallowed portals – on everything from the effects on the environment; air quality; traffic congestion; light pollution; flood risk; and the impact on school places – where 1st and middle schools GP surgeries; Dentists and hospital services; are already oversubscribed. 

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 10.53.37.png

So why is Waverley in such a rush – because it admits it has a 5.8-year land supply?  Is it because two recent planning appeals in Farnham have been overturned by the Government because housing supply targets are not being met and Inspectors beg to differ on the land supply?   Developers are slowing down their housebuilding programmes because they can’t sell the homes fast enough.

Is it now a case of …PLANNING BY FEAR? WHICH IS DEVELOPER & GOVERNMENT LED?   So lets all bin the ballot box and give local democracy a decent burial.

Because Waverley will have reached its 11,000 home quota – before 2022 – not 2032 – with some towns and villages reaching their allotted quota already. 

However, you can be assured……. Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 11.23.13

Development should be allowed because of its access to infrastructure – including Milford Railway Station. However, residents claim, the trains have reached the maximum capacity of 12 carriages and the car park cannot cope now, let alone in future,  with cars spewing into Station Road.  And here’s a few more objections on a site which is covered by a Legal Covenant held by a local Solicitor who lives adjacent to the site. A legal matter which could hold up development further?

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 10.55.29.png 

What are the pluses: 200 new homes to satisfy the needs of Woking people – 80 of which will be “affordable,”

The price? By destroying  the rural character to the south of Milford?


4 thoughts on “Another slice of Waverley’s former Green Belt – about to bite the dust – as planners ​get set to change​ the face of Milford?”

  1. As Harold Wilson didn’t say “a week is a long time in planning”

    Last week Guildford was jubilant about the Inspector apparently restoring their Green Belt sites.

    Yesterday the Government issued its response on using the 2016 ONS figures and entirely predictably rejected this idea ……..see and various government pages. Make what you will of that.

    Then as you say, tonight Waverley Borough Council Joint Planning Committee is racing to decide the fate of the application to build up to 200 houses on part of Milford Golf Course. Once again in Waverley, crucial flood risk assessments have been downgraded to matters to be dealt with AFTER planning is granted even though the Soggy SANG makes the FRA additionally complicated.

    On top of that yesterday the Government also finally produced the local authority housing delivery figures ie the number of houses which have actually been built by Local Authority Area. That shows both Guilford and Waverley falling below the 95% mark which means (according to the revised National Planning Policy Framework issued last year) they now have to add a 20% buffer to their five year supply!!! No doubt officers will use that as justification tonight for bullying councillors into consenting to the GC site. That seems to me to be a remarkably stupid thing to do when everybody can see this application is highly likely to get mired in long legal wrangles over the restrictive covenant. That could mean delivery of these 200 houses will be held up for ? up to five years which will obviously have a knock on effect on delivery. But according to officers, the restrictive covenant isn’t a planning matter!

    Words (nearly) fail me.

  2. Words nearly fail us – but not quite! Thank you. Let’s hope the people of Milford are out there tonight to make their feelings known. It is time that veryone hit the streets in this borough of ours.

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