Tonight ​The Milford Golf course development will be agreed on a wing and a prayer.

 In readiness for her swan song performance the head planning honcho at Waverley Towers is already buffing up her boots and inserting new studs to kick another unpopular planning application through the goal posts.  Ok, ok, we know it’s a golf course.

The soon-to-be-replaced Betty Boot, who is shortly leaving to play for the Home team – will provide members of the Joint Planning Committee with a thousand reasons why they should support building on the former Green Belt golf course in Milford. Cover a  floodplain  with concrete and 200 homes – 80 of which will be “affordable.” For whom, they will actually be “affordable,” is anyone’s guess? 

You can read WW’s post on details of the scheme here:

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

dogsonstilts

 In an up-date sheet added to a 109-page report to be presented to the committee – she says there are changes:

Page 75 – In regard to the test set out in Paragraph 55 of the Habitats regulations relating to the granting of a protected species licence.  To clarify, Natural England as the relevant licencing body will apply these tests when determining a licence application. As per relevant and established case law, it is not for Officers or members to carry out its own shadow assessment of this test when determining an application for planning permission.  Officers have made Natural England aware of the presence of protected species on this site and have been provided with a copy of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s response to this application. Natural England has not objected to this application and therefore it is considered reasonable for the Council to proceed on the basis that a licence is not unlikely to be granted if permission is approved. Perhaps she hasn’t read the latest Guardian Newspaper article – about which the Waverley Web has spoken to the journalist for confirmation.

PerhapsWaverley Planners should all read this?  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/29/agency-protecting-english-environment-reaches-crisis-point

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 18.05.02.png

Screen Shot 2019-02-19 at 18.04.41.pngWe will have a bet with you Bett.  Of course, Natural England isn’t going to object because thousands of environmentally important sites across England are coming under threat every day of the week as the government body charged with their care is struggling with understaffing, slashed budgets and increasing workload. 

Natural England has wide-ranging responsibilities protecting and monitoring sensitive sites, including sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) and nature reserves, and advising on the environmental impact of new homes and other developments in the planning stages. Its work includes overseeing national parks, paying farmers to protect biodiversity and areas of huge public concern such as air quality and marine plastic waste.

(Well we all know what is going on in Farnham over the air quality scandal.  One former member of staff has been charged and awaits trial, while her line manager has bug****D off to pastures new and a new plump salary!)

But while the activities of NE are being impaired by severe budget cuts and understaffing, Natural England employees and other interested parties have told the Guardian. “These are fantastically passionate staff who are worried that the environment is being affected so badly by these cuts,” one frontline staff member said.

“There will be no turning back the clock” if we allow sensitive sites to be degraded.

The agency’s budget has been cut by more than half in the past decade, from £242m in 2009-10 to £100m for 2017-18. Staff numbers have been slashed from 2,500 to an estimated 1,500.  But worry not Waverley residents – Waverley Planners are “always satisfied” with the comments made by statutory agencies, including Thames Water and the Environment Agency.

Just like the same Tory-led administration, officers and, some  members. were “perfectly satisfied” with Thakeham Homes scheme to build on a floodplain in Cranleigh. Homes that the Association of British Insurers following a recent meeting at the House of Commons with Ministers, is now considering advising its members – not to insure!! 

Perhaps ‘Your Waverley’ will put that up on its Searches Website for future buyers?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/29/agency-protecting-english-environment-reaches-crisis-point

JPC-20.02.19-Letter-to-Members

Here’s what one of our followers thinks:

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 https://andrewlainton.wordpress.com/ 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.

3 thoughts on “Tonight ​The Milford Golf course development will be agreed on a wing and a prayer.

  1. How many reasons do they need to Defer this application??? – Most of which are in the Update Sheet. This one particularly caught my eye…..

    “Land Ownership consideration: The applicant is not the Golf Club; the new owner
    does not control the land on the east side of Station lane. The applicant has
    confirmed they are not able to undertake any improvements to this existing footway,
    as the land is owned by the Golf Club and outside of their control.

    The Highways Officer is supportive of the package of works secured for Station Lane
    and considers that it will deliver significant improvements, both in terms of highway
    safety and promoting sustainable transport.
    The delivery of additional improvements to provide the complete upgrade to the
    footpath (2m width) linking to the railway station is considered necessary to mitigate
    the potential impacts of the scheme.

    Officers believe that the complete pedestrian link can be delivered on the Golf Club land; the onus should be put back on the developer to provide this improved link. A Grampian planning condition is considered reasonable in this instance to require the applicant to be demonstrate the required improvement is deliverable prior to the submission of the Reserved Matters application. If the footpath widening can not be secured then an application to remove the condition will need to be made and a satisfactory justification made at that time”

    As for the SANG – it is a joke……What on earth is a “Water Compatible Development” ?

    “Queries from Members
    1. The SANG area, I estimate 20,000sqm of SANG area and Natural England are
    saying this is fine and then they say that they need 2.5 kilometres of Board walk
    which equates to a loss of seventy five per cent of the SANG area being deemed
    unusable. If this is the case H&S and Risk assessment of that area would deem it
    unsafe and cause risk to children, dogs and people, therefore the SANG would only
    be 5,000sqm. Please confirm.
    The total site area is 13.28 ha (the application site which covers both east and west
    of station lane). Of this, 4.04 ha is SANG which leaves a balance of 9.24ha. The
    percentage split of the site is: 30.42% SANG, 69.58% development Site. Natural
    England are satisfied that the proposed SANG, including boardwalks is acceptable
    and satisfies the requirements of a SANG. The use of this area of the site, within
    flood zone 2 and 3 is considered to be water compatible development and
    acceptable in this location in regards to potential flood risk.

    2. Please also confirm that none of the houses are to be built in flood zone 2
    This application is for outline consent only with all matters reserved except access.
    As such, the layout and positioning of houses does not form part of the assessment
    of this application. The indicative layout, however, does not show built development
    falling within the defined flood zone 2 area of the site.”

    I think Councillors should just say NO! and tell the Officers to go and do their jobs properly before bringing this shambolic Pie-in-the-Sky Application in front of the JPC. I am not saying that the land shouldn’t be allocated for some housing and I understand this is an Outline Application – But when it comes to Reserved Matters the Officers will simply say that the PRINCIPAL for the Application has been agreed so just do as we say!

  2. Ah well Granted! It should have been deferred until more info was given but No!

    Mary was quite right to say that Cranleigh has already been shate on from a great Height and Milford is 4 times bigger than Alfold and in conjunction with Witley not that much smaller than Cranleigh. It has shops, a train station, access to the A3 a Hospital and schools all the things we don’t have – and if this isn’t here it could end up in the East due to our lack of protection with Greenbelt.. But it still isn’t RIGHT – the SANG is rubbish the fact there is no EIA is appalling – But that is the way Planning works here isn’t it?
    I should just give up
    Denise

  3. Pingback: Tonight ​The Milford Golf course development will be agreed on a wing and a prayer. — Waverley Web – Site Title

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