Last night Waverley Planners gave developers the go-ahead to build homes on Milford Golf Course.

Plus 3 Abstentions from the gutless ones.

We hate to say we told you so – but here’s yesterday’s post and here are the posts this little four-legged friend will soon be walking on!

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

 A TORY TRICK – proposed by The TT’s whip Cllr Michael Goodridge who can  be relied upon to pull a rabbit out of the hat when the going gets rough. Proposed ‘A Planning Condition’ to approve the outline scheme for  200 homes in the hope, on a wing and a prayer, that the developer will reduce it to 180 later!

We should have put money on it at Bet Fred, but the odds were not good – because ‘Your Waverley” put the site in the Local Plan Part 1 – not the Government Inspector but ‘YW’ –  he just approved it! And last night consent was granted in outline- with an informative to developer Stretton Milford – that it is unlikely to get more than 180 homes on the golf course when it seeks detailed permission later.

Once upon a time,  everyone at Waverley thought it was THE  perfect site close to a station, schools, the A3, Milford village and nearby Godalming. In fact, local parish councils, hundreds of residents and most councillors didn’t actually like the scheme on Green Belt, on the flood plain, and believed it may not be deliverable as it is covered by a Covenant restricting its use.

But once again Betty’s nifty boot scored from the sidelines. Oh my – we will miss her.

For nearly three hours councillors, including the ward member, slammed the scheme. Most claimed there was insufficient information,  far too many unknowns including pavement improvements and bridge widening that were promised. Improvements that may not be in the developers’ gift, without the co-operation of Milford Golf Course!

But there was full support from Cranleigh Cllr Mary Foryszewski who, for the second time in just under a month, told her colleagues how much Cranleigh, with no station and very poor infrastructure, had repeatedly suffered from overdevelopment, and it was time for the rest of the borough take its share. 

In other words, you stuffed us and now it’s our turn to stuff you?

She went native after Waverley’s head planning honcho threatened the council’s  Planning Committee that if they refused the scheme towns like Farnham and Cranleigh, without the protection of Green Belt would suffer. As Waverley,  now requires a 20% buffer – and would not have a 5-year land supply, as had been proved recently in two overturned appeals!  Cllr Liz Townsend supported the scheme but called for, and highway officers agreed, too, bigger crossing points for walkers, Station Road should be wider and only 2-storey properties should be built.

Tim House, speaking on behalf of objectors lambasted the scheme calling it an “affront to common sense which flew in the face of public opinion.” He warned the land was covered by a restrictive Covenant that could prevent it ever being developed.”

He accused officers of coming up with a “cocktail of conditions” that the more realistic members of the committee should object to.

Witley Parish Council’s spokesman Cllr Gillian McCalden said the golf course was not the right place for development, and their Neighbourhood Plan had included far better locations for housing it recognised was badly needed. She predicted severe traffic congestion in Station Road, and although all the statutory consultees who had originally objected -Thames Water, SCC, Highways; Natural England; Environment Agency,  had now done a volte-face, and changed their minds, saying they were “now satisfied” –

However, she  Said: “we are not satisfied.”

The Ward Councillor Bob Upton said he didn’t blame Waverley planning officers:

“You are just doing your job and in the passage of time, you  will have moved on to pastures new as have most of your  colleagues, leaving behind many very frustrated villagers.”

Cllr Paul Follows said from the outset he would object to the application on the grounds that it was overdevelopment on a Flood Plain, off a narrow busy road, where no proper paths were provided to the station – unless, according to officers,  this could be negotiated sometime in the future! The Local Plan, which he said he had not voted for,  had stipulated 180 homes, and therefore 200 should be refused. Claiming the developer should be punished for its greed! 

Almost every councillor agreed that The boardwalk – of an unspecified height- necessary for villagers to reach a SANG in Flood Plain 3 – was inappropriate.

Councillor Jerry Hyman argued the scheme should be refused on the grounds that it ticked all the boxes as an EIA development and under the law required a proper Environmental Impact Assessment. as the site was above the required threshold.  

But as usual, politics came into play, he was slapped down again… but nobody could shut him up from warning that a time bomb could be ticking for the future of the environment and everyone should be considering the consequences of their actions would have on the borough’s endangered species.

Others said, the pavements were not wide enough and the extra traffic generated by the Dunsfold Development, Aarons Hill and others would exacerbate the situation at Milford Crossroads which was already at capacity.

Councillors questioned the County Highways’ predicted traffic flows and the size of the HGV’s from Tuesley Farm which regularly uses the narrow country lane.

Councillor Nick Holder called the scheme  – “a non-starter” and when the River Ock floods at it did in 2013- no traffic would move along the road- and where the SANG – which was- ” neither Special nor Alternative; nor Natural nor Greenspace – by any stretch of the imagination. “This scheme is complete nonsense, I won’t be voting for it.”

So there you have it folks,  once again the TORY JPC has caved in as they have on most major developments at the expense of the community – predominantly out of fear of appeal or planning inspectorate intervention due to appeals lost.

Full marks to Witley Parish Council which despite its objection, has wrung out of a developer a dumper truck full of money towards a host of improvements for Milford’s roads, schools, and community facilities. Some of which was squeezed out of it in the last few days!  

Perhaps if the former Chairman of Cranleigh Parish Council Mary Foryszewski had done the same – Cranleigh `New Town’ might not now be almost bereft of any improvements?

However, is that another Judicial Review we spy heading over Hascombe Hill? Because there are plenty of people out there in Milford with the will and the means to challenge this development. And based on some of the admissions made last night, there could be some very strong grounds to do so.



6 thoughts on “Last night Waverley Planners gave developers the go-ahead to build homes on Milford Golf Course.”

  1. Most ridiculous spectacle i’ve ever witnessed. Its not about whether the site is suitable or not its just because other wards had developments built that you deserve it says the Cranleigh councillor. Wow, beggars belief.

  2. I will never vote Tory again! Ever! These Councillors are an embarrassment, incompetent and about as much use as that stupid car borrowing scheme the developer has offered for the site! Utter rubbish!

  3. Backhanders must be in the offing somewhere along the line
    The park behind Farnham castle would be a more suitable and enough houses to give more than enough to do away with the housing shortage and it would not flood.
    Black Heath Common would be apt as well for social housing

  4. Not a very nice attitude from the Cranleigh councillor and deputy Mayor of Waverley, who as the former Chairman of the parish council should have done more to ensure that the wannabe developers stumped up some real cash to improve the infrastructure there. Her stuff you- attitude did her a great dis-service.

    Give the other Cranleigh councillor her due – while she supported the scheme, she attempted, and succeeded in wringing out a few more road, pavement and other improvements for the people of Milford and Witley.

  5. WW – I am afraid I have to disagree with you. You know I am not a fan of Mary – But she spoke up for Cranleigh that has had to take a ridiculous amount of development on LPP1 due to the lack of Greenbelt. Well done her! Perhaps residents in Milford and Witley should come and see the 1700+ homes that are being built here PLUS Dunsfold with NO Real Infrastructure, no Train Station and a 10 mile car journey on the A281 to the A3 via Guildford. In this instance – I Applaud her – Well Done Mary!

    I still think they should have DEFERRED and not refused until they had more information about the Land and ability to provide adequate Pavements to the School and Trains, and also if the SANG was in the least bit suitable (I would NOT walk my dog on Board Walks) They couldn’t even confirm if these boardwalks would have fencing to stop people and their pets falling off into the flood plain or even how High they would be!

    EIA, SANG and the Covenant should have been enough to stop the Applicants appealing. Why oh why didn’t they Defer???

    No Objections from the Statutory authorities means Diddley-Squit – It just proves they are all so up their own jackseys with all these new developments and under funded they simply cannot cope – With the exception of SCC Highways – which I feel just do not understand the problems that these rural road networks have.

    We have a Local Plan – why isn’t it being stuck to?? Yes this site should have some homes but NOT 200 and not without all the Infrastructure they thought they would get to make this application acceptable?

    I feel for all the residents of Milford/Witley and they fought a really good fight – But as usual the Planning Officers have not provided all the information in a timely fashion so it was all rather last minute and Milford potentially lose out on Millions of CIL..Surely a few weeks deferral whilst waiting for more information – would have been deemed acceptable?

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