Local residents have been steaming and venting their spleens on Milford and Godalming Facebook groups over Waverley Councillors’ decision to grant planning for 200 houses on Milford Golf Course. After a three hour debate on Wednesday, the decision was made 10 for versus 5 against, with 3 abstentions.
Yes you heard it right – Three Councillors sat through THREE HOURS of debate and then still had the gall to abstain.*
How could they have done this? Gutless or what?
Why did they vote for this in the wake against such an avalanche of public outcry?
How did key local councillor Dennis Leigh keep Shtum after ranting vociferously against the development? What, we hear you cry? He abstained too?? This beggars belief! Had the Tory Whip – Councillor Michael Goodriddance been working overtime before the meeting?
No wonder local residents added 2 + 2 together and made 5, with many drawing the conclusion that Councillors were receiving big brown envelopes of cash. Surely there must be a reason for them to ignore the public so skilfully?!
As one resident after another came to the Bung Conclusion on Social Media, local top Tory Waverley and Surrey County Councillor Peter Martin was forced to fire up his Facebook and defend his fellow councillors:
Regrettably, we have to agree with him. The way Councillors approach these meetings is more cock-up than conspiracy and, although we make no excuses for them, are, as one said: “between a rock and a hard place.” Otherwise, you would have to bung a lot of officers and councillors, and Statutory Agencies – agencies that are completely overloaded with work, and half the time don’t even do their investigations properly. These things would certainly leak to our ears, wouldn’t they! We’d happily write an invoice too!
We heard one unguarded and frustrated SCC highway engineer say – SUDS – on developments (Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes) just don’t work! What an admission to make in public!
As one local resident pointed out – the damage was done as soon as the land was taken out of the Green Belt by Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1. The developer didn’t need to bung anybody after that – in fact, they might have got a £5Million CIL discount by getting it in before 1st March!
*We understand one councillor did arrive late so wasn’t permitted to vote as he hadn’t heard the full debate. He too spoke against. The Committee acts in a Quasi-Judicial style you see. Not that one particular Farnham Residents’ Councillor would agree. He regularly accuses Waverley of ignoring environmental law. Which it appears, they can continue doing as long as Natural England and the Government says so.