Will converting shops and offices to residential be prevented in, ALL our towns and villages, by ‘Your Waverley?’

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The area covered by the Article 4 direction.

The Council has taken a hitherto, little used planning rule, to prevent Haslemere’s  Beacon Hill high Street from becoming just another residential area.

But when will this apply to the rest of the borough?

The Council’s senior planning committee has made an Article 4 Direction – to protect the commercial area of Beacon Hill from losing its retail and commercial space.

Following consultations with residents, and land and property owners on their concerns that conversions from commercial to residential were robbing the area of much-needed business space, Article 4 was invoked and is now in force.

Under existing GOVERNMENT planning legislation – legislation that has been heavily criticised by many, property including shops, offices and premises used for light industry, warehousing or distribution can be converted into homes without planning permission. So there was little the council could do stop the loss of high street premises. This has already resulted in many hundreds of former businesses premises becoming homes under their permitted development rights. And there was damn all the council could do about it!

Cranleigh Parish Council and Haslemere Town Council were among the first to be consulted, as both had made numerous representations to Waverley about the loss of shops and offices in their high streets.

Now the direction has been invoked, anyone wanting to do this in Beacon Hill will require planning permission.

Waverley’s Interim head of Planning Paul McKim said although high streets needed to adapt to modern shopping, working and leisure habits, those changes needed to be managed.

“The council, business communities and local residents need to be involved in shaping the future of our rapidly changing high streets. “We hope the Article 4 Direction will prove to be an effective tool in helping to shape our town centres. We will be watching Beacon Hill with great interest and if the model proves successful, we will, in partnership with town and parish councils, consider this approach in other areas.”

You can read it here:

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Wouldn’t it be great if someone recognised these teenagers and dobbed them into​ the Police?​

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If so – it may even save someone’s life one day soon? And it could be yours or a member of your family?

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The three teenagers pictured above spat at, punched and struck a man’s thigh with the flat side of a knife during an attack on a train travelling between Milford & Godalming last month. May 18th to be precise.

The Police have just released the CCTV footage following the incident which took place at 12.35am on Saturday, May 18, as the train travelled between Godalming and Milford railway stations. 

WW can’t help wondering why it took so long to release the CCTV footage, but there may be a good reason?

Although the man in his 40’s who was attacked did not require any medical attention, he did push them off the train when it arrived at the next station, which bearing in mind recent fatal attacks was brave or was it a foolhardy thing to do?

However, what may have seemed a prank to these boys, may result in more serious behaviour, in future so if you recognise any of these faces – tell the police now.

 

BREAKING NEWS – You heard it here first.

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It is among 19 sites around the country to be awarded the accolade.

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Could the take-off & landing where once-The Harrier; The Vulcan, The Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and planes for the Berlin Airlift took flight, soon become a Garden Village runway? 

Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 10.28.56.pngThis decisions – announced today – will provide a significant boost to the local economy in due course. And will, no doubt, be pounced upon by Jeremy Hunt, the local MP, as a feather in his own cap, as he continues to campaign for the premiership – despite the fact that he was initially opposed to the Dunsfold Developer’s plans, even going so far as to appear, at the behest of SDPNT (Stop Dunsfold New Town), at the first public inquiry to protest! He, together with Guildford MP Anne Milton, had the application called in for refusal, however, it was approved by former S of S Sajid Javid after a delay of many years.

This decision is a huge accolade for the Flying Scot and his team at Dunsfold Park who have been battling, for some 16 years, against local NIMBYISM and the entrenched views of the likes of…

… the unlamented Mary Orton-Pett (AKA Mrs MOP), former CEO of Waverley BC, who was virulently against development at the former aerodrome; Richard Shut-the-Gates and Robert Know-less, former Leaders of the Council, and narrow-minded former parish councillors, Betty Aim-less, the late unlamented Brian Ellis, OJ (AKA Charles Orange Esq) and Nick Pidgeon; not to mention Clerk & Chief Money Handler on behalf of POW, Crystal-Tipps Weddell; Bob Lies and Sarah ‘Udders’-Sullivan, of POW, and Anthony Isaacs, of CPRE, who all did their absolute damnedest to prevent this particular development on their doorsteps.

Oh to be a fly on the wall when Lies & Isaacs learn about this!

It is a truly magnificent feather in the cap of Tom Horwood, CEO of ‘Your Waverley,’ and former leader Julia Potts (who shall, henceforth, no longer be known as ‘The Potty One’).  Elizabeth Sims, former Chief Planning Officer who together, took collective responsibility and, went out on a limb to save Waverley from itself, by grasping the nettle and embracing the benefits that a new settlement on a brownfield site at Dunsfold Park could offer the Borough.

A case of better late than never!

Meanwhile, SHAME on those who didn’t buy into this scheme and, in the process, have brought this Borough’s countryside up to its knees in concrete through their obdurateness, selfishness and sheer bloody-mindedness.

The conferring of village status on Dunsfold Park will help to ensure that this development fulfils the vision that the Flying Scot set out for it when he first taxied down the Dunsfold runway back in 2003: to create a genuine 21st century village with not only homes but jobs, community shops and other essential facilities in an attractive, landscaped environment. A sustainable community where people will be able to live, work and play, as opposed to the bland housing estates being built by other developers locally and the ‘ghetto’ which OJ sneeringly and publically suggested Dunsfold would become – and of whom it can now be said:

Never in the brown field of conflict has one man been so wrong about so much!

It’s not often that the Waverley Web praises developers – in fact, this may even be a first for us – but credit where it’s due. We cannot help but admire the perseverance, stamina and sheer bloody-mindedness of the Flying Scot who refused to be deterred or demoralised by the worried-well-to-do and has steered a once derelict and deserted airfield to garden village status in the face of almost overwhelming odds.

It is an achievement that the generous-spirited amongst us can all be proud of …

But we await with interest how the …

Let’s Crap-on-Dunsfold Aerodrome-from-a-Great-Height Sorry Advertiser …

… chooses to portray this latest piece of good news to emanate from the brownfield site. Surely, even they, cannot turn this into a bad news story … but, if past experience is anything to go by, we won’t be holding our collective breath!

Thousands of new homes to be built in Guildford’s countryside.

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Protesters at the council's offices
Image captionThousands objected to the new policy

The new housing policy was backed by Guildford Borough Council in the face of thousands of objections. Opponents believe it permits unnecessary development on rural land.

The council said the plan, which allows the building of 10,678 homes by 2034, would meet rising demand that could not be met in urban areas.

Some 2,000 homes are earmarked for the former Wisley Airfield site, with a further 1,500 at Blackwell Farm off Hog’s Back and 800 in the town centre.

The council said the following villages had been removed from the green belt: Chilworth, East Horsley, Effingham, Fairlands, Flexford, Jacobs Well, Normandy, Peasmarsh, Ripley, Send, Send Marsh, Burnt Common, Shalford, West Horsley and Wood Street Village.

Opponents can lodge a High Court appeal. Perhaps the Campaign For The Protection for Rural England should be launching another Judicial Review?

Georgie Paulson and his mum Katharine
An 11, year-old  joined his mother at a protest against the plan

They were among protesters who gathered outside the council’s offices ahead of the vote. Saying they were so concerned about the loss of the green belt. “We are custodians of the countryside and we need to safeguard the green belt,” she said.

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What is the green belt?

English countryside

Green belts were introduced after World War Two to stop cities from sprawling and countryside being spoilt. There are tight controls on building in these areas.

The government says the “essential characteristics of green belts are their openness and their permanence”. It is made up of both greenfield sites, which have never been developed, and brownfield sites, which are often on disused or derelict land that needs to be cleared.

About 13% of England is now covered and the 14 green belt areas are meant to be permanently protected – and are only reviewed in exceptional circumstances.

However, it has reduced in size by about 100km2 (39 square miles) since 2010, primarily due to councils adopting new planning policies.

The “Guildford borough local plan” has been years in the making, but opponents criticised the decision to hold the key vote just before elections, which could shift the balance of power in the council.

Former Conservative council leader Paul Spooner agreed the timing was “unfortunate” but said that delaying until after elections would mean “we have to go through the process again” with an estimated delay of two to three years.”On that basis, it makes sense to move forward now.”

In March, a government planning inspector said the plan was sound and it was justified to build on some green belt land to meet a pressing need for housing.

Now – what do you say about this disgrace Jeremy?

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Or, are you too busy climbing up the greasy pole and bashing Boris to care?

A leading doctor who served on an NHS England group tasked with designing new child cancer standards says that changes to soften the proposals were “insisted on” by its officials.

No doubt this whistleblowing consultant will soon be looking for a new job? The very same whistleblowers that our MP Jeremy Hunt former Health Secretary said previously, “I will protect,” but then reneged on that promise.

Just like he did on this one in Farnham. Where’s the Redgrave Jeremy? Ashes to Ashes – Dust to Dust? Like so many of your promises?

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James Nicholson, a consultant paediatric oncologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, has spoken out saying that the clinical reference group for children and young adult cancer services – of which he was a member – was threatened with its whole project to set new standards being dropped if it objected.

He said the group debated resigning en masse in protest over NHS England’s position. He said the national body was “standing in the way” of clinicians trying to improve care for children and said the wording of the standards being consulted on this month should be considered invalid.

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-24 at 10.05.23.pngDr Nicholson was present at a meeting in September last year where clinicians were told that the recommendation about co-locating intensive care services with child cancer units needed to change from “must” be present to “should”.

This was demanded, he said, by NHS England’s national cancer team, which is led by cancer director Cally Palmer, chief executive of the Royal Marsden Foundation Trust – a cancer centre which lacks an on-site intensive care unit.

Dr Nicholson said the CR  group, made up of expert clinicians from across the UK, only agreed to changes to ensure the remainder of the new standards were not abandoned. They insisted patients who were transferred from one site to another were monitored with new quality metrics.

He said: “It was very clear if we didn’t accept it, the service specification would either go no further or we would all have to resign en masse.

“I recall no one being happy with this change and the CRG was unanimous in thinking that a change from ‘must’ to ‘should’ was not appropriate.”

Last week HSJ revealed how NHS England had “buried” long-running concerns over the model of care in London. Former London medical director Andy Mitchell accused Ms Palmer of a conflict of interest and said he believed either she or NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens was responsible for preventing a 2015 report from being published and proposals for change going any further.

Claims that the CRG had been put under pressure were described by NHS England as “deeply unfair”, but it has said Ms Palmer will “play no part” in future decisions on child cancer services. CRGs are groups of clinicians established to shape standards for specialised services, which are commissioned by NHSE.

Dr Nicholson, who chaired the paediatric review element for the CRG, said Ms Palmer’s conflict of interest was not compatible with her role and the operating model at the Royal Marsden was “frankly absurd”.

“We were told by NHS England at a CRG meeting that this [the change from “should” to “must”] had been insisted on by the cancer policy team.

“There was a long discussion. One option discussed was mass resignation.

“We accepted that probably the only way of that service spec not being dead in the water – for all of the good changes that were still in place – was to let it go forward and hope in the public consultation there would be enough of a backlash to address it.

“It was a real compromise.”

He is no longer a member of the CRG, as the membership of all CRGs was revised early this year. He said the group felt resigning wouldn’t have achieved much but added: “We might well have been wrong. “It just seems complete nonsense when you’re trying to pull together a specification of what good care looks like that you can let such compromises slide in.

“It just feels like a slap in the face when a large number of experts from around the country who have contributed to this [standard] to make it better, and progress is slowed. It is truly depressing and it’s very demoralising.

“NHS England should be supporting us, not standing in the way and it does feel like they’re actually standing in our way.”

He said during engagement events outside London, clinicians were “incredulous that we would even ask the question if intensive care should be co-located.”

He said the model of care at the Marsden where children are transferred to St George’s Hospital for intensive care was “inappropriate” adding: “When you have a city as large as London, to have a service set up where paediatric oncology and intensive care is not co-located is frankly absurd and that is the view held by a vast majority of the profession.”

He said the risks were mitigated by the Marsden transferring children early but “it is not good quality care. For example, if they have a sick child which has leukaemia who ends up being transferred to St George’s for intensive care my understanding is they don’t have the same clinical trials open at St George’s and there is not the same oncology cover so they don’t get the same quality service”.

On Ms Palmer, he said: “I don’t think that level of conflict of interest is compatible with having any input into a service review which has an impact on your own service.” He added he believed an independent inquiry would be helpful if the issue can’t be resolved any other way.

“I would like to see the wording of the service specification reversed. I think there should be a recognition that those changes that were made in the service specification should not be regarded as valid.”

In response to Dr Nicholson’s comments, NHSE said it was grateful to all the clinicians for their effort and time in developing the proposals which are now out for public consultation.

An NHSE spokesman said: “All members of the clinical reference group signed off the proposals despite some obvious differences of opinion between various clinical views during their development. The CRG recommended clear safety requirements where some services are not on the same site, and that is exactly what is now being consulted on so everyone can again have their say.”

Objectors to ‘Your Waverley’ meeting any of Woking’s unmet housing need rocked up at The Court of​ Appeal …again!

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KA-POW!

HERE WE GO AGAIN …

POW’s back in town again
and CPRE’s got their back again
One more time
Here we go again
The Judge will listen again
We’ll be their fools again
One more time
We’ve been there before
And they’ll try it on again
But any fool knows
That there’s no way to win
Here we go again
They’ll break the bank again …

There they were again – the same tired old faces – fronting The Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE) and Protect Our Waverley (POW) – beating their perpetual drum to stop the Borough of Waverley taking some – only some, mind – of Woking’s unmet housing need. Housing need that they claim is no longer required or wanted because the needs of the town have disappeared skywards!

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All the regular Rumpoles piled into Room 71 (not Room 101!) to urge a panel of judges to remove 83 homes per annum from Waverley’s housing numbers, that were imposed on it by Government Inspector Jonathon Bore. If CPRE and POW succeed in their long-running battle, they could throw a hand-grenade into the Department of Communities and Local Government’s Inspectorate.

Er, why? we hear you ask in justifiable puzzlement.

Because both Mr Bore and a previous High Court Judge will have been found to have erred in law in how they applied Woking’s unmet need to Waverley. And the Inspector will have been found to have acted illegally by not adhering to the policy and guidance rules within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) when dealing with Part One of Waverley’s Local Plan.

And, if the Court of Appeal decides that they did err, it will remit the decision back to an Inspector and the whole process will begin all over again! Here we go again …

Here’s an example of just how Woking Borough Council intends to meet the housing need of its townsfolk:

Lawyers acting for the appellants – some of whom have been schlepping around the district, yet again, begging bowl in hand, whining for yet more money to continue to fight the so-called good fight – accused the Inspector of failing to seek up-to-date figures for both Woking’s unmet housing need and supply, saying his actions were both irrational and not adequately reasoned. They argued they had no wish to quash the Local Plan, but asked the panel of Judges to simply remove 83 homes per annum – a total of 2,400 over the plan period.

Although at times it appeared that the complexities of the housing numbers that the three local authorities were required to meet in Guildford, Waverley and Woking were under review, the Judges warned that this was not the issue before them! Their narrow remit was to decide whether the Inspector’s decision had been legally flawed when imposing some of Woking’s unmet need on the borough of Waverley.

Counsel for the appellants claimed there was a ‘clear legal flaw’ by the Inspector, who had not attempted to acquaint himself with robust figures for Woking’s unmet housing need or its supply coming forward. He should not have imposed a higher number of homes on the mainly rural borough of Waverley – a figure that had necessitated an uplift in homes for Waverley’s small rural villages.

Waverley’s new Deputy Leader, Paul Follows, heroically sat throughout the hearing as the three judges asked the appellants’ barrister why he believed the Inspector had acted illegally? Where was the Leader we wonder?

‘Are you saying the Inspector did not do what the NPPF says he must do?’

He responded with a resounding Yes! “There was up-to-date and relevant information regarding Woking that the Inspector should have had regard to. If he had taken account of that he almost certainly would have refused Woking’s unmet need.”

Said the Judge: “But an Inspector does the best he or she can,” but Counsel maintained the Inspector had not done the best he could based on the material before him and “applying 50% of Woking’s unmet need to Waverley was perverse and irrational.”

One judge asked if the appellants wanted the Local Plan quashed and sent back to the Secretary of State to re-determine? But Counsel for CPRE/POW said they wanted Woking’s unmet need removed from a borough which boasted 92% of its countryside in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Great Landscape Value and 60% Green Belt and reducing its housing figures from 11,200 to 7,500 was “significant.”

Unsurprisingly, the hearing ended without a decision being made – that is for a later date. In the event that the judges, in their wisdom, don’t find in favour of CPRE and POW’s argument no doubt the next stop on the POW gravy-train – which is being funded, at vast expense, by Tax Payers – will be another room in another Court …

All aboard! All aboard! Don’t miss the train, boat or plane!

Meanwhile, the concrete mixers are on manoeuvres!

 

 

Is this how to acquire planning permission if you are/or were a legal officer at ‘Your Waverley​?

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The actual application under discussion begins at 1 hour 18mins as ‘Your Waverley’ streams meetings for hours before meetings take place.  A previous application which included permission for a new building in the garden was allowed earlier. Just listen to what the objectors have to say.

https://youtu.be/hIDmZ0D6rj4

KA-POW!

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In three short paragraphs, Waverley’s new Deputy Leader has put the kybosh on CPRE and POW’s fantasy of working with the new Waverley Dream Team in order to quash Waverley BC’s requirement to take a share of Woking BC’s unmet housing need.

In less than a month since taking over at Waverley, Councillor Paul Follows has met with Anthony Isaacs and Bob Lies, (CPRE & POW’s head honchos respectively), listened to their arguments, assessed their plan and found it wanting.

No surprises there then!

Whilst the Waverley Web entirely understands the New Broom’s desire to be seen to be listening to the voices of dissent, it didn’t take him long to detect and highlight the holes in the dastardly duo’s argument, which leaks like a colander.

No doubt Messrs Isaacs and Lies won’t take a blind bit of notice of Councillor Follow’s pithy assessment of the risks they are running. Why would they? After all, it’s not their money they’re frittering away on feckless and frivolous arguments. Not on your nelly! It’s ours – the poor, beleaguered Waverley Council Tax Payers’!

And for those of you who are still under the illusion that these bumbling buffoons only have the best interests of the residents of Waverley at heart, let us attempt to reset your perception:

• CPRE & POW claim they are seeking to remove the Woking unmet need number and not quash the whole of the Local Plan.

• The problem with that, as Councillor Follows pointed out in his recent letter to them, is that the Court is highly unlikely to get involved in setting housing numbers.

• The Court of Appeal’s task is simply to consider whether the Inspector and, subsequently, the High Court Judge erred in law in how they applied the Woking unmet need amount to Waverley.

• If the Court of Appeal decides that they did err, it will remit the decision back to an Inspector and the process will begin all over again!

Meanwhile, all reasonable and sensible advice leads to the conclusion that this high stakes strategy carries a very real risk of:

• increasing, not decreasing the future target
• strengthening the argument in favour of consenting the planning appeals against Waverley in the short term
• increasing the uncertainty that currently surrounds the draft Local Plan as a result of the appeals.

Of course most people – including councillors – are concerned about the housing targets and housing delivery in the Borough but the difference between them and CPRE and POW is that they aren’t engaged in a game of high stakes Russian roulette with other peoples’ money!

Suffice to say if Messrs Isaacs and Lies’ great gamble doesn’t pay off they are going to be as popular in Waverley as skunks that have rolled in fox poo!

The Deputy Waverley leader’s response ( below). 
The hearing on Monday 24th June will be webcast here, so pull up a chair and bring some biscuits! The background of the case is on the Court site here.

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Was ‘Your Waverley’ entertained by Charterhouse School – just days before planners recommend its scheme to remove​ yet more Godalming’s Green Belt?

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Could the playing fields of England soon be buried under another pile of bricks and concrete?

We have heard from a number of Godalming residents including John Mair and Steve that they are not entirely happy that ‘Your Waverley’ councillors are being ‘entertained’ by Charterhouse School. Not sure whether it is tea and biccies or drinks and nibbles – however, we digress. Suffice to say – the hard sell is on…?

With a planning officer’s recommendation to approve building shedloads of student and staff accommodation breaching yet even more green belt in Godalming, should councillors be getting up close and personal with the influential applicant. An applicant who may be just days away from –  tucking a planning consent for more student and staff accommodation under its belt?  The top public school which boasts the wannabe Prime Minister amongst its alumni? –

John & Steve think probably not.

But Deputy Leader Paul Follows, standing in for Waverley’s new Leader John Ward who is on a slow boat to ….? Is going along for the ride., for the reasons he sets out below. 

Says John Mair:

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Just perfect timing eh! Cllr Follows? Surely not – just a coincidence we are sure?

At a meeting of Godalming Town Council earlier this week, at which there was a large public attendance – councillors voted by 7 votes to 4 to object to the application. Residents believe this development is only the start of a great deal more development planned by the school on the Broom & Leas site in Godalming. 

 

Radio Ga Gal speaks up for Our Jeremy as he fights to cling onto the greasy pole?

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National Radio are clearly phoning round local Conservative Associations for comment on leadership and any swivel-eyed loons that are left to vote for them…
Here’s the audio!

Chairman of SW Surrey Conservative Association Denise Le Gal, who was recently ousted from her Farnham seat on Waverley Borough Council takes part in a radio phone-in to speak up for Prime-Minister contender The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP for SW Surrey. 

She argues Hunt speaks up for the 48% of those who voted to remain in the European Union and is confident he can do the deal.

Ms Le Gal said at a public event after the Referendum that she had urged her children to hang on tight to their Canadian passports, just in case they wanted to leave the country.

During numerous interviews this week Jeremy Hunt claims he is an MP in a marginal constituency!