DEVELOPERS eager to build up to 180 new homes in a Haslemere Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are under fire for ‘greenwash.’
Redwood property developers have recently concluded a public consultation on pre-application plans to increase the draft site allocation in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan part two from 50 houses to 180 at Red Court Estate in Scotland Lane.
No surprise there then?
Part Two of the Local Plan was pulled by the former administration before the elections – for more work to be carried out, mainly due to the uproar over sites included in the plan in Haslemere. The draft Part Two is expected to be considered by Waverley’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee in September then goes forward for adoption by Full Council in November for publication in March 2020 and adoption in November 2020!
But supporting statements to promote the Haslemere scheme have angered local residents, and organisations, including Haslemere Town Council, for implying they are in favour of the proposals.
Responding, Redwood said: “We sincerely apologise if any inference of support has been mistakenly aligned with any local community members or groups.”
First to publicly object in a letter to the Haslemere Herald on May 30, was the town’s eight-strong confederation of schools, which stressed it remained officially neutral.
Haslemere Town Council and neighbourhood plan group Haslemere Vision have now gone public to deny they have endorsed pre-application housing proposals. The Waverley District of the Surrey branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has also denied suggestions it supports the scheme.
Surrey CPRE director Andy Smith said: “This is a prime example of ‘green wash’ whereby developers pretend that their schemes are environmentally sustainable when in reality they are anything but.”
Anthony Isaacs, CPRE Waverley District chairman added: “The developers of Red Court claim in their literature that the proposals to build 180 houses on green fields designated as an area of great landscape value and/or within the Surrey Hills AONB ‘conform and align absolutely’ with CPRE policies on access to National Parks and AONBs.
“Most emphatically we do not share that view.”
Note : The CPRE and POW ( Protect Our Waverley Campaign Limited) will appear in the High Court on Monday as they have appealed the elements of the 5 November 2018 decision relating to Policy ALH1 of Local Plan Part 1, and its allocation by the Local Plan Inspector to allocate the borough 50% of Woking’s unmet housing need.
- The application to appeal had been allowed on the grounds of importance of the principle, and the grounds for appeal was a novel argument not previously considered at the Court of Appeal and was not in itself an indication of the likely outcome of the appeal.