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

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. 


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

  1. Good morning – and just to confirm that event was exactly as it was advertised to be months ago – a discussion about education partnerships and community work. About 80% of the people there were involved in local education in and around Godalming (both primary and secondary) as well as a small number of councillors.

    A number of councillors gave their apologies for various reasons, some I think worried about this looking improper – we don’t run ourselves as an autocracy and I would always prefer councillors acted according to their personal judgement (all parties on Godalming TC had at least 1 rep there). Also a couple of former councillors there too – Andrew Bolton, Tony Gordon-Smith (which surprised me a little). But then the original invite was some time ago as a mentioned.

    GTC objected to the application 7-4 on grounds that it did not agree with the statement that exceptional circumstances for Green Belt encroachment had been met. Recorded vote also called so its all very clear.

    I would also like to say that this is the first time (since I brought Ockford park to GTC) that the town council will be giving an opinion on a planning matter at all. A role it has woefully neglected in my view. I also think (as chair) I made it as open to public contribution as I could (probably stretched our standing orders a little to do so).

    Link to those published minutes below. As a member of the JPC and Chair of GTC I abstained.


    Happy as always to discuss!

    1. I understand that developers mixing with Cllrs was, maybe still is the norm in Cranleigh. But did they mix a good Pimms Paul?

      1. For some years developers and councillors – as well as officers was a toxic mix, and one of the reasons why Cranleigh is overwhelmed with new properties. Hopefully it is an exercise not to be repeated among both the New and some of the old guard who are now realising the damage that has been done.

        We understand from some of our followers over there that house prices are dropping like a stone due to the marked being swamped with new homes.

    2. The WW pays tribute to your openness and transparency about your decision to attend the education partnership meeting, and in this instance your reasoning for attending was both sound and sensible.

      Excellent news that at last, Godalming Town Council will not only be commenting on planning applications, but allowing these decisions to be aired in public. Stretching standing orders to allow residents to have their say is never a bad thing – and in this particular instance vital – as this scheme could open the floodgates to further development on school land.

      Thank you for including the published minutes – and for making it clear that there was no pre-determination on your part.

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