Please note: Conservative councillor Jan Floyd-Douglass voted against the Charterhouse application. She says she listens to both sides of the argument and then votes, even if it is against officers recommendation to refuse. Wow! even the new Tories have minds of their own now?
And … more of a say on ALL important issues affecting the town for which some residents have adopted the soliloquy – “Godawfulming?”
Do residents want to reinforce the case for making the way ahead for Godalming planned by Godalming again?
Just so that the Waverley Web can put you in the picture – until Godalming’s New Guard took over – the previous administration, that just happened to be almost all Tories – couldn’t be bothered to debate Godalming matters, either at the town or parish councils.
WHY? We hear you cry?
Because – quite simply – why bother – when the REAL decision-makers were holed up in Waverley Towers and as most of them were borough councillors why give up an evening’s bridge/golf/TV at two meetings – when you can score a hole in one.
But thankfully soon – Godalming’s time could come again…
Soon the Godalming Town Council, led by Cllr Paul Follows, could well be considering planning applications and other matters of local importance.
Yipee – is that the sweet scent of democracy we smell wafting over Godalming for the first time for many years?
The effect of this was seen in the controversial decision last week to let Charterhouse School build on Green Belt to construct two new boarding school houses for girls because the charitable organisation needs more pupils – in other words, it needs more dosh.
Green Belt development isn’t allowed unless there are exceptionally strong reasons for it, and Godalming Town Councillors were against it. They believed the reasons given were not “exceptional” and were certainly not “strong.”
But it went through the Waverley planning process because the town council doesn’t have a say. When it was considered by the Joint Planning Committee it was passed by 14 votes. (We believe these were all Conservatives plus some Farnham Residents and the Liberal Democrat Chairman. (However, it is almost obligatory for the Chairman of the Joint Planning Committee to vote for everything – even holding Easter at Christmas if the planning officers’ says so.)
Saying YES to everything comes with the job.
However, there were five (Labour, Green and some Lib Dems opposed to the scheme), with one Lib Dem abstention.
So – whoops there goes another green field!
Now one Godalming Cllr who has recently arrived on the scene doesn’t believe this is sensible.
He says: “Although I’m perfectly happy working with Farnham and Haslemere councillors on Waverley issues, I believe it’s unreasonable to expect them to take a keen interest in Godalming. Clearly, Godalming Town Council should recover a say in planning, and if the town’s proposed Neighbourhood Plan is approved by a good majority, that’s a vote of confidence in them and it will help them recover a proper say. So Let’s vote yes.”
So “Do you want Waverley Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Godalming & Farncombe to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”
If you want to read the full plan, it’s at https://www.waverley.gov.uk/downloads/file/6800/godalming_and_farncombe_neighbourhood_plan_april_2019.