If you have wondered how difficult it is to get robust planning decisions at ‘Your Waverley’ watch this clip.

Waverley’s senior planning committee was considering an application by Waverley’s NBW – Crest Nicholson – to build 100 homes at Woodside Park,  in Catteshall Lane, Godalming adjacent to the ambulance station.

Until the New Guard took over in May CNS, has more or less been able to do pretty much as it liked!

Officers and members of the old administration have been playing ping-pong with this scheme for quite a while, but the old boys granted outline permission shortly before the election with only 17% affordable housing.  Just in case you didn’t know developers cannot afford to provide (a.h) because their “Viability Assessments” prove they cannot trouser enough dosh if they do. 

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Building described by neighbours as “A Fortress.”

New councillors – and even some old – were not impressed with the bulk of the building; lack of parking which could prompt even more off-street parking in Catteshall Lane; the design; lack of infrastructure; density and the impact of a building with balconies overlooking another new development  in the “lane.”

Unable to prevent the development going ahead, due to extant outline permission granted; objectors had to make do with sending the scheme back to the developer… again for revisions that address concerns.

Some members of the new committee went head to head with the officers to oppose the scheme. Which proved to be about as popular as root canal treatment judging by the body languages displayed by the council’s “planning experts.” 

See and hear the debate for yourselves by clicking on the link below.

https://youtu.be/2P4l68BhwTs

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Languishing in his new throne as if he had occupied it for years Richard Cole, couldn’t contain himself from supporting everything put in front of him – even one of the worst examples of urbanising development ever seen in a village! Backward Point, aptly named for a Miller Homes development in Ewhurst. Backward step more like?

Has the new incumbent been receiving his Induction for the role from the – Isherwood/Cockburn duo?  Or is it a case of – if you sit in the hot seat approve it? And if you can, shut anyone up who tries to take an opposing view?

Come back Cllr David Else – a chairman and a professional in the true sense of the word.

It is a brave man who tries to shut up the new Deputy Leader Paul Follows, who persuaded the committee to ignore officers recommendations to approve the details for 100 homes, with inadequate parking,  on a road its townfolk have described as a  ‘death trap and a living hell.’

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Thankfully Cranleigh’s pocket rocket AKA Cllr Elizabeth Townsend who only moments earlier had almost busted her britches at officers’ suggestions that it was perfectly satisfactory to look into people’s bedrooms from the proposed Woodside Park balconies into houses only recently completed on the other side of the road.

Whilst reading officer Patrick Arthur’s’ horoscope she said:

“No Patrick we should, and do care about balconies that overlook other people’s homes across the road, ” She then launched into a full-blown attack on those who didn’t include planning conditions agreed by members; who omitted vital conditions and reports from the likes of Thames Water and the environmental agencies!

Just an aside: We can’t help wondering why a development consultant who owns his own Sussex -based business fighting for the past nine years for developers has now morphed into a senior planning officer? Does anyone know?

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