Because the B-word – and we don’t mean BREXIT – has now been banned!
Dear Dunsfold resident
As you may be aware two onshore hydrocarbon exploration companies UKOG and IGAS are planning to drill at two different sites very close to our lovely village! We are not talking about ‘nodding donkeys’; if gas or oil is found in commercial amounts it would be the start of heavy industrialisation using large drilling rigs and very large tankers going in and out of the area every day for years to come.
UKOG itself has said that to be commercially viable it would require ‘back-to-back drilling’ every few miles across the Surrey and Sussex Weald. Our extensive research shows us that UKOG has ignored or underestimated a number of risks the site poses to the local community, some potentially very serious. There is a strong possibility that any gas exposed by drilling will be ‘sour gas’, Hydrogen Sulphide, as found at Godley Bridge (near Chiddingfold) in the 1980’s – this is highly toxic. The quality of our water, air and earth is at risk of pollution. Local roads will suffer daily heavy HGV usage with ensuing safety concerns; UKOG’s proposal will impact our homes, local businesses, rural environment and wildlife.
But Together we can stop UKOG and IGAS Please visit our website www.waverleyagainstdrilling.co.uk for more information on UKOG’S plans and the processes they will use; it provides valid reasons for objections and will help you submit your objections should you wish to do so.
Please don’t leave to others, every objection counts! Local opposition has halted oil & gas drilling in places across the UK but we need numbers to make it stop here.
There is still time please act before its too late! Parish Councils (Dunsfold, Alfold, Chiddingfold and Witley) and Waverley Borough Council are opposing the application. SCC has recognised there is a Climate Emergency – we believe SCC should take more account of the adverse impacts this application would have on both the climate and local environment if permitted.
Please help to Protect Dunsfold
Signed on behalf of Protect Dunsfold
Sarah Godwin, Von Lindesay, Andrew Wragg, Hazel Taylor-Rosling, Chris Bashall & others in our Working Group Find us at www.waverleyagainstdrilling.co.uk Email firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook Waverley against Drilling Twitter @WaverleyAD
Protect Dunsfold is a non-political group ‘run by residents for residents’ based in the village of Dunsfold but with support from the wider Surrey/Sussex area and local/national groups.
WAVERLEY AGAINST DRILLING
In a nutshell a bit of a bombshell? Because here at the Waverley Web sounds to us like we shall be going on a bit of a wing and a prayer?
Ultimately that is a drop in the ocean. Below are some of the key points from the call (and remember these are assumptions of the people telling us this is a good thing to be doing…)
Although ‘opportunities’ arising from Brexit were discussed as a concept – the Government didn’t actually articulate any at all – they actually asked local authorities to be on the ‘lookout’ for them.
There was an assumption that if the country moves to World Trade Organisation tariffs (a likely scenario) that there would be significant negative impacts.
That only 1m EU nationals that need to register for settled status (out of around 3m) have done so at present.
Said Cllr Follows:
“It was also pretty clear that there are still not really any impact assessments to base any of their assumptions on (good or bad). Which of course makes us here at Waverley wonder exactly how we are supposed to prepare for something the Government has proven it does not wholly understand. I say that just because so little information was actually communicated here.”
My core concern ultimately is that neither risk or opportunities seem to have been really thought through. And finally, let’s make it just a little bit local for a moment.
443 local jobs have been lost in Waverley from firms that are foreign-owned and have withdrawn because of Brexit.
We are also being ordered by the Government to assign staff to no-deal preparations. which of course means there are things they are not doing in their normal jobs at Waverley.
Happy to discuss. I am keen to keep this about facts rather than ideological statements (from either side).
1. Seems to process the vast number of EU nationals seeking settled status, this government that puts (in my view wrongly) immigration issues at the top of its list – isn’t checking to see if applicants are even UK residents.
2. The Government also intends to wave trucks across the frontier from Nov 1st as it has no other method of preventing issues and shortages immediately.
Here at the Waverley Web, we are living in the fervent hope that one day soon, this proud country of ours, may become a sane place once again – and we will all be able to hold our heads upon the world stage?
The seismic event is the largest tremor induced by fracking in the UK. It affected the whole of Lancashire on August 26. DrillOrDrop report.
Cuadrilla resumed fracturing at it Preston New Road site near Blackpool on 15 August 2019. Since then, there have been more than 90 tremors, including four that were felt locally. People living as far away as Preston and Chorley reported that they felt the event. The quake came just two days after another-record breaking tremor was recorded close to the New Road site in Westby-with-Plumptons, Lancashire.
A Government fracking adviser likened the events to a 2-3-magnitude tremor at Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall site in Lancashire in 2011, which led to the suspension of fracking in the UK for seven years.
According to Friends of the Earth. ‘The issue of earthquakes in connection to unwanted fracking has always been serious. Now it’s getting out of hand.’
However, Cuadrilla said: the tremor only lasted ‘a second.’
Full details are included in the link below the picture.
No! Surely not! The WW is putting two and two together and making a drama out of a consultation on the future of The Royal Surrey County Hospital’s A & E, and of Urgent Care Centres in Guildford & Waverley…
It may be 31 pages long – but believe us it’s worth the read. Make yourself a cuppa, or perhaps you may need something stronger after you have waded through the latest consultation exercise offered up to us by the local health authority… Guildford & Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – called Better Care Together Case for Change.
Give the CCG it’s due, it’s not beating about the bush.
The present A & E system is under too much pressure; not enough staff or GP’s; not enough money; too many old people; too many young people; too many inbetweeners; and too much new housing –
So the local health authority wants us to tell IT what WE want. What we REALLY, REALLY WANT? As long as it is what IT REALLY, REALLY WANTS AND CAN AFFORD?
Very opportune for the people in the Haslemere Area – they want their Minor Injuries Unit which is linked to other diagnostic facilities and 18 nurse-led beds up-graded to an Urgent Care Centre (UCC) – if not – they could lose the lot!
As for Cranleigh, it is currently petitioning, and writing to, anyone who will listen at ‘Your Waverley’ not to allow an 80-bed Private Care Home with 20 community beds to be built there, saying it wants its 20-year-long ‘HOSPITAL’ saga halted. Instead, they say they want a Minor Injuries Unit (UCC) in its old cottage hospital. This, they claim, would be of far greater benefit to its rapidly increasing population – soon to have Waverley’s First Garden Village circa 1,800 (2,600 new homes) on its doorstep at Dunsfold Airfield, than a commercially operated Care Home.
The petition has reached its original target of 2,500 and has now been raised to 5,000 and which now can be accessed on the link above.
They say they want the money trousered by a ‘charity’ to be used instead for a Minor Injuries Unit/ Urgent Care Centre.
Donors claim they raised £1.4m over almost 20 years for A HOSPITAL + Day Hospital + a Minor Injuries Unit! Not a 60-bed commercial development on former parish-owned land.
Neither will they support 20 community beds for patients who come from anywhere, other than from the donor villages.
The self-appointed spokesman for… Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust the Chamber of Trade; Knowle Park Country Park Initiative; etc – Martin Bamford “AKA – I am not a spokesman for the Charity” told Andy Webb – Cranleigh Community Group founder and the man who started the petition that he had “his own agenda,” and had changed the title. See below.
However, here’s what Change.Org says about the Petition which already boasts over 2,500 signatures and comments.
A further twitter feed of invective is aimed at others – including the Waverley Web, which we will not give the benefit of airtime. However, perhaps we would respectfully suggest that Mr. Bamford or ‘The BB” as he is known locally reads some of the letters on Waverley’s Planning Portal and on the on-line Petition Website. As the important issue here is?
What do the residents of Cranleigh and the eastern villages want? Really, really want?
Regular readers of the Waverley Web will know of the Marmite relationship Waverley officers and some councillors have with the Farnham Residents’ Rebel incarnate – Cllr Jerry Hyman. The man who founded the Farnham Residents Group – whose Chairman John Ward is now Leader of the council.
Love him or hate him – there is no doubt when it comes to the controversial issue of assessing the extinction of species, which he is passionate about, that in the main he is either ignored or censored for his views. However, we accept that we, and others, find the Habitats Regulations Assessment pretty impenetrable
Protecting the Special Protection Areas around Farnham, and everywhere else, – Designated European Nature Conservation Sites has been one of his prime concerns ever since he joined Waverley Borough Council in 2016. Formerly he held a seat on the influential Joint Planning Committee but this was denied him in the new administration. Mainly by his own FRs colleagues.
However, perhaps his group – Waverley Planning officers, and everyone else, including the borough’s legal experts should think again…? and.. perhaps so should Government Inspectors?
This includes some information from The Planning Magazine.
The entirely new Guidance on the use of Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), was published by the government earlier this week as part of a series of updates to its Planning Practice Guidance.
The move aims to address confusion among practitioners following the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ’s) landmark People over Wind ruling on HRAs in April last year. Any plans or projects in or near EU-designated special areas of conservation or special protection areas must undergo HRAs before they are adopted or gain permission.
Outlining the “key principles which can be considered by competent authorities when considering whether appropriate assessment is required,” the guidance says that “it would appear that off-site Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces may be considered as a mitigation measure under People over Wind as their primary purpose is to draw recreational pressure away from sites and so prevent an adverse effect from occurring. In these cases, the competent authority must now assess the robustness of mitigation measures through an appropriate assessment.”
Elsewhere, the document says that “an appropriate assessment for a more strategic plan, such as the local plan, can consider the impacts on sites and confirm the suitability or likely success of mitigation measures for associated non-strategic policies and projects.”
It adds that “an individual assessment of non-strategic policies and projects may not be necessary in some limited cases where the strategic appropriate assessment is sufficiently robust”.
Outlining what an appropriate assessment should contain, the guidance says that it “must contain complete, precise and definitive findings and conclusions to ensure that there is no reasonable scientific doubt as to the effects of the proposed plan or project”.
It adds: “The competent authority will require the applicant to provide such information as may reasonably be required to undertake the assessment.”
In February, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in light of the People Over Wind ruling.
Paragraph 177 of the July 2018 version of the NPPF had disapplied the presumption in favor of sustainable development if a project required an appropriate assessment, regardless of whether that assessment then found no harm to the site was likely.
But in February, the MHCLG amended paragraph 177 by reinstating the presumption where the appropriate assessment found the project or plan would not affect the integrity of the habitats sites, for example by proposing mitigation measures.
Meanies that we are – with a little help from one of our Farnham friends – we respectfully ask Crest Nicholson?
It’s interesting to see Crest Nicholson’s aerial footage on the web. This footage was filmed by a drone that was flying illegally over public spaces. If the pilot has a licence then the CAA will impose a fine on the pilot. If the pilot does not have a licence then they will still be fined and encouraged to take part in the CAA drone training program.
Here are the CAA guidelines on drone usage – might we suggest that Crest Nicholson take note! https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/General-guidance/Reporting-misuse-of-a-unmanned-aircraft-and-drones/
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We here at the Waverley Web are also keen to update our Brightwells sticker book of new shops coming to the development. We’ve checked on the development website, but there is no more news. They say:
Current retailers legally committed to Brightwells Yard are Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Ask, Seasalt and Reel Cinemas.
Given the early phase of the development, this is an ordinary level of lettings, and Crest Nicholson will be using the successful marketing strategy they have used on commercial aspects of many developments elsewhere to fill the units over time.
We have however updated our sticker book to reflect Surrey’s long lease land investment in the commercial rental contract, which takes the pressure off Waverley.
Last week a Government Inspector allowed an appeal for three new luxury homes to be built right next door to the Devils Jumps – a Designated European Nature Conservation site in Churt.
If the Planning Inspectorate can allow building here – it can allow it anywhere.
A spate of appeals in the Farnham area have been allowed by the Planning Inspectorate over the last few weeks, but none so daunting as the decision to allow three new homes on a site near the Devils Jumps in Churt. A SPA.
Other appeals have been decided in the last month. Such as Branksome house, where the inspectorate allowed a larger scheme days after the committee approved a smaller one which they thought was taking its place…
Also Green Farm in Badshot Lea where an appeal was allowed and the developer has been able to drop the number of “affordable” homes from 18 to 13 using section 73. According to the inspector, this really is nothing more than a “minor material amendment” and he even allowed a costs application against Waverley! Another Joint Planning Committee decision overruled, like so many others.
Neighbours together with Farnham Residents have been fighting development near the Special Protection Area, and in the Green Belt at Borrow House, Jumps Road, Churt, Farnham GU10 2LB by Monachus Estates Ltd, for a very long time. And it will be a huge comfort to them that the Inspector Mr. Martin Allen “noted their concerns!’ But as you will see – he didn’t share their concerns.
Part of the site comprises 19 old Nissen type huts which have existed there for some time, and the new homes would occupy the same locations. So the Inspector agreed with the developer this would result in a reduction in the amount of built development already on the land. Also as the three homes would have ‘flat green roofs’ and their height would be limited, devekopment would, in his opinion, significantly improve the openness of the site within the Green Belt.
Natural England – yet again – raised no objection and was more than content that no harm could be caused to wildlife! Last we heard, Natural England doesn’t have enough staff to monitor anything- as mos have been seconded to help with a ‘No Deal’ Brexit?
So there you have it, folks. We can all sleep easily in our beds knowing that it doesn’t really matter what ‘Your Waverley’s’ planners decide because the Government’s Planning Inspectorate knows better.
So why in God’s name don’t we just bin the ballot box and let the Government build just where it damn well likes. And, let the countryside – Special Protection Areas and the wildlife – bats, birds, bees and trees all go along with the Devil’s Jumps to hell in a handcart?
However, if you have the above in the town of Cranleigh or the surrounding villages – you have to get in the car, the bus or bike 12 miles to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. Where you might spend half-an-hour, on a good day, finding a car parking space?
Haslemere Town Councillor Terry Weldon says that the Minor Injuries Unit in Haslemere is a great resource – but says it could be under threat if it cannot be upgraded to an Urgent Care Centre. He says the townsfolk must not allow it to close, so they must attend a meeting at Hasleway, in Haslemere on September 16th.
Meanwhile back in the eastern villages – Cranleigh people are signing a petition to stop a 60-bed Private Care Home and 20 community beds being built, favouring the opening of a Minor Injuries Unit like Haslemere’s in the old cottage hospital’s Day Hospital. A facility they claim will be of much greater benefit to the many thousands of new homeowners descending on the eastern area in their droves.
The Petition that will go before Waverley Planners in September in a bid to stop the development on former parish owned land.
Paper petitions too are available in numerous local shops and business premises and the Cranleigh Community Group has asked us to thank the huge number of local shops and businesses who have agreed to help the campaign. Also to Stonescapes of Cranleigh who have sponsored the car stickers soon to appear on car windscreens and C & A Tickner Printers who is sponsoring the stationary.
Any proceeds from the sale of car stickers or any donations from the campaign will go to The League of Friends of Cranleigh’s (old) Village Hospital. Which the organisers sdsy must not be confused with Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust, which has constantly used the word ‘HOSPITAL’ in its publicity for the new private CARE HOME.