Will it be 3rd time lucky for Woodside Park, Catteshall Lane, Godalming?

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During an excellent night in defence of Neighbourhood Plans across the borough a twice deferred detailed scheme to build 100 homes at Woodside Park was  UNANIMOUSLY thrown out… AGAIN!

Poor old Crest Nicholson is getting nowhere fast these days with ‘Your Waverley’s Planners. 

Following a blistering debate on the viability of the borough’s Neighbourhood Plans, a revised scheme for the controversial development was thrown back to the developers to come up with something the borough could accept, and neighbours could live with. 

You can read the post and listen to the debate here: Has the defence of Waverley’s Neighbourhood Plans begun?

Councillor Paul Follows motioned for the plan’s refusal justifiable based on a policy of  Godalming and Farncombe’s Neighbourhood plan.   If Neighbourhood Plans were to have any credibility when decisions were taken they must take local views into account. He claimed the outline scheme for up to 100 homes, should never have been allowed in the first place –  an application which he had voted against.

“But this is fundamentally a completely different scheme which is simply shoehorning homes onto a site.”

He said Godalming and Farncombe residents believed when they signed up to their Neighbourhood Plan, just like the people of Cranleigh and the rest of the borough, they would have some protection, and expected that Waverley would back them up?

A neighbour Mrs Pinner (The chairman never announces the public speaker’s names clearly) maintained the revised plans had not overcome their objections. The three-storey block on the road frontage overlooked neighbouring homes and would add to parking congestion in Cateshall Lane. She called for another deferment and a re-design. The root cause was, she said …

“the site cannot support 100 properties.”

Councillors, even those sympathetic to the efforts made by the developer to overcome members objections, voted against amendments, which included obscure glazing; Prompting the question of –  how would this help when windows were open? removing balconies; increasing car parking by six spaces, and providing electric vehicle charging points for every home.

Godalming Cllr Peter Martin supported parts of this scheme for mixed development even though it …

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Elstead’s Cllr David Else said:

Not even a snip of me would be able to support this – it just gets worse. Ever since Crest Nicholson got hold of it – out went the underground car park, and the green spaces and now you have to get halfway across the site before you find a garden. Rows and rows and rows of car parking. – We have now ended up with the most awful layout I have ever seen in my career and all to make it profitable. I am never going to vote for this! 

After a bruising night in the chamber, officers witnessed another major application UNANIMOUSLY REFUSED.

11 thoughts on “Will it be 3rd time lucky for Woodside Park, Catteshall Lane, Godalming?

  1. The Officers have only themselves to blame, not only were they lacking in knowing the details, much of which was added in in Update Reports and papers, including the Plan numbers!!! This dreadful development should not even have got to the JPC in the current form. I may have banged on about Liz the Biz – But I don’t think she would have allowed this application to come before the Councillors. Not that any senior Officers seemed to be in attendance.

    Three Storey Blocks of flats on the roadside… car parking areas seem to form a huge proportion of the site with tiny gardens.. Only 17% affordable houses… This is all about profit for the developers with no regard to the visual amenity of the neighbouring properties and no regard to the Godalming & Farcombe NP.

    What shambles …. I am afraid the Officers need to go and have a talk to themselves before they dish up this Tripe again

  2. Agree with every word. WW never thought the day when we would beg for ‘The Biz’ to come back!

    Who on earth decided that this scheme, in this form, was ever going to find support. Haven’t the residents of Cateshall Lane suffered enough? Doesn’t anyone, care about anybody any more?

    Why are developers allowed to crash and burn through out borough, with no apparent concern for the consquence.

    When you hear someone as professional and experienced as Cllr David Else make the comments he did – then it is time that our so called ‘experts’ started to act to save our borough from this onslaught.

    It is generations of Godalming people – who are already referring to the town as ‘GODAWFULMING’ who ill be forced to live with these mistakes.

  3. I think that after all the effort that was obviously put into the Neighbourhood Plan – that the residents thought they would be protected from this sort of Application – But Clearly the Officers don’t agree. I cannot help but feel that due to what is obviously a high staff turnover at WBC that many of the Officers are less experienced in planning than a lot of the Councillors. They may know all the correct planning vocabulary and the basic Principals .. however repetitive…but they do not seem to have the ability to look at the bigger picture.

    I do understand that this was PDL and what was there before looked pretty awful, but that does not excuse them… We should be looking to erase previous Planning Mistakes and make the Borough a better Greener and more inclusive place and not turn our Towns and Villages into (what one Councillor so aptly said) “Dormitories”

    This site was allocated for UP TO 100 new homes – it doesn’t mean they ALL have to be shoe horned in to the Max number to satisfy Greedy Developers – who will move onto the next bit of Concrete they can lay down.

  4. Sadly Waverley planning officers appear to be under the kosh! They look like frightened rabbits and appear unsure of exactly how to balance good place-shaping with the Government dictats to provide more homes.

    Thankfully members of all the plannng commitees are not only standing up and being counted, they are defending their individual communities emboldened by the messages they received on the doorsteps in May.

  5. Unfortunately, the officers did recommend this for approval. And so like other developments before it, this will likely be allowed on appeal if the developer wishes it.
    What happened to the underground car park? A previous developer? That scheme was much better.

  6. We ask? Is it right that the constant threat of appeals should hang over our heads? Because if that is the case, then what are planning commitee’s for?

    As for the undergrund car park in the original outline applications, that was ditched once Crest Nicholson took over. It was sacrificed, along with green space, on the alter of mammon.

  7. Well I am afraid that just says TONS about Crest Nicholson – They do them CHEAP and fill them in – I hope anyone reading these posts will think twice about buying one of their properties if this is the disregard they have for the environment and Local Communities..

    They should be ashamed of themselves for even putting this application forward. They were horrible in design with absolutely no consideration for the existing Landscape… In my Opinion

  8. I think it’s fair to say that Godalming residents, especially ones who are local to the scheme – just want something that actually works and that residents have been properly consulted on. The scheme presented was one of the worst I’ve seen – a number of other councillors with much more experience agreed. It was simply an exercise to cram homes into the space.

  9. Well it is about time… Councillors were right to refuse and Officers have to be more Robust – should it go to appeal – I am still looking at some of the appeal docs.. Because I still feel there is a degree of Bullying from the developers to push these applications forward on the basis if they don’t get them – they will Appeal – Just look at the Haslemere application WA/2019/1525 and read how they are basically saying that if their revised application (which is better) is not given the OK they will go to appeal and expect all costs!

    Developers still seem to have the upper hand on this and unless we can ABSOLUTELY Prove that WBC can meet their 5 year Housing Supply we are always going to get these F*Wits saying the same old thing – so come on WBC Get LPP2 NOW and stop facilitating It is too important!
    And stop shoving it all in the East!

    • Draft milestones for LPP2 were reviewed today by the WBC Exec with a view to communicating those soon. We were of course left with LPP2 as basically abandoned by the previous administration who pulled it at the 11th hour a month or so before the election.

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