The silence on the East Street site has been deafening in recent weeks – in fact, it looks more like a dessert than a building site – supposedly preparing for a combined home and retail development.
When it sought planning consent two years ago the Berkeley Bunnies upset Waverley’s planning committee when it claimed the site was “commercially unviable” if ‘affordable homes’ were included. However, the scheme was given the go-ahead, as councillors believed the redevelopment of the town eyesore was long overdue.
Now, in line with other developments underway in the borough, Berkeley’s accountancy bunnies are re-evaluating their schemes. It has told ‘Your Waverley’s Executive that the Woolmead’s value has now been marked down from £14m to £10m due to a drastic reduction in the value of the retail element.
So now the BB’s want to cut parking by half – or delay the scheme indefinitely – leaving a big empty hole in Farnham – at least, until the retail market recovers. Wonder when that will be – this year, next year, sometime, never?
Presumably, the whole development will crash and burn unless Waverley accepts the compromise – and then if it doesn’t? Who gets the blame – well ‘Your Waverley’ of course.
The Berkeley Bunnies, have of course claimed that there is a move away from car ownership. Really? So will remove 20 percent of the one-bed car spaces probably claiming that it is really doing everyone a favor b helping the council’s declared – Climate Emergency.
When in actual fact cars will be scattered around local roads or, in the free car park at Farnham Hospital., where many of us commuters park, much to the dislike of its genuine users and staff! But, needs must.
As a sop to the planners, the spaces that remain in the remaining half of the underground car park will each get electric vehicle charging points or facilities nearby. Oh! and the use of A car from the Farnham car club. Let us all hope they can all afford electric vehicles!
Will the revised application to come before the planners shortly, be followed by another from Crest Nicholson. A developer intending to build 28 shops and restaurants, as well as homes on the nearby Blightwells Yard with £57m provided by our cash-strapped Surrey County Council?
Watch this space?
The Waverley Web wonders what the businesses evicted from the old Woolmead think about this latest Farnham fiasco?
Will Farnham’s Woolmead development – minus affordable homes – boost Berkeley’s profits even further?