Here they go again…
The beleaguered village on the Surrey/Sussex border is about to face another application from Thakeham Homes. The site in question is on land owned by cash-strapped charity Care Ashore – The Merchant Seamans’ War Memorial Society based in nearby Springbok. The site was earmarked for 450 homes in 2017 but was thrown out by a Government Inspector at appeal.
Last time the Sussex developer wanted to triple the size of a village, which residents called in their Neighbourhood Plan – for ‘limited development on small sites in character with the village.’
Here’s the link to the previous decision:
Now bolstered by Government plans to meet a gargantuan housing target of 300,000- new homes a year for the next four years, Thakeham has taken the opportunity to lob in another attempt to build on the open countryside it has coveted for years.
As Alfold Parish Council was only informed of the application yesterday, it was unable to discuss it at its meeting last night (Tuesday.) However, it has already sought extra time from Waverley to consider the huge number of plans for 99 homes, plus the demolition of a Thakeham owned bungalow called Hollyoaks on the busy Loxwood Road.
It also wants to give villagers an opportunity to comment on the controversial scheme. So it will be considered at a meeting planned for December 10.
The village has already met its required housing allocation and has numerous other schemes either already allowed or in the appeal system. As with many other towns and villages, sites are being mothballed, and although the hoardings are up – ‘Billy No Mates the Builder’ is nowhere to be seen!
Does the fact that Waverley now has a Local Plan in place, Part 2 of which will soon be out for public consultation, put Alfold in a safer place?
Not if Boris The Bulldozer and Bob the Builder Jenrick have their way. Although Tory MP’s are in an uproar over the Government proposals to shake up planning rules which will force rural communities like Alfold to take more homes than they can cope with, there is no guarantee they will be heard. If they get their way, Waverley’s Local Plan will be out-of-date before the ink has dried. MP Angela Richardson has already warned Guildford residents – “to be careful what they wish for,” or they could end up with high rise development in their town.
Here’s what Alfold resident Denise Wordsworth said a few weeks ago.
The plans, reported to be the invention of the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings, will deliver an additional five million homes across England over the next 15 years, with one-third of those in rural counties like Waverley.
Here’s Alfold’s Tally so far kindly provided by Denise Wordsworth.
The consultation on the overhaul of the planning system closed earlier this month.
Here’s the link to the Waverley Planning Portal. The application No is WA/2020/1684.