Are Godalming residents being misled by the Tories?

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Is Kirsty playing dirty to snaffle a seat on the county council?

A Tory leaflet, which others claim could be a  deliberate attempt to mislead the public is being bandied around Godalming and on Social Media.. (photo below).

https://www.facebook.com/135691707151701/posts/762797174441148/?d=nI

Let’s do a FACT- OR FICTION -finding exercise, Megan Markle style?

FICTION OR FACT?

  • FICTION The claim that Waverley is a ‘Liberal Democrat Dominated |Council?’
  • FACT. The largest Group on Waverley Borough Council is … THE CONSERVATIVE GROUP.

GONE TO POTTS?

N.B. THIS  CHANGED SLIGHTLY OVERNIGHT AS CONSERVATIVE LEADER JULIA POTTS ANNOUNCED THAT CLLR BRIAN ADAMS HAS BEEN SUSPENDED FROM WAVERLEY’S CONSERVATIVE GROUP AT ‘YOUR WAVERLEY’ AND SUSPENDED FROM THE S.W.SURREY CONSERVATIVE ASSOCIATION!

  • FICTION Perhaps it wants to close Broadwater Golf Club for “an unpopular housing development?”
  • FACT. A housing development has never been mentioned. Why not use the word perhaps it could be ‘a refuse tip’ or perhaps ‘a multi-storey office block?’
  • FICTION. It made decisions behind closed doors.
  • FACT. It discussed the issue in public – but on the direction of officers, including the borough solicitor, made the decision privately from the public, but not the council, for sound commercially sensitive and legal reasons.

Should Ms Waldron win the Godalming South county council seat, she will, of course, want to adhere to officers’ advice in her new role, particularly when sensitive legal issues are involved?

FACT. Kirsty Waldron says if she is elected she promises, yes “promises,” the people of Godalming that she will fight to keep the club and protect recreational spaces which she uses regularly with her young (4 years old) daughter. 

Here’s what Cllr Paul Follows her Liberal Democrat opponent for the county seat has to say on the issue. 

FACT: https://www.facebook.com/135691707151701/posts/762797174441148/?d=n

 

A message from us to Cllr Paul Follows.

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Here at the Waverley Web, we want to take this opportunity of thanking Cllr Follows for keeping us all informed here in the borough of the frequent rule and advice changes throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.

It has been a superhuman feat to keep Waverley residents engaged and informed every step of the way, whilst continuing the day job, leading Godalming Town Council and serving as the Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council.

On behalf of our followers, who have followed you in the press and on social media, we would like to say a huge

“Thank you.”

Yesterday we took a small but significant step towards the end of lockdown. 

The “stay home” message has officially been scrapped and people are now allowed to meet outdoors in groups of six or two households, while organised outdoor sports have also returned.

 

 CORONAVIRUS ROADMAP – CHANGES IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY 29TH MARCH 

Good afternoon. Please see below a short summary of the changes that have now come into effect.

 Social contact

From 29 March, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.
 Business and activities
Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part informally organised outdoor sports.
✈️ Travel
The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. Residents should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons.
Please do let me know if you have any questions about this.
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Leader, Godalming Town Council

HGV Ban in Farnham Town Centre coming soon?

HAVE YOUR SAY – OR RUE THE DAY?

 

This is the full extent of the proposed ‘HGV ban’ in Farnham town centre.

The ‘ban’ does not include HGVs delivering to the town.

Not much, eh? If you want a ban on east/west HGVs avoiding Hickleys Corner make your views known before 15th April on this link.

https://www.surreysays.co.uk/environment-and-infrastructure/farnham-hgv-prohibition-proposal/

Today Guildford. Tomorrow Cranleigh? As wannabe developers buy-up ancient woodland plots.

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The recent Government White Paper on reforming the planning system, although a mixed blessing, includes a welcome emphasis on “protection” for green belt and other sensitive landscapes.

But it fails to address planning enforcement.

Is there any point in having a planning system if it can be flouted with impunity? Wannabe developers need to understand that if they break the rules they will be penalised, and swiftly.

Yet the disaster that is presently being inflicted on Wanborough Fields in the green belt north of the Hogs Back in Guildford – may now have arrived in Cranleigh. The beleaguered eastern part of Waverley earmarked as a new Waverley town. Developers have moved in and are building – north-south-east and west of the former village.

Cranleigh is Full Come back in 2033

Cranleigh’s village leaders heard concerned residents say that London developers had bought five plots in Cranfold Wood – an area of woodland off the Ewhurst Road between Cranleigh & Ewhurst. One said: 

“Another chap turned up and bought another few plots and started work there over the weekend. “What exactly are the rules over development in ancient woodland? What happens if they start pulling caravans onto the land?

Chairman Liz Townsend said if anyone did start felling trees they (the public) should contact the parish council and her personally. They should ring Waverley Borough Council’s Planning Enforcement Dept. , “I have all the emergency numbers,”  she said.

If they are clearing woodland their actions would be subject to enforcement action. If they have bought the land they will need planning permission before anything can take place there.” She believed that any development would be highly unlikely that planning permission would be granted in ancient woodland.

It is believed the owner of the former owner of the land is Ewhurst resident – Sue Hayes.


Yet the disaster now being inflicted on Wanborough Fields in the green belt north of the Hog’s Back and to the west of Guildford suggests there is little prospect of protection or enforcement. Residents are fuming at the inaction of Guildford Borough Council.

The upper portion of this site is within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and qualifies for a degree of national protection. The lower portion has the local designation of Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV).

Wanborough fields designated an Area of Great Landscape Value (viewed from the west).

Since 2013, planners have been waiting for the government’s environmental adviser, Natural England, to perform a boundary review that should lead to AGLV’s incorporation in the AONB. This under-resourced adviser moves painfully slowly; if at all, and an online petition is calling for it to move more quickly, and with very good reason.

The Wanborough crisis started with the sale of the land by a large estate and its subdivision into individual plots of varying sizes by the land agent who bought it. These have been marketed with the suggestion that they may be suitable for residential development, subject to securing “appropriate planning consent”.

That such consent is highly unlikely in such an environmentally sensitive area has not deterred the agent nor, it would seem, the buyers of the Guildford plots.

Could this be now be happening in Cranleigh’s Cranfold Wood?

Any development in Cranfold Wood would fundamentally threaten the character of this precious ancient woodland. Let us all hope for the locals’ sake Waverley’s Enforcement Officers are onto it!

 

MP Jeremy Hunt gets close and personal with Waverley’s residents?

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Are we here at the Waverley Web the only residents to be surprised to get a letter and survey from Jeremy Hunt, with no reference to a political party?

Surely not – we hear you cry? Not with the county elections due in May? He cannot be on the campaign trail, supporting his Tory colleagues, can he – surely not?

The fine,  print on our copy says…

“Your name and address were obtained from the Register of Electors, provided to us as a Registered Political Party”?

Please note the “us.”

Unless of course, Jeremy is using the royal “us,” it presumably means the Conservative Party. So actually if one responds to the survey, one is replying to the Conservative Party? And yet the reply address is a choice of two different Parliamentary ones, not to be used for party purposes.

So is it a party letter? (in which case the Parliamentary addresses shouldn’t be used) or is it a private letter? (In which case the Conservative permission to access the unpublished sector of the register shouldn’t be used)?
Just a thought Jeremy – perhaps someone could contact us, and all the other residents you wrote to, and explain? At contact@waverleweb.com
However, we won’t hold our breath awaiting a response – because breath is so good for us!

Councils in Waverley are urging everyone to object to an appeal by UCOG to drill in Dunsfold.

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On one side of the borough, the townsfolk of Cranleigh are fighting to stop a gas-fired electricity generating plant. On the other side of the town, others are working to stop UK Oil & Gas(UCOG) from exploratory drilling in Dunsfold. 

Here’s a link to an earlier post on the Cranleigh Plan – which has yet to be determined: Will Cranleigh be part of the biggest ever energy shake-up in the UK energy sector?
In a pincer movement, local parish councils are urging everyone to write to a Government Inspector to oppose UCOG’s plans to drill on the High Loxley Road, Dunsfold. The site is near the aptly named Pratts Corner! 
However, as Peter Lambert-Hartley remarked:
‘Good Luck with that.
I logged into the ‘User-Hostile’ Government Planning Inspectorate Appeals Casework Portal. After FINALLY managing to get the website to accept my details, and password (after 3 attempts), I was asked to give full details of the planned Development, including area and space and locality.
The Government Portal REFUSED to accept the reference.’
 UKOG is appealing the decision by Surrey County Council to refuse the proposed drilling for exploratory oil and gas in Dunsfold.
Alfold Parish Council (alongside other local councils) have resolutely objected to the application on the grounds of traffic, traffic safety, amenity value/impact on the landscape and local businesses in-line with objections raised by Waverley Borough Council.
Waverley has been granted leave to be a material part of the hearing alongside the Surrey County Council.

County planners have refused the application TWICE, but Ashley Ward, the Alfold owner of the land refuses to accept the local decision and is pinning all his hopes on the Government over-ruling local decision-makers.

The Appeal is listed for July and evidence can be submitted by residents, but there is not much time as this must be done by 6th April 2021, directly to the Planning Inspector online at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk quoting reference APP/B3600/W/21/3268579 (Loxley Well Site) or write to:
Elizabeth Humphrey
The Planning Inspectorate
3/J Kite Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Bristol BS1 6PN

Alfold Parish Council says it will be submitting further written submissions to the Planning Inspector, with particular reference to its previous concerns, however, it is urging everyone to do the same using the contact details above.

You may like to list personal concerns, including (but not limited to):
  1. 1. Any concerns you may have about traffic safety (extra-large abnormal loads and articulated tankers are not the same as smaller ‘HGVs’ and are unsuited to the local roads)
  2. 2. Mention your use and enjoyment of the local Public Rights of Way network (noting that the important Bridleway 280 passes through the field in which the oil/gas well is proposed)
  3. 3. Mention your love of the countryside (the oil/gas well will be visible from Hascombe Hill AONB, and is in farmland designated as being of Great Landscape Value) even more important since pandemic?
  4. 4. Mention the negative impact on local businesses, while no proven benefit of oil/gas (even if it is found, which is uncertain).
 Any questions, contact Julie: clerk@alfoldparishcouncil.co.uk.

Is it easier to get in touch with the Pope than Waverley’s planning dept?

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Is that the Vatican? Do you think the Pope could help me get in touch with a planning officer at ‘Your Waverley?’ I want my application determined before I drop off the perch!

Sing-a-long to – “Hanging on the telephone.’ 

We are all well-used to listening to automated messages. You know the ones that ‘thank you for your patience,’ while you wait… tearing your hair out from the roots. The message that tells you, you are in a queue of Numero Uno – and 25 minutes later, whilst still thanking your for your patience  – someone finally answers! Then, as you try desperately to remind yourself why you were ringing in the first place, you ask the receptionist to put you through to a named planning officer – at ‘Your Waverley.’

You then take a deep breath when the receptionist tells you she/he only works a couple of days a week – and guess what – yep – you guessed. She is not there on the day you rang! But then after ringing on the day, named planning officer is in – she’s out! However, a helpful receptionist takes your number sends him/her an e-mail message with your contact details – so you wait for another few days for him/her to return your call. By which time they have left the building/home/ and won’t be back until next week!

To say that the strain of COVID is taking its toll on Waverley’s Planning Department is an understatement. We are told that applicants are waiting many months for decisions. Many from last year!

When you do finally speak to someone – they cannot access your planning application with ease – and they tell you they are ‘collapsing  under a pile-of paperwork.’ And the last person dealing with your application has left, and one before him/her was only “temporary.”  After a little commiseration, giving you time to remember why you were ringing, – they explain despite applications festering in the bowels of Waverley Towers for many, long, months…

“There’s no point in you going to appeal for non-determination because you will be waiting even longer.”  

So, as the wheels of Waverley Planners grind ever more slowly – and the planning portal is on a go-slow that makes a tortoise a dead certain bet over the sticks at Cheltenham Races – is it any wonder that some frustrated customers – are building first and asking after? 

Some of the frustrated applicants who are writing to the Waverley Web at contact@waverleyweb.org are urging us to highlight the problem and beg council staff to get back to the office and start dealing with the backlog of planning applications. Or soon there will a protest march to the doors of the council offices at The Burys in Godalming. Oops! perhaps not as the police are the only occupants of the building.

Recently Elstead’s Cllr Jenny Else asked at an Overview & Scrutiny Committee if she could have a more detailed explanation than that contained in the meeting’s paperwork for the reasons why so many complaints were being levelled at the planning department. 

From what we hear from our followers Cllr Else, you have no idea of the number of complaints because most people are so frustrated, they don’t even bother to complain – believing that everyday life on Planet Zonk is so short and so difficult that it is just too stressful to put pen to paper.

We understand that the Planning Department under its new head planning honcho Zac Ellwood is undergoing a complete overhaul. No prizes for guessing why.

More “affordable homes” on their way to Godawfulming?

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Whilst promoting national house builders is usually at the bottom of our ‘to do list’ – we thought our readers would like a glimpse of the imaginative and architectural genius revealed in some of the homes now being built by Cala Homes at Ockford Park in Godalming.

Unlike Pete Seeger’s famous song – ‘there’s a green one and a pink one…’ Cala Homes appear to be fans of brown and grey – perhaps to suit the mood of our times?

However, the three-bedroom semi-detached homes priced at £500,500 could be just what young families looking for “affordable properties” are searching everywhere for? They just might be… right up their street?

Plot 6-3, Ockford Park, Godalming, Cala Homes South Home Counties

If you would like to see more of these aesthetically pleasing properties: follow this link:https://www.rightmove.co.uk/developer/branch/CALA-Homes/Ockford-Park-228623.html

 

Will Cranleigh be part of the biggest ever energy shake-up in the UK energy sector?

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Not if the townsfolk have anything to do with it as they fight yet another green field from biting the dust.

More than 300 letters of objection from the townsfolk of Cranleigh are flooding into Waverley Towers. Many asking? Why hasn’t it advertised the controversial proposal more widely?

As ‘Your Waverley’s Planning Portal gets another beating from objectors one of THE top planning and development consultancies in the UK prepares to move Conrad Energy onto a site to the West of Stonescapes in the Guildford Road in the settlement of Rowly.

Lichfields claims to have – 

“Helped create great places for over 50 years”

and has lodged a planning application for a – Flexible Electricity Generation and Battery Storage Facility, on behalf of its client, Conrad Energy (Developments) Limited [Conrad], for the…

 It claims it is a ‘much-needed facility to serve Cranleigh and beyond – in line with Government’s National Policy for Fossil Fuel Electricity Generating Infrastructure (ENI).’

It explains…

‘As electricity demand increases locally, for instance as a result of new housing and commercial development, the network reaches the point where it needs to be reinforced. Building this facility in this location will help to avoid the need for reinforcement of the distribution network because power is generated close to where it is used at 11 kV, which supports the local grid network.  The proposed development, therefore, provides the dual benefit of helping National Grid balance electricity supply and demand nationally, while also strengthening the distribution network locally. Building this facility in this location avoids the need for reinforcement of the distribution network because power is generated close to where it is used.’

Did you see that? – To boost the network “Nationally?”

Be careful what you wish for?

So there you have it Cranleigh folk. All those guys and gals, three of whom live only a few hundred yards from the proposed facility – who wanted more footfall to the Cranleigh shops and were part of the posse of local councillors and developers who met in secret with Waverley Planners to build, build, build Cranleigh New Town – are now going to reap the benefits – along with their constituents?

The case of biter bit comes to mind!

LinK: Oh! No – not more secret meetings with developers!

Link : The Hoppa Bus will be departing shortly for the latest of Waverley’s ‘Not-So-Secret’ Secret Meetings

 

So here’s what the company claims is required to meet the electricity and energy needs of Cranleigh tomorrow – today!

All just a hop, skip and a jump away from the homes of former Councillors Stewart and Jeannette Stennett. The home of former councillors the late Brian and his widow and WB Cllr Patricia Ellis and almost opposite the home of former Mayor Cllr Mary Foryzewski who attended the meeting but claims – she ‘didn’t speak’ and only attended to find out what the others were up too!

So here’s the development that will “fill the energy gap at short notice ‘ locally during high demand – when renewable energy can’t cope.

As the ‘last line of defence’ to prevent serious fluctuations and blackouts.

 

The flexible power generation plant is part of the Government’s Electricity Market Reform [EMR] package attracting  £110 billion of investment to replace and upgrade the UK’s electricity infrastructure. The EMR was introduced by the Energy Act 2013 and adopted in June 2014. It is considered to be the …

‘biggest-ever shake-up of the UK’s energy sector and designed to • Decarbonise electricity generation; • Keep the lights on; and, • minimise the cost of electricity to consumers. It will also provide 15 jobs on the Cranleigh site.

This will be provided:  • Up to 3 containerised gas-fuelled power units and a stack height of 7m; • 1 containerised battery storage unit (with a finished height of circa 4.5m); • Radiators; • Oil Tanks; • Welfare Cabin; • DNO Substation; • Gas Kiosk; • LV & HV Cabin; • CCTV • Transformer; • A 2.5m high-security fence surrounding the site; • Gated site entrance; and • Internal access road. Access and Security. 

So how do Waverley borough and Surrey County Councils argue against such a proposal when they have both declared A Climate Emergency? Will they be between a rock and a hard place? Though the  WW believes this proposal is in direct conflict with the principles of Waverley’s Carbon Neutrality Action Plan 2020 – 2030.


The access to the site is off the existing access point on the B2138 Guildford Road at Stonescapes close to the entrance to the Manfield Park Industrial Estate. It is on farmland and in The Green Belt.

However, The eastern planning committee has already over-ruled an officers recommendation to refuse development in the Green Belt in the Guildford Road! For whom we hear you ask? Yes, you guessed Cllr Stewart Stennett!

Philip Scattergood a former parish councillor in Bramley Surrey says:

“As a Homeowner, I am advised by Government Planning NOT to replace my Gas Boiler with an alternative Gas Based Boiler. To comply with the Green Policies surely this should use an alternative to gas such as Solar Panels so this location would be inappropriate.”

A villager and neighbour says:

We live on Guildford Road only 353 metres from this Green Belt site and have very grave concerns about the impact this application could have on our home and lives as well as that of our friends, neighbours and fellow villagers. This site has a very sorry history and we have already experienced considerable upset and turmoil trying to continually protect our home from misuse for over 15 years. We are saddened, exhausted and distressed that once again there continue to attempt to destroy our rural surrounding and enjoyment of our home in the Green Belt. We wish to most strongly object to this application for the following reasons:

– Unsuitability of the Green Belt Site There needs to be exceptional circumstances for development to be permitted in the Green Belt. A case for exceptional circumstances has not been met by this application so we cannot see any reason for this to be allowed. It’s frankly ludicrous to think that this site and the other sites they propose in Cranleigh/Rowly are the only places in the County or Country where there are a substation and gas supply in the vicinity. Let us not be deceived by the applicant’s weak attempt to say this is the only place this development can go.

Why should it go to Cranleigh at all???

The Assessment Criteria for the site is totally incorrect as follows! Physical Development Constraints – The site is surrounded by residential properties and sensitive receptors!!! Visual Intrusion – It will cause visual intrusion as it will be clearly seen from the Guildford Road and surrounding residential properties to the South, South East, East and North East !!! there is only screening on one side! Also, the Stonescapes current planning permission is not for an industrial site (as they keep quoting) in the application!

The green space is gradually being eroded outside of the permitted area of the current Certificate of Lawfulness and no one is doing anything about it. On 6th October 2015, the Waverley Head of Planning Services wrote to the Traffic Commissioner and said that in Waverley’s view the use of the site as an HGV Operating Centre would result in unacceptable traffic, noise, vibration and fumes. He also wrote it would result in an unacceptable level of visual intrusion in the Green Belt. Thankfully the Traffic Commissioner agreed and refused the licence. We now wholeheartedly hope that the same sentiment from Waverley will be upheld to protect the Green Belt from this far worse proposal.

Many hundreds of other objectors provide a whole gamut of reasons why the development should be opposed. They cite:

  • Road danger, policy constraints, no need for more power from out-dated technology – (due to the movement away from gas); noise and pollution, 7 metre-high chimneys; contamination and more, much more.
  • There are also some strong objections to the existing Stonescapes facility where the locals claim the owner appear to run rough-shod over the planning system – and nuisance caused by Tunnell Grab Services lorries. 

More information on this subject and public comments will be included in future posts on the Waverley Web. – including those of Cranleigh Parish Council. 

NB.  An application for two gas-fired units was granted Nr Selby in Yorkshire in 2019 by the Secretary of State for Energy & Industry. His decision was appealed in the Court of Appeal – but was subsequently granted by the Court.

 

 

 

Don’t forget its Census Day on Sunday.

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We do our very best here at the Waverley Web to keep our followers informed of matters that concern us all here in the borough of Waverley and beyond. 
However, we know a man who does it even better. Communicating with the public has been a top priority for Cllr Paul Follows from the moment he first appeared on our pages – when he fought the Godalming South, Milford & Witley seat to join the council. Paul Follows chats to Waverley​ electors. Although in his early days representing the people of Godalming, he was put down at every opportunity by the ruling Tories, he refused to be silenced.
Since establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with at Waverley Towers – the new kid on the block is now well-rooted in the hearts and minds of residents. Because, he did what it said on the tin, he has kept them informed. He has achieved this throughout THE most difficult and traumatic year in the council’s history.

Here’s a message from ‘Your Waverley’s Deputy Leader Paul Follows. The man who keeps us all informed on local issues in the borough – and who is standing for the Surrey County Council elections in May as a Liberal Democrat Candidate for Godalming South.

Paul Follow. Deputy Leader of ‘Your Waverley.’ Lib Dem candidate for the Surrey County Council Godalming South seat.

2021 CENSUS

Hi everyone. I have just attended a council briefing from the government Census 2021 team and so if any residents have any issues with this or need any assistance I should now be in a position to give that help.

➡️ What is the census?
The census is a survey that happens every 10 years and gives a picture of all the people and households in England and Wales.
Your answers to the census questions will help organisations make decisions on planning and funding public services in your area, including transport, education and healthcare.
➡️ How long does it take?
The census should take about 10 minutes for the household questions and 10 minutes per person for the individual questions.
Every household in Waverley should now have received a letter and this includes details of what to do next, how to request a paper copy if you need one and other important information.
If there is any support or clarification I can give as one of your local councillors please do let me know.
Cllr Paul Follows
Deputy Leader, Waverley Borough Council
Paul.follows@waverley.gov.uk