Could Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 – the borough’s blueprint for future housing development – be in jeopardy if work on Dunsfold’s new garden village doesn’t begin soon?
That was the concern expressed at Waverley’s Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee on Monday – and not for the first time. There are fears that the highly acclaimed and long-awaited Dunsfold Garden Village development may have stalled.
However, a Waverley planning officer assured the committee that all is well and negotiations are continuing with the developers concerning time scales for build-outs.
The issue over progress on one of the borough’s critical large-scale developments was raised by Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman. He was concerned about the borough housing and land supply figures and how this would affect the outcome of current and future planning appeals. An appeal for 140 homes in Lower Weybourne Lane in Farnham was due to begin the following day (Tuesday, March 6.) If allowed by an Inspector this would blow a huge hole in Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan.
Chairman Cllr Carole Cockburn said recently that Farnham is beginning to look like one large building site. A recent The Farnham Herald headline…
“It is stated in our report that one of our achievements has been our robust housing land supply figures – and this will be a big issue in the determination of planning appeals. My concern, as far as I know, our position is highly dependent on Dunsfold which is one-quarter of the housing delivery that we have in Waverley over the coming years. In fact one-quarter of the whole period. I am a bit concerned that it doesn’t appear there is much happening, and we have been told we don’t have any staff working on this at the moment. I would like to have a brief summary of what impact any delay at Dunsfold will have on forthcoming appeals and Local Plan Part 2?”
With 1,600 homes earmarked and consented for the former Dunsfold aerodrome site near Cranleigh – and another 800 included in the important Local Plan – any delay could have a significant impact on the borough’s important 5-year land supply. A land supply figure that has featured in numerous past planning appeals. Appeals which have been granted as a series of Inspectors refused to accept Waverley Planners’ claim that it has more than 5-years supply in the bag.
Dunsfold Park (Waverley Borough Council) – an opportunity for up to 2,600 homes in the form of a new free-standing settlement by 2032.
However, all is well at Dunsfold as you heard will have heard in the clip above. Waverley’s Planning Policy Manager Graham Parrott assured everyone that the council was liaising closely with the developer.