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 Aerodrome is one of two Surrey sites chosen to be among 17 other garden villages to be built across the country.
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.
3 thoughts on “Waverley’s housing delivery supply is heavily dependent on Dunsfold’s garden village.”
I dont blame Farnham wanting to Dump the houses on Dunsfold. Farnham does not mind the fact that the local roads in Dunsfold are unsuitable for such a large development.
I am afraid Waverley have no-one to blame but themselves… They chose to dump a significant number of New homes on Dunsfold/Alfold with this development despite having already dumped thousands on Cranleigh down the road. It is well known by all that the infrastructure in the East is pathetic compared to that in Farnham and all the other towns that have access to Trains and Hospitals etc..
I always wondered who would want to live on this site… The Masterplan is in no way a GARDEN VILLAGE with it’s huge high-rise flats,
Clive Smith the Surrey Hills AONB Planning advisor stated the following which says it all…
Dated: 24 November 2020
“ …..Concern must be expressed at the title of the new settlement as being “Dunsfold Park Garden Village” which is a misnomer. It is not a “Garden Village” and such use of the term misleads the public and decision makers. The Garden Villages built in the past are at lower densities allowing sufficient space between buildings for large trees to grow. The proposed modern housing estate layouts shown in the Masterplan bear no resemblance to more organic and less formal arrangement of buildings in Surrey and Sussex villages. In Dorset, Poundbury has many of the garden village attributes in place which are not reflected in this proposal.
Whilst the proposals include landscaping around some sides of the proposed development and fingers of undeveloped areas would penetrate the residential areas, the actual development would result in buildings being too close and in private ownerships to achieve the arcadian setting of former garden villages. Furthermore, some of the buildings towards the centre are of 4 storeys and formally laid out that bear no resemblance to Surrey or Sussex village centres. From an AONB aspect there would be a lack of sufficient large native trees within the residential enclaves to soften views from the AONB. The development would appear more as an urban intrusion into those AONB views.
So, I am not sure that the development proposals are quite as the Inspector envisaged when concluding that views from the AONB, presumably Hascombe Hill, would not be spoiled.
Regarding increased traffic on country lanes through the AONB, in all probability there would be substantial increased traffic movements arising from the proposed western link to the development with the adjoining country lanes through Dunsfold and Hascombe villages together with Markwick Lane, Mare Lane, Salt Lane, Station Lane. This route would be chosen to join the A3 at Milford to avoid the more congested and difficult route up the A281 and Guildford. There appears to be an absence of any proposals to manage and mitigate the environmental harm increased traffic, including heavy goods vehicles along these routes.
Before and at the Public Inquiry I sought on behalf of the Surrey Hills AONB Board substantial developer financial contributions towards mitigating the impact of additional traffic on the country lanes in the Surrey Hills AONB. I was assured orally at the time of the Inquiry provision would be made in the highways S106 Agreement. I would ask that those progressing the development to contact me, the Surrey Hills AONB Director, Rob Fairbanks, and Surrey CC Highways to discuss the introduction of a Quiet Lanes project to also include lanes east of the A281 partly or largely funded by this substantial development…”
There you have it. Too many Eggs in ONE BASKET!
And too many other Applications riding on the Back of it.
And if that isn’t enough – Here’s another Good Piece Perhaps you lot in Farnham – ought to read. This is what will most likely happen here in the Sleepy East of the Borough… Oh but I forget this won’t affect Western and Central parts of the County will it?
Press release: 16 June 2020 TRANSPORT FOR NEW HOMES.ORG
Green promises broken: Garden Villages and Garden Towns will be dominated by the car
Far from being vibrant, green communities, Garden Villages and Garden Towns  are at high risk of becoming car-dependent commuter estates, research by Transport for New Homes  has found. The group examined plans for 20 Garden Communities  and found that they will create up to 200,000 car-dependent households, generating high levels of traffic on surrounding roads including motorways.
Jenny Raggett, Project Coordinator at Transport for New Homes, said:
“Put forward by the government as an alternative to characterless estates, Garden Villages may well end up with more tarmac than garden, limited public transport, and few ‘village’ amenities to walk or cycle to.”
The coronavirus outbreak has placed new emphasis on walking and cycling, with wider pavements and new cycle lanes springing up in cities. The benefits of living more locally have come to prominence. By contrast, Transport for New Homes found that Garden Villages will be largely unsuitable for walking and cycling due to their remote location, their layout and their lack of safe routes in and out of the estate. Local facilities may well never materialise in these car-based developments: non-driving residents will be forced to walk up to seven miles to the nearest town centre .
Looking to the future, the need for modern bus, tram and train networks to avert climate crisis is expected to come to the fore . But rather than new or improved public transport, the group found that plans for Garden Villages and Garden Towns promise major increases in road capacity to cater for a massive expected rise in car use. Garden Communities are not being planned with new metro stations at their hearts, nor are high-quality bus or tram routes assured to serve them in the future.
Many Garden Communities are backed by Government funding, the criteria for which are laid out in the MHCLG’s Garden Communities Prospectus . Communities should “be largely self-sustaining and genuinely mixed-use” with “public transport, walking and cycling” enabling “simple and sustainable access to jobs, education and services”. Instead, Transport for New Homes found strong evidence that:
All 20 of the Garden Communities examined in detail will encourage car dependent lifestyles with the car the primary mode of transport at every single one.
These 20 settlements will create up to 200,000 car dependent households.
Only one settlement (Aylesham – although itself not funded by Homes England) offers amenities and a railway station within 1 mile of every home, though the train service is infrequent and there are no safe cycle routes to access it.
All other settlements failed to provide access to amenities and a railway station within 1 mile of all new homes with safe walking and cycling routes.
None of the 20 settlements will provide bus services to all households all day, all week.
Cycle routes from Garden Villages into nearby towns will often be long and dangerous.
Residents will have to walk up to 7 miles to access a railway station or go to the nearest town centre.
Jenny Raggett, Project Coordinator at Transport for New Homes, continued:
“It looks like Garden Communities are to become car-based commuter estates just like any other – exactly what the government wanted to avoid. Rather than seeing the emphasis on public transport that the Garden Communities Prospectus promised, with new stations funded at the heart of the development, or firm investment in modern bus rapid transit, light rail or trams, nearly every Garden Community comes with a long list of road improvements such as bypasses, link roads and new motorway junctions. Although the theme of the ‘local’ and ‘self-sufficient’ is the official line, the language adopted in the promotion of Garden Villages makes great play of their strategic location for long-distance commuting. It is doubtful, given this emphasis, that local shops and services will flourish.”
Steve Chambers, Sustainable Transport Campaigner at Transport for New Homes, said:
“Our visits to sites of Garden Towns and Garden Villages highlighted the chasm between the proposed visions and the built reality. We found that because of remote locations, public transport was rarely already provided and funding had not been secured to make it available when residents move in. Walking and cycling were clearly afterthoughts and even in the better examples did not provide safe and convenient routes to basic amenities beyond the development boundary. Garden Villages were typically too small to support any amenities and are not being built on a sustainable scale. Larger Garden Towns typically located new housing beyond a ring road, on the edge of an established town and poorly connected with it. Car dependency is being built into the Garden Towns and Garden Villages by design.”
Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation and a Chair of the Steering Group for Transport for New Homes, said:
“The vision for garden developments is laudable but is at grave risk of being missed – far from being delivered in a way that would encourage us to leave our cars at home the reality looks set to ingrain car dependence.
“Living completely ‘car-free’ is probably a pipe-dream outside the centres of our towns and cities – the reality is that many of us will still wish to own and use our cars but not want to be forced to get behind the wheel for every trip we make.
“Good road connections matter: they’re vital for buses, bicycles and, as we’ve learnt in recent weeks, delivery vans too, not just for the private motorist. But they have to be designed with a sensible layout, including wide footways so that walking to the local shops or to school is a safe, practical and appealing proposition.”
The recommendations in Transport for New Homes’ report include:
Commission an urgent reassessment of the sustainability in transport terms of all planned Garden Communities and do not give outline planning permission until it is clear that sustainable transport elements in each vision are fully funded and specified.
Build close to existing town centres or create strings of developments along public transport routes, rather than scattering developments around the countryside.
Direct Government funding to public realm, place-making, and sustainable transport including Dutch-style cycling networks, local rail, rapid transit, buses and trams.
Make sure that sustainable transport infrastructure is funded to extend beyond the site boundary.
Put kickstart funding and other financial incentives in place to establish shops, cafes, pubs, shared workspaces and other local facilities with the development, creating a walkable community.