Your Waverley’s Housing Overview and Scrutiny Committee hit on the vexed question of…
WHAT IF THE DEVELOPMENT DUNSFOLD GARDEN VILLAGE – A DEVELOPMENT OF CIRCA 1,800 + 800 HOMES – DOESN’T GO AHEAD?
… at its latest meeting this week.
And, boy oh boy, is that a whopper of a WHAT IF?
Chairman Richard Seaborne said it was now two months since the “BOMBSHELL” decision by Trinity College Cambridge, to sell the Aerodrome, had been dropped on the Council and it was a decision that would impact on the Council’s aspirations to supply affordable housing over the next two to three years.
Councillor All-at-Sea asked officers to comment on the situation as it was “Quite a big issue for us and it may be something that the committee needs to flag up as a concern to the Executive”.
Is Councillor All-at-Sea in the running for the Understatement of the Year Award?!
Housing Officer Esther Lyons told the committee, “We are still looking at this with our partners. I believe there are a few possible outcomes – the worst of which will be that the whole site is parcelled up into small parcels and we will be dealing with different developers and housing associations and will not have a cohesive community at the end of it.”
Spoiler Alert: IT’S A NIGHTMARE ON DUNSFOLD PARK SCENARIO!
Ms Lyons went on to say that the present position was that the site was “Out to the market.” There were many affordable homes in the first phase housing mix, which remained the Council’s expectation. As for how this would be delivered, and who would deliver it, that was still open.
No Shit Sherlock!
Not if Box-Builders get their hands on the site it won’t! From past experience, Waverley well knows that the first action of the Box-Builders will be to tell the Council they can’t make the affordable housing numbers work and they need, they really, really, absolutely need to reduce the number of affordable housing units. It’s their default position when they buy up planning consents!
Chief Executive Officer Tom Horwood said the Council was at quite an early stage and there were a number of threats here and a number of opportunities.
Is CEO Horwood in contention with Councillor All-At-Sea for the Understatement of the Year Award?!
He went on to say the Council was in touch with Trinity College Cambridge and would update all councillors with further information shortly.
Cllr Jerry Hyman (Farnham Residents) said the Council needed to keep a close eye on the situation because of the social housing to be provided at Dunsfold.
“Is there any chance there will be no housing there? BlockBuster movie filming is going on down there. Should we, as a Council, be working on the premise that we will not get any housing on there in the Local Plan Part 1 period?”
“The commercial value of the site would only be realised by somebody buying it for housing. I imagine that whoever acquires it will be keen to crack on and we will be encouraging them to do so, both for our affordable housing allocation and to meet our five-year housing land supply. We will soon be holding an all councillor briefing on the current situation at Dunsfold.”
According to our mole within Your Waverley, despite their assurances, the decision by Richard Turncoat (Trinity’s new, fresh from the City, Bursar) to sell Dunsfold Aerodrome has been a severe blow to the Council and the blame game has started, with those who supported the idea of housing at Dunsfold Park from the get-go, accusing the likes of:
Mary Orton-Pett (Mary Who?), Richard Shut-the-Gates (Richard Who?), Bypass Byham (Byham, who’s he?) and the late unlamented Brian Ellis for not having the foresight to grasp the opportunity that Dunsfold Aerodrome offered the Borough back in 2009 when the first planning application for housing was mooted. Had those dinosaurs not buried their heads in the sand and, instead, faced up to the realities of Waverley’s housing crisis then, Dunsfold Park would have been a new village by now, well on its way to becoming a thriving community.
Instead, because of the delays in granting consent at Dunsfold Park, huge new housing estates have been created on green fields in Alfold, Dunsfold, Cranleigh, Farnham and Godalming and beyond. Councillor All-At-Sea has personally supported development on Green Belt land in Bramley and Hascombe! None of these new housing estates has brought any of the infrastructure promised by Dunsfold Park. –
Where are the new schools, GP surgeries, community centres, green spaces to support the Box-Builders’ housing estates? Bluntly, if Dunsfold Park doesn’t come forward as planned, Your Waverley is up the Wey & Arun without a paddle!!!
All of these box-developments have been conceived, consented and delivered before a sod has been turned at Dunsfold Park and, despite finally wringing a planning consent out of Waverley, it is likely to be at least two to three years before the Mayor of Waverley is cutting any ribbons on housing at Dunsfold Park now …
Meanwhile, would-be-developers are rubbing their hands with glee and the applications to concrete over more and more of Waverley’s green fields and Green Belt are piling up in the Planning Department’s in-tray. In fact, so overwhelmed is Waverley’s Planning Department, you can’t get a pre-app meeting with them for love nor money!
No one knows what the outcome of Trinity College Cambridge’s fire sale of the aerodrome will be – least of all Your Waverley – but local residents need to be afraid – VERY AFRAID – because the repercussions of the sale could impact on them and their families for years to come. Maybe it’s time to launch a crowd-funding bid to buy the Aerodrome? We at the Waverley Web have had a quick whip round and raised the princely sum of …
To be continued.
PS. Apologies for any misquotes: Your Waverley’s webcast was on scrambled mode due to a technical issue with the microphones! Most sounded as if they had their heads in a bucket.