Ya, boo politics is alive and well at ‘Your Waverley.’
Pi**ed off Tories are clamouring to have their say both in the press and on social media about the fracas at Western Planning where a controversial development in Haslemere was given the go-ahead by their colleagues.
Read the WW post here: Build anywhere, or even everywhere, in the borough of Waverley – except in Haslemere?
Leader Paul Follows later congratulated his colleagues for coming to the aid of Haslemere residents by binning a scheme to build 50 homes at Red Court, in Scotland Lane.
You can listen to the whole meeting or start at 26.33 for the Red Court application in the link below.
The decision to save an area of Great Landscape Value and seek sites elsewhere went down like a nasty dose of COVID with the Tories – who argued it was high time that Haslemere residents took their share of the build, build, and build more, brigade. They sited all those other green fields lost in – Farnham, Badshot Lea, Cranleigh, Ewhurst and the village dubbed by councillors as “poor little old Alfold.” A village on the Surrey Sussex border that has provided well over its quota of housing.
Another whopping great housing application lands on Alfold’s doorstep.
As one villager said – ‘ how many more bloody houses are they going to dump on Alfold?
Another lorryload of new housing on its way to ‘ little old Alfold?’
The Tories are heartily sick of the Rainbow Coalition hogging social media. Guildford & Villages MP Angela Richardson claimed after the county council election losses that the Tories were losing out in elections due to opposition parties reigning supreme in cyberspace.
The Haslemere fracas was the ideal platform for the Tories to fight back. They now predict an appeal by the developers due to the lack of robust, or any, planning reasons for refusal.
Here’s Alfold’s contribution so far. A village with no school, a village shop, little public transport and eight miles, WW guess, from Milford Station!
12 thoughts on “Political parties in a pitch battle over a Haslemere development.”
Ha! Fighting on social media? The local Tories can’t compete on social media – that’s what really upsets them. Every local election they weigh in with their ham fisted social media saturation and PR-committee led post-by-numbers promotion of previously silent candidates. It falls on deaf ears and is seen for what it is – electioneering.
Then they decide on high that the better approach is to attack the opposition with personal attacks, their own councils and hide behind ‘fake news’ sites – and that back fires massively.
The Tories can’t compete on social media for two reasons – they can’t disguise the real, disingenuous reasons they use social media, and when you have nothing to contribute it is better to keep quiet and leave it to those that have.
You’re absolutely correct, in Farnham at the recent County elections, the three conservative candidates had to rely on stunts fronted by Jeremy Hunt which they then posted on their Facebook pages. Most of the content on said Facebook pages were videos and statements from government ministers no doubt relayed from central office. It seemed the three strooges didn’t have anything original to say about things that mattered locally. The poor trio didn’t seem to have a brain between them.
The other social media own goal is to post as an entity not an individual. Corporates, Associations and Groups should stay away from opinion pieces, or worse still, attempts at biting humour. How can they write as an individual with a viewpoint but purport to speak as the Group, Association or company? They certainly don’t speak for all members and it is disingenuous to imply that they do. The Conservatives are not the only local political party to do this. So come on – have an opinion, but have the courage of your convictions not to hide behind a corporate mouthpiece, otherwise it just appears to be the opinion of a PR Agency… and we all know they’ll say anything if the price is right.
I think it’s worth putting some of this in context and I’ll have a lot more to say when we get around to LPP2 which will be coming to council soon. My aim here has and always has been to make things as fair as possible within the ridiculous planning system in which we must operate.
Fair and right as much as possible. As to social media those rules apply to. I try to use social media for the right reasons, and the wrong ones are on display daily as a guide!
Glad to hear LPP2 coming to Council ‘soon’ – I did ask this as a public question fairly recently and got a reply from Cllr Macleod which broadly sounded like “I don’t know’.
Where has it been mentioned that LP2 is coming soon? We heard the response to your question and it didn’t sound to us that it was arriving any time soon?
It is actually in the comment from Councillor Follows just above mine……..”when we get round to LPP2 which will be coming to council soon”.
As I think you may know better than most, we inherited a fundamentally flawed LPP2 from the last lot, who stopped in part because they could not resolve the Milford and Haslemere elements without infighting.
We think we have now squared that circle
That is good news. We await with interest because a`s you will have gathered from our recent posts – we believe it is only right and fair for every town and village to take their fair share of the housing quotas. Not that we think the quotas are reasonable, but then that is a Government decision. It is up to the public to deal with that through the ballot box. We predict traffic chaos in the coming years. Horsham’s Draft Local Plan has been delayed due to uproar there. Almost 1,000 homes a year are earmarked for that medium-size town which will increase the traffic flow on the A281 Horsham/Guildford Road exponentially. Traffic that also takes in the rat runs onto the A3 through the Surrey Hills via Ewhurst, Winterfold & Shere. One-way country roads that are regularly used by HGV’s. Waverley is not an island – though the former Tory administration seemed to think it was.
Has the ‘squaring the circle’ taking into account the recent changes to the NPPF. I understand this is what has delayed the Horsham plan and the requirement for 30 year housing projections?
We understand Horsham’s LP is agreeing to almost 1,000 new homes a year and the latest Thakeham Homes is 3,600!
It’s bizarre that the Tory councillors claim there was no good reason to oppose the application. There are very good reasons: it contravenes Waverley’s own Local Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework, both of which are clear that land of outstanding natural beauty/great landscape value or of importance for biodiversity, must be protected. It is also clearly not in keeping with the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan. These are all good, sound planning reasons for rejection – not, as the Tories are claiming, just emotional NIMBYism.
They are also wrong that plans which have been rejected, win on appeal. That is not the case for the Halsemere Longdene site, which has now lost repeated appeals – precisely on the grounds that the need for housing does not override the legal obligation to protect AONB land.
They are furthermore wrong in their insistence that this site is needed to meet the required housing quota. Haslemere LD, Green and Independent councillors know full well that we need more houses – but as the Tory councillors know full well, there is an alternative and superior proposal in development for another site (the present Royal Junior School). For some reason, the Tories are opposed to that one, even though it is a brownfield site, will not have the traffic or water supply problems of the Red Court one, and has other advantages.
The fact is, local Conservatives for reasons of their own, have chosen to support an inappropriate development roundly rejected by local residents – who have made it clear in numerous social media posts that they will remember this in the next local elections.