was it the Cllr Carole Cockburn – spitting feathers show?
Usually, the chairman of a Waverley committee chairs the meeting. No way – not yesterday, for Farnham’s Carole – the Overview & Scrutiny committee could hardly get a word in edgeways once Carole was on the rant!
Why had the important LP2 document taken so long to see the light of day, two years, after power changed hands? Despite a decision by the coalition in October 2020 by 10-0 to include Red Court, Haslemere in the plan’s housing allocations.
Had the council been misled into believing there were 1,200 responses from the public consultation when there had only been 418?
The Plan, once approved and before going out to public consultation again, must include preferred sites for development that are –
“available, sustainable and deliverable. and robust enough to convince an Inspector the plan is sound.”
Swapping The Royal Prep School (a 23-acre site in Hindhead and The Royal Senior School (a 26-acre site in Farnham Lane, for circa (90 homes), which she claimed was probably undeliverable, was a disgrace.
A deliverable site at Court in Haslemere (50 homes) was refused by Waverley Planners in August – now the subject of an appeal.
The rest of the plan was almost ignored. This Included minor modifications to numbers, including an increase in gipsy pitches and the huge Secretts site in Milford.
Neither did a ‘light railway along the Downslink through Cranleigh’ get a look-in, other than saying it had been originally been proposed as a ‘sustainable transport corridor?’
The floor was held for the most part by Farnham’s Carole – still fuming that Red Court Haslemere in an Area of Great Landscape Value had been refused, when it fit the criteria for development. She wanted it put back into the plan either instead of or in addition to – The Royal School in Hindhead, which is adjacent to the A3 in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Cllr Jenny Else (Con Elstead) sounding more like the USA”s Donald Rumsfeld, chirped up about the uncertainty of ever developing the Hindhead site – calling it “pie in the sky.” She said there were so many knowns and so many unknowns – about the school’s future?
It is quite simple, said Cllr Anna James (Con Chiddingfold) Red Court was refused due to pressure from Haslemere residents!
Back to Carole, who claimed Farnham could be ruined if LP2 was found to be unsound. Waverley was exposed and vulnerable with no five-year land supply due to the failure of Dunsfold and other sites not being built out. Land supply could be down to 4 years. What is your contingency, what about Dunsfold Answer that – she asked Portfolio Holder Cllr Andy MacLeod?
and, don’t blame the Government or the previous administration this is down to you, she cried.
Cllr MacLeod admitted Waverley was in an extremely difficult situation. We can’t make Berkeley’s build at Woolmead, or the new owners build at Dunsfold, but we did have a very useful meeting this morning. He called Red Court “trivial” in the big scheme of things.
Red Court is a very minor part of the Plan and the potential for the Royal School was 90 homes.
Chief Planning Officer Zac Ellwood assured the committee the plan was sound and with the inclusion of the Royal School and other sites would achieve the 990 homes target for Haslemere, saying the plan was, “robust and defendable.”
Waverley’s Chief Executive Tom Horwood brought the fiery debate to an end by suggesting that the committee decide whether it wanted to recommend to the Executive that both sites be included in the plan or have its comments carried forward?
listen to the debate here:https://youtu.be/1WHctjjClI0