The final countdown.
We won’t bore you with every stroke of the tennis match – Waverley -v- Thakeham Homes as they swung their racquets and fired planning policy balls across the hallowed chambers of Waverley Towers as the Inquiry reached its conclusion.
But suffice to say- in our humble opinion – Thakeham emerged victorious by at least two sets to one!
Inspector Harold Stevens looked visibly shaken at the final hearing, having trotted around Dunsfold, Haslemere, Cranleigh – excluding Farnham, a site he intended to visit on his way home.
No surprise that neither party could agree on the list of deliverable sites, which influenced Waverley’s crucial 5-year land supply of new homes.
Areas of contention:
Waverley hung on to its claim that it matters not if permission on some small sites had expired; they may come forward sometime in the future! So the appellant was WRONG!
As for other more significant sites, even if unlikely to come forward, the council contend that if it is “realistic and not fanciful” and they could come forward – then they should form part of its 5-year HLS. Which it maintains is 5.2 years.
Thakeham is sticking to its estimate of the borough’s supply of just 3.76 years.
The grass was undoubtedly becoming greener for Barrister Robin Green when he fired his first and only ACE.
Local Plan Part 2 has now been agreed by Waverley, will be submitted to the Inspectorate on Tuesday and will be examined next year!
No mention that it has been four years in the making! But then we will leave that one to Barrister and planning star Sasha White because when he starts smashing his racquet through the housing figures, it is a sight to behold.
Mr Green argued that the Strategic Planning Document for Dunsfold would be agreed in February next year. Although matters were delayed somewhat, there was extant planning permission, and the site was ripe for development. There were no outstanding technical issues to prevent a rapid build-out.
Housing is being delivered in the district, allbeit not at the pace expected when Local Plan Part 1 was adopted. But it is my conclusion that the addition of 99 houses to a small village that has already absorbed 229 new dwellings would not be the limited growth planned for Alfold until the year 2o32. Nor is it sustainable to add more and more houses to a location that has few services and facilities and poor connections to larger settlements. It will also harm the character and appearance of the local area.
He acknowledged the need for market and affordable homes in the borough, but the adverse impact of building them in Alfold outweighed the benefits, and the appeal should be REFUSED.
Thakeham’s final say will be out in another post.
To be continued…