"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when once we practise to deceive.
Want to know who the real culprits are behind Waverley’s lack of housing land supply?
Look no further.
Whilst Farnham’s Carole Cockburn takes a blast at Paul Follows for not actually building the homes she planned in her Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, we search for the real culprits of Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1.
With the news that the Inspector thinks this plan has only 4.01 years of housing ready to go, that means Waverley has to fast-track another 25% with a presumption to grant.
To recap – 15 years ago, Waverley’s Tory administration did everything it could to stop development at Dunsfold, despite recognising that it was the largest brownfield site in the borough. One Cranleigh councillor said at the time of the first Planning Appeal –
“Dunsfold will be developed over my dead body.”
Be careful what you wish for? It will be built – and he is now dead and buried.
Our (then) local MP’s – both anguished over the spatial strategy of including Dunsfold but refused to say where the houses would go otherwise. Both were involved in referring the planning application to the Secretary of State, creating many years of delay.
The Campaign for Rural England (Surrey Chapter) – yes, a preservation charity no less took the Local Plan to court to get it chucked out as it didn’t recognise the amount of green protection in Waverley compared to the level of house building. It is unbelievable that such an action resulted in a spectacular shooting of themselves in the foot, resulting in further development on green fields.
Ask the villagers of Alfold, Ewhurst, Badshot Lea and more what they think of losing vast swathes of their valued landscapes? With countryside come trees, including ancient woodland that has now bitten the dust!
In 2018 CPRE Surrey branch director Andy Smith said: “The Inspector’s decision to increase the housing figure for Waverley will inevitably result in loss of countryside in the AONB and Green Belt. This lack of regard for policies of restraint cannot be right.” Too right doughnut!
Bob Lees, and Chris Britton – serial objectors to the Local Plan that included Dunsfold, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds with the help of Alfold Parish Council to fight the plans. Now that very same village gets the worst of both worlds. Homes are covering their countryside – and a new garden village at Dunsfold. And, ‘Little Britton’ is now a parish councillor! Where’s Protect Our Waverley? Because it certainly isn’t protecting the eastern villages or Haslemere.