The high cost to Haslemere and ‘Your Waverley’s taxpayers by the NIMBY’S

An interesting letter written by a Haslemere resident has accused some of the town’s NIMBY’S of trying to “strangle the life out of the town.”

Thomas Harrison said of Haslemere’s ‘Not in My Back Yard’ brigade:

“They, (Haslemere residents) will say Haslemere can’t possibly support any more people while watching the high street shut down because there aren’t enough people to support the businesses.

These objectors can at least take comfort in knowing that if they successfully manage to strangle the life out of the town, they’ll have created a place people no longer want to live and the applications for new houses in the area will surely stop.

They all accept the UK needs more houses – just not near them.”


His complete letter can be read here: 10.02.22 – Haslemere Herald – The high cost of NIMBYs

11 thoughts on “The high cost to Haslemere and ‘Your Waverley’s taxpayers by the NIMBY’S”

  1. He’s quite right of course. The so called independents on the town council – who live next door to Red Court – are prime culprits too. Quite why the leader of Waverley offered them so much support is simply beyond my comprehension. Planning policy in this part of Waverley is a shambles driven purely by a few people who pretend to care about the broader community.

    1. It would appear that a great many Haslemere residents are delighted to dump housing on Waverley’s eastern villages. Alfold is certainly, beginning to look like one great big building site.

      1. Yes. Anywhere but Haslemere is the policy. Alfold is ideal for them. And more than two thirds of Haslemere’s allowance in LPP2 was allocated to Hindhead.

    2. I couldn’t agree more – the independent Cllrs have a very personal interest in Red Court as they both live immediately next door. They set up as Association called “Save Scotland Lane” dedicated to fight Red Court. They later changed its name to the Haslemere South Residents Association. They seemed overjoyed when an alternate site (Royal School Hindhead) came forward (Cllr Barton actually did the introductions to senior management at Waverley – so no self interest at play then). Why Cllr Follows is so against Red Court when he hasn’t even visited the site is also very suspect – Cllr Follows only seems interested in some of Haslemere residents and not those who live in Hindhead or on Farnham Lane

  2. Some disturbing comments which raises concern for the ability to deliver sustainable development in the public interest.

    Planning policies should produce fair and consistent decision making as clearly stated by Lord Justice Lindblom in Canterbury City Council v Secretary of State for Communities [2019] EWCA Civ 669]. Unfortunately, planning policies are not always sufficiently understood and engaged in practice.

    Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 gives the local development plan statutory primacy and a statutory presumption in its favour that government policy in the National Planning Policy Framework does not have. Under the statutory scheme the policies of the development plan should operate to ensure consistency in decision-making.
    If the section 38(6) duty is performed properly, decision-makers must identify and understand the relevant policies and establish whether or not the proposal for development accords with the plan, read as a whole. The Development Plan is approved by the Community, which provides its democratic legitimacy.

    1. I would agree that planning policies should produce fair and consistent decision making etc. However I don’t think the inconsistency in application is down to them being ‘not always sufficiently understood and engaged in practice’. Very often the inconsistency arises from the layering and complexity of the policies and their wording. The Gladman case appears to be an example. Here you have the LPA deciding one thing, the Inspector another, Dove J (currently the leading planning judge in the High Court as far as I can work out) reversing the Inspector and then the CA upholding Dove. Why it had to go to the CA to sort it out I have no idea. Perhaps Gladman (reputed to be a fairly aggressive developer) hired a particularly effective QC who out-argued the local council’s lawyer in front of a weak Inspector. It shouldn’t happen, but it does and when it does it may take a higher court or authority to sort it out.
      I subscribe to Planning magazine and I get a daily bulletin and the one thing that strikes me is the sheer inconsistency of the decision making on an individual development case basis. Personally I think this is more an adverse reflection on the planning system, not the individuals trying to apply it. There should be a level of certainty in the outcome of an application which the current system does not provide and this leads to a huge amount of time and money being wasted both by planning authorities and applicants.

      1. Thank you Ms Smyth for this reply it has revealed some useful information. Decision often go to the Court of Appeal for legal clarification. in this case the Developer lost by seeking to misinterpret law and policy.

        Gladman Developments

        Unfortunately, the best lawyer can often “win” the case by presenting the best case and pockets are not deep enough to appeal.

        One Gladman case was a proposal for the development of 85 new dwellings on a greenfield site which had not previously been allocated for housing was originally refused by Canterbury City Council.

        Current understanding is that Gladman Developments appealed the Dove J High Court decision to quash a housing development in Canterbury. Gladman Developments Ltd v Canterbury City Council [2019] EWCA Civ 669. The High Court decision was upheld in the Court of Appeal after the judge confirmed that the inspector on appeal had misinterpreted local planning policy and therefore failed in his duty to determine planning applications in accordance with the development plan.’s-decision-based-his-misinterpretation

  3. I hate to say this but I said 5 years ago this would split Waverley – and it HAS – I don’t know if Haslemere residents are Ignorant or agree or are NIMBYS – but which ever way – they have not shown them selves in the best light. To say we should all take our fair share is LA LA land but I do not think they give a Toss so long as it is not in their neck of the Woods!

    The Eastern Villages were shafted when the rest of the Borough agreed to DP – but we took it on the Chin – Now we have over 400 new Homes in the offing For ALFOLD (Excluding DP) let alone the other villages – Although we do seem to take a disproportionate amount for the Small Village Category??

    I am going to send Via Email (because your damn website doesn’t allow me to attach a Picture) the damage that has been done to this Village because of these RICH Retired NIMBYS that obviously have far to much sway in Planning with WBC Councillors. Shame on the lot of you for not protecting us. There is just something very “smelly” about this?

    1. We do agree with your sentiments – and apologise for being unable to produce pictures on the comments page. However, please send them by e-mail to and we will be only too happy to reproduce them.

  4. Hi WW

    I will finish it off tonight and email tomorrow – and I just hope that somewhere People outside of the Eastern Villages and perhaps in the COUNCIL will realise the Scale of development proposed for this small Village of 450 Homes (2011 Census) and the devastation that is being carried out due to the WBC lack of a 5 Year Housing Supply.

    I have heard from my own sources that certain Councillors have said – it is Better Alfold take them as they have no Greenbelt, AONB or other Designations and we will Get Dunsfold Park – what is not to LIKE?? We are in a Semi RURAL VILLAGE! that is Why!

    What they fail to add as ever is NO TRAIN STATION/DOCTORS/SCHOOLS etc……We are a beautiful Village with heritage and YES a mix of housing that has grown organically over many years. We may not all be Chocolate-Box – But we have a Heart/Community and we do not deserve this. It is about time some of the other TOWNS realise they have to contribute to this Housing Supply Need, and stop trying to throw it all here – just because they can and we only have limited Voting Fodder.

    I hope this is the last time I have to paste this in… But you know me – I wont give up ….

    The green belt is a specially designated area of countryside protected from most forms of development. It is protected to help stop URBAN SPRAWL, preserve the character of existing settlements and encourage development within existing built-up areas.

  5. The term NIMBY was invented for Haslemere. They have never taken their fair share of housing and they have a mainline railway station, unlike some …

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