WHOEVER SAID HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF KNEW A THING OR TWO …
Ashley Ward, a former Alfold resident who built his first home on agricultural land in Rosemary Lane after decimating Ancient Woodland without consent, is now proposing to do the same again in Dunsfold – with the support of Waverley’s gullible and all too compliant planning department!
Mr Ward, who sold his former home to an A list celebrity – no names no paparazzi – has applied for planning permission to build a cattle finishing unit on a lane south of Dunsfold Road and east of High Loxley Road on 30-hectares of land which the locals describe as “a field and not a farm.” A field with a view, no less!
Having set up a company called Farmers Direct Ltd, Mr Ward has persuaded the useful idiots – AKA Waverley Planners – to recommend approval of his application to use the land for 100 head of cattle ahead of tomorrow’s Planning Committee meeting. The proposed development, Mr Ward alleges, will enable him to increase numbers to 400 heads per annum after building a new indoor beef unit at Loxley Park Farm.
If Mr Ashley follows the same game plan he has deployed elsewhere in the borough, if his application is successful, he will then set about convincing the planners that he needs to live on the site. That ploy would then lead to the erection of another property, just like his previous home, which will be off-loaded for a considerable profit, freeing up Mr Ward to sally forth looking for his next blank canvas – AKA a greenfield – where he can repeat the exercise all over again: graze, build, expand, apply for consent and bank the profits. Nice work if you can get it!!!
Of course, the planners could put an agricultural occupancy condition on the property but a clever planning consultant will always find a way to remove that and, Bob’s your uncle, yet another small-holding with a very des res will be sold on to a hedge fund manager, fresh-from-Fetter Lane solicitor or wanker from the city.
The Eastern Area planning committee considered Mr Ward’s application WA/2021/02308 earlier this year but requested it is deferred due to a lack of information.
Alfold’s Cllr Kevin Deanus cited objections from Alfold and Dunsfold Parish Councils:
• The siting of the mobile home would have an adverse effect on the landscape, particularly the view from Hascombe Hill.
• The applicant should provide a full business plan to confirm that, amongst other things, if constructed, the resultant business will be financially viable.
• Transport and highway issues
• The applicant should produce and provide a master plan rather than take a piecemeal development approach.
• Matters of highway safety, agricultural justification, visual impact, impact on the countryside and AGLV have been included in a report to councillors. However, the application can only be assessed on its own merits.
And 29 members of the public have also raised a host of pertinent objections but, undeterred, the Planners are bringing the application back to Committee tomorrow, Wednesday 5 April, and, yet again, officers are recommending that the application is granted! Mr Ward has form in this respect and the officers would do well to heed it!
One can only hope that members of the Committee will not be duped by Mr Ward, who appears to be morphing into a serial developer of green fields by cunning sleight of hand.