The mutter in the Bury’s gutter is that Trinity College Cambridge’s Bursar has had to go, tail between his legs, to the Fellows – who appointed him. They expected great things of the former City Slicker – and now he has had to admit that his grandiose plan to make squillions selling off one of the College’s Green Agenda has stalled!
Columbia Threadneedle Investments, the wannabe buyer of the Aerodrome, has gone from hot-to-trot to a grinding halt over its site purchase. Our Waverley Mole tells us the Council was expecting the sale to complete before Christmas …, then post Christmas … Easter …and is now taking bets on sometimes never … Will someone grab that shovel and stop the Bursar digging an ever-increasing black hole in Waverley’s five-year housing supply?
Meanwhile, other Waverley wannabe developers are rubbing their hands with glee as Dickie’s failure to seal the deal has paved the way for every green field owner in the borough to seek and be granted consent to build houses until Waverley can demonstrate a robust housing supply!
How the hell has this come to pass? You couldn’t make it up; really, you couldn’t! The Flying Scot spent 16 long years trying to convince the planners and residents of Waverley that Dunsfold Aerodrome was a brownfield site fit for housing and, warning if they didn’t grasp the opportunity, their green fields were at risk.
Ostrich like, they ridiculed him and buried their heads in the sand. And the upshot was that only as one by one green field in and around Alfold, Cranleigh, Ewhurst and Dunsfold was concreted over, did the penny finally drop.
Only after multiple applications, Public Inquiries, and Call-ins by the Secretary of State (thanks for that Jeremy Hunt MP and former MP Anne Milton,) did the Flying Scot finally get consent to build on a brownfield site that should have been a shoo-in before a single hole was dug on a green field.
And then, just when the Flying Scot was about to break ground along comes Richard Turncoat, Trinity College’s new Bursar and the chocks were applied!
Twenty years on, not a home has been built! Meanwhile, 364+ houses have been built or consented on Alfold’s green fields; and 2,000 + homes built or consented on the eastern villages’ green fields. Meanwhile, the in-box of Waverley’s Planning Department is groaning and teetering on the point of collapse as the applications keep rolling in!
So what next in this never-ending sorry saga?
According to our Waverley Mole, the hopeless Turncoat has done another screeching U-TURN, and is about to do what he should have done a year ago by digging for victory – or, in this case, the new access road!
About time too! The Waverley Web understands that members of Alfold’s Allotments Association, Ladies of the Cranleigh Church Flower Arranging Rota and Dig for Dunsfold supporters are holding secret meetings to take matters into their own hands!
Taking a leaf out of Extinction Rebellion’s playbook, when climate activists dug up a Cambridge College lawn in protest over its role in a major development in the Suffolk countryside, these doughty country folk are plotting to descend on the Bursar’s garden to highlight the debacle he has presided over at Dunsfold to make him sit up and take notice.
Several incensed members of the WI are even talking about chaining themselves to apple trees on the college’s lawns to make the Bursar aware of their anger at playing fast and loose with their lives and the environment in which they live around Dunsfold.
‘We were promised a new village,’ they are reported to have said in secret meetings, ‘housing, shops, a GP surgery and a primary school. Where are they? All we’ve got is a greedy, rapacious landowner who has taken his planning consent and tried and – it would seem – failed to sell it to the highest bidder. Meanwhile, our precious countryside – which granting consent for this development was supposed to protect – is being concreted over by other greedy, rapacious developers!’
Another angry resident posted,
‘We want an apology from the Bursar. He sits in his ivory tower, hundreds of miles away, and has no idea and little care for the impact his shenanigans has had on the little people. It’s time for him to come to Waverley and look us in the eye and tell us what he’s going to do to make good on the promises the College he represents made to us. His disgraceful behaviour has created a sh*t-load of unwelcome development in the Borough and if he’s not careful we’ll be dumping a tractor load of unwelcome well-rotted manure on the lawn outside his office!’
The Archers have got nothing on this, folks! Like the rest of the borough, the Waverley Web waits with bated breath for the next episode in this everyday tale of country folk …!