As ‘Your Waverley’ pins its hopes on getting its Local Plan Part Two approved by an Inspector, the Government guru has posed a host of questions he wants answering.
And the man faced with answering them is Graham Parrot – Waverley’s Planning Policy Officer.
WW followers may remember those heady days when Mr Parrott burned the midnight oil preparing Local Plan versions 1, 2 and then 3 – which then once approved by a Government Inspector became the infamous Local Plan Part 1. Now he’s about to go into the ring and spar with yet another Government Inspector G J Fort BA PGDip LLM MCD MRTPI on Local Plan Part 2.
The poor s*d spent 15 years working with neighbouring authorities, including Woking & Guildford. Held public consultation exercises here there and everywhere with Tom, Dick & Harriet. Attended Examinations in public – High Court hearings and Judicial Reviews – phew!
Then with Local Plan, Part 1 was finally agreed by Government Inspectors; the Secretary of State; and ‘a bench’ of judges and Local Plan Part 2 almost on the starting blocks heralding an end to the long saga of both Waverley’s and others’ Local Neighbourhood Plans in sight… Up pops Boris The Bulldozer and ‘Bob The Builder’ Jenrick. The dynamic duo began moving the development goalposts or ‘the ball’ as we know it – to enable development to be kicked onto a completely different pitch. It announced the biggest shake-up of planning for decades to fast-track “beautiful” new homes across the country. Whilst in the process choking off affordable housing and diluting democratic oversight. Then along came Levelling-Up Secretary of State Gove to move the goalposts, again! He wants ‘beauty’ before targets – mainly because of his concern for the dozens of Tory MP’s whose arses will be bumped off parliamentary seats if he adopted the planning proposals of his predecessor. Mr Gove is also ditching the manifesto target, so numbers will not drive policy.
So will Waverley still have to build 835 ‘beautiful’ homes per year rather than the bog-standard homes originally proposed? And will Government Inspectors do his bidding?
“these homes need to be good quality, well-designed and come with infrastructure that new development needs.” Back to the drawing board for Alfold development described by Bramley councillor as “crap.!”
Poor old Graham – and you won’t have heard us pitying Waverley planning officers very often – so there’s one for the scrapbook!
BUT it strikes us that there are very nearly 4 pages of quite difficult and probing questions on Haslemere and Hindhead Housing Allocations and their deliverability….
Now he is grappling with Local Plan Part 2. And, in the link below are the host of questions the Inspector wants poor old Parrot to answer?
Are Graham’s feathers about to be ruffled?
We believe that the Lib Dems’ insistence on pushing through with the Royal School was a serious error of judgment. After all, Haslemere had been given one opportunity to sort out their sites in early 2018 as it was one of the reasons former Tory council leader Julia Potts pulled the original LPP2 (as the Lib Dems and we all jolly well know) so the great and the good of Haslemere could find alternatives to Red Court. They failed. So we think giving Haslemere a second chance was an error of judgment and a big mistake and has put the rest of the district, particularly the Eastern Villages, at undue risk of even more speculative development. If LPP2 does implode (i.e. has to be withdrawn) it will surely cost them votes. WW doesn’t think Red Court alone will bring down LPP2 but believe overall under provision of sites could do. On this point take a look at the questions on page 16.