What the Waverley Web simply cannot understand about our Waverley Planning Department is its contradictory approach to Draft Neighbourhood Plans and its efforts to reach a five-year housing land supply.
Take Alfold as an example of the nonsensical way Waverley’s planning department deals with planning applications.
Alfold has no Neighbourhood Plan, like many other towns and villages it was dissuaded from getting them underway because planning officers argued that it was not sensible until it had its Local Plan Part 1 and then Part 2 in place.
Farnham however, forged ahead, fearing for the worst, and it relies on its NP, which has the backing of its residents at referendum and has been examined at a public inquiry and passed by an Inspector.
Councillors recently refused a scheme for 65 homes, on a site not included in its Farnham NP. Oh Me Oh My- how councillors made a Waverley officer cry!
The most vulnerable villages in the eastern part of the borough – have no Neighbourhood Plans. Blueprints that define what the locals want, and identify sites where housing would be sustainable and appropriate.
Cranleigh’s NP is still in the making and has identified suitable sites where housing can be accommodated. In one instance, an extension to an existing development – which has been voted by locals as ‘one of the best of the bunch.’ That application and many others have been sitting in the bowels of the planning swamp at ‘Your Waverley’ for over a year. Why? Because officers argue Cranleigh has no approved Neighbourhood Plan, and until approved development such not go ahead.
Yet in the meantime, in Alfold, you can bet your bottom dollar this application for an extension to a development that has not yet had one single brick laid upon it – will be approved. In a village that has been swamped with applications, appeals and even Judicial Reviews. A village where every Doug and Doris have to travel miles for schools, pubs, and basic necessities. It doesn’t even have a village shop or pub!
If the planners seriously want to meet their targets, why are they being so dilatory in approving appropriate schemes, rather than allowing or appealing schemes in villages where the lack of infrastructure is legendary?
You couldn’t make it up – really you couldn’t!
This site is immediately adjacent to the proposed Dunsfold Garden Village with consent for 1,600 homes – and up to 3,400 homes included in the Local Plan.