Recently Andrew Bolton a wannabe that isn’t gonna be Tory Godalming Town Councillor – spoke out about his concerns for the town.
He is concerned about the proposed development in the town centre by the present administration that runs ‘Your Waverley.’
Peter Martin told the council’s Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee that he was opposed to some of the Executive’s recommendations.
To put the record straight. During its years of holding the reins of Waverley Council, the Tories had ruminated long and hard over plans for redeveloping The Burys. On more than one occasion they once even suggested selling The Burys Field to a private developer. However, it was the £100,m + redevelopment of Farnham’s East Street which concentrated their minds for 21 years. A housing and retail development that is loathed by its residents hasn’t produced any income, and remains to be completed!
“While I am in favour of the redevelopment of The Bury’s site and while I believe that a reasonable case can be made for the redevelopment of the Wharf Car park site, I am not in favour of the development of the Crown Court Car Park Site – specifically I oppose the building of houses or apartments on the main public car park in Godalming and any reduction in car parking provision.I do not believe that a case has been made for housing to be built at Crown Court Car Park other than the general assertion that we need more housing.Crown Court provides 57% of the publicly available car parking provision in central Godalming (excluding The Burys week-end car parking). I do not accept any assertion that Crown Court is an under-utilised asset. Car parking use will continue to recover to pre-Covid levels. Any loss of car parking in Crown Court will be unacceptable. Housing development at Crown Court Car Park must inevitably lead to the loss or partial loss of the main car park in Godalming. The impact on residents and in turn on local businesses will be very great and I believe to be unacceptable. I doubt the assertions and assumptions on which The Administration bases its belief that the impact on parking provision can be maintained.The Administration also proposes the building of additional car park capacity at The Burys to alleviate any loss of car parking at Crown Court car park. That can only mean a multi-storey car park close to the edge of the Godalming Conservation Area and overlooking the historic Lammas lands. Such a development will be aesthetically and environmentally unacceptable and will create diminished ease of access to parking – all of which I believe would be unacceptable.I do not, therefore, accept the proposal to spend £164,000 of taxpayer money, equivalent to an increase in Council Tax of 1.5%, on what I believe to be a flawed scheme.
Tonight there is a closed meeting of the town council and members of the public can’t attend. This project has been too much behind closed doors and sub judice – something we have come to expect of this Administration.
Here’s Waverley leader Paul Follows response:
I hope residents will recognise my engagement in my time as a councillor and council leader and I will try to give my full and honest view on everything. As a local political leader sometimes I am put in positions where choices have to be made or options explored that I might not like. That’s the job sometimes. It’s also my job to explain them.
Please see the 5 images below This is a complex issue to crunch into one FB message. Thank you again for reading.
Cllr Paul FollowsLeader, Waverley Borough Council
Paul David Follows
Paul has summarised the position well, I would just like to say that the Labour group fully agrees with the strategy, in particular, the drive to get more genuinely affordable housing in Godalming (we define that as 60-65% of market rents).
6 thoughts on “Waverley Leader putting the record straight on The Burys development saga.”
It makes perfect sense, if you want to re-generate any town, to build new housing in the centre. But like Central Car Park in Farnham, people become attached to their car parks. But putting sentimentality aside, I understand it may be possible to provide a two deck car park on the refurbished Burys site?
Of course, it would be possible to build a two-storey car park without damaging the setting of that part of the borough. It would make good use of the Crown Court space, and more housing for residents who will provide more footfall for the town and invigorate the high street.
It makes zero sense aesthetically to build an extra layer on top of Crown Court Car park, neither does building 20- 23 3 storey town houses, which entirely blocks any view of the riverside through Crown Court. Neither does using prime land to build council houses with tiny gardens at low rents make sense, just how much “regeneration” would be achieved, apart from a nicer Bury’s Building?
Anyhow it all comes down to costs vs benefits, yet despite £164k spend we still only have an artists impression, & zero business plan.
Wanda Smith seems not to have read the proposals – just the headlines. There is no plan to build a multi storey car park on Crown Court nor tiny gardens. If you actually visit Godalming and the Crown Court car park you’ll not see the river, because it is much lower and hidden behind the carpark wall and recycling bins.
There is so much disinformation going on in and around Godalming. We have to put that right.
Why are new Town houses for Crown Court being advertised in London as investment property ’40 minutes from Waterloo’?