Is ‘Your Waverley’s’ Planning department in crisis?


Are the men in grey suits about to march into ‘Your Waverley?

You don’t have to be a developer to realise that Waverley’s Planning function has been in crisis for two years.   One councillor said this week that this council cannot and should not keep using Covid as an excuse.

Everyone – including Leader Paul Follows, is well aware of the situation, as is the Portfolio holder for planning, Cllr Liz Townsend.

Cllr Follows stunned members of the public at a meeting in Elstead a week ago by admitting this:  Here is a man to be trusted – telling it as it is.

Oh! dear what can the matter be – Waverley’s leader ends up in A & E

 Councillors have been warned that the planning department has been struggling to meet the Government’s performance target for speed in determining its smaller planning applications. The target is 70% to have been considered in time or on an extension for the past two years.

Performance tables published in December revealed that for October 2020 – September 2022, Waverley Planners only achieved 61.7% of their applications in time or in extensions of time.


So now ‘Your Waverley’ has a lot of mucky brown stuff hitting the fan.

 Michael Gove’s outfit has told the council at The Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities that they are considering designating ‘Your Waverley’ as failing to meet the performance threshold … but we, at the Waverley Web, are taking bets they don’t because that would be just too embarrassing for our local MP, & now Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, who is busily engaged in overseeing the managed decline of our once great nation.  

Now officers have until February 2nd to come up with some good reasons for failing. Or, they could be in some heavy-duty dog doo.

Officers will no doubt be burning the midnight oil to devise a list of excuses.

 No doubt they will outline the issues the service has faced (e.g. implementation of a new IT system, staff shortages etc.) and the measures they intend – such as employing additional temporary staff, changing procedures, reviewing staffing and structure they are taking, or going to take, to clear the backlog and improve performance. But we at the Waverley Web have a better and much simpler plan: why don’t they join the rest of the country’s civil servants and go on strike? After all, based on current performance, we’re unlikely to notice if they do!

Waverley had a failing  IT system – delivered by the previous Tory administration. 

And, just a thought – perhaps stop cancelling Planning Meetings every few weeks in a bid to clear the backlog and improve performance.




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