If last night’s new planning shindig was a beacon for the future…

‘Your Waverley is in a crisis!


Our bloggers were tearing their hair out from the roots during the latest jumble of confusion and unintelligible debate during what was billed as


However, obviously, no one had told the Chairman because Cllr David Beaman appeared to welcome everyone to the meeting of the Western Planning Committee. Or did he? We are not sure. A committee that, together with the Eastern Planning Committee, has been sent into oblivion. Why? Because there are no longer any geographical committees in the borough. Waverley has to speed up its planning function because the Government’s men in grey suits are on their marks, ready to head down the A3.

BIG, and we mean BIG, really BIG changes are going to Waverley’s planning functions.

The confusion didn’t end there. Oh, how we wish it had! Poor old Cllr Carole Cockburn didn’t know whether she was Arthur or Martha. She asked if she should declare an interest as she could not ask questions or vote and could only speak for four minutes on planning applications as she was a Ward Councillor. You could almost see the vision of the past Western Planning Committees flashing before the ears in her eyes. 

No member of the public watching the webcast could understand who was speaking because councillors,  officers and public speakers ended up in the corner of a screen like this.

If, and it is a big if, the Chairman did announce who was speaking, then even with our ear to the screen, his words were completely unintelligible. As many of the committee members were new and unrecognisable from such a small screen, how the hell could they be identified?

On a hot night, with much hot air expelled – much of it in anger by members of the public, the temperature at Waverley Towers must have sent the mercury flying further upwards.

Who voted for what was, thankfully, not an issue? Under the new regime, everything was GRANTED following an officer’s recommendation to approve.

That should make the Planning Advisory Service and the Government very happy. Do we, or other members of the public other than developers, really want to watch meetings like this? Not flaming, likely!

P.S. A message for the Head Planning Honcho.

Shortly before the election, a planning application for 12 homes at Amlets Park in Cranleigh that has languished in the darkest bowels of Waverley Towers for more than two years was deferred “for more information.” Is there any chance it might see the light of day this year?

Proposed new development and no new access into Amlets Lane, Cranleigh.

You can watch the meeting here, but you have been warned.


2 thoughts on “If last night’s new planning shindig was a beacon for the future…”

  1. It all appears to be precisely what has been ordered. General level of utter incomprehension from the Chair. Shackled committee members. Everyone sticking to the script. Brave support of worried constituents and at same time advocates knowing full well, it’s fruitless. Going through the motions. Democracy seen to be in action. This is the moment to get your applications in. Knock down your home build three in the site and vanish with the lovely profit to sunnier climes.
    No joke for some that don’t own the land beneath their feet, we are going to see a rise in evictions, loss of rental property and neighbourhoods seeing radical change that the infrastructure simply cannot cope with.
    All is profit. Money is everything.
    Remember. This is Govt led. Planning Inspectors merely do as they are told. As do borough councils and if they don’t they end up being taken in hand.
    This fiasco is only the overture.


  2. It had to happen! Over 4 years of incompetence by the planning department at Waverley who have under the direction of Paul Follows been working from home! You cannot run an effective planning department from home, you need all the planning team and all the documents to hand to argue the downsides and the benefits to the borough communities in every case. I believe that Waverley may be in breech of their legal terms of appointment, as elected councillors are elected to represent their residents views, it appears that this is not the case and the system skewed to suit the officers and executive council members so they can ignore the residents and local members wishes, the ombudsman should consider if WBC needs to be be put into special measures.

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