Waverley Planners ignore Chiddingfold’s pleas.

Waverley’s new Planning regime overthrew the objections of Residents, the parish council, and ward member and the authors of the Chiddingfold Neighbourhood Plan.

The first meeting of the ‘one and only’ planning committee – where ward councillors can speak but cannot vote, took place last Wednesday.

It allowed an outline application for three homes behind Pellgate, Ridgley Road, in Chiddingfold, despite being a backland “garden-grabbing” development in a residential area. Development neighbours called it “shoehorning,” to which even the owner of Pellgate had objected!

Planning officers said Waverley didn’t currently have a 5-year housing land supply. It had 4.8 years, and as the development of the three-bed homes within the settlement wouldn’t cause any demonstrable harm, it should be approved. Although “some trees” had been removed, that had not required consent. The applicant’s agent claimed the trees were dead. Chiddingfold Parish Council confirmed 12 trees had been lost and more trees would follow if the development went ahead.

Clerk Christine? (Surname unintelligible) said the council had identified sites for future development to meet its 130-home target, and this was not one of them. It would set a precedent for back-land development. An Inspector had recently refused a scheme (identified in the NP) for 23 homes siting highway issues and safety concerns in Ridgley Rd. 

As a watercourse ran through the site, the council had flooding concerns, and biodiversity issues would result in the loss of bats and wildlife.

Ward Cllr David Buzby said he couldn’t see how three four-bedroom homes could be built without damaging neighbours’ amenities. To allow it would have significant implications for backland development elsewhere on the road.

Cllr Carole Cockburn questioned whether Neighbourhood Plans were worth doing if this was allowed.

“I have read the Chiddingfold NP, and it has allocated sites. To allow this is kicking the parish council in the teeth”

Here’s what resident Robin Fryer  said:  objections from 60 villagers, the parish council, and Surrey County Council could not be swept under the carpet in a democratic society.”

Here’s what Robin Fryer said:



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