A whopping great development on Godalming’s ‘Secretts site could get the go ahead this week.


Ptarmigan Land, Bewley Homes & FA Secretts Ltd want to build 216 homes   change of use of an existing farm shop building to a rural business hub, provide a new farm shop, public open space, sports pitches and associated infrastructure, landscaping, drainage, parking and new access points following the demolition of existing buildings.

Also: To be considered by the planning committee at 6 pm tomorrow, Wednesday, outline application (with all matters reserved except access) for the erection of a new health hub following the demolition of the existing black barn. 


The 15.3-hectare site is currently accessed from Chapel Lane, near the junction with Farm Lane.  It includes the existing Secretts farm shop and tea rooms. It extends to the north behind the existing industrial and residential premises and east behind Meadow Close and Turnpike Cottage to the northern side of Portsmouth Road.

To the north, the site goes beyond the Borough boundary into the Guildford Borough Council area, where it fronts onto the southeastern side of Eashing Lane.  In addition to the farm shop and tea rooms, the site is currently occupied by the wider Secretts Farm, which extends beyond the application boundary to the east.

There are a number of large greenhouses which are proposed for demolition, as well as paved yards and storage areas and ancillary office/workspace accommodation.

A series of ponds to the southern part of the site, which the public is permitted to walk around for recreational purposes, albeit without a formal public right of way. The western part of the site, in the vicinity of the existing farm shop, is within the Milford Conservation Area.Turnpike Cottage to the south is a Grade II Listed building.

There are some retail and industrial uses on the (southern) side of Portsmouth Road and adjacent to Chapel Lane. The majority of the surrounding area, however, is occupied by medium-density terraced and semi-detached homes.

An area of improved public space would be provided at the main site entrance off Chapel Lane near the junction with Portsmouth Road. Beyond this would be sited the proposed rural business hub. This would utilise the retained buildings of the main existing farm shop courtyard and adjacent buildings to provide accommodation within use class E.

New healthcare hub for new larger GP surgery

Beyond this would be the new healthcare hub with 1,626m2 of floor space and 49 parking spaces within this area. Ten parking spaces to serve local shops are proposed to the north of the site. The Milford GP practice and its Patient Partivpation Group welcomes the chance to move and expand.


The 216 properties of various types and tenures, including some three-storey blocks, would be set around a central green space as well as a play space and an area of green space adjacent to the ponds.

The residential buildings would have two or three storeys. There would be three three-storey blocks, each containing nine flats. Sixty-five affordable dwellings in total represent 30% of the overall scheme. Of these, 33 would have a social rented tenure which is the tenure that best meets the housing need within the Borough (with the lowest rents of any affordable housing tenure at 55% of market rent).

Sports pitches

To the north of the site, two junior playing pitches are proposed with vehicular access onto Eashing Lane. This land is within the Guildford Borough Council(GBC) area and is subject to a separate application for determination by GBC. There would be no vehicular through route onto Eashing Lane into the residential element, but there would be a footpath linking the two areas. 

New farm shop including cafe.

 The proposed replacement farm shop would be sited to the southeastern part of the site and would be served by access off Portsmouth Road. The access would continue to the side of the farm shop to allow access to the proposed residential area. The two-storey building would have a total floor area of 3217m2.

A café would be provided on the first floor, which would have an outdoor seating terrace of 139m2. A rooftop terrace (effectively at the second-floor level) of 129m2 is also proposed. One hundred thirty parking spaces would be provided to the south of the building, alongside a delivery area to the east. A new pedestrian route from the farm shop area in an arc linking into the health hub/business centre area would be provided alongside extensive landscaping. The existing ponds would be retained adjacent to the new path.

Not everyone welcomes the scheme.

To date, 69 letters have been received raising objections, one letter in support and six letters recorded as neutral.

The list of objections is as long as your arm, including…

  • Significantly more than the 177 dwellings in the site allocation and damage to the separation  of Milford and Godalming
  • The AONB is proposed to be extended to cover Milford. – Overlooking from outdoor high-level terraces from the Farm shop to Meadow Close
  • Increased traffic congestion and cause the new development to be used as a cut-through.
  • Station Lane is unsafe for access to the station as described in the Travel Plan. 
  • Noise disturbance to residents of Meadow Close from the farm shop and access road.
  • Encourage anti-social behaviour in the area around the ponds. –
  • Smells from the farm shop bins will be noticeable within the gardens of Meadow Close.
  • Loss of green space around the ponds will impact protected species.
  • Light pollution –
  • Disproportionate scale to the village and an overdevelopment
  • Impact on the rural character and will destroy the existing centre of the village.  
  • Existing roads not adequate for the traffic
  • Detailed concerns raised in the Transport Assessment – Schools, public transport, nurseries, GPs and dentists will all struggle with increased demand for services.
  • The healthcare hub is only proposed in outline and no guarantee that it will be delivered.
  • Unacceptable demand on sewerage.
  • Building in green belt land is not warranted as there are no exceptional circumstances.
  • Loss of agricultural land
  • The density is too high, and there should be an Environmental Impact assessment.

And more… much more, including an objection From Friends of The Earth.


– Does not comply with LPP2 Policy DM2. No target emission rate has been supplied, and no details of compliance with building regs part L for individual buildings. There is, therefore, insufficient information regarding how the proposal will maximise energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

There is no information regarding how heating demands will be met. This is not suitable for a detailed application, and permission should be refused in the absence of such information.

– Photovoltaics will be necessary to meet part L, but their locations haven’t been considered, and the roof design of many proposed dwellings is unsuitable.

Air source heat pumps would be necessary for the flat blocks, but these require fans which may result in noise disturbance to residents and adjoining occupiers.

Does not comply with Policy DM1 as would not avoid exacerbating climate change and emission of greenhouse gases. – The amended documents do not address concerns – The proposal isn’t viable – Will lead to dust and damaged air quality, which will compromise the health of existing residents.

There are sufficient grounds for an appeal should planning permission be granted. –

Officers are recommending the scheme be granted as the public benefits of the scheme are considered to be significant. Because it includes the provision of 216 dwellings, improved shopping and ancillary dining facility for the village, and 65  affordable tenure homes, many of which would be social rented housing which is the preferred affordable rental tenure. The proposal would also provide significant new green space and public realm, playing pitches and a healthcare hub. Whilst the heritage harm is afforded great weight, it is considered in this instance that the public benefits of the scheme do outweigh this harm.



3 thoughts on “A whopping great development on Godalming’s ‘Secretts site could get the go ahead this week.”

  1. As a regular user of the wonderful Black Barn butchers on this site I asked if they were going to be able to stay. I’m assured they are included in the architects plans to join the new farm shop. Hopefully also the GP surgery will actually go ahead rather than being lost in the clouds once the main development gets underway. Mind you getting in and out might be an issue with all the additional vehicles. It’s already a nightmare at the little roundabout – it can only get worse.

  2. It’s bold and deliberately so. But if you compare it to recent activity at Alfold its also balanced. That is provision of shops healthcare and recreation. Alfold developments have none of those.

    If Milford rejects this the developers can just hop across the way and start on Elstead instead. Killing Milfords economy stone dead.
    Because they will. Once Milford is suitably broken they can go back with their proposals less the sweeteners and build more.

    I anticipate WBC Planning will reject. It will be most likely the last objection it will be allowed to make and likely the first the Dept of Levelling Up and it’s “super planners” allows.

    The Office of Place wants you to have beauty.

    Which of course is in the eye of the developers because they allegedly bank roll the Tories. I of course couldn’t possibly comment.


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