Will village leaders ever get a response to this letter?

Following months of asking, pleading, and finally demanding answers – Alfold’s village leaders met with leaders of Waverley Borough Council yesterday.

Frustrated villagers wrote to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Down, AWOL MP Angela Richardson, and various heads of planning and officials of Waverley Borough Council. This included the CEO of Waverley and Guildford, Tom Horwood.  What did they get for their trouble? Zilch!

Here’s just one of the letters that have been ignored.

Land to the rear of Hollyoak S52-2023-01486 Springbok-Thakeham Letter July 2023 (3)

And here’s why.

Has Waverley Council conspired with developers to throw Alfold to the wolves?

An application by Oriel Housing Association S52-2321486 to change a legal agreement between developers Care Ashore/Thakeham Homes, Waverley and Surrey County Council. An agreement that currently provides for a mixed development of  99 homes, of which 30% are “affordable” off Loxwood Road,   

 Not a material amendment that would require planning consent or a new planning application requiring approval, which would make it subject to public scrutiny. Residents were given seven short days to comment at the start of the Summer holidays! And Wham, bang – no doubt officer’s approval?

Here’s Oriel HA’s request in full below.

Oriel July 2023

After months of villagers writing to Waverley and the MP, telephone calls, and desperate appeals for information from the council’s head honcho down the long pecking order of senior planners, all is now revealed. The developers have conspired with ‘Your Waverley’ ‘in a let’s stuff Alfold ploy’ by changing the 106 legal agreement to provide 99 market and 30% affordable homes to…  

99 – 100% rented and shared ownership homes. Off Loxwood Road.

Together,  with a scheme for another 66 in the pipeline, the developers publicly voiced ambition for 425. Landowner  Seaman’s Union Charity  ‘Care Ashore’ once told villagers 

“We are the friends of Alfold.”

Who Dares Wins

The winner? Why ‘Your Waverley’, of course, because with one swipe of the pen, its planning officers, who now have a stranglehold on Waverley’s  Planning system, can slash the long waiting list for its mates in the housing dept.

So, has a council that has consistently refused to allow affordable homes to be grouped and wanted them distributed to prevent discrimination between private and social housing occupiers now changed course? 

A road that one former Tory councillor said Waverley would never travel:

  Waverley Council will never build ghettoes, he said.

The Waverley Web may not be Mystic Meg. However, we predicted that when the developers lied in shovel loads to a Government Planning Inspector, he would swallow them  – hook, line and sinker.

With this space

12 thoughts on “Will village leaders ever get a response to this letter?”

  1. I’m sorry are we now complaining that some much needed affordable housing is being delivered? There are lots of examples in the borough of areas solely made up of affordable housing, and I’ve certainly read countless times on here that its what people want more of so I can’t see the issue. The housing has been approved and now its just going to help people with a real connection to the area.

    1. Is that so? Looking at the letter from the Parish Clerk (See the link above) they are concerned that this housing would be from Anywhere in the Borough and not specifically for those with Family or Professional links to the area. I am not saying that people from Farnham, Godalming, Haselmere.. etc shouldn’t want to move here to our lovely Village, but they may get a bit of a shock when they try to use the local bus service, medical centers, schools etc.. Or that the closest Trains stations are over 15km away

      I also question why Thakeham want this? They have made it clear on their own Website they want 375 Homes in Alfold on the Springbok Estate


      I QUOTE:
      “Thakeham is working with a local charity, Care Ashore, in the promotion of part of its 269-acre Surrey estate. The objective of achieving planning consent for a sympathetic residential development of 375 homes, will enable Care Ashore to renew and expand facilities and accommodation. Care Ashore provides assistance to seafarers…”

      So you can call me a cynic – But if I had a CUNNING PLAN… Why not build cheap whilst costs are High and House Buying stalling due to Interest rates etc… The Housing Associations will fill the Homes and the Developer reaps the New Homes Bonus and, I believe, the CIL they would have to pay for Market homes is dramatically reduced – So cheaper for them and less Money in the Pot for Alfold’s Infrastructure,… Quite a Win Win!

      Then once this is all signed & sealed they can put in the additional Applications without any need to supply more Affordable Homes as theirs will already have been built and they can simply build the Larger Market homes.

      This 99 “Affordable” would account for almost the whole 30% that would be required if they were to go for the 375 they talk about…give or take 13…. As I say it seems to make perfect sense to me – They really are rather clever!!

  2. S106 Planning obligations are legal obligations under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 entered into to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal. Planning obligations run with the land, are legally binding and enforceable. So why have the Planning Committee chosen not to enforce the current agreement?

    The Seaman’s Union Charity is a landowner providing the argument that the “affordable” dwellings it develops should be 4.5 times the local average wage not approximately 17 times as is Waverley’s current earnings ratio.

    Why do the majority in the Waverley not support the equity that affordable dwellings be built upon the remaining scarce Waverley land for public good not maximum developer profit? Critical workers and the young are not being given the consideration necessary for a sustainable society.

    How many more changes will be made to accommodate developers?

    1. As many as the developers are prepared to pay for no doubt!

      I have heard nothing and I mean NOTHING from WB Councillors about this and Why? Because it is so EASY to dump it all here in Alfold and there will be plenty more broken promises to come.

      What was the point of the Alfold Neighbourhood Plan? if this sort of shambolic Planning decision making just goes on with no Consultation. I too thought the S106 (which apparently went MISSING) was a legally binding Document and what the Appeal decision was based on.

      This sets a very dangerous Precedent as all the other Developers will be able to refer back to it in the various other Appeals to come….

  3. A dangerous precedent of more affordable housing… wow. I know Alfold has had a lot of development but we need housing and we need affordable housing in particular.

    S106 agreements are amended all the time! Just search the Waverley public access portal for S106 and there’s tons!

    Neighbourhood Plans aren’t worth anything if they don’t allocate housing when the Council doesn’t have a five year housing land supply. They’re out of date as soon as they’re made

    1. Steve – I have looked on the Waverley S106 Section and cannot find all the variations – I Have found the S106’s and the CIL details – it would be most helpful if you could share – then we would all know how fair WBC are being.

      I have found the CIL Amounts that should be allocated to Alfold – it would just be useful to see what has actually been used. Due to our Lack of ANP – I believe it is £15K a bit of a shortfall from the figure I found on the website.
      I cannot Paste on here but I will try to be accurate:

      APC CIL 2020-2023

      Potential = £75,665.42
      Due = £0.00
      Collected = £158,924.92
      Allocated = £0.00
      Spent = £0.00
      Available = £158,924.29

      We know that SCC sat on S106 Payments (£150,000) from Dunsfold Park signed off in Dec 2015 to get a simple Pavement put in from the Alfold Crossways to Compasses Gate – And that was based on Business Park additions NOT the Garden Village – It was completed this year… They also have commitments from the Brockhurst development on the same road for 30 new Homes to provide Pavements on the other side of the Road… Bet they don’t do anything – now they have the DP one?

      If you honestly think NPs are useless – I suggest you come to the Alfold Parish Council Meetings and make your views known – As I am sure they will appreciate your advice – the more people that we have in the village speaking up the better! They may not have been the quickest to get it out due to Covid (Blah Blah) But it is Comprehensive and Alfold should NOT have to take the Slack for the rest of the Borough for the lack of WBC 5YLS…

      Whose fault was it that ALFOLD was not given a MAX 125 Houses in LPP1 ? The Inspectors constantly bang on about that – It was Incompetence on the Part of Planning Officers/WBCs – Let’s be Honest about this…I don’t like to think it was deliberate…..But rather a fundamental error? One that I hope when they Review the LPP1/2 they address – I am not holding my breath!

      Much of the GREENBELT in many parts of the Borough include Carparks next to train stations & Brownfield Land Let us not PRETEND GREENBELT is GREEN – It damn well isn’t. So please at least can we all be honest about it… I just wish People would Google GREENBELT – they may then understand what it is and why ALFOLD/Cranleigh and the Eastern Villages do not have it. We have COUNTRY SIDE beyond the Greenbelt, AGLV and we have the AONB at Hascombe – which counted for nothing with the Dunsfold Park development.

      At least we will soon have our ANP it is up to us all to ensure it gets out to consultation ASAP and the VILLAGE play their part.

  4. I am disturbed by the use of words such as ‘ghetto’ and ‘dumping’ people. Only 12 months ago there were complaints on here about the lack of affordable housing and that the houses were too expensive. Now that they are affordable or are social housing and the superiority of local home owners raises their heads.
    Make up your mind. Do you want affordable/social housing or expensive private homes? Dont bother saying ‘none’ because like it or not, that doesnt appear to be an option.

    1. I believe the correspondent was trying to explain, and rightly so, that it is Waverley’s policy to distribute social housing among private properties and not group them together all in one place. This has been shown to lead to all sorts of problems. We believe affordable homes have been welcomed elsewhere in the village. But this particular development was allowed on appeal for 80% private housing and 30% a.h. So Alfold is not getting what it said on the tin. It would also appear that the SH landlord wants to remove £400,000 towards bus services. Not exactly honest, is it?

    2. It would be so useful Sarah if you could define “Affordable” & “Social Housing” – They are I believe rather different as I think there is a bit of a disconnect here with not everyone knowing what the terms actually mean here in Waverley? – Just asking as even I am confused with this when it comes to this particular Application.

      I honestly do not think this is the Local Home Owners getting their Knickers in a twist – I think it is more about lack of ANY communication with the Village – It would just be nice if our MP/Councillors/Planning Officers could make it clear what this revised Application actually Means for our little Village.
      Just asking?

  5. Do you know what WW? I find it bizarre that people comment on your site and when they are questioned DISAPPEAR .. .. I hope I haven’t offended – I was just asking…….

    Free speech is all good and well if you are prepared to be up front and give your name Etc.. But to then to diss people that actually live here (and I do not know if the previous commentators do or don’t) I find it rather Cr*p to be honest

    I am not perfect or even close and have never pretended to be – But I have always made my name (in full Known) and the fact that I live in the Village of ALFOLD

    I am so angry with all these applications in the Village and to Bang on about the fact we need Social Housing in the Borough is all good and well if you give people the means to live in a place with some sort of infrastructure that supports them – But when people from other parts of the Borough (and I am not saying these are) but others have – is just WRONG
    What is wrong with this Borough? When nobody at WBC Cares any more and it is left to the Parish (With F*ck-all power) to try and fight for the Village.

    I know WBC have a lot on their plate at the moment and maybe what goes on in our Little Village is irrelevant to them – But it bally -well should be.

    We feel lost here and and I just want someone to pay attention to what is happening here…I do not want to hear POOR OLD ALFOLD any more it is not good enough

    1. If you mean I have disappeared, I havent – just busy – I don’t have the time to get wound up every day looking at the so called ‘issues’ in the area.
      With all going on in the world, maybe we could be a bit nicer to each other and celebrate all the positives going on locally.

      And just to invite more anger, I wonder how many of us would sell a field to a developer if we had one? Most of us I am sure. Several million pounds in my bank would be great and if others are honest, they would say yes too. A true case of nimbyism. I am guilty of it to as of course I dont want an estate at the end of my garden but we need houses. WBC can not win against the London lawyers and therefore, another way of working together needs to be found.

      1. Sorry Sarah I am afraid I have to disagree it is not an “Issue” and it is not Nimbyism – this Village has had 440 New Homes granted since 2017 (excluding Dunsfold) with another 42 Outstanding (either at Appeal or not Determined) this is a Village which had 449 Homes in the 2011 Census. It was allocated to take 125 New Homes – but as no Cap was put on that we now have what we have, and that is what angers me.

        I do try to look for the positives and the new people that have moved here have been a breath of fresh air and have added positively to the Village, but there is only so many that a small village with very limited Infrastructure can take unless there is a large injection of cash to improve the little we do have, and thus far there has been very little offered.

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