FIFTY SHADES FREE(D)HAND DUNSFOLD

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Did Two Wrights make a wrong?

The residents of one road in Cranleigh have been unable to stop giggling after one of their neighbours came home from work with a tale his spouse couldn’t resist sharing over the garden fence – as you do in these days of Covid.

The neighbour, who works at Dunsfold aerodrome, told his spouse that workmen emptying a storage facility at the industrial park, which had been abandoned by a tenant – who’d cut and run leaving a trail of substantial debts in its wake – were left goggle-eyed when they found a haul of pornographic videos amongst the junk left behind by the former tenant.

According to our source, the stash left the workman a bit hot-under-their-overalls and wondering just what type of videos the former tenant, Freehand Limited, had been filming at the industrial park …

Apparently, Freehand Limited, which went into voluntary liquidation recently has, miraculously, risen from the ashes, phoenix-like, just a hop, skip and a business park away – at The Old Forge, Smithbrook – in its new guise as Freehand Services Ltd.

‘They always gave the impression that they were a very respectable company, creating digital signage and marketing videos for businesses but this casts a whole new light on their enterprise,’ remarked our mole.

 ‘The joke now doing the rounds amongst tenants at the aerodrome is, ‘Have you heard about Fifty Shades of Freehand …’

 

Chris Wright, who founded Freehand Limited (now in liquidation), is thought to have sold the Company’s assets but, crucially, not its debts (before he entered into a voluntary liquidation arrangement) to his son, Matt Wright, who founded Freehand Services (not very imaginative for a creative company but cleverly tailored not to raise suspicion amongst existing clients) in order to carry on servicing – nudge, nudge, wink, wink – Freehand Limited’s former customers without the cloud of debt that was hanging over Mr Wright senior’s head.  It’s a dodge as old as time which allows bankrupt, washed-up businesses to walk away from their creditors and start with a clean slate and no debt, whilst their creditors are left with no option but to pick themselves up, brush themselves down and write off the bad debts.  Harsh or what?

Messrs Wright & Wright’s conspiracy puts an entirely new spin on Christian Grey’s infamous line to Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey: ‘Oh fu*k the paperwork!’  Presumably, Messrs Wright & Wright thought, ‘Oh fu*k the creditors!’

And in a similar vein, we can’t help wondering if Messrs Wright & Wright’s shenanigans caused many a company’s debt collectors to exclaim:

‘You’re making my palm twitch [Mr Wright]!’

But enough of the Fifty Shades jokes!  It’s no joking matter for Freehand Limited’s creditors. Maybe, just maybe, if Messrs Wright & Wright had taken a leaf out of the book of the bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey franchise they wouldn’t have left Dunsfold airfield under a financial cloud with their reputation in shreds and fellow tenants wondering exactly what they were filming in their storage shed?! 

Fifty Sheds of Grey anyone?

And the moral of this story:

If you’re going to do a bunk, adding insult to injury by leaving a skip full of rubbish in your wake, check you’ve not left your dirty linen amongst it, cos someone’s likely to air it for you!

Will UK Oil & Gas be arriving soon on this green field in Dunsfold?

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Not if these councillors have anything to do with it.

They want us to ‘all stand together.’

The oil and gas giant (UCOG) has decided to ignore the decisions of Waverley Borough and Surrey County Councils. Instead, it will ask the Government to over-rule the refusal for a drilling site on land owned by Alfold man Ashley Ward.

However, the deputy leader Paul Follows and his colleagues, including Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend and Godalming’s Green Party Cllr Steve Williams want residents to know – they are on the case.

They say:

Cllr Steve Williams   Portfolio Holder for Climate Change.

 Many of you will be aware the UKOG has filed an appeal against the refusal decision issued to it several months ago. They were attempting to create and maintain a new oil drilling site in Waverley, just outside Dunsfold.

We have been given a date for that appeal now, which is scheduled for 10:00 on 27 July 2021.

Waverley Borough Council has decided to take up its legal right as what is referred to as ‘rule 11 party’ to take part and fight this appeal too. We do this on behalf of those residents and businesses that are directly impacted, but also on behalf of all residents in defence of our natural environment and in-line with the values we have declared as part of our climate emergency motion.

Councillors

Executive Cllr Liz Townsend

 

Cllr Liz Townsend, Cllr Steve Williams and I (Cllr Follows) have also been in discussion with a large local residents group on this matter (Protect Dunsfold), Waverley Friends of the Earth, a number of local businesses as well as the local parish councils that are impacted (Alfold Parish and Dunsfold Parish).

 

Deputy Leader  Cllr Paul Follows

We have now reached an in-principal agreement to stand together as a united front in this matter, in which Waverley Borough Council will take the lead as the local authority. 

As this was a minerals planning application, Surrey County Council is the authority UKOG is appealing against – so it is our intention to be a ‘critical friend’ to Surrey in this matter and ensure that they put up a robust defence of their aspects of this.

I know many residents will see this is very good news and I am very proud that we here at Waverley BC will be stepping up to fight this.

Should Jeremy secretly plug County Council Candidates in his newsletter?

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There were, however, one of two little tidbits that MP Jeremy Hunt fails to mention in his hidden message to the voting fodder of his SW Surrey Constituency.   So in the public interest, we here at the WW feel we should mention how these two candidates for the county council elections fared when they were Godalming Town councillors.

 

This is an interesting document setting out the attendance record for both former Cllr Young and former Cllr Walden…

During the two years before Cllr Young resigned from Godalming Town Council, he was, what the Tories jokingly refer to as a ‘CHINO. Councillors Here In Name Only.’ Why? Because his attendance record for representing his electorate was, quite frankly, abysmal.
So Mr Hunt – be careful what and who you wish to promote for public service? 
You can click on these links and see for yourselves.

The May Surrey County Council election is on. According to Government guidance from 8th March canvassing and leaflet drops can commence.  The Government has also advised local authorities so can  ‘banging on doors.’ A bit surprising – when our guys can’t get their bonces polished until sometime in the middle of April?

Comment from Cllr Nick Palmer. The Government proposal to allow canvassing from next week is absolutely bonkers. SW Surrey Labour has proposed to all parties that we hold up all door-to-door campaigning (and, for fairness, paid-for leafleting) until Easter. I gave a Radio Surrey interview on this: https://fb.watch/3-7RYt1AGB/

The Great Wildwood Golf Club debate continues unabated.

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Villagers in Alfold are becoming angrier by the day – as they are forced to stand idly by, and view at arm’s length, the destruction of treasured wildlife habitat.

Here’s what the eastern villages were promised.


The course near Cranleigh was given permission for an 84-bed hotel, 40 lodges and the PGA regional headquarters back in 2010 but it closed in 2017.

For almost a year villagers, including the parish council have been bombarding Waverley Planners with complaints about the activities at the former Wildwood Gold & Country Club. Every day HGV’s pound up and down the A281 – plastering the Guildford to Horsham Road with mud causing a danger to motorists.

Here’s the – mud, mud glorious mud – all being travelled by HGV’s out onto the A281 at Alfold Crossways!

Hundreds of HGV’s travel down that part of the A281 road towards Cranleigh Brick & Tile. One every 4 minutes for five years was anticipated when consent was given for in-fill works at the redundant site.

The current permission – granted in June 2015 –  involves capping the pollution on site with waste material, primarily from other construction projects. This is why motorists have watched in disbelief as the lorries, 32 tonne/8 wheel vehicles carrying 20-tonne loads thunder along A and B roads in all directions.  Monday to Friday between the hours of 7:30 am and 6:00 pm. The lorries also run on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. It was stated this would continue for a minimum period of 5 ½ years. 

And the HGV movements go on and on…

The Big lorry dash has begun! But you ain’t seen nothing yet!

 

Apparently, it is common knowledge that Pond 19 (the recognised home of Great Crested Newts) has been filled in. People living near the site have confirmed to the Waverley Web that the 5 day limit of Trucks accessing the site is complete “RUBBISH.” That rule has been consistently abused by the developers. They work whenever he feels like it- including  Sundays! Despite other people living on the access road.

Neighbours have been aware for months that the Pond was to be in-filled. So where is Natural England – and what about that Stop Notice issued months ago by Waverley Borough Council officers?

 The Waverley Web has had numerous letters complaining about the inaction of the planning authority and residents are urging us, and the local press, to highlight their concerns for Alfold’s disappearing wildlife. A council that has declared a Climate Emergency!

One village has been prompted to put up drones over the site to view the works.

One exasperated Alfold mole told us –
“All they are doing is creating Massive Soil Mountains all over the place. Rumours, (unsubstantiated)  that they are going to demolish the Club House soon.  Which was not in the original Application.”
She told Waverley planners:

“If you do not respond to me I will be writing to the Surrey Press and WW asking them to look into this as I feel this is about to kick off and I have no intention of letting them get away with this.  I will ensure that all the press know exactly who has been notified of this since October 2020 and I hope they hold them to account. Once they fill the Pond we are scuppered. Please just let me know if you are doing anything –This is simply Not right and I am sorry to be a pain – But I have to be. I understand we are going through this horrible CV But there is no excuse to let this continue, If I have to still work remotely then so do youPlease do not treat me like an idiot – They were working on-site this Sunday – which I doubt is right or within the bounds of the Conditions and local neighbours state that the trucks are well beyond the 5-A Day stated. They seem to be oblivious of any Planning Regs.”

I just remind you of the article from   “In Your Area”  – 23rd November 2020     https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/wildwood-golf-club-swinging-back-in-action-as-new-owners-reveal-plans/

The owners reputed to be Pekar Holdings Ltd claim they now own the controversial site and are putting plans in place to bring the site ‘back to life. After years of neglect.’

It is currently assessing its options, but proposals include reducing the course from 27 holes to nine. It is not yet known what the rest of the land will contain, although the idea of a self-sustaining and carbon zero settlement has been considered.

A hop, skip and a jump away from Dunsfold’s new garden village with planning permission for 1,800 homes and 2,300 included in the Local Plan.

Wildwood was first opened in 1992 and Waverley Borough Council classified it as ‘countryside beyond the Green Belt’ in their Local Plan.

Turkish businesswoman Aysegul Peker runs Peker Holding and intends to donate some of the 230 acres back to the community, so will consult residents to find out what they would like to see that land used for.

You can read about him on Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedat_Peker

No New Year walking on the wild side at Wildwood in Alfold?

Alfold’s mole watches holes being dug at Wildwood Golf Course.

A spokesman for Mrs Peker said: “She wants to give back some of the lands for a school, community centre, playground or something that the residents here currently need.

“Whether that be 10, 20 or 30 acres. Whatever the residents want she will try to deliver.”

Groundwork construction on the hotel has already begun on the site.

Says ‘Angry of Alfold’  who has now become ‘Very Angry of Alfold.’ 

“I may be being difficult – But I think this site is worthy of protection and if others do not then that is their prerogative, but these developers should be held to account and I will ensure they are.”

 

A new way to pay your rent in Cranleigh?

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Cranleigh hitting the headlines again…?

‘Sex-for-Rent’ Case: Cranleigh Man in Court

 

A Cranleigh man accused of offering accommodation in what is believed to be the first sex-for-rent allegation in England and Wales has appeared in Staines magistrates’ court.

Christopher Cox, 52, who was born and brought up in the village is said to have posted adverts on a classified website offering young homeless women a place to stay with him in his house.

He is accused of asking the women to send him pictures of them in bikinis and providing sex in exchange for a free room between May and November 2018.

Mr Cox did not indicate a plea to inciting prostitution for gain and pleaded not guilty to controlling prostitution for gain.

Mr Cox will appear at Guildford Crown Court on March 25.

A Tory rant has upset ‘Your Waverley’s residents.

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Right here – right now – the residents of Waverley are grappling with failing businesses, COVID or post COVID, hanging onto their jobs and homeschooling their children.

There are others, with nothing better to do than criticise what people wear, and what their background is when they are on Zoom.

 

Dear Councillor Follows,

Here are our WW guys views on your attire for the recent Full Council meeting of Waverley Borough Council.

  • If you were wearing jogging bottoms or were sitting in your underpants – we don’t give a damned. We are far more concerned about what you say – and how you represent our views.
  • We think your sartorial elegance was exemplary – you didn’t need a tie.
  • After 9 hours on Zoom – because we presume like us, you have a day job too – we are amazed you can even see straight. Our eyes are bloodshot and look like road maps. Our ears are ringing like the bells of St Clements – and our brains are turning to mush.
  • As for the disgraceful remarks from a former council leader about officers’ children daring to rear their nasty little voices in the background during your hallowed meetings. What exactly are your staff supposed to do? Put their children into care during COVID?
  • We will not comment on the “unmade bed bit’ for a councillor who we presume has to use his bedroom for Zoom calls rather than his study! Surely everyone has a separate study these days don’t they. Perish the thought that they are deprived!
  • Except to say:

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and be thought to be a fool, than open it and remove all doubt.”

You can watch it here: No room for Zoom. A Waverley spat but not as bad as Handforth.

Taken from Cllr Follows Facebook Page

That we still have a councillor using their speaking time to comment that they don’t think someone has dressed appropriately in 2021 is a disgrace.

Can I ask, are residents alright that after 9 hours on zoom today I am not wearing a tie to this council meeting this evening?

PS: below is me dressing offensively to some conservative councillors tonight. You would think they would like blue?

Has a Cranleigh Charity’s planning battle entered the realms of farce?

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Waverley Planners were reluctantly called to yet another meeting on Wednesday to REFUSE a planning application from the Cranleigh Village Health Trust.

ACT ONE – To defer or not to defer? That was the first question?

REQUEST REFUSED.

There was a feeling of de-ja-vu for planners as they considered another revised scheme from a beleaguered charity that refuses to take No for an answer, regardless of how many times it is refused, or costs to the charity or the taxpayer.

A controversial scheme for a private nursing home that some councillors claimed could become a Big White Elephant in an Area designated as an Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI). The site known as The Paddock Field valued at £250,000 was sold by the parish council for £1 – in a land swap agreed over two decades ago for a Hospital/Day Hospital and Health Centre.

After 20 years, it has morphed into a 64-bed Private Care Home – a residential block of flats for key workers, and 16 community beds. Beds, which officers stressed, were NO longer free at the point of delivery and had no health or local authority backing.

 The Waverley Web has lost count of where the latest scheme ranks in the pecking order of the former HOSPITAL Trust that changed its name to  HEALTH Trust.

Plan A for a hospital was granted as an ‘exception’ and permission lapsed. Plan B was dumped for Plan C, and then Plan D and then E. Now after a string of refusals, a cancelled appeal, deferrals, and re-designs it was back on the table again this week for yet another lambasting from councillors across Waverley’s eastern region.

 Planning officer Kate Edwards – said the applicant wanted to defer the scheme for yet further negotiations with the county council, which had withdrawn its support, contradicted statements made previously.   Mrs Edwards said it had also argued that…

... the statements I have made in the report before you are prejudicial.

In the ongoing blame game – It had also complained that the council had not allowed it to work up a legal agreement for various ways the community beds could be used and funded. This was, said Mrs Edwards, not the council’s practise and was not prudent when officers recommended refusal.

Any community benefit in the previous refusal was now further reduced – as Surrey County Council and its partners The Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) had withdrawn support and now intended using an entirely different model of care in patient’s homes.

Godalming Cllr Steve Cosser was”sympathetic” to the Trust’s difficulties and supported deferral. This was promptly refused by the committee, believing any further delays of the long-running saga should be resisted.  Cllr George Wilson reckoned Cranleigh people had waited long enough as the scheme had been hanging around for “such a long time, we should get on with it.” 

Full marks to Officer Edwards, who despite the noises off, forged ahead undeterred and composed, with her presentation, and reasons for the recommendation. 

There was a total of 465 objections, 39 added in the past few days, and 240 in support. The Applicant had claimed letters had been duplicated – so after further analysis, letters in support had been reduced!

She described the proposed two and three-storey care home and accommodation block buildings as very large, and very close to the Downs Link footpath.

Rowena Tyler spoke against the scheme on behalf of Cranleigh Parish Council, also an adjacent landowner. Whilst it had long supported the creation of a new hospital/day hospital and GP led Health Centre, a use which had been “exceptional” and backed by the public, this was no longer the case and there was now NO community benefit.   The land had been designated an ASVI in Waverley’s Local Plan, and there were restrictive planning policies against it.  Health and Social care supporters had all withdrawn.

“This scheme is for two very large buildings on a green field outside the settlement of Cranleigh, for beds, that the authorities say they no longer need or want and backed by an anonymous benefactor of whom we have no details. There is no CIL -( funding for infrastructure) and therefore no benefit to the Cranleigh community, and we strongly object.

Andy Webb spoke up for the Campaign Group that had, over time, generated petitions with more than 5,000 signatures opposing the development and calling for the land to be returned to village leaders. There would be a detrimental effect on residents of Wiskar Drive, increased hazards at the Junction of Knowle Lane and High Street, in an area that floods.

With no support from the ITC, SCC or the Cranleigh GP practice, “which isn’t what you would expect.” The community beds were no longer free or needed. There were numerous nursing homes within a three-mile radius and many more beyond.

He said: “The people of Cranleigh don’t want a great big Monolith that will become a white elephant in the years to come.

 Arguing for the applicant John Sneddon maintained there were numerous community benefits and every effort had been made to overcome previous objections. The size of the buildings had been reduced and open space increased. The development would be a huge community benefit housing older people while satisfying the CVHT’s charitable objectives.

“How can the health authorities say one thing in 2019 and change their minds in 2020?”

 

Cllr Liz Townsend centred her opposition on the numerous “unidentifiable benefits” of a scheme, that had no support from health and social care experts, and had no named nursing home operator. As for providing 14 affordable homes; 1,600 homes had already been granted in Cranleigh – 480 of which were affordable, many within walking distance.

She rejected the applicant’s claims that there been a small number of vocal objectors saying, this is just not accurate.

It was quite simply the landscape for health care had changed. It’s tough for the charity, but it has not kept the community which had contributed £2m on board. It had continually refused to meet residents and the attempts by the parish council had also failed.

“CVHT has simply closed its ears to the voices of the public, and should be refused for all the reasons stated by our officers.”

Alfold’s Cllr Kevin Deanus – said the scheme breached eight of the council’s planning policies,  asking everyone to visualise the huge sizes of the buildings.

One almost 200ft (60m) long and the accommodation block – 122ft long and 66ft wide – in the middle of an Area of Strategic Visual Importance! 

The impact will be huge – this is not what Cranleigh is about – this is horrendous!

” I can’t see any benefits from this development whatsoever“, said Godalming’s Cllr Paul Follows, and criticised the charity’s tenuous efforts to provide residential development in the grounds of a private nursing home. He put great weight upon the objectors and parish council’s comments. “The list is endless.” He said the reasons for a virtual meeting called by Cranleigh Cllr Patricia Ellis would require further investigation.

Cllr Steve Cosser said there was a ‘very angry mood in Cranleigh.’ However, the ICP had not proved very helpful and should have provided a written statement. (Its statement is included in the officer’s report below!)

However, there was one champion for the scheme.- The lone voice of Cllr Ellis, who used her council prerogative to prevent an officers refusal under delegated powers, was fully in support.  Although much was centred around the old cottage hospital, and previous attempts to build a hospital. She believed having a private care home plus 16 community beds would be an asset.

But it was Cllr George Wilson that once again raised the spectre of the elephant in the room. Claiming the withdrawal of support, from the public, private and health authorities could result in a white elephant when SCC had left a former residential care home to rot.

With numerous care homes in Cranleigh and a different model of future care proposed, Cranleigh Cllr Ruth Reed said Cranleigh’s last central green lung should remain.

The application was refused by  11 votes with one in support and one abstention.

WA/2020/0965 – Erection of a building to provide a 64 Bed Care home including 16 Community Beds together with a building to provide 14 Health Workers accommodation units with access from Knowle Lane, associated parking and ancillary work (revision of WA/2018/1966 and as amplified by letters received 14/12/2020 and 15/12/2020). at Land South Of John Wiskar Drive On East Side Of Knowle Lane, Cranleigh

Officers’ Report

It is acknowledged the scheme would bring some public benefits, in the form of care home provision, housing provision with an affordable element for key workers and 16 care home beds which would be let at a lower rate for selected residents of the Cranleigh area. Page 27 Agenda Item 8.2 The scale of the public benefits proposed, however, would be lessened from the previously refused care home scheme, where there was an identified need for public beds and informal partnership with the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP). The public benefit would also be substantially reduced from that which would have been provided by the previously consented Village Hospital and Health Centre scheme, which would have provided essential infrastructure of significant benefit to a large number of people. It is not considered, overall, that the public benefits of the scheme would outweigh the substantial resultant harm to the ASVI and the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside. On this basis, it is recommended that permission be refused. 

. Planning Policy Constraints ASVI (Area of Strategic Visual Importance) Long Distance Footpath (Downs Link) Countryside Beyond Green Belt (outside any defined settlement) Bridleway Within 20 metres of River Bank Flood Zones 2 and 3

Integrated Care Partnership

Continues to object to the proposal in response to the amended information with regards to how community Page 36 beds would be provided. – The ICP has withdrawn their support for the uptake of the community beds and they would not provide a significant community benefit which is such as to outweigh the harm to the ASVI. – The terms of the legal agreement as to how the beds would be allocated has not been shared with the PC. – No infrastructure contributions provided. – The terms of the community benefit could be varied and removed by the applicant. – There would be a negative impact on residents of John Wiskar Drive. – Flood risk, noise and disturbance and highway safety concern

Cranleigh Parish Council

Continues to object to the proposal in response to the amended information with regards to how community Page 36 beds would be provided. – The ICP has withdrawn their support for the uptake of the community beds and they would not provide a significant community benefit which is such as to outweigh the harm to the ASVI. – The terms of the legal agreement as to how the beds would be allocated has not been shared with the PC. – No infrastructure contributions provided. – The terms of the community benefit could be varied and removed by the applicant. – There would be a negative impact on residents of John Wiskar Drive. – Flood risk, noise and disturbance and highway safety concerns. As the owner of adjacent land and beneficiary of a restrictive covenant, concerns expressed in relation to impact on the ASVI, offsite cumulative flooding impact, cumulative transport impact and environmental pollution (e.g. noise, light and smell pollution).

Surrey County Council (SCC) has confirmed that it would no longer be able to commit to block booking beds due to the Discharge to Access scheme. SCC has confirmed that the beds would not be free at the point of access. The Parish Council can no longer support the proposal.  The accommodation block would not be linked to the care home only (ancillary) and on this basis cannot be supported.

 

Thames Water

  The inability of the existing water infrastructure to meet the needs of the development has been identified and a condition is therefore recommended to ensure this is addressed. – Drains passing through the site – these cannot be built over – I

 

The Difference in the previous proposals.

The primary differences between the current proposal and that application are; – The quantum of development has been reduced by 1439m2, including a reduction in the footprint of the proposal by 856m2. – The previous application proposed an 80- bed care home with a provision of 20 community beds and 26 health care worker rooms. The current application proposes a 64-bed care home with 16 community beds and 14 key worker accommodation units. – The key workers’ accommodation block is now proposed to be positioned in the northern part of the site rather than the southern part. – The parking is now proposed centrally, unlike the previous proposal where it was divided into that serving the care home and the accommodation block. – The health care worker accommodation previously proposed was not self-contained, with single bedrooms and communal cooking facilities. Page 47 It is now proposed that all accommodation units would be fully self-contained and with 4 two-bedroom units. This would represent a material change of use within the proposal from sui generis as previously to C3 (housing) as currently proposed.

Integrated Care Partnership

The ICP, which had made a minimum 5-year commitment to block-book beds within the previous scheme, but is no longer able to make this commitment. This is due to developments in how care is provided, such as a move to assessing people’s care needs in their own homes following discharge from hospital, rather than within ‘step down’ beds in care homes. As mentioned above, there are other potential considerations around a Local Authority allocating beds only to Cranleigh residents.

Retained Policy C5 of the Local Plan (2002) states that: “The Council will seek to ensure that the appearance of Areas of strategic Visual Importance, as shown on the proposals map, is maintained and enhanced. Development inconsistent with this objective will not be permitted.” Page 52 The proposed development is accompanied by a Landscape and Visual Assessment. This concludes that “The proposal site is well contained by trees, settlement and topography and there will be minimal visual intrusion beyond the site itself with no effects to the views from the wider rural landscape which affect the character and setting of Cranleigh.”

it is not considered that the visual harm to the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside of the scheme is substantially reduced by this reduction in scale. Both proposed buildings would continue to be extremely large and elongated in scale, at 60m in length on both axis for the care home and 37m by 20m for the healthcare worker accommodation block. Further, the built footprint would continue to be very spread across the site with little meaningful negative space remaining due to the necessary separation of the two large buildings and the cruciform design of the proposed care home. In the officers’ view, notwithstanding that the floor area of the proposed building on site would be reduced from that of the consented 3 storey hospital building, the current proposal would actually have a greater visual impact given the proposed spread of built form across the site. The siting of access points, in a central position to the site off Knowle Lane for vehicles and near to the entrance to John Wiskar Drive, is a continuation of the previous scheme in terms of visual impact. The car parking was previously separated into two areas for the different uses but in the current proposal is indicated to be sited centrally within the site in the form of one large car park. This would result in a very significant expanse of hard surface concentrated in one area, which would be visually detrimental. Page 53 The overall visual impression of the proposed built footprint and layout would be one of the significant urbanisation of what is a greenfield site outside of the developed area boundary.

 

It is acknowledged that the tree line does limit some views in some directions of the site but it does not provide total screening and the development would remain highly visually perceptible from Knowle Lane, including from the access road. Whilst the playing field use of the site has now ceased and been re-accommodated, the site continues to adjoin and visually read as part of the adjacent open parkland which is both an appropriately open countryside use and containment of the landscape sprawl of the settlement. The development of the site would substantially impinge upon this currently tranquil space. Nighttime illumination of the site would represent a substantial change from the current nighttime darkness which would be perceptible from some distance. The site is within a designated Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI). The applicants indicate that they disagree that the area should be identified as such and indicate that they consider the designation out of date. However, this is a Local Plan designation and is extant and not outdated. The buildings would undoubtedly lead to harm to the open nature of the site and lead to harm to the ASVI. The urbanising impacts of 4,741m2 of development up to 12m in height would be highly perceptible and represent a substantial change from the current greenfield status. This would be exacerbated but the sheer scale of the two buildings proposed. It would be highly perceptible for users of the Downs Link, which is the major key public footpath within the borough. Whilst the re-siting of the accommodation block to the north may reduce clear views from the playing field, it would make it more visually prominent from Knowle Lane and the Downs Link, which are both key public views. On this basis, it is considered that the development would continue to lead to landscape harm

You can listen to the meeting here.

 

No room for Zoom. A Waverley spat but not as bad as Handforth.

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A couple of councillors went head to head at a recent meeting of ‘Your Waverley’s Standards Board.

Former Council Leader – Robert Knowless – was firing on all four cylinders when he went into battle to express his misgivings about the way councillors and officers behaved on virtual Zoom meetings. The Government has ruled that virtual meetings will end on May 7, when it’s back to business in the Council Chamber. An edict that has already upset some councils.

It wasn’t quite up to the standard of the spat experienced by the Handforth Parish Council which recently earned national and international notoriety, but nonetheless – it had ‘Your Waverley’s’ Zoom listeners pricking up their ears.

You can hear Cllr Robert `Knowless’ – the member for Haslemere here:

 

And here’s the response from Waverley’s Deputy Leader – Paul Follows who appealed for a “reality check” on behalf of his colleagues and officers of the council.” Officers who he claimed – deserved an apology.

And here’s Cllr ‘Holier than thou Knowless’ at that very same meeting giving the longest yawn in Waverley’s history. – This shows he has the utmost respect and always upholds the council’s standards for the office that he holds.

We agree with you, Bobby.-  Councillors shouldn’t exhibit sloppy behaviour. They should uphold the same strict standards on Zoom that are expected of them in the council chamber!

 

The latest leak in Cranleigh?

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There’s no better way to embarrass a water authority than to post pictures on social media revealing its inadequacies.

Cranleigh Cllr Liz Townsend 

Cranleigh councillor Liz Townsend – speaking up for Cranleigh… again… and again.

For many months Thames Water has been made aware of a serious leak affecting the Downslink pedestrian footpath which runs through Cranleigh. The public right of way regularly used is more of a paddling exercise than a walking exercise, and it has nothing to do with rain and everything to do with lack of pipe maintenance.

So get off your butts TW – and fix it! Or don’t even think about bringing in a hosepipe ban when the sun starts to shine, because the people of Cranleigh will not take you seriously.

Leaking water pipes are nothing new to the residents of Cranleigh. Once-upon-a-time the leading flood authority and all the statutory agencies met with villagers including the Cranleigh Society at regular flood forums called by former MP Anne Milton. Now, with MP Angela Richardson in the chair – numerous forums have been postponed or cancelled. So get your keyboard out Angie, and start writing – now?

And perhaps we should also mention that as your Government has decreed that it will be illegal for local authorities to hold Zoom meetings from the 7th of May, may we respectfully suggest that you and your colleagues get back to realtime meetings in Parliament?

Perhaps like local authorities, you could also continue to work through the summer recess?  Then you could re-start the regular flood forums on your patch – and hold bodies like Thames Water to account?

 

A new way of targeting tumours at The Royal Surrey.

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Royal Surrey’s New High-tech Machine Uses AI To Target Cancer Tumours

The Ethos machine radiotherapy team

Royal Surrey has launched online adaptive radiotherapy treatment, a revolutionary technique that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to target tumours with extreme precision and provides a personalised plan for cancer patients on each day of their treatment.

The Trust has invested about £2 million in setting up adaptive radiotherapy treatment using the Varian Ethos© machine. This is only the second of its type in use in the UK and fully rolled out will help 175 cancer patients a year.

The machine’s AI software helps the radiotherapy team adapt and update each patient’s treatment plan in real-time, according to a patient’s anatomy on the day.

This online adaptive approach to radiotherapy has the potential to improve treatment accuracy and consequently reduce the dose delivered to surrounding organs, thereby decreasing radiation side-effects.

A patient using the new  radiotherapy machine

Patient experience has been at the centre of the design of the treatment room, using SkyInside© ceiling panels and calming lighting to help soothe and distract patients during treatment. They have a choice of overhead projections to watch, including beautiful underwater scenes, rain forest canopies, cherry blossom trees and starry night skies.

Marianne Dabbs, associate director of operations for oncology, said: “The Ethos AI software lets us fine-tune and tailor patients’ treatments on the day to take into account any changes affecting their body, such as weight gain, or bladder or bowel emptiness compared with when they had their planning scan.

“It has many benefits, including anticipated improved accuracy. The environment is a fabulous space to improve the experiences of both the patients and staff. There is also the potential for it to reduce the need for some invasive procedures where ‘markers’ are inserted to aid tumour location during radiotherapy.”

Peter Gable, 66, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer in April last year, is the first patient to receive the new online adaptive treatment. He said: “It’s brilliant to have the chance to try out this new treatment with the latest technology.

“It looks a lot less clinical and daunting when I go into the treatment room and I can see how it’s going to make things simpler and easier for me.

“I really liked seeing the different scenes on the overhead screen in the scanner and being able to choose what music I could listen to as well.”

Louise Stead, chief executive of Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, said: “A great deal of work has gone into researching and investing in the best available options to treat our cancer patients and we’re excited to have this ground-breaking technology to help us achieve the very best health outcomes for them.

“We are extremely proud to be at the forefront of radiotherapy treatment and taking advantage of the latest AI software technology. There are only 10 countries offering this treatment and only one other Trust in the UK.

“At a time when the NHS is under extreme pressure from the Covid pandemic, it is a lovely boost for our patients and staff to launch this new pioneering treatment.”