So how many homes ARE proposed at Haslemere’s Scotland Park?

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Residents in other parts of the borough are just as concerned as are Haslemere folk about the proposal to build homes in an Area of Great Landscape Value and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
WHY?
Because if they can build on the green, green grass of Haslemere in protected areas – they can build almost anywhere.
However, stranger things have happened at ‘Your Waverley.’ During the former Tory administration’s strong-hold on the borough council one of its members, despite officers’ advice to the contrary, managed to get his TT mates to approve building on the Green Belt in the Guildford Road in Cranleigh.
Wow! we hear you cry – not in THE green belt?

Flooded Scotland Lane

So where exactly are the homes proposed by Red Court Property developers? And how many?
It appears from the planning application just 50 opposite the Recreation Ground in Haslemere between Scotland Lane and Bell Lane. Potentially, a further 130 on the AONB land next to this site. However, WW understands that the Stantec report is based on the provision of 250 homes. However, if the new Government White Paper is approved – well – anything goes!
If you want to have your say on the planning application – the number is WA/200/1273.

 

 

 

‘Your Waverley’s’ long-awaited Local Plan Part 2 has been launched.

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The plan – which now goes out to public consultation – includes sites in Waverley earmarked for future development – alongside Local Plan Part 1(LP1)

Local Plan Part 2(LP2): Site Allocations and Development Management Policies form the second stage of Waverley’s new Local Plan.

Together with LP1: Strategic Policies and Sites, the documents – all 188 pages – linked at the bottom of this post, replace the current Local Plan (2002). 

Sites allocated include the controversial Red Court development in Haslemere called Scotland Park. This site in AONB – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – is allocated for ‘around 50 homes.’ Other major sites earmarked for large housing developments are in Witley and Milford.

To meet the 480 housing target for Witley and Milford – 64 of which have been completed – with 213 outstanding permissions – a minimum of 203 are required to meet their quota.

The sites earmarked to deliver 204 additional dwellings, against an outstanding requirement of 203 are:

Land at Highcroft, Milford – 7 additional dwellings; Land at Wheeler Street Nurseries, Witley – 20 dwellings; and  land at Secretts, Hurst Farm, Milford – equivalent to 177 dwellings

LP Part 1 is Waverley’s vision for future development for the period 2013-2032 and allocates nine strategic sites. It was adopted in 2018 and includes the new garden village at Dunsfold aerodrome. (2,600 homes).

 This Draft L  2, is a  ‘Pre-Submission Plan’, provides more detailed ‘Development Management’ policies, reviews a suite of local designations and allocates sites for housing and other uses in certain areas of Waverley.

LP 2 must be consistent with LP 1 and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF 2019). It must contribute to achieving sustainable development and be positively prepared. LP1 establishes the Council’s presumption in favour of sustainable development.  Planning applications which accord with the policies in the Local Plan (and, where relevant, with policies in Neighbourhood Plans) will be approved without delay unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

LP 1 and 2, together with any relevant Neighbourhood Plans, constitute the statutory Development Plan for the Borough against which future planning applications will be assessed. 

Included in the Plan are specific sites earmarked for gipsies.

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/s37636/Draft%20Pre-Submission%20LPP2%20-%20Committee%20Version%20-%20September%202020.pdf

If ever there was a reason not to have a Surrey Unitary Authority – isn’t this it!

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Munroe gets th boot

David Munro – Surrey’s Police & Crime Commissioner – who may become Surrey’s Mayor?

 

Could the man nicknamed ‘Mona-lot Munro’ become the Head of a giant Surrey Unitary Authority?

You couldn’t Adam and Eve it! Former Waverley Borough and County Councillor and PCC Chief David Munro has backed Leader Tim Oliver’s cunning plan for a Surrey UA and would like to head it.

The Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) who could never be accused of hiding his light under a bushel has told Surrey’s Leader Tim Oliver that he’s backing his bid to send 11 borough and district councils to the trash bin, and when there’s a Mayor, he just might put himself forward.

As Lewis Carroll’s  Lobster Quadrille quotes – “Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail, “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.

So be careful Cllr Oliver – you may have a Munro on your tail.

However, Cllr Oliver is opposed to his proposed UA being headed up by just one Mayor he would like a series of Mayors – so the “chain gang” as it is called in the business – would become more extensive and expensive in the future?

In the meantime, the 11 borough’s and districts have written to the Secretary of State for Communities Robert Jenrick opposing the move, and are employing consultants KPMG to find a better way of combining authorities. * Report

‘Your Waverley’ along with all the other boroughs and districts in Surrey is throwing £30,000 into a pot to fight the county council’s move to swallow them up and become the largest UA in the country.

But Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Munro is still in the day job for a little longer due to the COVID pandemic – as there should have been an election earlier this year to appoint his successor.

Earlier this month – via Zoom – Surrey Conservatives decided that criminal lawyer – “Munro: don’t you dare mention that woman’s name in front of me” Charlie Chirico, will be their official Tory candidate at next year’s PCC election.

Here’s why the Tories kicked him out of the party and provided him with the opportunity to become Independent. 

Police Chief David Munro booted by the Tories. Has everyone gone to the moon?

Mr Munro, who has had a very long career in local government representing Farnham thinks one UA with just one chief – preferably him- is the best solution for everything – including policing.

The letter to SCC and to the Secretary of State is included here Pages 17 to 20.

*Public reports pack 08092020 1800 Executive

Oh No! Not another Government algorithm?

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 When we were all locked down Government keyboard warriors were winding up their computers to devise yet another algorithm.  Haven’t they learned anything following the A-level and GCSE debacle?

So what chance do our green fields here in Waverley have against the concrete mixers?

 Having failed so miserably with one set of algorithms that have gone into the trash bin – now Ministers are reviewing another that is at the centre of a backlash from Tory MPs.

We understand from a couple of our friendly moles that even Guildford and Waverley’s to Hon Angie and SW Surrey MP Jeremy Shunt, are beginning to tremble at the outpourings of anger from residents. 

Both MP’s with considerably reduced majorities at the General Election will become thinner if the proposed changes to planning laws get the go-ahead. 

 Local discretion over the rate of housebuilding will soon be removed and Government will “distribute” an annual target, at present 337,000 a year, between local councils, which includes ‘Your Waverley.’ Councils will be required to designate enough land to meet that target whether they like it or not!

Analysis by Lichfields a well-respected planning consultancy, reveals much of the development outside London will be concentrated in – yes, you guessed – the constituencies of the Hon Angie and Jeremy Shunt.

We understand Jeremy is not nearly as concerned as Angie Richardson as a good deal of his support comes from Farnham which has the Special Protection Areas around the town. Though he needn’t be too complacent because Surrey County Council’s bid for Unitary Authority status – includes half a dozen growth areas. One of which is the Blackwater Valley area and Farnham!  Surrey has also earmarked the Hon Angie’s patch in Cranleigh see from the link below. Cranleigh and the Dunsfold corridor become Strategic Opportunity Area No 5. No wonder so many trees are being felled to make way for the bulldozers.

Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

Farnham is now experiencing traffic chaos never before seen, and drivers are beating their heads against their steering wheels in frustration. This week Waverley’s Leader John Ward pilloried the road barriers in the town-centre and wants them removed. Saying: “Something needs to be done – and done soon.” Even Jeremy wants them removed – so things must be bad!

Here at the Waverley Web, we see another U-turn coming before the ink is even dry on the Consultation White Paper. Because the housing ministry, under ‘Bob The Builder,’ has already accepted  ‘that a more refined formula is needed.’

In other words, is that the sound we hear of yet another algorithm going down the pan?

However, the government is retaining its central objective of building more homes in areas with the worst affordability – like many towns and villages in Waverley.

This means that there will be a significant rise in the number of homes in relatively affluent, predominantly Tory-controlled areas such as ours. 

The reforms have been met with opposition on all sides of the party. In London, Tory MPs are concerned that they will have to accept a huge increase in new homes in their constituencies, leading to concerns about quality.

Elsewhere Tory MPs argue that more homes need to be built in city and town centres, on brownfield sites rather than on greenfield sites.

According to Lichfields, new housing will be built predominantly in London and the southeast. The number built in London would nearly treble, to 93,532, and in the southeast would increase by 57 per cent to 61,000.

The increase in the East of England would be 52 per cent, the East Midlands 33 per cent, the West Midlands 25 per cent and the South West 41 per cent. The North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber would all have lower overall numbers of homes built than the present three-year average.

There are significant disparities within regions under the model. In Leicester new homes would fall by 32 per cent, compared with a rise of 70 per cent across the rest of Leicestershire. In Nottingham housebuilding would fall by 30 per cent, but for the rest of Nottinghamshire, it would rise by 73 per cent. In Liverpool, new homes would fall by 59 per cent.

Mr Johnson has promised to rejuvenate the economy with a “build, build, build” strategy. Councils are to be given up to three and half years to designate areas for growth, renewal or protection. Once agreed, however, local politicians will have little or no say over specific applications that fit the rules.

Ministers have insisted that local residents will be consulted about how land is designated. They are braced, however, for opposition from councils, especially Tory-controlled local authorities. Requirements for developers to provide affordable housing are to be relaxed.

Mr Johnson and his senior adviser Dominic Cummings have long railed against the planning system, which they argue puts Britain at a disadvantage against international competitors.

A spokesman for the ministry of housing said: “The Planning for the Future White Paper sets out longer-term reforms which will bring forward a simpler, more transparent planning system with a much greater emphasis on good quality design and environmental standards.

“In addition, the consultation on changes to the current planning system sets out the elements we want to balance when determining local housing need, including meeting our target of delivering 300,000 homes, tackling affordability challenges in the places people most want to live and renewing and levelling up our towns and cities.”

Cllr Potts aims for a hole in one and ends up in a bunker.

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Julia Potts went potty over a decision by Waverley’s Executive’s bid to get the best value for taxpayers at Broadwater Park Golf Club.

The controversy over ‘Your Waverley’s’ decision not to renew Broadwater Park Golf Club’s lease – took another turn this week.

A bid by a Tory threesome led by former Leader Julia Potts wanted to stymie a decision made by the council’s executive in July. But the bid failed.

She and two colleagues wanted to stop the council spending £50,000 on an options appraisal for the 8-acre golf club site in Godalming, plus £20,000 on possible legal fees.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORSDespite over three hours of talks, most of which was held behind closed doors, the special Overview & Scrutiny Committee ‘call-in” was thrown out by five votes to three with one abstention.

The Executive wants to spend £50,000 on independent professional advice to get the best value for a council asset once leased to the golf club. This followed a furore in May when the club announced that its lease would not be renewed. A media storm and a series of clashes during council meetings followed. The Waverley Web believes one spat between councillors may end up with the council’s Standards Board.

Elstead’s Aunty Elsey – v – Mr Deputy.

The  £20,000 was earmarked for possible legal fees for any dispute that may result in the change of direction with the golf club’s owners.

The nub of the Tory group’s argument centred around the new Rainbow Coalition’s ‘failure of process.’ The Tory’s complaining that the council’s decision not to renew the lease had not been explained properly.

The other three musketeers: Cllrs Stephen Mulliner, John Gray and Simon Dear argued there had been a lack of consultation with the ward members, local residents and the former leaseholders. Saying that an Executive that boasted of its transparent and open approach to business was anything but. They argued that the decision was “unsound” and needed further scrutiny to prevent taxpayers’ money being wasted at a time when Waverley’s finances were being challenged. Fencing the site on health and safety grounds would add to the costs. 

Cllr Potts claimed the site had numerous planning constraints saying only a small part could be used and even this was limited to education or community use.  

Mark Merryweather, chairman of the Executive, which had backed the plan said:

“We are concerned that the requesters may have formed the opinion that the site’s alternative value for money potential is so low that the cost of an independent professional options appraisal is disproportionate, and that no evidence has been presented to support that.

“The simple issue is that the view expressed by the requesters differs with the recommendation of our officers, which was itself based on Montagu Evans’ initial preliminary independent professional analysis, which clearly indicates otherwise.”

He said when the decision was made in July he had explained that the legal costs represent a contingent, but a necessary provision, that may not need to be spent. The Executive had no reason to differ with the recommendations, which were also based on independent professional advice.”

The agenda for the July 8th meeting of the executive states: “The Council’s Property Investment Strategy documents the Council’s proposals in relation to Value for Money, the need for the Council to maximise the financial benefit from its assets, and to consider the development opportunities for those assets where appropriate.”

And later, it states: “In order to demonstrate the Council is actively pursuing the development opportunity of the site, work needs to continue to the next phase of the options appraisal.”

An Exempt session lasted almost two hours. After which it was a recommendation to continue with the Executive’s decision by five votes to three –  with one abstention. 


  

Does this remind you of somewhere in ‘Your Waverley’ – Dunsfold Park perhaps?

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Dunsfold Garden Village-coming soon.

Could this be the reason Surrey County Council highway chiefs finally supported the development at Dunsfold Park – after opposing it for donkey’s years?

According to a report by a transport pressure group called Transport For New Homes, after looking closely at 20 Garden Community proposals it became clear that councils were using the concept to fund road infrastructure.

 No surprise there then?

The group has been studying master-plans – including those for Dunsfold Park – the former aerodrome soon to be home to1,800 homes in its first phase and heaven knows how many more after that.

Waverley’s Local Plan earmarks 2,600 homes on the aerodrome, but if the current Tory Government, headed by Bulldozer Boris and Bob the Builder ‘Jenrick’ have their way, there could be many, many more. After all, it is the largest brownfield site in the borough of Waverley, seen as ideal sites for development by the Government.  It is no secret that Guildford and Woking councils would love to welcome the inclusion of Dunsfold in their patch.

Maybe if a re-organisation of local government gets the go-ahead – that may yet happen?

Bye Bye ‘Your Waverley’ Hello ‘Surrey?’

Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

In the early days, the Government promoted garden villages as ‘beacons of integrated and forward-looking transport.’ A number were chosen, in part to finance a new by-pass here and a link-road or other road improvements there. Improvements that had been wanted for years.’

So in other words – is Dunsfold Park the cash-cow for road and transport improvements in Waverley, and in particular, the congested unsuitable roads around the eastern villages including Cranleigh?

In its consented masterplan, junctions on the A281 at Bramley and Guildford are earmarked for improvement, if our memory serves us well?

The report concludes that the 20 garden communities studied, risk creating up to 20,000 car-dependent households.  However, we can confirm that the developers of Dunsfold have signed agreements with Surrey county council to provide public transport ‘in perpetuity’ from its site to nearby towns. A commitment that is unheard of elsewhere in the country.

The report concludes: “This is not just about delivering homes – it’s about building places that people are happy to call home. We are clear this should include sustainable transport options that support economic prosperity and well-being for resides, such as public transport, walking and cycling.”

Most garden communities – like Dunsfold Park – are in their early stages of development. The details of the Masterplan for Dunsfold will be considered by Waverley Planners shortly.

 

A new multi-million pound Leisure Centre for Cranleigh is on the horizon but improvements to other centres across Waverley are delayed.

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Cranleigh Leisure centre

Cllr Liz Townsend told her colleagues on the executive last night that the council would stand by the commitment made by the Tory administration in 2018 – for a new or improved Leisure centre in Cranleigh.

This is urgent due to the existing centre’s poor condition. WILL A NEW CRANLEIGH LEISURE CENTRE SOON BE ON ITS WAY TO VILLAGE WAY?

 She was disappointed that the predicted improvements to both Godalming and Farnham’s Centres would be postponed – and the contributions from developers’ 106 Agreements would go into the council’s reserves for the time being.

She said the delay would give the council time to assess the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on the borough’s leisure facilities.

Liz Townsend

Executive Liz Townsend

Cllr Townsend – the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development said she realises this was not the position the council had hoped it would be in when the original commitment for the borough’s leisure facilities was made.

We are very disappointed, but due to the condition of the Cranleigh facility, this project needs to go forward.

She said the other projects in Farnham and Godalming would progress. The council would begin to seek approval from the Secretary of State in partnership with Surrey County Council for the disposal of an area of land at Broadwater School to provide a car park to enable improvements to recommence for Godalming’s Leisure Centre in the future.

Cllr Julia Potts who announced the commitments to the borough’s leisure facilities shortly before the 2018 May elections, said although her group was disappointed at some delays it quite understood the reasons why.

“We know things are changing so quickly… but what do we do, we understand the rationale -even though I don’t like it.”

She spoke of her relief that the Cranleigh Project had not been taken off the table as it was in – “desperate need.” She was it was at the top of the council’s agenda and hoped it would progress over the coming months.

Deputy Leader Paul Follows said: “I think the Portfolio Holder would have had something to say to us if it had been removed!”

The Executive agreed unanimously to the Recommendation. 

That the Executive: 1.Notes that the investment in improvements in the facilities at Godalming and Farnham Leisure Centres are not being progressed;

2. Agrees that Officers progress with obtaining the Secretary of State’s approval, in partnership with Surrey County Council, for the disposal of an area of land at Broadwater School in Godalming to enable the development at Godalming Leisure Centre to recommence in the future; and,

3. Agrees that the multi-million-pound leisure investment project in Cranleigh continues at present but will be part of the Recovery Change & Transformation review of all corporate projects.

Was this a ruse by ‘Your Waverley’ to ensure that if Surrey does become a Unitary Authority that Waverley’s commitment to improving the borough’s leisure facilities doesn’t fall off the end of someone else’s the desk?

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Why wouldn’t Surrey County Council want beds in a controversial Care Home?

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A Cranleigh resident has asked?

Why build another care home in Cranleigh when one lies empty and derelict?

The answer Michaela is quite simple. If you were a cash-strapped local authority would you prefer to:

(a) Continue using a former nursing home that is the most expensive police-dog training site in the country?

Or

(b)  buy 16 long-term care beds for the residents of Surrey in a private care home business funded by a private commercial enterprise. Built on land bought from the parish for £1 – and in a building which is being part-funded by the residents of the eastern villages?

(c) Or would you prefer to sell the land which you own – which once housed a facility called Longfields with 56 beds for long-term care, closed due to under-funding for years? Which then enabled you to sell it for squillions to replenish the rapidly diminishing county council coffers?

SIMPLES – NO CONTEST!

Michaela Clarke’s letter is one of many hundreds which can be found on the Waverley Borough Council Website – objecting to yet another application for a Private Care Home in Knowle Lane, Cranleigh.

An appeal has also been lodged against a previous application for a larger facility refused a year ago.



Pressure mounts to improve measures on the Downslink to prevent another awful tragedy.

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Following the death of a 20-year-old cyclist on a sponsored ride calls are mounting for improvements to a junction of the Downslink path through Waverley where it meets the A281 Horsham-Guildford Road.

The Downslink is a favourite route for cyclists. walkers and horse-riders. However, it crosses a notoriously dangerous section of the A281 Guildford Road from Horsham where the road dips several times from Bucks Green. In recent years the road has been used by many thousands of HGV’s every week mainly reinstating Cranleigh Brick and Tile Works in Knowle Lane and Rudgwick brickworks.

 Around 10.45 am on Wednesday, 22 July, police responded to reports of a road traffic collision involving a cyclist and a Renault HGV tipper lorry on the A281 Guildford Road, Rudgwick.

Despite the best efforts of the emergency services, 20-year-old Pathushan Sutharsan died at the scene. Pathu was a second-year student at Brighton University studying architecture, due to start his third year this week. He was taking part in a 120km charity bike ride for Yemen when the collision occurred. 

Read more details in the link below:

Here’s what a local resident Janet Spooner told the Waverley Web. 

This crossing has long needed something better happening than 40mph signage.

Not only cyclists use this crossing, but there are also plenty of pedestrians and equestrians having to negotiate this road, riders of horses even need to have their horse’s head and neck out over the road for the rider to even see what is coming.

It has been suggested that there should be self-closing gates on both sides, and yes that would be good. However, I have kept saying for many years, long before the road carried the speeding traffic that it does now, that there should be a traffic light crossing where a rider on a horse has a button to press at their level along with a lower button for everyone else. One was put up at Broadbridge Heath where the new estate has been built…where the vision was perfect and the traffic nowhere near so fast!! No amount of signage is going to make the slightest bit of difference on the A281. There are many, many drivers who either don’t see the signs or care about speed limits and on Sunday they can be even worse, seeing it as some sort of challenge to go as fast as possible up and down through the dip, motorbikes particularly.

This route is promoted as a national trail… it has been dangerous for a long time, tragically someone now has lost their life. The council, the Highways Dept, NEED to listen to the people who live here and use it constantly, DO something before there is another fatality. I have been told this sort of crossing is too expensive, sorry, what cost is a life….

How to obliterate a huge part of the beautiful countryside around Haslemere?

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A day or two ago we wrote about the proposed development of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Haslemere that could soon become home to a different species.

Coming to a greenfield in Haslemere soon?

This is one one of the many creatures to lose its home if the developer of Red Court, Scotland Lane, Haslemere is given the go-ahead by Waverley Planners.

Haslemere Town Council will consider the application and make its recommendations on Thursday. Plans have been submitted to ‘Your Waverley’ for the first phase of 50 houses on AGLV (Area of Great `landscape Value) and AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

One former Haslemere Town Councillor has effectively called residents opposing the scheme NIMBY’s and serving their personal interests as they live near the site!

Here’s what former Haslemere Town and Waverley Borough councillor Jim Edwards had to say on the Waverley Web:

The developer has indicated this is just a taster for the site with at least another 120 homes to follow. 

Local people predict that the development could have a devastating effect on a large part of the town’s beautiful, protected green landscape that rings the town.
Even worse, if successful, it is clearly stated that the developer’s real plan is to build a total of 180 houses with Phase Two across large sections of southern Haslemere’s ridge of AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a devastating impact on the neighbouring areas of National Trust Blackdown, Marley Common and the South Downs National Park.

The developer, claiming to be environmentally friendly, has already felled many trees, with hundreds more proposed to be cleared resulting in the displacement of a great many protected and endangered wildlife species. The developers themselves acknowledge that the site is currently a habitat to species including redwing and honey buzzards on the endangered Red List, as well as bats, skylarks, woodcock, hen harrier, greater spotted woodpecker, owls, dormice and slow worms.in Scotland Park, if his AONB land is developed. Object to the planning application now: details on

haslemeresouth.com@HaslemereH⁩ ⁦@MartinHGames