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When you are in a hole in Alfold – developer keeps digging!

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As developers fall over one another in a pincer movement to turn little old Alfold into a new town “Your Waverley ‘ finally – issues a STOP NOTICE on the works at the Wildwood Golf Club.

Despite the parish, borough, county councils and the MP being bombarded with complaints from villagers – including Alfold’s very own Mole,  the new owners of the club on the A281 at Alfold Crossways – just ‘Carry On Regardless!’

Despite a  Temporary Stop Notice being issued by Waverley Enforcement Last Wednesday –  the Diggers are still on-site and merrily Dig – dig – digging away.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR ALFOLD?

At first, villagers were ecstatic because they believed they were going to get the Professional Golf Association (PGA) HQ, a 27-hole golf course, a hotel with a spar for the locals and 39 golf lodges as part of a planning consent given ten years ago. Now they are not quite so sure? As the land being cleared – has nothing to do with the extant permission for the golf development it is closer to THE NUTSHELL – a site which is now either owned or on which the developers have an option,  for yes – you guessed folks – MORE HOUSING

Now the new owner’s flash Jag has swung into Alfold with some big VERY BIG plans. – Sedat Peker is a very interesting individual. Full of Eastern promise as part of Peker Holdings Ltd. based in Cobham – and recently quoted as saying: Do read his Wikipedia profile, we have provided a link.


 

       AH! HA! So there we have it, folks! This is all about A NEW SELF-SUSTAINING NEW SETTLEMENT – IS IT?

Or as an Alfold Mole would say:

“A 9 Hole Golf course!!! Looks like the Nutshell are in on this and will sell their Brownfield land for housing along with the 9 hole/Car parks etc and we will have an application for hundreds of new Homes. They can then carve up the rest of the Farmland for sale and we will have lost this wonderful asset – one of the few we had in this village.”

This Wikipedia profile makes very interesting reading. If any of our followers have ever wondered why the Waverley Web remains anonymous – then here’s your answer!!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedat_Peker

Interesting! Very interesting!

But no worries.  According to Turkish businesswoman Mrs Aysegul Peker, there will be plenty of goodies for the locals in the NEW BIG WILDWOOD URBAN SETTLEMENT bag. Because she 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.

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.

Now! Where have the locals in Alfold heard that one before?

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

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

Surrey County Council was due to issue a Temporary Closure notice on the Footpath to yesterday THURSDAY. However, walkers tell us it is not yet in force. Once granted the well-trodden path by villagers will be across  Pickenswood Copse a site covered by restrictions as an (ASNW and Tree Preservation Order site)

 

The Tories are revolting.

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‘No community wants this’: Sussex new town plans anger local Tories

Although the Waverley Web mainly concentrates on all things Waverley/Surrey – the county is not an island and development on Waverley’s borders – e.g. Bordon – affects all our lives here in Farnham.

This scheme in Adversane adjoins the Surrey/Sussex border near Loxwood and Dunsfold and would mainly access the A281 Guildford to Horsham Road.

The scheme named Kingswood for nearly 3,000 new homes assembled by Sir Michael Hintze, who has given £4.6m to the Conservatives is a hop, skip and a jump from Dunsfold’s new garden village (2,600) homes on the former airfield on the outskirts of Cranleigh 

Sketches of the proposed new town of Kingswood, near Horsham in Sussex.
 Sketches of the proposed new town of Kingswood, on the Surrey/Sussex border. Not to be confused with Surrey’s Kingswood.

Plans for a new town in rural Sussex backed by one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors and close allies of Prince Charles are exposing a split in the Tory party over how to rapidly accelerate housebuilding.

The scheme for 2,850 homes, is being proposed on open fields at Adversane which has been assembled by hedge fund billionaire Sir Michael Hintze who has given £4.6m to the Conservatives. Its design is partly inspired by Poundbury, the ersatz Georgian town in Dorset created by Prince Charles, and Sir Michael Peat, the Prince of Wales’s former private secretary is a director of the development company.

But it is being opposed by local Conservative MP Andrew Griffith, who said:

“it is the wrong type of development in the wrong place” and local Tory councillors who have warned: “No community wants this on their doorstep.”

It looks set to be a test case for the government’s controversial new planning strategy announced last month which is set to relax national planning rules and set significantly higher local housebuilding targets in areas including Horsham.

John Halsall, the Tory leader of Wokingham borough council in Berkshire, which is also facing central government demands to build significantly more homes warned of a high political cost saying

“You won’t have a Tory left in the south or south-east of England.”

Some of the land is owned by Eton College, the alma mater of the prime minister, Boris Johnson. The largest parcel which would be built over is a farm purchased by Hintze for £10m from Mike Stock, the songwriter behind a string of 1980s hits by Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and Bananarama.

Local opponents say the project – which could ultimately create a town of around 10,000 people – threatens rare wildlife, an increase in car congestion and risks becoming a dormitory for London commuters.

“There is an enormous amount of antipathy to this scheme,” said Julian Trumper, a local resident organising opposition. “Horsham has already taken enough of Sussex’s requirement to build housing and this potential growth is unsustainable. Infrastructure and road and rail links are insufficient. The displacement to wildlife and established ecosystems by building a new town in the open countryside is incalculable.”

The project claims that it will: “focus on building a community for people of all ages and providing a platform for economic opportunity and sustainable growth” and will champion the principle of “beauty” in town planning identified by Sir Roger Scruton in his report to the government on planning and architecture.

Kingswood sketch
 Kingswood promises to be a ‘socially inclusive, mixed-income development’ with ‘community at the heart’. 

But the row over whether it should go ahead exposes a growing schism in Conservative ranks over two proposed reforms to accelerate housebuilding.

The first is a new planning system that will make it easier and quicker for developers to build on greenfield sites, which Conservative councillors have complained undermines local democratic involvement by proposing zones where detailed planning consents would not be required.

The second is new inflated house building targets which backbench Conservative MPs and council leaders have criticised as too high and ignoring local needs. The new target for Horsham would see the area required to deliver 1,715 new homes a year, more than double the current target of 800. 

Waverley Web: A few things you should know about the government’s new planning White Paper.

The high status of Kingswood’s backers – with close links to the top of government and the monarchy – has also sparked fears that local influence could be further undermined, with opponents citing the planning scandal earlier this year in which it emerged that the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, backed a project by party donor Richard Desmond against the advice of officials.

In other words, it is not what you know but who you know in the wonderful world of developers?

“After what we saw with Jenrick and Desmond, we have the impression that the property developers are doing all this with barely any local democracy at all.

 A spokesperson for Horsham district council said:

“Any site that is allocated in the next step of the local plan process will be subject to full public scrutiny at a public examination conducted by an independent planning inspector. Each site will be assessed to determine whether it is suitable, achievable and available, in a public arena.”

The local Conservative MP, Andrew Griffith, said: “We are building on greenfield, we’re not using brownfield land. This is the wrong type of development in the wrong place. The identity of the landowner is not important. I am giving voice to constituent concerns.”He told a Commons debate earlier this month: “So many of my constituents in villages of every letter of the alphabet, are having their lives blighted by the prospect of inappropriate and unsustainable development”.

Philip Circus, a Conservative member of Horsham council in whose ward the development is proposed, added:

“I am not interested that people are connected with royalty or people that donate to the Conservative party. It cuts no ice with me. We don’t feel any compulsion to doff our caps to anyone other than the residents. This is a rural community which in infrastructure terms does not look like an area for major housing development.”

The Kingswood masterplan has been submitted for inclusion in Horsham district council’s local plan, which is currently out to public consultation.  The director of the development company, Dominic Richards, was formerly a director at the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community – the heir to the throne’s architecture and planning charity which promotes traditional urbanism.

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.

 

Are we all as sick as Waverley’s Parrott?

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WW followers may remember those heady days when Waverley Planning Policy Officer Graham Parrott burned the midnight oil preparing Local Plan versions 1, 2 and then 3 – which then once approved by a Government Inspector became the infamous Local Plan Part 1.

The poor s*d spent 15 years working with neighbouring authorities, including Woking & Guildford. Held public consultation exercises here there and everywhere with Tom, Dick & Harriet. Attended Examinations in public – High Court hearings and Judicial Reviews – phew!

Then with Local Plan, Part 1 finally agreed by Government Inspectors; the Secretary of State;  and ‘a bench’ of judges and with Local Plan Part 2 almost on the starting blocks heralding an end to the long saga of both Waverley’s and others’ Local Neighbourhood Plans in sight…  Up pops Boris The Bulldozer and ‘Bob The Builder’ Jenrick. The dynamic duo begins moving the development goalposts or ‘the ball’  as we know it – to enable development to be kicked onto a completely different pitch. It has announced the biggest shake-up of planning for decades to fast-track “beautiful” new homes across the country. Whilst in the process choking off affordable housing and diluting democratic oversight.

Poor old Graham – and you won’t have heard us pitying Waverley planning officers very often – so there’s one for the scrapbook!

However, it isn’t just The Waverley Parrott that is affected. We are all about to meet our new makers.  If you are not sitting down, and you haven’t seen this already, pull up a chair because this set us squawking and we suspect it will have the same effect on you? !  According to *Lichfields, under the new methods proposed by the Government for calculating housing targets, the Waverley target goes up to 835 homes per annum.

Yep – that’s right 835 – up from 590!

Read the link below and see for yourselves. Where you will see some of our Waverley neighbours’ new figures.

It even makes us here at WW as sick as poor old Parrott. How many other parrots are there in the country that have been working their ar*es off preparing Local Plans. Attending hearings – some of which were three weeks at a stretch – must have cost squillions of taxpayers’ money countrywide for paper exercises which are nothing more than a con trick to get us to accept more housing. 

https://lichfields.uk/grow-renew-protect-planning-for-the-future/how-many-homes-the-new-standard-method/

Litchfield’s

Town planning was a very new discipline when Nathaniel Lichfield set the company up. He was a pioneering economist and town planner, and the business was soon advising government, local authorities, and private clients on some of the country’s most significant projects – from new towns and airports, to the country’s first regional shopping centre, and the world’s most famous stadium.

It now gives practical and robust planning support for house builders, commercial developers, and local authorities as well as land owners and investors. 

A few things you should know about the government’s new planning White Paper.

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

A few things you should know about the government’s new planning White Paper.

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A few things you need to know about the government’s White Paper called Planning for the Future white paper

In a nutshell – Bob The Builder Jenrick & Co have come up with a cunning plan to make planning easier – for whom we hear you cry? Well, as far as we can see having worked through this 84-page consultation document it is giving more than a shake-up to the present planning system. More like a shake-down for us folks.

 

As far as we can see all those Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans the towns and villages have been working on for years and years will have to be updated, or rather updated straight to Waverley’s recycling bin. So there’s a few squillions going down the drain again!

waverleyNPsbin

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has now published its much-anticipated Planning for the Future white paper outlining far-reaching proposed changes to the planning system.

Here at the Waverley Web, we have trawled through the key proposals and points in the 84-page consultation document, which promises more than a major shake-up of the current system of local plans, development management and developer contributions, more like a local government shit show!

waverleyshit_fan

The White Paper says:

1. Local plans would be simplified and focus on identifying three categories of land – “growth areas” that are “suitable for substantial development”; “renewal areas” that are “suitable for development”; and “protected areas”. In “growth areas.” Outline approval would be automatically granted for forms and types of development specified in the plan.

So where in the Waverley Borough has Surrey County Council already dubbed ‘the growth areas?’ Yep – you guessed. Farnham and the Cranleigh Dunsfold Growth corridoor. Now, look at Surrey County Council’s cunning plan for ‘Your Waverley’s’ eastern villages.

Development in renewal areas would “cover existing built areas where smaller-scale development is appropriate”  and could include the “gentle densification” of residential areas, development in town centres, and small sites in and around villages. There would be a “statutory presumption in favour of development” specified in the plan. Protected areas, including green belt, conservation areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), would still be subject to “more stringent” development controls and full planning applications would be required for new schemes.

By gentle densification – we think they mean – higher, closer, less green space, with smaller gardens. Which they all claim will be “more beautiful.’

2. Local plans should be subject to a single and “simplified” statutory “sustainable development” test, replacing the existing “tests of soundness”. This new test “would consider whether the plan contributes to achieving sustainable development in accordance with the policy issued by the secretary of state”, the consultation states. The test could also “become less prescriptive about the need to demonstrate deliverability”.

Great less need to show deliverability! –  There are already £1m homes consented but not yet built. Probably lots more when homes go unsold?

3. Instead of general policies for development, the document says, local plans would be required to set out the site- and area-specific requirements for development, alongside locally-produced design codes. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) “would become the primary source of policies for development management”.

4. The legal duty to cooperate, which requires local planning authorities to continuously and effectively engage with neighbours on strategic issues such as housing need, “would be removed”. However, it adds that “further consideration will be given to the way in which strategic cross-boundary issues, such as major infrastructure or strategic sites, can be adequately planned for, including the scale at which plans are best prepared in areas with significant strategic challenges”.

Great! So need to work with neighbouring authorities – Waverley now becomes – an island?

5. The government is considering scrapping the five-year housing land supply requirement. The document says its “proposed approach should ensure that enough land is planned for, and with sufficient certainty about its availability for development, to avoid a continuing requirement to be able to demonstrate a five-year supply of land”. However, it proposes to “maintain the housing delivery test and the presumption in favour of sustainable development as part of the new system”.

So, therefore nothing to prohibit development – let Boris’s bulldozers roll?

6. Councils and the Planning Inspectorate would be required through legislation to meet a statutory timetable of no more than 30 months for plan preparation with “sanctions for those who fail to do so”. The average time taken from plan publication to adoption rose from an average of 450 days in 2009 to 815 days in 2019, the paper states, while there is “currently no statutory requirement around timescales for key stages of the plan-making process”.

As quickly as possible – with as little consultation as possible, no doubt?

7. The need for sustainability appraisals alongside plans would be abolished and instead a “simplified process for assessing the environmental impact of plans, which would continue to satisfy the requirements of UK and international law and treaties”.

Laws and treaties on environmental law that have been ignored by local councils – including ‘Your Waverley’ for years!

8. Local plans would need to be “visual and map-based, standardised, based on the latest digital technology and supported by a new standard template”, the document says.

Let’s go digital and rule all those pesky objections out?

9. The planning process would be increasingly digitised, moving from “a process based on documents to a process driven by data”. Local authorities would be helped to use digital tools to support “a new civic engagement process for local plans and decision-making”.

10. Under a proposed new “fast-track for beauty”, proposals for high-quality developments that reflect local character and preferences would benefit from “automatic permission”. New development would be expected to create a “net gain” to areas’ appearance.

Just like the net gain we are currently getting from little boxes, made out of ticky tacky that all look just the same? And, road called Bluebell Lane and Primrose Walk – where neither will ever be seen again?

11. Design codes, which would be expected to be prepared locally, would be made “more binding” on planning decisions. A new body would be established to support the delivery of design codes across the country.

Another Quango you have to be kidding?

12. The standard housing need method would be changed so that the requirement would be “binding” on local planning authorities who would “have to deliver [it] through their local plans”. The new method “would be a means of distributing the national housebuilding target of 300,000 new homes annually”. It says the requirement would be focused on areas where affordability pressure is highest and on brownfield land. It would also have regard to the “size of existing urban settlements” in an area and the “extent of land constraints”.

Areas like Waverley and the growth zones already earmarked – Farnham with a station on the A31, and Cranleigh with few buses, no station and the main A Road from Horsham – which is earmarked for 11,000 new homes.

13. A new ‘single infrastructure levy’ will replace the existing developer contributions system of section 106 agreements and the community infrastructure levy. The government says the new levy will be a nationally-set, flat rate charge and would be based on the final value (or likely sales value) of a development. It says it intends the new levy to raise more revenue than under the current system of developer contributions, and deliver “at least as much” affordable housing, and on-site affordable housing, as at present

14. The new levy could be used to “capture a greater proportion of the land value uplift that occurs through the grant of planning permission, and use this to enhance infrastructure delivery. But such a move “would need to be balanced against risks to development viability”.

15. The scope of the levy “could be extended to capture changes of use through permitted development rights”. Such a move “would allow these developments to better contribute to infrastructure delivery and making development acceptable to the community.

16. Big building sites would be split between developers to accelerate delivery. The government proposes to revise the NPPF to make it clear that masterplans and design codes for sites prepared for substantial development should seek to include a variety of development types from different builders, which would allow more phases to come forward together.

17. Community consultation at the planning application stage is to be “streamlined”. Instead, there would be “a new emphasis on engagement at the plan-making stage”, the document says.

18. The determination of planning applications “should be faster and more certain, with firm deadlines”. The “well-established time limits of eight or 13 weeks for determining an application from validation to decision should be a firm deadline – not an aspiration which can be got around through extensions of time as routinely happens now”.

In other words -no yellow notices on gates or trees warning of development coming to a field near you. No public notices in local papers – papers that rely on the income! Bye-bye – newsprint papers?

19. Applications should be “shorter and more standardised”. There should be just “one key standardised planning statement of no more than 50 pages to justify the development proposals”, the paper proposes.

20. Penalties for councils that fail to determine an application within the statutory time limits could involve “the automatic refund of the planning fee for the application”. Ministers also “want to explore whether some types of applications should be deemed to have been granted planning permission if there has not been a timely determination”.

So the climate of fear begins – read below. Grant permission or else! Local grassroots democracy consigned to the wheelie bins!

21. Where applications are refused and the decision is overturned at appeal, the paper proposes that “applicants will be entitled to an automatic rebate of their planning application fee”.

22. Each local planning authority would be required to have a chief officer for design and place-making.

23. Fees should continue to be set nationally but “cover at least the full cost” of processing applications, “based on clear national benchmarking”. It added that this “should involve the greater regulation of discretionary pre-application charging to ensure it is fair and proportionate”.

24. The costs of operating the planning system should be “principally funded” by developer contributions “rather than the national or local taxpayer”. Currently, the document says, “the cost of development management activities by local planning authorities is to a large extent covered by planning fees”. However, the “cost of preparing local plans and enforcement activities is now largely funded from the local planning authority’s own resources”.

25. The government has promised to “develop a comprehensive resources and skills strategy for the planning sector to support the implementation of our reforms”. Proposals for “improving the resourcing of planning departments” will be published “later this year”, it adds.

26. The paper promises a “deep dive regulatory review to identify and eliminate outdated regulations which increase costs for local planning authorities, especially to the decision-making process”.

27. Councils “should be subject to a new performance framework which ensures continuous improvement across all planning functions from local plans to decision-making and enforcement – and enables early intervention if problems emerge with individual authorities”.

So be warned ‘Your Waverley’ don’t you get above yourself and start thinking you are the planners for your area. Big Brother Boris and ‘Bob The Builder’ Jenrick are in charge from now on!

28. Consultation on the white paper proposals run for 12 weeks until October 29. The suggested changes to local plans, developer contributions and development management “would require primary legislation followed by secondary legislation”. Ministers “would expect new local plans to be in place by the end of the Parliament”.

The WW apologises for the length and breadth of this post.

The fight to stop Surrey County Council’s power grab has begun.

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‘Your Waverley’ (YW) will stand with the 11 other borough and district councils in the county to stop Surrey County Council’s bid to abolish them lock, stock, and wheelie bin.

Almost to a man and woman, Waverley’s Full Council opposed a county bid for a behemoth Unitary Authority of 1.2m people.

YW,  with the exception of two Tory councillors – Peter Martin – a Surrey County Councillor, and Steve Cosser who abstained; have agreed to work with other Surrey authorities to prepare an alternative proposal for re-organisation. This would prevent Surrey becoming England’s biggest single, non-metropolitan, unitary authority.

Tim Oliver (above) Surrey’s leader has asked Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick to make the county a unitary authority – a preemptive strike before a Government White Paper on Unitary Authorities is published in the Autumn.

One councillor after another from every Waverley group or party – Independent; Tory; Labour; Greens and Farnham Residents’ Group registered their “disgust” that neither they, or any other Surrey borough’s leaders had been consulted before the plans were announced in the local government press. Cllr Oliver had, however, engaged with Surrey’s MP’s and in Waverley’s case Jeremy Hunt and Angela Richardson.  It is believed the leader of Woking Borough Council – may be backing Oliver’s deal – now dubbed – ‘we want more.’

When Waverley’s Leader John Ward addressed the zoom meeting he called the idea of a “monolithic” single authority “absurd, and “a misguided and blatant power grab.” Although “some” reorganisation was appropriate, this proposal would not serve Waverley residents’ well. “That’s what we are all here for – to do what is best for the residents of Waverley. “

Others were not opposed to some reorganisation but were against the county council’s unseemly rush to create such a huge organisation.

The general opinion was that a single unitary authority is too large and would have a detrimental impact on the social cohesion of the communities within each of the boroughs and districts. Cllr Simon Clark, said the usual size for a UA was between 300,000/400,000 and this rushed exercise was aimed at avoiding next year’s county council elections.

Elections that the Waverley Web does not believe will result in a Tory-controlled council. 

Cllr Nick Palmer – asked what is it that has driven this ill-thought-out attempt borne out of desperation and panic? Is it a cost-saving exercise by the government? “Let’s keep Local Government local.”

Peter Clark challenged Tim Oliver and his “power-grabbing band” to give the electorate of Surrey a chance to vote on alternative options. “Don’t be timid Tim and try to postpone next year’s county elections because that would not be democratic.”

Cllr Carole Cockburn warned that time was of the essence – and Waverley and others must not be overtaken by events, must mount a robust opposition by producing a strong case. “I am amazed at the way this has been done, but if we don’t propose something it will be imposed upon us.”

However, her Tory colleague Steve Cosser didn’t agree. He believed the residents of Waverley didn’t care who provided the services they needed as long as they were. There was a strong case for economies of scale.

Others said – they had wanted SCC abolished for years, saying it cannot even convince Offsted that it is competent to run its children’s services. Another asked,

“would you want the people who deal with our pot-holed roads to empty your bins?

Cllr George Wilson  claimed: Surrey was an authority which had shown it couldn’t even hold a virtual planning meeting – e.g. The recent UK Oil & Gas planning application – which he described as “A fiasco.” UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?

“They call this devolution when in reality it moves power and accountability further away from the voters. The sheer hubris displayed is breath-taking. Surrey is too big for a single unitary authority, and the timing of these proposed changes, given the pandemic, the economic crisis, and with the reality of Brexit looming, is completely reckless.”

 

Liz Townsend

 Liz Townsend

 Cllr Liz Townsend called the county bid “discourteous and predatory” and saw an even darker scenario behind the bid.

“This is an attempt to cut out and weaken the local planning process. To open the doors to development on more green fields.We would be better served to tell the Government that there are currently one million homes granted planning consent that have not yet been built and that is the real uncut truth.”

The WW understands that a letter is to go from, all but one or two local authorities to the Secretary of State voicing their concern and that the relevant chief executives would work together to put forward alternative proposals.

Guildford Borough Council has suggested a  contribution of £10,000 from each authority to commission the work looking at this further. 

Joss Bigmore (R4GV, Christchurch), who is expected to become GBC leader in September under the power-sharing agreement, said:

“R4GV is very supportive of this co-ordinated approach from the boroughs and districts of Surrey. We will not accept being told what is good for us by a county council that is more interested in Westminster and a ruthless desire to stay in power than what residents actually want and voted for in their thousands last May.

“They call this devolution when in reality it moves power and accountability further away from the voters. The sheer hubris displayed is breath-taking. Surrey is too big for a single unitary authority, and the timing of these proposed changes, given the pandemic, the economic crisis, and with the reality of Brexit looming, is completely reckless.

“There has to be a proper public consultation on the various options proposed but it seems SCC has already made their mind up on their preferred political solution, so how seriously they are looking at the actual business cases remains to be seen.

“We, with our partners across the county, will show our residents there is a better way, consolidation to improve efficiency without becoming detached from the very people who elect us.”

“The full [Guildford Borough] council has not debated this matter. It appears to have been promoted by Tim Oliver of SCC with Surrey MPs, following government pressure for devolvement, but without early engagement with local borough councils or residents and businesses.

“GGG advocate full transparency and involvement of all interested parties with a proper due consultation process.”

 

Dunsfold Heroes and Zeros

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Link to post on the decision earlier this week.UK Oil & Gas application in Dunsfold – Refused…for now?

Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council Paul Follows obviously doesn’t have a vain bone in his body – certainly not ignoring the rules on getting a haircut – only a  days to go eh! Paul?

200629-dunsfold-opposition-wag-1

aaukog-sharer

Oh dear – share price drilling down…

ZOOM in on the UK Oil and Gas debate tomorrow at Surrey County Council? Oh! No you can’t!

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dunsfolddeferred

POSTPONED

Here’s the link below. So Zoom in and watch democracy at work?

And… you still have time to write to your county councillors to stop this madness! All the links are listed below. Oh! No you don’t!

 

A Planning and Regulatory Committee Webcast meeting to be held by Surrey County Council on Thursday 21st May at 10.30am to consider the UK Oil and Gas application at the eastern end of High Loxley Road The site abuts the parish of Alfold’s boundary, so the paish council is urging villagers to listen-in.

Alfold Parish Council, alongside other Parish Council’s, district and town councils including Waverley orough Council have registered their strong objections on many grounds, including the impact of Alfold’s residents, local infrastructure, traffic safety and the scheme’s sustainability, being just a few reasons.

The Parish Council is not permitted to make representations at the Committee meeting but can be present (albeit virtually) to hear the arguments both for and against the proposals.

After all, why would it be allowed to have a say about such a controversial scheme right on its doorstep? Perish the thought!

Alfold Parish Council were expressly told that the application would be heard at the June meeting butwith just a few days notice heard that the application has been brought forward to Thursday May 21.

The Webcast link to the meeting is here > https://surreycc.public-i.tv/…/p…/webcast_interactive/486609 , and you should not need to register beforehand to listen in.

The Case Officers report can be viewed here > https://mycouncil.surreycc.gov.uk/…/Officer%20Loxley%20Repo…

If you have any comments to make on the application, please email Surrey County Councillors : victoria.young@surreycc.gov.uk; david.harmer@surreycc.gov.uk; nikki.barton@surreycc.gov.uk; andy.macleod@surreycc.gov.uk; peterj.martin@surreycc.gov.uk; andrew.f.povey@surreycc.gov.uk; stephen.spence@surreycc.gov.uk; penny.rivers@surreycc.gov.uk.

https://drillordrop.com/2020/05/06/covid-19-recovery-must-not-increase-climate-risk-government-adviser/

Here’s just one Alfold resident’s comments.

 

Dear Councillors

 

As you will hopefully now be aware there is significant opposition to these Proposals for UKOG for this Oil/Gas Drilling Application.

There are SO many reasons to simply say NO and you have to look at the many Neighbour, Business, Parish and Borough Objections as well. SCC has an obligation to listen to the Locals and Elected councillors and if they do not on Thursday we will all know that Democracy has left us and the 2021 elections will focus US ALL on this particular application as a strong reason to rethink previous voting decisions. There are many of us here that will ensure we do inform via social media and other sources, if this decision is taken to go ahead. I promise to do all I can to ensure that local residents are given the information they need to understand –  if you decide to go ahead with this Application.

I will not repeat the long list of Objections from the MANY that have posted on the website – Yet seem to have no impact on the Planners… I have to ask the question ( As I have on many occasions)  – What do they know that we don’t ?? Desk Based assessments are all good and well – But for goodness sakes there has to be some sort of communication – and there simply isn’t.. It leaves residents feeling their views are irrelevant and there is no Democracy.

It is incongruous that this application is being heard during this lockdown surely if footballers can play on a pitch with no contact YOU could have visited the site and seen the roads and local properties that will be affected within 500mtrs of the site, and yet you have decided  NOT to truly see the impacts it will have on the local communities and businesses in Dunsfold and the surrounding villages. This is an AGLV and adjacent to the AONB and this has to have some significance – not the insignificant impact that seems to be stated in the SCC Officers report…. Maybe if you live in Kingston it is not relevant– But it IS to those that will have to live with here in the East of the Borough.

It is well known (despite SCC Highways lack of objection) that these roads are totally unsuitable and unsafe in any sense of the word and 3 or 5 way phasing Traffic lights are not going to mitigate the chaos this is going to cause for however long this takes. It is a joke to even suggest they will be removed from 7pm – 7am (PLEASE!!)  Sites such as these should be established close to major Highways and NOT country lanes and small minor A roads – which the A281 is as we ALL KNOW.

There is has never been any sort of Cumulative Assessment of the impact on our roads from ALL the developments in the Area – each seems to have to be taken on its own merits – Surely SOMEONE in SCC Highways has to work out the TOTAL increase on the Highways (A281 and local roads) – Is that too much to ask for?

There are issues with The Water Framework Directive 2011, Light Pollution and noise which will affect the local residents and businesses. The potential of local tremors to many of the Grade II listed buildings in the areas has not been considered, nor the Environmental Habits Impact.

No consideration has been taken as to the impact on the Dunsfold Park current use as an Operational Airfield and its future use as a Business Park and Housing Village. The construction traffic alone will bring these minor roads to a standstill.

Finally SCC and WBC have all signed up to the Climate Change Emergency… How does this fit in with this? I understand that there is a need for locally sourced Gas/Oil so we are not importing from the Middle east etc… But this is not the answer – It is the destruction of the countryside that is the life and blood of THIS  country and I would have hoped that during this Pandemic that someone would have thought about this – The Countryside SHOULD be protected for what it can produce during times such as these – when we may need to look at producing our OWN food and not importing, when we can protect those Green Spaces which are the LUNGS of this great country – Do not Dig it all up for Housing/ Oil/ Gas. We need to look at sustainable means of supplying our energy – We need to look at means of making our Homes sustainable, we need to look at Building homes where people have access to all the facilities they expect and an infrastructure that supports them moving.  I happen to live in a Grade II listed building and looked at trying to be greener – But I am afraid I do not have £16K up front to do it ( You only get minimal repayments over years from the Government) We simply do not seem to have a Joined-up Policy on this it is just Build New homes regardless… Dig up the country-side for Gas/Oil – PLEASE  Think about this in a joined up way – not a piece meal way or you and this Country will fail massively

It is time we looked at the BIGGER picture and stopped looking at these short term solutions that TICK boxes.

Please Look at this with the views of the people that will have to deal with this for the next 5 years and remember that we will be voting and I really hope you can bear this in mind on Thursday

Look forward to the ZOOM event. I am just a private person who has only lived here for almost 6 years – But I love this place and I want the best for it. I have no political affiliations – I just care about what is happening here and I am afraid I am really angry about this an many other applications  and feel we have lost our Vote, our SAY in what is happening to a place we feel so much about – Please listen to us all – We care.

 

Kind regards

Denise Wordsworth

DWL ASSOCIATES

All those small acts of kindness – could make Covid-19 a life changer.

Featured

All over the country, if you added up all the small acts of kindness being played out on a daily basis it would add up to Tsunami.

Neighbours speaking to neighbours they have lived near to for years, but to whom they have never actually spoken. Telephone calls to long, almost forgotten friends and relatives, given the oxygen of contact after many years.  Facetime, Skype, Houseparty and Zoom are bringing people together all over the world.
People are now regularly partying on-line, holding dinner parties in their own homes, without the gas-guzzling travel or the need for a named driver. Vegetable growing has become the new must-do hobby, and baking is going through a revolution as you can see from the delightful Facebook message we have included below.  To all the Camilla Sophy’s, whoever and wherever you are – little things really do mean a lot. When this vicious epidemic is over let’s start a different epidemic – a Tsunami 2020  –  of caring and kindness?

The other day an elderly lady from across the road knocked to say how lovely the rainbows were in our windows. Later that day we left her a banana loaf and a note with my number in case she needed anything. This morning she rang me as she was lonely as her dog had to be put to sleep on Friday 😢 We had never spoken before lockdown even though we can see each other from our houses, and yet she rang me for someone to chat to. I feel so happy that she did that and I could help her today in some small way. I’m not posting this for praise or any of that, just to show the small things we can do in this time and you just don’t know how it could help someone. Be kind ❤️

Will Godalming Tories’ wish be granted?

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The Tory election machine has gone into overdrive in a bid to oust the single opposition voice that Godalming people have taken to their hearts and minds.

But as you will see from the picture below the Tories have more than Cllr Paul Follows to worry about. He has been joined by other local hopefuls wearing the Liberal Democrat yellow rosette, seeking seats in the town and borough councils.

One of the local issues they have highlighted is the proposed loss of the Godalming Surestart Children’s Centre axed recently by Surrey County Council.

As Nelson Mandela said:

“History will judge us by the difference we make to the everyday lives of children.”

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The group above recently met with Dawn Bellman and her ‘Surestart’ team and was very impressed by their commitment and support to the community.

Sure Start Children’s Centres give help and advice on child and family health, parenting, money, training and employment.

They are a “one-stop shop” offering their own services as well as signposting to other professional or services, eg. Family Information Service, Food Banks, Job Centre Plus and The Citizens Advice Bureau.

Each Centre is required to offer core services to all families from pregnancy right through those important early years until the child is at school, directly reflecting the needs of the local community.

In January, Surrey County Council announced plans to close 31 children’s centres across the county, but at the 11th hour postponed closing recycling centres until after the elections! A cynical attempt to dupe residents into believing they were safe.

The 100 % Tory controlled Cabinet voted to close the centres along with reductions to some bus travel concessions citing the need to save money due to government cuts.

However, it managed to find over £50m to fund 28 new shops in the Brightwells Yard development in Farnham. A scheme shunned by private investors. 

In a public consultation, 86% of respondents disagreed that children’s centres were an appropriate way to make savings.

It is still unclear to staff, families and the public what will happen. The group pictured above are demanding answers. 

Here at the WW – we await any communication from the Godalming’s Tory hopefuls.
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