Guess what? ‘Your Waverley’ intends to get smarter in future about the way it extracts money from developers! You read it here first … remember!

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Despite the usual protestations of “we are between a rock and a hard place,” and “what a shame we cannot even provide a few affordable homes” and even a sour snipe at Cranleigh developers from Councillor Mary Forysewski that “at least these Haslemere one and two bedroom properties will be  cheaper than those being built  in Cranleigh where a small proportion of affordable homes were being built by developers of £1.2m and £1.7m properties –  “for heaven knows how much profit.”

So because these poor Haslemere developers can only manage to scrape together a profit of between 15% and 25% – according to another band of EXPERTS,  employed at enormous expense by ‘Your Waverley’ there will be no “affordable homes,” insufficient car parking spaces, little or no disabled spaces, insufficient electric charging points and nowhere for anyone to park a mobility scooter to take them to the nearby Haslemere station! And, possibly only food bins, because

THE SITE IS NOT VIABLE! GET IT?

Councillors were given the financial information on PINK papers, for the uninitiated, information that is not for public consumption, because we might come to a different conclusion? Suffice to say The Developers  convinced the planners that:
“in culmination with costs to remediate the contamination from the land, the planning infrastructure contributions, abnormal costs (such as the provision of a new substation and contiguous piling and acoustic fence provision along the railway boundary) and the quality build costs, the proposal would be unable to viably support on-site affordable housing provision or a commuted sum.”

But, they didn’t convince councillors including Gerry Hyman; John Ward; Liz Townsend; and even chairman David Else and certainly not Godalming’s new boy Paul Follows: Who argued the application should be refused until the developer could come up with at least a few affordable homes!

The Council appointed independent viability consultants to analyse the developer’s figures, unfortunately,  details are exempt and for Councillors Eyes Only!

What does it cost to cover the Councils’s infrastructure asks? A mere £200K on a £11M project!

Transport Contribution: (SCC) £41,640; SPA Contribution for a National Trust Warden in Hindhead! £40,000; Education: (Early Years) (SCC) £30,287;Education:(Primary again SCC) £42,969; Play Areas (WBC) £25,312.50; Playing Pitches (WBC)£27,562.50; Recycling (WBC) £99.50 for food bins: 

Total £207,870.50.

The good news is: Councillors have asked officers that in future they would like to be a great deal smarter – yes SMARTER, about the 106 contributions provided by developers towards infrastructure. SMARTER! We nearly fell out of our web. After consenting thousands of homes across the borough they decide that now, while the stable door is closing they want to be smarter?

Why?

Because soon it is to be replaced by something called CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) which is three times higher, which if applied to most developments in the borough will almost certainly result in NO AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVISION ON SITES IN FUTURE!!

 

Thank you fly tippers for dumping on Haslemere and thank you Surrey County Council for encouraging it?

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The closure and part closure of many of Surrey’s recycling facilities combined with the increased charges for disposing of rubble brings about scenes like this captured below by a Haslemere resident.

Other people detritus is now blocking an access road to properties and will probably be a cost to the long-suffering ratepayers, who will, in the end, be responsible for its clearance.

If anyone recognises the wallpaper or anything else in this collection of refuse and rubble, please contact the Haslemere Community Board. We will attempt to be charitable and say someone may have paid to have this builder’s rubble removed but instead, to save time and money it has been dumped blocking accesses to properties. 

At last night’s Waverley Joint Planning Committee councillors and planning officers discussed clearing up an untidy site by granting planning permission to build 45 apartments in two blocks, at 5-21 Wey Hill, Haslemere, saying it would dramatically improve the entrance to the town! (The subject of another post to follow).

Imagine meeting this lot when you drive home!!

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Oh! What a night – at Waverley planning “experts” roundtable​ tonight?

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As one of our followers said to us recently:

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So tonight another planning officer bites the dust – and he’s only been in the job a month!

You probably saw Richard Fox at ‘Your Waverley’s’ last Joint Planning Committee when the poor devil was asked questions that he was simply unequipped to answer about the Hewitts development in Cranleigh. Q. Did the four storey homes have dormer windows or not?  He said NO!

Suffice to say, they do, so councillors were misled, and as a consequence of an enjoyable early lunch!!! followed by a difficult interview – up goes the advert for another planning officer? And up goes the planning application again tonight – to be revisited? And… OUT GOES RICHARD! You can view it here: Thank heaven there are a few councillors left at Waverley that care about – the new town they have dubbed – ‘Poor Old Cranleigh.”

What baffles us here at the Waverley Web is? ‘YW’s” Planning officers consistently mislead councillors, or don’t answer their questions at all, which is the same thing? So why aren’t more of them going out through the big glass security doors, never to return?

And tonight?

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Councillors are being asked to rubber-stamp this application for 45 one and two bedroomed flats by the railway at Wey Hill tonight. 

The Developers have convinced the planners that:
“in culmination with costs to remediate the contamination from the land, the planning infrastructure contributions, abnormal costs (such as the provision of a new substation and contiguous piling and acoustic fence provision along the railway boundary) and the quality build costs, the proposal would be unable to viably support on-site affordable housing provision or a commuted sum.”

Whilst the Council has appointed independent viability consultants to analyse the developer’s figures, unfortunately, all the details are exempt and for Councillors Eyes Only!

What does it cost to cover the Councils’s infrastructure asks? A mere £200K on a £11M project.

Transport Contribution

£41,640

SPA Contribution

£40,000

Education: (Early Years)

£30,287

Education: (Primary)

£42,969

Play Areas

£25,312.50

Playing Pitches

£27,562.50

Recycling

£99.50

Total

£207,870.50
Please don’t refuse it though, say the officers, as we have already counted 39 of these dwellings in the Local Plan to provide their Five Year Supply. As the Council has that Land supply – why not refuse it until you get a better brownfield offer?

Waverley Planners have just had a once in a blue moon moment!

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Despite the odds being stacked in favour of a hill-top pile used as an office building in Haslemere making way for 27 new homes – councillors shunned Betty’s boot – and refused the controversial scheme on the edge of the town.

Wow! Shucks! Did the heat go to the heads of members of Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee last week when they voted by 14 to ? against converting offices at  Longdene Hose and build in its grounds in Hedgehog Lane? Chairpeople at ‘YW’ never actually announce what the vote is!!

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Alfold’s Councillor Kevin Deanus said “this picture” of the proposed development site which  proposes further damage to the countryside – “says it all.”

Waverley officers saw no reason to refuse consent for a development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Great Landscape Value. The site is beyond the town settlement and very close to Sturt Farm, Haslemere nearby and where 135 dwellings have been approved.

However, councillors did!  In response to councillor Steven Mulliner’s claims that with a 5-year land supply under its belt there was no requirement for development in areas of constraint in Waverley.

PO Louise Yandell warned councillors that  Haslemere’s housing allocation of  990 new homes during the life of the Local Plan was a “minimum and not a maximum figure.”

The usual Martini advocates of development – “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere, except in their own wards, gave good reasons why the scheme should be approved! They said they were fearful an appeal on a previous scheme to be heard in October would be approved.

The Tory cabal of Waverley Council’s yes men/women who will hopefully be hanging up their councillor (PSBD) identity tags soon  – Band; Goodridge; Carole Cockburn ; Anna James and not forgetting former chairman Peter Isherwood whose hand is never down and has been shunted out of the Chairman’s  seat followed by his vice-chairman CC – and we don’t mean Coco Chanel’s – after their distasteful remarks about the Eastern villages! He has been shunted to the right and she (CC) has been shunted off the bench altogether! Teach them to turn off their mics before they insult their residents?

For once even Farnham Residents’ Councillor Jerry Hyman’s argument about the lack of Appropriate Assessment under the Special Protection Area (SPA’s) issues found favour with some. Cranleigh’s Liz Townsend challenged officers’ claims that if the development went ahead there WAS  “sufficient mitigation?” But the officers and their legal chums stubbornly refuse to accept challenges that they might not be obeying an environmental law by carrying out appropriate assessment and are ducking under the comfort blanket provided by Natural England. You can read the Sweetman ruling by clicking on the link below.

Some claim that “Your Waverley’ and Natural England’S APPROACH  HAS  FOR MANY YEARS IGNORED ENVIRONMENTAL LAW.

Has a ruling by the European Court of Justice sent an Exocet missile into Waverley Towers?

The answer, of course, is NO! Because Waverley Borough Council has decided it doesn’t have to obey The European Court of Justice ruling – well that is until someone challenges them of course? Is that the sound of another Judicial Review we hear?

Funny – that nobody  mentioned the loss of office accommodation – wonder why – when according to Waverley Council’s data it  is becoming increasingly concerned having lost an amazing:

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Not to mention that they receive not a single penny in 106 infrastructure contributions from these developments as well as the loss of business rates and premises where residents can WORK!

 

 

We’re back – and catching up!

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While our team was away we received the comment featured below, and further comments from others, on the JR Local Plan and Dunsfold Aerodrome High Court hearings- here’s our rather belated response.

Dear Mr Ruffles

Apologies for the delay in replying but even the Waverley Web needs to take a break and hang out somewhere else!

We were not represented by any of our correspondents at the High Court on 12 July. However, that doesn’t mean our post was a work of fiction. We received feedback via a mole at Waverley Borough Council and from one or two boasts by the rather smug members of the PoW Campaign who didn’t realise they were confiding in the wrong person!!

Clearly, as we weren’t present, we can’t vouch for the veracity of everything we were told but have heard several accounts of the proceedings from people who were and having cross-referenced them we were happy to report with the caveat that if anyone who was present took issue with our post we would be happy to issue an amendment or clarification if necessary.

With regard to how well Waverley Borough Council was represented, we were told Waverley’s Chief Executive Tom Horwood; the Leader, Julia Potts;  Head of Planning, Elizabeth Sims and her sidekick “Sick As A” Graham Parrott were present in Court. Given the importance of the occasion – the potential voiding of Waverley’s latest Local Plan – a Plan, moreover, that has been many years and many hundreds of thousands of pounds in the making – so they bloody should be! If the Plan gets thrown out – thanks to CPRE and PoW – it will be CATASTROPHIC for both the Borough and its residents!  Particularly Cranleigh – whose countryside will go under concrete faster than knotweed can spread!
And, with that thought in mind, it was right and proper that the Council fielded its senior team. Indeed, given the importance you place on PoW’s arguments to the whole of Waverley and its Local Plan, we’re only surprised that you’re quibbling about Waverley fielding its movers and shakers! You really can’t have your cake, eat it and have some left over for a trifle, Mr Ruffles!

Who the Dunsfold Developer chose to rock up with is neither here nor there, as far as we’re concerned, because we, the Waverley taxpayers, aren’t footing the bill! However, we understand their CEO, AKA the Flying Scot and their lead on the Dunsfold development, Jerry Forrester, were present. It’s hardly surprising that a ‘gentleman from Trinity College’ was present given they’re the site owner! Bloody rude if he hadn’t shown his face if you ask us.

We love the phrase contrived to sit ‘hugger mugger’ with the WBC team. According to one of our moles, the Dunsfold Developer and his team sat on the right of the courtroom, very properly behind their legal eagles. It was the PoW supporters who plumped themselves down behind the Dunsfold Developer, despite their legal team being on the left side of the courtroom! What was all that about? 

However, it’s summer and the sun’s shining, we’re just back from our hols (the Charlotte’s Web Barn, in case you’re interested!) and we’re in a good mood.

Turning to your final paragraph, WBC has failed miserably, prior to the appointment of Julia Potts and Elizabeth Sims, to get its act together and produce a  Local Plan. Had it done so under the previous regimes of the unlamented Mrs Mary Orton-Pett, Councillor Richard Shut-the-Gates and Councillor Robert Know-less, Waverley wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in today. Those three, burying their heads in the sand and sticking two fingers up to the government, has left WBC with a disastrous legacy which La Potts and Sims have struggled to overcome. It just goes to show, if you want something doing, ask a woman!

No one – least of all La Potts and Sims – want to inflate Waverley’s housing numbers, though it sometimes appears the latter tries hard –  but the fact remains that without an adopted Local Plan the entire borough is in deep do-do and at risk of even more development than under the current challenged Plan.

You may choose to think PoW’s motives are as white as the driven snow but we beg to differ – as pure as the driven slush more like! The only thing Bob Lies and his cronies care about is killing off the Dunsfold Development and in questioning the housing numbers – which WBC was forced to accept, under duress, in order to get an adopted Local Plan in place – they saw an opportunity to upset the Dunsfold decision. Whoopee! Never mind that no housing at Dunsfold Aerodrome means more housing in Cranleigh, the eastern villages and Farnham. Who cares about those towns? Certainly not the inappropriately named Protect our Waverley!

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The Potty one is “so excited” that the redevelopment at Blightwells has begun.

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I’m so excited – I almost Pirates of Penzance.

 

We nearly fell off our Web with helpless laughter as we hung suspended in a dark and dusty corner of Farnham this week – and we could hear the chuckles reverberating through the town.

Are we – Waverley taxpayers’ paying good money in council tax for this drivel to be printed by ‘Your Waverley’s’ spin machine called – ‘Your Waverley.’

Because if it was OUR Waverley ‘Your Waverley’ would be listening to the opposition that is rearing its head ever higher to us with the “vibrant new scene”  about to land in our midst!

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• Bridge over the River Wey

Trees have been cleared along the A31 to make way for a new bridge across the River Wey, which will take construction traffic away from the town during the main works starting in 2019. Hoarding will go up around the site in August and there will be traffic management measures on the A3l, reducing to one lane and reducing the speed limit from 50 to 44 miles an hour until Christmas.

• Walk this Wey

To make way for the scheme there are also some planned footpath closures. The footpath that runs behind Dogflud Car Park, between South Street and the Leisure Centre is closed and re-routed. From 6 August until March 2019, Borelli Walk will close so the bridge can be built. New access schemes will be created within the completed scheme.

• New Wey in

Dogflud Car Park will be closed during the construction phase and will be upgraded, along with South Street Car Park, to provide modern accessible and safe parking. Other benefits include an additional £l.4 million to improve traffic flows at key junctions in the town centre, a new park and stride scheme and upgraded public transport infrastructure.

The leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Brightwells. Councillor Julia Potts, was so excited she put on her best bonnet and said:

“I am so excited that work has now started to progress the scheme and residents can see that things are happening. Once the hoarding is up and the bridge starts to get built there will be some disruption but I hope that people will see that it will be worth it in the long term. Farnham is desperate for a cinema, new homes and a retail offer”.

What a load of drivel. 

The Campaign For The Protection of some parts of rural England’s hypocrisy​ is legendary!

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While Waverley’s green fields and green belt are currently sinking, or about to sink under concrete, this once-respected national organisation is whining about the lack of affordable housing and the need for local authorities to grant permissions on brownfield sites!

 

The very same hypocritical outfit that has joined forces with the local NIMBYs – some of whom are DEVELOPERS themselves, to take ‘Your Waverley,’ to the High Court – limiting their own costs to just £10,000 while wasting shedloads of our council tax, simply because they are supporting a Local Plan which includes development in their backyards at Dunsfold Aerodrome. One of the biggest brownfield sites this side of London!

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Does ‘Your Waverley’ have to manage a crisis now the High Court has allowed challenges to the Local Plan to be heard at a Judicial Review?

All the Rumpoles will have their wheelbarrows at the ready to trouser the taxpayers’ cash being poured into their oversized pant pockets – however, what’s the old saying – “he who laughs last laughs longest.” Because one of Waverley’s famous four (Milford Man) who challenged the Local Plan – has had his fingers slightly singed  – and his bank balance reduced, by a High Court decision to award Waverley their costs!

Oops – the judge also refused to give the other challengers the assurances they crave that their costs will be limited to £10,000 for a judicial review to be held in the Autumn! 

The mutter in the gutter around Alfold/Dunsfold/Hascombe/Loxwood/Chiddingfold is that some of the parish councils who have used their money to prime the legal pump have had enough and are not stumping up any more of their parish precept to fund the ‘impossible fight!’

In the meantime, while the birds sing, and the planes continue to fly at the airfield – Cranleigh is turning into one big building site and the only caterpillars are of the tractor species.

Here’s who is reading the Waverley Web.

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Screen Shot 2017-07-22 at 00.11.46While we are away sunning ourselves in foreign climes we thought you might like to know which countries now regularly follow the comings and goings of ‘Your Waverley?

Who says the Waverley Web cannot reach the parts that others reach?

So don’t forget to subscribe or follow to hear what is happening in and around the Waverley Borough. Because, we may be away resting, but we are still posting and back soon!!

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After 50 years in Farnham – another major chain store​ ​ closes its doors!

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Last Saturday saw the DOROTHY PERKINS store in Farnham close its doors for the last time.

This brings to an end a 50 year-long association of the popular store with our town!  – Here are just a few of the others – but fear not there will be dozens of new shops opening soon in the Woolmead and Blightwells developments (with our money) – won’t there?

But .. according to the DP’s store staff – another nice shop is due to take its place?

Here’s what Farnham people think about our local authorities cunning plan to invest our money in more shops and restaurants.

The number of business and retail units in Waverley being turned into homes is reaching alarming proportions.

And… what about Guildford! Where two flagship stores – House of Fraser and Debenhams boasting half a million square feet of retail floor space look set to fail!

Whatever the outcome of takeover talks going on as we type, questions will remain over the sustainability of these two anchor department stores in Guildford, and there will be concerns about the possible economic and fiscal implications, locally, should either fail.

Additionally, current council plans (Guildford BC) for up to 420,000 square feet of new retail space on North Street might now look even more doubtful, especially following the Local Plan examiner’s remarks querying the logic of this allocation, despite GBC’s planning department’s defence of their decision.

 Tory councils, with the backing of Surrey County Council, are so arrogant as they play Monopoly with our money! Can’t they read the runes?

House of Fraser, Guildford was refitted and relaunched as a new store in 2000. It was previously known as the Army & Navy, and before that Harvey’s. The store includes the Jellicoe Heritage Roof Garden, a water garden designed and installed by the late Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe in 1958 and where customers could once sit and eat enjoying a panoramic view across the town.  It was closed for health and safety reasons. It has a grade II listing from English Heritage and, according to the House of Fraser website, has a dedicated gardener.

See also: Comment: It Is True – The Number of Empty Shops in Guildford Is Increasing

Just a little thought on Woking’s unmet need straight from our sun lounger?

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There’s nothing like sitting on a sun lounger sipping a Pink Gin listening to the waves lapping against the rocks to get the old brain cells working is there?

Here’s a thought for you which we haven’t seen expressed anywhere to date but I think it is a point which could do with an airing.

Dunsfold Aerodrome was in the latest version of the local plan right from the start, wasn’t it? So it has been tested and consulted on at every stage.

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When the Woking unmet need figures were introduced and then confirmed by the Inspector in 2017 Waverley’s answer was to add numbers TO THE REST OF THE BOROUGH including Farnham. See MM3 on page 7 below.

So in the unlikely scenario that CPRE wins its challenge to the local plan on the Woking unmet need point, people should be asking themselves why should it be Dunsfold Aerodrome that gets thrown into doubt and removed from the local plan (the PoW case) and not all the additional houses which were bolted onto Farnham (and undermined their neighbourhood plan if you remember) and Cranleigh and various other places including some in the Green Belt?

In this case, it should really be “last in, first out”

Just a thought? Back home soon when we will reveal all the countries reading the Waverley Web!

You can read it for yourself here:

Schedule of Main Modifications