Building on the ‘Green Belt’ Ok for some in “Your Waverley?’

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No stranger to supporting development in the Green Belt  Bramley Councillor – All- at – Seabourne – popped up again recently at a Waverley Planning Meeting to do it again!

Despite being at odds with the expert planning officers’ recommendation to refuse a house being built on the green belt (AGLV & AONB) in Hascombe – All-At-Sea – led the charge to overturn their advice.  Claiming a bit of the old flour mill wheel and a bit of wall on the site was enough to drive a coach and horses through planning rules! 

(Planning Application No WA/2021/0016).

All-At Sea` called the planning application into the committee for determination because he, and others – believed the development should be allowed. Officers had wanted to refuse it on policy grounds – under their delegated powers. They claimed it was against planning policy, was outside the settlement of Hascombe and would impact GB and AGLV/ AONB.

Cranleigh Councillor Liz Townsend didn’t believe that the remains of a flour mill wheel  (a non designated heritage asset), was sufficient grounds to develop the land, and was very concerned about setting a precedent.
“This is in the Green Belt – outside the village settlement  – and I am very concerned about allowing this.”
She argued there were no “special circumstances” at least not any that could not be used not to accept similar development elsewhere. “We are going down a very slippery slope here, this development does not stack up on planning grounds.”

Here’s where it is.

Here’s what remains

The Application was AGREED BY 11 VOTES TO 3 WITH ONE ABSTENTION. So,  All-at-Sea’s call-in was another success story. The same councillor who, a few years ago, voted to SUPPORT the building of SIX HOUSES on GREEN BELT land in Park Drive, Bramley (Planning Application Nos WA/2016/2405 & WA/2017/1169). 

It would seem this is yet another case of cronyism in high places for, together with his former Ward-mate, By-pass Byham (AKA former Councillor Maurice Byham), Councillor All-at-Sea threw a life-jacket and belt to his Tory crony, former MP for Epsom & Ewell, Archie Hamilton, (who was made a life peer, in 2005, when he became Baron Hamilton of Epsom).  Just goes to show the Tory Tossers stick together when it comes to planning matters.

At the time he declared an interest – and then waded in to support the scheme on Bramley’s Green Belt.

He went along with the applicants who said they were, “extremely passionate about renovating the Mill (that isn’t there and according to heritage records has never been mentioned) because it is “part of village history.” 

Developers wanting to build in the Green Belt: ‘Form an orderly queue!’

 

As one villager said – ‘how many more bloody houses are they going to dump on Alfold?

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Yet another planning application has been submitted for the former Wyevale Garden Centre in Alfold – and just like Topsy – it has “just growed and growed.”
Developers Alfold Real Estates which already has permission for 56 homes tucked into its back pocket now wants to up the ante to 78!

And neither can the Royal Surrey Hospital! It comments in its letter to Waverley Planners.

“The Trust’s utilisation of acute bed capacity is at 95% which significantly exceeds the optimal 85% occupancy rate. This demonstrates that current occupancy levels are highly unsatisfactory, and the problem will be compounded by an increase in need created by the development which does not coincide with an increase in the number of bed spaces available at the Hospital. This is the inevitable result where clinical facilities are forced to operate at overcapacity. Any new residential development will add a further strain on the current acute healthcare system.”

It wants £160,000 if the development goes ahead towards providing healthcare.

Dear God, how many more bloody houses are they going to try and squeeze into a village that has no amenities?
Denise Wordsworth  says: 
Once again we have a developer trying to increase the number of Housing for this small Village with limited facilities or infrastructure. A village that has met its housing obligation of a min 125 Homes and in fact far exceeded it!
It is simply not good enough to expect a Tier 3 Village to take on this volume of housing. There has been NO PUBLIC consultation on this – minimal for the previous application limited to a few local (Or not so local as we live closer and had none) neighbours, and the APC. They are basing this yet again on the fact that WBC MAY OR MAY NOT have its  5 year husing supply. – But that does not mean that housing should be DUMPED here in one of the smaller Villages.
Planning has to be appropriate to the location with it’s needs and resources and this simply isn’t. The fact that the Inspector granted the original application for 56 Homes and took no consideration of the other appeal applications – just shows the system is flawed.  Reliance on the Dunsfold Park Application is NOT RELEVANT – It has not gone to Reserved Matters and should therefore not be considered and until it does.. this is flagrant Piggy-Backing off a development under review in Planning terms.
I have no doubt that if this is refused they will re-apply for the 88 homes they also put into the mix. This is simply wrong and puts all smaller applications in jeopardy – which are the sort of applications the village can deal with. I will resubmit my original opposition under separate cover. But For now, I simply OBJECT
The application reference is WA/2021/0462.
The deadline for comments is 16 April 2021. But you can keep sending them in.

 

 

 

Latest update on road closures in Waverley & Guildford.

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Surrey County Council

Is this the new dangerous sport coming soon for Surrey’s pot-hole filled roads?

Here are the latest updates for Waverley and Guildford – road closures and traffic lights.
Click on these links to avoid the road closures and traffic lights – if you can!

Following Follows and Rivers on their journey to Surrey County Council.

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Here at the Waverley Web, we have been an admirer of Paul Follows since he first arrived on the scene at Waverley Towers. And the answer is NO – if you believe it is because he is a Liberal Democrat. the truth is far simpler.

It is because he tells it as it is, warts and all.

He communicates directly with the public. Not through a laboriously long-winded and slow communications machine – where the language is couched in ‘council speak’ and where misuse of words blunts the edge of the message. 

Paul Follows is not on a “direction of travel’ or ‘engaged in a piece of work.’ He is making a plan and doing the job – and telling everyone in the process – including the Waverley Web.  The same Waverley Web that is loathed by the Conservative Group who believed in doing things behind our backs – making decisions in Group Meetings – which we understand is still in Committee Room 1 – a domain normally reserved for the ruling group, not the largest group? The same group that failed consistently to deliver a robust Local Plan, and which for years ignored the largest brownfield site in the borough! Which has now dumped us in a developers hole!

On 6 May the party’s stranglehold at Surrey could end, as it has in Waverley and other councils across the county. Tories currently hold 61 of the 81 seats.

That the dream team the Lib Dems have come up with will make a massive difference at County Towers – we are in no doubt. Particularly when Cllr Mark Merryweather joins the county fray. We Bet Fred, or anyone else, that once in the hot seat ‘MM’ will be trawling through Surrey’s accounts and going through them with a fine-tooth comb. He might not only discover WHY Surrey wants to take over the 11 boroughs & district councils but actually tell us what fine mess it is really in?

 

Here’s his message from a brave man who made it before the hairdressers opened

 

Does Surrey County Council wish “Your Waverley’ was responsible for the roads?

 Surrey can’t spell Waverley! It’s official.

When you spend a great deal of time trying to let residents know the difference between what Waverley Borough Council does and what Surrey County Council does…and then you get this sign-in in Farnham is it any surprise that we want to bring about change in the May elections?

Or perhaps Surrey’s head honchos who a while back wanted to create a unitary authority for the county decided that perhaps if Waverly and other borough councils actually had the responsibility for caring for our pot-holed roads it knew of someone who could do it better? 
No doubt the Waverly County Council in Wisconsin, West Virginia? Or perhaps Waverly Council in South Dakota – or better still how about Waverly in Nebraska! 
Or step forward to the country where they know all about road building – Waverly Gauteng in South Africa?
Perhaps this Cranleigh & Ewhurst County Councillor is responsible for the Spelling Bees at County Towers? Because this is his official title on his web page!
For all the confused souls in our town – the road network is the responsibility of Surrey and not Waverley! But to say Surrey manages our road is a bit of an exaggeration!

 

 

Prince Phillip – we salute you.

 

 A remarkable life – lived.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Following the official announcement, the Mayor of Waverley, Councillor Penny Marriott commented:

“On behalf of all the residents of Waverley I would like to express how deeply saddened we are at the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. He leaves behind a huge legacy of sacrifice and service to the country, through his time in the military and an incredible range of charitable works.

All our thoughts are with Her Majesty and the Royal Family at this time.”

Although this is an extraordinarily difficult time for many, we ask you not to gather at Royal Residences and to continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel. We are supporting the Royal Household in their request that floral tributes should not be laid at Royal Residences at this time.

Although physical books of condolence are not available due to Covid-19, an online book of condolence is available for everyone to sign by visiting https://www.royal.uk/.

Britain has entered eight days of mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh during which flags will be flown at half-mast, TV presenters will wear black and Parliament will pass no new laws.

Between now and Prince Philip’s funeral, the Queen will not carry out any duties either in public or in private, and any new laws requiring Royal Assent will not be sent to her for approval.

Churches and public buildings have been told not to open books of condolence for the Duke because of Covid restrictions. Official Government guidance says an online book of condolence, opened on the Royal family’s official website on Friday night, should be the sole portal for the public to express their personal tributes.

National mourning will last until 8 am on the day after the Duke’s funeral, with all official flags, including the Union flag, to be flown at half-mast on Government buildings.

The royal standard, flown above royal palaces when the Queen is in residence, never flies at half-mast because it is a symbol of the continuation of the monarchy. The College of Arms has said any non-official flags, such as armed forces flags, should be taken down and replaced with a Union flag or a national flag of the home nations.

The Queen is expected to broadcast a televised message to the nation in tribute to her husband, and the Government will consider arrangements for a national two-minute silence in his honour.

A seven-page document sent to government departments states that “national mourning guidance” for the public, industry and business will be issued as soon as the Royal Household has confirmed final arrangements for the Duke’s funeral.

The Government guidance says “departments communicating directly with the Royal Household should use black-edged stationery during the period of National Mourning on matters relating to demise”. Ministers and officials involved in public events related to Prince Philip must wear a dark suit and black tie or a dark day dress, with a dark coat, and a dark hat and gloves if they wish to.

MPs are expected to wear black armbands while they are at work, and armbands are likely to be worn at sporting events this weekend. A-two minute silence will be observed at the Grand National at Aintree today.

Arrangements for changing photographs of the Duke in official buildings will be announced following the lifting of Covid restrictions in June. The guidance also says all updates to departmental websites and social media channels such as Twitter must be personally signed off by directors of communications in each department.

Parliament will scale back its work in a similar way to periods of “purdah” before elections. No new laws will be passed, no Government announcements will be made and no ministers will give interviews or tweet about policy unless it is specifically to give public health guidance.

MPs have been recalled on Monday – a day early – from their Easter break to pay tribute to the Duke in the Commons.

Downing Street press conferences will be suspended until after the funeral, and local election campaigning has been suspended “until further notice” following a discussion between Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader.

Downing Street said Mr Johnson had also cancelled plans to visit a pub for a pint of beer on Monday, when pubs and restaurants will be allowed to start serving customers outdoors.

 The official Royal family website was replaced with a single memorial page to the Duke, while the Prince of Wales’s website was suspended.

Following the eight days of official mourning, the Queen and her family are expected to go into royal mourning for a further 30 days, though exact details have not yet been announced. Members of the Royal family, their staff and representatives of the Queen abroad are expected to wear black and use black-edged writing paper.

Not a shaggy dog story but a sad dog story?

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Here at the Waverley Web we never write about children or animals.

 

Not because we have anything against them – in fact, we love children and are nuts about our own animals.  There have been times during this Pandemic when homeschooling and being around our children 24/7 stretched our parenting abilities to their limits at times. But our dog/s were our saviours. They never complained and stuck by us on some of the longest walks they have ever been forced to take, without as much as a whine. They helped save our family’s sanity.

So when we saw that this girl’s eyes gazing at us from the screen we felt we had to do our bit to help reunite her with her loving family.

Call us sloppy, but she melted the hearts of everyone on our team here at the Waverley Web and judging by the comments of Surrey Police, they were smitten by her too.

So let’s do everything we can to get her back home soon – by sharing this post far and wide?

Godalming’s Labour Candidate ready to fight for county seat.

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Despite everything that has gone on over the past year, we are having County Council elections in Surrey on 6th May.

So this has given a new boy on the block  Toby, a Digital Assessment Officer at the University of Surrey, an opportunity to throw his hat into the ring for the Godalming North seat on behalf of the Labour Party.

Here’s Toby Westcott-White’s message:

I’m proud to be running as the Labour candidate in Godalming North, which encompasses Godalming town centre, Farncombe, Binscombe and Charterhouse.

I moved to the Godalming town centre almost four years ago just after graduating from university. I grew up in Haslemere and currently work in Guildford and tend to spend most of my free time exploring our wonderful countryside on foot and on a bicycle.

Why am I running for Surrey County Council?

I do not believe the people of Godalming are getting the investment they deserve from the Conservative-dominated council.

The Tories have controlled the County Council for nearly all my life and they have been ruthless in their cuts to our public services. We can clearly see that roads are poorly maintained, cycle paths are rare and our fire services, which keep us all safe, are being cut.
We need a county that has excellent transport links, world-standard education and outstanding public services – from which we all benefit. 

If elected, I will be a radical voice to stand up for genuine investment in our public services.

This May, you can send a message that Surrey can and should be better. Let’s send this message by voting Labour.

Toby Westcott-White
Labour Party Candidate for Godalming North 

County elections

The County Council elections are on May 6, and I’d urge you to get a postal vote if you haven’t already. See here for how to do it: https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Council-information/Registering-to-vote-and-elections/Absent-voting-postal-or-proxy.

But of course, you’re free to vote in person if you’d prefer it!

A further message from Waverley’s Labour Councillor and former Labour MP Nick Palmer.

Surrey is dominated by the Conservatives, who hold 61 of the 81 seats. But – and here I’m being party political, of course – Labour is putting up a serious challenge this time, with candidates in every division and an impressive range of energetic young talent to take on the tired and complacent Council leadership.

I’d urge you to vote for whichever party and candidates actually impress you most when you compare their literature. Labour’s Godalming candidates are Toby Westcott-White in the North and Zahoor Zahida in the South.

Voting Labour also sends a signal to the Government not to be too complacent – when even their Surrey bastion starts to swing, they WILL take notice.

The LibDems always use each election to ask for tactical votes from Labour voters “just this once” and then at the next election cynically use that as an argument to do it again (“see how weak Labour was last time, so vote for us”). 

Labour is in practice the only credible alternative to the Conservatives nationally – nobody really thinks that Ed Davey might be the next Prime Minister, but Keir Starmer might well be.

It’s important to show that Britain isn’t as divided as people say and Surrey voters are interested in a credible alternative as well. I hope I contribute usefully to local politics – if you vote Labour, you’re voting for a fresh wind at the County level too!

 

“Your Waverley’ unimpressed by Government changes to the New Homes Bonus.

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To say that Waverley’s Executive is unimpressed with the Government’s Consultation on the changes it intends to make to the New Homes Bonus is an understatement.

Consultation description

The Government introduced the New Homes Bonus in 2011 as an incentive to encourage housing growth by local authorities in their areas. The aim of the bonus was a financial reward to encourage them to help facilitate more housing. 

The present consultation covers a number of options for reforming the programme and claims to provide an incentive that is more focused and targeted on ambitious housing delivery. It also claims it will complement the reforms outlined in the government’s Planning White Paper, and dovetail with the wider financial mechanisms the government is putting in place, including the infrastructure levy (CIL) and the Single Housing Infrastructure Fund.

So it will come as no surprise that following The Spending Review in 2018 the government decided to make savings of at least £800 million – probably more Post-Covid, – and direct the money it saves toward county councils to fund social care.

 The consultation sought views on:

  • reducing the number of years for which the Bonus is paid from 6 years to 4 years, 3 years or 2 years
  • withholding the Bonus from areas where an authority does not have a Local Plan in place
  • abating the Bonus in circumstances where planning permission for new development that has only been granted on appeal
  • adjusting the Bonus to reflect estimates of deadweight (introducing a baseline above 0%)

Following a consultation, in 2017/18 the Government implemented changes to:

  • reduce the number of years the Bonus is paid to 5 years in 2017/18 and 4 years from 2018/19
  • introduce a baseline of 0.4% growth of housing stock below which the Bonus would not be paid (and retained the option of adjusting the baseline to ensure allocations remained within the funding envelope)

Documents for yet another Consultation are in the link below.

CouncillorsHere’s what Lib Dem Cllr Mark Merryweather, Waverley’s Portfolio Holder for Finance & Commercial Services had to say about the Government’s Consultation – which Waverley has now responded to in writing.

A Consultation which he described this week as a …

“very important matter.”

 

When you are in a Haslemere hole – stop digging Ged.

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According to wannabe Surrey County Councillor Ged Hall – Haslemere’s potholes need fixing?

Wouldn’t it be great if he managed to get a hold of the facts before he started digging the dirt? It was ‘job already done’ by Cllr Nikki Barton who he wants to oust!

 We know it was April Fools Day when the Tory candidate for Haslemere’s county council seat lobbed one at the sitting Independent for not ensuring Surrey’s roads were kept up to scratch. However,  he dug a mighty hole for himself. A large one that in the future, he may need to fill?

Whisper who dares?

Hasn’t anyone told the Tory hopeful that the county council has been dominated by Conservatives for the past four years and more? The Conservatives currently hold 61 of the 81 seats, which by anyone’s reckoning seems to us like nobody, including Cllr Barton, gets a look-in?

However, if the Tory bastion starts to swing another way – the Tory Government just might have to give a little more seed corn to the cash-strapped local authority.  It has already lost the overall control of both Guildford and Waverley Borough Councils. It won’t want to lose Surrey.

SCC has invested 59m into the Farnham scandal that is Blightwells. An unpopular scheme to provide the town with 28 new shops and eight new restaurants, and more housing. A development partnership between Waverley and Surrey that Cllr Hall backed all the way from Godalming to Farnham – and back again when he was Waverley’s deputy leader. 

 Perhaps the money could have been put to better use?  Among them filling many thousands of dangerous potholes, or perhaps even go a step further and do a proper job and re-surface Surrey’s third-world roads?

THE Tory backlash in 2019 where Ged Hall lost both his seats slashed the number of councillors from 49 to 23.

Does Mr Hall ever listen to the SCC/Waverley Highway Partnership meetings? Meetings where sitting county and borough councillors regularly rabbit on about the state of our roads? There is more rabbiting there than on Watership Down about the king-size holes appearing across every highway and byway in Waverley, and the officers’ answers remain the same. “There’s not enough money.” 
You have to move to Sussex if you want decent roads, and even across the Hampshire border, it too has problems. 

But who better to blame, when you are a hole and want it filled than to blame SCC Cllr Nikki Barton who currently represents Haslemere. And, a damned fine job the Independent councillor has made of it too.

Come on Nikki, surely you have a spare shovel and a barrowload of tarmac, and a few hours to spare? OK, we know you have long been calling for the repairs, and have had assurances from highways officials that said holes at the Liphook Rd and Critchmere Junction will be filled, and subsequently have been. But that doesn’t satisfy the bloke who lost his seat on Waverley Borough Council so now wants yours! 
We know, and he knows his story is full of holes – but he needed a headline story.
So when Cllr Hall joins County Towers in May will he be having that conversation he promises with the head highway honchos to fill the potholes in Surrey’s roads – all of them? Or just the ones in Haslemere?
Earlier this month pothole complaints achieved a record when 586 were received in just one day. So, we wish you well Cllr Hall. No doubt you believe that as you can walk on water when you arrive at County Towers on May 7th they will give you a wheelbarrow and a shovel, so you can really start digging the dirt? 

“Hold on Jack” – Surrey County Councillor Ged Hall is on his way.”

 

 

 

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@VoteNikkiBarton

Replying to

It would be helpful if Ged Hall, Tory candidate gathered the full facts before making public statements via

implying I was not taking full responsibility for securing funds for this repair in Haslemere. 3/