At first, it appeared that the Rainbow Coalition’s controversial LP2, which includes the boroughs Site Allocations and Development Policies was in for a rough ride.
Was the vast Tory backing for the plan at the Special Council Meeting on Wednesday more to do with not committing electoral suicide in Haslemere? Because they opposed it from start to finish! They talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk!
If Farnham’s Cllr Carole Cockburn had anything to do with it, Cowboy Follows’ Bucking Bronco of a plan would have thrown him into the dust and pummelled him senseless.
Raring to go from her appearance at the council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee 24 hours earlier, she described the plan as a failure in the making, predicting an Inspector after examination would find it “unsound.” She argued only the strength of opposition from Haslemere residents against 50 homes at Red Court had prompted the planners’ refusal against officers advice and its removal from the plan.
What will you do when there is even more opposition from residents to the introduction into the plan of the Royal School?”
She railed at the coalition’s failure to get the second section of Local Plan Part 1 onto the statute books earlier. But Cllr Cockburn was reminded why LP2, the blueprint for future development in the borough, had taken so long.
Portfolio Holder and Farnham Residents’ Cllr Andy MacLeod said the plan had been on the stocks since 2008 – a long time in the making! Housing numbers due to Government housing policy had changed, and now 11,000 homes were required to meet Government targets.
He refrained from mentioning that the Tories pulled the plan immediately prior to the 2018 May elections.
He said the ‘Protect Our Waverley Group’ had delayed both plans by issuing legal proceedings which challenged housing numbers in a bid to stop developmental Dunsfold Aerodrome, the largest brownfield site in the borough. Waverley fought off the challenge in the High Court and eventually won. Just in time for Guy Fawkes Night, the High Court has thrown out CPRE and PoW’s appeal over Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan.
The first delay came in 2017 when Tory MP’s Jeremy Hunt and Anne Milton asked the Secretary of State to call in the Dunsfold decision. Dunsfold Park decision – called in by the Secretary of State.
The main gripe among Tory councillors was the decision to swap the Red Court site in Haslemere (50 homes refused by Waverley Planners and now the subject of an appeal on 16 December) in preference for 90 homes at the Royal School in Hindhead. Most Tory councillors wanted both included in LP2; they claimed the sites had to be…
“available, sustainable and deliverable. and robust enough to convince an Inspector the plan is sound.”
The WW will provide a separate post on Cllr Jerry Hyman’s arguments on why LP2 in its present form, which he claims does not have an “Appropriate Assessment,” is legally flawed as the webcast broke down during his comments at the earlier Executive Meeting. Surprise, surprise!!
The spotlight was well and truly aimed at Haslemere – almost as though the rest of the borough didn’t exist. However, Cllr Liz Townsend gave a sharp reminder to many of her previous colleagues in the Tory Group that little or no notice was taken of the loud objections from Cranleigh people when they decided to cover the countryside of the village in concrete!
LP2 was pulled by the previous aministration without any notice and which left most other vulnerable parts of the borough like Cranleigh totally exposed, said Cllr Liz Townsend.
She believed had LP2 gone through in 2019, development might have commenced elsewhere earlier, and the council would not now be without a five-year housing land supply. Cranleigh residents made thousands of objections to unsuitable housing development in the past, which were, for the most part, ignored.
The village now had 1,700 dwellings consented, of which many were built or under construction.
I wish back then the people of Farnham and Cranleigh had been given the opportunity to comment on the unsuitable sites chosen. One particuar brownfield site that was ignored will be of continuing irritation to me!
A video clip will follow of Leader Paul Follows Summing up of the debate.
A recorded vote now sends LP2 on its way to a 6-week public consultation by 38 votes For, 4 Against and one Abstention.
An appeal against Waverley’s refusal to open up the countryside to build another 99 homes in the village has brought a cry for help from its residents.
They want the rest of the borough of Waverley to get behind their fight to bring a halt to development in a small village that has far exceeded its quota.
The village now faces fighting yet another appeal by Thakeham Homes to build on land owned by the Merchant Seaman’s charity to the west of Loxwood Road.
The Sussex-based developer wants to get its bulldozers through the door for 99 homes, having been refused 425 on appeal in 2017. Care Ashore and Thakeham Homes’ boat sunk by a Government Inspector! It is basing its case on the fact that Waverley does not have a five-year housing land supply, making villages like Alfold highly vulnerable. This scheme alone would have tripled the size of the village.
Planning permission exists just yards away from the proposed site for a circa 3,000 home garden village on Dunsfold Aerodrome. Work by the new owners is expected to begin in March.
Work is also progressing on the final plans for the new Wings Museum, which hopes to attract 20,000 thousand visitors p.a. Although Waverley Planners refused the scheme only yards from the Thakeham site, it was allowed on appeal by a Government Inspector. The Museum wants to be on-site in two years. Just WINGS this time no WHEELS – between Alfold and Dunsfold.
Villagers believe the latest bid by Thakeham is the thin end of the wedge and will see Alfold swamped with new homes once approved. WA/2020/1684.
The diagram below shows where new homes have either been constructed or where homes have an extant planning consent.
I am not totally convinced these figures are correct but having asked various sources no one has said I have got them wrong so I Will post on Appeal. This is what these IDIOTS are doing here and all over our little Surrey Village – I am not a NIMBY I just believe the Government need to provide the INFRASTRUCTURE before they allow Planning. A village of 450 homes (2011 Census) to double in size is just WRONG and shows the lack of any understanding of the issues here in Rural Surrey – As you know we have no trains, doctors, schools, limited buses, 1 Pub (Currently Closed) 1 Restaurant – (Thus-Sun)
Village Hall/Playing fields (random open hours) 1 Bus Main service every 2-3 Hours to Guildford) I Hope MP Gove looks at these issues and Understands that it is NOT NIMBYism it is desperation to protect our rural villages that have no designated protection due to being rural. HELP!
Here’s Mrs Wordworth’s letter to the Inspector. Letters had to be with the department by 21 September. – villagers were given only three weeks to respond for a public hearing on 7 December with a decision date on 12 January.
We strongly advise our followers to read her letter – if it wasn’t so severe, the lack of infrastructure is almost laughable!
was it the Cllr Carole Cockburn – spitting feathers show?
Usually, the chairman of a Waverley committee chairs the meeting. No way – not yesterday, for Farnham’s Carole – the Overview & Scrutiny committee could hardly get a word in edgeways once Carole was on the rant!
Why had the important LP2 document taken so long to see the light of day, two years, after power changed hands? Despite a decision by the coalition in October 2020 by 10-0 to include Red Court, Haslemere in the plan’s housing allocations.
Had the council been misled into believing there were 1,200 responses from the public consultation when there had only been 418?
The Plan, once approved and before going out to public consultation again, must include preferred sites for development that are –
“available, sustainable and deliverable. and robust enough to convince an Inspector the plan is sound.”
Swapping The Royal Prep School (a 23-acre site in Hindhead and The Royal Senior School (a 26-acre site in Farnham Lane, for circa (90 homes), which she claimed was probably undeliverable, was a disgrace.
A deliverable site at Court in Haslemere (50 homes) was refused by Waverley Planners in August – now the subject of an appeal.
The rest of the plan was almost ignored. This Included minor modifications to numbers, including an increase in gipsy pitches and the huge Secretts site in Milford.
Neither did a ‘light railway along the Downslink through Cranleigh’ get a look-in, other than saying it had been originally been proposed as a ‘sustainable transport corridor?’
The floor was held for the most part by Farnham’s Carole – still fuming that Red Court Haslemere in an Area of Great Landscape Value had been refused, when it fit the criteria for development. She wanted it put back into the plan either instead of or in addition to – The Royal School in Hindhead, which is adjacent to the A3 in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Cllr Jenny Else (Con Elstead) sounding more like the USA”s Donald Rumsfeld, chirped up about the uncertainty of ever developing the Hindhead site – calling it “pie in the sky.” She said there were so many knowns and so many unknowns – about the school’s future?
It is quite simple, said Cllr Anna James (Con Chiddingfold) Red Court was refused due to pressure from Haslemere residents!
Back to Carole, who claimed Farnham could be ruined if LP2 was found to be unsound. Waverley was exposed and vulnerable with no five-year land supply due to the failure of Dunsfold and other sites not being built out. Land supply could be down to 4 years. What is your contingency, what about Dunsfold Answer that – she asked Portfolio Holder Cllr Andy MacLeod?
and, don’t blame the Government or the previous administration this is down to you, she cried.
Cllr MacLeod admitted Waverley was in an extremely difficult situation. We can’t make Berkeley’s build at Woolmead, or the new owners build at Dunsfold, but we did have a very useful meeting this morning. He called Red Court “trivial” in the big scheme of things.
Red Court is a very minor part of the Plan and the potential for the Royal School was 90 homes.
Chief Planning Officer Zac Ellwood assured the committee the plan was sound and with the inclusion of the Royal School and other sites would achieve the 990 homes target for Haslemere, saying the plan was, “robust and defendable.”
Waverley’s Chief Executive Tom Horwood brought the fiery debate to an end by suggesting that the committee decide whether it wanted to recommend to the Executive that both sites be included in the plan or have its comments carried forward?
listen to the debate here:https://youtu.be/1WHctjjClI0
All those strong and narky letters to Thames Water are finally paying off for the people of Cranleigh.
Penning letters to the water authority has become a full-time job for Cranleigh parish, Surrey and Waverley councillor Liz ‘The Biz’ Townsend.
Along with the Cranleigh Civic Society – which she founded – she has worked tirelessly to persuade and coerce Thames Water to shape up and replace worn-out pipework in and around Cranleigh.
Huge new housing developments have put a massive strain on 50-year-old pipework, only to see them burst – here, there and everywhere, over the past couple of years. New housing developments have resulted in more leaks than in No 10, and bottled water stations have to become a regular visitor attraction on almost every street!
She told the public recently:
After many years of lobbying, along with the Cranleigh Civic Society, we have been encouraged by the latest decision by Thames Water to carry out a replacement programme for some of Cranleigh’s drinking water pipes commencing on the Summerlands Estate on 27 September 2021 and continuing up to February 2022.The ageing asbestos cement pipes will be replaced with plastic pipes and this will undoubtedly have an impact on the number of bursts we are currently experiencing. Those properties affected should have received one of the letters below. There will be some disruption for residents but you should be informed in advance of any interruption in service. This is a small step in our replacement programme and we will continue to lobby Thames Water to encourage them to expand this programme further. In the meantime please do report any burst pipes that you see https://www.thameswater.co.uk/leak/ and if you can let me know their location too to add to my list that would be really helpful email@example.com
Excessive pay and poor performance have damaged consumers’ trust in water companies, the industry regulator said recently.
Ofwat said firms must link senior executives’ pay to improved customer service, while companies that boost their profits by borrowing large amounts of money may have to share bumper rewards with customers.