Is telling the truth at Westminster now a punishable offence?

 

We seldom, if ever, stick our nose into Westminster’s lives, preferring to concentrate on all that is Waverley and Surrey. 

However, there are times when it is not only necessary but vital to highlight a principle.

Q

Is it ok to lie to the House of Commons and not be called out by The Speaker?

Or, to call out lies and be told to leave the Chamber?

MP Dawn Butler was sent out of the House of Commons this week for doing just that.

When we were children we were told, every time we tell a lie a fairy dies. Westminster must be littered with dead fairies. 

Bag of drugs found in Godalming park by a toddler!

This is the stash of drugs picked up by a one-year-old toddler out for a walk in the park.

Wouldn’t Jack Phillips be turning in his watery grave if he knew that this stash was found next to the kiddies swings – where it could have killed, or seriously injured a child!

Where better to dump your drugs than in the Memorial Garden dedicated to a hero of the Titanic!

Jack Phillips, the wireless operator who died at his post whilst sending SOS signals on that fateful night of 14 April 1912 when The Titanic sank in the fateful collision with an iceberg. 

The Jack Phillips Memorial Cloister garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll, with its magnificent brick cloister 80 feet square designed by Hugh Thackeray Turner, was laid out, built and opened exactly two years to the day after the sinking of the Titanic. The memorial is situated between the River Wey and Godalming Parish Church in the Phillips Memorial Park.

The Phillips Memorial Cloister. Photographs courtesy of John Young.

The Phillips Memorial Cloister. Photographs courtesy of John Young.

The Phillips Memorial Cloister. Photographs courtesy of John Young.

Within the cloister, the Wireless and Telegraph Company commissioned and had erected a memorial stone tablet to the perpetual honour of this brave man,

Memorial Stone Tablet, Godalming Museum Collection

Memorial Stone Tablet, Godalming Museum Collection

Phillips family grave (photograph by John Young)

Phillips family grave (photograph by John Young)

On the 90th anniversary of the loss of the Titanic, in April 2002, Godalming Town Council refurbished the Phillips family grave of Jack’s father, George, and his mother, Ann, and twin sisters, Elsie and Ethel, in the Nightingale Cemetery, Deanery Road. In the centre of a six-foot square curb all in white marble, is an obelisk in the shape of an iceberg, a fitting memorial to Godalming hero Jack Phillips.

 

 

 

 

Build anywhere, or even everywhere, in the borough of Waverley – except in Haslemere?

 

During one of the most ill-tempered planning meetings, the Waverley Web has ever witnessed, it became apparent that Haslemere is not only full of NIMBY’s (Not in my backyard) but BANANA’S.  (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone  –  in  Haslemere!) Ok, ok we used a bit of poetic licence! But you get the gist.

Tempers rose higher than the stifling temperature inside Waverley Towers last night as councillors grappled with a controversial scheme proposed by Winchester based developer – Alfred Homes. It wants to build 50 two/three and four-bed homes at Red Court in Scotland Lane, 15 of which are “affordable.”

Here’s our post yesterday: Will a controversial 50-home development in Haslemere get the green light tonight?

Did the Western Planning Committee give the scheme the green light?

A big Fat NO, despite being unable to come up with any plausible PLANNING reasons.  They left it to the council’s officers to figure it out for themselves having.  REFUSED  the scheme by 5 votes to seven with two abstentions. 

WAVERLEY'S LAVATORYIs that an appeal – with costs awarded against ‘Your Waverley’ we see coming on?

Despite giving colleagues a piece of her mind about the borough’s duty, and the duty of individual towns and villages to identify sites for development, Farnham’s Cllr Carole Cockburn may just as well have saved her valuable breath. 

Parts of Farnham’s countryside are being developed faster than you can say the word concrete. The same applied to Cranleigh, Godalming, Farnham and small villages like Alfold cried the experienced councillor recently awarded a BEM for masterminding Farnham’s Neighbourhood Plan.

“We are here to make decisions for the whole borough of Waverley all 130 thousand people -not just one part of it. Everyone has to take their fair share of development and with 990 homes earmarked for Haslemere, it hasn’t got anywhere near meeting its allocation. What about the 2,000 in the countryside in  Cranleigh 400 in the countryside in the village of Alfold and as for Dunsfold and Farnham, thousands more!

We, and they, didn’t want to lose our green fields either, but our Neighbourhood plan earmarked sites, unlike Haslemere! We might as well say – goodbye to Weybourne and Badshot Lea!”

Earlier the Agent acting for the developer said Haslemere’s had so far met only just over 200 of its allocation of 990 homes. 

Alfold with only just over  400 households is already providing twice as many as Haslemere and three appeals in the pipeline for many hundreds more! But then their little voice is not quite as loud as those in Haslemere!

Some councillors  said they didn’t want to be pilloried for granting permission for development  adjacent to homes already built in AGLV (Area of Great ~Landscape Value.) 

Blame the Conservative Government – they cried. They want to bury the South East of England under homes we don’t want or need. Write to your MP’s they cried.

Cllr Simon Dear rubbished the validity of the deluge of objection letters to a low-density scheme adjacent to nearby homes, with decent gardens and outside space that was near the town centre of Haslemere and only 20 mins from the railway station.

He said they came from addresses from as far afield as Pontypool to Petworth, Glasgow to Bournemouth, Birmingham and Bognor. He called it a contrived opposition operation in deceit and exaggeration.

Chairman David Beaman said residents had made accusations that a decision to GRANT was a ‘done deal.’

Oh, dear! There’s nothing like an Englishman’s defence of his castle – especially if you live in Scotland Lane and Scotland Close, Haslemere.

Public speakers and Haslemere councillors claimed there we other more suitable sites on which to build.

Chief planning Officer Zac Ellwood said whilst every effort was made to represent public opinion, he warned, that councillors were there to determine this particular application, not listen to arguments put forward for alternative sites.

 It was the opinion of planning officers that the harm was outweighed by the benefits.  The scheme was sustainable,  met all planning policies in the NPPF including the most recent additions received today. He reiterated officers concerns over Waverley’s lack of a five-year housing land supply. (It stands currently at 4.26) The argument of the lack of water supply could not be challenged as Thames Water had raised no objection.  No objection from Natural England or Surrey Highways.

However, Waverley Mayor and Haslemere town councillor John Robini told his colleagues:

“You shouldn’t be afraid of appeals – we don’t want expensive housing for commuters. We have to hang on to our precious and dwindling number of greenfield sites.”

Presumably, he meant as long as they are in Haslemere? Bugger the rest of the borough!

Farnham Residents’ Cllr Jerry Hyman made the argument for refusing the application on the grounds of the lack of an Appropriate Assessment and the effects of the Special Protection Area on the Wealden Heath 5m from the site. He said the officers did not have an AA? – They said they did! He said they didn’t, they said they did! At which point we are not sure who had the hot flush. Cllr Carole or Officer Zac? Suffice to say – all were the colour purple!

Farnham Residents’ Cllr Kika Mirylees clip.

The WW has to admit to losing the will to live while councillors wrangled over trying to find enough reason for the officers to have any defence whatsoever, for, not IF, but WHEN, the application goes to appeal.

Said poor old Zac.

“To be blunt – you must provide us with your reasons for refusal – we are working blind here. Just give us your clear reasons.”

At which point – we left the webcast and let them all fight out between themselves to come up with some VALID planning reasons that they simply couldn’t find.

Comment on the decision from Waverley’s Leader Paul Follows.

Cllr. Paul David Follows

@PaulDFollows
Red Court application in #Haslemere is REFUSED by the Western Pla. of WBC – a great victory for residents, progressive councillors and the community at large. Brownfield over green should ALWAYS be preferred. Guess what – the only people that voted for it were the local Tories.
And there we were here at the Waverley Web actually believing that Planning came before Politics?

 

 

 

 

 

Will a controversial 50-home development in Haslemere get the green light tonight?

WA/2020/1213 – LAND AT RED COURT, SCOTLAND LANE, HASLEMERE

Tonight Waverley Planners want to give the go-ahead for a development of 50 homes In Scotland Lane – despite objections from Haslemere  Town Council, Haslemere Vision and some local residents.

The site is a 20-minute walk from Haslemere Station and is close to the existing settlement and nearby houses. It is in the countryside beyond the Green Belt and has been earmarked for development in Waverley’s Local Plan.

So, will councillors send yet another scheme to a Government Inspector to determine?

Officers will remind members of the Western Area Planning Committee tonight that it does not have a five-year housing land supply. In fact, last week Waverley’s Chief Planning Officer told a council meeting it now has only 4.26 years. This refers to homes actually built – not homes that have received consent. 

Some good news on planning issues in ‘ Your Waverley.’ And… some bad!

 Is ‘ Your Waverley’ looking under the sofa to find its 5-year housing supply?

In the report officers say:

“The site lies within the AGLV and within the setting of the AONB and underdeveloped countryside and therefore the introduction of built form would inevitably result in a change to the landscape character and visual appearance of the site.

Whilst Officers acknowledge that the proposed development would result in a change to the site within the setting of the AONB, as a result of the landscape mitigation proposed and in considering the presence of existing residential development along the south of Scotland Lane, which would be seen in context with the proposed development, it is considered the proposal would not cause material harm to the setting of the AONB to such a degree that would outweigh the presumption in favour of sustainable development. The proximity of Grade II Listed Buildings at Red Court means that the proposal would result in less than substantial harm to them. “

 

 

Who’s let the cat out of the bag – on all things Dunsfold?

Can you Adam and Eve it – the Alfold and Dunsfold councillor who opposed a new Garden Village at Dunsfold Aerodrome has now scuppered Waverley’s bid to stay shtum on buying the 600-acre site.

Hi, My name is Kevin – the blabbermouth cat.

Kevin De anus just couldn’t contain himself when he rocked up at a recent Alfold Parish Council meeting.  He let the cat straight out of the bag, blabbing to parish councillors that he didn’t agree with Waverley spending taxpayers’ money on buying Dunsfold Aerodrome!

Of course, he probably felt entirely comfortable alluding to the fact that behind closed doors – quite sensibly on this occasion for “commercially sensitive reasons” – the borough council wanted to keep its powder dry.

 With only a couple of members of the public present, one of whom the Waverley Web understands was snoozing – just going to prove the not so old adage, You snooze, you lose! – and the other a parish councillor’s husband – a man who never dares utters a word – Alfold PC is as close as you can get to the KGB outside of The Kremlin!

Alfold Parish Council, on the Surrey/Sussex border, has demonstrated repeatedly over the years, that it can do whatever it likes, without any complaint from the public. Why?  You may well ask! Because nobody attends the Alfold parish council meetings: meeting dates aren’t advertised on the Alfold Village Network, the font of all knowledge about Alfold. Neither have the meeting Minutes appeared since October 2020! Presumably, the Clerk can’t be arsed to inform the public … Or maybe Alfold parishioners simply don’t care what goes on in their locale.  But, as far as Alfold Parish Council is concerned, they stand by that old Navy adage of Mind over Matter: We [the Parish Council] don’t mind and they [the residents] don’t matter!

Perhaps all the newcomers flooding into Alfold’s ever-expanding new developments will pick Alfold PC up by its fraying bootlaces and shake it until it rattles? Even the football club has been taken on by players from as far afield as Crawley Town? What’s local about that and, more pertinently – how the hell did that happen?

It appears to some who have contacted us, that  Alfold Parish Council has gone to pot under the ‘leadership’ – we use the word advisedly, you understand –  of  Penny Main since the former chairman left.  Talk about grabbing the Main Chance!

We understand from a villager, who heard it on the grapevine, that Cllr Deanus’s little indiscretion met with stony silence. Except for Cllr ‘Little Britain’ who bemoaned all the noise emanating from the aerodrome.  No doubt little Britain would love for Waverley Borough Council to OWN the Aerodrome.  Then he could leverage his influence to show them what’s what!

Come back Beverley ‘Crystal Tipps’ Wedall all is forgiven! After all, it can’t be nearly as much fun running Guildford MP Angela Richardson’s office as it was laundering all that ‘Protect Our Waverley’ money to stop the development at Dunsfold? A bid that delayed development there for three years, peed off Trinity College Cambridge – and heavily influenced the College’s decision to do a heavy-duty doo-doo all over ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan!

If Dunsfold Garden Village had got out of the starting blocks three years ago – before the advent of Covid and the New Bursar, Richard Turncoat – Alfold wouldn’t now be on schedule to quadruple in size!  And who does it have to thank for that?  None other than Councillor Little Britten & his cohort Bob Liars – who’s he?  You might well ask as defeated, he disappeared back into the obscurity he came from! Wonder if POW ever paid Waverley’s costs?  Thereby hangs another tale?

Paul Follows

Meanwhile, back to ‘Your Waverley,’ which is keeping its bid quiet in the hope, it may become a ‘preferred bidder’ when Trinity College Cambridge finally gets down to spinning the roulette wheel. Where will the red ball drop this time we wonder?  Who will be the new purchaser?  The Chinese – in which case, hold onto your hats, because they’ll have built London’s third runway there before even thinking about asking for permission! … Or Lakshi Mittal, who might turn it into Britain’s new steel-making plant, cos there’s no denying there’s a real shortage of steel at the moment!   … Or will it be George Lucas and Tom Cruise, hell-bent on filming blockbusters there?  In which case, we all need to reach for our hardhats and ear muffs if the Mission Impossible franchise is anything to go by!

Never mind that Waverley desperately needs the promised housing at the Aerodrome to help it meet its five-year land supply – which now stands at a miserable 4.26 years. With Thakeham Homes now launching its appeal against the refusal to build homes on the Springbok Estate land owned by Care Ashore, what we predicted all those months ago, could be about to come true …

With the site only a hop skip and a jump away from the airfield – and the proposed new Wings Museum – we could end up with a new garden village called…  

 ALDUN…!

Aldun and dusted