Be careful what you wish for!

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We at the Waverley Web have read Paul Follows latest Twitter postings with interest. Should Paul Follows spin the wheel?

Like many of our followers, we have welcomed the ‘new brooms’ at Waverley and their commitment to open and honest dialogue with the electorate, as opposed to the secret squirrel stuff that went on under the previous Tory monopoly administration. But …

Yes, of course, there’s a but! This is the Waverley Web and when have you ever known our spiders roll over and wave their little hairy legs in the air?

The but is that the new brooms need to be exceedingly careful that they don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!

It’s all very well for Paul Follows to sit down with CPRE and Protect our Little Corner (POW) but this isn’t just about CPRE and POW and what they want. If Paul Follows wants to jaw-jaw (or, in this case, pow-wow – or do we mean wow POW?!) he will also have to jaw-jaw with ALL the stakeholders, not just CPRE and POW – just because the usual suspects shout the loudest doesn’t make them the only toddlers in the playpen!

Jaw-jaw is all well and good but it would be naive in the extreme for Paul Follows to assume that the new brooms at Waverley are going to solve the issues surrounding housing numbers by just engaging with POW and CPRE about them.

A review of the Local Plan isn’t within the gift of the Lib Dems, the Farnham Residents, CPRE or POW and whilst we would all like to see less housing cluttering up our countryside, the reality is there are VERY REAL RISKS that in lobbying for this review all these good-intentions could go horribly awry and the upshot could be that Waverley’s housing numbers DO NOT DECREASE and, instead, they INCREASE! Thanks-a-lot POW!

This isn’t a case of the only way is down – a review could go either way!

Like them or loathe them, the previous Tory administration at Waverley spent years with their heads up their … – oops! we meant to say, in the sand – denying that there was a need for any more housing in Waverley. They firmly believed that if they said No! No! No! And denied, deferred, delayed and procrastinated it would all go away or, as so often happened, be superceded.

But it didn’t and when, under La Potts’ aegis, she recognised and accepted that Waverley couldn’t and wouldn’t be allowed to continue taking the *iss any more and decided to grasp the nettle, she did us all a favour.

Why? Because that denial, deferral, delay and procrastination policy has cost us, the Waverley council tax payers, dearly. Not only financially but in concrete terms, because it is the reason developers and anyone with a paddock at the end of their garden have had – quite literally – a field day! With no Local Plan in place, it has been a developer’s and would-be developers’ charter to build on every green field, paddock and bit of redundant farmland they can lay claim to.

If Waverley BC, under the direction of Matthew Evans, Mary Orton-Pett (AKA Mrs MOP), Richard Shut-the-Gates and Robert Know-Less – not to mention POW’s mother, Stop Dunsfold Park New Town (SDPNT) – had accepted the inevitable and acquiesced to the Dunsfold Developer’s original scheme to build 2,600 houses at the aerodrome in 2009 not only would a great many of those houses now be built and occupied, Waverley BC would have been able to defend its green fields and belt and Cranleigh and Farnham – not to mention the villages of Awfold and Duncefold – would not now be turning into concrete jungles with housing estates popping up like mushrooms all over their formerly green and pleasant environs

At the end of the day, CPRE and POW are arguing about a measly 80 houses per annum. And in running that argument they risk another Inspector concluding that Waverley’s housing numbers are not too high but too low!

We, at the Waverley Web, have the greatest respect for Paul Follows and the Farnham Residents and their ambitious plans for the Borough but they need to bear in mind that it’s very easy to stand outside the tent and throw brickbats but it’s not so easy to be in the tent trying to reconcile the bickering factions and ensuring, in the process, they don’t all end up costing us yet more money we can ill afford and land we’d rather not lose!

Paul Follows and his colleagues need only look at the internecine battles that are going on in the Tory party and the Labour party at the moment and the damage that is doing to the country and take heed!

Should Paul Follows spin the wheel?

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The WW will follow with its view later… watch this space. Well – you would be surprised if we didn’t.

followsspin.jpgPaul Follows, the new Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council is the Liberal Democrat Cllr for  Godalming Central & Ockford. Although he has represented that ward for only 18 months he has taken a huge interest in the whole borough during that time.

He says: “I have now returned from my meeting with CPRE and POW (which was as frank as I expected).
I pledged before the election that if by some electoral miracle we were running Waverley (or part of running it) I would get everyone in the room to talk – and very proud to have started that dialogue and it was acknowledged by all parties that would have been impossible under the previous administration.”

What I honestly want from this is a reduction in the housing numbers in the local plan (If you recall I voted against this plan in the first place).
That’s what POW and CPRE seem to want too. Where we had differences was how we go about that.

What they want:

to get a judge to quash the policy that gave us the ‘unmet need’ from Woking and thereby reduce the housing numbers.
Fine – in theory.
What I’m worried will happen:
If the court does that, the plan will have a gap in its figures that the court isn’t empowered to fill – and will refer it back to the competent authority (in this case Waverley) to fix it. Which would (we believe) force the plan to be reassessed under current constraints and variables – which everything I am seeing means actually a big INCREASE in housing numbers. CPRE and POW currently dispute this interpretation but to me, that is a huge risk.
– If successful, all the while we have not done that (and it would be a lengthy process) the plan would be materially undermined and subject to challenge and appeal from developers on individual planning applications.

What I proposed:

– stop the appeal, and the waste of money on all sides in entails;
– We commit to doing a proper risk assessment of what re-opening the local plan to reconsider the housing numbers would entail and crucially – if the numbers would be smaller or not. We would keep them closely involved in that.
– If it proved sensible to, reopen the plan.
– If we did that, also I would want then to reassess the affordable and social housing elements in full.
What they proposed:
– seek a deferral on the court case to give everyone more time
– That we share our respective interpretations of the housing numbers question.
Everyone has taken actions so…

… hopefully,

we will have a meeting

2. So what it boils down to now potentially is trust and seeing if something can be done before we run out of time (and I’m told the early court date was something the previous administration agreed which has set this ticking clock in motion).
I just want to ensure that what is a genuine attempt to help reduce the housing numbers does not make things worse by orders of magnitude because at the end of the day my first duty is to the people of Waverley.
Happy to answers any question on this update…

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Will they shunt the Hunt?

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The WW is not quite sure why our Jeremy thinks 1.5m homes is going to appeal to local Tory members… here’s his manifesto folks

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So where’s your promise to old people then Jeremy?

The old who have spent every penny they ever earned in a lifetime on their nursing home fees? Leaving just enough to bury themselves?

Who cannot get care at home unless they are in “critical need,”  have just had their free TV licence withdrawn for over 75’s unless they claim Pension Credit.

Cannot get NHS care in a nursing home unless they are literally on their last legs, and often not even then?

Are called “Bed Blockers” because nursing homes places cannot be found for them to leave hospital?

Are losing their trusted GP’s and are being asked to travel to find one? And, believe they are nothing more than a burden to the country by simply drawing breath and are losing the will to live!

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Peep Bo – I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a very long time Treesa!

 

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Jeremy Hunt actually just said this yesterday. You couldn’t Adam and Eve it could you?  He literally inherited the seat from his Aunty Virginia Bottomley. Or Virginia The Airhead Health Secretary as she was known in Parliament.

Marginal? Hardly!

Neil Sherlock and then Simon Cordon (both Lib Dem) had narrowed it to 861 when Virginia was the second most hated Health Secretary.. but South West Surrey a marginal, really?!

More dirt on Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt, here:  http://northernvoicesmag.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-secret-of-hunts-success-hunt.html

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Labour has arrived in ‘Your Waverley’ – how did they do it?

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Sometimes we here at the Waverley Web think everyone elsewhere in the country believes Surrey residents all live in multi-million-pound properties, play bridge and drink gin & tonics by the bucketful – some do – but many don’t.

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 Former MP Nick Palmer recently secured the seat for Binscombe in Godalming, along with one of his colleagues. He tells us below why, and how, he achieved his aim. 

He says Labour in Surrey! Nothing strange about that…

Since I was elected as Waverley Labour councillor for Binscombe with George Wilson and subsequently joined the Borough Executive, I’ve talked to plenty of non-Labour people, who were not so much horrified as bemused, rather as though Waverley now had a representative from House of Stark. It’s 17 years since we had Labour councillors here, and I’m not sure we’ve ever had Labour Executive members. I’ve met a number of people who say they would have voted Labour but didn’t think we had a chance. “This is Surrey! It’s the stockbroker belt. How did you do it?”

Well, two things.

First, the belief that society should be mutually supportive is somewhere in every human heart, whether we live in a £10m mansion in Surrey or a desperate tenement in Glasgow (and over the years I’ve canvassed both). Life is short and precious, and it makes sense to spend some of it trying to help each other get the most out of it. That’s the fundamental theme of Labour, regardless of where we live. We need to keep that flame of idealism and optimism flaring afresh even in difficult times. More of our lives than we like to think is governed by chance – you and I are just a stroke away from depending on social care, a corporate decision away from losing our jobs, a bad council policy away from ruining our children’s school. Socialism is essentially collective insurance – if we do well, we help out; when things go wrong, we’re helped. It makes sense, even if you’re doing well – because you actually don’t want the world around you to be dark and full of terrors.

Labour has something to prove in Waverley: that we work hard and effectively for ordinary people.

Second, if we accept the principle, we need to try to make it a reality. Naturally, that’s a bit easier if we live in Manchester than in Surrey, but that merely means we try harder. During the local elections, we canvassed every home in Binscombe. Nobody else bothered. That doesn’t mean they were bad candidates: they put forward their views in leaflets and let people decide, and that’s fair enough. But Labour has something to prove in Waverley: that we work hard and effectively for ordinary people. And without being nasty about past council majorities, it does strike us that a little fresh energy and commitment is not a bad thing.

I’m not a fanatic about politics – I socialise, pursue a full-time managerial job, play poker, write books about board games, enjoy life. But I do think that a life worth living should contain a chunk of effort to make the world around us a better place, with more compassion at home and more solidarity globally. Labour doesn’t always get it right (Iraq! PFI!), but its virtue is consistency: a steady dedication to do our best to make life a little better and more hopeful for everyone – not just those who have rolled a double six in the snakes and ladders of our puzzling world.

I was an MP for Broxtowe for 13 years, the only Labour MP the seat has ever had, and when I moved to Surrey it was natural to keep going. The local Labour Party is thriving with the largest membership for many years, and I hope that many Waverley Web readers will join. Living in Surrey doesn’t mean that you give up on working for social justice. It just makes it more fun when you win. And then, of course, you’ve got to show that it really makes a difference. Watch this space!

PS  “If people want to join Nick’s email list for updates, he’s on nickmp1@aol.com.” He is trying to build up a borough-wide list of people to keep updated on what’s happening – not a party political thing.”

Nick Palmer is vice-chair of Surrey SW Labour Party. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Palmer

WW thinks Labour also had a little help from its friends.  Surely the Compass political Alliance had something to do with it?! No Lib Dem or Greens stood in this ward.

A little more about one of our new Waverley councillors. We would like to hear from more?

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Watch this space.

Are rural parking charges quite the golden egg the county council hoped for?

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“Using the council’s own figures, only £201,000-a-year on average out of £448,000-a-year it hopes to raise will be used to help maintain the countryside.

“The council says it will not be applying to the Planning Inspectorate for consent to install the parking meters. We believe the council should apply, it also denies the public its legal right to object.

“Other more efficient options should be used to maintain the countryside.

“Democracy and common sense were left behind when this decision was made”

Screenshot 2019-05-17 at 22.28.36.pngHasn’t the SCC Cabinet Member Mike Goodman some explaining to do?

Didn’t he tell us all that charging to park on OUR commons would enable the council to trouser £3m over the next 15 years? Didn’t he tell us the move was to “protect the countryside.”

Well, he may be right about protecting the countryside because despite what he claims s, fewer people are going there.

The Surrey County Council cabinet member has been a robust defender of the parking charges introduced last year at various commons around the county, claiming they will bring in £3 million over 15 years and that they are necessary to protect the countryside.

The charges are already in place at Newlands Corner, Chobham Common, Ockham and Wisley Commons and Norbury Park, and Cllr Goodman claims they are on track to hit their first-year targets.

But the trouble is, almost nothing he says about the charges adds up.

Claim: The parking charges will generate £3 million over 15 years

Whether the parking charges will produce that profit has been one of the central issues of the controversy over their introduction – if they won’t help the countryside pay for itself, then the justification for introducing the charges vanishes.

But looking at the full business case that the council published on its website, it isn’t exactly clear how the charges will manage to produce £3 million, even on the council’s own terms.

Some parking meters have been vandalised, adding to costs and reducing revenue 

The business case claims that between 2018 and 2023, the charges will provide a net revenue of around £581,000 – an average of £116,200 per year.

What this means is that in the following 10 years the parking charges will have to generate a net income of £2.4 million – an average of £240,000 per year. Effectively, the charges will have to more than double their profits and it is not clear why the council thinks they will.

However, this is only the start of the unanswered questions.

READ MORE

Battle Over Parking Charges

Business case ‘in question’
Councillor rants about residents
Will the charges break even?
  • Norbury Park ‘virtually empty’

Claim: Visitor numbers are on track to meet the council’s expectations

The other key issue in the controversy is over visitor numbers, and whether or not the charges are putting people off going to Surrey’s commons.

a petition objecting to the charges, Cllr Goodman claimed that, despite challenges, “vehicle numbers across Surrey with the exception of Norbury Park should exceed the expected figures for the first year”.

Before the parking charges were proposed, the county council counted the number of vehicles using the car parks at Whitmoor Common, Chobham Common, Rodborough Common, Ockham and Wisley Commons and Norbury Park.

The published business case included annual averages for each common, the total being 446,000 visitors across the countryside estate.

However, figures obtained by a member of the public under the Freedom of Information Act cast doubt on the accuracy of these numbers as well.

Ockham Common, one of the commons affected by the parking charges 

Take, for example, Chobham Common, where counters at five of the six car parks recorded an average of 164,260 vehicles. Given one car park was not counted, the true number is likely to be slightly higher.

However, the county council claimed in its business case that there were only 127,000 visits to the common’s car parks per year – a reduction of more than a fifth.

Why this reduction? We don’t know, and the business case doesn’t say.

Norbury Park’s Young Street car park stands empty back in September 2018 – visitor numbers have halved since the parking charges were introduced (Image: ©Grant Melton Photography 2018)

Even more curious is the case of Norbury Park. The counters were only installed at the Fetcham car park, where they counted 49,942 cars.

The business plan claims the park received 56,000 visitors per year before the charges, presumably taking into account the fact that they hadn’t counted either Young Street or Crabtree Lane, but if that was the case then between them those car parks would have only 6,000 visitors per year – or just eight per day.

Whatever happened to Diane James?

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Our former local Waverley Borough Councillor, UKIP MEP and UKIP leader (for a massive 18 days) didn’t stand in the recent Euro elections, even though she has recently switched to The Brexit Party.

Her social media intern has stopped the updates, and her website has been hacked.
At least she has her redundancy ‘transitional allowance’ to see her through if she is unable to find a job – MEPs who have served one term get a maximum pre-tax payment of €50,900 (£44,930).

So do we expect to see her back on Ewhurst Parish Council soon? Better still – get yourself back to ‘Your Waverley’ at the next available By-Election Dianne? That would certainly stir things up – and you could finish off what you started. By sorting through that basket filled with all the dirty washing left by the Tories. Because now that Farnham Residents’ has turned its back on Cllr Jerry Hyman, the man who could have checked the laundry – is there any one man/woman enough over at ‘Your Waverley’ to do the job? 

So go girl – go? Get back into the local scene – because you certainly stirred things up in Europe.

 

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Can the Lib Dems shunt Hunt from South West Surrey?

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Well Lord Ashcroft certainly seems to think so. And judging by the recent Armageddon type Tory defeats at the local and Peterborough elections – WW thinks so too.

Lord Ashcroft polls have released a post-election poll of voters’ intentions for the next General Election. Based on his results, Flavible Politics has produced a map of likely results by constituency – and this shows Waverley as a LibDem gain:

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Not only SW Surrey either, but also Guildford, Woking, Mole Valley, Esher & Walton and Reigate in Surrey (and a very narrow loss in Elmbridge), and eighty more gains across the country.

Is this even credible? At first glance, clearly not – but let’s look a little deeper.

In the local elections for Waverley borough three weeks ago, the Conservatives took only 38.7% of the total votes cast, against 27.3% for the LibDems, 20.5% for the Farnham Residents Association, 6.8% for Labour and 4.1% for Greens.  But there was in effect a “progressive alliance” between the LibDems, Greens and Labour, taking the total progressive vote to 39.2% – just a fraction behind the Conservatives.

Then, in last week’s EU elections, Liberal Democrats topped the poll on 35%, followed by Brexit on 28.8%, Greens on 14.5%, and Conservatives on only 11.5%! Conventional wisdom is that the EU results were distorted by the dominance of Brexit, but – “it ain’t necessarily so”.

Lord Ashcroft’s poll, on which the projection is based, did not only ask about future voting intention, it also enquired about, and analysed, past voting history, in the last general election, as well as last week for the EU. 

His analysis showed that while yes, some of those who have switched from Labour or Conservatives to LD, or to Farrage’s Brexit, would return to their original party for a general election – not all of them would. Hence, Conservatives would not recover to their earlier level of support – and Liberal Democrats would retain a substantial share of their newfound (or newly returned) supporters.

If this projection turns out to be sound, that would create an extraordinary situation where nationally, just 4% would separate four parties:

Of course, it’s not that simple: what voters tell pollsters they will do, and what they actually do, are often very different – especially when the next general election could be a long way off. Circumstances will change, new events will get in the way. But what is surely true, and will remain so, is that we are in a period of remarkable fluidity in British politics, where extraordinary developments have come to seem almost commonplace: who would have predicted just three months ago, that we would end up with 16 MEPs?

The idea of Liberal Democrats winning SW Surrey in the next general election may well be just too fanciful to be taken seriously – but the possibility of getting at least much closer is surely not?

So thank you, Lord Ashcroft.

 

 

Rumpole says – not you lot again?

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Six months ago nother High Court Judge gave the CPRE & POW leave to appeal yet another decision on ‘YW’s’ Local Plan Part 1. You can read it here. Here we go, here we go, here we go Ooooh!

HERE WE GO AGAIN …!

I was cheated by you and I think you know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end
Look at me now, will I ever learn?

or do we mean …

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Money, money, money
Ah, all the things I could do
If I had a little money …

What are we on about? As if you haven’t guessed …

PoW (Protect our little Corner) has just announced it needs to raise approximately £25k for its Court of Appeal challenge on June 24th. They need the dosh In case they fail in their latest bid to stop further housing in the Borough. If they succeed Waverley Borough Council will pay – although PoW still needs funds to cover court costs and some of the fees for solicitors and Counsel. WOW! Now ain’t that sad!?!

Apparently, this time around, PoW believes that funding should come from as wide an area as possible within Waverley as the whole Borough stands to benefit if they and CPRE win their case!!!

You don’t say?!

Cutting to the chase: PoW is off to the Court of Appeal, in cahoots with the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) to see if they can reduce Waverley Borough Council’s housing quota.

So, not content with having already cost ‘Your Waverley’ – which means you and me, dear Reader, for it’s we, the Council Tax payers, who fill WBC’s coffers – in their abortive attempts to stop development at Dunsfold Park. The largest brownfield site in the Borough, and by far the most fitting place for housing development.  Now CPRE/POW are busy with plans to prevent Waverley having to meet some of Woking’s unmet housing need. Not that we disagree with the idea but should they really be making more waves? Costing Waverley Council Tax Payers yet more of their hard earned dosh at a time when the Council is already struggling to meet all the demands on its cash-strapped coffers?

Furthermore, somewhat mendaciously, what PoW isn’t telling its gullible supporters is that if PoW and their predecessors, Stop Dunsfold Park New Town, hadn’t fought so long, so hard and, ultimately, unsuccessfully, against development on the biggest brownfield site in the Borough, there is little doubt that the multiple housing developments that have sprung up – and continue to spring up – wouldn’t have got a hearing let alone a foothold across the Borough. 

For, whilst SDPNT and PoW were busy protesting against and holding up development at Dunsfold Park, Berkeley Homes, Cala Homes, Crest Nicolson, Bellway, Miller Homes, Andy Cranleafy, the Lettuce King, Nick Vrijland, and Uncle Tom Cobbley wouldn’t now be digging up half the greenfield sites in the Borough.

IF,  Dunsfold Park had consented back in 2009 when they first applied for housing development, we may not be looking at the countryside of Waverley swimming in concrete?

Back then, PoW’s predecessor claimed there was hardly any demand or need for housing development in their corner of the Borough. 11,210 dwellings later … POW now, belatedly claims it wants to protect the remainder of the Borough! Talk about shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!

Previously, PoW’s fundraising was pretty much limited to the movers and shakers in the villages we have mentioned with Phase I of Dunsfold Park now consented and numerous of their green fields  already buried under concrete, it’s dawned on the not-so-great-and-not-so-good of those villages that they’ve been sold a pup.

So PoW is having to widen its net and is busy trying to fool the rest of the Borough that they care, they really, really, REALLY care about housing everywhere and not just the aforementioned. 

To add to PoW’s woes, with a new Chairman in charge of Awfold Parish Council, we rather doubt Mrs Penny Mayne will want to risk being tarred with the same brush her predecessor, Nick Pigeon, was when he and Parish Clerk, Crystal Tipps Weddell, embarked on their infamous money-collection service on behalf of PoW. Certainly not now one of those behind investigating the scandal is a new parish counsellor!

 Waverley Web has heard that members of PoW are really scraping the bottom of the barrel this time around and are involving themselves in some pretty novel money raising exploits. In fact, Ruth Archer quite unintentionally summed up one of those initiatives when, speaking about Open Farm Sunday, she said in Tuesday night’s edition of The Archers: … [there’s nothing] “so popular as getting hands-on with an udder.”supremejudgepow

The mutter in the gutter in Awfold and Duncefold is that the PoW Cow has been hiring out her udders and one irate wife has caught her husband red-handed (not to mention red-faced) with a handful of … um …, er …, well … the PoW Cow’s udders!

Is that even legal? enquired one startled Waverley Web correspondent. We’ve no idea but form an orderly queue, please!

But enough of the wisecracks, the real question is: What does this initiative really do for the residents of the Borough? The answer: Bugger all! For the long and the short of it is that most of the villages have already taken more than their quota of housing – in case PoW hasn’t noticed, Alfold is already in the process of quadrupling in size with development coming out of its ying-yang;

Cranleigh already has more than 1,700 houses consented and Duncefold is imploding like a bad mushroom! So what’s our advice? Save your money and spend it on something useful – like a pair of ear defenders and a window cleaner when the concrete mixers and dumper trucks roll into a field near you!

All aboard! All aboard! The PoW gravy train is just about to leave the station … Roll up! Roll up! All those who want to waste more of Waverley Council Tax Payers’ hard-earned dosh on another round of fisticuffs in the Court of Appeal. Meanwhile, the diggers in Awfold, Duncefold, etc, etc, etc, will just carry on dig, dig, digging

http://powcampaign.org/call-for-funds-2

Another lorryload of new housing on its way to ‘little old Alfold?’

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Some villagers are calling the scheme – ‘Madness.”

Ye Gods – where better than to stuff another 80 homes – than this tiny village on the Surrey/Sussex border?

A village where MP Anne Milton leads its Flood Forum – where there are few facilities, even the central village pub closed down – where power cuts are an everyday occurrence, and where poo regularly appears in residents’ gardens!

So why not let Catesby Estates build 80 homes on farmland on the Loxwood Road, using an existing access created by Cala Homes for 55 new cheek by jowl properties currently under construction adjacent to Chilton Close?

We wonder if Waverley Planners will agree to an “emergency access” as they have recently agreed at Knowle Park in Cranleigh? Then there could be another By-Pass?

Now developers want to gobble up a bit more valuable farmland – and build behind Chilton Close – a Housing Association development – where vacant properties remain just that – VACANT.

Why? Because transport links are practically non-existent – where a car is a necessity and not a luxury, and where you have to travel to Horsham or Guildford for any meaningful shopping?

No wonder the locals in Alfold are crying foul! They will soon have 1,800 under construction right on their doorsteps at Dunsfold Park – and another 500 proposed in the Local Plan on the same site.

The Wyevale Garden Centre has been earmarked for development ( a recent application refused because it was too large) but it will bounce back shortly.  Another with outline approval on the Brockhurst Site on A281 Horsham/Guildford Road and another lodged by Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council on the Loxwood Road near the Springbok Entrance opposite the “closed village school.” 

Surrey County Council doesn’t need planning permission for anything it does – it just “consults.” and ignores both the local, and Waverley’s views!! In fact DONE DEAL. However, it closed the village school 20 years ago and has, so far,  made no provision for more pupils in Cranleigh!

 

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Here’s what some of the locals think.

Sarah McCreath

Chilton Close Alfold

This proposal should be rejected due to the following reasons:
– The transport network supplying the village is already stretched with the A281 being the only single carriageway access to the larger towns and it being already constantly busy. At peak times, access onto the A281 can take some time with constant traffic flow.
– Public transport is not sufficient in the local area to sustain further housing – a trial of a daily, hourly bus ended at the start of the year.
– I am led to believe that a previous assessment of the land classified at least half of it as a flood plain. This latest survey has been carried out following a dry winter and no works have been carried out to amend it’s previous problems – how can this not have been taken into account!?
– The site is not large enough for such a large development – houses would be overlooked as well as themselves and existing developments (some of which are yet to be completed!).
– There would not be sufficient open spaces. Current park facilities have not been updated in some time and talk of other play areaâ€TMs being created following development 20 years ago, have not taken place – this would worsen the need.
– Emergency service provision for the area is not sufficient and further housing would not solve this. With Cranleigh Ambulance Station now only a response post and the fire service requiring a retained force coming from another village – all responses have some distance to travel – more housing would only worsen this.
– There is thought to be a bat colony in adjacent woodland which is likely to be affected by this development.
– There are very few local amenities e.g. no school, no Dr’s, only a small lightly stocked local shop. All the children from the village have to travel at least 3 miles for school. County boundaries being so close also limits school choices greatly. The local GP surgery is in the next village – such a great increase in housing would put further pressure on these.
– There is still no mobile phone signal in much of the area and although Fibre Broadband is available to the actual exchange, speeds are still extremely slow to some properties. Whilst I appreciate providers may be more inclined in the future to update this, this doesnâ€TMt justify the impact on existing residents using these services in the meantime hoping for them to be improved eventually.

This village has the general facilities and amenities to support it being just that †̃a villageâ€TM. With developments such as this wishing to add another 20% of houses to it, the facilities are not designed to support them and this, together with other upcoming developments in surrounding areas, in my opinion, needs to be addressed well before adding more.

Another resident.Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 09.56.53.png

WW expect residents will hope their Cllr Kevin Deanus will have his say, although he is no longer a member, only a substitute, on the Joint Planning Committee at ‘Your Waverley.’

Surrey’s empty heads leave OUR buildings vacant for 112 years!

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Cash – strapped Surrey County Council has left 20 buildings empty for a cumulative total of 112 years – with one building empty for 18 years. And, some of those are in ‘Your Waverley.’

Countrywide, councils have spent £74m looking after empty buildings.

Surrey County Council based in Kingston, outside the county boundary, was created in 1889, and has been Conservative-dominated since 1973 – save for falling under ‘no overall control’ at the 1993 local elections. The council is responsible for roads, waste disposal, education and libraries. And, you may have noticed that waste disposal, and libraries are all under threat!

The empty buildings which include former nursing homes – Cobgate’s in Farnham, and Longfields in Cranleigh cost the council £307,464 in maintenance during 2016/17. The Farnham nursing home costs the most of any building to maintain – at £65,358.98.  Longfields in the east of the borough is boarded up and is derelict – though it once cared for more than 70 residents of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages. It also included dementia and Alzheimer’s care, for which villagers fundraised for a sensory garden.

The information, obtained via Freedom of Information legislation, has left the council’s opposition dismayed after Lib Dem leader Cllr Hazel Watson requested it. 

Cllr Watson said: “The Conservative administration at County Hall has allowed 20 of its own buildings to stand empty for a cumulative total of 112 years, with one building in Warlingham left empty for a shocking 18 years. “It is wrong these council buildings have been left empty without earning any rental income and not properly maintained, in fact, left to decay with the result they are less valuable. This is no way to manage property.”

Cllr Hazel Watson
Cllr Hazel Watson

Cllr Watson said: “These empty buildings should either be used for providing council services or let for rent or sold. “I am pressing the Conservative administration to stop wasting money and for urgent action to be taken to use, rent or sell these buildings. I regret, as a county councillor, I have had to resort to the Freedom of Information Act in order to obtain what are basic facts about county council-owned properties.

“I can only assume that the Conservative administration at County Hall deemed the information too embarrassing to provide to me, which is completely unacceptable.”

Cobgates care home in Farnham will close at the end of this year
Cobgates nursing home in Farnham has been vacant since 2016 and cost the council £65,358.98 

A spokesman for the council said: “While we have a very small number of properties that aren’t currently occupied, they are kept under constant review.”A great deal of work is going on to use these properties to either generate better services for residents or create an income for the benefit of all Surrey’s taxpayers.”

Q

WW asks – why are opposition councillors forced to seek Freedom of Information Requests, to get information that should be, provided to them, and in the public domain?

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