And it’s not the Elmbridge Sewerage Works!

With breathtaking arrogance and flying in the face of government policy and local public opinion, Waverley Borough Council has turned down an application by the owners of Hewitt’s Industrial Estate, to build 120 homes on a BROWN FIELD site within walking distance of the village centre.

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An Industrial Estate which has for more than 30 years produced dust, fumes, concrete and in recent years very few jobs.

No calling in an application there then, Councillor Patricia Ellis, as you have done just next door at West Cranleigh Nurseries – just let the boys in the planning department throw out Threadneedle’s application under delegated powers, just like they intend to throw out the clever drummer’s scheme in Ewhurst, That too, is a major application that should have been considered by the planning committee, in a true democracy – there you are then – so no friends in high places there then either!

Ditch the ballot box” we hear voters cry. No doubt this will delight the Knowle Park Initiative, that boasts all over Cranleigh, that it has friends in those lofty places and who now is pulling the strings of The Chamber of Commerce, which opposes building on brown fields (formerly developed land)) and proposes building on Cranleigh’s green and pleasant land instead – you don’t get much greener than lettuces.The only way Waverley can justify building on fields – (two such sites have already been approved) – is if they do not have viable brown field alternatives.

WW has been doing a little digging and has discovered, thanks to the people over in Cranleigh, that Hewitt’s Industrial Estate was REMOVED from the council’s Strategic Land Assessment in 2014 – we wonder why? If anyone out there knows why – please get in touch.

Although our web has only been spinning for a few days, we have heard from some residents of Elmbridge, that everyone is turning a blind eye to the fact that more jobs will be lost at the thriving nursery site, than on the industrial estate, where neighbours say they desperately want to see housing. Said one “We have put up with the filth emanating from Hewitt’s long enough.” Well hey ho, there we go – the voting fodder of Elmbridge may get an even bigger industrial estate on their back yards and even bigger lorries.

Villagers say they are mystified by Waverley’s decision and are beginning to wonder why some Cranleigh councillors are so determined to push through housing on Cranleigh’s fields, (where there is a history of flooding), rather than a former concrete works which didn’t flood, according to the locals even in the worst flooding of 1968.

There is something rotten going on in the state of Waverley with the stench in Cranleigh causing many a nose to twitch in disgust. According to our informants in Cranleigh – and please keep contacting us – they all have their beady eyes on you!

Sheltered housing not quite so sheltered in future?

There’s a contradiction in terms then from our Council, that boasts in its report on its Ageing Well Strategy, that it is proud of its history in meeting the needs of its older residents.

It says its sheltered housing schemes (housing occupied by frail elderly people) are facing cuts because of the ageing population and reductions in government funding. The council intends to cut down staff, including those in its extra care schemes in a bid to save around £90,000 per year. However, they do intend to spend money on a “floating” service.”

According to a recent report to the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee, in 2013, the 2011 census hd highlighted that Waverley’s over 65’s stood at 25,200 and was projected to increase by 14.3% by 2020. The over 85 population is projected to increase by 28.6%. Waverley Council says it has an important challenge ahead; catering for an ever increasing group of older adults, whilst ensuring that the quality of support offered towards their wellbeing is maintained.

Dementia, says the report, poses a significant challenge, with Waverley having the highest number of residents predicted to have dementia in Surrey – no surprise there then! Waverley’s planning department will be responsible for some of this as applicants are being driven to distraction by the chaos that is ensuing there!

In a bid to “transform and modernise” Waverley intends to:

  • empower  tenants to become more independent where appropriate such as reporting their own repairs.
  • The new floating support service will support vulnerable older people over 60 to   develop their independent living skills necessary to sustain their accommodation and continue to live in the community.

In other words you’re on your own old guys and gals!

All things Bright and not so beautiful…

One thing all us Waverley taxpayers can rely upon is that our money is being spent by the council wisely! Isn’t it?

Memorial Hall Front view zoom 6.6.13

We can all sleep soundly in the knowledge that in return for an uplift in the value of Crest Nicholson’s/ Sainsbury’s development of £1.6m as the developers of the Brightwell Gostrey site in Farnham. for removing the old people’s centre from its East Street redevelopment plans,Waverley BC  is only spending a mere £2.2m of our money on one of the ugliest extensions – we are sure someone will eventually give it a prize! – to the Farnham Memorial Hall within spitting distance of the town’s cherished Conservation area and on which it will have a significant impact.

Artist impression of developed Memorial Hall (is this about to become a carbuncle on the face of an old friend?)

Once Upon A Time…Crest Nicholson was going to contribute towards the cost of re-building the centrally placed and popular Gostrey Centre, but it is now believed  Waverley now lives more in hope than  expectation of that ever happening.

All sorts of shenanigans have been going on behind the scenes in recent years to ensure the Memorial Hall was the perfect place to move all the old people  even though they loved their old site close to the town centre’s shops and supermarkets. After all we don’t want old people getting in the way of progress do we? They all agree they have been putting up with dreadful, even dangerous conditions, particularly  in their kitchen which, only when threatened with Environmental Health intervention, was cleaned and given a lick of paint by the landlord (WBC).They were always promised a new Gostrey Centre centre within the East St development. and the council has still not made the decision to remove it from the Brightwells site, however by telling porkies – happens a lot at Waverley,  they pretended the Brewery’s Deed of Gift doesn’t prevent it. Twice councillors were falsely advised the decision to move had been made in February and  the leadership ensured that an extra £700,000 of funding was agreed so… on August 26 the joint planning committee granted consent without considering the visual impact on the town’s Conservation Area – no surprise there then.

Despite being gifted as a “Memorial” with sports changing rooms and the adjacent fields as recreation grounds for “sport”  primarily for  youth sporting and physical training purposes, particularly children in 1947 by the Lion Brewery in memory of some of their workers killed in the Great War, Waverley soon established that “Deeds of Covenant stating –“ for sporting use” only could “easily be changed.” Remember that Web readers  “easily changed”  and  presumably you can equally easily extend a building onto recreational land, after all wasn’t the Memorial Hall “underused” and aren’t WBC the planning authority!




Just another Manic Monday!


There are county, village and borough leaders talking about piling more traffic onto our country roads, and total chaos ensued on one of them this morning.


The Elmbridge Road chicane took on new meaning today, when a lorry parked on the right of the gates, to the former home of Beatles drummer, Ringo Starr, causing traffic chaos and all hell broke out. Drivers who were heading towards Cranleigh, saw this as the perfect opportunity to drive on, regardless, ignoring the opposing priority signs. The result of which, brought another major traffic jam.  Thanks to a bus driver’s quick thinking, in blocking the oncoming traffic and then forcing everyone to reverse, a more serious delay was avoided. That the country road infrastructure is incapable of taking significant amounts of additional traffic, that this chicane needs traffic lights as a matter of urgency,  and there is a petition calling for this currently doing the rounds, is obvious to all – or is it! Will someone start taking this junction seriously wbefore someone is killed or seriously injured?


Despite being announced in the Media by a Cranleigh councillor over a week ago – Guildford, Waverley and Woking housing needs numbers have been published by three local authorities today.

The housing figure almost accurately  predicted by Councillor Jeannett Stennett – she said 500 – the figure announced on both Waverley and Guildford Borough Council’s websites is 519 per year for the period 2013 to 2033, but then she can be forgiven as she is a new councillor for not getting it quite right.

Waverley‘s Deputy Leader, Julia Potts, fails to mentioned in her press release below, that the single biggest constraint to building in Waverley is in the areas covered by the Thames Basin Heaths and the Wealden Heaths, mainly affecting the area around Farnham – but she does mention that constraints include traffic congestion and areas in the borough that are subject to flooding.

According to the report there will be a need for 18,111 open market homes required in Guildford, Waverley and Woking and 9,752 affordable homes across the three boroughs.

To read the report in full go to http://www.guildford.gov/SHMA Waverley figure of 519 is on p169

The WBC Press Release can be found here.

2 October 2015
Local Housing Need Figures Published In Joint Strategic Housing Market AssessmentA joint study of housing need across Waverley, Guildford and Woking for the period 2013 to 2033 has been published today.The West Surrey Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) looks at how much housing is needed across the three boroughs. The report sets out an objectively assessed need for each council and the whole housing market area; the assessed need for housing in Waverley is 519 per year. The increase from 470 to 519 is due to the need to take into account the latest Government projections.Cllr Julia Potts, Deputy Leader of Waverley Borough Council said: “This is an important part of the evidence base for our new Local Plan. Now that we have a housing figure to work with we can now move forward and build on the progress we have already made in developing the new Local Plan.

“The council will continue to test the 519 figure against some considerable environmental constraints we have in Waverley such as congestion, transportation and flood risks and the council is gathering evidence to see if Waverley can accommodate this amount of housing. It is also important that the emerging Local Plan takes into account our many landscape designations and has the appropriate infrastructure in place to support any future housing.

“The most important thing is that any new homes are built in the right places and that the council works with Waverley residents to ensure it has the right strategy in place to meet our community’s needs over the coming years.”

In November 2015 Waverley’s Executive will be asked to endorse a Preferred Spatial Strategy. The Local Plan timetable is as follows:

November – March 2016The council will identify the infrastructure required to support the preferred strategy and writing the Plan and its policies
March 2016The council will test the draft plan and its policies:

· Sustainability Appraisal
· Habitats Regulations Assessment
· Whole Plan viability assessment

April 2016The council will approve the plan for publication
July 2016The council will submit the plan for examination

For further information, please contact :
Tel: 01483 523 344 or 01483 523 296
Web : www.waverley.gov.uk
Email: communications@waverley.gov.uk