Care Ashore and Thakeham Homes’ boat sunk by a Government Inspector!

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There is jubilation among villagers in a  Surrey/Sussex border village as a Government Inspector throws out a scheme that could have tripled the size of ALFOLD.

Despite only a handful of residents showing up to warn of the dire consequences of dumping such a huge number of homes on a rural village, Inspector Richard Clegg, took on board their concerns as they gave  a host of reasons why the appeal by Care Ashore should be REFUSED.

The decision  is a triumph for Alfold’s Waverley Borough Councillor Kevin Deanus, who, despite being repeatedly bullied by QC David Elvin, stubbornly  refused to accept the argument that Alfold village could not only absorb such a huge increase in its population, but would benefit from it!

The developers had argued at the two-week inquiry, that the benefits would significantly outweigh the harm, and that the provision of up to 500 new homes, together with a new village school, recreation and playground facilities, shops and a cafe, and a care home for seamen, would breathe new life into Alfold. However, the Inspector gave little weight to the need to improve the Care Ashore Charity’s facilities at Sachel Court or to the claim it would provide more  jobs.

However, he did conclude  that  Waverley Borough Council does not have a five-year land supply!

Although the Inspector took into account that a viable agricultural holding would be fragmented by covering the Care Ashore land  with housing, and there had been changes in the type, siting and mix of housing since the inquiry, this was not his main reason for a refusal.

He said his decision was based on the sustainability’  of  such a large development in the heart of the countryside.

In his opinion the site off Loxwood Road and Dunsfold Road,  was, UNSUSTAINABLE.

He also said: In addition Dunsfold Aerodrome is identified as a new settlement.

Policy ALH1 specifies that in the period 2013 to 2032 at least 11,210 additional homes (within Waverley) will be provided: at least 125 homes are to be provided in the parish of Alfold (excluding windfall development and housing in the proposed new settlement at Dunsfold Aerodrome).

(A decision on Dunsfold Aerodrome – the largest brownfield site in the borough – is expected from  the Secretary of State Sajid Javid on, or before, 17 January 2018).

While the Inspector  argued the Springbok development would have a neutral effect in respect of the Area of Great Landscape Value and would comply with planning policies concerning the availability of infrastructure, facilities and services, and would deliver environmental and community benefits, the proposal involved major development in a rural area. The sustainability of the site’s location and the effect on the character and appearance of the area were important considerations, and  he believed, the proposal would be contrary to the Development Plan when considered as a whole.

‘The appeal site is not in a sustainable location for a major residential development and would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area.’

‘I also find that the scale of housing in areas 2 and 3 would cause substantial harm to Alfold Crossways. I also attach considerable weight to the fact that it would cause an adverse effect on visual amenity at the recreation ground and on  users of the public footpath.’ 

The Inspector also threw out Thakeham Homes application for costs. The two-week hearing is rumoured to have cost ‘YW’ £100,000 and Thakeham Homes in excess of £300,000.

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Here’s the full decision: Appeal Decision 3155714

Here’s a bit of background from the inquiry Click here: 

Snippets on Springbok – Or Thakeham Homes answer to Dunsfold Park.

The controversial public inquiry to more than double the size of Alfold was forced to close early to allow another show to go on!

 

The men in grey suits could soon be on their way to ‘Your Waverley.’

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WAVERLEY Borough Council faces an imminent threat of being placed in ‘special measures’ and having planning decisions taken out of its hands, as a consequence of it undermining the newly-made Farnham Neighbourhood Plan earlier this year.

 

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Your Waverley may welcome developers – but not enough!

In a report to the council’s executive committee on Tuesday – updating Waverley’s performance against Government targets for the ‘speed’ and ‘quality’ of determining planning applications – officers warned that should several appeals go against the council in coming months, its powers of determination could be withdrawn and handed to the Secretary of State.

The borough council’s current performance on speed of dealing with ‘major’ and ‘non-major’ applications is “excellent”, say officers, and its performance on ‘non-major’ appeals is “well within target”.

However, executive members voiced “grave concern” on Tuesday night about the authority’s impending failure to meet the government’s target for the number of major planning applications refused by the council but allowed at appeal.

Against a target threshold that no more than 10 per cent of major appeals should be allowed, Waverley’s record is currently 6.4 per cent.

But officers predict that, subject to the result of several appeals yet to be decided, and refusals not yet appealed, this figure could soon rise to 16 per cent in the “worst case scenario” breaching the Government target.

Pending appeals outlined by officers as putting Waverley at risk of special measures include plans to build:
• 157 homes in Waverley Lane, Farnham,
• 140 in Lower Weybourne Lane, Badshot Lea,
• 56 to the rear of Bindon House in Monkton Lane,
• 102 in Upper Old Park Lane, Folly Hill,
• 254 opposite the Hogs Back Brewery in Tongham Road,
• 43 at Baker Oates Stables in Gardener’s Hill Road,
• 97 on the site of Farnham Park Hotel in Hale Road, and
• 43 at Green Lane Farm, Badshot Lea.

With the exception of Tongham Road, each of the above appeals hinge on the weight afforded to the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, which excludes the sites as either inappropriate for housing or for falling outside of Farnham’s Built-Up Area Boundary.

Waverley adopted the Farnham planning blueprint in late July after a huge 88 per cent of voters backed the plan in a referendum in May.

However, the borough council then undermined the document just weeks later when, announcing modifications to its own Local Plan, it proposed that Farnham find space for a further 450 new homes, requiring a possible early review of the Neighbourhood Plan.

It now appears Waverley’s decision, to cast doubt on the borough’s only up-to-date planning blueprint, could come back to haunt it should its major appeals target tip over 10 per cent as a result.

Addressing the damning report on Tuesday, Farnham Town Council leader Carole Cockburn highlighted the problems caused by Waverley’s decision to propose a review of the adopted Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.

“I assumed you were aware how important Farnham Neighbourhood Plan was in defence of appeals,” she said. “As soon as the Waverley executive declared the plan out of date within weeks of its being made, developers wrote to the Secretary of State, asking him to allow the three recovered appeals.

“Without the protection of a made neighbourhood plan, the developers claimed that the evidence was not convincing enough.”

Waverley’s performance was described as a “significant concern” by Liz Sims, the borough’s head of planning, who recommended more training workshops for councillors and officers and the need for councillors to “recognise and engage the presumption in favour of sustainable development” to avoid “unnecessary” refusals.

She also urged that Waverley’s new Local Plan should be progressed “as quickly as possible” to strengthen the council’s defence against harmful developments.

But hopes that Waverley will meet its timetable target of getting the first part of its Local Plan adopted in December, now look increasingly unlikely, after government inspector Jonathan Bore posed a new set of questions this month on the latest modifications to the plan, which have not yet been answered.

One question relating directly to Farnham, asks how Waverley can ensure the 450 houses on top of the 2,780 allocated for Farnham can be built, due to the timing of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan review and Natural England’s objection the Local Plan does not identify enough mitigating land, or Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space.

It was also revealed at Tuesday’s meeting that Waverley has spent more than £500,000 fighting appeals against its planning decisions in the last two years alone – equivalent to 3.5 per cent of the council’s total budget for 2016/17. This includes £51,000 Waverley has been ordered to pay developers in costs for “behaving unreasonably”.

 

Waverley leader and Upper Hale councillor Julia Potts said: “To see more than £500,000 spent on defending appeals is absolutely horrendous and it’s partly because we don’t have a sound Local Plan.

“Hopefully we are well on the way to that now and can adopt one to ensure appropriate plan-led development. Think what all that money could have been spent on, such as services to vulnerable residents. We need to make sure we invest in planning services and officers. If we don’t we will continue to have issues. We must ensure the Local Plan is adopted as soon as possible.”

 

Diddling the Disabled?

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The picture featured below says it all  about the state of austerity and the priorities  of Waverley’s Tory Councillors!

‘Your Waverley’ has made disabled adaptations to the access to the Pay and Display car parks so they can take the change out of a disabled drivers pocket…

BUT – you wouldn’t Adam and Eve it … the disabled won’t be able to reach the machine from their wheelchairs to flash their cash!

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Here at the Waverley Web we ask? Why should the disabled pay for austerity? Councillors had a choice: Why penalise a section of our society who have enough hurdles to cross just getting through their everyday lives?

In terms of parking charges, in addition to a general increase in charges on a proportion of the busiest car parks, three options were considered.

These were:  

  • Sunday charging, overnight charging and charging Blue Badge holders (who had previously been able to park for free, for unlimited periods). So, members opted for the introduction of Blue Badge parking charges in preference to Sunday charging or evening charging.

This is the criteria for applying for a free permit: includes the lower and higher rate of Attendance Allowance in addition to the higher rate of Personal Independence Payment and the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance.

Finally – and you couldn’t make this up – somebody in a wheelchair is still not at the right height to put money in the machine!!

https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/documents/s17698/Disabled%20Parking%20charges%20consultation%20feedback.pdf

Coming to a flood plain near you?

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Here at the Waverley Web we can think of a few sites in the borough where homes like these would fit in quite nicely. No names no pack drill! However if may solve the problems of new homes being built on flood plains, but is there some cunning plan for raising existing flood prone properties, whose situation is made worse for the older homes situated around them?Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 17.55.16

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The 65-tonne building will have a steel frame and sit on a steel ring beam instead of normal foundations.

It will have eight mechanical jacks powered by a central motor, gear box and drive shafts to lift the whole thing up in less than five minutes.

No-one will live there as engineers spend four years testing the design. If it were built for real occupants, then they would have to leave their home while it is held above ground.

Thousands of elevated houses could be built in high flood-risk areas if the experiment is successful. The costs of the hi-tech equipment would be offset by the relatively lower cost of such land, said Larkfleet Homes, the developer behind the idea.

Chief executive Karl Hick said: ‘We have planning permission to build an experimental house that could rise on jacks above flood waters, effectively eliminating the risk of flood damage.

 

A spokesman for the Lincolnshire-based firm added: ‘As far as we know, this is the first project of its kind in the world. It seems so obvious really.’ The one-off house will be built in a field by the River Welland in Weston Hills, near Spalding.

Solar roof panels and a battery mean it will have a constant electricity supply while water and sewage will remain connected with hoses.

The planning permission expires in 2022 when the house will be dismantled but the modular design means it could be rebuilt on another site.

Mr Hick added: ‘The technology is a one-off and therefore likely to be quite expensive but if the system goes into production the costs would certainly come down. The overall cost on some sites may be lower because of the reduced land price.’

If the design succeeds, then insurers will also gain by avoiding huge payouts for flood damage.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4998128/Three-bedroom-house-raised-5ft-flood.html#ixzz4w8VsGoNJ
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Members of Waverley’s senior planners have ridden roughshod over the people of Cranleigh … AGAIN!

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Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee trampled over the views of local people, including parish leaders and approved another extension of Crest Nicholson’s development in Horsham Road.

Despite pouring gallons of crocodile tears  all over  ‘poor Cranleigh residents’ and giving a host of reasons why a Crest’s scheme for 119 houses (69 of which wouldn’t even meet the national housing standards and were  described as ” an old fashioned council housing estate’)  should be refused), up went their mits approving it  by 12  votes to 6 with 2 abstentions!

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Up goes the hand of Councillor Mike Band (Con, Cranleigh North & Shamley Green) who said – none of us believe anything the statutory consulatees say, but we have to accept it.’ 

So now in addition to the 149 homes already under construction west of Horsham Road – by Crests whose finance director lives just down the road in Wonersh Park, a stones throw from firm supporter councillor Michael ‘ Sleepy’ Goodridge  – it now has the go-ahead for another 119 off just one access. This, despite councillors agreeing that many of the owners of these homes, when built, could be taking on shedloads of problems through a management company’s  onerous responsibilities. These include play areas; roads; common areas; sh*t pit holding tanks, etc.

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The developer, who has already shown in Cranleigh, and elsewhere in the area, that it regularly rides roughshod over planning conditions, government guidance on the size, and the design of accommodation, can now remove trees protected by preservation orders, and remove ancient woodland.  Should an accident occur at the access, it will provide no emergency access! All this has the blessing of ‘Your Waverley’s’ planning ‘experts’ and the statutory consultees – Thames Water, and Surrey County Council, the lead flood authority ‘experts’ and highway ‘experts.’

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Here’s what the locals said in a ream of objections that could paper the walls of ‘YW’s hallowed halls inside and out: Yet another shedload of housing on its way to Cranleigh? 

And Yes, didn’t we say in the post last week that the scheme  would be approved at  the Waverley Muppet Show! An outfit who would  pave over Cranleigh’s famous cricket common with half a chance, as Liz the Biz Sims, whip, cracks away!

The Cranleigh Parish Council public speaker obviously didn’t think it was worth turning up to oppose yet another development believing that all was cut and dried, and saving his valuable breath deeming that breath is so good for you! Or, has the council imploded?

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Cranleigh Councillor Patricia Ellis gave an impassioned speech about how dreadful Cranleigh was being treated, and how awful the scheme was, despite the fact that she had, along with her late husband Brian Ellis colluded with developers in secret meetings for years to have the Crest Nicholson sites included in the Strategic sites of Waverley’s Daft Local Plan. It was councillor Brian Ellis who repeatedly claimed that Cranleigh shops needed more ‘footfall!’ Well Councillor Ellis, if you are looking up, or down on Cranleigh – you certainly got your wish!

However, the woman who took his place as Chairman of Cranleigh Parish Council said:

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 21.04.28.png But of course, as she has come to realise, despite her repeated protestations about the damaging effect of yet another swathe of countryside going under concrete, the inadequacies of the local infrastructure to accommodate a huge influx of people, and the poor standard and unimaginative design and quality of the homes, no-one takes one blind bit of notice!

As for Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan, and others, including ours here in Farnham – press SEND straight into the bin marked TRASH!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Waverley is building ‘affordable’ homes of its own – all two of them!

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Two affordable homes in Craneigh is better than non we must admit, but could there be many more just around the corner soon!

Because the Government is now beginning to stamp on developers who are hoarding land…including the Berkeley Bunnies!

Berkeley Homes was  given the go-ahead by a Government Inspector almost two years ago to build 425 homes on parkland in the east of the borough, over 40% would be ‘affordable.’ How many have been built Non! Detailed planning permission was granted at yet another appeal for 55 executive homes, with access of Knowle Lane a month ago.! Let’s hope they keep growing lettuces long enough to feed the Berkeley Bunnies. Because a Government inspector has approved its appeal for burrowing to begin!

Non of the  affordable homes, which are separated from the executive homes, have  seen the light of day, or a brick laid, although to be fair, the planners have received a detailed  application for 18 homes, some of which are, ‘affordable’ accessed off Alfold Road.

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The White Paper – which is expected to be published on Tuesday – is anticipated to include new proposals to require developers to complete homes more quickly.

Currently builders lose planning permissions after three years unless work has started. However, they can maintain planning permissions on sites simply by “digging a trench”, sources said. This means that more than 700,000 homes which have been granted planning permission since 2006 are yet to be built. 

Under the new plans permission would be linked to the completion of homes by certain dates, rather than the starting of work.

Developers could have to build quotas of homes by set deadlines as a condition of receiving the planning permission, or be let off paying for new local roads, bridges and community halls – so called Section 106 agreements – if they complete the new homes more quickly.

Oops here  go all those 106 Legal Agreements?

We can hear Dear Denise wailing from over here in the Farnham hop fields. 

Perhaps Waverley residents could meet their Executive? Now there’s a challenge!

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If they can do it at Guildford Borough Council then they can do it at ‘Your Waverley’ – can’t they?

Meeting the tail that wags the Waverley dog may be as joyless as a  root canal procedure, but who knows, it may prove to be quite the opposite, and be a real revelation, so why not give it a go?

The Waverley Web team would be there in force of course, hanging from the dusty cornices of the council chamber,  listening intently. We can think of many people over here in Farnham who would love to meet the tail, other than on their doorsteps when there is an election in the offing! Over there in the east of the borough there are quite few souls who might like chew the cud with the council’s Executive too?

So how about it Waverley Borough Council if Guildford Borough Council can met its residents – so can you!

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Taken from the amazing Guildford Dragon – the website that reaches the parts of Guildford that others fail to reach.

Yet another shedload of housing on its way to Cranleigh?

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Isn’t it strange that Crest Nicholson is taking a leaf out of traders books who charge £1.99 instead of £2 to  make us think it’s cheap?

Last time the developer sought planning permission for housing it asked for 149 – now under construction, and now hot on its heels and at next  week’s  Joint Planning Committee it will surely agree to another 119! But it’s ploy, (which, also avoids an Environmental Impact Assessment) isn’t fooling the residents of Cranleigh New Town.

Because they are royally hacked off at the very thought of yet another shedload of little boxes, covering the countryside of their  once rural village on the Surrey/Sussex border!

BUT – they can console themselves that Cranleigh Chamber of Trade & Commerce is fully behind Cranleigh New Town saying it wants more footfall!

You can watch the meeting on the council’s webcast,  if it’s working,  on Monday at 7pm.

Screen Shot 2017-11-24 at 10.50.44.pngThere are so many local objections, including th Parish Council, to the latest Crest Nicholson scheme for the huge estate between the Downs Link and  rear of 120-132 Horsham Road with buildings like this: that we would need a week to list them: Suffice to say this, and other recent permissions have:

  • Rendered the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan, USELESS!
  • Waverley has ignored local views; Cranleigh has become Waverley’s dumping ground for new homes; Lack of infrastructure, including jobs; sewage treatment; et, etc, etc,

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Trees, including ancient woodland has, and is being removed. Previous conditions imposed by the planners have/are being ignored; concerns that roads will not be adopted by Surrey County Counci; application and consultation conducted when residents were away during the summer; councillors intent on pushing everything into the East of the borough; 

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Impact on local roads, including the junction of Horsham and Ewhurst Roads will be huge; Still only one access road for 270 homes (Nightingales (an existing development) has three accesses to support 300 homes!

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Cranleigh is clogging up with traffic, access onto A281 over one-way bridges! No sixth form education; Sewerage will not cope; more burst pipes? Sh1t pits will be used to monitor flow; lack of car parking and so it goes on…

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And.. as we, at the Waverley Web, have said many times, Dunsfold has its own solar farm generating huge amounts of electricity; a bio-digester, employment; and will have infrastructure including schools to cut down traffic congestion. It  is putting almost £50m into the road network, medical, leisure, and numerous other facilities and  improvements, both there and in Cranleigh! 

And you won’t be surprised to hear that Chief Planning Officer Liz the Biz and her henchmen recommend approval – and you can bet your bottom dollar – it will be GRANTED. How much do you bet Councillors Goodridge and Band will be the first to stick their mits in the air? Cranleigh new town has ARRIVED! Oh! and there’s plenty more land, owned by the Cook family of Vachery, where that came from!

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CCS’s flabber is ghasted. But will anyone take one blind bit of notice? – Perhaps the flood insurers might?

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Cranleigh Society – “Speaking up for Cranleigh” wherever and whenever we can!

THAKEHAM HOMES ELMBRIDGE ROAD UPDATE
By Richard Bryant on Nov 20, 2017 09:54 am
Since our posting on 6 October we have written to Anne Milton MP, Tom Horwood (Interim MD at Waverley Borough Council) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to confirm our utter amazement and dismay that this application was granted.

We are meeting this morning with Tom Horwood to discuss this matter further.

We asked DCLG to call-in the application on the basis that the Joint Planning Committee Chairman, Cllr Isherwood, refused to allow the members of the JPC to consider the correct flood levels provided by Cllr Hyman and which have been subsequently checked by our expert who confirmed the (higher) levels were 100% correct. The refusal to allow a debate is a fact – have a look at the video of the meeting:

JOINT PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING 5 OCTOBER 2017

Cllr Isherwood relied heavily on an desktop computer report by a company working on behalf of the developers to the total exclusion of all other primary evidence presented by residents and other councillors. The developer’s representative was allowed unprecedented access to members throughout the entire meeting and sat with officers at the head table and was allowed to speak throughout the discussion of the flooding item, unlike the parish council, residents or the Cranleigh ward member who were only allowed a maximum of 4 minutes.

We take the view that there has been a blatant violation of planning law. 

DCLG refused our call-in request so Anne Milton was then requested to not only push DCLG to reconsider their decision but also involve the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It was only at the beginning of this year that DEFRA, following the disastrous flooding in the North of England, issued a consultation document asking for submissions on how to reduce the Governments exposure to the ever-increasing cost of flood relief – and here we have another Government Department hell-bent on condoning the granting of planning permission on a flood plain where future serious flooding is a certainty!

Where is the joined up thinking here?

Hopefully we will be able to get some answers  and achieve some joined up thinking from central government but we have to be prepared for inaction so we have already commenced discussions with the Association of British Insurers with a view to having this Thakeham site as a decline risk for flood insurance as Insurers only take on flood risks, not flood certainties.

We here at the Waverley Web applaud the Cranleigh Civic Society and seldom disagree with a word it says. However, we believe the developers will build those properties pictured here on the fields below with higher than normal footings to ensure they DON’T Flood. It’s all the other poor devils who already live around the site that will end up under water!

Why? Because, as the man from the lead flood authority – Surrey County Council told the public – the National Guidelines for Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes – which will be used here to deal with floodwater, are – quite simply,  ‘WOEFUL,’ and have already been proved to be useless elsewhere in Surrey! So, we ask? Where were his NO OBJECTION was put forward when the application was considered?Screen Shot 2017-10-02 at 17.54.56

Wish we, at the Waverley Web, were as well read as the Farnham Herald!

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BUT…in future you may need to log on more frequently because, some days we are  posting more than one article…

Just as a matter of interest we know what happened  to the likely lads, but what HAS happened to Farnham’s East Street?

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We would like to add our thanks to you Mr Patrick Webber an all those other Farnham scribes. We publish your letters, because our followers come from all over the Waverley Borough, and it is our view, that we shouldn’t be too parochial.