Here they go again …

A great big leaky sieve, that is the  hallowed halls of Waverley.

The secret’s out!  So sure is the Knowle Park Initiative, that its planning is “in the bag” that it cannot help itself from shouting the good news from the glasshouse rooftops.

So now WBC – there’s no such thing as a well-kept secret and your meetings behind what you thought were closed doors, are anything but! Today’s the day – Friday!

Back around the table, tucked behind the security doors, there you are creating Cranleigh New Town. You read it in the Surrey Advertiser first and we’re hot on their heels!  Read all about it – the developers and councillors are putting their own spin on it but the public’s not stupid – they know what’s going on.

Around the table, Surrey County Councillor Alan Young and Messers Ellis and Stennett (Conservative Cranleigh East and West ) are all eager to tell us all, they are right behind the West Cranleigh Nurseries (KPI) scheme.   One can’t help wondering what the point is of going to a public planning committee at all?  Might just as well let the Gang of Four, aided and abetted by Planning Officers, push the applications through. Those involved in the creation of the Neighbourhood Plan and members of the Cranleigh Civic Society might as well save their breath to cool their porridge.  The Kooples – Councillors Brian & Patricia Ellis and Councillors Stewart and Jeanette Stennett, know what’s best for you and they’re not interested anyone’s opinion but their own and, of course, that of the Flying Dutchman, (aka KPI owner Nick Vrijland), who is singing the praises of his own scheme from the rooftops!

Watch out Cranleigh – the new town is on its way and the KPI is on the verge of making millions – and don’t be misled it won’t be ploughed back into the community regardless of what the Flying Dutchman says about how much he cares for Cranleigh or the community or how many awards he gets for “volunteering.” Volunteering what we ask – Information? Money?  Political donations?

Having wrapped up the Chamber of Trade and with his PR machine working overtime – the balloons went up all over Cranleigh at the week-end urging everyone to support the KPI – and peddeling the message that the Berkeley scheme is “too close to the village.” Do they think we’re all stupid?  That we can’t see what they’re up to?

Watch out Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce – if you lie down with dogs you get fleas! Urging everyone to support development on the green fields may come back and bite you, shoppers are also villagers who can be an unforgiving lot.

So back to  the not so secret meeting – where all those developers, including Thakeham Homes – (450) watch out Alfold! – Crest Nicholson – about to go back in with at least another 150 homes – to add to the 149 they already have planning permission for – we at WW are sure they will get another nod and a wink from Councillor Jeannette Stennett.

The  KPI (265 houses) and Cozens Smith (75 houses) in Alfold Road and Threadneedle (Hewitts Industrial Estate 120) already refused. They are all going there to open their cheque books and see who can throw the most into the infrastructure pot.

Who we wonder, is going to pull the biggest golden rabbit out of the hat, as the would-be developers vie with each other to get approval for their scheme?  Watch this space because the fun – or do we mean auction to the highest bidder? – has only just begun.i

Please note: Two of the developers sitting behind WBC’s closed doors have had their applications turned down. Berkeley goes to appeal in February and Threadneedle, owners of  Hewitt’s, had its application turned down last week – see story below.

Threadneedle has been urged by Cranleigh councillors not to go to appeal but to work with the council. The stench just gets stronger every day. The future developers of Amlets Park have been left out – we wonder why?


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!