Waverley has been sanctioned by the Government for under delivering its housing supply.

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 No surprises there then that our borough council has been sanctioned by the Government for under delivering its housing supply.  – although one might argue that, given the sausage factory panache, with which Waverley’s planners have been banging out planning consents one might be forgiven for wondering WHY?

Well, here’s part of the answer:  Here we go, here we go, here we go Ooooh!

WAVERLEY IS ONE OF THE COUNCILS TO BE SANCTIONED BY THE GOVERNMENT UNDER THE NEW HOUSING DELIVERY TEST.

SO INSTEAD OF AN ADDITIONAL 5% BUFFER ADDED TO ITS HOUSING SUPPLY NUMBERS, THIS HAS BEEN INCREASED TO 20%! THAT’S ANOTHER 1500 HOUSES!!!

Q Q: Why?

A: Because of all the developments already consented in Waverley approximately 400/500 of 1800 that could, and should, have been built on a brownfield site at Dunsfold Aerodrome – NONE HAVE BEEN BUILT … yet.

All thanks to the antics of that troublesome twosome – Protect our Waverley (POW) and The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) – aided and abetted by the meddling Mistress Milton, and Jeremy SHUNT – who, shall henceforth be known as – ‘Waverley’s Old Buffers’ (WOB’s.’)  Together they were, and are,  dedicated to stopping development at Dunsfold Park so they can support building over the countryside! Had these unreconstructed NIMBYs bowed to the inevitable and accepted that the biggest brownfield site in the borough was the obvious place for housing, rather than trying to stop it by hook or by crook, housing development at the Aerodrome would now be well under way, thus enabling Waverley to demonstrate that it IS delivering on the planning consents it had granted.

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One-third of local authorities face a sanction under the government’s new housing delivery test this year and these include both WAVERLEY & GUILDFORD.

The delivery test was introduced in last July’s revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It applies sanctions to all local planning authorities that, in the three years up to the preceding April, failed to meet 95% of their housing requirement, with the severity of the sanction varying according to the extent of the under-performance.

Under the test’s criteria, all local authorities delivering under 95% of their housing requirement must now produce an action plan detailing the reasons why they are under-delivering and how they will address it. 

Those under 85% of their requirement, which includes, Waverley and Guildford, must add a 20% buffer to their five-year housing land supply requirement, instead of the usual 5% buffer, and produce an – ACTION PLAN.

Meanwhile, the worst performers – those under 25% in November 2018, rising to 45% in November 2019 and 65% in November 2020 – face the NPPF’s presumption in favour of sustainable development.

SO WHAT’S WAVERLEY’S CUNNING ACTION PLAN? AND WHAT’S GUILDFORD’S?

Does that mean THAT THE LAND ADJACENT TO AARONS HILL in Godalming, in the borough of Guildford  COMES BACK ONLINE?

Fortunately, none have fallen under 25% which means no local authority faces the presumption penalty – this year. Which means that 66% of councils – exactly two-thirds – have escaped any penalty at all – this year. In comparison, research by Planning last November found that 120 local authorities – 62% – would be above the 95% threshold and face no delivery test sanction at all.

Research suggests our borough is among the 38% of councils would have to produce an action plan, and is also the 31% required to have a 20% buffer in their housing land supply to boost delivery.

Has POW and CPRE (WOB’s) learnt anything from their mistakes?

Have they hell!

Having secured yet another Judicial Review into Waverley’s Local Plan, which wastes shed loads more of Waverley taxpayer’s dosh. In the interim THE WOB’s cloak themselves in yet another cost protection order (the infamous Aahrus Convention enabling NIMBYs like CPRE and POW to play fast and loose at the expense of ordinary taxpayers’ money without fear of incurring prohibitive costs.) While they increase delays in housing delivery.

The upshot is. That even if they do manage to secure a so-called victory by reducing Waverley’s housing numbers, those housing numbers will now automatically increase because of the delays in delivery. You really couldn’t make it up!

 

 

 

Round Two has been won but the protracted fight to defend Waverley’s Local Plan goes on… and on!

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Here we go again!

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Unless of course, it happens to be in the borough of Waverley?

 

The Court of Appeal has thrown out The Protect Our Waverley and the CPRE’s latest challenge to overturn High Court decisions made in July. These challenges affect the Dunsfold Aerodrome development and Waverley’s  Local Plan. 

Obviously, the anti-Dunsfold brigade have very deep pockets? Because although their costs MAY BE limited to £10,000 under Access to Justice Legislation called (Aarhus) they will be paying shedloads of dosh for the Rumpoles who represent them!

The appeals, lodged by POW Campaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey, followed a High Court’s decision on 12 July 2018 to dismiss significant elements of challenges to the Council’s Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s Dunsfold Park decision.

The rejected appeals sought to challenge the High Court’s decision to refuse permission to go to a full hearing in respect of the following grounds: In other words, the locals aren’t giving up until the fat lady sings?

  • · that the council and the Local Plan Inspector failed to consider environmental constraints (in the context of calculating Waverley’s objectively assessed need)

 

  • · that both the council and the Inspector did not correctly apply the two-stage test as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “I am pleased the appeals against the High Court judge’s decision have been refused.

“This is a small victory for us but we will still need to defend the council’s position in the challenge to Woking’s unmet housing need allocation in Waverley’s Local Plan.

“We didn’t bring these legal challenges and don’t want to be in this situation. I believe our Local Plan is the best plan for the borough and we have a duty to defend it; having a sound Local Plan means we can defend and protect the borough from inappropriate development. That’s why, after careful consideration, we think it’s absolutely the right thing to set aside funds to be able to defend the legal challenges.

“We will continue to defend our Local Plan and to use it to guide planning decisions.”

The Council and other parties will be attending a full Judicial Review hearing on 9 and 10 October 2018, which will consider challenges from POW Campaign Ltd and CPRE Surrey to Waverley’s Local Plan, relating to Woking’s unmet need allocation, and a challenge from POWCampaign Ltd to the grant of planning permission in respect of Dunsfold Park. Just a little thought on Woking’s unmet need straight from our sun lounger?

When  POW and CPRE  square up for Round Three at the High Court in October they will challenge both the legality of Waverley Borough Council’s approval of their Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s decision to approve development at Dunsfold Park (1,800 homes consented).

If this is thrown out then presumably His Holiness The Pope will be called in to rule and then if that fails The Almighty himself – the omnipotent one will be asked to make the final judgment no doubt?

A Judge decided at an oral hearing in July that parts of the POW and CPRE’s case had merit, but other grounds did not. (not entirely accurate)

POW and CPRE say they appealed on the rejected grounds and this week that appeal was dismissed. The principal grounds for the forthcoming cases remain – primarily the question of the burden of a housing quota for Woking’s unmet being placed on Waverley Borough. This will be heard in the High Court where Waverley will have to account for their actions. At the same court, hearing POW is also challenging the legal basis for the SoS’s decision to approve Dunsfold Airfield development.

Bob Lees, Chairman of POW said:

The situation is the same as when the High Court judge approved our case in July to go to full court in October. Waverley don’t need to defend the case – if POW and CPRE win this case they would seek a remedy of a reduction in the quota for housing – that will relieve some of the burden on the Borough of Waverley and Waverley Borough Council. This is not about the Local Plan failing. As for Waverley sending their legal team to attend the Secretary of State’s court case – that is their choice but is that really the best use of council tax payer’s money where the primary beneficiary of the SoS winning is a wealthy developer?”

WW. Which of course, what this whole very expensive exercise is all about?

The statement continues: “We have repeatedly asked WBC’s CEO to justify the council’s reasons for not considering a “do nothing” approach to the Court cases – I have yet to be re-assured they considered every option. Separately we have not received any justification from WBC for them spending £100,000 where they are not the defendant – they are merely an interested party in the SoS’s defence of the legal basis for approving a £1.1bn development of Dunsfold Airfield.”

What a hypocrite! Capt’n Bob and his motley crew don’t give a damn about the rest of the Borough. All they care about is stopping Dunsfold Park building on a brownfield site, adjacent to a major A-road. Where were Protect our Waverley when applications were submitted and approved for development on greenfields in Alfold, Cranleigh and Farnham what are they saying about plans to build on the green belt in Godalming?? Sitting around the kitchen table plotting their next move in the downfall of the Dunsfold Developer. They’re oblivious to what’s going on in the rest of the borough because they’re single-mindedly committed to stopping development on the one site that is crying out to be developed. What’s that old saying: there’s none so blind as them that can’t see …

If you can bear to read more: Does ‘Your Waverley’ have to manage a crisis now the High Court has allowed challenges to the Local Plan to be heard at a Judicial Review?

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