CPRE rebrand to focus on the countryside rather than brownfield sites.
A recent press release from the CPRE presented their “eye-catching new look, inspired by the colours and shapes of our countryside”.
CPRE have realised that:
“CPRE can be perceived as negative, and this can put potential supporters off, even if they love the countryside.”
“As a result, you’ll begin to notice a change tone from CPRE, as we focus more on the positive solutions that we have always tried to create. This is underpinned by our new strategic aims – to ‘connect people and countryside’, ‘promote rural life’ and ‘empower communities’ – that your comments helped us develop.”
The Waverley Web wonders if…
Perhaps this will filter down to the Local Group, who can focus on the countryside and the threats to the beautiful Surrey Hills, rather than the borough’s largest Brownfield site, the centre of Waverley’s economic strategy, and now a Garden Village status.
In three short paragraphs, Waverley’s new Deputy Leader has put the kybosh on CPRE and POW’s fantasy of working with the new Waverley Dream Team in order to quash Waverley BC’s requirement to take a share of Woking BC’s unmet housing need.
In less than a month since taking over at Waverley, Councillor Paul Follows has met with Anthony Isaacs and Bob Lies, (CPRE & POW’s head honchos respectively), listened to their arguments, assessed their plan and found it wanting.
No surprises there then!
Whilst the Waverley Web entirely understands the New Broom’s desire to be seen to be listening to the voices of dissent, it didn’t take him long to detect and highlight the holes in the dastardly duo’s argument, which leaks like a colander.
No doubt Messrs Isaacs and Lies won’t take a blind bit of notice of Councillor Follow’s pithy assessment of the risks they are running. Why would they? After all, it’s not their money they’re frittering away on feckless and frivolous arguments. Not on your nelly! It’s ours – the poor, beleaguered Waverley Council Tax Payers’!
And for those of you who are still under the illusion that these bumbling buffoons only have the best interests of the residents of Waverley at heart, let us attempt to reset your perception:
• CPRE & POW claim they are seeking to remove the Woking unmet need number and not quash the whole of the Local Plan.
• The problem with that, as Councillor Follows pointed out in his recent letter to them, is that the Court is highly unlikely to get involved in setting housing numbers.
• The Court of Appeal’s task is simply to consider whether the Inspector and, subsequently, the High Court Judge erred in law in how they applied the Woking unmet need amount to Waverley.
• If the Court of Appeal decides that they did err, it will remit the decision back to an Inspector and the process will begin all over again!
Meanwhile, all reasonable and sensible advice leads to the conclusion that this high stakes strategy carries a very real risk of:
• increasing, not decreasing the future target • strengthening the argument in favour of consenting the planning appeals against Waverley in the short term • increasing the uncertainty that currently surrounds the draft Local Plan as a result of the appeals.
Of course most people – including councillors – are concerned about the housing targets and housing delivery in the Borough but the difference between them and CPRE and POW is that they aren’t engaged in a game of high stakes Russian roulette with other peoples’ money!
Suffice to say if Messrs Isaacs and Lies’ great gamble doesn’t pay off they are going to be as popular in Waverley as skunks that have rolled in fox poo!
The Deputy Waverley leader’s response ( below). The hearing on Monday 24th June will bewebcast here, so pull up a chair and bring some biscuits! The background of the case is on theCourt site here.
The fight to reduce the housing requirement for the whole of Waverley continues!
So here goes another shedload of our council taxpayers’ money going down the proverbial legal eagle’s pan?
Out of the cupboard come all the Rollicking Rumpole’s wigs, as they measure their briefs by the metre in readiness for yet another High Court drama between the Campaign for The Preservation of Rural England, Protect Our Waverley and ‘Your Waverley.’
Yesterday CPRE/ POW were granted leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal against the judgment delivered in November concerning the housing requirement set in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan Part 1. That November judgement said that the housing requirement of 590 a year should be maintained, including 83 to cover Woking’s perceived “unmet need”.
So ‘YW’ may have to build 498 fewer homes and no doubt POW/CPRE hope that will rule out Phase 2 at Dunsfold, as it certainly won’t want to stop development on the countryside – will they?
The appeal centres on how a shortfall in housing provision – unmet need – in one borough is allocated to neighbouring boroughs. The clarification of this issue has implications not just for Waverley but for Guildford and across the country. The Right Honourable Lord Justice Singh said:
“I am persuaded by the Appellants skeleton arguments that there is a compelling reason why these two appeals should proceed, namely the general importance of the issues of principle raised.It appears from those skeleton arguments that they have not been considered at the level of the Court of Appeal and it seems to me that they should be.”
This latest appeal comes against the background of two important changes. First, Woking Borough Council has declared that it now has no unmet need. Second, new demographic numbers recently released by the Office for National Statistics imply a much-reduced need for new housing.
Dunsfold resident Bob Lees said“This is great news! It provides Waverley Borough Council with a golden opportunity to significantly reduce the mandatory number of new houses to be built in the Borough over the next 14 years. POW fought against the housing requirement at the Examination of the Plan in the Council Chamber. POW fought again in the High Court. POW will fight in the Court of Appeal.
POW is fighting to protect our Waverley against unneeded development of our towns, of our villages and in our beautiful countryside.”
Well – if you believe that you will believe in fairies! Because this has nothing to do with protecting Waverley – it is all about preventing development on the largest brownfield site in the borough close to the home of Bob Lies, and his running-mate Little Britton who both spitting distance from Dunsfold Park. A development which was .given the go-ahead by the High Court in November. POW is still smarting from this decision
Dunsfold Park is now preparing its Masterplan – which includes 1,800 homes. The First Phase of the total of 2,300 in the Waverley Local Plan.
Remember – you heard it here first. This post will be updated throughout the day.
Dunsfold Deja-vu. The WW has been saying this for a very long time.
IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL…
Sadly we have not yet received an official comment from Protect Our Waverley or the Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England – so instead we have used this as it might just sum up their feelings. Or, of course, they could all be heading for The Supreme Court or The Pope…?
A full report of the Judge’s decision will follow. Including her ruling on whether or not Protect Our Waverley has been awarded a limit on its costs to just £10,000 under the Aarhus Convention legislation – (People for Justice).
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (or some parts of it!) has been refused Leave to Appeal by the Judge. It will have to pay £10,000 in costs as it had Aarhus protection.
However, POW has not been quite so fortunate. Its cap on costs was increased by the Judge from £10,000 to £30,000. This still leaves US the Waverley taxpayers with a big hole in their pockets!
LATEST NEWS – THEY AIN’T GIVING UP UNTIL EVEN MORE OF THE TAXPAYERS’ MONEY GOES DOWN THE PAN!! But surely someone somewhere is going to have these people up for vexation litigation. Even the Judge knows nothing now!