Follow the money?

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One way or another, I’m gonna getcha? 

 

It began so well. On the second day of the High Court Hearing into CPRE / POW’s challenge to the Secretary of State, Waverley Borough Council and the Dunsfold Developer, Julia Potts went from fabulous to fishnets.

Of course, there were fewer bums on seats in the public gallery – having turned out to cheer on team POW on day one, POW’s supporters didn’t bother turning up. Why would they? They’ve never been interested in listening to anyone’s arguments but their own.

Despite eloquent counter arguments from Wayne Beglan, on behalf of Waverley BC, David Elvin, for the Dunsfold Developer, and the Secretary of State’s barrister, the Judge appeared sympathetic to poor little David’s fight against Goliath. Yes, things appeared to be going swimmingly for Capt’n Bob and Co. 

Here the WW want to make something clear. We have never opposed residents’ right to challenge. In fact, we have applauded that right. However,  we believe in honesty. This protest group was set up for one purpose and one purpose only – to Dump Development at Dunsfold. Nothing else. If POW cannot tell the truth – others will tell it for you. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of OUR money, has been spent by 11 parish councils,  some even from across the Surrey/Sussex border.

Did anyone ask YOU?

Which takes us back to yesterday’s hearing when the Judge turned her attention to the Aarhus Convention (The public’s right to justice which limits costs to just £10,000). POW’s barrister only just stopped short of pulling out his violin as he painted a picture of brave little David’s hand-to-mouth existence, passing round the begging-bowl every time they needed to mount yet another challenge against the Big Bad Developer and Wolfish Waverley, neither of whom gave a fig for local residents, both of whom were only interested in concreting over a big brownfield site to the detriment of all those living nearby.

Smiling graciously, The High Court Judge looked sincere and almost reached for her handkerchief. 

Capt’n Bob Lies and Boy Britten’s fizzogs were wearing huge smiles clearly believing they were home and dry on the costs front whilst, in the public gallery,  La Potts and Ged Hall gnashed their teeth.

And then a miracle happened. The Dunsfold Developer’s junior brief leapt up and with a few well-placed words turned the tide.  Mr Turney said POW was a single-interest group that, despite pleading poverty, had been successfully raising huge sums of money in order to fight/stop any development at Dunsfold Park at every turn. He strongly suspected POW was a front for a few “high net worth individuals” who had promised to cough-up whatever it took to stop the Dunsfold development in its tracks while underwriting the whole shebang. Mr Turney’s prose was far more elegant than ours and issued in a mellifluous tone that, whilst soothing, held just the right degree of indignation to get the Judge’s attention.

The Judge said she couldn’t help but agree with Mr Turney’s assertion – backed up by Mr Beglan on behalf of his client – that there was a lack of transparency on POW’s part about where their financial resources were coming from? Looked suitably pained, PoW’s barrister said the Judge couldn’t be suggesting that poor little David was trying to hide anything? POW simply lurched from one fundraising event to the next, raising dribs and drabs, against all the odds, as the need arose.

M T. was having none of it saying POW had raised vast sums in order to mount a challenge at the Public Inquiry. It was then the Judge’s sympathy began to wane and Capt’n Bob’s smile evaporated like Scotch mist when she said she was leaning towards proposing full disclosure from POW in relation to their funding sources. PoW co-ordinators Chris Britton and Alan Ground looked fit for the ground to swallow them. 

PoW’s Rumpole appealed again, surely not, the Judge couldn’t really mean it! But Mr Turney had shone a light on POW’s dirty little secret, revealing not the slightly dented, second-hand petty cash tin they claimed to keep their sparse funds in but a dirty great safety deposit box full of filthy lucre!

Apparently, they weren’t counting Doris’s pennies; why would they when, as Mr Turney disclosed, a small group of wealthy well-wishers were writing gold-plated cheques to the tune of £15,000 – £20,000 a pop with a flourish of their Mont Blancs!

 Whose to say same wealthy donors hadn’t egged POW on, agreeing to underwrite all their costs, whilst, at the same time, urging them to try to gain protection from Aahrus thus ensuring that the Waverley Tax Payer ended up footing the bill for POW’s largesse?

Mr Turney didn’t allude to it but the mutter in the Waverley gutter, which has been gaining momentum in recent weeks, reveals at least one devious developer is bank-rolling POW in order to stop development at Dunsfold Park to give his own sites, elsewhere in the Borough, a better chance of succeeding. A strategy right up POW’s lane as they don’t care what’s developed elsewhere in the Borough as long as it’s not on their doorstep!

And isn’t that’s exactly what happened in the case of Mr & Mrs House over at Milford? Their challenge, which was thrown out at the first hurdle, was funded by a developer eager to build in Godalming!

Against a background of excited chatter from the public gallery and red faces in POW’s camp, the Judge instructed the POW’s Rumpole that his clients had seven days in which to provide a full witness statement in relation to their funding arrangements/donations going back to the publication of Inspector Bore’s report. 

In the meantime, our advice to Dear Doris. Save your pennies for POW has no need of them. You and any other unsuspecting pensioner who’s donated precious funds they can ill afford have been deceived.

POW’s is a front for some serious High Rollers who don’t want development on their doorsteps but on someone else’s and are hellbent on ensuring it goes anywhere but Dunsfold and at taxpayer’s expense!  

In the meantime, we at the Waverley Web look forward to seeing how the Sorry Advertiser –  report The Great Dunsfold Dust Off.  Whose own High Roller boss lives on the boundary of Dunsfold Aerodrome  A “high worth’ individual who just happens to live so near he could spit at the airfield from his £8m and reducing, country pile.

Alfold Parish Council couldn’t possibly be acting as Banker – could it? No, not really, never?

We’re in the (unexplained) money!!

How now POW’s (cash) cow?

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Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 18.51.12.pngIs the milk about to go sour in POW’s Brown Cow?

Forced to play Russian Roulette with their homes, by the High Court’s refusal to grant them the protection of the Aarhus Convention (People’s Access to Justice) in advance of the Hearing  relating to Waverley’s Housing numbers next week our mole inside the PoW camp tells us),  Protect our Waverley is becoming increasingly desperate in their attempts to avert a potential catastrophe.

Bob Lies and Co’s costs may not be limited to the £10,000 it had hoped under the convention mentioned above, but they will not know until the Judge has ruled on the day.

As our Dunsfold Correspondent points out, this gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Mi casa su casa’! Protect our Little Corner of the Borough has penned yet another open letter to Waverley Borough Council, literally begging it to allow POW to save face:

30th September 2018
Dear Councillor Potts and Mr Horwood

WHY WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL SHOULD CONCEDE THE S113 APPEAL

POW is writing to ask you to withdraw the defence of the housing numbers in Part 1 of the Local Plan in the interests of all the residents of the Borough.

Conceding our case will allow WBC to re-calculate the numbers on the basis of the new household projections published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on 20th September 20181. Barton Willmore has calculated 2, using the new NPPF ‘Standard Method’, that the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for Waverley is 27% lower than the Government’s comparable figure based on 2014 data 3. Over the 19 year Plan period, this equates to a very significant reduction of over 3,000 dwellings.

Furthermore, these calculations show that Woking’s unmet need has disappeared.

You have both claimed that if CPRE and POW succeed in their challenge, then the Local Plan will fall and the protections it provides will be removed. That fear is unfounded.

There is legal precedence that part of a Plan can be changed without affecting the remainder. In the case of William Davis Ltd and Others v Charnwood Borough Council (2017), Gilbart J concluded: “I am not willing to strike down other policies whose provenance was not contested before me. I shall, therefore, limit the relief granted to the quashing of that policy.”
A lower OAN will make it easier to meet the 5 year supply requirement, adding additional protection against unwanted and inappropriate development in the longer term.
WBC must avail itself of this unique opportunity to revise down its housing numbers presented by the High Court Challenges being brought by CPRE and POW, rather than wait until the 5-year review of the Plan in 2023. If it fails to do this, large sections of our beautiful Borough will be ruined by unneeded development – on Green Belt, on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Areas of Great Landscape Value – and future residents will be condemned to live in totally unsustainable locations.

Your duty, as political leader and Chief Executive of Waverley Borough Council respectively, is to protect the interests of Waverley’s residents, now and in the future. You will singularly fail in that duty if you do not take advantage of this unique opportunity to make an early amendment to Part 1 of your Local Plan by conceding the s113 Appeal. The benefits of adopting the reduced quota are significant – both for your Council and your electorate.

Yours sincerely

Bob Lees

cc Uncle Tom Cobbley et al.

Interesting that this missive was penned – no doubt in some haste! – after PoW’s latest Pass-the-Begging-Bowl-Bash at The Sun Inn on Dunsfold Common last week. The Waverley Web attended the event and, bearing in mind the number of cobwebs in the cavernous ceiling of The Sun, Incy-Wincy may well have gone undetected … 

But, given Capt’n Bob is – yet again – appealing to Waverley to surrender to PoW’s bobleesdemands and ditch the High Court battle PoW started (!), we can only assume the Fund Raiser didn’t go too well  and Capt’n Bob is desperate not to have to employ the services of Cranleigh Removals at Casa Lees!

The WW is beginning to feel almost sorry for him. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t!

Scenario 1: He can’t tell the High Court Judge – hand on heart – that he represents the majority of residents in the Borough – as he likes to brag! – if he doesn’t have a bank balance bursting with local residents’ contributions to prove it! After all, where is all this alleged support if the raggle-taggle PoW is surviving hand-to-mouth?

Scenario 2:  On the other hand, if he can and does demonstrate that he’s well funded by his enthusiastic and numerous supporters – rather than just a handful of high-rollers who object to the pollution of their Surrey Hills by an influx of affordable housing for the great unwashed (or, to paraphrase OJ, AKA Charles William Orange Esq of Hascombe Place, who objects to the creation of ‘a sink estate’ on his doorstep at Dunsfold Park) and write big cheques – then why shouldn’t the Judge insist PoW funds its own beef with Waverley BC rather than the Tax Payer having to foot the bill for them?

Oh what a tangled web POW  weaves whilst practising to deceive!

 

The Campaign For The Protection of some parts of rural England’s hypocrisy​ is legendary!

While Waverley’s green fields and green belt are currently sinking, or about to sink under concrete, this once-respected national organisation is whining about the lack of affordable housing and the need for local authorities to grant permissions on brownfield sites!

 

The very same hypocritical outfit that has joined forces with the local NIMBYs – some of whom are DEVELOPERS themselves, to take ‘Your Waverley,’ to the High Court – limiting their own costs to just £10,000 while wasting shedloads of our council tax, simply because they are supporting a Local Plan which includes development in their backyards at Dunsfold Aerodrome. One of the biggest brownfield sites this side of London!

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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?

All the Rumpoles will have their wheelbarrows at the ready to trouser the taxpayers’ cash being poured into their oversized pant pockets – however, what’s the old saying – “he who laughs last laughs longest.” Because one of Waverley’s famous four (Milford Man) who challenged the Local Plan – has had his fingers slightly singed  – and his bank balance reduced, by a High Court decision to award Waverley their costs!

Oops – the judge also refused to give the other challengers the assurances they crave that their costs will be limited to £10,000 for a judicial review to be held in the Autumn! 

The mutter in the gutter around Alfold/Dunsfold/Hascombe/Loxwood/Chiddingfold is that some of the parish councils who have used their money to prime the legal pump have had enough and are not stumping up any more of their parish precept to fund the ‘impossible fight!’

In the meantime, while the birds sing, and the planes continue to fly at the airfield – Cranleigh is turning into one big building site and the only caterpillars are of the tractor species.

Double Whoopee another shedload of our money goes down the pan!

 

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Here’s the taxpayer’s money about to be flushed away…again!

To misquote Oliver Hardy:

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The Honourable Mr. Justice Holgate has ordered that in the matter of applications for Planning Statutory Review:

1. POW Campaign Ltd – v- Waverley Borough Council and Dunsfold Airport Ltd
2. CPRE Surrey -v- Waverley Borough Council
3. POW Campaign Ltd -v- Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government

The three applications be consolidated and heard together, at an oral hearing, as soon as possible after 25 June 2018 because he considers this to be the most efficient way of dealing with the applications.

The Judge has noted that there is considerable overlap in the legal arguments raised in the claims by POW and CPRE and a good deal of the factual and policy context is common to all three claims. He has also decreed that one Judge should hear all of the matters at the permission stage and one Judge should also hold any substantive hearing in relation to any claims granted permission to proceed. And, whether the claims are consolidated or not, the hearings must take place in the same hearing window to avoid inefficient use of judicial resources.

Mr. Justice Holgate concludes by saying priority must be given in the list of the applications to the availability of a Judge and not to the availability of any counsel presently instructed. Which, in short, means The Stinch, Rumpole and Wayne Beglan, who acted on behalf of POW, the Dunsfold Developer, and Waverley Borough Council respectively, may not star in the blockbusting sequel. It’s rather like a film studio killing off the leading man when he tries to up his fee for the sequel!

It remains to be seen if those bit-part-players, Charles William Orange Esq (AKA OJ) and Nik Pidgeon (AKA Not-in-my-Columbier), will rock up for the latest round.

However, we have heard from one of the herd at Protect Our Waverley that they are JUBILANT and cannot wait to get their days/weeks/ in court.

As the two above are among the key architects of PoW & the Parishes’ case against the Dunsfold Developer one would expect them to be preening in front row seats but neither have been seen in public since they were outed, around the time of the Dunsfold Inquiry, as Nimby Developers who, having spent years parking their concrete mixers in other peoples’ backyards, now want to move in on their own patch and dig up the village greens of Awfold and Hascombe in preference to seeing the brownfields of Dunsfold Airfield developed. KERCHING!

Reading Mr Justice Holgate’s direction, whilst sipping a glass or two of Silent Pool’s excellent G&T, we at Waverley Web, found ourselves re-visiting the words of that elder statesman of the three barristers at the recent Inquiry into Dunsfold Park, Christopher Katkowski QC, AKA Rumpole: “The very fact that the Rule 6 Parties [otherwise known as POW & the Parishes] speak in such terms shows what the planning system has to grapple with and face down here!”

We can only hope that the High Court Judge on whose bench these cases land will be up to grappling with and tackling the Nimbyism which has polluted the waters of Waverley.

But – and purely in the interests of fairness, you understand – we must give equal airtime to The Stinch, on behalf of POW and the Parishes, whom we awarded Quote of the Day on the first day of the Dunsfold Inquiry, when he announced, in suitably sombre tones…

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If only! How most of us wish that were true. All we do know is that, despite those famous first words from The Stinch, Waverley taxpayers are looking down the barrel of yet another review of the Dunsfold decision and the Local Plan!

 In company with the Brexit Remoaners, POW and the Parishes won’t take NO for an answer – they’re just going to keep on pushing this ball uphill and down dale until someone somewhere, anyone anywhere, agrees with them and overturns the decision to build on the biggest brownfield site in the borough and allows ‘Your Waverley’ to continue concreting over the countryside.

And the Government has the cheek to wonder why developers aren’t building enough houses quickly enough … and why they are so expensive!

Yet another case of you couldn’t make it up!!!

More Gypsies and Travellers could​ be on their way to Farnham Dunsfold and Cranleigh if the Local Plan part 2 is approved.

Part 2 of Waverley’s Local Plan is presently out to Consultation.

Consultation on the preferred options will end in June. There will be a pre-submission consultation from October until December this year with the Plan being submitted in February 2019 for adoption later in the year.

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An Inspector​ calls, time … for Part 1 of the Local Plan.

We thought we would provide our followers with a few little tidbits from the Inspector Report on the Examination of Part 1 of Waverley’s Local Plan. A plan, long in the making, prepared with blood, sweat, and a few resignations,  that will guide development in the borough through to the year 2032.

Government Inspector Mr. Jonathan Bore, found that: Waverley’s initial Plan that provided for a meager 9,861 additional homes from 2013 to 2032,  did not take account of the latest housing projections so this would now be raised to ‘a minimum of 11,210. This would meet the unmet need, of other borough’s including 50% of Woking’s  and those of the Wandsworth & Wimbledon Wanderers!

 Waverley had previously made no allowance for accommodating part of London or Woking’s unmet housing requirement. 

Why should it?

 Because  The Inspector says,  Guildford & Woking are surrounded by Green Belt, and Waverley is – “significantly less constrained,’ particularly in the East of the borough including Cranleigh. Waverley is also the third most expensive local authority region in England outside London.

elephantWell,  they are now!

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The Inspector states that: “Whilst the Dunsfold Aerodrome site did not match all the criteria,’ …

‘Do we hear a huge sigh of relief from the anti’s? Including The Protect Our Waverley, or perhaps just our little corner,  sod Farnham and the rest of the borough!

Is there a glimmer of hope e hear them cry? A Judicial Review perhaps? A National Heritage order, what about newts, gnats, perhaps the odd Dunsfold Dodo or Alfold Albatross? Or the greater spotted Ames Bat? Anything, just anything? Or, of course, we could always resort to asking our Annie to get her whip out again?

We digress! This is serious stuff folks!

The Inspector says in his report… that if Dunsfold was not developed additional housing would be required in Farnham and Haslemere, and on greenfield sites elsewhere in the borough, in and around all the major towns, including Cranleigh, because of course he now recognises that with over 2,000 permission in the concrete mixer it is now Waverley’s fifth town! He also, says he doesn’t want to see too much Green Belt sacrificed. 

Phew! that’s s relief – WW thought for a moment developers would start building in the Flying Scotsmsn’s nest around Winterfold!

This section is taken from the Inspector’s report – just in case you thought we were producing fake news!

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What’s more…  ‘as regards Dunsfold Aerodrome, the aim of re-using land that has previously been developed is one of the National Planning Policy Framework’s core planning principles.’

What have we been winding on about on this site since weaving this spider’s web?

 

 

HAS PROTECT OUR LITTLE CORNER SUDDENLY DEVELOPED A CONSCIENCE…?

…. OR is it just doing what it does best – everything in its power to protect its own arse? … and bugger the rest of the borough?

Here is a letter that has been circulated to Waverley Borough Council, the borough’s Town and Civic Societies, parish councils  and – would you Adam and Eve it – to the Waverley Web! This scurrilous little blog that is much derided and sneered at by the worried-well-to-do supporters of Protect Our Little Corner (POLCOW) because it doesn’t support their naked ambition to protect their own little enclaves and has made no bones about its support for BROWN FIELDS FIRST.

Open Letter from POW regarding OAN (pdf)

 

Having spent around £270,000 of Waverley taxpayers’ money fighting the Dunsfold Park planning application for 1,800 homes – and opposing another 600 which have been included in the Local Plan on a brownfield site – (POLCOW)  – now wants the Secretary of State to rule on the Local Plan – and reassess the Objectively Assessed Need the (OAN) and deflate, what it claims are, the inflated housing numbers now proposed.

Despite weak and very vapid claims to the contrary, (POLCOW) rose from the ashes of Stop Dunsfold Park New Town. Its supporters – many of whom had supported its earlier incarnation, (SDPNT) or was it (SPENT) – were acutely conscious of the criticism it received for being a one-trick-pony – It’s all about Dunsfold, stupid! – so it cobbled together the caring, sharing nom de plume, PROTECT OUR WAVERLEY – in a half-hearted attempt to deflect criticism from the wider borough and persuade (for which read FOOL) residents over here in the centre and West of the Borough that they cared, really, really cared about us!

And now they’re having a fit of the vapours and trying to lock the bedroom door after the bride has bolted!

Or do we detect just a smidgen of guilt creeping into the psyche of the Cash & Clout brigade that persuaded their duplicitous MPs, Mistress Milton and Jeremy SHunt, to twist the arm of Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, to call in the airfield application? Pity they didn’t exercise their caring, sharing principles a little more widely – as their name aims to suggest – and persuade them to get the Knowle Park Initiative development called in whilst they were at it! (Lots of brown envelopes passed hands there of course)  Silly us! They didn’t because they don’t care about Cranleigh. It’s all about Dunsfold, stupid!

But we digress! Is (POLCOW) now more than a little fearful that its tactics may have backfired spectacularly and its  determined efforts to stop brownfield development may now result in plastering the remainder of the borough – even their own precious little corner of it (Heavens to Betsy! Wash your mouth with soap and water at the very idea!) – in a carpet of concrete?

We don’t like to say we told you so but … – oh, go on, then we will! What have we been telling the worried-well-to-do of Awfold/Kerchingfold/Duncefold/and Where-has-all-the-traffic-come-from?

(Forget Bramley – the Bramley Babes are going to be on the receiving end of increased traffic regardless of where the homes go over there in the East.)

We told them, time and time and time … and time again! BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!
Along with MPs Mistress Milton and Jeremy SHunt, the Cash & Clout brigade may just have dealt the biggest disservice to the entire borough of Waverley in its long and chequered history.

And, you know what, future generations of Waverley residents – our children and our grandchildren – may well point to the members of Protect our Waverley and ask them what they actually did to prevent the concreting over of the borough and all just because they were determined – whatever it took, no matter what the cost to the rest of the borough – to stop the largest brownfield site in the borough from being developed?

Of course, when the battle is over and they are vanquished, they will up sticks and move away to greener pastures. Leaving the not-so-well-to-do to make the best of the carpet of concrete they left in their wake!