Crest proud of its Blightwells progress? But what about its drone licence? Is it making its own rules…again?


Crest has just released a drone video showing the progress made of flattening East Street. We’ve taken some screenshots too, so you can quickly get a birdseye view.

Meanies that we are – with a little help from one of our Farnham friends – we respectfully ask Crest Nicholson?
It’s interesting to see Crest Nicholson’s aerial footage on the web. This footage was filmed by a drone that was flying illegally over public spaces. If the pilot has a  licence then the CAA will impose a fine on the pilot. If the pilot does not have a licence then they will still be fined and encouraged to take part in the CAA drone training program.

Here are the CAA guidelines on drone usage – might we suggest that Crest Nicholson take note!

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We here at the Waverley Web are also keen to update our Brightwells sticker book of new shops coming to the development. We’ve checked on the development website, but there is no more news. They say:

Current retailers legally committed to Brightwells Yard are Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Ask, Seasalt and Reel Cinemas.

Given the early phase of the development, this is an ordinary level of lettings, and Crest Nicholson will be using the successful marketing strategy they have used on commercial aspects of many developments elsewhere to fill the units over time.

We have however updated our sticker book to reflect Surrey’s long lease land investment in the commercial rental contract, which takes the pressure off Waverley.


Nobody says it better​.


As the song goes…

Nobody says it half as good as you – Mr David Wylde.

However, ‘Your Waverley” is sticking to its mantra – “Blightwells Yard will be a HUUUUUUGE success – and will produce HUUUUUGE sums for the next 150 Years.

Let’s Hope the Waverley Web is still in existence so that it can give a HUUUGE round of applause to Tory-controlled Waverley and Tory Controlled Surrey Councils for making such a wise investment?

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Here’s the shop situation so far. Oh and by the way. The ANCHOR STORE – Sainsbury’s – has been operating in Farnham’s South Street for donkeys (30)years! And ASK is closing restaurants all over the country. Not that we want to pee on ‘Your Waverley’s’ parade.



The Farnham Society turns the spotlight on Blightwells and the town’s future but why airbrush out The Redgrave Theatre!

Has the Farnham Society dropped a brick?


 The Farnham Society’s recent video about East Street/Brightwells has prompted a response from Anne Cooper, chairman of the Farnham Theatre Association. This e-mail has been forwarded to all the  FTA contacts including the Waverley Web.  Anne urges everyone to view this Youtube video which is about a better future for Farnham. Please make your own comments about the film – not just to refer to Anne Cooper’s response. 

Wherever you live in Waverley – please take five minutes to watch this important film. One of our historic towns is under threat and th bulldozers are moving in!

Dear Farnham Society,

Congratulations on making this film, which will be seen by a very wide
audience. I hope it will bring changes for a better future for Farnham.

However – and you will know what I am about to say – WHY IS THERE NO
THEATRE CAN BRING TO A TOWN CENTRE? Between the years when Crest
Nicholson’s first planning application appeared in 2006 and its most
recent applications, the loss of the theatre brought in just over half
the total number of the many thousands of objections. FTA led the way in
2006 by standing on the streets with objections to the demolition of the
theatre and people formed queues to sign. The Farnham Herald has a
picture of Jeremy Hunt ppc supporting a placard saying ” Sign here.
Save Your Theatre!” He knew what a popular issue it was.

Recently FTA met Waverley’s CEO Tom Horwood and Julia Potts. Tom
Horwood said he was very well aware that High Streets everywhere are
struggling and that people no longer want to come away from a town
centre with just purchases as they want experiences too. We said that
is why we want a theatre and he agreed.

The film’s silence on the emotive subject of the demolition of the
theatre is blatant. It apes Waverley’s revisionist tendency in trying
to write the Redgrave out of history, as though it never happened.
There seems to be a fear that any mention of a revived Redgrave would
undermine Farnham Maltings. How wrong that is! The Maltings could
expand its operations with access to a purpose-built theatre designed to
attract audiences. Now, that is a future worth contemplating.

With best regards,

Anne Cooper

Farnham Theatre Association Chairman

This Farnham lady wants her brick back!

It’s official – Waverley Planners have gone Bats!

Crest Nicholson get Licence to Kill…bats!  And if you link into the comments box – you can hear the debate which was very kindly sent to us here at the WW by Mushroom Management. Presumably, because they (WBC) keep most people in the dark and throw a bucket of sh*t over them?


Potty & Co go batty! 

Lies, damned lies, and no proper statistics – for the endangered bat population of 
Blightwells, Farnham’s infamous multi-million-pound development in East Street.

Easing into her new role as part of the England Team and with Nikes at the ready, Chief Planning Officer put the boot in on councillors  in readiness for her World Cup debut, when they dared to ask too many questions and took more than their allotted four minutes on Crest Nicholsons’s planning application to mitigate the loss of habitat and “protect” the Blightwells bat population.

Whilst everyone is aware from previous surveys that there are bats in the Redgrave Theatre, the Blightwells Cottage, The Marlborough Head, and elsewhere on the site all either demolished or awaiting the swinging ball,  – there is to be NO MITIGATION – for the loss of the Maternity Roost, NO BAT HOUSE, as previously agreed with Crest Nicholson just a handful of aluminium poles stuck up around the site with  bat boxes on the top!

There will be no bat houses to replace the maternity roost despite calls from rebellious councillors  Farnham Residents’  Jerry Hyman and John Ward, Paul “fearsome” Follows, and  Cranleigh Tory Liz Townsend,  who was sitting on the Joint Planning Committee for the first time and who might just have to watch her seat!  Disobeying Betty Boot on your first outing!

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 Watch out Liz, or we might have to start referring to Cranleigh’s ‘Liz as the Biz.”

There were some lovely quotes from councillors:- here’s just a few to make you smile.

“If we go ahead and grant this… it could be A LICENCE TO KILL – BATS!

Godalming’s Paul Follows: “Isn’t it an offence to disrupt or injure roosting bats.”

Cranleigh’s Liz Townsend: ‘How will the bats survive if the Blightwells Cottage is demolished?”

Anna James (Chiddingfold): “I’m quite happy to grant this application as it stands.” In other words Bug**r the Bats!

John Ward (Farnham)If we don’t have a maternity wing- we may not have any more little bats.”OH! and I object to the Chairman asking us at the start of this meeting to “curtail the debate.”

Jerry Hyman (Farnham) “It’s not rocket science if  they, (the developers and the planning officers) don’t care about endangered species, and the environment – what do they care about?”

You may well ask – WWethinks … letting developers do whatever they like?

Planning Officer: “Natural England has issued a licence, and under the terms of that licence the developer cannot damage bats. Followed by: “Natural England have not actually assessed it?”

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 20.17.48.pngBetty Boot: Then dons her steel toecap Nike’s saying:”We are quite confident about our recommendation to approve this application because it is sound. and… In the big scheme of things, this is an insignificant matter”

Insignificant matter?

Here’s what many Farnam people think!

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 19.22.07.pngAnd… didn’t our Betty do well last night in her first World Cup game against Tunisia? But, she gets a lot more practice than most of the team, she puts the boot in on a daily basis. 

However, we have just heard from one of her fans, that it isn’t her fault – she is just doing her Master/Mistresses bidding!

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Where will Waverley members be watching the World Cup in Farnham?


Marlborough Head East Street June 2014


Marlborough Head 2018

We are grateful for these photos from Martin Gardiner and John Spackman in Farnham for pointing out the irony. Where once there was a thriving community pub on East Street, now there is a boarded up, fenced off shell. Never before has the ‘Blightwells’ development been so aptly named!

Where will we watch the Russian held World Cup now? Answers to Waverley, please! Spasibo!

We’ve heard it on the grapevine, that Liz the Biz or Betty Boot as she is fondly known – (remember staff and councillors have been warned not to refer to the Chief Planning Officer by this name!!) – has donned her brand new Nike football boots, to take part in the English line-up for the World Cup. Apparently, she has put the bover boot in so many times to give rebellious Waverley concillors a good kicking, that England Manager Gareth Southgate, is putting her on first reserve in the attack. Watch out Tunisia!

Has this highly respected architect​ come up with a better town plan for Farnham?

Has Michael Blower, a former Waverley Mayor, borough Councillor, highly respected Farnham architect and a former partner of Guildford’s Scott, Brownrigg & Turner, devised a scheme that could bring about a volte-face to the presently proposed town redevelopment? 


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Listen to Pottymouth, no we didn’t say Portsmouth!

gonetopottsHere’s a letter we have received at the Waverley Web from Jim Duffy a local architect about… yes you guessed! “The slow motion car crash” about to happen with the ‘Brightwells, Farnham -Retail Investment Risk Assessment’ Not that the one sitting in the Giant Chamber pot will take any notice!

And… listen very carefully to the interview with the BBC! 
We have!  And, Pottymouth says, quite clearly,  that they have just had a Judicial Review and were successful. ..   Let us assure everyone in the borough of Waverley.

There has not been a JR and so she lies – and lies! 

Dear Surrey County Councillors
Please see this link for an interview yesterday with me on BBC Radio Surrey, including a response by Waverley Councillor Julia Potts and a statement by SCC BBC Surrey – Breakfast on BBC Surrey, 17/03/201

Click on the picture of the presenters and a slider appears. Move slider to 1.39:40
In the interview you can hear how narrow but important the focus of my critique is. It is all about the unit shops rather than the restaurants, cinema, food store or housing. These other uses are much less location-sensitive and should be fine. These are my two main concerns:

1.Off-Pitch location
My contention, based on considerable experience and market knowledge, is that this location is completely “off-pitch” for mainstream retail and it can’t be fixed. Ms Potts doesn’t respond at all to this point.

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This isn’t true for retailers who have no re-generation agenda. They simply want the best available shop in the position of highest footfall. This isn’t East Street and never will be. Despite Ms Potts claims, a  new Cinema, restaurants and food store will not provide sufficient new daytime footfall to “anchor” the new comparison-goods unit shops. A smallish scheme, such as this, would only work as a well-connected extension to the existing “prime pitch”. The reality is that the Brightwells site suffers badly from being across a busy traffic junction and in the middle of a secondary shopping area with an existing high vacancy rate.

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2. SCC’s high-risk gamble with public money
Surrey County Council has chosen to invest in a scheme that has been passed over for 15 years by all the top industry investors. Doesn’t this fact alone tell you this is unwise and carries a very high risk? Its desire to invest in Surrey towns is laudable but not by taking on an un-viable scheme that the market has so firmly rejected?

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It seems that over 70% of the rent that is required to support the £30m commercial investment is dependent on letting the unit shops to leading multiples at very high rental levels, relative to the adjacent East Street pitch. When this doesn’t happen the value of the investment will plummet by at least this percentage.
The normal practice for such investments is for the developer to take the up-front risk. He does need to secure the end investor in principle. This enables the developer to obtain bank finance to build and let the scheme. However,the long-term investor gets a ready-made income on long leases – at or close to 100% let . The investor has a monitoring role during construction but doesn’t pay anything until letting is finalized.

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According to press reports, only 30% of the space needs to be let before the investment goes final. Apparently this threshold has already been reached with the Cinema, Restaurants and Food Store. This strongly suggests that SCC will have to make a full commitment to the investment with not a single unit shop let. Its development partners will be relatively secure but SCC is  therefore taking a huge gamble with public money!

With a new retail development, where retailers “hunt in packs”, it is pretty well all or nothing. I think the chances of leading retailers agreeing en-mass to go here are close to zero. My prediction is that it will open with twenty-two empty units with hoardings. This is going to be a big problem.
Councillors. Please pause now until you have a full understanding of these issues. You seem to be sleep-walking into a financial disaster. Nothing can now stop you but your own good judgement.
I’ve sent a similar e-mail to Waverley Borough Councillors.

Kind regards
Jim Duffy

It’s finally happened – She’s Gone to Potts!



What exactly is our  disingenuous  Leader of ‘Your Waverley’ on about? – She speaks triumphantly  of the recent High Court’s judgement on the Farnham Five’s Fight  as if it were  some sort of endorsement of ‘YW’s toxic partnership with Crest Nicholson and the merit of redeveloping Blightwells/ East Street Farnham.

We here at the Waverley Web thought we had gone – slightly mad when we heard her gloating about their success.  She actually had the bare faced cheek to speak  publicly of a judge who, she said, had made the ‘right decision for Farnham! For God’s sake woman, what does the judge know, or even want to know about redeveloping Farnham? His ruling was not about ” development in Farnham” it was about HIS, yes  HIS, interpretation of the law. And we don’t want to say too much about his interpretation  do we as he might stamp on us!!! UGH!!

“If you want to live and thrive let a spider run alive!!animated-spider-image-0157


Your gloating just  continues to alienate, even those Farnham residents, who actually support the scheme, by your preposterous, and ever more cynical misrepresentation of the facts.

It is quite simple – the judge, accepted Waverley’s argument that the claimants had no standing in law to have their case heard. Got it! – he ruled out their request to HAVE THE CASE HEARD. Why? Because – “they had no direct commercial or financial interest in the matter.” That’s WHY! The fact that another judge had come to a different conclusion in a Wincheser issue  just goes to show-  different Judge – different decision – the Law is an Ass!

So let’s face it Councillor Potts all you and Your Council have achieved is to evade any possibility of your shenanigans (we will call them that rather any stronger accusations) being examined in the cold harsh light of day in public at a Judicial Review. So all your nasty little secrets remain just that… unless of course… the WW knows different!

  • To retain some credibility, honesty and transparency in the eyes of the public. Produce the letter that was handed over to the Inspector at the Compulsory purchase Inquiry on the Marlborough Head? You know the letter that you prevented your democratically elected councillors from seeing? The one that gave the name of the funder – that you didn’t have in place – did you?

But the facts remain – You have given away Farnham land that was assigned a minimum value for ‘Your Waverley’ of £8.76million in 2003 but which is worth only £3.19m now!

What a great shame for Farnham residents and the rest of the Waverley borough that you were not given an opportunity to explain Why? at a Judicial Review?

Waverley triumphant!

We here at the Waverley Web – and quite a few others, judging by the e-mails we received at – didn’t actually find ‘Your Waverley’s’ triumphalism  over its David & Goliath win over Farnham’s Famous Five very edifying. As you will no doubt gather, neither did one of our  contributors pictured here!

We have in the past few hours received this Press Release from the Farnham Five and will post on this separately at a future date. Press Release on Ruling [4]

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However, its  Pyrrhic  victory over Farnham’s Fearless Ones may not boost their reputation in the eyes of all Waverley’s residents and it could, like Pyrrhus, suffer heavy losses ! 

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Just to recap – “Your Waverley” and its NBF – Crest Nicholson – joined forces and engaged top barristers – after being told by council members … ‘win and it doesn’t matter how much it costs’ to prevent  a bunch of pensioners even getting to a Judicial Review of the Blightwells Saga.

Of course it didn’t matter how much it cost did it? Because ‘Your Waverley”  was using our money to defend  a challenge brought by residents with their own,, and other Farnham residents’  money. So we make that paying twice! Or is that conclusion due to our heightened sense of humour?

Remember …  what ‘YW’ and its New Best Friend ‘CN” actually won, was merely the right to stop  FFFF’s – even getting to a Judicial Review because the Judge ruled out their right to challenge. (Well he would wouldn’t he – don’t want the voting fodder all over the country getting above themselves and actually believing they can challenge authority – do we? Whatever next! Anyone would think this was Cameron’s BIG SOCIETY!

 Oh! and before Gone to Potts (YW’s leader) goes on record humming and hahhing about how the challenge has delayed the East Street/Blightwells re-development – maybe she should look closer to home.

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So the  regeneration goes ahead . However –  before “YW” and its ‘NBF’ get too complacent about their bully boy tactics perhaps they should read the letter and article below which was sent to us by a Farnham architect with 30 years experience in retail development.

And, perhaps ‘Your Waverley” should consider this. – The problem with being a bully is that on the flip side of that particular coin, you’ll find the imprint of a coward!

Only time will tell if ‘Your Waverley – and its NBF – are heading for the slow motion car crash that many are predicting!  

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Will Farnham’s Fearless, Famous Five get their days in Court?


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Of course if “Your Waverley” hadn’t challenged the people’s right to a Judicial Review it would have probably been well under way by now…

Instead the town is in a sort of limbo… as the clock ticks awaiting the Court’s decision on the preliminary hearing to prove the claimant’s legal status. So the question on everyone’s lips is – “will  Farnham’s Famous Fearless Five” fall at the first fence – or – will they take the massive leap that will see them over the fence to stand face to face with local authority and developer giants at a Judicial Review.

Of course it could be a waste of the council taxpayers money – but “Your Waverley” couldn’t give a damn about that – after all there’s plenty more dosh  where that came from … isn’t there?

But the delay is not all bad for the angry and frustrated people of Farnham is it? Because although the perpetrators of the fight reached their target for its funding in just two months – others elsewhere in the borough are watching Farnham’s Fight – ready to pitch in with more!


Because thanks to the Farnham Herald and the Waverley Web everyone in the borough can read all about it!


 Because this is not just Farnham’s fight – it is the people of Waverley’s fight too.






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Here are the men and women who have had the guts to stand up for Farnham against the might of “Your Waverley” and its New Best Friend – Crest Nicholson.

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