Quelle surprise! The Bats​ have abandoned Blightwells – just in time for demolition​ to begin​?

Featured

The bat population of Brightwells packed their belongings and left … all in the name of progress?

Waverley planners are not bats, they are devious, dishonourable, and don’t even obey their own YES men/women!

Farnham Cinema (GONE), Farnham Theatre (GONE), Open Air Swimming Pool (GONE), Trees (GONE), Tennis Courts (GONE), Bowling Green (GONE), BATS (GONE)

BLIGHTWELLS COTTAGE (GOING, GOING…

All sacrificed on the altar of developer/local authority greed? Will the batty decision made last night see Farnham’s Bats result in the same fate for the fall of this historic town as that predicted if the Ravens leave the Tower of London?

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 07.24.22.png


The Ravens of the Tower of London are a group of at least six captive ravens which live at the Tower of London. Their presence is traditionally believed to protect the Crown and the tower; a superstition holds that “if the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it”.

Despite a prediction by Councillor Carole Cockburn of “traffic chaos” – but, all in a good cause – and claims by Farnham Residents Councillor Gerry Hyman that Waverley continues breaking the  law by not carrying out proper environmental, traffic and air quality assessments, it is now full speed ahead, for a development which has been in gestation for over 20 years.

By the way, who did bosh the bats? Set fire to the Ivy at The Redgrave Theatre? Was it Adam or was it Eve?

The demolition of Brightwell’s Cottage, complete with its bats, “which don’t exist” according to CONFIDENTIAL reports, and if they do, will be encouraged to live on boxes up appropriately coloured bat poles, can now proceed unhindered.  In fact, the perfectly phased development will take place at exactly the same time as the demolition of  Farnham’s “most hated building” The Woolmead which is also set to commence this month. From that development alone 80 HGV movements a day are anticipated through Farnham.  The Surrey-based demolition and groundworks specialist Wooldridge Group said: “We are pleased to share with you a new contract awarded to Wooldridge Demolition, in Farnham, Surrey. Multiple commercial and retail units to be cleared for residential properties and more shops. 

So works on the Woolmead will clash with the construction of Waverley Borough Council’s adjacent ‘Brightwells Yard’ development!

Brilliant co-ordinated planning that? Wonder how many more Farnham shops will close?

The 11-week lane closure on the A31 has now begun and the construction of Brightwells’ temporary access bridge. Waverley’s development partner Crest Nicholson estimates more than 200 HGV movements – on average three a day required to undertake the works. Add this to the 80 HGV movements per day Berkeley Homes estimates will be required during the four-month demolition of the nearby Woolmead, with around 2,000 HGV movements in total expected during the initial basement excavation phase of around eight months. Result = chaos?

 Berkeley Homes was granted full planning permission in July to replace The Woolmead, with a new block of 138 apartments (non-affordable) above more than 4,000 square metres of shops and restaurants.

Even throwing a last-minute spanner into the works by suggesting that Crest Nicholson may not legally own, or have a legal interest in the land in Borelli Walk required for the bridge, did not deter the Tory-dominated council from giving the go-ahead by 17 votes to one last night – Wednesday. In fact, Oh Carole suggested the meeting to discuss the issue was a waste of everyone’s time  accusing  a colleague of using ‘delaying tactics.’

However, the committee was forced to concede,  if it was found that the developer did not have a legal interest in the site. Permission would be refused for what officers described “as the minor non-material amendment” to a development which  Leader Julia Potts said was as put a new heart into Farnham Town Centre.

Where exactly is Farnham’s beating heart?

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 18.41.05.png

Why the hell Waverley planning experts couldn’t determine that little legal loophole before the meeting is anyone’s guess? It’s only taken 20 years to get a financial backer for a scheme which has been hoiked around the City and shunned by private investors for so long, it has become as stale as last month’s kippers! And despite the stink kicked up by Farnham people, Surrey County Council and Pension Fund Trustee and WBC councillor Denise Le Gal –  rescued our rotten borough with over £30m of OUR MONEY.

One financially strapped council bales out another?

But fear not Officers including Betty Boot said repeatedly – “we are satisfied” with our recommendation to approve this minor amendment so the bridge can now be constructed from the A31, and, “I am satisfied” we are acting legally, and “I am satisfied” that bat’s don’t exist in Blightwells and, “I am satisfied” with all the Environmental Impact Assessments and the CONFIDENTIAL bat surveys.

 She’s satisfied so that’s ok then, Isn’t it?

Here’s what one of our followers had to say: “Apparently the last look at the Maternity Roost had cobwebs and little to suggest recent occupation – I wonder Why???

It isn’t difficult to scare Bats they are timid gentle creatures …. But they do come back to roost eventually… and something better than those Cr*ppy Bat roosts should have been insisted on regardless of the state of the Maternity Roost in the Cottage.
They simply do not care.

 

Yes, Mr Wylde of Farnham – how WILL ‘Your Waverley’ meet its challenges?

Featured

Probably by continuing to ignore you, us here at the Waverley Web, and every other bit of voting fodder?

But at least the WW has been mentioned in your despatches!

 Someone has unmasked you as being -THE Waverley Web.

Claimaints-at-the-High-Court1-bew

David Wylde (left, of the Farnham Five at the High Court) is not the only one to question the honesty, transparency and its claim to ‘use its resources wisely.’   in Waverley Borough Council’s Mission Statement.

This is his recent letter to The Farnham Herald letters page…

Sir,
– In the last year or so, every national press article I can find and every media interview I have heard about the High Street has put across the same message – restaurants and retail are in crisis and the best solution is to offer leisure and entertainment attractions to draw in the punters – shopping and eating are no longer enough.

The relentless onward advance of internet shopping is the white-elephant-in-the-room for East Street, with the added problem that the Woolmead development, with 11 outlets lying along Farnham’s main street, is due on stream before its rival on the other side of the road, a scheme that lies down a straggling narrow alley off the beaten track and which has struggled unavailingly for five years to fill more than two of its 24 retail and eight restaurant outlets. A six-screen cinema with seats for 750 doesn’t help. The Woolmead getting in first will make it even harder than before to attract retailers.

May I invite the leader of Waverley, courtesy of the letters page of The Herald, to tell us how the council plans to confront this challenge? Does it have creative ideas for providing replacement community assets, if and when, as seems ever more likely, restaurants and retail falter? Or does it believe that, uniquely across the country, it can buck this trend? If so, what is the hard evidence, as opposed to the wishful thinking?
If you ring Waverley and ask what the weather is like in Godalming, the answer is likely to be based on the assumption that it is a secret (unfair to the excellent reception staff at the council, but I hope you get the drift) so it is hardly likely Waverley will tell the likes of me, or the likes of you for that matter, who owns the leases. I find out what I can where I can, often from a wonderful blog called

Waverley Web (see below).

In this instance, I have gathered CNS has ducked out and has left the headache of unproductive leases to Waverley and/or Surrey.
If I was the portfolio holder for Surrey, I would be seriously worried about putting big dollops of money into what is little more than a bunch of shops with flats on top and dubious prospects. The scheme was old fashioned and outdated then. It is antediluvian now. Are not we, whose taxes will pick up the tab, at the very least entitled to know Waverley is taking proper precautions to protect our interests and our pockets in challenging times, by doing good contingency planning? It would be worrying indeed if the council was burying its head in the sand.
If Waverley is tempted to argue that it would undermine its sales pitch to potential retailers to publicly prepare for the opposite outcome to the one it is hoping for, have a look for a moment at the national scene, where the government is in the process of producing public contingency plans for an outcome – no deal – which is the opposite of its official policy, the Chequers proposals. Its contingency planning seems to have been generally accepted as good sense and good practice; were Waverley to do the equivalent, I suggest the reaction would be the same.

The world of retail is changing radically and forever, so we need a council that will change and adapt to meet its challenges and we need to know, too, the people who govern us can do so in a far-seeing and proactive way.
What do you see ahead, Miss Potts, and what do you plan?
What is your Plan B? If we are wondering whether or not to elect you, we will also need to know if you will measure up?

The by-line of Waverley Web is:
“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
when first we practice to deceive”.
Its aim is to expose deceit and concealment and celebrate honesty and transparency. It does so vigorously, scurrilously, colourfully and with glee and is hugely entertaining. To sign up, http://waverleyweb.org

David Wylde, St James Terrace, Farnham

They seek him here… they seek him there?

 

Bewley Homes gallops into Farnham and rides roughshod all over ‘Your Waverley.’

Featured

 

Now the WW has to apologise too. It was Bewley  Homes that did it their way – and not Bellway Homes. Perhaps one day soon we will all be able to watch and HEAR – the webcast of Waverley meetings? 

farham_bewley

Dig, dig, dig – the whole day through! Dig, dig, dig, dig Ancient Woodland too!

THE CHEEKY DEVILS ADMIT AND APOLOGISE FOR DRIVING A COACH AND HORSES THROUGH PROTECTIVE POLICIES, INCLUDING:

 DEMOLISHING TREES COVERED BY PRESERVATION ORDERS (TPO’s)!

BUILDING A PUMPING STATION WITHIN THE PROHIBITED 15 METRES PROTECTED BUFFER ZONE OF ANCIENT WOODLAND.

AND

FELLING OR  DAMAGING A ROW OF MATURE SCOTS PINES ON THE SITE FRONTAGE!

So it could build 72 homes, 26 “affordable” – whatever that means – on land of Great Landscape Value at the Garden Style Nursery, in Wrecclesham near Farnham.

“Shocking,” Disgraceful; “appalling,” “amazing,” “criminal” ” treating the Waverley Borough like somewhere in the Wild West were just a few of the descriptions given to the misdemeanours of the “illegal” acts of vandalism carried out by one of the Nation’s largest house=builders!

Surprise- surprise – isn’t that the same housebuilder that committed exactly the same little misdemeanour in Cranleigh last Winter? Building too close to Ancient Woodland – moving badger sets, digging new holes for badgers who were later found – drowned dead!! God knows what Bramley’s Dotty Dardak would have to say about that!! No that was Bellway.

 Fear not, despite all the protestations –  Steven Strenwith? – Bewley Homes’ Land Director, or not, in this particular case, apologised to Councillors and officers for the errors in construction – but failed to mention the good citizens of Wrecclesham who have to live with his mistakes.  He said his company had a fine reputation for quality housebuilding, rabbit, rabbit, won’t be many of them left either, and it would all be alright on the night – or words to that effect.

 Officers waxed lyrical how the developer would be making amends by putting in trees to “mitigate” the harm, and Farnham’s Carole Cockburn after a minor rant,  said the developer had improved the site layout by adding another seven homes, so should be supported!

Ah well! That’s alright then! Isn’t it?

After a load of councillors followed Godalming’s Follows footsteps with furious rants, and Cranleigh’s Liz Townsend suggested the developer should not be allowed to ride roughshod over Waverley’s well tried and tested planning laws, it looked as though the application might be deferred or even REFUSED! Despite the principle of development being established when outline permission was granted last year!

WOW, not really? They couldn’t, could they?

Then Oh! Carole – reached into her big knickers for her big stick and began beating her colleagues into submission.  If permission was refused the developer could build the four-bedroom homes already granted and not the extra 7 semi-detached properties now offered.

So there you are! The principal of a Developer, who ignores the law on TPO’s, and strict laws that protect Ancient Woodland – a criminal offence, but offers an ineffectual apology,  has to be dragged kicking and screaming by officers into “mitigating” the offence by planting replacement trees,  has now been established!

After watching this shambolic meeting the WW was ashamed… and so were many others. We witnessed our Senior Planning Committee Chaired by Peter Isherwood – who should have been dumped after he rubbished the villages of Ewhurst and Cranleigh, but continues undeterred, to wreck our lovely borough! Is there anything now that is sacred in this rotten borough of Waverley?

We haven’t even mentioned Councillor Gerry Hyman’s continuous claim that Waverley consistently flouts European environmental Law by not providing the Appropriate Assessments required for Farnham’s Special Protection Areas. Accusations that ‘YW’ rubbish, and refuse to show evidence that AA’s have been carried out- including “bird numbers?”

When pressed officers said they “could” seek enforcement of the developers’ illegal actions, but that was  “A CONFIDENTIAL MATTER’ – so confidential no doubt, that it will never be heard of again!

But the WW will be watching carefully. We are still waiting for a report on the Police findings on the council’s false Air Quality Data Report?

Hang your heads in shame Waverley Borough Council for allowing developers to trash Ancient Woodland – woodland that is over 600 years old. It is no excuse that you cannot monitor developments!

Hang your heads in shame Bewley Homes, and we ask? How can these people ever be trusted to build in this borough again!!

Oh! and by the way- forget all that mock outrage. There were 12 votes in favour – two against and one abstention.

Presumably, two councillors who oppose such criminal behaviour Councillor Follows and Townsend – and one Councill Hyman –  who couldn’t even acknowledge an ‘illegal application!’ Our apologies if we have it wrong – because the cameras are turned away from the committee during voting! Wonder why?

 

Has Hambledon’s Holder’s thrown a hand grenade into the​ future viability of ‘Blightwells Yard’ in Farnham?

Featured

 

Here’s our sticker book!

And below is one Farnham resident’s thoughts. Brightwells_storecounter

Sir,

– In July this year, the Government published a review of the problems facing retail in town centres. The Grimsey Review Part 2 had a title which said it all: The Vanishing High Street.

For the first time, we have been able to hear something of these concerns expressed openly in the Waverley Council chamber. Last week there was a meeting concerning the borough’s economic strategy, which has been recorded and is available to see on Waverley’s website (Tuesday, September 11’s meeting of customer services and VFMO).

Here’s an excerpt: Has Hambledon’s Holder become a bit bolder or is he just demob happy as he prepares to leave ‘Your Waverley?

Councillor Holder raised several significant issues at the meeting, one of which indirectly is of concern to Farnham. His suggestion was that the chief executive should draw up plans if Surrey County Council should cease to exist and be replaced with four new unitary authorities. We have to question that in such an event, whether Surrey’s demise would place Crest Nicholson Sainsbury’s Brightwells scheme in jeopardy? The Farnham Theatre Association (FTA) understands from Waverley leader, Julia Potts that legal documents have been signed to the effect that Surrey County Council will meet the cost of the retail element of the scheme, once the development is completed.

Possibly to allay Waverley’s fears that its long-cherished Brightwells/East Street scheme might fail, councillor Holder has another plan up his sleeve. He has invited the Chinese Cultural Attache to visit Waverley with the assistance of Mrs Lucia Hunt (wife of our MP). She will address the Chinese delegation in mandarin to explain what Waverley has to offer Chinese tourists. Demonstrably, she will be able to explain that there is a wealth of beautiful scenery and historic architecture, but of course, no public theatre. Councillor Holder’s declared aim is to boost tourism in the borough and to bring visitors to our failing town centres. Could he possibly be considering Farnham with its Brightwells problem and that Chinese money might be the answer to the conundrum?

An open letter of mine was published in the Farnham Herald some weeks ago, which asked for thoughts and ideas about what would be best for Farnham if the retail element of the Brightwells development failed. FTA has always been clear. We propose a combined theatre/cinema operation as the focus for Brightwells (as described in the Farnham Society’s 2016 concept: Brightwells Restored). As the only purpose-built venue of this kind in Waverley, it could attract visitors and tourists to the whole borough, in support of our retail traders. Does anyone have better ideas? If so, please let us hear them!

Anne Cooper, (Farnham Theatre Association chairman), Nutshell Lane, Upper Hale

Waverley Brightwells sticker book launched!

Waverley Web has launched the Blightwells Sticker Book – inspired by the recent article by Julia Potts in ‘Your Waverley’. We’ll keep the book updated every time a store is announced! Isn’t Sainsbury’s already there? And isn’t ASK closing restaurants? 

Brightwells_storecounter

We here at WW were inspired by David Quick and his desire to get an answer from Julia Potts following the publication of ‘Your Waverley’ the borough’s very own newsletter – once called ‘Making Waves’ which underwent a makeover as the name was considered inappropriate as it sounded too confrontational!

Because he couldn’t get a pip or a squeak out of Julia Potts he was forced to turn to contact the developer Crest Nicholson direct. So let’s crowdsource the sticker book so we can keep the good people of Farnham updated!

Screen Shot 2018-08-22 at 15.56.27

Another 462 houses for Farnham?

wwbreakingnews

 Farnham Town Council has launched its public consultation on potential new housing sites in Farnham. They have to find at least another 450 houses over the next 15 years to comply with the revised Waverley Plan Part 1.
(Unless the current Judicial Review to the Plan reduces Waverley’s allocation of Woking’s unmet need – which could be as little as – oh – about 450!)

Here’s the map of Farnham showing the proposed new housing sites (all on brownfield) and their capacities. The other coloured sites are ones identified by Farnham in their previous 2017 Neighbourhood Plan.

FarnhamNP-new800

Here is the breakdown of those sites – you can respond to Farnham’s consultation here.

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 12.59.41

At first glance, all we can say is well done for finding enough Brownfield sites and all within the built-up area boundary. It’s a shame the roads are so terrible that you can’t accommodate Cranleigh and the eastern villages allocation too!

Now we all know why ‘YW’ wanted to move its training services into the Memorial Hall.

Read more from the Farnham Herald here: IMG_2913.JPG

Dear Mr Munro…

It will come as no surprise to anyone that Farnham has now been the latest target of ram raiders – as they have been operating all over Surrey in recent weeks, bagging squillions from the few remaining cash machines!

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 09.53.51.png

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 09.53.27.png

Here’s an open letter from one Farnham resident… to PCC David Munro who sums up how most of us feel, 

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 10.19.24.pngJust in case you don’t know who Mr Munro is. He is former Waverley Borough Councillor who climbed up the Tory greasy pole to Surrey County Council and then further up the money tree or do we mean the Monkey Tree to become Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner. He prides himself on his work to promote Pride Marches!

Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 09.53.14.pngScreen Shot 2018-08-19 at 09.54.37.png

Just a few days ago we received this little missive from a Cranleigh resident.Screen Shot 2018-08-19 at 10.17.00.png

 

Stand by in Farnham with a defibrillator for Councillor Carole Cockburn!

RIP UP THE FARNHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN AND START AGAIN?

Councillors have just voted to consult the public on amendments to the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, including sites for an additional 450 homes in the town!

We understand that the Farnham Town Clerk Iain Lynch, is reaching for the defibrillator for Councillor Cockburn who masterminded the Neighbourhood Plan!!
wwbreakingnews.jpgAnd here’s what met councillors as they left the Town Council Meeting!

Does this signal a new era for Farnham Town? Or, is it a new Farnham Dome?Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 22.26.37.png

The Potty one is “so excited” that the redevelopment at Blightwells has begun.

 

juliapotts_xmas

 

I’m so excited – I almost Pirates of Penzance.

 

We nearly fell off our Web with helpless laughter as we hung suspended in a dark and dusty corner of Farnham this week – and we could hear the chuckles reverberating through the town.

Are we – Waverley taxpayers’ paying good money in council tax for this drivel to be printed by ‘Your Waverley’s’ spin machine called – ‘Your Waverley.’

Because if it was OUR Waverley ‘Your Waverley’ would be listening to the opposition that is rearing its head ever higher to us with the “vibrant new scene”  about to land in our midst!

38798357_10215175139385264_1938977137696440320_n

• Bridge over the River Wey

Trees have been cleared along the A31 to make way for a new bridge across the River Wey, which will take construction traffic away from the town during the main works starting in 2019. Hoarding will go up around the site in August and there will be traffic management measures on the A3l, reducing to one lane and reducing the speed limit from 50 to 44 miles an hour until Christmas.

• Walk this Wey

To make way for the scheme there are also some planned footpath closures. The footpath that runs behind Dogflud Car Park, between South Street and the Leisure Centre is closed and re-routed. From 6 August until March 2019, Borelli Walk will close so the bridge can be built. New access schemes will be created within the completed scheme.

• New Wey in

Dogflud Car Park will be closed during the construction phase and will be upgraded, along with South Street Car Park, to provide modern accessible and safe parking. Other benefits include an additional £l.4 million to improve traffic flows at key junctions in the town centre, a new park and stride scheme and upgraded public transport infrastructure.

The leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Brightwells. Councillor Julia Potts, was so excited she put on her best bonnet and said:

“I am so excited that work has now started to progress the scheme and residents can see that things are happening. Once the hoarding is up and the bridge starts to get built there will be some disruption but I hope that people will see that it will be worth it in the long term. Farnham is desperate for a cinema, new homes and a retail offer”.

What a load of drivel. 

After 50 years in Farnham – another major chain store​ ​ closes its doors!

Last Saturday saw the DOROTHY PERKINS store in Farnham close its doors for the last time.

This brings to an end a 50 year-long association of the popular store with our town!  – Here are just a few of the others – but fear not there will be dozens of new shops opening soon in the Woolmead and Blightwells developments (with our money) – won’t there?

But .. according to the DP’s store staff – another nice shop is due to take its place?

Here’s what Farnham people think about our local authorities cunning plan to invest our money in more shops and restaurants.

The number of business and retail units in Waverley being turned into homes is reaching alarming proportions.

And… what about Guildford! Where two flagship stores – House of Fraser and Debenhams boasting half a million square feet of retail floor space look set to fail!

Whatever the outcome of takeover talks going on as we type, questions will remain over the sustainability of these two anchor department stores in Guildford, and there will be concerns about the possible economic and fiscal implications, locally, should either fail.

Additionally, current council plans (Guildford BC) for up to 420,000 square feet of new retail space on North Street might now look even more doubtful, especially following the Local Plan examiner’s remarks querying the logic of this allocation, despite GBC’s planning department’s defence of their decision.

 Tory councils, with the backing of Surrey County Council, are so arrogant as they play Monopoly with our money! Can’t they read the runes?

House of Fraser, Guildford was refitted and relaunched as a new store in 2000. It was previously known as the Army & Navy, and before that Harvey’s. The store includes the Jellicoe Heritage Roof Garden, a water garden designed and installed by the late Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe in 1958 and where customers could once sit and eat enjoying a panoramic view across the town.  It was closed for health and safety reasons. It has a grade II listing from English Heritage and, according to the House of Fraser website, has a dedicated gardener.

See also: Comment: It Is True – The Number of Empty Shops in Guildford Is Increasing