Watch out there’s an election about?

Featured

Screenshot 2019-10-10 at 10.09.20No longer a Minister, our SW Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt has remembered where his constituency is and is giving it a bit of a polish just in case there is an early general election and he can have another go at the top job?

Although, didn’t he say something about hoping that our Boris was enjoying the job of PM as much he was enjoying NOT doing the job?

However we aren’t really cynics – we are delighted to see somebody – anybody – champion the cause of Air Pollution in Farnham. Even though Farnham residents have been choking on fumes for years.  

Perhaps Gerry Hyman, the Farnham Residents’ councillor for Firgrove Ward who, along with other Farnham residents, has been working and worrying officers’ on the issue for years, should have been on that walk with Mr. Hunt?

JeremyHunt_kingofbuytolet

Oh! And he sets up a Charity, according to the health Service Journal.Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 09.18.20.png

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 09.18.37.png

A message from the WW to Mr. Hunt.

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all the people some of the time – but not all of the people all of the time.’

You have used Farnham’s pollution and traffic problems as your electoral bandwagon, onto which you have just loaded The Haslemere Hospital.  Don’t be surprised if your cynical attempt at getting the hospital’s staff or any other local NHS staff on-side backfires. Because many of us who worked under your leadership in the health service, have long memories.

PS.

Has the MP found time to meet with the new Leaders of Waverley Borough Council yet? We heard numerous meetings have been cancelled because he has been so busy? Perhaps dealing with Farnham’s traffic and pollution problems?

Jeremy Hunt on the Farnham campaign trail?

Featured

WATCH OUT THERE’S AN ELECTION ABOUT?

Now no longer a Minister, Our Jeremy has remembered where his constituency is and is giving it a bit of a polish just in case there is an early general election and he can have another go at the top job?

Although didn’t he say something about he hoped our Boris was enjoying the job of PM as much he was enjoying NOT doing the job?

However we aren’t really cynics – we are delighted to see somebody – anybody – champion the cause of Air Pollution in Farnham. Even though Farnham residents have been choking on fumes for years.  

Perhaps Gerry Hyman, the Farnham Residents’ councillor for Firgrove Ward who has been working and worrying officers’ on the issue for years, should have been on that walk with Mr. Hunt?
Have a watch:

PS.

Has the MP found time to meet with the new Leaders of Waverley Borough Council yet? We heard numerous meetings have been cancelled because he has been so busy? Perhaps dealing with Farnham’s traffic problems?

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

Featured

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! https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/General-guidance/Reporting-misuse-of-a-unmanned-aircraft-and-drones/

powered by Advanced iFrame free. Get the Pro version on CodeCanyon.

 

 

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.

Brightwells_storecounter_1000

Nobody says it better​.

Featured

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?

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 09.46.57.png

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.

Brightwells_storecounter

 

Blightwell’s gets yet another bashing – but this time it comes from ‘The Yard’s’ very own developer – Crest Nicholson​.

Featured

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-21-04-43

Do you think that now even Crest Nicholson is beginning to wish it had never heard of Farnham? And, that Wonersh resident and CN’s Chief Executive Patrick Bergin is hanging his head in shame at his company’s description of the Blightwells scheme!

What is happening to our towns and villages?

 

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 18.26.51.png

Crest Nicholson said recently it expected profits before tax for the year to 31 October to be in the range of £170m/£190m, below its estimate of £204m, which was already below the previous year’s result of £207m.

Its Chief Financial Officer is stepping down from the board leaving the business in the hands of Chairman Stephen Stone and CEO  and Waverley resident Patrick Bergin taking the lead on a new strategy.

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-19 at 07.17.24.png

Surrey’s Fly Tipping Horror

Featured

SurreyCountyCouncilOffices

Here’s what County Hall could look like in the future?


Just as residents reel from Surrey County Council’s shock announcement that it wants to close Recycling Centres around the county including  Cranleigh & Farnham – here’s a clip on what reduced recycling already looks like in the county:

The Council is “consulting” on permanently closing between four and six CRC’s.  Farnham is on the list – so is Cranleigh; Bagshot; Dorking; Lyne (Chertsey) and Warlingham. 

Residents in Farnham are foaming at the mouth saying they will be forced to travel to Witley or over the border into Hampshire. Cranleigh people are already travelling into Horsham across the West Sussex County boundary as their site is only open at weekends and is causing traffic chaos in Elmbridge Road.

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 20.43.40.png

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 20.43.31.pngScreen Shot 2018-10-31 at 20.43.17.png

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 20.43.06.png

Cranleigh people are arguing their County Councillors to step up to the Mark. By the way, has anyone seen their Little Povey?mylittlepovey2 

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 20.38.38.png

Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 20.38.19.pngScreen Shot 2018-10-31 at 20.38.47.png

 

A Waverley Liberal and a Tory unite.

Featured

paul_carole_farnham.jpgIt took an unlikely duo of a Godalming Liberal Democrat and a Farnham Conservative to overthrow officer approval for a development that reduced the number of affordable homes by 5 at Green Lane Farm, Badshot Lea in Farnham last night.

It might have been a sight to behold as Councillor Paul Follows proposed rejection of the scheme seconded by Carole Cockburn – except of course the webcast went down…again…and again throughout the debate.

However, the vote was still narrow – won by just 9 votes to 7.

The developer was asked to reduce their affordable housing contribution from 40% – agreed at the time of Waverley’s draft Local Plan in June 2016. Since then Waverley Tories took it upon themselves to change their draft plan down to 30% affordable housing with the aim of asking for greater S106 contributions for infrastructure – that is of course when they can remember to ask for them!
The developer had already taken account of the policy when purchasing the land beyond the greenbelt claiming  ‘exceptional circumstances’ to gain consent for 45 homes  – granted at appeal. It now wants to change the housing mix by adding several larger detached homes and tacking on a load of conservatories. It is believed, this would add over £1-1.5million to the developer’s profits by permitting the changes.
Changes that the officers were quite happy to rubber stamp with the support of seven Tories. 

Pity Farnham Councillor Chris Storey was prevented by the borough solicitor from reading out an -email sent a planning officer? 

He said “We are well used as members of this planning committee to being threatened with appeals by developers. But perhaps my fellow councillors would like me to read out an e-mail sent by this developer…

… when he was suddenly stopped in his tracks by the solicitor saying “It would not be sensible to do so.”

Why?

If developers are using threatening behaviour to councillors or officers, why shouldn’t the public be told?

This Inspector’s decision was deeply unpopular with councillors and officers alike, but none more so than for  Councillor Carole Cockburn who had walked every inch of Farnham with colleagues to devise Farnham’s Adopted Neighbourhood Plan. A plan which had been well-supported by the residents of Weybourne and Badshot Lea, and whose views had now been trashed by a Government Inspector – and not by Waverley.

She said “The people who live there will soon see for themselves how much the place “STINKS – IT JUST STINKS!” The band sits between the sewage works and the rugby field. Funny that! She was quite happy to consent to a similar site on a floodplain adjacent to a sewage treatment works in Cranleigh!

However, a man who can always be relied upon to stick up his mitt, that is of course if he’s awake! Councillor Michael Goodridge – who said his colleagues should set aside the “emotional baggage of fewer affordable homes and grant the application.”

Now let’s see this developer get this through at appeal too!

Who exactly IS responsible for the Blightwells debacle?

Featured

brightwells_wanted.jpg

Here’s what one Farnham resident believes.

Sir,

— While feelings in Farnham, both among residents and the town’s many visitors, reflect a mixture of grief, anger and disbelief that we have allowed the catastrophe that is Brightwells to befall us, should we not reflect upon who exactly is responsible?

I don’t mean those that drew up the scheme in the first place since it was roundly and rightly rejected immediately by the Farnham public. But what about those that continue to support it now that it can be seen to be so completely outdated in concept and design and has proved to be a commercial flop before a single brick has been laid?

Latest in this group is Surrey County Council leader David Hodge, who has at the last minute committed £30 million of our money into dragging the scheme from the scrap heap where it belongs, having failed to raise any interest whatsoever from professional commercial investors?

In terms of council responsibility, it goes without saying that Waverley’s joint planning committee members cannot take all the blame since only eight of its current members actually live in Farnham against 38 that don’t (such is local democracy in our town these days), the latter presumably being only too pleased that schemes such as this don’t take place on their patch.

There are two local public servants, however, that do spring immediately to mind. The Right Hon Jeremy Hunt has maintained a complete and unforgivable silence on what is by far the most massive development ever to take place in Farnham, right in the heart of his constituency, arousing many querulous inquiries as to his motives. Then there is Julia Potts, leader of Waverley Council, who has remained pugnaciously opposed to any criticism of the scheme and immune to the deafening public outcry against it.

For Crest Nicholson’s part. a name familiar to those that attended the 2013 meeting to approve the compulsory purchase and closure of The Marlborough Head pub will be Chris Tinker, the company’s major projects chairman. His evidence’of commercial funding about to be confirmed for the project tipped the Government Inspector in favour of the purchase so allowing the project to proceed, a promise that evaporated as quickly as it had appeared.

Then finally there is Pam Alexander CBE. Ms Alexander is chairman of something called Design Council CABE whose raison d’être is to ensure that developers provide us with decent, appropriate, popular and well-designed schemes. CABE’s website states that “crucial to inclusive design is consultation with user groups, putting people who represent a diversity of age, ability, gender and community at the heart of the design process” and that “the effect (that such schemes) will have on the surrounding landscape and its distinctive historical and cultural context has to be evaluated as do the implications for the area’s circulation patterns, neighbouring activities and property uses. The views and sensitivities of the surrounding community should also be given weight”.

It is impossible to imagine a scheme less in line with the stated aims of CABE or with the needs and aspirations of a community such as Farnham than Crest Nicholson’s monstrous and destructive Brightwells development. One is led to wonder what convinced Ms Alexander to keep her eyes and ears so firmly closed with regard to the scheme during the six-year period to January this year while she was employed by Crest Nicholson as a non executive director on a ‘fee’ of 50,000 per annum, so making a mockery of her position at CABE.

So there we have it, my list of the wanted. Would it not be appropriate to spend the £100,000 pounds promised by Waverley and Crest on ‘public art’ for their scheme on a fitting monument of some kind to these people? Suggestions welcome. For starters, what about an edition of ‘Wanted’ posters to decorate the new East Farnham Wall that now surrounds the site …?

Andrew Jones, Fox Yard, Farnham

 

 

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?