*NEWS FLASH* Nothing to discuss? Well there certainly is now!

Goodbye Cranleigh Village… Hello Cranleigh New Town. 

At 5.25pm on Friday, shortly after we posted this update on the cancelled WBC Executive Meeting, came the news that all WBC councillors were advised that the Draft Spatial Strategy will go to the Community Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 16th November – to which ALL are invited. This is prior to the December Full Council Meeting.

And guess what? The same old strategy remains. Pile housing onto the green fields that are flood plains in Cranleigh. In Farnham, ignore the over-riding legal constraints (habitats) and the practical constraints of transport and flood risk and cover as many fields, some of which may be in the Green Belt, as possible with concrete.

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So now you have it. The borough needs 519 homes every year, but over the whole local Plan period of 2013 – 2032, there is a shortfall of around 6,000 homes. So what will the borough get on the green fields around Cranleigh? Potentially around 1,350 new homes.

We reckon WBC will put up a very lacklustre defence against the Berkley Homes Appeal due in February, to build 425 homes on the Bonham Land, off Stocklund Square. One Waverley Web contributor said:

“Heaven knows why WBC is even bothering to turn up before an Inspector – probably to waste even more of our money. Guess the only real opposition will come from the Cranleigh Civic Society, but bearing in mind what WBC is up to,  it might as well save its breath.”

The little Dutchman with his finger in the dyke and a fistful of dollars.
The little Dutchman with his finger in the dyke and a fistful of dollars.

In the meantime, the heavy lobbying by the Knowle Park Initiative (aided by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce), will have paid off and we can look forward to West Cranleigh disappearing under floodwater. Crown Hall Estates will be hanging onto its coat tails and more will follow. The Guildford Road between Cranleigh and Shamley Green is next..

Then of course, Crest Nicholson will throw in another 150+ into the Horsham Road development, adding to the 149 houses it already has the go-ahead for. With work starting on Amlets Park’s 125 houses soon, there are all the Alfold applications (too many to even mention, but for starters 600). The Strategy also identifies building in all the villages: Shamley Green, Bramley, Witley and so it goes on.

Don’t forget Dunsfold Park either- up to 3,500 there with 1,800 coming soon in the application about to land on their desks, when Scottie gets his act together.

So where does that leave the rest of the Waverley Borough? 1,000 houses in Farnham… 1,000 houses  in Haslemere… 500 houses in Godalming… and an additional 1,200 houses dotted around the villages. And who gets the lions share? Yup, you guessed it – Cranleigh. And who can stop them?

All things Bright and not so beautiful…

One thing all us Waverley taxpayers can rely upon is that our money is being spent by the council wisely! Isn’t it?

Memorial Hall Front view zoom 6.6.13

We can all sleep soundly in the knowledge that in return for an uplift in the value of Crest Nicholson’s/ Sainsbury’s development of £1.6m as the developers of the Brightwell Gostrey site in Farnham. for removing the old people’s centre from its East Street redevelopment plans,Waverley BC  is only spending a mere £2.2m of our money on one of the ugliest extensions – we are sure someone will eventually give it a prize! – to the Farnham Memorial Hall within spitting distance of the town’s cherished Conservation area and on which it will have a significant impact.

Artist impression of developed Memorial Hall (is this about to become a carbuncle on the face of an old friend?)

Once Upon A Time…Crest Nicholson was going to contribute towards the cost of re-building the centrally placed and popular Gostrey Centre, but it is now believed  Waverley now lives more in hope than  expectation of that ever happening.

All sorts of shenanigans have been going on behind the scenes in recent years to ensure the Memorial Hall was the perfect place to move all the old people  even though they loved their old site close to the town centre’s shops and supermarkets. After all we don’t want old people getting in the way of progress do we? They all agree they have been putting up with dreadful, even dangerous conditions, particularly  in their kitchen which, only when threatened with Environmental Health intervention, was cleaned and given a lick of paint by the landlord (WBC).They were always promised a new Gostrey Centre centre within the East St development. and the council has still not made the decision to remove it from the Brightwells site, however by telling porkies – happens a lot at Waverley,  they pretended the Brewery’s Deed of Gift doesn’t prevent it. Twice councillors were falsely advised the decision to move had been made in February and  the leadership ensured that an extra £700,000 of funding was agreed so… on August 26 the joint planning committee granted consent without considering the visual impact on the town’s Conservation Area – no surprise there then.

Despite being gifted as a “Memorial” with sports changing rooms and the adjacent fields as recreation grounds for “sport”  primarily for  youth sporting and physical training purposes, particularly children in 1947 by the Lion Brewery in memory of some of their workers killed in the Great War, Waverley soon established that “Deeds of Covenant stating –“ for sporting use” only could “easily be changed.” Remember that Web readers  “easily changed”  and  presumably you can equally easily extend a building onto recreational land, after all wasn’t the Memorial Hall “underused” and aren’t WBC the planning authority!




All aboard!

All aboard!  All aboard!  The Waverley Developers’ Bandwagon is departing now!  Parish, Town & Borough Councillors to the front of the queue!

With no Local Plan in place, pre-applications and planning applications are being thrown into Waverley’s ever-deepening pot.

Jerermy-Ricketts-267x400A campaign has been launched against the former Mayor of Farnham, ‘Rickity Ricketts’ (aka Cllr Jeremy Ricketts), plans for nine luxury homes at Old Park Stables, near the historic St Swithun’s Way footpath in the countryside, north of the town.  The only thing in its favour is that it is a former brown field site, but objectors say they are ‘nauseated’ by the development, as when the Mayor opened a sensory garden at a local school recently, he cooed about the importance of nature and looking after the planet… Looking after his own pocket more like!

Meanwhile, on the other side of the borough, in Ewhurst, the Chairman of the Parish Council, Richard Cleaves, is trying to speed up the house building programme by asking for officers’ opinion to build 22 homes on a green field, being grazed by horses, at the back of Mapledrakes Road adjoining his father’s property, Treetops.  Interested parties are keen to know if he will declare an interest when the scheme is considered.

Elsewhere, Cranleigh is besieged by developers but never fear, those entirely selfless married councillors, Stewart and Jeanette Stennett, have sought advice from Waverley planning officers’ about a plan that is so very dear to their hearts… to give the village 30 affordable homes in Guildford Road.

Of course, there’s a catch but it’s only the tiniest, weeniest catch:  Waverley has to give them back to the Stennett Clan after 30 years…  Who says Councillors only have their own interests at heart?  Shame on them!!!