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 But what about those that continue to support it now that it can be seen to be so completely outdated in concept and design and has proved to be a commercial flop before a single brick has been laid?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

 

 

Charterhouse headmaster meets​ Old Boy MP jockeying into position to be the next Prime Minister?

Featured

For MPs, a Friday is Constituency Day – a chance to reacquaint themselves with whatever rotten borough lent them their seat. So on Friday our MP tweeted he had met his favourite developer – his alma mater.

jeremy_flats.jpg

Having had a briefing from some worried Tory Councillors about restless locals, he hurried down to The Ming to get first dibs on the upcoming offer. Its a shame he didn’t have time to meet with the local ‘Broom and Lee – Keep Charterhouse Green Belt Greens’ campaign group at the same time.

You may think that’s strange, however, the Waverley Web couldn’t possibly comment.

Cllr Holder to the rescue! He’ll be solving our trains … a new railway line for Cranleigh, and boosting Chinese tourism!

Featured

Even if you have never watched a clip from a Waverley Council  Webcast – this link below is a MUST DO!

If you watch one Scrutiny Committee this year – Cllr Holder’s comments on the Economic Strategy certainly are an eye-opener!

Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 20.03.39

 

• He’s meeting with Jeremy Hunt and the MD of the railways to knock the train capacities into shape.
• He’s also creating a new railway line between Cranleigh & Guildford
• He’s talking to the Chinese Cultural attache to encourage Chinese tourism, and he’s managed to find a local Mandarin speaker (Jeremy Hunt’s wife no less!) to translate his barmy ideas.
• He’s reprinting the pamphlet ‘Lutyens in Waverley’ in Mandarin to snare those Chinese tourists and to encourage them to visit Charterhouse School and our high streets to spend their Yuan.

The Councillor without portfolio for Hambledon & Witley and formerly for Dunsfold certainly loves a meeting with the great and good to show off his talents. But what exactly has he ever actually done, other than opposing development on the largest brownfield site in the borough and support development in the countryside?!

PS Apparently there a great deal of mutter in the Conservative gutter about the identity of the Waverley Web.

Coming soon – TheWaverley Web unmasked?

Continue reading

Caption competition – Help the Local Tories with their leaflets?

Featured

CAPTIONFORPHOTO2CAPTIONFORPHOTO1

Conservative central office kindly sends out a template for local Councillors to fill in and pretend they are ‘In Touch’ This does rely on them having something to say. Nothing stops a Tory sticking out a leaflet with their faces in it – not even basic editing.

Unfortunately, the Godalming edition was sent to the printers with the templates still incomplete!
We’d like to offer a bottle of Silent Pool Gin to the best caption writer out there – Please comment below!

So which local Tory is being beaten up over this glaring error? Perhaps Jeremy’s agent and local co-ordinator Edward Norman will consider his position or is he now too busy in Woking, Runnymede & Weybridge to spot these glaring mistakes.

Here at the Waverley Web we have one of our own:

‘Hands up if you think we can manage to get our leaflets in shape- let alone protect Godalming.’

 

 

Please,​ Sir can we have some more… (houses)?

please_sir

Never has the division between Town and Gown been starker than in Godalming at (Charterhouse School) and in Cranleigh – at (Cranleigh School!) Both private schools want to flog off their Green Belt playing fields to secure their futures!

Here’s the public presentation that was given by Charterhouse School to justify building 132 houses on their Broom & Lees playing fields. Cranleigh School’s offering is still on the blackboard!

SP_Broadway_Charterhouse_Presentation

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 18.05.04.png

What struck us here at the WW was how out of touch / desperate was Charterhouse School’s justification for concreting over the green belt: Can’t help wondering if the Campaign for the Protection of some parts of Rural England, or perhaps even Protect ~Our Waverley, will have their say? Or, are they too busy girding their loins to stop development on the largest brownfield site in the borough at the Judicial Review due this Autumn?

The Broom and Lees Playing Field is Green Belt land. However, we believe that the proposed expansion creates a number of ‘Very Special Circumstances’ to justify this development, namely:

  • Providing new School places to widen choice in education
  • Improving the diversity and inclusivity of Charterhouse
  • Protecting and enhancing an established education facility
  • Protecting and enhancing a major local employer
  • Creating additional employment opportunities
  • Investing in and enhancing listed buildingsWithout the funding provided by the sale of Broom and Lees, the expansion and improvement of the School simply cannot proceed.

YOUR FEES ARE £32,364 a year for a day pupil! Surely you don’t have to pave over some of the finest playing fields of England to improve a school whose alumni include:

155px-Jeremy_Hunt_Official.jpg

Jonathan_King_in_2007_cr.jpg

To name just a few!

(left) Jeremy Hunt Foreign Secretary.

(Right) Jonathan King Singer, songwriter, composer and.. lad about town.

 

Just to add insult to injury £174,000 of the 106 monies provided by the developers’ of Cranleigh’s new 450 Berkeley homes, now under construction, has been earmarked for… a new 3G Pitch for Cranleigh School! Alfold Football Club puts its best foot forward – whilst Cranleigh’s 106 monies go to A Cranleigh top fee-paying school!

 

Ah! well,​ Jeremy SHunt – we all make mistakes…but not all of us get away with them so easily!

Screen Shot 2018-04-14 at 11.10.47.png

JeremyHunt_kingofbuytolet

Here’s our post a month ago: Hypocrite Hunt hoovers up homes in Hampshire!

The UK health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has apologised after it was discovered he made errors over the purchase of luxury flats on England’s south coast.

Hunt said his failure to declare a business interest with both Companies House and the parliamentary register of MPs’ interests was down to “honest administrative mistakes” and that he did not gain financially as a result.

Hunt failed to notify Companies House of his 50% interest in Mare Pond Properties Limited, named after his home in Markwick Lane, Hascombe – something that took him six months to rectify.

He also did not inform the parliamentary register of members’ interests of his share in the business within the 28-day time limit, according to the publication.

It is claimed Hunt set up the company with his wife, Lucia Guo, to buy seven properties in the Ocean Village development in Southampton on 7 February.

A spokeswoman for Hunt said: “These were honest administrative mistakes which have already been rectified. Jeremy’s accountant made an error in the Companies House filing which was a genuine oversight. With respect to ministerial and parliamentary declarations, the Cabinet Office is clear that there has been no breach of the ministerial code.

“Jeremy declared the interest to them after the company was set up. They advised that as it was a shell company with no assets or value, it should only be registered

Green Oaks School closure prompts emergency Town Meeting tonight.

green_oaks_JH2There is outrage in Godalming today as local MP Jeremy Hunt (who once opened the Forest School at Green Oaks above*), now sends commiserations for its closureeven though no decision has been made!! Remember we are in the middle of a Surrey County Council consultation (or have you and your mate – and Godalming SCC Cllr Peter Martin already made all the decisions behind the scenes?)

Feelings can be summed up by this local resident’s post:

greenoaks_comment

One of the key questions of the meeting is whether a religious education is more important than having a school at all. The Diocese who run Green Oaks seem to be prepared to close the school rather than let a non Christian Academy take it over.
Jeremy Hunt put his support of the school closure down to “these difficult financial times” no doubt he’s referring to the  austerity measures created by the Conservatives? 

In the meantime local Councillors and parents have even taken the fight to the Department of Education no less, in a search for a Multi Academy Trust to take on the school. Impressive stuff:

29597274_171589723561899_3379145173406915516_n
One of those Councillors was new boy Paul Follows, who wrote an update here. Who will turn up at this meeting to face the parents? Lets hope they get some answers this time, although we aren’t holding our breath!

*so proud was our Jeremy he put the photo on his own website.

D-Day for Dunsfold! But don’t hold your breath!

Remember – You heard it here first!

dunsfold_granted.jpg

It’s only taken a mere 16 years for the Flying Scot to learn today that his ambitious plans to turn  Dunsfold Aerodrome into an eco-village fit for the 21st century, complete with 1800 homes, a primary school, GP surgery and all the essential elements required to support day-to-day living has – at very long last – been consented.  And, by no less a personage than Sajid Javid the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Some would argue that amidst the growing hullabaloo about a lack of affordable housing.  The Tories’ alleged commitment to riding roughshod over the concerns of NIMBY residents and Councils’ in their determination to show they care – really, REALLY care! – about the housing crisis, there was no way they could afford to turn this application down but, by God, they’ve had a bloody good try!

Mistress Anne Milton, MP for Guildford, has made no bones about her opposition to the scheme from the get-go and – despite her colleague Dominic Raab’s call for ‘more affordable homes’ to ‘restore the dream of homeownership.’ She openly boasted how she’d whipped S of S  Javid into calling in the planning application in the hope he would overturn Waverley Council’s decision in December 2016 to grant consent.

 Rumour has it, deep in the burrow of the Burys, that Council Leader, Julia Potts, was so incensed at Mistress Milton’s unwarranted interference, that the two fell out BIG time!

A week to the day  Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey was outed by The Sun as a budding buy-to-let property-mogul – with more than a casual interest in keeping would-be homeowners tied into the rental market. Now – Javid, it would seem, has finally grown a pair and told his erstwhile colleagues they not only need to toe the party line but be seen to toe the party line in their own constituencies!

But a word of caution to the Flying Scot before he starts doing the Highland Fling:

Perhaps he should ask himself will his joy be short-lived? Remember …back in December 2016, when Your Waverley granted consent and, only weeks later, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory, when, at Annie’s and SHunt’s behest, (S of S) Javid ruled he would have the final say on Dunsfold Park’s future?

Waverley Web has no doubt as we write, Protect our little Corner of Awfold, Duncefold, Ker-Chingfold and Where-Has–All-the-Traffic-Combe-From is dusting off its begging bowls and door-stepping its supporters, asking them to dig deep – just one more time! WHY? To fund the final leg of its marathon act of NIMBYISM, to launch a Judicial Review of both the Dunsfold Park decision and the Local Plan!

Surely not, we hear you say! Why not?

 Because they can! 

With cheer-leader-in-chief’s  Mistress Milton’s backing, and a bit of behind the bikesheds manoeuvring from Jeremy Shunt-All-the-Houses elsewhere, these suburban terrorists – yes, we did say suburban!  This is Surrey, an extension of Greater London, not deepest-darkest-Dorset – have, for in excess of 10 long years, waged a very successful campaign to deny the children and grandchildren of their less-well-off neighbours any opportunity of getting a foothold on the property ladder within spitting distance of Awfold, Duncefold, Ker-Chingfold, etc and anywhere in between.

After all, it’s only 18 years since BAE Systems vacated Dunsfold Aerodrome … so what’s the hurry to make a decision about its future? We need to consult, consult, and CONSULT… with the dormouse (AKA Sarah Sullivan), the Bat (AKA Councillor Betty Ames), the Bullfrogs (AKA Councillor Betty Ames and the Leader of PoW, Bob Lees) not to mention Uncle Tom Cobbley (AKA Squire Orange) …  get the picture?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, China plans to build 66 new airports in the next five years. And we wonder why we lost an Empire and are a declining world power … Go figure!

Isn’t it time PoW and the ilk stopped the monotonous moaning, got over themselves and embraced Sajid Javid’s decision and, in the words of the Beetles: [Just] let it be …

Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Interesting in this Press Release to concentrate on the often overlooked employment aspects!

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 14.07.28.png

Hypocrite Hunt hoovers up homes in Hampshire!

WHILST HOME OWNERSHIP IN WAVERLEY IS JUST A PIPE DREAM FOR MANY, LOCAL MP, JEREMY HUNT, HOOVERS UP SEVEN (Yes! SEVEN!) APARTMENTS IN SOUTHAMPTON!

JeremyHunt_kingofbuytolet.jpg

Watch out Dunsfold!  I just may be one of the first in the queue of buy to let buyers.  

As Home and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid is poised to publish his decision on whether or not to endorse Waverley Council’s decision to build 1,800 new homes on Dunsfold Aerodrome, The Sun newspaper has shone its light on SW Surrey and Waverley MP, Jeremy Hunt’s bid to become a landlord.

Of course, if the decision goes against the Dunsfold scheme it will be proof indeed that it was not a planning decision but a political decision!

Because the man who joined fellow MP Anne Milton in urging Secretary of State Sajid Javid to call in Dunsfold, but unlike the Guildford & Waverley MP, hasn’t had the guts to admit it, has now acquired seven buy-to-let properties in Southampton just down the M3 from his constituency.

In 2009, Hunt-the-Shunt was openly hostile to the bid by the Rutland Group to build homes at Dunsfold Park and, along with fellow MP, Mistress Anne Milton, opposed development on the Aerodrome at a Public Inquiry. Seven years later with – the  Leadership of the Tory Party and, ultimately, the prize of Prime Minister, in his sights – his new career as a buy-to-let property-mogul could be a crowning glory as he opposes development in his own backyard but buys property in someone else’s. He has named his new property company after his home in Markwick Lane on the outskirts of Dunsfold! 

He doesn’t have any objection to building per se, you understand, … just not in his backyard!

So, having hidden behind Mistress Milton’s skirts and allowed her to take the flack for homes being built over the borough’s countryside rather than on its largest brownfield site, our budding property-mogul prepares to join other notable politicians in the buy-to-let game by hoovering up seven properties across the border in Southampton, Hampshire.

So, whilst his colleague, Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, is busy saying fixing Surrey’s ‘broken housing market’ is a ‘top priority’, The Sun has revealed that Hunt-the-Shunt is facing questions about his own growing property empire.  The average home in Surrey costs in excess of £500,000, a WHOPPING 14 times the average local salary! So hypocrite Hunt hovers over Hampshire to add to his constituency home in Markwick Lane, Dunsfold and his ultra-smart stucco-fronted central London pad.

This isn’t the first time Hunt has put his personal interests above those of the electorate. In April 2012, he was accused of a spot of perfectly legal but deliberate tax dodging after avoiding £100,000 in tax by completing a multi-million-pound property deal just weeks before the election. The then Culture Secretary was paid a dividend by the company he founded (Hotcourses) in the form of ownership of half the firm’s office building, offices then immediately leased back to Hotcourses for 10 years by Mr Hunt and his business partner, Mike Elms. Accountants said the deal allowed Hunt to legally reduce his tax bill by more than £100,000 because it was completed just days before the tax on dividends rose by 10%!

Earlier that same week, David Cameron, the then PM, had said he would not associate himself with anyone who carried out ‘aggressive tax avoidance’, whilst the then Chancellor, George Osborne, had previously said he was ‘shocked’ by the scale of tax avoidance by some of Britain’s wealthiest people! At the time, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP was rumoured to be one of the wealthiest members of the Tory cabinet.

Talk about hypocrisy!

By paying themselves the building as a dividend before the change in the tax rules, Hunt and his partner saved themselves a total income tax bill of £202,000 on a £1.8million payment!

Hotcourses went on to pay Messrs Hunt and Elms £60,750 a year to rent the premises after the motley pair avoided 4% stamp duty on the property!

So it was a win, win, win for our local MP.

At a time when attaining a mortgage is increasingly unrealistic and high private rental levels make saving for a deposit more difficult, it is deeply disappointing, not to say disconcerting, to see our MP, a cabinet minister, contributing to the housing crisis by bulk-buying apartments. The average worker in Waverley would need a 211% pay increase to fund a mortgage; while our multi-millionaire  MP acquires seven properties in the blink of an eye!   

So, while our Jeremy has no compunction in objecting to housing development on his doorstep, a development that would prove a godsend to his hard-pressed constituents eager to get a foot on the ladder, he bags newly developed properties and helps fuel the housing crisis by buying up property on someone else’s! 

We know we say it a lot but, seriously folks, you couldn’t make it up … really you couldn’t!

A better class of political graffiti in South West Surrey..

Jeremy_PostOffice

The above picture was taken on a Sunday when the Farncombe Post Office was closed. We applaud the gorilla tactics of our local residents in photocopying articles and pasting them up for all to see! Here at the Waverley Web, we feel it is our public duty to continue to spread the word!
They were highlighting both the issue of the NHS march on Saturday that was hardly reported, that happened whilst our MP and Health Secretary was snoozing at a Hampshire spa after a 2-hour massage.

Jeremy Hunt is also in the sights of the Farncombe community for doing nothing to intervene in the ‘Horizon’ dispute between Post Masters and the Post Office. This dispute has lead to the Post Office suspending the licence of hundreds of Post Masters, meaning the Farncombe Post Office – with its essential cashpoint – is out of action whilst it is resolved.

Farncombe residents are also disgusted at having to traipse into Godalming to queue out the door in their tiny new high street shop.

Come on Jeremy – Wake Up and pull your finger out! Because your donors and your members are leaving you in their droves!