Farnham needs you! Don’t forget to vote!

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Here’s the lineup for the Waverley By-election – provided by the Farnham Herald – because nobody does it better.

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Labour are also standing a candidate for Waverley – Rebecca Kaye.
For the Town Council election the candidates are:

  • Jo Aylwin, Liberal Democrats
  • George Adam Hesse, Farnham Residents
  • Rebecca Louise Kaye, Labour
  • Rashida Ahmad Nasir, Conservative

It couldn’t possibly be Dunsfold Park that this man is speaking of… could it?

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Ah! But there are some who don’t want jobs, homes, people or traffic, a school for the autistic, or a school for villagers children in and around DUNSFOLD. Same people who, but will happily support it here in Farnham – or in Godalming, Milford, Guildford, Haslemere, or Woking, Wrecclesham, or anywhere for that matter other than – at a brownfield site in DUNSFOLD! Get it!
Oh! and many of the moaners will probably work there when all those lovely jobs arise!
As for us here at the Waverley Web, we have all had a discussion. A Waitrose would go down well – even a Waitrose at Home – to join the M & S – in Alfold. Perhaps a few other major stores that Waverley Council, together with their partner Surrey County Council – who are investing over £50million over here in retail – could match in the East of the borough? Fairs, fair after all – because their other Farnham partner Crest Nicholson – is building shedloads of homes in Cranleigh  – that nobody appears to have noticed! 

Another – Puff of Wind – from You know who!

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How to flog a dead horse until its bones rattle! Protect Our Waverley takes on yet another Judicial Review – this time against – Dunsfold Airfield!

 

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Editor’s Note: Protect our Little Corner claims to represent ‘a very large and continually growing number of concerned Waverley residents whose interest is in sustainable, balanced and appropriate development. We are seeking development to be led by a robust Local Plan and sustainable developments that meet local need as encouraged under the NPPF.’

Trouble is they have 339 followers, which is a mere 0.27% of the population of Waverley, which was 121,572 at the 2011 census!

Never mind flogging a dead horse, this particular horse’s bones are rattling!

Ah! well, that is the price we pay for democracy – another shedload of taxpayers’ money on its way to the legal beavers!

Farnham Castle By-Election – who dares wins.

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The Runners and riders are announced for the Farnham Castle By-Election on 24th May. This election was prompted by the resignation of the chairman of the Farnham Residents Group John Williamson, and could cost up to £4,000. In a letter to Waverley chief executive Tom Horwood, Williamson explained that having spent the winter living in Italy, he and his wife decided to sell their Farnham home and relocate to the Cotswolds. Yes, that’s more than 6 months of Council meetings he failed to attend. At least he did the decent thing and pulled the plug – unlike some Conservative Councillors we could mention!

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In the Farnham Castle borough by-election, they are:
Jo Aylwin (Lib Dems),
David Beaman (Farnham Residents),
• Rebecca Kaye (Labour),
Rashida Nasir (Conservative),
Mark Westcott (Independent).

In the Farnham Castle town by-election, they are:
Jo Aylwin (Lib Dems),
George Hesse (Farnham Residents),
• Rebecca Kaye (Labour),
Rashida Nasir (Conservative).

Lib Dem Jo Aylwin, a textile artist has stood at a few previous elections and has been a trustee of the Bishops Meadow Trust. It is unsurprising that David Beaman a former  Independent Farnham Town Councillor has thrown his hat in with the Farnham Residents Group this time. Rebecca Kaye has also stood for Labour before, and if the name is familiar, her train driving husband Howard Kaye stood at the 2015 General election for Labour. Howard also stood for the Town Council in this ward in 2016, gaining 86 votes. Talking of husband and wife teams, Conservative Rashida Nasir is wife to Waverley Weybourne and Badshot Lea Councillor Nabeel Nasir. They are both key movers within the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

A truly independent and wild card is architect Mark Westcott, prolific Herald letter writer and campaigner for independence for Shortheath and Boundstone! He regularly appears in the public gallery at Waverley Towers to question our decision-makers.
George Hesse is a former UKipper that is standing in the Town Council election under the Farnham Residents banner. herald_farnhamcastle

Have a guess how much money, NOT having a Local Plan, has cost the Waverley borough?

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HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS!

The mathematicians in one small part of the borough – but an area most affected by not having an up-to-date blueprint for development, has had the abacus out! And Cranleigh Civic Society’s findings make grim reading, they are quite simply – staggering! Particularly if these figures are extrapolated across all the major towns.

 At last, we have a LOCAL PLAN, but even that is now the subject of three separate Judicial Reviews to be heard in the High Court shortly!

An agreed LOCAL PLAN gives Waverley Planners power to control future housing development; they can plan for the development of new infrastructure, roads, railways, schools, hospitals etc.  More important it enables the Borough Council to charge house builders a COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY known as CIL for short. 

What is  CIL?

 CIL raises monies towards the cost of the new Infrastructure needed for developments to go ahead. What a wonderful step forward we all exclaim!! and so it is. But what of the housing already approved? 2,000 houses and growing every day throughout the borough. 

Unfortunately, CIL is not retrospective.

How much will Waverley charge? www.waverley.gov.uk/CIL

Waverley’s draft proposal sets a CIL rate of £395/ Sq Metre of floor area for all new housing, (about £40,000 on an average 3-bed house), except quite reasonably for “Affordable Housing” where there is no charge. So taking the 35% of Affordable Housing the Borough is committed to building away from the approximately 2,000 houses so far approved, there will be a loss of CIL to the tune of a minimum £60 MILLION pounds. £60 MILLION pounds that will NOT be available to improve our ROADS, our SCHOOLS, our HOSPITALS, our BOROUGH!!

 How could this have happened we may ask? It happened because our planning officers at Waverley failed to come up with a plan that satisfied the Government’s criteria for a LOCAL PLAN.

How a Local Plan is developed by the Borough Planners

The basic criteria affecting us as council tax payers was to identify suitable sites for new housing. This has to satisfy the Central Government’s housing policy, a requirement that was for about 350 houses a year until 2032. Woking BC have had an agreed  Local Plan for some years that has now proved inadequate, so the inspector added a further 150 or so houses per year to WBC’s to cover their shortfall! So WBC’s Yearly requirement rose to 509 houses until 2032 (a total of 7,126 houses) 35% of which must be “Affordable”. Plus a further rise to 590 was deemed necessary by the inspector recently to take account of some of Woking’s unmet need. 

What of democracy?

Of these 7,126 houses, a minimum of 4,300, rising to perhaps 5,000 are planned for CRANLEIGH and DUNSFOLD, with the balance spread around the rest of the Borough; We have to ask – just how democratic is that?

 Improvements to our Local Roads and Rail?

Perhaps we could have a new road to rescue us from the A281 Blight? Unfortunately not: there will, however, there will be a new roundabout at Shalford. The Elmbridge Road and Bramley crossroads junctions will be reconfigured, There will also be a new Canal bridge at Elmbridge but no new bridge over the old Railway.

What of the Railway?

No plans whatsoever have been considered since SCC’s last feasibility study found not enough demand and not affordable. However, Waverley is stipulating in the Draft Local PPlan {Part 2)Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 18.03.33.png

 

So if anyone comes along with a cunning plan for introducing a new railway line – “the movement corridor’ is protected! So watch out By-Pass Byham you may get what you wished for!

What of DUNSFOLD AERODROME?

There is a plan for 1,800 homes, plus businesses,, shops, a school, a medical centre approved by the Government.  The adopted Local Plan, now being challenged also includes increasing this to £2,600.

Dunsfold, due to its approval when 106 agreements were applicable and due to the limitation CIL would have on this major development there will be NO CIL. However, the Dunsfold developer will be contributing well over £50m towards a whole series of infrastructure improvements, not just the five included in CIL contributions.

And that is just the East of the Borough. Maybe, someone over here in Farnham will do the maths here?

Much of this article was contributed to the Waverley Web by the Cranleigh Civic Society, we have however made a few minor alterations in the interest of accuracy and the up-to-date situation on challenges to the Local Plan.

 

We must talk about that Milford Golf Course covenant and that challenge by Mr House of the Local Plan!

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As “Your Waverley’ keeps the champagne on ice – here’s one of the reasons why OUR LOCAL PLAN has been halted in its tracks!

houyseshouse.jpgThe very thorough Bea at the Haslemere Herald featured the issue of Mr House’s Covenant on Milford Golf Course, which is now the subject of a legal challenge to the Local Plan.

According to the Herald’s busy little Bea, in the Local Plan part one, surplus land at Milford Golf Club was allocated as a ‘strategic’ site for 180 houses, although it is in the green belt. Government Inspector Jonathon Bore has requested it’s GB status be removed to help meet Waverley’s and some of Woking’s housing targets.

However,  the land is the subject of a restrictive covenant owned by adjoining householders who are determined to prevent a major development on their doorstep.

The historic covenant allows some development, but not on such a large scale. It stipulates “one detached dwelling house to the acre with one lodge and one cottage suitable for and intended for occupation by a gardener, chauffeur or other employees of the occupier of the said dwelling house”.

Let’s all hark back to the ‘good old days’ when we all had housekeepers, gardeners and indeed the new must-have  –  a chauffeur.

Mr House seems to be relying on this very old-fashioned covenant, in a document he is yet to disclose to the Council or the Planning Inspector. The Covenant doesn’t save the site from development, in fact, it actually encourages development! 

As the ‘Houses’ (very apt name for a lawyer attempting to prevent just that) but acknowledges, the total number of units which could be built consistent with the covenant is 81: 27 main dwelling houses together with up to two units of staff accommodation on each plot (see §29 of counsel’s opinion).

Whether 27 or 81 is used as the number of units that could be built consistent with the covenant, any additional disruption would not be sufficiently substantial to satisfy the test.

The existing house is well set back from the boundary line and shielded by a mature boundary of trees and hedgerow. The house cannot be seen from the development land. In addition, there is no good evidence (indeed any evidence) to show that any reduction in value to the House’s land would be significantly affected regardless of whether the development was 27, 81 or 180 units.

Waverley’s detailed response to the Local Plan inspector about the covenant – [link] with some excerpts highlighted below:

Haslemere Herald report of Local Plan February 2018

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No doubt the High Court will be viewing those conveyancing documents soon?!

Potts goes…potty!

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… and who can blame her?

After all her hard work and all that heavy-lifting, dragging Waverley Borough and its Council into the 21st century, creating and adopting a long overdue Local Plan, Protect our Little Corner of Awfold, Duncefold, Kerchingfold and Where-has-all-the-traffic-combe-from have waited until two minutes to midnight to throw a hand grenade into the room!

Together with the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the ineptly named Mr & Mrs House (seriously, you couldn’t make that one up!!!) PoW have launched a legal challenge over the adoption of Waverley’s Local Plan!

Call us cynical but we – and pretty much everyone else who knows anything about it – suspect that this is POW’s cunning ploy to scupper the planning consent just granted to Dunsfold Park. The infamous Bob Lies and cohorts are simply re-running the same old, same old arguments they ran at the recent Dunsfold Park Inquiry.

ANOTHER circa £200,000 down the borough drains!

As for CPRE, their knickers are knotted over Woking’s unmet housing need, which was added to Waverley’s numbers, resulting in an additional 83 houses per annum to Waverley’s target. OK, we get it, it’s not ideal but what CPRE fails to tell the public in its indignant, self-righteous justification for its actions is, that if it gets leave to appeal, not only will that leave Waverley totally exposed because it won’t have an adopted Local Plan but residents will have to cough up circa £200,000 to defend CPRE’s action!

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No wonder Potts has gone off on one! She said: I am appalled that we have to spend money on legal expenses AGAIN when we could be spending it on services – £200k at a time when, as a council, we face enormous financial challenges and are doing our utmost to deliver and protect key frontline services for our residents.’

Too damn right! And as Waverley council tax payers, we at the Waverley Web fully endorse, Potts’ assertion that the Council will ‘pursue full reimbursement of all legal costs we incur [and] these campaigning pressure groups must understand that this irresponsible abuse of public money will not be tolerated by Waverley Borough Council and its residents.’

We never thought we would find ourselves saying this but – deep breath

‘THREE CHEERS FOR POTTS!’

Now here’s a thought: why not give CPRE £200,000 to go away? After all, we all know these so-called rural campaigners are open to a spot of bribery!

We’ve all heard the one about how Clive Smith, the Surrey Hills AONB Planning Adviser (and bosom buddy of CPRE, whose AONB Board he sits on) repeatedly objected to Lakshmi Mittal’s £30 million mansion that he wanted to build in the Surrey Hills until, finally, finally, FINALLY, the billionaire took the oft repeated hints dropped by Mr Smith and his colleagues and greased the palm of the Surrey Hills Trust with £250,000 of silver and then suddenly – but entirely unsurprisingly – Mr Smith did a complete volte face and withdrew all his objections! Result! A win for the Surrey Hills AONB and a win for Mr Mittal, who got his planning permission.

Just goes to show everyone has their price – even so-called rural crusaders!

The hypocritical Clive Smith even went so far as to sing for his cheque by rocking up at the billionaire’s estate, quaffing his Champagne whilst bad mouthing all other development in the Surrey Hills! We know we’re repeating ourselves but, seriously folks, you couldn’t make it up! if only these people could see themselves as others see them … Now you know where Cheque book Clive got his sobriquet!

So there you have it, Leader Potts, it’s just a thought but why not take a leaf out of Mr Mittal’s book and call down to the Accounts Department and ask them to write CPRE a cheque for £200k to make them go away? OK, you won’t save any money but you’ll save yourself and your officers a shed-load of work and stress and you could save local residents from having several concrete mixers full of more housing dumped on us!

Eh?

Durrrh! You really need to read the small print!

What CPRE’s Surrey Director, Andy Smith, didn’t tell us when he was sounding off, is that if Waverley’s Local Plan fails and a new one has to be created Waverley could end up with even higher housing numbers being dumped on its green and pleasant fields because the Government will shortly be bringing out yet another new method for calculating housing numbers so we could end up with even more houses rather than less!!!

The words Be careful what you wish for come to mind …

PS. For those of you who’re wondering where Mr & Mrs House fit into the scheme of things, see our post of 7 April. And for those who can’t be bothered, here’s a quick resume: They’re just your average Surrey NIMBYs. They object to a proposal to build 130 houses on a golf course near them and as Mr House boasts of a successful 30-year career as a litigator, what’s he got to lose? After all, with his salary and bonus package, he can afford to dig deep if Waverley goes for costs!

While Farnham man rejoiced, Milford Man WAS BUSY TRYING TO SCUPPER THAT DAMNED PLAN!

 

When is someone, somewhere, going to stand up and tell Waverley Council it is no longer fit for purpose​!

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A COMEDY OF ERRORS.

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The residents of Farnham deserve better than to watch this for the first 15 minutes of Waverley most senior planning committee as they debated the details of a major – 120 housing scheme on the old Hopfields that affects the residents of Crondall Lane in Farnham!

You guessed – that webcast that was flogged on E-Bay wasn’t working… again…!

The system is not for purpose and neither is the council!!

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BLANKETY, BLANK!

They also deserve better than the muddled, confusing, misleading, and according to many councillors the “gobsmacking” apologies for errors, inaccuracies, misinformation and the revelations provided by planning officers. The joint planning committee heard with incredulity last night, that a major developer’s infrastructure contribution for a circa £150/120m development of 120 homes at Crondall Lane, had dropped from an amazing £914,000 at the outline stage of the scheme – to £514,000 at the detailed stage. 

Oh! and guess what – Surrey County Council couldn’t come up with a project for provision of the necessary primary school for the children from those 120 homes, so they just let the developer get away with contributing, – yes, you guessed, nothing! Is that the same county council that has just put up our council tax by 6% because it is strapped for cash!

Suffice to say a member of the public Stewart Edge, raised a shedload of issues; but of course, we couldn’t actually see him! Farnham Residents councillor Jerry Hyman raised another shedload and whenever he bowled a googly at the so-called ‘experts’ he was either fed a fair amount of the stuff we put on our roses or was shut-up by Chairman Peter I tell residents ‘what I think of them only when the mike is off’ Isherwood! And his side-kick Carole Cockburn said, – we are where we are – ‘though I am a bit concerned for the residents of Beavers Close and Beavers Road’ (in other words ignore all the mistakes) and then she said – let’s approve it!

Just as we all just got to the point when Councillor Jerry proposed that the application be deferred – following cries from others of –

the committee was misled at the outline stage” – “Why weren’t we told there was to be a £300,000 reduction in the Infrastructure contributions,” “why have certain conditions been excluded, others are not tight enough.” “Why can’t `I understand the report,” Why aren’t the pages numbered – it is so confusing.” What if our decision here tonight brings on another legal challenge?  And from non-other than councillor Brian Adams the former Portfolio Holder for planning – I am astonished at the scale of the changes,” and so it went on and on… and on!

The Betty BIZ said: “The mitigation agreed remains sound, it is not appropriate to revisit that.”

However, Jerry Hyman said the council’s lawyer Dan Lucas told the Joint Planning Committee  IN APRIL 2017 that the “catchall principle does apply to habitat applications and so the principle of development can be reviewed and, in fact, must be reviewed if an error was made!

And then just as it got really interesting … the WEBcast finally gave up the ghost and died!!

Probably because ‘Your Waverley’ has just cocked up again!

SO HAS EVERYONE  VOTED FOR THIS FLAWED TAYLOR WIMPEY SCHEME  WHO HAS OFFERED UP A PIECE OF LAND IN CROOKHAM PARK AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH BARRACKS PARK NEAR FLEET IN HAMPSHIRE. A  SITE  THREE MILES AWAY AS  MITIGATION FOR THE LOSS OF LAND IN CRONDALL? 

PERHAPS SOMEONE SOMEWHERE WILL  TELL US ALL WHAT THE DECISION WAS AND IF IT WAS DEFERRED?

We are putting our bets on with Bet Fred for another Tory whitewash!

Here’s the link to the webcast that starts at 1 hr 25 mins.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIsaHhaW-Hc

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 20.27.29.pngWe have the answer from one of our followers:

 Councillors have granted full planning permission for 120 homes on the Beavers Rd ‘hop fields’ in Farnham – despite a dramatic £380,000 cut in Taylor Wimpey‘s infrastructure contributions for the long-mooted scheme. Full story in this Thursday’s Herald.

Waverley/Surrey Conservatives missed £380,000 from Developers on Hopfields!
Local Liberal Democrat Stewart Edge has slammed Waverley and Surrey Councils for giving up £380,000 of available infrastructure development money from the Hopfields development – leaving no contribution for additional primary school places required for children living there.
At the final Hopfields planning meeting, Stewart asked why the proposed ‘Section 106’ infrastructure contribution totalled only £534,152 when the total had been £894,518 at the meeting in 2015 when outline permission was granted.
The startling answer was that Waverley and Surrey’s Conservative Councils between them had failed to specify specific projects that the rules said were needed to claim the full amounts.
So they signed contracts which fixed the contributions demanded from the developers £380,000 lower than available – and in the final planning meeting said they could do nothing legally to increase these now.
What a disaster! £380,000 less for public services; £380,000 more for developer profits.

Former Godalming Town Mayor​ charged with sex offences.

The former Mayor of Godalming and a Conservative Waverley Borough Councillor for the town has been charged with a number of criminal offences of,  ‘a sexual nature,’ and appeared before Guildford Magistrates today. 

Mr Thornton of Abraham Way, who is a Godalming butcher, faces 23 charges, including one count each of rape of a girl under the age of 13 years, voyeurism, assault of a girl under the age of 13 and paying a girl for sexual services.

He also faces two counts of making indecent photographs of a  child, 11 counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 15 and six counts of taking an indecent image of a child.

The case has been referred to the Crown Court for a hearing fixed for May 8.

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Godalming Mayor Simon Thornton stepped down from the mayoral role, as well as relinquishing his roles as the Conservative Town and Waverley Borough councillor for Ockford & Eashing Ward in October 2017.

Mr Thornton, who became the town’s mayor in May 2017, cited personal reasons for his decision to resign. Both seats have now gone to Liberal Democrat Paul Follows following a by-election.

Mr Thornton was first elected to the town council in 2011 when he was also elected as a Waverley borough councillor.

As a Waverley councillor, he was a member of the powerful executive from 2014-2016 with portfolio responsibility for leisure, culture, parks and the countryside.

At an extraordinary meeting of Godalming Town Council shortly after Mr Thornton’s resignation members elected Holloway ward councillor Anne Bott as mayor for the rest of the year. Mrs Bott previously served as mayor in 2015. Her husband and fellow Holloway councillor, Steve Bott, will be her consort. Current deputy mayor Nick Williams will continue in his role.

 

Could ‘Your Waverley’ earn the title this year?

All of us here at the Waverley Web wonder if anyone, yes anyone, will be held responsible?

Based on ‘Your Waverley’s track record for concealing/covering up or ignoring its mistakes…. don’t hold your breath. Or on second thoughts if you live or shop here in Farnham, perhaps holding your breath could be a lifesaver!

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This article is taken from our great local newspaper The Farnham Herald.