Residents of Farnham are urged to vote yes at the forthcoming referendum to decide whether Waverley Borough Council should use the Reviewed Farnham Neighbourhood Plan to determine the development strategy for Farnham on Thursday 12 March.
The Plan identifies a number of allocated sites across Farnham that will provide the required 2,780 homes for the Plan period up to 2032
Voting for our Plan would inhibit the loss of green fields around our town and prevent additional traffic congestion
Below are links to Farnham Town Council’s website page and Waverley Borough Council’s website page for the referendum
alternatively you can click on the following links for the Reviewed Farnham Neighbourhood Plan
and for the appendices Appendix 2 Housing Sites
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions which we will try and answer.
At the referendum in May 2017 the plan received a 88% yes vote from 38% of the electorate.
Please let your family and friends living in Farnham know about the referendum and the critical importance of supporting the Plan
The Society urges members to support the Neighbourhood Plan
As reported in last week’s Farnham Herald independent examiner Derek Stebbing concluded from his examination of the Review Plan that, subject to a list of modifications, the Reviewed Plan meets Basic Conditions. These words don’t sound as rapturous as maybe they could but they give the go ahead to the reviewed Plan which is exactly what we wanted to hear. Mr Stebbing could have concluded that no modifications were required at all, which was very unlikely, and could have concluded that no referendum was required but that was equally unlikely.
Because of the length of time the Mr Stebbing was taking to publish his report, several of us on the Farnham Society Planning Committee were becoming increasingly concerned that he had found an issue with it. I more than the others probably.
The Public Examination took place on Tuesday 1 October after he had conducted a Procedural Exploratory Meeting on 4 June 2019. Mr Stebbing concluded from the Procedural Exploratory Meeting that the Reviewed Plan had material modifications and therefore it was required that he undertake a public examination of the Reviewed Plan.
Mr Stebbing methodically dismissed one after another of the challenges from the developers in his report published on 9 December 2019. The report can be accessed via this link, click here.
Why was the Reviewed Plan necessary ? The Farnham Neighbourhood Plan was originally ‘made’, the technical term for adopted on 31 July 2017. The referendum on Thursday 4 May 2017 saw the original Plan receive a 88% ‘yes’ vote with a turnout of 38.75%. A truly impressive result illustrating to both developers and the former Waverley Borough administration that the residents of Farnham were overwhelming supportive of the Plan.
Along came Waverley’s past Tory administration, responsible for, in my view finalising the Brightwells potential disaster on us and decided that she would put a spanner in the works by requiring Farnham Town Council either to review the Plan immediately or they would get Waverley planners to select the sites to accommodate the additional 450 dwellings within Part 2 of their Local Plan.
They are completely responsible for the requirement for the Reviewed Plan process. She could have simply asked for a clause to be written into the Local Plan Part 1 that Farnham was required to review its Neighbourhood Plan within, let’s say five years, so 2022.
We would have had the protection of the Neighbourhood Plan and the Folly Hill housing development wouldn’t have been allowed by the Planning Inspector.
Furthermore, Farnham Town Council wouldn’t have been required to spend thousands of pounds to prepare the new Plan and go through the current process now. Further expense is still required by the forthcoming referendum.
As reported in the Farnham Herald last week new outline planning applications from Bewley Homes and Wates Developments have been submitted and validated, for 140 dwellings and 146 dwellings respectively. Application numbers WA/2019/1905 and WA/2019/1926. Please look at and comment on these applications, ideally objecting. Farnham now has provided its allocated requirement of homes until 2032. The sites allocated within the Plan will proceed, we don’t want an additional 280 plus houses in Farnham. I do hope that the developers, whose sites are not included as housing allocations, notably Bewley and Wates accept the contents of the report and look elsewhere rather than destroy our green fields.
I hope also that the new Head of Planning, Zac Ellwood, supports the Planning Development Plan, ie the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan. The harm from these developments far out-weighs the benefits to the town.
The Planning Committee are delighted that the Plan can go to referendum and hope that all residents able to vote will support it. The Farnham Society will be taking on the challenge of raising further awareness of the Plan’s benefits, and of the need to vote for it in the referendum, enabling its adoption.
The Society will be mobilising volunteers to leaflet homes throughout the town. A date for the referendum has to be determined but we hope it is before the end of February or at the latest early March. If you would like to help, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
We need to demonstrate to the Waverley, the Planning Inspectorate and particularly the developers that Farnham supports the Neighbourhood Plan.
The Post Office has announced a proposal to close its Farnham branch, and to transfer operations into WH Smith in The Borough. This is part of a national reorganisation of Post Office branches. The move is planned for June of this year.
The plan is to relocate into a dedicated open plan area towards the rear of the existing WH Smith shop. There will be three staffed serving positions, one of which will be of the traditional screened type, the other two will be open plan. In addition there will be two self service kiosks. Most of the facilites currently provided at the West Street branch will continue to be available, though the ATM will not be retained.
The office will be available for a period during the WH Smith Sunday opening hours.
It is not clear whether the planned new location will provide an adequate queueing area for customers within and outside the premises. West Street it is know for a queue to stretch through the doors and into the street.
A consultation is now running, and will close on 6 March. To take part, visit the Post Office website. postofficeviews.co.uk , enter branch name, postcode GU9 7PJ or branch code 007900
Tice’s Meadow is currently owned by Hanson, who propose to put it up for sale. This could jeopardise its future as a Nature Reserve. A petition has been started, to save the reserve.
Our chairman, Alan Gavaghan, has written to Simon Willis, CEO of Hanson, expressing our views.
Tice’s Meadow Nature Resarve.
Our interest in the proposed sale of Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve, has been recorded as a joint signatory in the letter sent to you by the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group dated the 21st. October.
It is felt that the concerns expressed in that letter to ensure the long term security of this highly successful and nationally applauded nature reserve should be strengthened by a further underlining of the wide spread local disquiet at the possibility that all the efforts of local volunteers could be destroyed should the ownership pass to a body disinterested in the continuation of this reserve.
Whilst it is appreciated that you have a commercial decision to reach, it is hoped that with the Hanson’s proven interest in securing this oasis of nature, then your laudable ambitions could be extended by requiring a purchaser to continue the trail you have blazed by accepting a minimum requirement not to impede the activities of the Tice’s Meadow Bird Group.
The Farnham Society was formed in1911 and has always been at the forefront of preserving what is beneficial for the local community but we do not enter lightly into any discussion unless it is felt that the core subject will have far reaching and adverse consequences.
Within the remit of your corporate responsibilities it would be appreciated if you could discuss this matter with your colleagues to see whether it is possible to negotiate an arrangement which will be commercially satisfactory and also continue into the future the protection which has been generously provided over the years by your own Group.
Surrey CC have agreed after pressure from our County Councillors to have a Consultation Drop-in session on Monday 17 December between 10am and 12 midday (two hours only) at the Library (The Culver Room) in West Street.
We would urge as many residents to attend to show the strength of feeling about the possible closure of the CRC (Dump) together with the loss of other services in Farnham, the largest town in Waverley.
A few years ago, the government imposed VAT upon work carried out to listed buildings. This has had a serious financial impact upon owners of listed buildings, increasing cost of repairs and reducing the incentive to invest in the building. With Heritage Open Days now taking place, we are reminded of the value of listed buildings, which are costly to maintain and preserve.
The Listed Property Owners Club is campaigning for the reduction of VAT on work to listed buildings, and is raising a petition to place before parliament. Your support will help to preserve and protecting these buildings for future generations.
Click here for the petition. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/223075
For further information, click on the links below:
Waverley Lane, Farnham, Planning Inquiry Update July 2017
The Secretary of State’s office have sought responses to events, cases and information submitted by interested parties since April, including the Waverley Local Plan EiP, judicial review hearing and decision, and court cases decisions related to similar circumstances. The latest date advised by his office by which a decision will be made is 13 September 2017.
Previous website posting below
The Public Inquiry Appeal by Wates Development Ltd against Waverley’s refusal of their planning application for 157 dwellings on the fields in Waverley Lane started on Tuesday 16 August 2016, and the first session lasted until Tuesday 23 August when the hearing was adjourned. The hearing was reconvened on Tuesday 18 October, the second session and hearing closing on Thursday 20 October. Wates withdrew the two supplementary applications but appealed the first and main application which received 1,192 objections.
The appeal was ‘recovered’, the planning term for the Secretary of State (SoS) calling in the final decision, after the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan was found to meet the basic conditions for Neighbourhood Plans on 22 February 2017. With recorded appeals the Inspector makes a recommendation but the SoS’s office will decide whether they will allow the appeal.
On 17 March the SoS’s office informed Waverley and Wates that they had until 31 March 2017 to submit representation to them resulting from the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan being found to meet the conditions and going to referendum on 4 May.
The Inquiry Hearing between 16 August and 23 August was well attended by residents. Thank you if you attended. The Inspector does record residents’ interest in the appeal. Independent Ward Councillor Andy MacLeod participated during the Appeal Hearing particularly on the question of the Five Year Housing Land Supply and the fact that the delivery of houses is by housing developers not Waverley. South Farnham Residents’ Association (SOFRA) questioned several of Wates’ consultants called to provide evidence and the Bourne Conservation Group and Peter Bridgeman gave evidence to support the defence of the Appeal.
In the judgement from the preliminary hearing on 31 January, Mr Justice Dove ruled that the five claimants did not have the necessary standing to take Waverley Borough Council (WBC) to Judicial Review over management of the East Street / Brightwells development contract.
His reasoning was that a retendering of the scheme would not result in a development different to that currently proposed.
WBC stated at the meeting in May 2016 that it was for the courts to decide upon the legality of the changes which they made to the development contract. WBC have prevented the courts from judging whether they have acted lawfully.
Waverley Borough Council has decided to proceed with the East Street/Brightwells development. A Special Executive Meeting on 24 May, recommended proceeding, and this was followed by a full Council meeting which approved the recommendation.
The proceedings can be viewed as a webcast via the WBC website
The second meeting of Recrafting Farnham took place at Farnham Maltings on the evening of Monday 18 April.
Recrafting Farnham’s originator, Laith Anayi, presented the results of the first meeting, the consultation held in January and attended by some 700 local residents. Then the architect Robert Adam presented Tomorrow’s Home, funded by ADAM Urbanism and Grainger plc. This investigated the housing needs of today’s 18-34 year-olds. The findings ought to shape how we all think about homes for ‘Generation Y’ and those who come after them: where housing ought to be and therefore the future shape of Farnham.
For more information, contact:
Architectural Communities Coordinator
RIBA South/South East
Changes to the car park at Farnham Station in 2016 added a new deck, to provide 170 additional parking spaces.
A presentation on the changes took place at Farnham Station, on 8 March.
Work was originally planned to run from April to August, however, the start date was postponed while emergency repair work was carried out on the line between Farnham and Alton.
For further information visit the South West Trains website.