Planning

May 2017 Farnham Neighbourhood Plan

FNP leaflet 3

APPROVED

In the referendum held on Thursday 4 May 2017, 88% of votes cast were in support of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.

Waverley Borough Council now has to implement the Plan as part of its policy, though this is likely to be delayed as a Judicial Review has been brought by a consortium of developers.

The Neighbourhood Plan, prepared through consultation with residents and businesses in Farnham over a four year period, provides a vision for Farnham and guides the future growth of the town and its surrounding countryside for the period up to 2031.

There are 32 policies that will support the vision guiding and controlling development within the area covered by the Plan, including sites identified for housing and business development. Page 5 of the Plan has a map showing the designated area.

We attach a link to the May 2017 Farnham Neighbourhood Plan document   Click here to see Neighbourhood Plan

 

Waverley Lane planning inquiry update

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Waverley Lane, Farnham, Planning Inquiry Appeal Update

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, 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 letter notifying the latest delay advised that a decision would be issued on or before 15 June 2017.

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.

Judicial Review judgement handed down

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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.

Click here to see full judgement

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.

 

 

Neighbourhood Plan Consultation

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Farnham Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 15, July 2016

The Farnham Neighbourhood Plan has finished its consultation stage, last comments having been accepted on Monday 3 October 2016.

The documents can be viewed on both the Waverley Borough Council website, http://www.waverley.gov.uk/info/1004/planning_policy/1728/farnham_neighbourhood_plan

and the Farnham Town Council website http://www.farnham.gov.uk/services/shapefarnham/regulation-16-supporting-documents/the-draft-regulation-15-neighbourhood-plan

 

 

Proposed Extension, Refurbishment and Conversion of the Memorial Hall

Mem Hall Alterations

There have been several letters in the Farnham Herald recently about the question of the legality of Waverley Borough Council (WBC) relocating the Gostrey Centre into the Memorial Hall. Mark Westcott also spoke at The Farnham Society AGM on Tuesday 3 May about his views on WBC’s current proposals.

WBC granted themselves planning permission on 26 August 2015 to alter and extend the Memorial Hall, described as an existing multi-use community facility, to provide additional community services. Several residents of Farnham objected to the proposals, based on the location away from the town centre, the poor appearance of the proposed design, the impact that the shared use would have on existing users and the appalling impact that the extension would have on the Memorial Hall aesthetically.

You can view the approved Ground Floor Plan by clicking on this link (hyperlink HL1) and the approved Street Elevation by clicking on this link (hyperlink HL2).

What has been highlighted recently, Spring 2016, is the blatant disregard that WBC has shown for the Deed of Gift from Farnham United Breweries.

Farnham United Breweries Limited gifted the Hall and Sports Ground to Farnham Urban District Council in October 1947 ‘for the benefit of and use and enjoyment by the inhabitants of the Urban District of Farnham’. Clause 2 stated that ‘The Hall shall be maintained by the Council and shall primarily be  used for the purposes of organised indoor games, dancing and physical training and the Sports Ground shall be maintained as such and shall primarily be used for organised outdoor games, Sports and physical training

Clause 2 continues ‘but the Council may permit the Hall and/or Sports Ground to be used for any activity of an educational culture social recreative or charitable nature which the Council shall in its discretion deem to be a normal and desirable activity for such a Hall and/or Sports Ground and the Council shall in particular give consideration to (a) organised childrens Sports and the training therefor  and (b) the meetings of the Farnham Elementary Schools Association and the training therefor.’

The important words are ‘Council may permit’ and ‘shall in its discretion deem to be a normal and desirable activity’. The Gostrey Centre currently provides a range of services to the elderly between 9am and 4pm. It must be questioned whether the Gostrey Centre relocating to the Memorial Hall will effectively prevent the many other users being able to use the Hall as they have, negating the Gostrey Centre use being considered a desirable activity in the terms of the Deed of Gift.

The following link will connect you to the transcribed document that Mark Westcott completed, (hyperlink HL3), this link will connect you to the plan attached to the Deed of Gift, (hyperlink HL4).

The approved proposals for the Memorial Hall which enable the Gostrey Centre to relocate to the Hall breach the conditions of the Deed. The Deed states that ‘The Council shall not build or allow to be built upon any part of the said premises any building or erection other than in connection with the objects specified in Clause 2 above’. It seems that Waverley would potentially be in direct contravention of this clause.

Yes, the Gostrey Centre carries out highly commendable social and charitable work but doing so in the Memorial Hall will be contrary to the Deed and exclude or restrict the purposes for which the Hall was gifted to the residents of Farnham.

What would the descendants of the owners of Farnham United Breweries think ? What would the descendants of the members of staff of Farnham United Breweries who died in the service of their country in the First World War think ?

HL5 Memorial Hall Plaque

Especially this year, when Farnham commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first ever recorded two-minute silence.

The extension and refurbishment works to the Hall are due to start next month, June 2016,

Contact one of your Ward Town Councillors http://www.farnham.gov.uk/town-council/councillors2015 and / or your Borough Councillors (hyperlink HL6) and express your dissatisfaction if you feel that Waverley are acting in an inappropriate manner, disregarding the clearly stated Covenants attached to the Deed of Gift.

 

Proposed Redevelopment of the Memorial Hall Sports Ground for Housing

Also recently, the issue of Farnham Town Football Club relocating to Brambledon Park in Weydon Lane has been in the headlines, (hyperlink HL7), the intimation being that the cost of the relocation would be funded by the development of the Memorial hall Sports Ground for housing. Covenants in the Deed of Gift state, as above, that the Council shall not build on the Sports Ground unless in accordance with Clause 2, above, which states that it should be used only for organised outdoor games, Sports, etc.

The expenditure of an estimated £50,000 of public money has been authorised to undertake a feasibility study of relocating the Football Club to Brambledon Park. It could be argued that public money should not be spent taking legal advice on how to get around the terms of the Covenants in the Deed of Gift unless it is self evident that circumstances have changed so much from the time of the Gift that it is now in the interests of the residents of Farnham that overruling the Covenants is justified.

It has been acknowledged that there is a shortage of recreational space in Farnham and across the Waverley Borough, so building houses on the land would be contrary to that aim.

Yes, Farnham does need new houses, but to sacrifice the Sports Ground is an unacceptable step. Building on the Sports Ground would send an unfortunate message to any current or future benefactors considering gifting community facilities to the residents of Farnham, knowing that their wishes would very likely be ignored.

If you think it is completely wrong and inappropriate for Waverley to fund the relocation of the Football Club by selling off the Memorial Hall Sports Ground for a housing development, please express your concern by contacting your local Councillor, details in the hyperlink above.

WBC Meeting on East Street

Waverley Borough Council

Waverley Borough Council

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

www.waverley.gov.uk

 

Consultation on Recycling Centre

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Surrey County Council has conducted a public consultation aimed at reducing the cost of operating recycling centres. This included the Farnham recycling centre in Guildford Road. Notably, the consultation looked at the options of closure of recycling centres, restricting opening hours, and charging for disposal of certain types of waste.

The consultation closed in September 2015.

For further information, see the Surrey County Council website.

Waverley Lane Development

Created from Ordnance Survey Street View

Created from Ordnance Survey Street View

 

PLANNING APPLICATION FOR 157 HOMES ON WAVERLEY LANE FIELDS

 South Farnham Residents’ Association have made the following appeal.

 

Wates Developments have applied to build 157 houses on the fields at the top of Waverley Lane, cleverly submitting three separate planning applications at once to baffle and confuse the people of Farnham.

 

WA/2015/0771 for 157 houses on both fields

WA/2015/0894 for 98 houses on the field near Old Compton Lane.

WA/2015/0895 for 59 houses on the field near Abbots Ride.

 

They are planning spaces for 347 cars on this site, which will put a huge burden on Waverley Lane and onto the queues at the level crossing. Therefore this development would affect anyone in Farnham who uses the railway station.

 

Please would you object to all three planning applications. The closing date is the 12th June.

 

Reasons for objection are similar for all three: -

 

***An unsustainable location for housing – too far away from the town (1.75km), too far away from any local shops (1.3km), too far away from the railway station (1.25km). It is in effect a village separate from the town – but with no facilities provided.

 

***Congestion at level crossing due to get worse. No solutions offered by developer to increase road capacity or solve the blockage of the crossing barrier. This means making already illegal air pollution levels even worse – not good for health, both for us and local schoolchildren.

 

***Unacceptable adverse impact on the character of the area – high density housing (34 dwellings per hectare); speed markings on the road, flashing speed signs near site; complete removal of 62m of hedging , cutting back of further 125 metres – this includes Ancient hedgerow, irreplaceable.

 

***The fields are rated ” high landscape value” and “high landscape sensitivity” by Waverley’s Landscape consultant. They provide the setting for the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Beauty right next to it; fields are bordered by Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees (very rare in England and protected by national planning policy)

 

***Site considered “Not suitable ” in Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.

 

***This is the countryside!! – it is against Waverley’s own policy (Policy C2) to build in it – and National Planning Policy says the countryside must be recognised “for its intrinsic character and beauty” – this is a CORE PLANNING PRINCIPLE !

 

PLEASE GET YOUR COMMENTS IN STRAIGHTAWAY

 

Via the Waverley website:www.waverley.gov.uk – follow the planning prompts to reach the THREE reference numbers above, and fire away (copying and pasting your comments will be fine). Alternatively, write to The Planning Department, Waverley Borough Council, The Burys, Godalming GU7 1HR. Please remember to quote all three reference numbers.

 

Many thanks for all your support.

SOUTH FARNHAM RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION

 

 

 

Woolmead Proposal

Woolmead

Proposals for redevelopment of The Woolmead have now been made public. F&C REIT, who act as development agents, presented a public exhibition in The Woolmead on Thursday 2 April. The presentation can be viewed online at www.woolmead.co.uk

The scheme entails replacement of the existing 1960s block with a four storey development, comprising retail units at street level, with three additional floors comprising some 100 one, two and three bedroom apartments. An underground car park, accessed from The Woolmead, gives slightly over 100 parking spaces; it is assumed these will be for the benefit of the residents. Fronting onto East Street, the building projects no further than the existing building, and in places is somewhat further back, giving a wide pavement in front of the retail units.

Members are encouraged to visit the Woolmead website, and respond with comments online or by email to thewoolmead@gmail.com

Closing date for comments is 9 April.

Farnham Greenfield Sites

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GREENFIELD SITE APPLICATIONS 
FARNHAM, AUTUMN  2014
 

 

 

 

 

Existing  Aplications    
(all have been or will be objected to by The Society)

Lower Weybourne Lane, (Bewley site) 140
Crondall Lane  (Hopfields site) 120
Low Lane,  Badshot Lea 30
35 Frensham Vale, Lower Bourne 46
Baker Oates Stables, Gardeners Hill Road 43
Bindon House, south of Monkton Lane 61
Tices Field, Badshot Lea 71
Total 511

 

Badshot Lea

 

Applications Anticipated

Waverley Lane 190
Hale Road 220
Coxbridge Farm 200
Little Acres, Badshot Lea 100
Green Lane, Badshot Lea 80
Garden Style, Rowledge 70
Switch Back, Rowledge 10
Total 870

 

Plus others?                                                                                   Combined Totals       1381 plus

 

 

NB   If scenario 4 of the Local Plan Consultation is accepted we will need to find 700 new homes on greenfield sites in Farnham over the Plan period to 2031 (16 years at 44 homes per year, the current and anticipated numbers are over x 30 that required in any one year).

Jargon Busting

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Planning-related acronyms
 

AGLV     Area of Great Landscape Value

AONB     Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Natural England)

ASVI       Area of Strategic Visual Importance 

BLM       Building of Local Merit

CA          Conservation Area

CIL         Community Infrastructure Levy

EIA          Environmental Impact Assessment 

EIP          Examination In Public (of Local or Neighbourhood Plans)

FBPT       Farnham Building Preservation Trust

FCAMP   Farnham Conservation Area Management Plan

FHLAA    Farnham Housing Land Availability Assessment

FTA          Farnham Theatre Association

FTC          Farnham Town Council 

HA            Heritage Asset 

acronyms

HODS      Heritage Open Days

LNR         Local Nature Reserve

LPA          Local Planning Authority

NNR         National Nature Reserve

NPPF       National Planning Policy Framework (Government)

RA            Residents’  Associations

SAMM     Strategic Access Management Monitoring

SANG      Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (for SPAs)

SHLAA    Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment

SHMA     Strategic Housing Market Assessment

SING       Site of Importance for Nature Conservation

SPA         Special Protection Area (European Directive for protecting wildlife habitats)

SSSI        Site of Special  Scientific Interest (Natural England)

TFS          The Farnham  Society

TPO         Tree Preservation Order

WBC         Waverley Borough Council