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Farnham’s Green Spaces

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The theme for 2018 Heritage Open Days was ‘Farnham Green Spaces’ to highlight the all-important open spaces within or on the fringe of built up areas where you can relax, breath fresh air and soak up our rich heritage.

The two weekends of HODS featured many walks, talks and visits to many of these green and open spaces including and a walk and virtual walk (an illustrated talk) on ten lovely green spaces within the town centre and this is detailed in this article.  Other ‘green’ sites also on show were: Farnham  Park, The Rural Life Centre, Waverley Abbey and Waverley Abbey House, Moor Park House, The Bishops Meadow, green spaces within the Bourne, West Street Cemetery and the Chapel of Rest and finally readings by the Farnham Rep ‘In Englands Green and Pleasant Land’.

The walk and talk featured ten green spaces, parks, gardens and other public open spaces within the town centre.

1.The Victoria Garden.   The late Victorian open-air swimming baths on this site eventually closed in 1981 due to the opening of the indoor pool at the leisure/sports centre. The old pool was demolished and then converted into a lovely, almost secret, garden which opened in 1998. The garden contains a good range of herbaceous plants, bulbs, shrubs, climbers and trees like rowan and whitebeam. There is plenty of seating and a giant chess game. Sculptures include ‘Outdoor Bathing’ by a local artist Jane Jones, but more commonly called ‘Shivering boy’ which alludes to the site’s former use. The restored entrance arch was designed by Harold Falkner in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.   The baths were opened by the Duchess of Albany in 1898 and her name is used today in stylised flowers of the Clematis ‘Duchess of Albany’ in the iron gates and the real plant in the garden.  The garden is funded and maintained by The Swimming Baths Trust with a team of skilful volunteers.

2.Haren Gardens.  This very small gardenon the east side of South Street and close to the rivercommemorates the help and friendship given by people of Farnham to the town of Haren in the Netherlands. This started at the end of WWII when we dropped food parcels by parachute and again in 1953 when Farnham helped them following the North Sea floods. A plaque detailing this was presented to Farnham by the good folk of Haren and is displayed at the garden. Planting includes Dutch tulips surrounded by large trees and shrubs and maintained by  volunteers.

3.Borelli Walk.   A1 hectare (2.4 acre)park, opened in 1953 and named after Charles Ernest Borelli (1873-1950) a local businessman, conservationist, councillor and Chairman of Farnham UDC.  He and architect, Harold Falkner (1875-1963), did much to shape the future of Farnham in the first half of the 20C and formed The Old Farnham Society in 1911. It appears the two of them were the ‘Planning Authority’ as there was no formal planning legislation until The Town and Country Planning Act 1947. He also helped to preserve the structural and natural beauties of his native town.

The planting along the south side of the River Wey includes a splendid range of native and exotic trees such as a scarlet oak, white poplar, blue Atlas cedar, an American red maple, Liquidambar, an unusual upright cultivar of the Persian ironwood and large native and European willows – backed up by the strategically important trees on the north side of the by-pass.

The garden has been under threat for a so-called temporary access to the by-pass for the Brightwells/East Street development which will cut right through the centre of the park and include a bridge for construction traffic over the river. On 21 February 2018, in came the diggers and chain saws.  A 50m-plus section of the by-pass trees, part of a screen designated as an Area of Strategic Visual Importance, was felled including the rare Persian Ironwood. In August the walk was closed to the public to allow for a haul route for the bridge construction traffic’ – Mr. Borelli would not have been pleased!

The information board at the entrance refers to a ‘Scented Garden for the Blind’ but I see no such garden – perhaps a future project, if and when they restore the park in at least two to three years’ time. It will take decades to replace the felled trees. I say official vandalism!

4.Gostrey Meadow.   This site was at one time part of the grounds to the Bush Hotelbut became a late Victorian rubbish dump. It was converted into a 1.08 hectare (2.7 acre) public park by the former Farnham UDC in 1909.  It is now a very popular meeting venue with a full calendar of events run by Farnham Town Council.  There is a wide range of native and exotic trees, shrubs and ornamental planting – including carpet bedding. There is a bandstand, the town’s main war memorial (1919), a Falkner-designed drinking fountain – which cost £21 to design and build in 1910 (you cannot drink the water) and a popular children’s playground.  All of these are situated beside the lovely setting of the River Wey.  It is maintained by Waverley BC but with some of the planting by Farnham Town Council.  The park contains some interesting trees including a pocket handkerchief tree, a dawn redwood and a golden rain tree; all introduced from their native China.  Some of the fast growing but short-lived willows and poplars have been felled or lopped on safety grounds over the last year or two.

5.St. Andrews Churchyard.   The Grade II listed Anglican Church dates back to the 12th century but with substantial later additions. It is one of the largest churches in Surrey and during the 1930’s was considered as a cathedral before they built the new one at Guildford. The burial grounds contain remains of important Farnham people such as the political reformer, William Cobbett (1763-1835) and members of his family.   There is a memorial to Farnham-born Reverend Augustus Toplady who wrote the hymn ‘Rock of Ages’.  The Churchyard contains some notable trees including a pair of old yews, an Irish yew, an avenue of limes and semi-upright hornbeams.

6.Library Gardens.    Themodern library is to the rear ofVernon House, a Grade II listed building with parts dating back to the 16C but mainly 18C. The terraced gardens to the rear provide a quiet oasis, with a range of exotic trees including a large old cedar of Lebanon, an evergreen oak, a row of yews, a mulberry and young specimens of the maidenhair tree. To the front there is a large stag’s-horn sumach tree and Liquidambars.  This is a Surrey CC maintained property but the gate to the rear garden is frequently locked.

7.Museum Gardens.  The small walled garden is to the rear of the Grade I listed Willmer House – built in 1718. The fine rubbed, red brick gauge work on the West Street frontage of Willmer House is said to be one of the best in the country.

 

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The garden includes the Garden Gallery and a bust of William Cobbett.  There are some interesting trees in the garden including a deodar cedar, a honey locust and a Ginkgo – plus herbaceous borders.   To the rear is an educational garden, planned and planted since 2008, which shows the development of the kitchen garden with a mini orchard, herb garden, vegetable patch and even a crop of hops.

8.College Gardens.  College Gardensis now a small residential cul-de-sac adjacent   to Guitar Village in West Street but look closely in the grass and you will see a  plaque confirming this was the site of the Royal Military college from 1814 -1820. When it closed, it moved a few miles north to Sandhurst.  There is an interesting Manna ash tree fronting West Street which is thought to have biblical links where, rumour has it, sugary substances from the trunk sustained the Israelites on their exodus from Egypt – manna from heaven! There is an interesting tree to the rear, likely to be the Japanese walnut Juglans ailanthifolia.

9.University for the Creative Arts – Sculpture Park.   Opened in 1998,this   attractive garden, adjacent to the College entrance, features sculptures by well-known artists and graduates/students of the university all set in grassland and amongst trees and shrubs. The trees include a white berried or Kashmir rowan, a dawn redwood, a Persian ironwood, purple Norway maples and common trees like cherries, London plane and birch.  It is always open.

Also at the UCA is the Craft Study Centre, a museum of modern crafts.  There is a small but interesting garden fronting Falkner Road with two special trees.  Firstly, there are two specimens of a hardy palm from the Far East called the windmill or Chusan palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) and secondly a Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum).  This small to medium size tree has heart-shaped leaves with lovely autumn colour and the falling leaves smell of burnt sugar or caramel. There are several cultivars.

10.Farnham Castle Grounds. The 5 acre grounds surround the 12C castle, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and the Grade I and II Bishops Palace with wonderful views of Farnham to the south. A beautiful meeting/wedding venue and the greatest visitor attraction of the town for nearly 900 years – almost 1000 visitors toured the Castle during Heritage Open Days 2017 and close to 1200 last weekend.

The recently restored Bishop’s steps to the west of the Castle are of interest, they were designed for Bishop Richard Foxe (Fox) (1448-1528). He became blind in his later years and, to help him negotiate the steps, there are seven flights of seven steps with seven paces between each flight.

Home of the Bishop of Winchester for some 800 years, the last Bishop, Henry Montgomery-Campbell, left in 1956 when Farnham became part of the Diocese of Guildford. The grounds contain some large, quality, exotic trees including a cedar of Lebanon, false acacias, a shagbark hickory and an old lopped maidenhair tree. A very tall and impressive redwood suffered badly during the 2018 summer droughts and will need checking to see if it recovers next spring.

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There are also many ‘on- the- edge’ or ‘out-of-town’ larger green spaces such as Farnham Park, Bourne Wood, the RSPB Nature Reserve at Farnham Heath, Frensham Common and Ponds, Bourne Recreation Ground, Bishops Meadow, Alice Holt Forest and Arboretum.  There are separate tours to some of these or they will be included in future visits and/or talks. There are also many other green spaces around Farnham and its villages including village greens, recreation grounds, playing fields, footpaths, woodlands, cemeteries and the ever-popular allotments – perhaps over a hundred. It’s important to keep and maintain all these green lungs of Farnham – but as we have seen at Borelli Walk – nothing is safe.

Although this Heritage Open Days weekend was promoted as Farnham’s Green Spaces, this summer we have seen much of it turn brown.   The grass will soon recover and in places it already has – but some trees and shrubs may well be lost.  Shallow-rooted trees such as birch are often the first to suffer but with healthy young trees the shedding of leaves could be a defence mechanism and they should come back next spring.  More worrying are trees like the large redwood at Farnham Castle which turned brown in early August.  There may be some underlying problems and the drought may well be the final straw.

 

Peter Bridgeman  September  2018

 

Talking Brains

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The Farnham Society Memorial Lecture “Talking Brains”

Sophie ScottNeuroscientist Professor Sophie Scott is among the world’s foremost experts on speech and the brain.

Duncan Wisbey

Working with local actor/impressionist Duncan Wisbey of Radio 4’s Dead Ringers she explains how our brain negotiates the complex task of talking. Sophie’s research has helped therapists find new techniques to help stroke patients recover their speech.

Join us for The Farnham Society Memorial Lecture “Talking Brains”, an entertaining and informative talk about how we formulate words, how we come by our accents and how we decode what is being said to us.

The Great Hall, The Farnham Maltings, Farnham, GU9 7QR

Friday 19th October Foyer Bar Open 7.00 for 7.30pm start

Tickets £10 pre-order from the Box Office -

www.farnhammaltings.com

Murder by the Book

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Wednesday 26th September  2018

Farnham-born Professor Claire Harman talked about her forthcoming book, ‘Murder by the Book: a sensational chapter in Victorian crime’.

Claire Harman

It’s the true story of a murder, a best-selling novel and a literary controversy that involved Dickens and Thackeray.  Author of a best-selling biography of Jane Austen, ‘Jane’s Fame’, Claire is well known on both sides of the Atlantic, winning many prestigious awards as biographer and poet.

Murder by the book lecture

 

 

Draft Farnham Neighbourhood Plan review (Regulation 14)

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Farnham Town Council has loaded all the documents relating to the Review of the Neighbourhood Plan on to their website.

This link will take you to the Draft Plan on the website

Please do have a look.

The other documents can be found by clicking on this link

For the short survey on the Draft Regulation 14 Plan click here

The deadline for responding is Sunday 30 September.

Please respond to the survey. It won’t take long.

The more responses submitted the less likely that the Examiner will require a referendum to be undertaken, the better for the town, the quicker the reviewed Plan can be made / adopted.

Our 2017 – 2018 programme

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Friday 19 October – Farham Maltings, Great Hall

Prof. Sophie Scott, neurologist and Duncan Wisbey, actor/impressionist –

Talking Brains.

Prof Sophie Scott is giving the 2017 Christmas lectures at The Royal institution, titled ‘The language of life’, exploring how humans developed language, how laughter links us to our animal last, and the subtle cues we send out through facial expression, tone of voice and even smell.

Wednesday 14 November – St Thomas on the Bourne

Joanne Watson, retired BBC Sports Producer – Sport and the Media

VAT on works to listed buildings

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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:

Listed Property Owners Club (LPOC) website.

LPOC press release

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Listed Properties

A Brighter Future for Farnham ?

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The Farnham Society has commissioned a film titled A Brighter Future for Farnham?, which you can watch on Youtube.  Click here to view

This film is the first of a planned series about the East Street/Brightwells development scheme which has now started and will take over four years to complete.

The film sets out to record the current range of views about the development scheme and the hopes and fears that people in the town have about it. Subsequent films will track the progress of the development and how it is impacting the life of the town in positive and negative ways. It is hoped that people and businesses resident in the town and visitors to it will provide feedback and views about the development over the coming years.

Please email us with your views and thoughts about the development, on

1BWfilm.fsoc @gmail.com

 

HODS Programme 2018

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Here is a full list of HODS activities in and around Farnham. For further information click on the entry below.

 

PROPERTIES IN FARNHAM TOWN CENTRE

WEST STREET

Coxbridge Farm     - New this year

Chapel of Rest, West Street Cemetery

Museum of Farnham, 38 West Street, Willmer House

Guitar Village, 80-81 West Street

Caffe Piccolo, 84 West Street

Farnham Library, 28 West Street, Vernon House

Graham & Co Jewellers, 20A West Street

Goldsmiths Jewellers, Lion and Lamb House, 113 West Street

THE HART AND FALKNER ROAD

University for the Creative Arts

CASTLE STREET

Farnham Castle, Keep and Deer Park

Masonic Hall

Zizzi’s, 68 Castle Street

The Giggling Squid

29 Castle Street

SOUTH STREET     

Farnham United Reformed Church

The Victoria Garden, Brightwell Road

Farnham Council Offices

UNION ROAD

The Old Court House

Farnham Vineyard Church

LONGBRIDGE, BRIDGE SQUARE AND RED LION LANE

Farnham Maltings, Red Lion Lane

New Ashgate Gallery, Lower Church Lane, entrance from Waggon Yard car park

DOWNING STREET

The Old Vicarage, Vicarage Lane, off Lower Church Lane

St Andrew’s Parish Church, Middle Church Lane

St Andrew’s Infant School, Upper Church Lane

Hone’s Yard, Downing Street, next to Hone’s Greengrocers                            

PROPERTIES IN OUTLYING AREAS

BADSHOT LEA

Badshot Lea Village Hall     - New this year

THE BOURNE

South Farnham Infants School  – previously The Bourne School

WRECCLESHAM

Farnham Pottery, Quennells Hill, GU10 4QT (off A325 through Wrecclesham)

Yew Tree Cottage

Partridge House

St Peter’s Church

MOOR PARK AND WAVERLEY

Moor Park House, Moor Park Lane (off Moor Park Way), GU10 1FE

Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, GU9 8EP

Waverley Abbey ruins, off Waverley Lane, GU9 8EP

FRENSHAM 

Ellel Pierrepont, Frensham GU10 3DL (off A287 in Frensham) 

Museum of Rural Life     - New this year

GUIDED WALKS

Water Meadow Walk

-  NOTE :  Access is via Crosby Way, past Memorial Hall then turn right into Whitlet Close then ahead to field gate.

Architectural Walk in Castle Street

Farnham Park Walk

Farnham Green Spaces Walk

Green Spaces in The Bourne

Waverley Abbey Walk

VIRTUAL WALKS

Trees in Farnham

The Architecture of Castle Street

TALKS, PERFORMANCES AND PRESENTATIONS

Farnham Rep in Farnham Library

Morris Dancers – Saturday

Dame Ethel Smyth

The Town Crier

 

 

 

 

 

Farnham Town Centre Re-imagined

A few months ago we were asked by Jeremy Hunt MP, to join a working party to formulate a view on how the centre of Farnham should be made more attractive and welcoming to residents and visitors and also to address the serious problem of air pollution. This group included local councillors and architects who have worked harmoniously to produce some initial thoughts on what could be achieved. Many of the proposals are not new and have been considered in the past but have gone no further.

Jeremy Hunt requested that the working party’s suggestions should be made public at our Annual General Meeting and this would be the first step in the process of a lengthy period of public consultation. An abbreviated form of what has been put forward as a stalking horse, is as follows:–

Phase 1a, No fundamental change to the traffic system but would re-balance the town centre space between traffic and pedestrians.

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Ultimately a pedestrianised area with widened pavements, attractive street furniture and tree planting.

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Phase 1b, The current one-way traffic system uses the Borough as an interchange with offset crossroads. Consideration would be given to accessing car parks without going through the town centre or using the one-way system.

Possible changes: reversing the one-way system in The Borough between Castle Street and Downing Street, and between lower Downing Street and Union Road, allowing two way access to Wagon Yard and Central car parks – the beginning of a further reaching proposal.

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Phase 1c, Reinstating the historic road link between Castle Hill and The Hart, bypassing Castle Street by re-routing the A287 along The Hart and via a new connection to Caste Hill, mainly through The Hart car parks.

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This would facilitate an area for market stalls at the bottom of Castle Street.

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Phase 2, Hickleys Corner/Station Hill – a very poor junction made worse by the level crossing and likely to deteriorate further with the reinstatement of direct train services to Guildford. Firgrove Hill to A31 link to be given priority.

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Phase 3, Wrecclesham bypass – redirecting heavy traffic from the village centre and reducing risk of repeated railway bridge strikes on the A325.

These are ideas only and throughout the course of the public consultation there will undoubtedly be many amendments, improvements and inclusion of new ideas. 

This initiative has the full support of The Farnham Society.

Further details posted in the member’s area within the AGM Folder

 

AGM 2018

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THE FARNHAM SOCIETY

Minutes of the 71st Annual General Meeting held on

Friday 25 May 2018

at St Joan’s Centre, Tilford Road, Farnham

PRESENT

Committee:

Alan Gavaghan Chairman

Michael Blower Vice-President 

Janet Radley Vice-Chairman/Secretary 

John Cattell Treasurer 

Simon Bradbury

David Howell

John Slater

Ian Soden

98 members of the Society and 7 guests attended

Guest speaker The Rt. Hon. JEREMY HUNT MP

Presentation – Transforming Farnham

by Carole Cockburn, Andy MacLeod and Jim Duffy

The Chairman welcomed members to the Society’s 71st Annual General Meeting and gave a particular welcome to special guest Jeremy Hunt MP and to his colleaguesRichard Nelsonand Morwenna Brown.

Announcing the format for the presentation to follow, Alan Gavaghan said it would illustrate how Jeremy Hunt sees the future of Farnham – visitor friendly and addressing the increasing health hazards of air pollution

Carole Cockburn, with her vast experience of successfully organising public consultations for the Neighbourhood Plan would outline what is proposed for the future as far as this project is concerned

Jim Duffy’s visual presentation, with additional input from Andy MacLeod, would give an impression of how the future is envisaged.

Jeremy Hunt would comment and take questions on the issues raised.

Carole Cockburn talked about spearheading Farnham Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan, now subject to a partial review as a result of the allocation of an additional 450 dwellings by 2022.

Farnham Town Council would be the anchor for a consultation on Transforming Farnham involving Jim Duffy, local architect, county councillors, borough councillors, Castle Street residents etc – a wide range of opinion would be sought

It was emphasised that the presentation was just the start, not the complete answer. Other people may have better ideas. Although previous studies on Farnham had foundered, the

aim was to finally find a solution to improve traffic flow and air quality in the town. The opinion of Farnham Society members was important

Andy MacLeod outlined the proposals and said a project like this was fundamental to the future of the town

  1. Gestation – where the ideas in the presentation came from

These ideas were a continuation of the 2014 pedestrianisation consultation initiated by Jeremy Hunt.

Some years ago Surrey County Council commissioned the Mott MacDonald Report which found that, as a result of the high traffic volumes and concurrent congestion, the town centre presents an unattractive environment for pedestrians, has poor air quality and discourages shoppers and visitors from choosing Farnham. Their solution was to make Farnham a ‘destination town’, achievable if there was sufficient provision of mitigation in areas surrounding the town.

Subsequently Jeremy Hunt had asked three County Councillors, The Farnham Society, Farnham Chamber of Commerce, Max Lyons and Jim Duffy to work with him on town centre regeneration

  1. Objectives – what the team is trying to achieve

Transformation of the town centre, not dominated by cars, done in a gradual, phased way that is acceptable, realistic and affordable.

     3.The way forward – how this can be done

The way forward was considered to be wide consultation and the setting up of a proper project which would be achievable subject to finance being found

Jim Duffy of Add Architects described the vision for Farnham with a visual presentation.

As it is, cohesive market town architecture is badly let down by narrow pavements and a very poor public realm. The vision was for a café society with calm, authentic streets and squares and a prime retail pitch with an exciting range of national and local outlets

Showing comparisons with other market towns, the gradual phases of the proposals were outlined:

Phase 1a No fundamental change to the traffic system but would re-balance the town centre space between traffic and pedestrians. Ultimately a pedestrianised area with widened pavements, attractive street furniture and tree planting

Phase 1b The current one-way traffic system uses the Borough as an interchange with offset crossroads. Consideration would be given to accessing car parks without going through the town centre or using the one-way system

Possible changes: reversing the one-way system in The Borough between Castle Street and Downing Street, and between lower Downing Street and Union Road, allowing two way access to Wagon Yard and Central car parks – the beginning of a further reaching proposal. .

Phase 1c Reinstating the historic road link between Castle Hill and The Hart, bypassing Castle Street by re-routing the A287 along The Hart and via a new connection to Caste Hill, mainly through The Hart car parks. This would facilitate an area for market stalls at the bottom of Castle Street

Phase 2 Hickleys Corner/Station Hill – a very poor junction made worse by the level crossing and likely to deteriorate further with the reinstatement of direct train services to Guildford. Firgrove Hill to A31 link to be given priority

Phase 3 Wrecclesham bypass – redirecting heavy traffic from the village centre and reducing risk of repeated railway bridge strikes on theA325

Jeremy Hunt thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to show the presentation but emphasised that it was not his own plan and he was grateful to everyone who had contributed. Ultimately it was a matter for traffic engineers to say what is practical and what is not.

He said that now is a moment of choice and future generations will judge us on whether we did or did not tackle the great issues of traffic and air quality – a long-standing problem, particularly in The Borough. The two big developments going ahead in the town centre (Woolmead and Brightwells) provided an opportunity to persuade the developers to contribute financially on the basis that the proposals would enhance their developments

He cited Carole Cockburn’s approach to the Neighbourhood Plan consultation as a model of how to obtain a consensus across the town as to what would be the right thing for Farnham

If this vision is to be realised there was a need to be flexible about the details. There would inevitably be winners and losers. North Farnham and Hale would need consideration.

Re a possible Wrecclesham bypass – finance for big road schemes were generally linked to large-scale new housing developments which did not apply here.

One challenge is to find a scheme that is workable – the other is financing it

If a scheme is found which was generally agreed the way to go he would make it his principal job to raise the finance via SCC, Dept of Transport, WBC, and the developers of Woolmead and Brightwells (Berkeley Homes and Crest Nicholson respectively)

It was important to stress that this is a consultation, open to other ideas. The hope was that a broad consensus would be found among Farnham people. Once a plan is in place the developers could be approached.

The Farnham Society’s role was very important, as was the Chamber of Commerce. The short term impact on retailers would be a drop in revenue, but with a significant increase in the years that follow. There were many practical problems but the potential for Farnham was huge, with its green spaces, stunning architecture and the quirkiness of its culture.

It will take many years but these proposals were the start on the journey.

Questions:

David Lea (Lord Lea of Crondall OBE) referred to previous traffic modelling by professionals and asked the meeting to bear in mind a former proposal for an underpass at Hickleys Corner

David Wylde: Mr Hunt was looking for our goodwill and support but in recent years, citing the East Street development and Dunsfold, contact seemed to have been one-sided

Alan Gavaghan replied that support was being asked for in the context of these proposals and should be encouraged

Yolande Hesse totally supported the idea which would have a huge impact, and felt a lot could be done with it, citing French towns as an example

Celia Sandars expressed concern about the provision of parking if more people are to be attracted to the town, and asked what is being done to plan for that, and for accommodating delivery vehicles, especially in Downing Street and The Borough

Jeremy Hunt agreed the need for the provision of infrastructure and the deliveries issue had to be worked on. Jim Duffy said lay-bys could be constructed for delivery vehicles

Stephen Cochrane pointed out that residents of Castle Hill had not been consulted

There were inaccuracies in the map shown

There would be an overall loss of car parking spaces as a result of the East Street development. If the town is to be vibrant, sufficient accessible car parking is needed.

Have people whose houses back on to the proposed new roads been consulted, given the potential impact on their market value?.

Jeremy Hunt replied that this is a first step only, at a very tentative early stage, to gauge reaction from the people of Farnham

Simon Bradbury asked what financial support can we expect for improvements to the A325 with traffic from the new Bordon developments coming through Farnham via Wrecclesham

Jeremy Hunt said he had talked to Hampshire County Council about developers putting money into the A325 improvements

Mary Parker expressed doubt about financial input from the developers of Woolmead and Brightwells as the latter had already been substantially subsidised by SCC

Andy MacLeod pointed out that the Surrey funding was via a government loan which it was hoped would be repaid from rental revenue from the retail units if the scheme is successful

Jeremy Hunt said that in both cases this kind of vision would make the developers’ flats more valuable – a good reason to support this initiative

Zofia Lovell, Chairman of SOFRA, expressed concerns about the impact of re-routed traffic, pointing out that Farnham is currently impacted hugely by impending developments and we are constantly having to comply with more and more planning applications for housing on greenfield and brownfield sites. We need to support our MP and our county councillors and pedestrianisation is a wonderful idea but planning issues need to be addressed for it to work.

Patrick Webber praised the presentation and the idea behind it and stressed the importance of goodwill and co-operation from Waverley

Mr Hunt concluded by saying that he was in the best position, and it was absolutely his job, to bring together Waverley, Surrey County Council, Farnham Town Council and elected councillors and agree what is best for Farnham. The next stage would be to explore where the finance might come from, for traffic engineers to look at what the options are, and to form a tangible proposal for the people of Farnham

Mr Hunt asked for an indication from the audience that the proposals were a step in the right direction and should be pursued. By a show of hands the majority felt that they should.

The Chairman thanked Jeremy Hunt and the presenters and welcomed a positive initiative for Farnham

The Farnham Society Annual General Meeting

  1. Apologies for absence

Sir Ray Tindle, Brian & Judith Hunt, Michael & Gillian Cubitt, Charles & Franke Stuart

Bev & Heather Fox, Robert & Tempe Mansfield, Gloria & Bob Dyche, Erica Wilkinson Michael and Tandy Murphy, Peter and Wendy Duffy, Virginia Bottomley

  1. Minutes of the Annual General meeting 9 May 2017

The minutes had been circulated and were approved and signed. No matters arising.

  1. Chairman’s report

The Chairman’s report had been published on the website Members’ Area and distributed at the meeting. In view of time constraints he did not elaborate on it but invited questions.

  1. (i) Adoption of draft accounts for financial year ending 31 March 2018

The Treasurer said that the Society was in good financial health and the Treasurer’s Account was doing well. Referring to the Restricted Funds, a ring-fenced account for the balance of funds from donors to the East Street Judicial Review campaign, he said this separation would be maintained in future.

Referring to the Society’s long-term investments, there was concern about the uncertainty of the current market and consideration would be given to changing investment procedure to reduce risk

Adoption of accounts

Proposed: Michael Blower Seconded: Sam Osmond Agreed

(ii) Confirmation of Inspector of Accounts

Roger Smith of Milne Eldridge had agreed to continue as Inspector of Accounts for the current financial year

Proposed: John Cattell Seconded: Dennis Pratt Agreed

  1. Amendment to The Farnham Society Rules

In view of the new General Data Protection Regulations it was necessary to make minor adjustments to the Rules. A draft had been posted on the website Members’ Area and circulated at the meeting. Agreed.

  1. Committee reports

All Committee reports had been posted on the website and circulated at the meeting

Planning

David Howell announced updates to his report

  • The Folly Hill Application Appeal Public Enquiry will be re-opened in June or July

Realistically a decision cannot be expected until July/August

  • The Regulation14 six week public consultation of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan will not commence until the end of June or early July. It is expected the Plan will be discussed at the Full Council Meeting on 14 June
  • Protect Our Waverley (POW) have launched a legal challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision to allow planning permission for 1,800 dwellings at Dunsfold
  • Bewley Homes are not challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse the Lower Weybourne Lane application.
  • It is not yet known whether challenges will be made to the Waverley Lane and Bindon House refusals.

Air quality

John Slater commented on the much improved change in establishing better communication with Waverley, after a long period of lack of response.

  1. Re-election of Honorary Officers

Chairman – Alan Gavaghan

Proposed: Michael Blower Seconded: Janet Radley

Vice Chairman/Secretary – Janet Radley

Proposed Alan Gavaghan Seconded: Michael Blower

The Chairman explained that, pending the appointment of a new Secretary, Janet Radley had agreed to stay in post until December

Treasurer – John Cattell

Proposed: Alan Gavaghan Seconded: Janet Radley

Agreed

  1. Re-election of Committee

Simon Bradbury

David Howell

John Slater

Ian Soden

Proposed: Alan Gavaghan Seconded: John Cattell

Agreed

  1. AOB

The Chairman thanked David Wylde for the exceptional amount of work he had done

and for his determination to protect Farnham

Questions from the floor

Patrick Webber expressed concern about the involvement of Surrey police in Waverley’s air quality policy and the perceived possibility of David Munro, as Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner, not remaining impartial

John Slater replied that it is a police matter, not our concern and the Society should not get involved

John Price questioned whether the Society’s records were appropriately stored.

The Chairman assured him on this point. All past minutes are securely housed at the Museum of Farnham

The Chairman thanked members for attending and hoped they would feel that what they had heard this evening would give some hope for the future of the town The Society will continue to do its best to protect Farnham

25 May 2018

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Fairer Road Funding Petition

Pothole image

Surrey County Councillor Edward Hawkins (Surrey Heath), supported by Wrecclesham Village Voice, has set up a petition calling upon the Government to reform its fairer road funding which could result in improvements to the condition of the roads in Farnham and its environs.

The current formula calculates the funding for road repairs given to each local county authority based on the length of roads in each authority’s area. It does not take account of road usage. As a result Surrey misses out to the benefit of other less populated areas with less use of the road systems.

The petition requires 10,000 signatures to ensure that the government responds to the petition, 100,000 signatures and the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.

The deadline is 2 November 2018.

The petition had 4,555 signatures on 5 June, nearly half way to the first threshold. Log on and sign now at Petition.parliament.uk/petitions/217930