Monday 4 March
Refreshers Fair, Farnham Maltings
Come and meet us at our stall
Monday 4 March
Refreshers Fair, Farnham Maltings
Come and meet us at our stall
This year Farnham’s Christmas Market will be on Sunday 9 December, 10 am to 4 pm.
We will have a stall in The Borough, outside the Queen’s Head and Bloom (formerly Prezzo). Our new branded merchandise will be on sale, and you will have the chance to meet and chat to us about Farnham and about what we do.
Farnham Town Council has loaded all the documents relating to the Review of the Neighbourhood Plan on to their website.
Please do have a look.
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.
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:
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
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
THE HART AND FALKNER ROAD
LONGBRIDGE, BRIDGE SQUARE AND RED LION LANE
New Ashgate Gallery, Lower Church Lane, entrance from Waggon Yard car park
Hone’s Yard, Downing Street, next to Hone’s Greengrocers
PROPERTIES IN OUTLYING AREAS
Badshot Lea Village Hall - New this year
South Farnham Infants School – previously The Bourne School
MOOR PARK AND WAVERLEY
Museum of Rural Life - New this year
- NOTE : Access is via Crosby Way, past Memorial Hall then turn right into Whitlet Close then ahead to field gate.
TALKS, PERFORMANCES AND PRESENTATIONS
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.
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 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
THE FARNHAM SOCIETY
Minutes of the 71st Annual General Meeting held on
Friday 25 May 2018
at St Joan’s Centre, Tilford Road, Farnham
Alan Gavaghan Chairman
Michael Blower Vice-President
Janet Radley Vice-Chairman/Secretary
John Cattell Treasurer
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
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
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.
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
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
The minutes had been circulated and were approved and signed. No matters arising.
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.
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
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.
All Committee reports had been posted on the website and circulated at the meeting
David Howell announced updates to his report
Realistically a decision cannot be expected until July/August
John Slater commented on the much improved change in establishing better communication with Waverley, after a long period of lack of response.
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
Proposed: Alan Gavaghan Seconded: John Cattell
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
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
Over sixty representatives from local Residents’ Associations and The Farnham Society attended an Update Meeting on the Review of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan held on Thursday 3 May in the Farnham Town Council Chamber. Carole Cockburn was upbeat about progress. All sites originally identified will be re-assessed and all new sites assessed against the same robust set of criteria.
We will be supporting the process and will post further updates in due course.
Farnham town centre is about to undergo a considerable amount of disruption caused by building and redevelopment work starting shortly. Brightwells has planning permission although a number of new applications are being processed by Waverley seeking permission to make some changes to the approved proposals. Major works started at the Woolmead and at the Hopfields in autumn 2018.
Preparatory works for the Brightwells Development have already been undertaken, trees cut down next to the A31 east bound carriageway to allow access from the bypass. This construction work will take 12 to 14 weeks and involve the closing of the inside east bound lane of the A31 dual carriageway bypass. A further lane closure is programmed at the completion of the development, likely to be 8 to 10 weeks.
We have identified the following likely problems:
Closure of the inside lane from the Firgrove Hill Bridge through the Hickleys Corner traffic signals to beyond the construction site for 24 hours during the two periods.
Some re-adjustment of the traffic signal phasing at Hickleys Corner. There can be only a small change in timings because of the high existing traffic flows from Station Hill and from the Town Centre.
The major problem will be the capacity of the traffic signals at Hickleys Corner. These operate on a sophisticated program which minimises the overall delay to traffic on all approaches. Recent counts by traffic engineers for the developers gave an morning peak flow eastbound entry flow on the A31 of 1,361 vehicles per hour (vph) [approximately 22 vehicles per minute] and an eastbound exit flow of 1811vph [approximately 30 vehicles per minute]. This latter number includes the traffic exiting South Street onto the Bypass eastbound and that exiting Station Hill onto the Bypass eastbound. The mid morning flows are nearly as high.
The junction already operates at very nearly full capacity and it is not possible to reduce this by some 40% with single lane usage without very serious consequences.
If the signal timings are changed it should be practical to reduce this capacity reduction to about 30%.
Traffic flows from Station Hill onto the A31 should be similar to that at present but if there is no change in the traffic signal timings and that the single lane A31 eastbound from Hickleys Corner is not congested. If the signal timings are changed there would be a drop of about 10% in the traffic flow.
Some longer distance through traffic will divert to other routes, A3, M3 etc but much of the traffic on the A31 is local and long delays, queues and frustration for drivers is likely to become more common.
It is not possible to estimate how long the delays will likely be but many members and residents people are aware of long delays whenever there is one lane closed for grass cutting or other highway works and this is always carried out outside the peak periods. Delays of 20 or 30 minutes are not uncommon.
Delays on the bypass nearly always have an immediate effect on the town centre. Gridlock has occurred repeatedly and recently when there was only a single lane for A31 eastbound traffic through the Shepherd and Flock traffic signals.
We reluctantly envisage the town centre being gridlocked more frequently and for it to occur for long periods throughout the day.
In essence you cannot put a quart into a pint pot without an overflow. ‘Overflow’ in this case will be drivers seeking alternative routes around north and south Farnham, through the town centre, or a lack of trips into Farnham.
Measures that could reduce the impact could be:
Drivers should be encouraged by traffic signing to enter and exit Farnham via Firgrove Hill and Longbridge.
New signage on the A31 and A325 stating: ‘Major works will take place from date X to date Y on the A31 Bypass eastbound. Do not divert into town centre’.
Signs on A31 and A325 stating: ‘Town centre is for local traffic only and no through traffic’. This could be controlled and implemented by number plate recognition cameras but is unlikely to be progressed.
Control of the construction traffic timings so that major HGV movements from the Brightwells Development and Woolmead are not at the same time.
All parking for construction vehicles on the Brightwells site must be within then site itself.
Any changes coming from the proposed pedestrianisation or Town Centre Regeneration scheme are introduced after the completion of Brightwells and The Woolmead.
9 May 2018
Our first visit of the 2018 season was on Wednesday 23 May, to Chiddingstone Castle and Emmetts Garden in Kent.
Chiddingstone Castle originates from the 1550s when High St House, as the castle was known, was home to the Streatfield family. Several transformations have since taken place, including rerouting the High St to avoid the house. In 1805 Henry Streatfield extended and remodelled his ancestral home in the “castle style” which was then fasionable. The Castle was sold in 1938 and served as a base for Canadian military forces during the Second World War. After the war it became home to Long Dene School until 1954 when the school was closed. In 1955 the antiquary Denys Eyre Bower rescued the house from creeping dereliction and used it to house his eclectic collection of over 8000 objects. On his death in 1977 he left his collection for the enjoyment of the nation. The house is now run as a charitable trust.
The Castle stands next to Chiddingstone Village, which is owned by the National Trust and has houses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries
Emmetts is a National Trust garden housing exotic plants from around the world. It is known for its beautiful bluebells and spring colour, summer roses and vibrant autumn foliage.