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Hunt the Plaque

As part of the 2019 Heritage Open Days we are running a Hunt the Plaque competition, for anyone under 14 years old.

The centre pages of our Heritage Open Days brochure show 12 plaques which are all in Farnham. Can you find them?

Answer sheets will be available from the Farnham Town Council offices.

Or you can fill in your answers online.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject Hunt the Plaque

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Your age

Phone number (optional)

 

Post Office consultation

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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

Our 2019 programme

AGM 2019

Monday1 April

Evening talk, Simon de Montfort and the first English revolution.

Speaker: Dr Sophie Ambler

May 20th, Monday

Evening talk, The Rise and Fall of English Switzerland

Speaker: Marion Dell

The story of the bohemian colony on the Hindhead at the end of the 19th Century

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

May 26th, Sunday

We will be at Farnham’s Spring Festival

June 30th, Sunday

Come and meet us at our stand at Picnic in the Park

July 6th, Saturday

We have a stand at The Bourne show

July 12th, Friday

Evening talk, Harold Falkner, more than an Arts and Craft Architect

Speaker: Sam Osmond

The story of Farnham’s famous Architect. Harold Faulkner and Charles Borelli, the founders of The Farnham Society

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

September 20th, Friday

Evening talk, The Story of Global Warming: a scientists view

Speaker Prof Candy, Depart of Geography, Royal Hollaway University of London

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

October 18th, Friday

Evening talk, Poverty and Welfare in 19th Century Britain: The Swing Riots in Surrey 1830.

Speaker: Dr Judy Hill, University of Surrey -

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

Friday 15th November

Evening talk: Arts and Craft Gardens, Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens

Speaker: Cherrill Sands, Garden Historian

St Joan’s Centre, Farnham GU9 8DJ.

December 8th, Sunday

Meet us at our stand in Farnham’s Christmas Market

December 12th, Thursday

Christmas entertainment, The story of a Butlers Christmas and the traditions of the Georgians and Victorians over the festive season

Presenter: Dr Bob France

St Thomas on the Bourne, Farnham GU9 8HA.

 

The Story of Global Warming

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On Friday 20 September Professor Ian Candy treated us to “The story of Global Warming from a scientist’s perspective”.

Climate change is a hot topic, with the Extinction Rebellion protests, the government’s 2050 Zero Emission law, Greta Thunberg’s school strikes and David Attenborough’s Blue Planet.

Ian has worked all over the world studying the causes and impact of climate change. In particular, he has focused on the periods of global warming in the past and the role of climate change in human evolution, dispersal and occupation. Ian will be outlining why climates vary and how the magniude of change we are experiencing is a truly unique crisis that will radically change our future.

Locally, Surrey has just launched the Surrey Climate Comission.

Click here for The Royal society’s overview of Climate Change causes.

Click here for The Royal Society’s 2014 flm in Climate Change.

 

Brightwells Films 2019

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May 2019, three more films have now been released about the Brightwells Yard development. These films reflect thoughts and experiences from residents, consultants and shop owners one year after the start of construction. For full screen view of film, click on title rather than on ‘Play’ arrow.

We seek feedback, please email us with your views and thoughts about these films and the development on

farnhamfilms@gmail.com

Borelli Walk Update

Peter Bridgeman, retired arboricultural consultant, talks about the history and environmental importance of Borelli Walk, and the impact of the Brightwells Yard development, notably on biodiversity.

Questions are raised about the respect expected from the developer. Waverley Borough Council offer comments on the interview with Peter Bridgeman. Click here for link.

Impact on retailing in Farnham

Owners of independent shops give their mixed views on the likely impact of the commercial element of the new development. 

Debbie Flowerday, a highly regarded retail consultant, living in Farnham, gives her opinions on the possible interaction between the old and new areas in the town, and puts forward ideas regarding the relative merits of different types of shops.

Click here for link to film

Brightwells, impact on traffic

Robert Mansfield, local resident and internationally respected traffic engineer, explains  the impact of the Brightwells Yard development upon traffic in and around Farnham. Motorists give thier views on traffic congestion on the A31 during the construction of the temporary bridge. Views are offered on the likely congestion and parking issues in the town centre.

Click here for link to film.

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

farnhamfilms@gmail.com

Our original June 2018 film on the Brightwells Yard development, is still available,

Click here to view.

 

 

Northbrook Park development

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The East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has published its Draft Local Plan (dLP) for consultation. The consultation started on 5 February and finished on Tuesday 19 March 2019. The dLP includes the provision of 3,723 homes required to satisfy its national housing allocation including an allocation at Northbrook Park which abuts the Surrey Hampshire boundary. The current proposal in Hampshire is the construction of a minimum of 800 houses, a primary school, community hub, ‘village’ centre, sports facilities and a variety of employment and office buildings. The dLP indicates that the development would if undertaken take place between 2028 and 2036.

Bentley Parish Council has expressed concerns at the proposals. Bentley residents attended a meeting at the Bentley Memorial Hall on Monday 25 February, an estimated four hundred people. The parish of Bentley currently has approximately 450 houses with a population of approximately 1,250.

The Society understands that the landowner’s proposals are to extend the development in the Farnham Built Up Boundary Area and construct a further 700 houses.

The Northbrook site was submitted as part of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan process. The site was rejected, the summary stating ‘A significant development of 15.3ha set in open countryside removed from Farnham and extending beyond the Parish boundary into East Hampshire would have a significant detrimental effect on the landscape of high sensitivity.’ Continuing ‘A new settlement would not represent an appropriate strategy to accommodate development taking into account the reasonable alternative of brownfield sites in more sustainable locations. The site is unsuitable and potentially unachievable as a housing allocation.’

The impact on Bentley will be unmeasurable, but the impact on Farnham will be significant as well. Residents of the development would likely look to travel east to work, to shop, for their social life and entertainment.

Issues that would arise from the inclusion of the proposed development in the EHDC dLP to Farnham would include a significant impact on the infrastructure. If properly managed, the funds levied under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) could contribute to a western relief road, which would be beneficial and would ease what could otherwise be not insignificant congestion through Farnham town centre. Increased traffic movements would undoubtedly result in some congestion and over demand for parking spaces despite the proposal to operate a bus service, with increased demand on already stretched facilities. Residents travelling to London would require to travel through the town centre, rail tickets are currently 20% cheaper from Farnham than Bentley.

The development would bring a further demand for school places. Farnham is already looking to have 2,780 new houses built in the period up to 2032, so even the 800 homes proposed on the Hampshire side would bring a significant extra demand. The further 700 homes in the Farnham boundary area would create even more demand.

The proposals would result in the loss of greenfields, an area recorded as landscape of high sensitivity. A development would change the A31 corridor immeasurably.

The Society is going to comment and register its concern and objection to the inclusion of the site within the EHDC dLP. Clicking this link will take you to the draft Local Plan.

You can comment on the dLP by clicking here, note that you will have to register to do so. Alternatively you can email your comments to localplan@easthants.gov.uk or write to Planning Policy, East Hampshire District Council, Penns Place, Petersfield, Hampshire, GU31 4EX. Your comments need to be received by the council by 5pm on Tuesday 19 March 2019.

Evening Talk: Harold Falkner, more than an Arts and Crafts Architect

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FALKNER AND BORELLI – MEN WHO CHANGED FARNHAM

In 1911 The Farnham Society was founded by the Bishop of Winchester (Lord of Farnham Castle), Charles Borelli and Harold Falkner – two men who had grown up in Farnham and put Farnham at the centre of their lives. During the first half of the twentieth century they dominated the town scene.

Charles Ernest Borelli came from a family of Italian clockmakers who had first come to England in 1820 and settled in Farnham. He was born in 1873 at number 48 Castle Street.

Harold Falknerwas born in 1875, to a family which had been farming at Dippenhall from the 1750’s. When he was aged eight his mother moved back to Farnham to live at 24 West Street where he spent the rest of his life – another 80 years.

Both went to Farnham Grammar School as boys, then on to the Farnham Art School run by W H Allen who inspired his pupils with an interest in art and architecture but especially the Arts and Crafts movement.

After their early education Borelli joined the family business of clocks, and Falkner trained to be an architect.

In their twenties Borelli and Falkner were close friends – both participating members of Farnham Football Club and Farnham Hockey Club, and joint secretaries of the new swimming baths in 1897. Neither married.

Charles Borelli was elected to Farnham Urban District Council in 1906, becoming chairman in 1910, and remained an elected member until his death in 1950.

Harold Falkner might have gone on, like Edwin Lutyens (six years older than him but also a local man) to become a London architect, but Harold never wanted to leave Farnham.

Borelli’s particular passion was for trees – in the centre of town none were allowed to be cut down without his say-so. He was involved in the 1909 conversion of Gostrey Meadow, formerly a Victorian rubbish dump, into a fine open space with fine trees. In architecture he favoured shopfronts in the Georgian style but relied on Falkner for professional advice. Falkner’s advice was crucial, but it would not have got far without the financial and political muscle of Borelli, who could charm property owners into following his ideas.

In the centre of town Borelli purchased several properties – an old pub, the old Town Hall, and several shops in West Street – and got Falkner to re-build, which he did with skill and respect for their Tudor and Stuart elements.

Falkner was also involved in the development of the suburbs of Farnham, especially the Great Austins area, south of the railway station. Initially he concentrated on houses in the Arts and Crafts style, later changing to mansions in Queen Anne style. He also built some remarkable houses in Dippenhall.

When he died in 1963 he left his house to The Farnham Society, which it sold to Surrey County Council. A collection of his drawings found in the house is now in Farnham Museum.

Thanks to Borelli and Falkner the town is not just a neo-Georgian gem but has the added spice of medieval, Tudor, and Arts and Crafts buildings.

SCC Consultations

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Community Recycling Centres:

Surrey County Council faces severe financial pressures and feel they have no choice but to look for savings. They are undertaking five consultations at the same time.

Consultations end on Friday 4 January 2019. Click here for link.

All the threatened Surrey County Council cuts are important.

Potential loss of Farnham’s Community Recycling Centre (CRC) in Guildford Road.

Surrey has put forward three options for the future of its 15 CRCs. Two of these would involve closing the Farnham CRC and would require Farnham residents to travel to Guildford, Camberley or Witley to recycle their household waste. Using these CRCs would involve round trips of around an hour at quieter times and much longer at busier times. This would be a major inconvenience and unnecessary expense to Farnham’s 40,000 plus residents and would result in very many Farnham residents opting out of using the Surrey CRCs completely and most likely an increase in fly-tipping.

The Farnham CRC is threatened with closure as it is categorised by Surrey as one of the six less used sites, which is supposedly close to alternative sites, which are said to generally offer a better customer experience. Farnham would appear to be the highest used of the six less used sites. This low use would seem to be very surprising as Farnham is the third largest town in Surrey based on the 2011 census figures and all the other CRCs apart from Guildford and Woking are based in smaller towns than Farnham. It is not really surprising as the Farnham CRC is very poor from an access, layout and customer experience point of view. Surrey and Suez management appear to struggle with this site, which is seriously understaffed when compared to the nearby, and well managed and run, Hampshire sites in Aldershot and Farnborough.

The Farnham CRC is now in a cycle of decline as it is thought that many Farnham residents are now using Hampshire sites, particularly since the Farnham site was closed for two days a week and its opening hours shortened. However, the supervisors of the nearby Hampshire sites have advised that in around a years’ time Hampshire intend to introduce checks to ensure that only Hampshire residents will have access to their CRCs.

It is unacceptable for Farnham to be left without a well-run CRC in the town or very close by. It may be that the current site cannot be realistically upgraded. If so it should be used for another purpose and a new site developed in a suitable alternative location nearby. A further option would be to come to an arrangement with Hampshire to upgrade the Aldershot site to serve both Aldershot and Farnham residents.

In any case we would strongly recommend Farnham residents to take part in the Surrey consultation, which runs till Friday 4 January 2019, and to insist that the Farnham CRC is not closed until a suitable alternative facility is provided.

Follow this link to the consultation

https://www.surreysays.co.uk/environment-and-infrastructure/crcs/

 Transforming Libraries and Cultural Services

Surrey County Council’s consultation on “Transforming Libraries and Cultural Services” does not contain any specific proposals to close any libraries. This is in contrast with the consultation on “Community Recycling Centres” which includes proposals, which would result in the Farnham Recycling Centre being closed.

The consultation makes it clear that the Council intends to make substantial savings in the costs of its libraries and library services. Surrey currently has 52 libraries based across the county and the Council currently spends £14 per person on libraries compared with the £9.89 average for similar county councils. Their intention is to reduce their expenditure on libraries to a level close to the national average spend of county councils. This would involve a cut in expenditure of up to 30%, which would most likely have to include some closures of the less well used libraries and service reductions elsewhere.

The consultation document does talk positively about how libraries are an integral part of community life and sit at the heart of lifelong learning. We completely agree and see the continuation of Farnham’s library service at its present excellent level as vitally important for the residents of the town.

We would we would strongly recommend Farnham’s residents, who wish to protect our library services, to take part in the Surrey consultation. This runs until 4 January 2019. Participation can be either online via the Surrey County Council website following this link or by returning a questionnaire available at Farnham Library.

Housing development at Coxbridge Farm

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Vivid Homes staged a public exhibition on 11 December, in support of a consultation on the proposed housing develpoment at Coxbridge Farm.

Displays from the exhibition: click to download.

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SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL CONSULTATION DROP IN

SCC Consultation

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.

Concessionary bus travel

The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) was introduced by the government in 2008 to provide free off-peak bus travel to senior citizens and eligible disabled people. The scheme supports bus travel by encouraging the use of underutilised off peak capacity. It is highly valued by many users and is a lifeline for those disabled users who through economic circumstances or medical reasons do not have their own transport and have to rely on public transport. It is a statutory obligation for County Councils to provide the scheme though government financial support for the scheme has been gradually reduced, as is the pattern for government support of local authority services.

Some councils, including Surrey, gave additional non-statutory benefits to disabled users and it is these which are under threat of withdrawal under this consultation.

The society’s view is that: -

  • We support a potential saving in administrative costs of the scheme of around £100,000 per annum, mainly through not sending reminder letters to users that their passes are due to expire.
  • We strongly object to the proposed withdrawal the approximately 2,500 companion passes across Surrey, which enable the most disadvantaged disabled users who are not capable of independent travel to take with them a carer or friend for support. This represents only around 30% of all disabled passes.
  • We are concerned about the proposal that disabled pass holders travelling before 9.30 am and after 11pm on weekdays would need to pay. This would save the Council around £300,000 per annum. If this has to happen, we would urge Surrey to negotiate with the bus companies to provide reduced fares for disabled bus pass holders at this time. They would therefore recover some of the revenue lost through the bus pass scheme. If this works this benefit could later be extended to senior citizens.

Click here for the consultation

The consultation closes on 4th January 2019.