Waverley Lane planning inquiry update


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

2325 edited G

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.



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Brightwells Judicial Review – Preliminary Hearing

2325 edited D

Five local residents are taking Waverley Borough Council (WBC) to the High Court for a Judicial Review into the East Street / Brightwells development. There was a preliminary hearing, at the Royal Courts of Justice, on 31 January 2017, to establish the legal standing of the five claimants.

The five were granted permission in August 2016 to go to Judicial Review.  This was to examine whether WBC had behaved lawfully in their management of the development contract. Specifically, their case was that WBC failed to retender the contract after making significant changes to the benefit of the developer, Crest Nicholson. WBC challenged the legal standing of the claimants, arguing that a claim could only be brought by a rival developer. The matter was heard on 31 January before Mr Justice Dove. The judgement is expected to be announced within a few weeks of the hearing.

While the group of residents is not opposed to redevelopment of the area, it believes that the proposed scheme fails to provide what Waverley offered when they first set out their ideas for the development back in 2003. Click here to see how the scheme has changed.

Click here for an explanation of the JR process.

Brightwells legal campaign seeks crowd funding

Brightwells Garden - to be built upon

Brightwells Garden - to be built upon

The campaign taking Waverley to court in a Judicial Review has used crowd funding to raise further funds.

See the appeal on the Crowdjustice website:


Claimants were granted permission for Judicial Review into Waverley’s management of the Brightwells development agreement. However Waverley responded with a claim that the claimants lacked the ‘legal standing’ to make the challenge – in other words, that they had no right to take their local authority to court. The matter of legal standing is to be considered in a preliminary hearing in the High Court on 31 January.  This has serious national implications, potentially affecting the right of other groups to challenge public authorities – for example over fracking or the expansion of Heathrow.

Significant funds have been raised through the generosity and support of local people. Fund raising has now been extended nationally to enable this important case to be fought.  More than £5000 has been donated. This is in addition to funds raised from local donors.

FTA 2016 AGM
















SATURDAY 19th NOVEMBER 2016          2.00pm.

The Daniel Hall, off Long Garden Walk, Farnham. GU9 7HX

Parking at The Hart Car Park at Waitrose

also the Upper Hart Car Park which is cheaper                                            


  1.     Apologies
  2.     To approve the minutes of the previous meeting (October 2015)*
  3.     To re-elect Directors of the FTA Ltd.
  4.     Treasurer’s report
  5.     To approve the accounts of FTA Ltd. *
  6.     Chairman’s report
  7.     Any other business

* hard copies available at the meeting or beforehand on request 01252 716394

3.00 pm. Refreshments and FTA Raffle

3.30pm. Brightwells Judicial Review – Farnham’s challenge to WBC/CNS

4.00pm. Raffle prizes and close meeting


RSVP:  FTA, 4 Nutshell Lane, Upper Hale, Farnham GU9 0HG Tel. 01252 716394

The Farnham Theatre Association Limited is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee.

Registered office: 6 Bishopsmead, East Horsley, Surrey KT24 6SR

Registered in England No. 6250927

Brightwells model

Brightwells development seen from The Woolmead

Brightwells development seen from The Woolmead

The Farnham Society has constructed scale models of the Brightwells development from the architectural plans posted on the Waverley website. It demonstrates the sizes of the buildings and shows how they would dominate the surrounding part of the town.


In an early version of the model, the largest building, designated D8, shows detailed appearance, while other buildings are shown in block form to illustrate their approximate size. D8 is top right in the picture above, and covers most of the Dogflud car park. It is a four storey ‘plus’ block, and would be the largest building in Farnham. The block is to house the cinema, shops and apartments, providing car parking on all levels of the building including lower ground level. The picture below illustrates its height relative to Brightwell House. It shows how the space on the south side of the house is dominated by the new tall buildings, to the detriment of the house.


This central area is accessed by narrow alleyways, the picture below shows the approach from the existing sports centre.


Likewise, the new Town Square, on the left hand side of Brightwell House in the picture below, is surrounded by high buildings and most of it will be in shadow for parts of the day.


A later version of the model shows the proposed blocks in more detail.  The existing Brightwell House is shown in orange, and the model demonstrates clearly how it is dwarfed by the new blocks.

Model Image 5.17

Model Image 10.17

Model Image 12.17

The scale model presents a very different impression to that created by the Fly Through on the Waverley website. We have in the past wondered why Waverley have never produced a model of the scheme. We can now see why, having studied our own model.
After a photograph of the model was published in The Farnham Herald (week of 30 September 2106), various comments were made via Facebook:
John Spackman
September 29 at 11:40am
• Model depicts objectors’ fears
The Farnham Herald, Thursday 29th September 2016
Judi Fisher, Yolande Hesse and 6 others

Liam O’Reilly Where can I view this model David Howell?
Like · Reply · September 29 at 11:46am

Ben Shepherd So the picture look nothing like the model. What a surprise. We all love a bit of spin.

John Spackman • Planning Applications WA/2008/0279


• D8 – East Elevation


• D8 – North Elevation


• D8 – South Elevation


• D8 – West Elevation


• D8 – Sectional Elevation 01


• D8 – Sectional Elevation 02


• D8 – Strip Elevations 01


• D8 – Strip Elevations 02


• D8 – Strip Elevations 03


• D8 – Strip Elevations 04


• D8 – Elevation in Context


Liam O’Reilly I assume the model was constructed be viewed by the public to convince people of the problem rather than to be viewed in private by a select few. I’d like to see it to understand the problem. Are there plans to display it publicly?

John Spackman • Magnified photograph of “The model showing Brightwell House ‘swamped’ by the new development”

Liam O’Reilly The model looks great. Is there somewhere we can view it?

Malcolm Bond Sorry, but this is an inappropriate monolith, completely unsuited to the plot size, and to Brightwells House, and, moreover, completely destroys Brightwells Gardens..

Martin Gardiner Crest removed all the nice bits, and Farnham picked up the tab.
Heads should roll.

Neil Farnham-Smith Shame the photo they published didn’t include the sports centre. I think that will shock people most about how different things will be.

Liam O’Reilly Why not make the model public? What’s the point of it if the people of Farnham can’t see it?

Martin Gardiner What I don’t understand is how WBC have the gall to leave that increasingly-misleading fly-through video on their website.
You would have to be quite foolish to believe it.

Liam O’Reilly No plans to allow the public to see this accurate model then?

Neighbourhood Plan Consultation


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