Planning Report September 2015


The Planning Committee has met on three occasions since the last Executive with the following matters discussed and acted upon:

Greenfield Applications

An updated list of all applications, decisions and appeals for major residential developments on greenfield sites in Farnham will appear Planning Report in the Autumn Newsletter, (I will bring an up-to-date list to the meeting). This now totals 937 dwellings in the last year with 191 already granted consent.

Woolmead Redevelopment

The Chairman and members of the planning committee have met with representatives of the owners on three occasions to discuss the proposals with an application expected soon. They have agreed to make a brief presentation at the Residents Associations’ meeting on 20 October with a 3D model of the existing and proposed layouts.

The scheme will involve the complete removal of the existing buildings and replaced by retail and a few one-bed flats on the ground floor and up to 100 residential units on the first. Second and third floors with allocated basement parking.

There were some differing opinions on the detail of the scheme but overall we took the view that we would confine our comments to the broad principles on the layout, design and policy issues as they affected public interest. We considered internal detail like waste disposal, accesses off balconies, and deliveries where a matter of concern between seller and purchaser and in any event we could comment further or object at the outline application stage or when the reserved matters are applied for.

39 Ford Lane (Heroncourt)

The refused two house application is to go to an appeal and there are four new applications, two for a new single house with alternative accesses and two more for extensions and alterations to the listed Heroncourt. They seem determined to get something approved and obviously one new house would be better than two.

26 Crooksbury Road

We have objected to an infill development to build a Surrey mansion on a former paddock.

16 Old Church Lane

Following an earlier refused application for a large replacement dwelling completely out of keeping in this Conservation Area we also strongly objected to a revised scheme. To our surprise this was granted consent by delegated powers by the Officers despite numerous objections and a request for it to be called in and go to a Committee decision. Local residents, led by Celia Sandars, have complained to the Chief Executive. A reply from Matthew Evans deals comprehensively with the decision but does not address the issue that this application should not have been determined by officers.

Police Station Site

The retirement homes are now half built and the first should be available by the spring. The murals salvaged from the old police station have been reinstated. We still await the replica clock tower.

Premier Inn/Beefeaters

Work has commenced by the demolition of the existing buildings on the site between the Homebase store and Bourne Mill. We could soon see the commencement of work to build the 61 bed hotel and the 190 cover restaurant.

7 Frensham Road

We have again objected to another application of a block of 5 flats on this site due mainly to overdevelopment and inadequate on-site parking. To meet the required parking numbers they are proposing and ugly and cumbersome hydraulic lift system of double parking. This is used in very congested inner city locations but in our view is inappropriate for this site or Farnham.

New Committee Member

David Howells, a practicing surveyor, has joined the committee. There is now a good mix of acting or retired professionals, former Councillors and representatives from local resident groups.

Local and Neighbourhood Plans

There has been little news on the progress of the Local Plan but clearly it is already at least six months behind schedule and it looks like we will not have a new adopted plan until 2017. The Neighbourhood Plan is continuing on its slow path through various consultations and a draft should go to Waverley by November. Andy Macleod is now part of the team.

Peter Bridgeman