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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

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

 

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

 

Fairer Road Funding Petition

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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

Forthcoming A31 Brightwells Access Works

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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 could start at the Woolmead and possibly at the Hopfields in the autumn.

Preparatory works for the Brightwells Development have already started, trees cut down next to the A31 east bound carriageway to allow access from the bypass. It is envisaged that this works 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. If the signal timings are changed it should be practical to reduce this capacity reduction to about 30%.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. We reluctantly envisage the town centre being gridlocked more frequently and for it to occur for long periods throughout the day.

  11. 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:

  1. Drivers should be encouraged by traffic signing to enter and exit Farnham via Firgrove Hill and Longbridge.

  2. 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’.

  3. 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.

  4. Control of the construction traffic timings so that major HGV movements from the Brightwells Development and Woolmead are not at the same time.

  5. All parking for construction vehicles on the Brightwells site must be within then site itself.

  6. Any changes coming from the proposed pedestrianisation or Town Centre Regeneration scheme are introduced after the completion of Brightwells and The Woolmead.

Robert Mansfield

9 May 2018

Click here for full report

The Farnham Society’s Architecture and Design Awards

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Michael Blower, Vice-President, and Alan Gavaghan, Chairman, presented Awards for two projects on Wednesday evening, June 20, in the Museum’s Garden Gallery.

Alan praised the high standard of the finalists but the Society’s judges had set the bar very high this year so were only awarding one Highly Commended Award and one Commended Award.

Before the Awards were presented Michael informed those attending how important the client’s brief was to the architect or designer.

Richard Woods and John Winter received the Highly Commended Award for Weydon School’s Medici building designed by the WSW Consultancy, and Debbie Flowerday received the Commended Award on behalf of her husband, Farid Divsalar, for the Oast House, Green Lane.

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The citation for the Medici building stated

The Medici building was named after the political dynasty which came to power in the Republic of Florence during the late 14th century, and is credited with creating an environment where Art, Architecture and Humanism could flourish.

The building, which acts a Performing Arts Centre, incorporates a full height proscenium, a minstrel’s gallery, a drama studio and first floor specialist art rooms with generous amounts of natural lighting. There is a designed flow path to the harmonious siting of the building which, in conjunction with the adjacent buildings and the finishes to the cladding, form a cohesive whole.

The incorporation of multiple roof levels, large projecting soffits forming the covered entrance area, together with walkways, varied application of cladding materials and curtain walling window systems, all add to the exciting external appearance.

The judges thought that the building meets the broader educational aspirations of the pupils, provides an invaluable teaching asset as well as providing the local community with an incredibly useful resource widely used outside school curriculum hours.

This is a place to inspire all its users.”

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The citation for the Oast House stated

The Oast House project started with a desire to replace an existing small rectangular garage on a restricted triangular shaped site with a building of interest now and in the future.

The new building is formed by a two and a half storey circular tower finished with a conical shaped roof sitting above and abutting a more traditional twin pitched roof on the two storey timber framed structure. Both roofs are finished with Shou Sugi Ban timber cedar shingles and cladding, traditionally blackened but in this instance left in its natural colour.

The rectangular building incorporates a double garage with habitable space above, extending into the tower. There is a galleried entrance hall with a multiple variety of timber board cladding, and an original tree remaining slightly off centre of the tower, around which a specialist curved metal staircase rises to the upper floor which extends into the space above the garages.

The judges thought that the clustering of the strong geometrical forms provided an interesting visual ensemble and the use of wood in a creative way went a long way to making this scheme a joy to experience.”

Click here for list of finalists

Esso Pipeline

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Esso have run a consultation on the proposed route for their replacement aviation fuel pipeline that runs from Fawley Refinery near Southampton to its West London Terminal storage facility at Hounslow. The result has now been announced, click here to download. The preferred route avoids Farnham.

For the northern section of the pipeline. between Alton and Heathrow, the consultation  considered three ‘corridors’:

Option J, adjacent to the existing pipeline which runs west of Farnham, south of Fleet;

Option M, travelling through Farnham town centre;

Option Q, that skirts south of Farnham through the Alice Holt Forest, Frensham, south of the Bourne Wood before turning north towards Moor Park Way and on towards the old A31.

The Farnham Society suggested that the new pipeline should be routed in the corridor adjacent to the existing pipeline (Option J). This route has now been put forward by Esso as the preferred route. Their analysis recognises the status of Farnham as a historic market town, also acknowledging traffic problems in the town.

Information is available on the website www.slpproject.co.uk .

There will be a full public inquiry in 2019 with the works starting in 2021 and lasting two years.

SCC Recycling Centres

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There are many pressures on the use of land in Surrey – this includes the need for new homes and employment. The management of waste is also a pressure and it’s really important that we think carefully about how and where we want waste to be managed in the future.

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If waste is managed well it is a resource that can be used to make things and to produce energy but, if it isn’t, it can impact negatively on our communities and environment.
The Surrey Waste Local Plan will include a strategy and policies to ensure the benefits are maximised, and to minimise any negative impacts from waste management. It helps provide certainty for communities and developers, like waste management companies, about how and where the management of waste can take place. The current plan was adopted in 2008 so work is taking place to review and update it.

Last year SCC consulted on the issues and options and the responses received were used to prepare a draft of a new plan.

consultation was held, closing on 7 February 2018, before submission of the plan to the Secretary of State for independent examination.

Click here for SCC Local Waste Plan

Waverley CIL Consultation

Waverley Borough Council

Waverley Borough Council

Message from Waverley Borough Council

Waverley Borough Council has run a consultation on Community Infrastructure Levy.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a levy that councils can choose to charge on new developments to raise funds to provide infrastructure. The money raised could be used towards improvements to roads, schools, parks, playgrounds and other community facilities.

Earlier this year, as part of the preparation for the introduction of CIL, the Council consulted on a Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule, which set out a proposal for the developments that would be liable to pay CIL, and what the proposed charge would be. The Council has considered the responses made and updated its evidence base accordingly.

A consultation on the next version, the CIL Draft Charging Schedule, ran for a six week period from 15 December 2017 to 26 January 2018.

For further information, please contact the Planning Policy team by email at planningpolicy@waverley.gov.uk or by telephone at 01483 523291.