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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.

 

 

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:

www.crowdjustice.org/case/farnham-brightwells-development

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.

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.

IMG_6250

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.

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

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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.

IMG_6251

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

http://planning.waverley.gov.uk/…/(RefNoLU)/WA20080279…

• D8 – East Elevation

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-050.pdf

• D8 – North Elevation

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-051.pdf

• D8 – South Elevation

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-052.pdf

• D8 – West Elevation

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-053.pdf

• D8 – Sectional Elevation 01

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-054.pdf

• D8 – Sectional Elevation 02

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-055.pdf

• D8 – Strip Elevations 01

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/13512%20TPN-D12-056.pdf

• D8 – Strip Elevations 02

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/13512%20TPN-D12-057.pdf

• D8 – Strip Elevations 03

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-058.pdf

• D8 – Strip Elevations 04

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-059.pdf

• D8 – Elevation in Context

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/…/WA2…/13512%20TPN-D8-060.pdf

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?

Legal challenge to Brightwells gets go-ahead

Brightwells Masterplan 2016

Local residents have been fighting the plans by Waverley Borough Council and the developer Crest NIcholson to create a massive and unsustainable development in the centre of Farnham, south of East Street.  Permission has now been granted to take Waverley to court for a Judicial Review.

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.

The only way to halt this development, and to make way for a better and workable scheme, is by Judicial Review (JR). This is a legal process which has been started, with funds put up by The Farnham Society and Farnham Building Preservation Trust . Click here for an explanation of the JR process. To continue, further funds are needed NOW. An appeal is therefore being made to local people. An anonymous donor immediately came forward with a donation of £50,000.  Further fuds were raised in the period that followed, to support high quality legal representation.

The Farnham Society has offered to support by acting as a collecting point for donations. Please help, click here for a donation form.

Waverley Lane planning inquiry

ComptonWayPicture

Waverley Lane, Farnham, Planning Inquiry Appeal

The Public Inquiry Appeal by Wates Developments Ltd against Waverley’s refusal of their planning application for 157 dwellings on the fields in Waverley Lane starts on Tuesday 16 August, and could last between four and six days. Wates have withdrawn the two supplementary applications but are appealing the first and main application which received 1,192 objections.

At several recent Appeals the Planning Inspector and the barrister for the developers have taken note of the attendance in the public galley at Waverley Borough Council’s offices and the barrister commented on the apparently low interest in the case, despite the number of objections.

In view of the number of objections The Farnham Society and South Farnham Residents’ Association are keen to show a strong presence in the gallery, ideally filling its 25 seats or so, throughout the Inquiry to reinforce the level of public opposition to the proposals. Sessions are usually 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm but the Inspector will indicate on the first day the times the Appeal will sit.

South Farnham Residents’ Association will have a number of representatives there giving evidence supporting the refusal, and if you are able to attend one or more sessions as an observer it will help illustrate to the Planning Inspector, Wates and their barrister that there is strong opposition to the proposals, which may have a bearing on the likelihood of the Appeal being refused.

If you are able to attend could you e mail farnhamod@hotmail.com and give your name and contact details, identifying which sessions you could attend. The sooner you can let us know the better but no later than Friday 12 August please.

JR donation form

Brightwell House in 1995

Brightwell House in 1995

 

FIGHT FOR FARNHAM JUDICIAL REVIEW 2016 CAMPAIGN

All information will be held in confidence and all donations gratefully acknowledged. If we do not use all funds received, then donations will be returned pro rata

  I donate £………………….to the campaign

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Please send this form with a cheque, made payable to The Farnham Society

to the following address:   FIG, c/o 13 Lickfolds Road, Rowledge, Farnham GU10 4AF

Please write the reference FIGjr on the back of your cheque.

 

OR donate by BACS transfer to The Farnham Society at sort code 30-93-20 account no. 00119575

Please give the reference FIGjr when transferring by BACS and also email sfbrads@btinternet.com giving your name, address and amount donated to confirm that the transfer has been made

Click here for a PDF version of the form.

Proposed Extension, Refurbishment and Conversion of the Memorial Hall

Mem Hall Alterations

There have been several letters in the Farnham Herald recently about the question of the legality of Waverley Borough Council (WBC) relocating the Gostrey Centre into the Memorial Hall. Mark Westcott also spoke at The Farnham Society AGM on Tuesday 3 May about his views on WBC’s current proposals.

WBC granted themselves planning permission on 26 August 2015 to alter and extend the Memorial Hall, described as an existing multi-use community facility, to provide additional community services. Several residents of Farnham objected to the proposals, based on the location away from the town centre, the poor appearance of the proposed design, the impact that the shared use would have on existing users and the appalling impact that the extension would have on the Memorial Hall aesthetically.

You can view the approved Ground Floor Plan by clicking on this link (hyperlink HL1) and the approved Street Elevation by clicking on this link (hyperlink HL2).

What has been highlighted recently, Spring 2016, is the blatant disregard that WBC has shown for the Deed of Gift from Farnham United Breweries.

Farnham United Breweries Limited gifted the Hall and Sports Ground to Farnham Urban District Council in October 1947 ‘for the benefit of and use and enjoyment by the inhabitants of the Urban District of Farnham’. Clause 2 stated that ‘The Hall shall be maintained by the Council and shall primarily be  used for the purposes of organised indoor games, dancing and physical training and the Sports Ground shall be maintained as such and shall primarily be used for organised outdoor games, Sports and physical training

Clause 2 continues ‘but the Council may permit the Hall and/or Sports Ground to be used for any activity of an educational culture social recreative or charitable nature which the Council shall in its discretion deem to be a normal and desirable activity for such a Hall and/or Sports Ground and the Council shall in particular give consideration to (a) organised childrens Sports and the training therefor  and (b) the meetings of the Farnham Elementary Schools Association and the training therefor.’

The important words are ‘Council may permit’ and ‘shall in its discretion deem to be a normal and desirable activity’. The Gostrey Centre currently provides a range of services to the elderly between 9am and 4pm. It must be questioned whether the Gostrey Centre relocating to the Memorial Hall will effectively prevent the many other users being able to use the Hall as they have, negating the Gostrey Centre use being considered a desirable activity in the terms of the Deed of Gift.

The following link will connect you to the transcribed document that Mark Westcott completed, (hyperlink HL3), this link will connect you to the plan attached to the Deed of Gift, (hyperlink HL4).

The approved proposals for the Memorial Hall which enable the Gostrey Centre to relocate to the Hall breach the conditions of the Deed. The Deed states that ‘The Council shall not build or allow to be built upon any part of the said premises any building or erection other than in connection with the objects specified in Clause 2 above’. It seems that Waverley would potentially be in direct contravention of this clause.

Yes, the Gostrey Centre carries out highly commendable social and charitable work but doing so in the Memorial Hall will be contrary to the Deed and exclude or restrict the purposes for which the Hall was gifted to the residents of Farnham.

What would the descendants of the owners of Farnham United Breweries think ? What would the descendants of the members of staff of Farnham United Breweries who died in the service of their country in the First World War think ?

HL5 Memorial Hall Plaque

Especially this year, when Farnham commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first ever recorded two-minute silence.

The extension and refurbishment works to the Hall are due to start next month, June 2016,

Contact one of your Ward Town Councillors http://www.farnham.gov.uk/town-council/councillors2015 and / or your Borough Councillors (hyperlink HL6) and express your dissatisfaction if you feel that Waverley are acting in an inappropriate manner, disregarding the clearly stated Covenants attached to the Deed of Gift.

 

Proposed Redevelopment of the Memorial Hall Sports Ground for Housing

Also recently, the issue of Farnham Town Football Club relocating to Brambledon Park in Weydon Lane has been in the headlines, (hyperlink HL7), the intimation being that the cost of the relocation would be funded by the development of the Memorial hall Sports Ground for housing. Covenants in the Deed of Gift state, as above, that the Council shall not build on the Sports Ground unless in accordance with Clause 2, above, which states that it should be used only for organised outdoor games, Sports, etc.

The expenditure of an estimated £50,000 of public money has been authorised to undertake a feasibility study of relocating the Football Club to Brambledon Park. It could be argued that public money should not be spent taking legal advice on how to get around the terms of the Covenants in the Deed of Gift unless it is self evident that circumstances have changed so much from the time of the Gift that it is now in the interests of the residents of Farnham that overruling the Covenants is justified.

It has been acknowledged that there is a shortage of recreational space in Farnham and across the Waverley Borough, so building houses on the land would be contrary to that aim.

Yes, Farnham does need new houses, but to sacrifice the Sports Ground is an unacceptable step. Building on the Sports Ground would send an unfortunate message to any current or future benefactors considering gifting community facilities to the residents of Farnham, knowing that their wishes would very likely be ignored.

If you think it is completely wrong and inappropriate for Waverley to fund the relocation of the Football Club by selling off the Memorial Hall Sports Ground for a housing development, please express your concern by contacting your local Councillor, details in the hyperlink above.

WBC Meeting on East Street

Waverley Borough Council

Waverley Borough Council

Waverley Borough Council has decided to proceed with the East Street/Brightwells development. A Special Executive Meeting on 24 May, recommended proceeding, and this was followed by a full Council meeting which approved the recommendation.

The proceedings can be viewed as a webcast via the WBC website

www.waverley.gov.uk

 

Visit to Dover Castle

600px-Dover_Castle_05

Thursday, 15th September 2016

Dover Castle’s spectacular site was an Iron Age hillfort many centuries before the medieval castle was built, and it still contains a Roman lighthouse and an Anglo-Saxon church. Soon after the Conquest in 1066 the Normans built a castle here, and this was developed on a grand scale by Henry II and his successors from 1180 until the 1250’s They created one of the most powerful of all medieval castles. Incorporating a square keep at its heart, it was surrounded by concentric rings of stone walls with regularly spaced wall towers, a combination unprecedented in western Europe.

The wartime tunnels are a complex warren of underground rooms and passages adapted from Napoleonic tunnels to play a crucial role during the Second World War. It was from here that Vice-Admiral Bertram Ramsay inspired and directed the Dunkirk evacuation in May and June 1940. Later in the war the tunnels served both as a large combined headquarters and as a hospital

 

Visit to Birmingham

Birmingham Statues

Birmingham’s Industrial Heritage

Wednesday, 13th July to Friday 15th July 2016

We led a three day visit to Britain’s second largest city and powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution. It was once said that “if it wasn’t made in Birmingham, it wasn’t made anywhere”. We explored Britain’s Industrial Heritage with a visit to Soho House, home to Matthew Boulton the industrialist and associate of James Watt, with whom he worked on the development of the steam engine. There was a grand tour of Birmingham with a Blue Badge guide and a trip along some of Birmingham’s canals, again focusing on the Industrial Revolution. Finally there was a day’s visit to the Black Country Museum, a Living History museum, where we could walk the streets and sample the delights of Victorian Britain. For the more adventurous there was a visit a coal mine or a boat ride through some of the tunnels under Dudley from which lime was extracted. For the less adventurous was a stroll down a Victorian street with a cone of fish and chips in one hand and a slice of bread pudding in the other. We also visited Birmingham’s Art Gallery which has a particularly fine collection of Pre-Raphaelite artwork.

The cost of this tour will be £215 per person based on two people sharing a room and £280 per person for single occupancy.  This includes coach travel and driver’s gratuity, admission to venues plus hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis and lunch on the first day. Lunch on the second and third days and all evening meals are not included.

Priority is given to Farnham Society members. There are still places available.

Click here for full details of the tour.

Please complete the form below for booking information. 

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Visit to Bowood House

Bowood_30th June 2015_086

Thursday 9th June saw the first outing of the Farnham Society for 2016.

Our destination was Bowood House near Chippenham, Wiltshire. After coffee we had an opportunity to visit the house. This was originally the service block for the “Big House”, demolished in the 1950s. The current property was an E shaped building with an orangery added across the front in later years to hide the service block from the main house. The orangery is now a sculpture gallery and an exhibition space. Currently there is an exhibition devoted to the work of Lancelot Capability Brown. The grounds at Bowood are considered to be some of his best work. The house contains many treasures including Napoleon’s death mask and jewellery given to the fifth marquis who, being down on his luck, had to get a job –as Viceroy of India.

After a particularly good lunch we were taken on a guided tour of the private walled gardens. There are four one acre gardens leading one into the other and these were looking magnificent. We visited the vegetable garden, the cutting garden, the wild flower garden and the glass house garden. Finally there was an opportunity for some to visit the lake and view the cascade. Members were astonished to learn that the grounds are managed by a team of just four gardeners. Everyone was sorry to have to board the bus back to Farnham after such a magnificent day out.