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Brightwells Films 2019

Brightwell films image 2019

                                

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.

 

 

Our 2019 programme

Farnham HODS Brochure 2019 Cover

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

Speker: 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.

 

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

Harold Falkner book cover image

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.

Northbrook Park development

Northbrook plan

The East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has published its Draft Local Plan (dLP) for consultation. The consultation started on 5 February and finishes 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.

A Cracking Christmas Evening

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On Monday 3 December, Brenda Longman, Ray Murphy with Farnham Rep presented an evening of Christmas inspired entertainment.

The performance included exerpts from the following books

“The Age of Bewilderment” by David Sherrington,

“An Almost Perfect Christmas” by Nina Stibbe,

“Rebecca” by Daphne DuMaurier,

“Toast” by Nigel Slater,

“Recollections” by Gervase Phinn,

‘Le Bumper Book de Franglais’ by Miles Kington.

“Truce in the Trenches” by W.R.M. Percy and

“In Jamaica” Noel Cowerd

They read the following Poems

“Christmas Day” by John Betjeman,

“Ivan Who Shopped Online” Chris Addison,

Four poems by U.A.Fanthorpe’s book of “Christmas Poems”,

“Old Sam’s Christmas Pudding” by Marriott Edgar,

“Parson’s Lea” by Charles Causley,

“Christmas Thank Yous” by Mick Gowar,

“Night Before Christmas” by Harvey Erlich

“Christmas Roses and Mistletoe” by Reginald Arkle

And sang the following Songs

“A Christmas Carol” by Tom Lehrer

“Have yourself a Merry little Christmas” by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane

VAT on works to listed buildings

LPOC logo

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 ?

A Brighter future for Farnham film image 2019

The Farnham Society has commissioned several films about the Brightwells development and its impact upon Farnham.

The first film in the series, published in 2018 at the start of construction work, is titled A Brighter Future for Farnham? and  you can watch it on on Youtube.  Click here to view

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 (now released) track the development and how it is impacting the life of the town in positive and negative ways. Feedback has been provided by people and businesses resident in the town and visitors to it. Further feedback is sought.  Please email us with your views and thoughts about the development, on

1BWfilm.fsoc @gmail.com   or   farnhamfilms@gmail.com

Three further films, released in May 2019, reflect thoughts and experiences one year after the start of construction, click here for link.

 

 

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.

FarnhamReimagned2

Ultimately a pedestrianised area with widened pavements, attractive street furniture and tree planting.

FarnhamReimagned3       FarnhamReimagned4

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.

FarnhamReimagned5

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.

FarnhamReimagned6  FarnhamReimagned7

This would facilitate an area for market stalls at the bottom of Castle Street.

FarnhamReimagned8

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.

FarnhamReimagned9

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

Pothole image

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

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 started at the Woolmead and at the Hopfields in autumn 2018.

Preparatory works for the Brightwells Development have already been undertaken, trees cut down next to the A31 east bound carriageway to allow access from the bypass. This construction work 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

Website Image 25 06 2018

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.

Presentation Board Medici Auditorium

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.”

Presentation Board Oast House image

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