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AGM Detailed Planning Reports

The Woolmead

The Western Planning Committee of 15 councillors from Farnham and the former Southern Area unanimously refused the application to reduce the number of car parking spaces within the building’s basement from 141 to 80.

The Society’s planning committee chair asked David Wylde, a long time Society member, one of the ’Brightwells Five’, to speak on behalf of the Society.

A highlight of the meeting was Councillor Dickson drawing the committee’s attention to the fact that Berkeley Homes’ last reported turnover was £1.9 billion and their profit £503 million, yet they were unable to finance the cost of the car parking spaces they were trying to remove from the scheme. Tony Pidgley, Chairman of the Berkeley Homes Group died on Friday 26 June. There is uncertainty about what will happen to the site now.

Farnham Design Statement Review

Planning chair wrote to the five members of the Infrastructure Planning Group on Friday 26 June confirming that the majority of the Planning Committee were entirely dissatisfied and disappointed with the draft Plan as it failed to meet its own objectives, and suggested a pause in the work and a rethink. The planning chair did so reluctantly but said that we must grasp this opportunity to address the numerous shortfalls in the document. The leader of the Group has confirmed that he will respond when they have had a chance to consider all the issues.

Farnham Project Board

The Society have been approached, as a stakeholder, to assist the Surrey County Council appointed traffic consultants. A public consultation document is currently being prepared, time scale unknown.

East Hampshire District Council Local Plan

East Hampshire District Council has identified a site in Whitehill & Bordon for the development of up to 1,300 additional homes in preference to the site at Northbrook Park. However, they have continued to confirm that instead of allocating another large development site in the district, the council intends to identify a ‘broad area of search’ along the A31 corridor.

Brightwells Trees Planning Application

No date has been decided for the western Planning Committee meeting to determine the planning application to vary the condition in the 2016 planning approval to allow the felling and replacement of the three mature trees adjacent to Brightwell House.

Land at Green Lane Farm

Waverley Borough Council served an Enforcement Notice on the landowner week commencing 22 June. The Notice takes effect on Friday 31 July 2020 and has to be complied with within 6 months.

 

AGM 2020

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Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic it was necessary to cancel the 2020 AGM. Because of the lack of clarity as to when group meetings will once again be permitted, it was agreed to hold a virtual AGM. The agenda, minutes of the 2019 AGM, reports and Executive Committee election form can all be found below. Click on the entry to download the document as a PDF.

Voting has been by email, and the results have been circulated to members.

AGM 2020 Agenda

Minutes of the 2019 AGM

Chairman’s Report AGM 2020

Treasurer’s AGM statement 2019_20
Treasurer’s AGM Report 2019-20

AGM Committee Election 2020

Committee Reports

Planning Report AGM 2020
Air Quality Report AGM 2020
Summary Farnham Air Quality Selected sites 2013 — 2019
HODs Report AGM 2020
Visits Report AGM 2020
Talks and Events Report AGM 2020

Planning Update Report AGM 2020

Covid 19 cases in Waverley

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Keep track of the number of Covid-19 cases arising locally. This will give an indication of how relaxation of lockdown is affecting the spread of the disease in our area.

The total cases to date for Waverley are published on the website www.inyourarea.co.uk . Look for the red panel marked Coronavirus and click on Covid Stats. Data is updated on a daily basis and is sourced from :

  • Public Health England (PHE)
  • Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)

Historical data is listed below to show the current trend. The method of counting cases was changed on 2 July, so results before and after this date are not directly comparable. For more information on this, click here.

Date                      Total number of cases        % of population*

14 July                               456                                         0.36

13 July                               456

13 July    Beauty salons reopen

12 July                               456

11 July                               456

11 July    Outdoor swimming pools, outdoor theatres reopen

10 July                               455

09 July                               454

08 July                               454

07 July                               454

06 July                               452

05 July                               452

04 July                               452

04 July    Pubs and hairdressers reopen

03 July                               452

02 July                               451

02 July    Revised method of counting cases

01 July                               308

30 June                              308

29 June                              308

28 June                              308

27 June                              308

26 June                              308

25 June                              308

24 June                              307

23 June                              307

22 June                              307

21 June                              307

20 June                              307

19 June                              307

18 June                              306

17 June                              306

16 June                              305

15 June                              305

15 June       Non essential shops open

14 June                              305

13  June                             305

13 June     Social bubbles for 2 households allowed

12 June                              305

11 June                              305

10 June                              304

9 June                                304                                         0.24

1 June        Schools reopen to selected years

13 May      Some businesses (including Garden centres) reopen

* The Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimated the population of Waverley in mid 2019 as 126,328.

 

Architecture & Design Awards 2020

Award Certificate Watermark 2021

 

The Planning Committee have received a limited number of nominations for the Awards. Having sought agreement with the executive committee they have reluctantly decided to postpone the current Award cycle until 2021. When nominations are sought again the buildings nominated by the closing date of 31 January 2020 will be included. Nomination will be sought for buildings and schemes completed between September 2017 and January 2021. It is proposed that the deadline for nominations will be Monday 1 February 2021.

The Planning chair thanks members that nominated buildings or schemes and will contact them personally shortly.

 

Our programme

AGM 2019

2020 Talks Programme

Venue – St Joan’s Centre, Tilford Road, GU9 8DJ.

Time – Refreshments 7.30 for 8.00pm start

In response to the Coronavirus situation, the committee has decided to cancel all events for April, May and June.

September 28th, Monday

Charles ‘O” Brien – ‘Revising Pevsner: a new look at Surrey’ – The first full-scale revision and updating of the guide is now underway and its author, Charles O’Brien, joint series editor and author for the Pevsner Architectural Guides, will speak not only about the foundation and history of the series but also about Ian Nairn and the original Surrey volume.

He will also explain some of the challenges of fieldwork and the pressures that are brought to bear on selectivity for the gazetteer by the extent of research on buildings of all periods that has emerged since Pevsner and Nairn’s time. He will also speak in detail about Nairn’s descriptions of Farnham and its neighbourhood and some of the discoveries which have come to light in the course of the revision project.

October 19th, Monday

Chris Shepheard – “Farnham a contrast in Photos”- Based on a walking tour this presentation shows how the town has changed since the advent of photography through a mixture of 1980s colour slides and copies of old black and white photographs. The life of the town is shown from the earliest times with photographs of recent archaeological excavations, and the effects of world and national events such as wars and coronations right down to local carnivals. Amongst all this can be seen the everchanging townscape of buildings of which Farnham is justly proud.

Chris Shepheard was a Herald photographer for 29 years from 1971, also taking on the editing of Peeps into the Past during the 1990s. The latter is a role which he continues today after having recently retired as Director of the Rural Life Centre at Tilford. Many of the photographs which appear in this presentation have appeared in the Peeps column over the years and the archive continues to grow with contributions coming in from the public on an almost daily basis. He was born and has always lived in Farnham and is keenly interested learning more about and preserving the town’s heritage at the same time making that known to a wider audience.Chris is also a trustee of Farnham Castle, the vice-chairman of Farnham Visitors Forum and a joint organiser of the town’s popular annual walking festival.

November 13th, Friday

Robin Stannard – Historic Building Surveyor – Adams Architecture – Hugh Thackeray Turner – Westbrook – The talk not only considers Turner’s architecture work, but also his involvement with conservation through his role a Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (founded by William Morris). For example, in the West Surrey Area, Turner bought Witley Common then gave it to National Trust and he was heavily involved with the purchase of the Devils Punch Bowl, which was then also given to the National Trust. Turner’s architectural design was heavily influenced by his restoration work.

December 11th, Friday

Farnham Rep – Christmas Evening – Brenda Longman returns with her festive fun to make a Cracking Evening with seasonal verse both amusing and poignant, but always entertaining interspersed with the odd musical item. The Readings will be taken from the following authors Alex Hamiliton, P.G.Wodehouse, Pam Ayers, Gervase Phinn, Micheal Frayn, Charles Dickens. Cast Open to change owing to professional contracts.

By Social Secretary

Michelle Quinlan

 

Heritage Open Days 2020

Gostrey Meadow River Wey

The Covid-19 pandemic has prevented us from offering the traditional range of activities – visits to historic buildings and private houses, walks and talks. So our celebration of Heritage Open Days has a new look this year. September sees the launch of a new survey of public green spaces in and around the town, presented as self conducted tours. On offer is a collection of 38 fascinating guides to Farnham’s Green Spaces, assembled and recorded by retired tree expert Peter Bridgeman, well known for his talks and guided walks. We feature parks, gardens and recreation grounds in and around the town. Some will be quite familiar but others much less well known.

The guides will be presented in a set of two leaflets. One lists spaces within the town, the other describes those in outlying areas.  We plan to publish the leaflets in August. They will be available from the Council Offices in South Street and Farnham Library, and online here.

 

 

Craft space at Brightwells

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Craft space at Brightwells, What do you think ?

As you will remember we challenged the development, campaigned and raised tens of thousands of pounds, went to the High Court but lost because the judge said that the appellants, Councillors and long-term residents of Farnham didn’t have ‘standing’. The executive and planning committee still dislike the development intensely but want it to succeed for the good of Farnham.

Residents take the Initiative

So, what would succeed ? The bricks and mortar retail sector is crashing. The shopping mall owner Intu going into administration is another example. Farnham has to take the initiative. At the moment Surrey and Crest don’t appear to be doing so, although they should be. They should be very worried, but hey, it’s not their money, it’s ours that is at risk.

During the course of the last five weeks there have been several letters to the Editor of the Herald suggesting uses for the Brightwells retail space – one arguably surreal, nevertheless portraying possible scenarios.

I have been talking to a local lecturer in retailing and to other local people about the possibilities. Here are some of the thoughts that resulted.

World Craft City

We must take full advantage of any opportunities that arise from our World Craft City status, newly awarded by the World Craft Council. A single shopping unit (or adjoining units combined) could be used to form a craft orientated space to display and sell locally made art of all forms. West Kilbride, Craft Town Scotland, have their Barony Centre. We could do the same within Brightwells.

Alternatives are a much needed space for community use or even a privately operated business hub or two. The UCA and the New Ashgate Gallery could be encouraged to further coordinate with the town and set up pop up demonstration and sales spaces, similar to that in South Street, Christmas 2018. These could also promote short courses in craft skills which there appears to be an opportunity for.

Space could be used to explore and promote shared talent and experiences, overlapping with the Maltings’ programme. The New Ashgate Galley could consider creating something on the west side of town that complements what they have in Lower Church Lane.

Commercially

Thinking commercially, space could be used for creating experiences coupled with sales opportunities. For example an ironmongery store with tradesmen providing sessions demonstrating basic DIY skills, training in sustainable living, upcycling and selling sustainable products, or, as a council officer suggested, bicycle repairs and maintenance classes also selling bicycle parts. There could be opportunities for Mother and Baby now that Mothercare are no more: classes, sales of premium products.

Then, how about combining adjacent spaces to form a membership based facility? A good model is offered by the Soho House group, who have sites in London and elsewhere.

Companies will be operating in new ways now that working from home has been seen as a way forward. A facility in Brightwells could offer membership in tiered levels, providing meeting spaces, reducing the need for companies to rent offices of their own. Spaces of different sizes could be offered, with basic but good quality catering, maybe open to non-members. This would create a hub for networking, effectively a new business platform.

Want to be there

The ethos of the development must make residents and visitors want to be there, to experience and to enjoy. The atmosphere of each unit should be warm and welcoming, not sterile.

Where spaces are used in multiple occupation, the occupants must be required to follow guidance on presentation both inside and outside the units. Everything must be ‘quality’ and reflect ‘excellence’. Something that simply ‘will do’ will not be acceptable.

What do you think ? If Crest or Surrey won’t engage with us residents, we will have to take it to them. Please let us know.

 

Covid 19 and air pollution

Air pollution

Martin Luther University of Germany has studied correlation between Covid 19 and air pollution. The research indicates that long term exposure to NO² may be one of the most important contributors to fatality from Coronavirus.

Click here for further information about research

Click here for abstract of scientific paper

Although there is no causal link shown between air pollution and Covid 19, it is to be expected that people who have had long term exposure to high levels of NO²  will suffer from respiratory damage which is directly linked to greater risk from the disease.

NO² concentrations in central Farnham (as recorded at the automatic monitor at The Royal Deer crossroads) have fallen by around 50% since the lockdown commenced and are now at a very acceptable level of 16 µg/m³. Interestingly however, the Particulate Matter PM₁₀ readings have so far not changed, pointing to the fact that Particulate Matter is mostly the result of factors other than traffic and for Farnham are at levels well below UK government objectives (20 µg/m³ in Farnham compared with 40 µg/m³ government guidelines).

The diffusion tube NO²monitoring system run by Waverley BC has had to be suspended for the time being because of the current crisis.

 

Society’s Social Media Feeds

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Our Facebook page and Instagram account are gaining traction. We typically post on Facebook several times a day and on Instagram several times a week.

The Facebook posting generally include breaking national news stories of relevance to us in Farnham together with local news we feel locals should know about.

If you are a Facebook user do check out our Page, follow us. Link here https://www.facebook.com/The-Farnham-Society-1207086456002400/

Instagram postings give followers, currently over 600, a view of topical news and events in and around Farnham.

Follow us on Instagram. Link here https://www.instagram.com/farnhamsociety/?hl=en

Queries, email 1socsec.fsoc@gmail.com using the form below

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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.