Parish Council Gives Conditional Support to Orchard Farm Housing Proposal

Hambledon Parish Council has given its conditional support to a planning application to build nine houses, seven of them affordable, at Orchard Farm, Wormley Lane.

At its monthly meeting on Tuesday (April 2) councillors were unanimous in agreeing its response to Waverley Borough Council which, as the local planning authority, will determine the application.

Full details can be found on the Parish Council section on this website, under the heading Legislation and Planning. http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?page_id=166

English Rural Housing Association is seeking approval for a scheme to build seven 1, 2 and 3-bedroom properties for affordable rent or shared ownership and two open-market bungalows. Priority will be given to local people with a connection to Hambledon.

This application follows the rejection of a previous proposal to build 17 homes – 12 affordable and 5 market – on the site, which occupies land between Wormley Lane and Petworth Road.

In its response, Hambledon Parish Council stated that it continued to support the provision of affordable housing in the village and noted the reduction in the size of the proposed development, which is on land within the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Waverley would need to determine whether the proposal satisfies the requirements for it to be considered a rural exception site.

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Parish Council To Consider Orchard Farm Planning Proposal

Hambledon Parish Council will consider its response to the new application by the English Rural Housing Association to build seven affordable and two market-price homes at Orchard Farm, Wormley Lane, at its monthly meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday April 2nd, 2019).

The meeting starts at 8pm at Hambledon Village Hall. The application will be discussed at the planning section of the meeting. Anyone who wishes to raise issues about the application, or any other matter, is invited to do so at the start of the meeting when 15 minutes are set aside for questions from members of the public. The response will be sent to Waverley Borough Council, which will determine the outcome of the application.

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Parish Council Statement

Hambledon Parish Council has been approached by a concerned resident wanting to know if it is responsible for an anonymous document that has been delivered to some households in the village expressing opinions about the new planning application for affordable homes at Orchard Farm.

The parish council is NOT responsible for this document, which is headed “Briefing Note to Local Residents”.

The resident contacted the parish clerk to express anger that the document appears to be biased, is not on headed notepaper, and is unsigned and unsolicited. The resident added that whoever is behind the document should have the courtesy to sign it.

In response the clerk has reassured the resident that the document has nothing to do with the parish council. The council is currently considering the application and has informed Waverley Borough Council that it will comment on it once it has the opportunity to discuss it at its next monthly meeting in early April.

Details of the application have already been posted on this website and can be found here

http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=10886

NEW APPLICATION TO BUILD AFFORDABLE HOMES AT ORCHARD FARM

A revised planning application to build affordable and market price homes at Orchard Farm has been submitted to Waverley Borough Council by the English Rural Housing Association.

The new application is seeking approval for a scaled-down development of seven affordable homes together with two bungalows to be sold on the open market.

The previous ERHA application, submitted in 2016, was for 17 homes – 12 affordable and five open market. This was rejected by Waverley councillors in May 2017.

The ERHA went to appeal but this was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate in June 2018.

The new application was made public on the Waverley Borough Council website on Monday (March 4th, 2019). A deadline of March 29th has been set for comments.

The new development, if approved, would occupy the area of previously developed land at Orchard Farm, Wormley Lane, where various outbuildings currently stand. Five of the new properties would be for affordable rent and two for shared ownership.

Under the revised scheme the original farmhouse, which was to have been demolished, will be retained, renovated and sold on the open market. This does not form a part of the new application.

Paddock land, which was to have been gifted to the village as open space under the previous scheme, is now excluded from the application and is not a part of the latest proposal.

Orchard Farm is within the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the ERHA application will need to demonstrate that the land may be considered as a rural exception site.

The application can be found here:

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning/search-applications?civica.query.FullTextSearch=Orchard%20Farm%20Hambledon#VIEW?RefType=GFPlanning&KeyNo=332587&KeyText=Subject

Hambledon Parish Council, which held its monthly meeting the day after the application was published, had no opportunity to consider the application in detail. Its next meeting is April 2nd, after the comment deadline.

Therefore, the parish council resolved to request an extension to the comment period in order to examine the proposal in detail and to hear any comments from villagers before responding to Waverley Borough Council.

People with connections to Hambledon and who fulfill ERHA criteria will have the opportunity to apply to be considered for the affordable homes if approval is given to the development. The parish council can comment on the application, but it is for Waverley Borough Council to approve or reject the proposal.

The ERHA website can be found here:https://englishrural.org.uk/

What Next For Orchard Farm?

The proposal to build affordable homes at Orchard Farm has been rejected on appeal and developers English Rural Housing Association must now decide whether to re-apply with a scaled-down application or sell the site on.

The ERHA had applied to demolish the existing farmhouse and outbuildings and build 12 affordable homes together with five larger market-price houses and provision of open space for village use.

After much local consultation, and with concerns expressed over the size of the proposed development and drainage issues, the application went before Waverley Borough Council in May last year where members voted to reject the scheme.

The nine-acre site between Petworth Road and Wormley Lane is within the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Waverley councillors said that no special circumstances existed in the application to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and the AONB.

After considering the outcome for several months, ERHA decided to lodge an appeal to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate. This appeal has now been considered and dismissed, upholding the original decision by Waverley Borough Councillors.

Sheila Holden, the inspector appointed by the Secretary of State to consider the appeal, said in her ruling: “Notwithstanding the continued need to provide affordable homes, the supply of housing land is not a factor weighing in this scheme’s favour”, adding that the proposal would be an “inappropriate development within the Green Belt”.

She accepted that there would be “very significant benefits arising from the provision of 12 units of affordable housing and limited benefits associated with the proposed public open space.”

But she concluded: “However, these benefits do not clearly outweigh the harm by reason of inappropriateness and the other harms I have identified.  The very special circumstances needed to justify the scheme do not, therefore, exist.”

The ERHA, which is a registered provider of social housing in rural areas, has not commented on what it will do next. It bought the site on the open market and had hoped that the provision of market-price houses in the scheme would help pay for the affordable homes, which would have been available for rent or shared ownership at below market costs.

It may return with a smaller scale development of affordable homes only as the inspector’s ruling seems to indicate that market price properties are unacceptable and do not meet the criteria for exempting the site from Green Belt and AONB restrictions.

Or it could consider putting the land, together with the existing farmhouse, back on the open market.

Hambledon Parish Council remains committed to attempting to find suitable sites for affordable housing in the village in accordance with wishes expressed by residents and contained within the published Parish Plan.

 

Orchard Farm Planning Application Refused

Waverley Borough councillors have rejected a planning application to build 17 houses – 12 of them designated as “affordable” – at Orchard Farm, Hambledon.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the council’s Central Area Planning Committee on Wednesday evening (May 17).

The application had been submitted by the English Rural Housing Association (ERHA) which had proposed a mixed development of 12 affordable homes, together with five market-price properties to help finance the project.

This followed ERHA’s purchase of the nine-acre Orchard Farm site between Wormley Lane and Petworth Road, Hambledon, in 2014.
Orchard Farm name

Hambledon Parish Council has a long-standing commitment to provide more affordable housing for local people. However, the proposed development, on land within the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty raised many issues. Drainage and its proximity to Listed Lutyens buildings were among other concerns.

The parish council initiated widespread consultation including public meetings. Although there was general support from the wider village there were many concerns expressed by those living close to the site.

The decision on whether to approve or reject the application is the responsibility of the local planning authority, Waverley Borough Council. Its officers had recommended approval of the scheme, subject to a raft of conditions.

However, after listening to officers and several other presentations, councillors decided overwhelmingly to reject the recommendation. They resolved that permission be refused for the following reasons, as published on the Waverley council website:

  1. No very special circumstances exist to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt, contrary to Policy C1 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan.
  1. No very special circumstances exist to outweigh the harm to the AONB, contrary to Policy C3 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan.
  1. The less than substantial harm to the setting of the Grade I Listed Building is not outweighed by public benefits. Therefore the proposal would conflict with Policy HE3 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan, and guidance contained in the NPPF.
  1. The applicant has failed to enter into a legal agreement to secure the provision of affordable housing within the meaning of the NPPF, appropriate to meet Waverley Borough Council’s housing need. The proposal would therefore fail to create a sustainable, inclusive and mixed community, contrary to the requirements of paragraph 50 of the NPPF. The applicant has also failed to enter into a s.278 agreement.

 

 

Orchard Farm Planning Application – Waverley To Decide

The planning application submitted by English Rural Housing Association to build 17 affordable and market price homes at Orchard Farm is expected to be considered by Waverley Borough Council next month.

ERHA is seeking permission to build 12 affordable houses – which would comprise a mix of shared ownership and rental properties – and five open market houses on the site at Lane End between Wormley Lane and Petworth Road. The site is within the Green Belt and in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Waverley must decide if the site meets the criteria to be regarded as a “rural exception site”, a policy which allows for limited development on Green Belt land.

Although Hambledon Parish Council, which has consulted widely on the proposal, continues to support the provision of affordable housing in the village, it has been unable to support the ERHA application for the following reasons:

  • The development is not small in scale;
  • It is not certain that it would prioritise people with strong Hambledon connections;
  • There are issues with drainage;
  • Traffic dangers are inadequately addressed;
  • The appropriateness of locating a development of this nature on this particular site;
  • Management and responsibility for the Open Space.

Surrey County Council has also recommended that Waverley refuse the application, expressing concerns over drainage issues. The Surrey Hills Board and the Campaign to Protect Rural England are among other bodies and organisations objecting to the scheme.

Comments on the application, including those by local residents, can be found by following this link

http://plandocs.waverley.gov.uk/Planning/lg/dialog.page?org.apache.shale.dialog.DIALOG_NAME=gfplanningsearc h&Param=lg.Planning&SDescription=WA/2016/1644&viewdocs=true

A decision on the application will be made by Waverley Borough councillors. A target date of November 10th has been given, but this may not be met.

 

 

IMPORTANT MEETING TO HEAR VIEWS ON NEW HOMES FOR VILLAGE

The English Rural Housing Association planning application has finally been submitted seeking permission to build 17 affordable and market price homes on the Orchard Farm site and it is important to hear the views of villagers before the Parish Council considers the issue.

This is a reminder that a meeting is to be held this Tuesday (September 13) at the Village Hall at 8pm and it is hoped that as many people as possible will attend so that opinions from across the parish can be heard.

The Parish Council held one open meeting when the ERHA first made its proposals known after acquiring the Wormley Lane/Petworth Road site in 2014.  Now that a planning application for 12 affordable and five market price houses has been submitted to Waverley Borough Council the latest meeting is to hear from villagers before the Parish Council comments on the application.

The application can be found by clicking here.

 

Orchard Farm name

MORE HOMES…NO BUSES?

new bus stops 003 - Copy

Hambledon residents have until this weekend to write in support of the village’s threatened bus service, the 503. The consultation period ends on Monday (March 14th) at 9am.

Surrey County Council, which subsidises the 503 and other rural bus routes, wants to hear the views of villagers before making a final decision on the fate of the service. It is reviewing all bus routes in the county as it looks to make cuts to its budget.

Details of the Local Transport Review can be found at https://www.surreysays.co.uk/e-i-directorate-programme-group/ltr

Hambledon Parish Council strongly opposes the proposal to axe the 503. It is asking Surrey County Council to reconsider the issue and perhaps look to amalgamate the service with the 523 Milford Hospital service, which is also under threat. With more than 100 new homes being built beside the hospital, and a proposal to build affordable homes at Lane End, Hambledon, the council believes Surrey County Council should examine how to better integrate the service before making a final decision.

Here is Hambledon Parish Council’s submission to the Surrey County Council review.

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AFFORDABLE HOUSING – Dates and Developments

WRITTEN BY HAMBLEDON PARISH COUNCIL | 18 DECEMBER 2014 

Most residents will be aware of a proposal by the English Rural Housing Association to build 17 homes – 12 designated as affordable – on land at Orchard Farm, off Wormley Lane (see previous news items).

The village will have a chance to see the ERHA plans when it holds an exhibition of them at the Village Hall between 3pm and 8pm on Thursday January 15.

The Parish Council will then hold an open meeting at the hall on Wednesday January 28, starting at 8 pm, which will provide an opportunity for the whole village to debate the proposals.

ERHA has not yet submitted a planning application to Waverley Borough Council, which will determine the issue, and will not do so until after the village has been consulted.

In the meantime the village and its parish council will need to consider another proposal, just submitted, for four affordable homes and two market price homes on land beside the Merry Harriers car park, on the opposite side of Hambledon Road to the pub. This land is currently used as a campsite.

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Affordable homes

Hambledon Parish Council has been informed that English Rural Housing Association, a not-for-profit provider of affordable homes, has acquired Orchard Farm, a property in nine acres of land off Wormley Lane.

At a parish council meeting held on October 29, attended by many residents who live close to Orchard Farm, Nick Hughes, regional development manager of ERHA, outlined a proposal to build 12 affordable homes, four open market units and the replacement or refurbishment of the existing house.

The entire site is within the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Mr Hughes said that the proposal would be brought forward under Waverley Borough Council Rural Exceptions Site policies and the affordable homes would be available to local people in housing need. He indicated that land not used for housing – approximately four acres – would be gifted to the village to ensure no further development would take place.

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