Relief Road Across The Surrey Hills – Proposal Is Scrapped

Following efforts by the parish council and several Hambledon residents an assurance has been given that the proposal for a new relief road to be built across the Surrey Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty will not be pursued.

An organisation called the Guildford Society had put forward the idea as a means of relieving traffic on the A281 when Dunsfold Aerodrome is developed into a large housing estate. It proposed a new road should be built linking the development with an enlarged Milford station and the A3, routed through the Surrey Hills at Burgate Farm, Feathercombe and Hydestile. See earlier news story here:

The idea was presented to a meeting of the Surrey County Council Waverley Local Committee and Colin Kemp, deputy leader of SCC, said he would ask his officers to consider whether to conduct a feasibility study into the proposal.

Hambledon Parish Council expressed its opposition to the idea and has been in touch with Mr Kemp. He has now given the following statement.

I have read a lot of paperwork and had many conversations on this matter to get a true understanding of the issue.

On the main point of the question which was a relief road, I believe the environmental and local impact would be too great and don’t believe this could be delivered and should not be pursued any further.

Having said that, it has become clear to me that with all the planned developments around this area we need to look at the road network and identify pinch points through the route and see if there are any local improvement schemes that would ease congestion and then see if we can identify funding for these.

I am sorry if this caused concern but I don’t believe is saying no just because somebody else did. If I am asked a question, I will always consider evidence before giving a formal response.

Regards

Colin Kemp

Deputy Leader

Surrey County

 

The matter was also taken up by concerned residents at Feathercombe, leading to local MP Jeremy Hunt contacting Surrey County Council on their behalf. He has received the following reply from Gill Steward, who is executive director for community protection, transport and environment.

 

She wrote:

Dear Mr Hunt,

Thank you for your correspondence forwarding on the concerns of Ms Jo Bell regarding proposals for a new road link between Dunsfold and the A3 at Milford.

Colin Kemp, Deputy Leader for Surrey County Council, was asked the question through Committee whether the County were prepared to undertake a feasibility study into the Guildford Society’s proposals for a new road link between Dunsfold and the A3 at Milford. He responded by saying that he understood the matter had been considered, but wanted the opportunity to speak with officers about the proposal and consider the work previously undertaken, to establish if it was a viable option. This was to ensure that he had been thorough in his consideration before providing a view on the matter.

As a result, following the review of the option with officers Colin has come to the conclusion that the road scheme is not viable and that it would have a significant environmental impact on the communities along its route. There is therefore no intention to undertake any further studies or investigation of this proposal.

I hope this addresses the concerns raised and clarifies the position regarding the feasibility study.

Kind regards,

Gill

 

Hopefully that will be the end of the matter.

Update On Guildford Society’s Dunsfold Relief Road Proposal Through Surrey Hills AONB

This is an update on an earlier news item regarding a suggestion by the Guildford Society for a relief road linking the proposed housing development at Dunsfold Aerodrome with Milford Station and the A3. Please see http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=11482  for background.

At the time of publishing this news item a response was awaited from Colin Kemp, Surrey County Council deputy leader, who had indicated he was prepared to consider whether a feasibility study should be held into the Guildford Society proposal. Cllr Kemp has since responded in the following terms:

“Although I was aware this idea had been looked into before I was not up to date with this proposal or the details. I am not above being open and re-looking at any proposal to make sure the correct decision that as originally made was correct at the time and the situation has not changed, I will not just say no because somebody else said no, if I am asked a question I will review the situation before giving a response.

This will entail me asking officers to brief me on the original report and findings, I will then ask questions and wait for responses and this is what I am in the process of doing. I will report back to the local committee when I have done this work.

I can only imagine the upset this proposal caused and for that I apologise but I have been asked a question and I will do the work before responding.”

Colin Kemp
Deputy Leader

Parish Council Challenges Dunsfold Relief Road Proposal Across Surrey Hills AONB

A proposal to drive a new road through the heart of the Surrey Hills at Hambledon to relieve anticipated traffic congestion and HGV issues when Dunsfold Aerodrome is developed into housing is being fiercely opposed by Hambledon Parish Council.

The suggestion from the Guildford Society was presented at a recent meeting at Waverley council and despite Surrey Highways officers rejecting the idea, county councillors agreed to give the matter further consideration.

It envisages a new highway from Loxhill on the outskirts of Dunsfold at Hook House Lane, across the hills and fields of Burgate Farm and round the flanks of Hydon’s Ball to emerge on to the Hambledon Road at Feathercombe. It would then use Hambledon Road and Station Lane to reach a new “Milford Parkway” station and the A3

The Guildford Society, a registered charity with the stated aim of preserving and enhancing the environment of Guildford, submitted a written question to the Waverley Local Committee, which comprises members of both Surrey and Waverley councils.

In a covering letter, Alistair Smith, chairman of the society, wrote: “The link scheme we propose, some 12 kms long, is likely to be complex, expensive and controversial, as part of it would necessarily pass through some sensitive countryside and would need to be treated appropriately”.

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Surrey Highways Boss To Answer Salt Lane Traffic Concerns

Rat run at Marepond

Surrey County Council has been told that its cabinet member in charge of highways must be called to address issues of safety, rat-running and heavy goods vehicles on the narrow cut-through of Salt Lane at Hydestile.

In what is a significant achievement for local resident and campaigner Paul Osborne, a joint meeting of county and Waverley Borough councillors agreed that further consideration should be given to measures to mitigate the increase in traffic along the cut-through route of Station Lane, Hydestile Crossroads, Salt Lane and Markwick Lane.

Paul had successfully petitioned to have the issue added to the agenda of the SCC Waverley Local Committee meeting held on March 22nd. He needed 30 signatures before SCC would agree. In the event he had 251, most of them Hambledon and Hydestile residents, which demonstrated the extent of concern about the east-west route linking the A3 and Milford Station with Dunsfold Park, the A281 and Cranleigh.

In a powerful video presentation, seen by committee members before the debate, Paul sought to demonstrate how a narrow, rural lane with passing places was already at beyond capacity, and the problem would only get worse with the prospect of major new housing at Dunsfold Aerodrome together with others at Milford Golf Course, Milford Hospital and in and around Cranleigh.


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Two More Crashes at Hydestile Shut Salt Lane

For the second day running there has been a crash at the Hydestile Crossroads, and another collision just a few hundred yards away has completely blocked Salt Lane which is now closed to traffic.

Police closed Salt Lane at its junction with the crossroads to all traffic at around 9am today (Wednesday January 30th). It is closed along its entire length to Markwick Lane and beyond to Loxhill.

The crash at the crossroads itself involved two vehicles, and was relatively minor. The crossroads, and its approach down Salt Lane, is covered in ice and road conditions are treacherous.

The second accident was more serious as it has blocked the narrow, rural lane just above New Road. Two cars, traveling in opposite directions, have collided. Injuries appear to be minor. Police are in attendance.

As with the crossroads crash yesterday (see earlier news report), icy conditions are likely to have played a part. But it emphasises the need for Surrey County Council Highways Department to pay heed to the initiatives suggested by Hambledon Parish Council to tackle road safety in the village and its outlying rural lanes.

Salt Lane, on the Hambledon parish boundary is used by many as a cut-through between the A281 and the A3. With the likelihood of a major new housing development at Dunsfold, this narrow lane with passing places will inevitably become even more congested.

As for the crossroads at Hydestile, this has been regarded by locals as an accident black spot for many years and the parish council is in discussions with the highways authority and police to try to implement road safety measures along the length of Hambledon Road, from the Hydestile approach and though the village to Lane End.

 

 

Milford Golf Course – 180 houses – Public Exhibition Tuesday 22nd May

The developers of Milford Golf Course are holding an exhibition with an outline of the proposed 180 home re-development of the Golf Course on the South side of Station Lane.  With Station Lane and Milford crossroads already congested at peak times, such a development will put pressure on the infrastructure in our area. With the prospect of the doubling of traffic on this road once Dunsfold Park is built it is vital that residents make their views on record at this exhibition.    All are invited to view on Tuesday 22nd between 3pm and 8pm at the Golf Club in Station Lane.


Waverley Local Plan – deadline for comments

The Waverley Local Plan, which was subject of a Public Planning Inquiry earlier in the year, has been revised following the Planning Inspector’s report.  This revised plan is now open for comments from the public – a deadline has been set for the 20th October.

The Local Plan revisions are on the WBC website, HERE  although it is confusingly displayed and commenting appears cumbersome. A summary of changes is shown on the Protect Our Waverley website, with guidance on how to comment by post or email.

Ways to Improve Our Village Bus Service? Parish Council To Hold Talks

Hambledon Parish Council is to hold talks with Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council to press for a review of the way the village bus service operates in the hope it can be made more commercially viable.

Suggestions from villagers would be welcome, either by leaving a website comment on this article or posting suggestions in the Forum section.

The 503 route, which is the only public transport service available to residents, connects the village with Milford, Godalming and Guildford and is especially important to the elderly and infirm wanting to visit shops, banks and surgeries. It is shown here in the picturesque setting of the farm buildings at the Hydestile Crossroads as its leaves the village headed for Milford.

Village bus 5 503 Sept 2012 1 - Copy

It is operated by Stagecoach but is heavily subsidised by Surrey County Council. Recently it faced the axe, only to be reprieved after the parish council and residents lobbied for it to continue.

The council is keen to see if changes can be made to increase revenue and prevent another cost-cutting exercise threatening its existence the next time SCC reviews its subsidised bus operations.

Currently the 503 operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, twice in each direction, beginning at Lane End at 9.15 and 12.15. Although a vital service for older residents its timing and infrequency means it is of no use to school children or commuters, despite its route taking it past Milford Station and local schools.

Surrey County Council has indicated that it is prepared to discuss the route with the parish council and others and it is hoped this will happen soon.

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Dunsfold “New Town”? Draft Local Plan Gets Go-Ahead For Next Stage

Waverley Borough councillors have overwhelmingly supported a recommendation that its new draft Local Plan be published.

The plan, which sets out a strategy for housing up until 2032, allows for 2,600 homes to be built on the site of Dunsfold aerodrome. Local parish councils, including Hambledon, have expressed grave concerns that unless sufficient infrastructure is in place, a “new town” development at Dunsfold is not sustainable.

A meeting of the full Waverley council on Tuesday night was picketed by protesters who chanted and waved banners in protest at the Plan as members arrived at the council offices in Godalming.

They were being asked to agree to a recommendation by the council’s executive that the draft Plan be formally published to allow it to move on to the next stage – a minimum six-week period for representations to be made before it is submitted for examination by a Government planning inspector (see previous news item).

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Three councillors abstained. Many others thought it flawed but voted in favour to prevent central Government taking it over and imposing its own targets.

To avoid this outcome the Plan has to be in place by early 2017. Waverley’s earlier attempt at a Local Plan was rejected by a Government inspector for not having met new housing targets.

The owner of the airfield, Dunsfold Park Ltd, is currently applying to build 1,800 homes on the site, potentially rising to 3,400.

Hambledon and other local parishes in the area are concerned about the impact such a significant new housing development will have on narrow, rural lanes that surround the airfield site. The only major road in the area is the A281 which is already heavily congested at peak times in the Guildford direction.

It is argued that people will look to “rat-run” on unsuitable single-track country lanes such as Markwick Lane, Salt Lane and Vann Lane to reach Witley and Milford stations, schools and surgeries, all of which are already stretched to meet existing local need.

Hambledon Parish Council has objected to the current Dunsfold Park application on the basis of a lack of supporting infrastructure. It accepts the need for new homes but said the current proposals would put “severe and unacceptable pressure on an already overstretched transport network”. The council has suggested that the planners and developers should consider reinstating the former Guildford to Cranleigh railway line – with a spur to Dunsfold – as a light transit system to help alleviate road congestion, if development goes ahead.

If you would like to read what comments Hambledon Parish Council has made to Waverley on the Dunsfold application so far, please follow this link ,- and then click on Dunsfold Park. Further comment is likely when final plans are known.

In the meantime parishes and the campaign group Protect Our Waverley (POW) will be keeping up the pressure on councillors when they come to consider the planning application and during the representation stage of the draft Local Plan.

 

A “new town” for Dunsfold? Council meets to consider Local Plan

 

A “new town” of 2,600 houses at Dunsfold Aerodrome is among proposals in the new draft Local Plan to be considered by Waverley Borough Council tonight (Tuesday July 19).

The airfield site is already subject to a planning application for 1,800 homes and this total will inevitably rise if the new Local Plan is adopted. Dunsfold Park, owners of the site, has suggested that eventually up to 3,400 houses could be built.

Hambledon Parish Council has objected to the application and has joined with other parishes in the area in arguing that narrow country lanes will not be able to cope with the additional traffic.  The only major road near the site, the A281, is already at a standstill at peak times. To avoid this new home owners will be forced to “rat-run” by using single-track rural roads such as Markwick Lane, Salt Lane and Vann Lane to reach Milford and Witley stations, schools, shops and places of work.

POW protest

If Waverley adopts the new Local Plan, efforts to fight the Dunsfold Park proposals will be seriously undermined. In 2009 Waverley refused a similar housing application for the site, upheld by a Government inspector on appeal. Today, although reasons for objecting remain the same, Waverley is under central Government pressure to build more than 500 new homes across the borough every year to 2032.

Waverley’s executive has already recommended the new Local Plan be formally published and the full council meets tonight at 7pm to consider endorsing this recommendation. If this happens there will be a minimum six-week for representations before the plan is submitted for examination by a Government Planning Inspector.

Protect Our Waverley, a campaign group set up to fight the proposals, will be staging a demonstration outside Waverley offices before tonight’s meeting.

 

 

Parish Assembly – Ideas for new Parish Plan

The annual Parish Assembly, held on Thursday evening at the village hall, was well attended and produced a number of ideas to be included in the proposed new Parish Plan.

The Parish Plan is a formal document taken into account by public authorities such as Waverley Borough Council when considering issues that involve Hambledon, especially planning and highways. It is also a point of reference for Hambledon Parish Council in its work to help fulfill the aims and ambitions of village residents.

Following a report of the parish council’s activities over the past year as well as those of various village organisations, the assembly heard ideas from residents on what they would like to be included in the new Parish Plan.

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High on the list was a request, led by Hambletots, for a small play area for children, ideally somewhere close to the village shop.  This idea had a lot of support.  It was pointed out that play equipment need not be made of intrusive coloured plastics and could be made of wood to suit the rural environment of the shop, pond and cricket green.

Other suggestions included improved drainage for the cricket pitch, a public toilet for the use of visitors to the shop and its cafe and provision of a bike rack, as the shop is regularly used by cyclists. On the issue of cycling, it was pointed out that the village was on the route of many organised cycle events. The poor state of road edges presented a danger. It was suggested that, given the number of events, maybe external funding could be found to carry out improvements.

There was also support for the retention of the 503 bus service, currently under threat (see earlier news items) and concern that car parks at the two nearest railway stations, Witley and Milford, were now at capacity. It was recognised that any new development at the Dunsfold Aerodrome site would only add to the problem, along with associated traffic problems on the narrow, rural village roads.

The Parish Council is currently gathering ideas for the new Parish Plan. It is likely that a steering group made up of councillors and villagers will be established to take the plan forward.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the annual village clean-up, this year tied in with Clean For The Queen in recognition of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Villagers are asked to gather any litter and bring it to a collection point at the shop where, starting at around midday, a free barbecue will be held for volunteer litter pickers.

 Village clean-up 2011 4

In the afternoon a jumble sale will be held at the Village Hall to raise funds for its maintenance.

 

 

 

Dunsfold Aerodrome – transport review

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 17.08.09EIGHT rural West Surrey parishes – including Hambledon – have united to commission a transport review to examine the impact any significant new development at Dunsfold Aerodrome would have on narrow local roads and lanes.

The review, carried out by Guildford-based road and transport consultants Motion, was published this week and concludes that the site is unsustainable for any substantial housing. (A report on this appears in this week’s Haslemere Herald March 5th edition)

The Motion study confirms that the reasons why Waverley Borough Council rejected an “eco-town” proposal for the site in 2009 – a decision supported on appeal by the Secretary of State – remain sound when assessed against the key principles of current Government policy.

The parish councils of Dunsfold, Alfold, Bramley, Busbridge, Chiddingfold, Hambledon, Hascombe and Wonersh, reacting to concerns of villagers, asked Motion to examine two recent traffic assessments, one by Surrey County Council and the other conducted on behalf of the aerodrome’s owners, DAL.

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Dunsfold Village School – campaign to reinstate the school

The way is now open, if we move quickly, to recover use of Dunsfold’s former infant school building for the education of local children. The Charity Tribunal decided at the end of 2011 that the preferred use of the building should be ‘as a school for the education of children who are resident, or whose parents are resident, in and around the parish of Dunsfold’ and invited production of ‘a formal, viable and timely proposal for use of the property as a school for the village’. In response to this our proposal will combine nursery and primary provision on the whole site, and the formation of the Dunsfold Village School Trust to carry this out.

We hope to be able to take advantage of the Government’s Free School initiative (state-funded schools set up in response to parental demand) to open ‘Dunsfold Village School’, and would aim to build on nursery provision by opening in September 2013 a Reception class for children who were born between September 2008 and August 2009. Over the following years the school would then grow, each September, to become a primary school for children aged 4-11 by 2019. During the initial years we envisage that the property could be extended and reconfigured to accommodate the increasing numbers of pupils and staff.
In order to take this initiative forward and secure funding we need to know as a matter of urgency the level of parental demand and local support for a Primary School in Dunsfold. We would be grateful if you could please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire.