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.

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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 I am not above being open and re-looking at any proposal to make sure the correct decision that as originally made was correct at the time and the situation has not changed, I will not just say no because somebody else said no, if I am asked a question I will review the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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Proposal to Replace Fire-Damaged Hambledon House

A planning application to demolish Hambledon House and replace it with a new building has been received by Waverley Borough Council, the local planning authority.

This follows the fire that devastated the large Vann Lane property in January of last year, leaving it uninhabitable and beyond repair.

The proposal is for a house of similar size but of different proportion. The new property, if approved, would be set back further from the road and with a lower profile.

Full details of the application can be found on the planning section of the Waverley Borough Council website where there is an opportunity to comment until a deadline of June 27. The application number is WA/2019/0671. All comment must be on planning grounds.

Hambledon Parish Council has been consulted on the proposed application and a site visit has been held. It will consider the application at its June meeting. The application will be determined by Waverley Borough Council.

Details can be found here.

 

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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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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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.

 

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.

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.

 

 

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).

003

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.

 

 

Hambledon’s 503 bus reprieved

Hambledon’s only bus service, the 503, is set to be reprieved by Surrey County Council, reversing a decision to scrap the route as a cost-cutting measure.

This is a victory for the campaign mounted by Hambledon Parish Council and local residents to save the service.

Following the SCC Local Transport Review earlier this year, aimed at finding savings on council-subsidised rural routes, the 503 was one of a number of services to be scrapped, subject to public consultation.

The parish council vociferously opposed the proposal and many villagers raised objections during the consultation process.  SCC has listened, and at a meeting of its Cabinet on May 24th, members are expected to endorse the review team’s recommendation that the 503 continue.

The parish council argued that it was wrong to withdraw the only bus route serving the village, leaving residents without any public transport. The 503 is a lifeline for a number of elderly or infirm residents who rely on the bus to get to shops, supermarkets, banks and surgeries in Milford, Godalming and beyond.

village bus

Agenda documents for the May 24th meeting, available on the Surrey County Council website, state that the council recognises “the important role that bus services play for our residents”, adding: “To address some of the concerns expressed during the public consultation exercise it has proven possible to recommend some enhancements to the original proposals.”

These include reversing the decision to scrap the 503. The 523 Milford hospital service from Godalming has also been reprieved.

Currently the 503 operates on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, twice in each direction, beginning and ending at Lane End. The recommendation is for the service to continue on at least Wednesdays and Fridays and possibly on another day to be determined.

The parish council has asked to meet with SCC planners to discuss ways of increasing passenger numbers, perhaps re-routing the service to take in new areas of development. In the documents the council states that it is “working to stimulate patronage on bus services and reduce the need for council funding.”

The 503 is operated by Stagecoach but subsidised by Surrey County Council. The transport review examined services across the county. Faced with cuts in Central Government funding, SCC is looking save £2 million on its transport budget by next year.

The recommendation to be voted on on May 24th will enable SCC to achieve the required savings needed from the review, documents state.