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.

 

 

Dunsfold New Town given Planning Approval

Planning-Approved-StampThe Joint Planning Committee of Waverley Borough Council gave planning approval to the Dunsfold New Town proposals on Wednesday.  Of the 32 Councillors eligible to vote just 18 attended to vote:  10 councillors voted to approve, and 8 voted against.

The voting was as follows:

For (10) –

Cllr Carole Cockburn – Farnham Bourne, Conservative

Cllr David Else – Elstead and Thursley, Conservative

Cllr Mary Foryszewski – Cranleigh East, Conservative

Cllr Christiaan Hesse – Hindhead Conservative

Cllr Peter Isherwood – Hindhead, Conservative

Cllr Jim Edwards – Haslemere Critchmere and Shottermill, Conservative

Cllr Peter Martin – Godalming Holloway, Conservative

Cllr Andrew Bolton – Godalming Central and Ockford, Conservative

Cllr Mike Hodge – Farnham Hale and Heath End, Conservative

Cllr John Fraser – Farnham Upper Hale,Farnham Residents

Against (8) –

Cllr Maurice Byham – Bramley Busbridge and Hascombe, Conservative

Cllr Kevin Deanus – Alfold Cranleigh Rural and Ellens Green  Conservative

Cllr John Gray, Chiddingfold and Dunsfold, Conservative

Cllr Jerry Hyman – Farnham Castle, Farnham Residents

Cllr Stephen Mulliner – Haslemere East and Grayswood, Conservative

 Cllr Stewart Stennett – Cranleigh East, Conservative

Cllr Nick Williams – Godalming Farncombe and Catteshall, Conservative

Cllr Richard Seaborne – Bramley Busbridge and Hascombe, Conservative

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There was strong representation from the public in the gallery and outside prior to the meeting.  Protesters were from across the area including from Bramley, Hascombe, Hydestile, Loxhill, Cranleigh, Milford, Hambledon, Busbridge.

 

Surrey Advertiser report

Waverley Planning Meeting Agenda

Council video recording of the whole meeting

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).

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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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Planning for Hambledon’s future – Latest

In 2003 Hambledon produced a Parish Plan to help shape its future.  Since then the Parish Council has examined various other formal frameworks to ensure the village’s ambitions for the years ahead are taken into account by Waverley Borough Council and other authorities.

These have included producing a Village Design Statement and Neighbourhood Plan, a route which some villagers had asked the council to consider.

After seeking professional advice – and taking into account the cost and resources necessary for such measures – it was decided that there were insufficient benefits to justify the time and money involved.

Instead it considered producing a Community Plan, which is smaller in scope that a Neighbourhood Plan and arguably more relevant to a little rural village.

Whichever method the parish council adopted for drawing up a blueprint for the future, it would require financial assistance and community volunteers. In the event neither was forthcoming.

It was hoped that funding for a Community Plan would be awarded by the Big Lottery Fund and that sufficient villagers would volunteer to participate in its preparation.

However, The Big Lottery, which distributes National Lottery money for community causes, turned down the request. The application had been carefully prepared with professional help. But Big Lottery experts could not see why a Community Plan was required to address the needs and issues set out in the application.  (This point had also been raised in previous advice given to the Parish Council, including from Waverley Borough Council.)

The second set back was that one month after an appeal for volunteers appeared in the Parish Magazine and on the village website only six responses had been received.

So it’s back to the drawing board.

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Although there have been changes since Hambledon produced its Parish Plan in 2003, it would be difficult to improve on its objectives.  The Parish Council has therefore decided to continue using it as a base document but to up-date it and re-issue it, either in its existing form or in a new format and perhaps with a more appropriate title.

Village organisations and individuals are therefore being asked what would make Hambledon a better place for them and their activities.

The responses will be incorporated in a discussion paper which will be made widely available early in April.  The paper will then be discussed and questions arising from it addressed at the Parish Assembly on 16 April.  Funds for printing the completed plan have been included in the 2016-17 budget. It will also be available on the village web site.

So, in thanking those who did volunteer to help with a Community Plan, the Parish Council  now asks them and as many other villagers as possible to give some thought as to what they think would make Hambledon an even better place in which to live.

Examining the 2003 Parish Plan and its most recent up-date might be a good point from which to start. This can be found on this web site here: Parish Plan documents . Or you can ask the Clerk ( via email, or telephone 01428 684213) for a hard copy

Please make sure that comments are either posted by leaving a comment on this article, or sent to the Clerk by 15 March so that they can be included in the discussion document.

 

 

Dunsfold – last chance to support or oppose development

The Dunsfold Aerodrome planning application for re-development of potentially 3400 homes has a deadline for comments to support or oppose the scheme.  All comments must be submitted by 4 o’clock this Friday 5th February. Do make your views heard on this important issue by completing the simple form at the Waverley Planning website:

Link to comment on the Planning Application.

 

Note:  You will also find supporting documents and reports on the Planning website, notably the applicant’s consultant’s Traffic Assessment – part of which makes curious reading – notably about the road links (page 7 onwards) and “potential” commuter bus shuttle services to Witley and Milford rail stations and it’s impact on projected car journeys (page 99).

Housing Needs Survey

The latest Housing Needs Survey, carried out across all households in Hambledon, has just been published and full details are available here:

hambledon HNS

housing needs JW report

The first is a copy of the survey and the second is an executive summary.

The survey was carried out by Surrey Community Action at the request of Hambledon Parish Council and it follows the acquisition of Orchard Farm by the English Rural Housing Association.

Of the 314 survey questionnaires sent out 261 households responded – an 83.12 per cent return. Across the country a 10 to 35 per cent return rate is common, so the Hambledon response has been described as “outstanding” and demonstrates how engaged the village is.

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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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New Housing Target- Have your Say

Waverley Borough Council has been told by central goverment that it must find space to build 8,500 new homes between 2014 and 2031 and is seeking the views of local people.

The strategy and planning for this is known as a Local Plan and the borough is seeking the views of residents before submitting it.

Hambledon residents should by now have received a special edition of Waverley’s Making Waves publication which contains a feedback form. It should be completed and returned by Friday 17th October.

altWaverley is staging a mobile exhibition of its proposals and this can be seen between 10am and 4pm in The Burys car park, Godalming, on Saturday 4th October and in Haslemere High Street car park the following Saturday (11th) between the same hours.

Although no new housing in proposed for Hambledon itself, sizeable new developments in the region could have a major impact on the village – particularly in terms of increased traffic on local rural lanes and demands on local services such as trains, schools and surgeries.

Waverley has devised four potential housing “scenarios” – three of which envisage major development at Dunsfold Aerodrome, something that had previously been rejected.

All boroughs across the country have been told by central government that they must increase housing targets to meet expected demand for new homes and this will have an impact on the Green Belt and on protected Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Local Plan, therefore, is likely to affect us all in some way, so it is important that you give your views.

 

Plans on show for new homes on Hospital site

The developer appointed to build more than 100 new homes on redundant land around Milford Hospital is previewing its proposals at a public exhibition and online.

David Wilson Homes, part of the Barratt Group, is displaying the scheme to local residents between 2.30pm and 8pm tomorrow (Thursday 12th September) at Clock Barn Hall, Hambledon Road. It is available online at www.dwhmilfordhospital.co.uk

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Waverley Core Strategy

The final draft of this document, which represents the Borough’s spatial planning strategy for the next 15 years, is now available for consultation and comment.  For further details go to Clubs and Organisations/Parish Council/Legislation on this web site or visit Waverley’s own site at www.waverley.gov.uk.

Parish Council Opposes Unrestricted Aviation at Dunsfold

ImageHambledon Parish Council has joined with other local parishes to oppose a proposal by the owner of Dunsfold Aerodrome for unrestricted aviation activity.

Dunsfold Park, the company that owns the site, has applied to Waverley Borough Council for a Certificate of Lawfulness to allow it to use the former World War Two aerodrome for a range of aviation activities, including unrestricted take offs and landings.

This follows the failure of Dunsfold Park to obtain permission to build a housing estate on the airfield, which is in a rural location on the outskirts of Dunsfold and less than five miles from Hambledon.

The purpose of a Certificate of Lawfulness is to enable an applicant to establish whether it has the right to undertake certain activities without having to go through the full planning application process.

Waverley has asked for comment from local parishes.

At its May meeting, Hambledon Parish Council objected to the certificate being granted on the following grounds:

“It understands that from 1946 the air field was used for the service and maintenance of commercial aircraft. The only flying operations that took place were the arrival and departure of aircraft for maintenance purposes. There was never any general aviation use; flying operations were ancillary to the primary use.

“In 1952 the air field was taken over as a facility related to the provision of military aircraft. The relevant planning permission was for the repair and flight testing of aircraft.

“A further planning application was granted in 2008 for change of use of buildings and land on the air field. The permission included conditions restricting the nature and extent of aviation use; no general use was permitted.

“All of the foregoing indicates that there never has been unrestricted aviation use at Dunsfold Aerodrome and that there can be no grounds for granting a Certificate of Lawfulness for the uses set out in the application.”

 

Waverley Planners Approve Brickworks Country Estate Development

ImageWaverley Borough Council has approved the scheme to build a country house estate on the site of the derelict Nutbourne Brickworks in Roundals Lane.

Members of the Central Area Planning Committe were unanimous in their approval when they met to consider the application by Millgate Homes on Wednesday (May 25th).

The developers had applied to build a mansion house, staff cottages, a gate house, stables and garages on the 220-acre site.   Nearby residents favoured the proposal and Hambledon Parish Council gave its support, but only after securing a covenant that safeguards the site from further development or change of use. Continue reading