Government Housing Officials Visit Hambledon Affordable Homes Site

Hambledon Parish Council hosted a visit by 20 civil servants from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government who arrived in the village to look at the Orchard Farm affordable homes project.

The officials are part of the government’s housing team with responsibility for affordable housing strategy. They left their offices in Whitehall to see three schemes being run by English Rural Housing in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in Hambledon, Dunsfold and Chiddingfold.

These picturesque villages, in beautiful countryside and with good schools and transport links, are highly desirable and, consequently, house prices are high – on average 34 per cent more expensive than in surrounding areas and almost 23 times the average household income, according to recent figures published by English Rural.

This means that many local people struggle to afford to get onto the housing ladder. English Rural, a housing association whose patron is The Princess Royal, works with local councils and communities to provide homes at lower than market rent or part-ownership in rural areas.

In Hambledon it built Duncombs Cottages on Hambledon Road, Hydestile, which were opened by HRH Princess Anne in 2003. Now it is working with Waverley Borough Council and Hambledon Parish Council to build seven affordable homes and two open market bungalows at Orchard Farm, a disused livery yard between Wormley Lane and Petworth Road.

The civil servants were escorted by officials of English Rural and, in Hambledon, were met by parish council chairman John Anderson and vice chairman Stewart Payne, who explained the background to the scheme, the pitfalls along the way, and the overall support of the village for a small development of affordable homes for local people.

Work has yet to start on the site, so the civil servants were shown the empty farmhouse, which is to be renovated and sold on the open market, and the abandoned buildings that will make way for the new homes.

Nick Hughes, who is leading the scheme on behalf of English Rural, showed plans and drawings and explained the various issues that the scheme encountered before finally being approved by Waverley Council in November last year.

The visit, which took place on January 29th, was welcomed by John Anderson as an opportunity to explain the many difficulties that the parish council faced in helping to deliver a scheme that most villagers had welcomed, but some had opposed vociferously. Legitimate concerns by some residents had to be balanced against the benefits the scheme delivered.

Commenting on the visit, English Rural’s Chief Executive, Martin Collett, said he was pleased “to welcome representatives from the Ministry of Housing to show the affordable homes we have built and are developing in the villages of Hambledon, Dunsfold and Chiddingfold.

He said the visit focused on how parish councils and local; authorities can work effectively with rural housing associations to form strong partnerships that ultimately benefit local residents. “This has a positive impact on their own circumstances and the wider community”, he said. More information can be found here: https://englishrural.org.uk/ministry-of-housing-team-view-affordable-rural-homes-in-surrey/

 

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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