HAMBLEDON CHURCH – CAN YOU HELP SECURE ITS FUTURE?

If Hambledon is to have a new vicar and secure a future for its village church then money must be raised with the help of the local community and its residents.

The challenges facing St Peter’s Church and its continued ministry to the village were outlined by Simon Taylor, rector of the joint benefice of Busbridge and Hambledon, and Andy Dunn, treasurer of Hambledon church, at a packed meeting at the village hall on Thursday evening (March 7th, 2019).

In a rallying call for financial support, Andy said: “We are appealing not just to members of the congregation but to those who value the presence of a church in our village, but who may not wish to attend there regularly.”

Hambledon has not had a vicar since Catherine McBride moved to a new parish in October 2017. Although it was intended that she would be replaced, several obstacles stalled the process.

Mervil Bottom, the church house in the village, suffered severe water leaks when empty during the following cold winter and required major repairs and renovation. And the parlous state of the church’s finances meant that the Diocese of Guildford questioned whether it was feasible to appoint a new minister.

It costs £120,000 a year to fund St Peter’s with a vicar, but the income is currently just over £80,000.

The biggest single outgoing is £30,000 that St Peter’s has to pay to the Diocese. Second is the £28,000 salary to the vicar, which rises when tax and pensions are added. Then comes maintenance of the church, churchyard, Mervil Bottom and insurances.

Money raised from events such as weddings goes directly to the Church of England and not to the parish church.

The only money that comes to the church is from the Sunday collection plate, Gift Aid, standing orders and donations from generous benefactors and a small grant from Hambledon Parish Council.

In asking for people to consider making financial pledges, Andy said: “If we want to recruit a vicar, we must find £120,000 a year which is significantly more than our current income. The Diocese will only appoint a new minister if we can demonstrate that we can afford it now and for the next five years.”

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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/

Parish Council Holds Talks Over Village Speeding Concerns

Hambledon Parish Council has held talks with Surrey County Council highways engineers and Surrey Police road safety officers in order to press home its case for measures to reduce the speed of traffic through the village.

At the same time, it also raised concerns about road safety at the Hydestile Crossroads and along the narrow Salt Lane and Marwick Lane, already a rat-run and likely to become even more of a danger if and when the approved new homes are built at Dunsfold Aerodrome.

It emerged that Hambledon is unlikely to get a 20mph speed limit through its centre – which some villagers have been asking for – as neither Surrey County Council or Surrey Police have any evidence that speeding is a problem. And they do not have data to indicate injury accidents have occurred with any frequency.

Nevertheless, the parish council stated that there was anecdotal evidence to indicate speeding was an issue. The outcome of the meeting was that speed data recorders will be temporarily installed at key locations along Hambledon Road to measure traffic speed.

However, the council was warned that this exercise may demonstrate that there is no significant speeding in the village, despite perceptions. And severe budget restraints may limit or exclude any steps that could be taken to implement traffic calming.

It was also suggested that Hambledon could consider implementing its own community speed watch. Police would provide villagers with approved speed detection devices. Drivers of vehicles caught speeding are sent warning letters.

The council has been investigating whether a 20mph speed limit could be introduced in the centre of the village, and in particular in the narrow section outside the Merry Harriers pub and the village nursery school, both of which have expressed support for traffic calming measures.

Parish councillors Mary Grove and Stewart Payne secured a meeting with Surrey County Council and Surrey Police.  Only SCC has the authority to approve road changes and reduce speed limits, and only Surrey Police can enforce the limits.

The meeting took place on Tuesday (February 26th) and was attended by Adrian Selby, senior SCC highways engineer, Graham Cannon from Surrey Police road safety traffic management office and PC Steve Milford, casualty reduction officer. Councillors Grove and Payne and Julie Fleney, parish clerk, showed them around the village and highlighted areas of specific concern.

Mr Selby had previously written to the parish council stating it was “extremely unlikely” that Hambledon would meet the criteria for lowering the current 30mph limit in the village centre. He also stated that SCC data did not indicate that any “particular safety problem exists” and that he was not able to recommend any engineering measures such as changes to road surfacing or road narrowing.

Despite this, Hambledon Parish Council has persisted and the meeting provided an opportunity to show SCC officers around the village and to discuss its concerns face-to-face. Continue reading

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.

 

 

Julie Flenley Takes Up Post As Hambledon Parish Council Clerk

Julie Flenley, the newly-appointed clerk to Hambledon Parish Council, has attended her first meeting, having taken up her appointment on January 1.

She replaces Caroline White, who resigned after serving as clerk for a year following the retirement of her long-standing predecessor, Jane Woolley.

Julie brings a wealth of experience in the public sector to the job and said she was looking forward to working with the seven elected Hambledon parish councillors and for the benefit of the village.

Julie was born and raised in County Londonderry, in the north west of Northern Ireland. After school and college at Limavady she left Derry to study business at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, where she obtained a degree in travel and tourism management.

She then moved to Manchester where she worked for what was then the Countryside Agency (now Natural England), the statutory body with responsibility for the rural environment.

She went on to join English Heritage, a non-departmental government body responsible for the protection and management of more than 400 historic monuments, buildings and places.

Julie’s work included assessing grant applications and she had a particular involvement in managing funding in relation to secular historic buildings and places of worship. Her duties required her to make financial needs assessments and also brought her into regular contact with local authority planning departments. This experience should stand her in good stead as she takes up her role as clerk to Hambledon Parish Council.

Julie said: “I think my background makes me suited to the job of clerk and I am looking forward to it very much”.

During her time in Manchester she met and married her husband Richard, who works in the legal profession. A move in his job resulted in them relocating to the south of England, with Julie taking a career break. They have lived on the outskirts of Chiddingfold for seven years. They have three sons, Joshua, William and Oliver, aged 12, eight and six who are, or were, educated at St Mary’s Primary School in Chiddingfold.

Julie and Richard are regular distance runners and frequently compete in local and national events. Julie said: “It would be wrong to call me an avid runner as I think I am a reluctant runner. But I am competitive and determined.

Last year she was part of a team of “mums from St Mary’s” who competed in the Three Peaks Challenge, which involved climbing the three highest peaks in England Wales and Scotland. Between them they raised funds for the school and a mental health charity.

“This year I will be taking part in eight half marathons and my husband will be undertaking two back-to-back full marathons.”

Her passion over many years has been horses and horse-riding. “My horse died last year so I am currently between horses, but it is something I love and will return to.”

Julie was welcomed to her first meeting as clerk on Wednesday (Jan 9th) at Hambledon Village Hall by chairman John Anderson and his councillor colleagues. Already very active in village and church life in Chiddingfold, Julie will now be closely associated with life an Hambledon as well.

  • The clerk is a salaried position, councillors are unpaid. Julie’s contact details, and those of councillors, can be found on the village website under “Organisations” and “Hambledon Parish Council”, and in the Parish Magazine on the “Useful Information and Telephone Numbers” page.

 

 

 

Peak District Village seeks Hambledon help in keeping red phone box

A small village on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District has turned to Hambledon for help in keeping its traditional red telephone kiosk.

Villagers in Simmondley, near Glossop, contacted Hambledon Parish Council after reading about how it had succeeded in getting the red K6-type phone box outside the village shop and post office listed as Grade II by Historic England.

The council also objected to proposals by BT, back in 2008, to disconnect the box, arguing that it was the only one in the village and should be retained for emergency use.

The kiosk in Simmondley is on the village green and BT has proposed disconnecting it. In the day of mobile phones, few people use public call boxes anymore. Various attempts to secure its future met with no success, and so residents turned to Hambledon.

One wrote: “Our community group applied to Historic England for permission to list the kiosk as it is under threat of being decommissioned. However, we have been turned down. Would you be kind enough to share your application arguments for listing as clearly we have not put a very good case forward.”

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Winter Weather Advice and Emergency Contacts

December 1st is the start of the meteorological winter, so this is a timely reminder that this website has a section containing advice and emergency contacts and this has been updated for the 2018/19 season.

This information can be found on the right hand side of the opening page headed Winter Weather Advice and Emergency Numbers or by clicking on this link http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=7991

Here you will find practical precautionary measures and details of how to contact service providers such as electricity and water companies.

The village has a team of volunteers who will do their best to assist residents if in need, and their  contact details can be found on the above link.

 

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.

 

 

Local Plan and Dunsfold Park – Deadlines for Comment/Objection/Support

LocalPlan_front_cover_final_version_

The deadlines are approaching for comment on Waverley Borough’s Local Plan and for objection/support of the Dunsfold Park planning application.

Comments on Waverley Borough Council’s Pre-Submission Local Plan Part 1: Strategic Policies and Sites can be made by clicking here and must be made by 5pm on Monday 3rd October.

Details of the Dunsfold Park planning application are available here. Comments of objection, support or general observation must be made by Friday 7th October.

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

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.

 

 

Surrey County Council Confirms 503 Bus Reprieve

Surrey County councillors have formally endorsed the recommendation not to withdraw the 503 bus service.

At a meeting of its Cabinet on Tuesday (May 24th) members approved the recommendations arising out of the council’s Local Transport Review, which originally proposed scrapping the 503, Hambledon’s only public transport service.

503 bus under threat again, January 2016 (2)

After public consultation and a campaign by Hambledon Parish Council and supported by residents, the review recommended retaining the 503, which operates three times a week, twice in each direction, and connects Hambledon and Hydestile with banks, surgeries and shops in Milford, Godalming and beyond. The 523 Godalming to Milford Hospital service has also been reprieved.

Both services are operated by Stagecoach but subsidised by Surrey County Council. SCC has been looking to make savings on the money it pays in support of rural bus services and the review has achieved this aim without necessitating the withdrawal of the 503 and 523.

There may be some alterations to the service, subject to further discussion (see earlier news item).

In the meantime the current timetable can be found on this website under the “Home” page link and then clicking on “Travel Info”.