The Dunsfold Planning Inquiry will convene for the final hearing at 9.30am on Thursday 3rdAugust when the three parties – Waverley Borough Council, Dunsfold Park and POW & the Joint Parishes – will make their closing statements before the Planning Inspector.
This is your opportunity to attend the Waverley Borough Council Offices and sit in the public gallery and show your support for the respective parties.
Tuesday is the start of possibly the most important Inquiry for the future of Hambledon and surrounding villages.
For those who are interested in the upcoming Secretary of State’s Public Inquiry into the planning application for 1,800 houses on Dunsfold Aerodrome there is an opportunity to make your views heard. The Public Inquiry starts at 10am on Tuesday 18th July in the Waverley Borough Council Main Council Chamber. If you wish to make a personal statement on behalf of yourself or an organisation then Personal statements are currently due to be heard this coming Thursday PM from 2pm and Friday AM from 10am. The Inquiry is due to last for three weeks and will sit from 10am until 5pm Tuesday to Friday each week.
You can learn more at the Alfold Parish Council Website: www.Alfold.org
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.
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:
No very special circumstances exist to outweigh the harm to the Green Belt, contrary to Policy C1 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan.
No very special circumstances exist to outweigh the harm to the AONB, contrary to Policy C3 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan.
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.
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.
This is possibly the most important issue facing Hambledon residents. The Government’s Housing Paper headline of “the right homes in the right places” has been ignored in the granting of planning permission for 1800+ homes at Dunsfold – without any road or rail infrastructure to cope with the resulting increase in population. Not least of the issues, our roads can not sustain the increase of 1000’s of commuters travelling to Witley and Milford stations and to the A3. It will have an overwhelming impact upon Hambledon and surrounding villages on these routes. So residents have more to lose should these homes be built.
As you may know, Waverley Borough Council’s Planning decision to approve the development has been referred to the Secretary of State for consideration. Likewise WBC’s Local Plan is also being reviewed by a Planning Inspector. The combined local Parishes and the Protect our Waverley Campaign (POW) are the official invited parties to put forward the case to the Secretary of State that the Dunsfold aerodrome is the wrong place for such development. Redevelopment at the aerodrome is not a done deal and there is a good case to present in rejecting the planning approval AND the local plan – but it needs professional representation. I am confident that POW and the Parishes have a professional team in place and are our best option for defeating the impending redevelopment. This is imminent and the Joint Parish Councils and POW have issued a “call for funds” document (below) , and an appeal to residents to support this most important matter.
Paul Osborne, Hydestile
URGENT CALL FOR FUNDS
POW and the Joint Parish Councils succeeded in our requests for the Secretary of State to call-in the planning application for 1800 houses at Dunsfold Aerodrome (Dunsfold New Town). This means that he will decide whether planning permission is granted after a full Public Inquiry. We now urgently need funds for the forthcoming Public Inquiry, which is scheduled to start on 18th July
As Rule 6 parties, POW and the Joint Parish Councils will be taking a leading role in the Public Inquiry to persuade a Planning Inspector and the Secretary of State that Dunsfold Park is the wrong place for the proposed development and this application should be refused. The Secretary of State’s decision will be final.
We will be the only Rule 6 parties arguing for the application to be refused, for which we have been advised we have a strong case and every chance of being successful.
In order to put up a robust case, we will need professional help to represent us:
A traffic consultant;
A planning consultant, and
None of these come without significant cost. There is much work to be done and appointments must be made now; we need funds to enable this. We will be running fund-raising events in the next few weeks and we hope you’ll support us generously.
In addition, any donation you can make now would be very gratefully received:
Dunsfold Airfield has been nominated for designation as a Conservation Area. Local Planning Authorities are obliged to designate as conservation areas any parts of their own area that are of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. Waverley Borough Council Planning Department are considering an application for Dunsfold Aerodrome now and there is a consultation process concluding on April 28th 2017. If you want to support the designation then now is the time to make comments about what Dunsfold means to you via WBC’s simple online questionnaire here.
The original application for designation was made by Dunsfold Airfield History Society(DAHS) in parallel with Historic England‘s proposals for Listed status on upto 10 buildings and structures on the airfield. The history society has launched a new website this week: https://dunsfoldairfield.org/
The 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.
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
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.
The very important planning meeting on the proposed Dunsfold New Town Development is scheduled for Wednesday 14th December at 6.30pm at the Waverley Borough Offices in Godalming. This is a meeting that is critical to the future of the villages between Dunsfold and the A3 and rail stations as the road infrastructure between will take a significant proportion of the resultant commuter traffic.
A number of residents from local villages are expected to assemble at the Council Offices in the The Burys at 5:30pm to demonstrate against the proposals and later listen from the public gallery.
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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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” 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.
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 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.
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”.
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.
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.
The annual Parish Assembly, held on Thursday evening at the village hall, was well attended and produced a number of ideas to be included in the proposed new Parish Plan.
The Parish Plan is a formal document taken into account by public authorities such as Waverley Borough Council when considering issues that involve Hambledon, especially planning and highways. It is also a point of reference for Hambledon Parish Council in its work to help fulfill the aims and ambitions of village residents.
Following a report of the parish council’s activities over the past year as well as those of various village organisations, the assembly heard ideas from residents on what they would like to be included in the new Parish Plan.
High on the list was a request, led by Hambletots, for a small play area for children, ideally somewhere close to the village shop. This idea had a lot of support. It was pointed out that play equipment need not be made of intrusive coloured plastics and could be made of wood to suit the rural environment of the shop, pond and cricket green.
Other suggestions included improved drainage for the cricket pitch, a public toilet for the use of visitors to the shop and its cafe and provision of a bike rack, as the shop is regularly used by cyclists. On the issue of cycling, it was pointed out that the village was on the route of many organised cycle events. The poor state of road edges presented a danger. It was suggested that, given the number of events, maybe external funding could be found to carry out improvements.
There was also support for the retention of the 503 bus service, currently under threat (see earlier news items) and concern that car parks at the two nearest railway stations, Witley and Milford, were now at capacity. It was recognised that any new development at the Dunsfold Aerodrome site would only add to the problem, along with associated traffic problems on the narrow, rural village roads.
The Parish Council is currently gathering ideas for the new Parish Plan. It is likely that a steering group made up of councillors and villagers will be established to take the plan forward.
Tomorrow (Saturday) is the annual village clean-up, this year tied in with Clean For The Queen in recognition of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Villagers are asked to gather any litter and bring it to a collection point at the shop where, starting at around midday, a free barbecue will be held for volunteer litter pickers.
In the afternoon a jumble sale will be held at the Village Hall to raise funds for its maintenance.
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.
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 commenton this article, or sent to the Clerkby 15 March so that they can be included in the discussion document.