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.

Hambledon Parish Council expressed its opposition to the idea and has been in touch with Mr Kemp. He has now given the following statement.

I have read a lot of paperwork and had many conversations on this matter to get a true understanding of the issue.

On the main point of the question which was a relief road, I believe the environmental and local impact would be too great and don’t believe this could be delivered and should not be pursued any further.

Having said that, it has become clear to me that with all the planned developments around this area we need to look at the road network and identify pinch points through the route and see if there are any local improvement schemes that would ease congestion and then see if we can identify funding for these.

I am sorry if this caused concern but I don’t believe is saying no just because somebody else did. If I am asked a question, I will always consider evidence before giving a formal response.

Regards

Colin Kemp

Deputy Leader

Surrey County

 

The matter was also taken up by concerned residents at Feathercombe, leading to local MP Jeremy Hunt contacting Surrey County Council on their behalf. He has received the following reply from Gill Steward, who is executive director for community protection, transport and environment.

 

She wrote:

Dear Mr Hunt,

Thank you for your correspondence forwarding on the concerns of Ms Jo Bell regarding proposals for a new road link between Dunsfold and the A3 at Milford.

Colin Kemp, Deputy Leader for Surrey County Council, was asked the question through Committee whether the County were prepared to undertake a feasibility study into the Guildford Society’s proposals for a new road link between Dunsfold and the A3 at Milford. He responded by saying that he understood the matter had been considered, but wanted the opportunity to speak with officers about the proposal and consider the work previously undertaken, to establish if it was a viable option. This was to ensure that he had been thorough in his consideration before providing a view on the matter.

As a result, following the review of the option with officers Colin has come to the conclusion that the road scheme is not viable and that it would have a significant environmental impact on the communities along its route. There is therefore no intention to undertake any further studies or investigation of this proposal.

I hope this addresses the concerns raised and clarifies the position regarding the feasibility study.

Kind regards,

Gill

 

Hopefully that will be the end of the matter.

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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Training offered in Hambledon for use of life-saving defibrillators

Training in the use of defibrillators (AEDs) is being offered to residents following the installation of one inside the former telephone kiosk at the Hydestile Crossroads.

This takes the number of defibrillators in the village area to five; outside the village shop, on the exterior wall of the Merry Harriers, at St Peter’s Church, at Hambledon Football Club’s ground at Badger Park, and now at Hydestile.

Alison Martin, a Busbridge Parish councillor who helped arrange for the AED (automated external defibrillator) to be installed in the traditional red kiosk – which has also undergone renovation in the process – has arranged for a training session to be held in the meeting room at St Peter’s Church, Church Lane, Hambledon, on Saturday September 28th.

The training will be given by an expert from the London-based Barts City Life Saver organisation, a charity that teaches life saving skills and originated from St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The session begins at 11am with basic life saving training, then AED training at 2pm followed by baby and child resuscitation at 3pm. Participants can opt to attend the whole session, or part.

AED’s are used on people suffering from sudden cardiac arrest and, along with Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, can greatly increase survival rates.

Training will be free to the Hydestile volunteers on the Busbridge Parish Council-sponsored rota, but to all others there will be a nominal cost of £20 per person to cover the costs of the trainer travelling to and from London and a donation to the charity’s work.

Anyone in the village can register to attend. Please contact Alison Martin at email amtillies417@gmail.com or by phone on 01483 893619.

If you would like to know more about the work of the charity please visit www.bartscitylifesaver.org

 

 

A New View Of An Old School

Hambledon Nursery School has a strong association with residents of the village. Many helped turn the former Church of England state primary school, which closed its doors in 1983, into what it is today.

Their initiative and enterprise led to the purchase of the Victorian school building and playground in the lovely rural setting of Rock Hill. And they were responsible for its transformation into a  nursery school for two to five-year olds, administered by a charitable trust.

Today the school is a popular choice for parents in Hambledon and beyond. Its strong links with the local community remain in place. Trustees are drawn from the village and include representatives from St Peter’s Church and the Parish Council.

So villagers may like to take a look at the school’s new website which can be found at www.hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk This is beautifully and colourfully illustrated with photographs of the school, including an interesting aerial view. You will find photographs of staff and of children, at work and play.

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Hydestile Celebrates With A Party In A Phone Box

Hydestile Crossroads residents have held a party in a phone box to celebrate the renovation of the traditional red kiosk and its new role as a location for a defibrillator.

Almost two dozen Crossroaders, past and present, raised a glass of champagne to toast the completed restoration before moving on to a garden party.

The kiosk, a familiar landmark on the approach to Hambledon, looked resplendent with new paint and a new sign around the top of the glass sides stating “Defibrillator”.

The transformation of the former payphone is the work of neighbouring Busbridge Parish Council. The crossroads forms a part of the boundary between it and Hambledon Parish Council. Many rural payphones see little use and Busbridge PC decided it was no longer prepared to pay a maintenance fee to BT for it to remain operational.

Instead it negotiated for BT to remove the phone apparatus and to hand over ownership to the council. It then had the kiosk professionally restored, inside and out (see earlier news story on this website), and for the defibrillator to be installed. The box will continue to illuminate at night.

The initiative was led by Busbridge councillors Alison Martin and John Graves. John, who lives at the crossroads, and his wife Elaine hosted a garden dinner party following the kiosk celebration.

The gathering brought together almost all of the current crossroads residents and the welcome return of a few who have moved away. Continue reading

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.

 

Local Borough Council Election Results

The Conservatives have lost overall control of Waverley Borough Council.

Witley and Hambledon Ward returned two Tory councillors, although only a handful of votes separated them from a challenge by an Independent candidate.

The result, as reported by Waverley Borough Council, is as follows.

  • George Adam Davies, Labour Party – 267 votes
  • Jan Floyd-Douglass, Conservative Party candidate – 617 votes – ELECTED
  • Maxine Beatrice Gale, Independent – 601 votes
  • Trevor James Sadler, Conservative Party candidate – 615 votes – ELECTED
  • Total number of ballot papers verified: 1225
  • Electorate: 3007
  • Turnout: 40.7%

 

Following the local government elections on Thursday (May 2nd) the count was held today.

Across the Borough there were gains for the Liberal Democrats and the Farnham Residents party.

The Conservatives had 23 candidates returned. Farnham Residents Association had 15, Liberal Democrats 14, Labour 2 and there was one Independent – a combined total of 32.

The full results can be found on the Waverley Borough Council website by clicking on the following link.

https://www.waverley.gov.uk/info/200138/elections/2153/results_for_borough_elections_-_thursday_2_may_2019

Annual Village Meeting – Positive Reports And A Chance To Set Up Community Speed Watch

A successful Annual Parish Meeting was held last week (Apr 25th) with a record attendance and lively debate, particularly on the issue of speeding in the village and measures that can be taken to prevent it.

A packed Village Hall heard from Inspector Gary Smith, Surrey Police’s Waverley Borough Commander, who spoke of how his force is having to combat budget cuts and reduced officer numbers. Despite these restraints he was upbeat in his appraisal of policing in the borough, which has the lowest crime rate in the county.

He listened to concerns expressed about speeding on Hambledon’s narrow roads and the rat-run and HGV issues on rural Salt Lane and Markwick Lane. He said that funding cuts limited what measures can be taken and pointed out that other areas suffered from greater speeding problems than Hambledon. That is where resources will be directed.

But he said he and his officers would work closely with villagers if they decided to set up a Community Speed Watch. Some residents signed up to this at the end of the meeting and others may do so if they wish at the Village Shop. Or please email parish councillor May Grove on grovemum@aol.com

The scheme would need at least six volunteers giving and hour or so a week and they would receive police training in the use of speed detection devices. Motorists caught speeding would be sent warning notices. The scheme would also be a way of providing data about speeding in the village.

More details can be found here

The meeting, hosted by the Parish Council, heard a report of its activities over the last 12 months from chairman John Anderson, who also thanked Paul Pattinson, who has stood down after 12 years as a councillor. He is replaced by Robin McKeith, who was welcomed to his new role.

All of the village’s many clubs and organisations gave positive reports about their activities.

Two days after the meeting the annual village clean-up took place, followed by a barbecue outside the village shop.

 

 

Annual Village Meeting Will Hear From Police Commander And Discuss Speeding

Hambledon’s Annual Village Meeting, hosted by the Parish Council at the Village Hall this Thursday evening,  is to be addressed by Inspector Gary Smith, Waverley Borough Commander for Surrey Police.

He will give an overview of policing in the borough as well as deal with concerns about speeding traffic in the village.

The Parish Council has been exploring various road traffic initiatives and has held meetings with police and Surrey County Council highways engineers in recent months. However, it has been made clear that no traffic calming measures are likely to be introduced.

Budget restraints and a lack of statistical evidence to indicate that Hambledon has a speeding problem have been cited as reasons why the village can expect little in the way of new measures. The council had been exploring a proposal for a 20mph speed restriction in the centre.

The Annual Meeting will provide an opportunity to ask questions of our borough commander as well as hear more about what the Parish Council has been trying to achieve.

There will also be an opportunity to consider whether Hambledon wants to set up a Community Speed Watch where volunteers, with police training, use detection devices to check on the speed of vehicles in the village. Those caught above the limit are sent warning letters.

This would also be a means of determining whether speeding is a real issue and not just anecdotal and would help reinforce the case for traffic calming measures.

The scheme would have to be run by villagers and without sufficient volunteers it will not happen.

Those interested in taking part will be asked to sign their names at the end of the meeting, which will also hear annual reports from the Parish Council and village clubs and organisations.

Refreshments will be served from 7.30pm and the meeting starts at 8pm. (See previous news item for more information)

Details will also be given about taking part in the annual village clean-up, which takes places on Saturday (April 27th) followed at around noon by a parish barbecue outside the village shop.

All are welcome at the Annual Meeting, the clean-up and the barbecue.

Local Elections – Hambledon Parish Council Uncontested

There will be no election for Hambledon Parish Council next month as the seven available places are uncontested.

Waverley Borough Council, the electoral authority for the area, published the list of nominated candidates for borough, town and parish councils yesterday.

This can be found on the Parish Council section of this website here. http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?page_id=166

It showed that six of the current seven parish councillors offered themselves for re-election – John Anderson, Mary Grove, Mike Parry, Stewart Payne, Sean Sinnott and Philip Underwood. Paul Pattinson, a parish councillor for 12 years, is standing down.

Only one other candidate put his name forward for nomination, Robin McKeith, who lives in Vann Lane.

This meant that there were seven candidates for the seven available places and Waverley duly posted a Notice of Uncontested Election.

Both current Waverley Borough councillors for the Witley and Hambledon ward are standing down. Four candidates for the two places were nominated – two Conservative, one Labour and one Independent. The election will take place for this and all other contested Borough wards, and town and parish councils, on May 2nd.

The existing parish council remains in place until that date.

Very few of the 20 parish and town councils in the Waverley area have contested elections as most only have enough candidates willing to stand as there are places available. Parish councillors are unpaid and do not stand for political parties.

A full list of candidates for wards and parishes can be found here. https://www.waverley.gov.uk/news/article/480/candidates_announced_for_local_elections

Parish Council Gives Conditional Support to Orchard Farm Housing Proposal

Hambledon Parish Council has given its conditional support to a planning application to build nine houses, seven of them affordable, at Orchard Farm, Wormley Lane.

At its monthly meeting on Tuesday (April 2) councillors were unanimous in agreeing its response to Waverley Borough Council which, as the local planning authority, will determine the application.

Full details can be found on the Parish Council section on this website, under the heading Legislation and Planning. http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?page_id=166

English Rural Housing Association is seeking approval for a scheme to build seven 1, 2 and 3-bedroom properties for affordable rent or shared ownership and two open-market bungalows. Priority will be given to local people with a connection to Hambledon.

This application follows the rejection of a previous proposal to build 17 homes – 12 affordable and 5 market – on the site, which occupies land between Wormley Lane and Petworth Road.

In its response, Hambledon Parish Council stated that it continued to support the provision of affordable housing in the village and noted the reduction in the size of the proposed development, which is on land within the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Waverley would need to determine whether the proposal satisfies the requirements for it to be considered a rural exception site.

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Parish Council To Consider Orchard Farm Planning Proposal

Hambledon Parish Council will consider its response to the new application by the English Rural Housing Association to build seven affordable and two market-price homes at Orchard Farm, Wormley Lane, at its monthly meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday April 2nd, 2019).

The meeting starts at 8pm at Hambledon Village Hall. The application will be discussed at the planning section of the meeting. Anyone who wishes to raise issues about the application, or any other matter, is invited to do so at the start of the meeting when 15 minutes are set aside for questions from members of the public. The response will be sent to Waverley Borough Council, which will determine the outcome of the application.

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Surrey Highways Boss To Answer Salt Lane Traffic Concerns

Rat run at Marepond

Surrey County Council has been told that its cabinet member in charge of highways must be called to address issues of safety, rat-running and heavy goods vehicles on the narrow cut-through of Salt Lane at Hydestile.

In what is a significant achievement for local resident and campaigner Paul Osborne, a joint meeting of county and Waverley Borough councillors agreed that further consideration should be given to measures to mitigate the increase in traffic along the cut-through route of Station Lane, Hydestile Crossroads, Salt Lane and Markwick Lane.

Paul had successfully petitioned to have the issue added to the agenda of the SCC Waverley Local Committee meeting held on March 22nd. He needed 30 signatures before SCC would agree. In the event he had 251, most of them Hambledon and Hydestile residents, which demonstrated the extent of concern about the east-west route linking the A3 and Milford Station with Dunsfold Park, the A281 and Cranleigh.

In a powerful video presentation, seen by committee members before the debate, Paul sought to demonstrate how a narrow, rural lane with passing places was already at beyond capacity, and the problem would only get worse with the prospect of major new housing at Dunsfold Aerodrome together with others at Milford Golf Course, Milford Hospital and in and around Cranleigh.


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Parish Council Statement

Hambledon Parish Council has been approached by a concerned resident wanting to know if it is responsible for an anonymous document that has been delivered to some households in the village expressing opinions about the new planning application for affordable homes at Orchard Farm.

The parish council is NOT responsible for this document, which is headed “Briefing Note to Local Residents”.

The resident contacted the parish clerk to express anger that the document appears to be biased, is not on headed notepaper, and is unsigned and unsolicited. The resident added that whoever is behind the document should have the courtesy to sign it.

In response the clerk has reassured the resident that the document has nothing to do with the parish council. The council is currently considering the application and has informed Waverley Borough Council that it will comment on it once it has the opportunity to discuss it at its next monthly meeting in early April.

Details of the application have already been posted on this website and can be found here

http://www.hambledonsurrey.co.uk/?p=10886

Local Council Elections on May 2nd. Do you want to be a councillor?

Local council elections will be held on Thursday May 2nd, and anyone who wishes to stand as a councillor must register to do so with Waverley Borough Council.

The elections are for borough, town and parish councils and potential candidates can register from this Friday March 22nd until 4pm on Wednesday April 3rd.

Nomination papers are available from Waverley Borough Council and, when completed, must be returned to the council by hand at a booked appointment time.

Full details can be found at https://www.waverley.gov.uk/elections2019 By following the links you can download a registration document and read more about what is involved.

A news item can be found here https://www.waverley.gov.uk/news/article/474/nominations_open_for_2_may_council_elections

 

 

 

 

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/