A light dusting of snow on the Hopfields, February 2015

22 February 2015
As already reported here, the Hopfields application was deferred at the Waverley Joint Planning Meeting on Wed 18th Feb. This leaves us in an unusual and uncertain position. Presumably Waverley will take some follow-up action to address the concerns of the Councillors.

A surprising proportion of the meeting was devoted to discussions around the question of SANGS at Church Crookham, and this was very much the hook on which Councillor Blagden's deferral motion was hung. Other important issues were of course raised; as expected those in favour of the application emphasised the great need for affordable housing in the area, and the fact that the Taylor Wimpey application suggests they would provide more than 40% of such units.

Concerns were expressed about increased traffic and pollution but some councillors also picked up on our point that the NNPF (paragraph 110) says land of lower amenity value should be used first – before other sites, examples of which are available and identified in the Neighbourhood Plan survey. This totally sensible approach would be possible if there were a local plan - which the Council ought to have produced to avoid these speculative developments. The responding Council Officer, however, said very clearly that this application had to be treated in isolation on a first come, first served basis, which makes a nonsense of the NNPF requirement. We will continue to argue that Councillors ARE able to use their discretion to rule out building on high amenity land such as the Hopfields.

The decision to defer means that Waverley will no doubt be seriously seeking (with Natural England, Farnham Town Council and the developers) a different solution to their SANGS problem. There may be further investigation of using on-site SANGS, and one councillor suggested using the whole site as SANGS to allow building elsewhere in Farnham.

We will keep you informed as the situation develops.

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The Association Committee currently comprises the following residents:

Chairman

Dr Penny Marriott

Treasurer

Mr Dennis Banks

Secretary

Mrs Julie Russ

Committee

Mr Stewart Edge
Mrs Harriet Ellis
Mr David King
Mr Graham Leach
Mr Keith Miller
Mr Tony Ostime
Mr John Williamson

Last updated: Sunday 22 February 2015

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