In a letter published in the Farnham Herald, Waverley Liberal Democrat Chairman Stewart Edge outlined the response he received when he challenged the Council Leader on the plans for the 1400 extra houses that are needed to be built in the Borough. The answer was that they were going to end up in Farnham and Cranleigh without even assessing Dunsfold as a practical alternative.
Since the public consultation last year on where new houses should go, the numbers Waverley must plan for have increased by 1400. At the Waverley Full Council Meeting on Tuesday the Council Leader said that that ‘there is no reason to consider putting 4800 houses (1400 more) at Dunsfold Aerodrome’, confirming that, without any assessment at all, they have decided that it is better to add these extra houses to the number that Farnham and Cranleigh will have to take. No assessment, they are saying, is necessary of the relative merits of the alternatives – for example the ease of providing extra transport infrastructure for a newly planned village at Dunsfold compared with relying on unspecified, unfunded improvements to Farnham’s already clogged road system.
At the earlier Executive Meeting, the Planning Portfolio holder gave a similar answer, claiming that that transport assessments do not cover this option of 4800 at Dunsfold. They don’t because they aren’t asking the question. I have now received, under a Freedom of Information Act request, the specification given by the Council for this report. As expected this confirms that they have been asked to ‘focus on the outputs of the scenario with 1800 houses at Dunsfold Aerodrome’. Remember 80% of respondents to the consultation wanted 3400 (the maximum offered then before the numbers required increased) at Dunsfold.
When are our local Conservative councillors going to stand up to this manipulation by the Waverley Conservative Executive? When are Waverley Council going to assess the implications of building the additional houses they are surreptitiously planning for Farnham (and Cranleigh) on the local infrastructure, particularly traffic, in a fair comparison with the alternatives available using Dunsfold?
Chairman, Waverley Liberal Democrats