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Posted by JamesHill on 10th August 2016
Categories:

Land At Green Lane Farm, Green Lane

The BLCA has now objected to this planning application as follows.  Details of the application can be found on the Waverley Planning website here.  Residents are also able to respond to the application at the same link.

We are opposed to this application for the following reasons:

  1. It is a `green field` site set within the Strategic Gap.
  2. It is not consistent with the emerging Neighbourhood Plan or the Farnham Design Statement.
  3. It is an unsustainable location with poor transport links.
  4. Risk of surface water flooding.
  5. Lack of any Local Consultation.
  6. Failure to meet NPPF guidelines.
  7. Waverley BC are not failing in their duty to provide sufficient planning consents to fulfil their 5 year housing supply needs. 

Detailed Comment


Strategic Gap
It is a `green field` site within the Farnham/Aldershot Strategic Gap. This development along with others now coming forward are in danger of creating a suburban sprawl linking Farnham, Badshot Lea, Weybourne and Aldershot. The development of `brown field` sites across the borough should take precedent over the loss of any `green fields`.

Neighbourhood Plan
The emerging Neighbourhood Plan identifies sufficient sites and housing numbers to provide the required housing for the current review period. This, together with the Farnham Design Statement, makes this application unwanted and unnecessary.

Transport
In the Planning Statement  at 2.6.4 they refer to the hourly service provided by the number 46 bus. This is no longer an hourly service and will be discontinued through Badshot Lea altogether from September 2016. A much reduced service will then be provided by the number 16, possibly only Monday to Friday.
Car ownership in Weybourne and Badshot Lea and the use of a car to get to work are well above the average for the borough at 77% whilst cycling is well below average at 1%. The addition of over 100 cars will add significantly to the congestion already experienced in the area.
Cycling is not a safe alternative transport on the busy local roads. There are very good reasons why cycling in Weybourne and Badshot Lea is at the very low level of 1%.

Drainage/Flooding
Flooding on this site has been an issue for many years and is caused by surface water collecting at the lowest point. A large part of this field becomes a lake for an extended period every winter. The expected increase in severe weather incidents associated with climate change means that any development on this site could add to the existing flooding problem along Monkton Lane.

Consultation/Community Involvement
Section 6 of the Planning Statement refers to consultation with Surrey County Council. There are no other references to consultation, as by their own admission none has occurred, yet NPPF para 66 is quite clear:
`Applicants will be expected to work closely with those directly affected by
their proposals to evolve designs that take account of the views of the
community`.

NPPF Guidelines and Principles
As previously described the applicant has completely ignored the need for local consultation and the need to comply with the core Principles of the NPPF. This states that development should: 
`be genuinely plan-led, empowering local people to shape their surroundings, with succinct local and neighbourhood plans setting out a positive vision for the future of the area`.

The emerging Neighbourhood Plan and the Farnham Design Statement are quite clear where development should go and how it should relate to the existing community.

Five year Housing Supply
The shortfall in the 5 year housing supply is entirely due to the lack of completions by the building industry. Over recent years the Borough Council has consistently approved the required consents to provide the housing required. It is a cynical ploy by the industry to then justify their application through the shortfall in housing completions. 

Summary                                                                                          
The application does not conform to important sections of the NPPF. And, by ignoring local planning guidelines, proposes a development that is isolated and out of keeping with its surrounding green and open environment.

Badshot Lea and the immediate local area now has six applications for a total of 492 homes. The area cannot possibly sustain this level of development therefore design quality and local planning guidance should decide which of these applications should be successful.

The short term problem with five year housing supply across the borough is no justification for this unnecessary development. This application would create unacceptable urban sprawl within the Aldershot/ Farnham Strategic Gap and should be rejected in favour of more suitable sites.

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