HIGH COURT CHALLENGE ON WAVERLEY’S HOUSING NUMBERS

November 27, 2018

PRESS RELEASE   Tuesday 27th November 2018

From Protect Our Waverley campaign

HIGH COURT CHALLENGE ON WAVERLEY’S HOUSING NUMBERS

The battle to stop the development of Dunsfold Aerodrome is over. Today POW has announced there is nothing further it can do to prevent the controversial housing development after losing their legal challenge in the High Court. However, the fight to reduce the housing requirement imposed upon the whole of the Borough of Waverley continues. Both CPRE and POW have sought leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal against the judgment delivered on 5th November concerning the housing requirement set in part of Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan Part 1. This judgement stated that the housing requirement of 590 a year should be maintained, including 83 to cover Woking’s perceived “unmet need”.

The appeal centres on how a shortfall in housing provision – unmet need – in one borough is allocated to neighbouring boroughs. The clarification of this issue has implications not just for Waverley but for Guildford and across the country.

This appeal comes against the background of two important changes. First, Woking Borough Council has declared that it now has no unmet need. Second, new demographic numbers recently released by the Office for National Statistics imply a much reduced need for new housing.

Bob Lees, chairman of POW, said “It will be a huge disappointment to residents in the Eastern villages and in Guildford and Godalming that the approval for development of Dunsfold Aerodrome will proceed. However, POW remains firmly behind the requirement that houses should be built and that they should be built in the right place. They should not be built just to satisfy the outward migration from outside our Borough, rather for local people at affordable prices.”

Bob Lees added “This is a golden opportunity for the Council to significantly reduce the mandatory number of new houses to be built in the whole of Waverley over the next 14 years. It has implications for those many residents of the Borough facing new and large housing developments on their own doorsteps, planned without adequate infrastructure. POW fought against the housing requirement at the Examination of the Plan in the Council Chamber. POW fought again in the High Court, and POW will fight in the Court of Appeal to protect Waverley against unneeded development of our towns, of our villages and in our beautiful countryside.”

Download: Press release POW Nov 27


 

Notes for Editors

In August 2016, Waverley Borough Council (WBC) published its draft Local Plan Part 1. An Examination in Public was held between 27th June and 6th July 2017 by Government Planning Inspector Jonathan Bore. During this hearing, Mr Bore increased the number of homes to be built from 519 to 590 a year, including 83 to meet Woking’s “unmet need”. WBC failed to challenge this increase. Mr Bore published his report, including the higher housing target, on 1st February 2018. WBC accepted it and adopted the Local Plan Part 1 on 20th February 2018.

On 29th March 2018 POW and the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) both lodged ‘Section 113’ challenges against Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 on the basis of the need for housing. POW has campaigned throughout for a properly sustainable Local Plan for Waverley and this challenge is specifically against the housing target, and not the whole Plan. POW’s initial appeal was on two grounds:

  1. That the calculated housing need had to be met despite the constraints faced in Waverley with its Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
  2. That Waverley should take half of Woking’s unmet need, amounting to 83 dwellings a year.

The first was rejected in the High Court in July, but the second claim was allowed.

On 9th and 10th October a hearing was held in the High Court in London to answer the case made against the housing requirement set in Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 to cover Woking’s unmet need and the lawfulness of the to the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning permission to build 1,800 houses on Dunsfold Aerodrome. The Deputy Judge, Nathalie Lieven QC, rejected both challenges on 5th November. POW is now challenging the decision on the total housing numbers in the Local Plan but is not challenging the decision on the development of Dunsfold Aerodrome.

Protect Our Waverley Campaign
Protect Our Waverley Campaign campaigns against unnecessary development and unsustainable planning applications throughout the Borough of Waverley. The campaign is managed by POWCampaign Ltd.  For information about POWCampaign please see the campaign’s website

www.powcampaign.org

For more information please contact: Bob Lees, Chairman of the Campaign   07860 406093   bob@powcampaign.org

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