Text of Press Release:
Today, 15th February, POW and the Joint Parish Councils (Alfold, Bramley, Busbridge, Chiddingfold, Dunsfold, Hambledon, Hascombe, Loxwood, Plaistow & Ifold, Wonersh) have taken up the Secretary of State’s invitation to comment on Inspector Bore’s Report on the Waverley Draft Local Plan Part 1 by robustly condemning the key conclusions. POW and the Joint Parishes believe the Report to be unsound.
POW and the Joint Parish Councils’ challenge to the Report is summarised below:
1. Misdirection of Law on Paragraph 14 of the NPPF
Inspector Bore at both the Examination in Public and in his Report has stated that the OAN of 590 dwellings a year ‘has to be met’ in full. This is a clear conflict with the National Planning Policy Framework. POW therefore maintains this statement to be unlawful.
2. Failing to Take Account of the Planning History and Inconsistency of Decisions
The previous decision, in 2009, established that the proposed development at Dunsfold Park is “inherently unsustainable” and in particular, “unsustainable in transport terms”. Nothing has changed since 2009 and the decision on the Called In Planning Inquiry will not be known until 31st March. However, the Report has failed to take the 2009 decision into account which POW again maintains is unlawful.
3. Failing to Take Account of Matters Relevant to Identification of Brownfield Land
There appears to be a very selective and incorrect approach to the Brownfield designation of the site at Dunsfold Park. It is certainly not all Brownfield as the Report implies, but Inspector Bore did not consider the full evidence before reaching his own conclusion.
4. Erroneous Approach to Waverley’s Housing Requirement and Duty to Co-operate
POW has maintained throughout both the Local Plan and Planning Application for Dunsfold Park that the OAN for Waverley is set far too high. This is backed up by robust analysis which the Report has failed to properly consider, especially in the uplift of 25% for affordability and the uplift of 83 houses per annum to help meet Woking’s unmet need. In both areas POW believes that the Report has failed to take relevant information into account and Waverley Borough Council has failed to properly challenge these numbers. Moreover, POW has uncovered evidence not considered in the Report, ie: that Woking can actually meet it’s unmet need and therefore there is no necessity to impose any extra from there onto Waverley. This had been highlighted by Waverley and Guildford Borough Councils but was never considered in Inspector Bore’s Examination.
POW therefore concludes that the Council would be acting prematurely and potentially unlawfully if it was to adopt the Plan at its meeting on 20th February.
The full letter and appendices are attached:
Press Release in downloadable PDF: