WHY IS WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL PLANNING TO BUILD MORE HOUSES THAN NECESSARY?
On 21st February, the Council for Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and Protect Our Waverley (POW) were granted leave to appeal against the housing requirement set in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan Part 1: 590 a year including 83 to cover Woking Borough Council’s shortfall, called the “unmet need”. This appeal centres on how the “unmet need” in one borough is allocated to neighbouring boroughs. If the appeal succeeds, the housing requirement for 2013 – 2032 could be significantly reduced – by up to 83 a year or 1,577 over the life of the Plan. This represents a reduction of 14%. It means that 1 in 7 of the proposed houses need not be built. This reduction would benefit all of Waverley, reducing the pressure on its infrastructure and preserving its countryside. The table shows just what this could mean for YOUR area. For example, over 100 fewer houses would be needed in the small villages, and hundreds less in the larger settlements.
Yet Waverley Borough Council is fighting this appeal. POW Chairman Bob Lees said “It provides Waverley Borough Council with a golden opportunity to significantly reduce the number of new houses built in the Borough over the next 14 years. Why does the Council want to pursue unneeded development of our towns, of our villages and in our beautiful countryside? Voters need to demand that councillors standing for re-election in May explain why they are failing to take up the opportunity offered by this appeal. And to ask new candidates to say whether they would continue to fight this appeal if elected.”
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 was specifically against the housing target, and not the whole Plan. POW was granted leave to appeal against Waverley taking half of Woking’s “unmet need” and on 9th and 10th October 2018 a hearing was held in the High Court in London. However, Deputy Judge, Nathalie Lieven QC, rejected the challenge on 5th November.
On 27th November CPRE and POW sought leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal against the judgement delivered on 5th November. Leave to appeal was granted on 21st February and the case is expected to be heard later this year.
Protect Our Waverley Campaign
Protect Our Waverley campaigns against the 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 and its companion website: www.dunsfoldvillage.co.uk
For more information please contact: Bob Lees, Chairman of the Campaign 077860 406093 firstname.lastname@example.org