Folly Hill: Leader's statement

Published Thursday, 24 January 2019

Waverley Borough Council is disappointed after exploring options to fight the Folly Hill homes appeal decision.

The council refused permission for 96 homes on fields south of Upper Old Park Lane in 2016. However, the applicants appealed this decision and a government planning inspector decided to allow the appeal in December. Following this news, the council explored options to overturn the decision, including obtaining external legal advice.

Councillor Julia Potts, Leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “I am extremely disappointed that the appeal decision was in favour of the development. I didn’t want this, the council didn’t want this, our residents certainly didn’t want this. It really is a shame that our view and the views of the people in our community were not shared by the inspector. We feel this development is absolutely wrong for the town.

“We put up a strong legal defence team to fight the inappropriate development at the public inquiry. Soon after the inspector’s decision, I wrote to the Rt Hon James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to express my concerns and dismay at the appeal outcome, as well as speaking with the local MP, Jeremy Hunt. I hope to receive a reply from the Secretary of State in due course; in the meantime I will continue to lobby to make sure the views of the town are heard. We believe this development will have a detrimental impact on the character of the area, contrary to the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan and Waverley’s adopted Local Plan.

“The council has also sought external legal advice on the prospects of challenging the inspector’s decision. Unfortunately this advice stated there was no error in law that we could base a challenge upon.

“Now we can only wait for Mr Brokenshire’s reply before deciding if there is any more we can do.

“Our Local Plan remains sound and up to date. We will continue to rely on it to defend the borough against inappropriate development.”

Read Cllr Potts' letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

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