It’s been a while now since our last Newsletter. Firstly, we would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year, and secondly update you on what has been happening and more importantly what we have been doing with regard to local issues.
The Village Green Application
In response to our counsels’ comments, Surrey County Council requested further clarification and advice from the Inspector, Mr. Webster, who oversaw the Public Inquiry last May. This advice has now been received and Surrey County Council have informed all parties that their report is going to the Planning and Regulatory Committee for a decision on 26th February 2014.
Recent Flooding in Ash
Everyone will be aware of the major surface water flooding which has occurred in Ash since the heavy rain started on Christmas Eve. We at Ash Residents Association know only too well the issues as our Committee have been out at 6:00am clearing culverts in the dark, to try to stop houses flooding, along with many other residents. Below are two photographs, taken in the last couple of weeks, which illustrate the problems.
Guildford Surface Water Management Plan
Surrey County Council recently commissioned water consultants, Halcrow Group based in Swindon, to undertake a Surface Water study for Guildford Borough. Once we learned of this, we had discussions with GBC Engineers, and it came to light that the study was not going to include Ash, because Ash comes under the Blackwater Valley. However, having spoken to the senior engineer who was involved with the Bewley Homes Planning Application, he agreed that the study should include Ash, and he managed to get further funding to accommodate us.
On Monday 13th January the Consultants, plus the GBC Engineer visited Ash, and our Chairman plus our water expert toured the whole of Ash, advising on the topology of Ash, where the storm drains and sewers are inadequate, why the massive volume of water collects in the fields behind Ash Lodge Drive / Loddon Way / South Lane, and why the fields play such a major role in flood prevention. We look forward to their report and findings.
Planning Application 12/P/01973 – Land to the South of Ash Lodge Drive
As you may be aware, Guildford Borough Council has yet to issue the formal approval for this Planning Application to Bewley Homes & a2dominion. In the last few days Ash Residents Association have made a formal request to Ash Parish Council, requesting they seek a Judicial Review of the decision taken at the extraordinary meeting of Guildford Borough Council on 24th September 2013 to approve 12/P/01973. Having obtained a copy of the video taken at the Council Meeting, under the Freedom of Information Act, and studied it, in detail, with our legal counsel, it is apparent that there are very good reason why a Judicial Review would be successful.
Planning Application 12/P/01534 – Land to the South of Foreman Road
Unfortunately, the planning appeal on this application was upheld, and therefore outline planning permission has been granted. However, it would appear from the decision by the Planning Inspectorate that no work can begin until an area of land suitable for a SANG can be found. This is by no means a foregone conclusion.
by Roger Smolski (Secretary, Ash Residents Association).
(Ash Residents Association is constitutionally bound to be non-political. References to political groupings in the following article are purely for identification purposes and are in no way meant to express political views).
As you may know Guildford Borough Council is in the process of formulating a new Local Plan which among other things will identify sites on which housing development can occur over the next twenty years. Before the final plan is produced a "Strategy and Sites Issues and Options" document for public consultation was approved at a Council Meeting on the 17th September 2013. At the same meeting Councillors also approved an eight week period of public consultation from 1 October 2013 to 29 November 2013.