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Letter: Why Shouldn’t Ash & Tongham Have Some Green Belt

From Fiona Samuel-Holmes

I think Ben Paton in his letter: The Conservatives Are Driving a Coach and Horses Through National Planning Policy must mean a different Ash & Tongham, not the one in Surrey where I reside, otherwise he would be aware that the following planning applications have either been granted or are in the process of planning or appeal.

1) Land North of Poyle Road, Tongham – outline application for up to 150 residential dwellings
2) Warren Farm, Ash Green – planning passed for 58 dwellings
3) Ash Manor – Phase 1 – 95 dwellings – going to Appeal
4) Ash Manor – Phase 2 – outline planning submitted for 100 dwellings (there are a possible 5 phases of the Ash Manor development totalling some 450+ dwellings!)
5) Land South of Ash Lodge Drive – planning granted for 400 dwellings
6) The Street, Tongham – 254 dwellings – refused for the time being but no doubt the developer will go to Appeal
7) Foreman Road, Ash – approved and building has commenced – again this is Phase 1 of at least 2 Phases

These are just the ones I am aware of at the moment, although I have no doubt that land grabbing around the Ash, Tongham, Ash Green area is going on right at this moment!

So Mr Paton should not think that the Ash & Tongham area is being let off lightly by any means. He obviously has no idea that to keep some green space for this area is vital.

Why shouldn’t this area of the borough have some green belt rather than become a concrete jungle?

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6 Responses to Letter: Why Shouldn’t Ash & Tongham Have Some Green Belt

  1. Jules Cranwell Reply

    November 8, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    I make that a total of 1,407, which pales into insignificance, compared to the over 4,000 proposed for in and around the Horsleys and Ockham.

    Plus they are getting new green belt, for which there is no precedence in the NPPF.

    Can it be merely coincidence that this is the manor of Council Leader Paul Spooner?

    • J Ferns Reply

      November 8, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      Let me add a further 518 as follows…..
      12/P/00645 Parsons Way off Ash Green Lane West – phase1 60
      12/P/01514 Kingston House, Poyle Road 35
      12/P/01534 Land south of Foreman Park 26
      13/P/00717 The Croft 39
      14/P/01637 Land at 109 South Lane 21
      14/P/02398 Land adjacent to Grange Farm, Tongham 50
      15/P/00167 Parsons Way off Ash Green Lane West – phase2 26
      15/P/00293 Minley Nursery off Spoil Lane, Tongham 55
      16/P/01679 Land south of Guildford Road – Dean close 154
      17/P/00529 Land adjacent to the Granary, Tongham 52

      And don’t let us forget the 4,000 homes currently being built on former army land in Aldershot, not 2 miles away.

      All of which impact heavily on road and health infrastructure. Roads within in the Blackwater valley are already gridlocked at peak times.

      All of which has the potential of making the Hogs Back route in and out of Guildford a no go area at peak times.

      I rather think that balances the claims made for the Horsleys and Ockham, both of which already are surrounded by plenty of other ‘green protected’ space.

      This is a much bigger issue than all the rather puerile sniping at Cllr Spooner.

  2. Andrew Backhurst Reply

    November 8, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    Fiona Samuel-Holmes is correct. Ash and Tongham is being destroyed by the developers, below are a few more I have found on the GBC planning website that have been passed and as yet not developed:
    50 dwellings land behind The White Hart Grange Road Tongham;
    35 dwellings Kingston House Poyle Road Tongham;
    6 dwellings The Street Tongham;
    21 dwellings South Lane Ash.

    Other parts of the Borough are being targeted and I think we can all have sympathy with them as well but Cllr Paul Spooner is not showing any favours to us in the west of the borough. Jules Cranwell speaks of proposed houses in the Horsleys and Ockham, not developments already passed by the planners.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    November 9, 2017 at 12:29 am

    I think both the letter writer and commentator need to be corrected.

    Most commentators conveniently forget Gosden Hill. It is also green belt and is assigned 2,000 house or thereabouts. A cul-de-sac village discharging into Burpham with no other way out to the north. Some 4,000 plus vehicles added to the mix.

    Ash has had, and still has, the opportunity to have a Neighbourhood Plan which could have controlled, to some degree, the location and volume of housing. Why wasn’t one started in 2012 as we did in Burpham?

  4. Peter Shaw Reply

    November 9, 2017 at 10:16 am

    It’s only going to get worse for the whole borough (north, south, east and west) if the Local Plan is adopted with an unconstrained Objectively Assessed (housing) Need (OAN) number.

    The OAN has been inflated due to poor statistical analysis, so that’s the first major issue, then, after that, the second major issue is that GBC Executive (all are Conservatives, led by Cllr Spooner who represents Ash) have decided, apparently for political reasons, not to apply any constraints to the OAN. They are allowed to apply constraints by powers given to them in NPPF, but they have specifically chosen not to.

    In previous years GBC has constrained the OAN to 322 (new homes per year) but this time around they have not, allowing the number to be more than double.

    This will mean housing development across the whole borough is affected.

    I am sure Cllr Spooner will say he is defending the interests of Ash at the next elections and blame Nimbyism and green belt protectors in other parts of the borough, for the plight of Ash. But the reality is, that it is his team and his drive to keep housing numbers high that is causing so much discontent across the whole of the borough.

    I really do hope that Ash does not decide to elect him to represent them in the future because, in my opinion, he hasn’t done a good job to date regarding housing.

    • Jim Allen Reply

      November 9, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Absolutely spot on.

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