HASLEMERE Town Council (HTC) has again objected to a raft of amendments to the 132-home Sturt Farm development amid “serious” flooding concerns.
The town council is only a consultee on planning applications, with Waverley Borough Council making the final decision. But members did not hold back on a busy night for Haslemere’s planning committee last Thursday.
Sturt Farm developer Stonewater is again seeking consent for an array of changes to the footprint, road and slab levels, layout – including to the position of the substation – and design of its 2018-approved scheme, having seen its plans knocked back in September.
But puzzled councillors voted to object to the revised application, hitting out at Stonewater’s plans for failing to provide the information necessary to make a decision.
Cllr Jacquie Keen said: “I find it quite difficult to work out the levels or what the changes are, and it’s not at all informative to a councillor or to anybody else what exactly they’re doing.
“I cannot make a judgement on this application, because frankly the information isn’t there that we need to discuss.
“Because these changes are quite varied, it would be helpful if somebody from the developers came to a meeting or went through these changes with us so we could ask questions so we could be satisfied with what we were actually voting on.”
Cllr Keen also raised flooding concerns, commenting: “I know people who live in Orchard Close and they are fearfully worried about the flooding there because their gardens were flooded when we had heavy rain.”
Cllr Nikki Barton added: “The flooding run-off is a very serious issue and I’m very concerned about this.”
Cllr Gary Lloyd said: “I would expect some sort of design and access statement summarising the application and I don’t see anything like that.”
Cllr Jerome Davidson said: “We need to ask the Waverley officers to go back to the applicant to dig up sufficient information so we as a body, and indeed Waverley as a body, can make a sufficient judgement as to the validity or otherwise of the application.”
HTC objected to the current plan on the grounds there was insufficient evidence in the application to make a clear decision, and that further information was needed.
All councillors were in favour of the objection.