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Letter: Bring On Any Appeal Over Ash Manor Planning

Published on: 24 May, 2021
Updated on: 24 May, 2021

Sue Wyeth-Price

From: John Ferns

In response to: Protest At Historic Ash Site Forces Planning Deferral

A study of “the wealth” of evidence, as described by Cllr Spooner [Con, South Ash & Tongham], now on Guildford Borough Council’s (GBC) planning portal, must make any rational observer wonder why the application is still being pursued by the developers. It has an amazing history.

This is now the fifth application for the site since 2015. The first three, the GBC planning officer had recommended for refusal. One of which was appealed by the developer, who withdrew at the 12th hour, resulting in heavy costs being paid to Ash Green Residents’ Association (AGRA).

In the fourth application in 2018, the planning officer seems to have had a Damascene conversion and recommended approval.

The planning committee, half of which were new members following the 2019 borough elections, accepted the recommendation, having been threatened with dire financial consequences of a refusal going to appeal.

This resulted in AGRA taking the issue to the High Court, at some risk to themselves and their supporters. On the day, the judge ruled for AGRA and the application was quashed.

Now, evidence that, it seems, was previously ignored, and/or had been suppressed by GBC planners, is in the public domain. Readers will be shocked.

The planners’ recommendation is still on the record for approval but when it eventually resurfaces, the planning committee will now have ample grounds for refusing the application.

It is noted that the developers have already registered an appeal for non-determination on a duplicate application on the same site and this has now been scheduled for a 14-day enquiry starting on September 21.

I am sure I am not alone in Ash, Tongham and Ash Green that will say: “Bring it on.”

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