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Tongham Housing Plan: £2.3 million Pledged to Support Local Facilities 

Published on: 3 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 7 Dec, 2021

The first homes are now up for sale at the Admiral Park development in Tongham.

By David Reading

Developers who are building the controversial new Admiral Park development in Tongham have pledged £2.3 million to Guildford Borough Council to improve local facilities.

The first homes are now up for sale and the entire estate is expected to be completed by 2024.

The estate of 254 homes – situated off The Street – was bitterly opposed by many residents, refused by Guildford Borough Council at outline stage but granted on appeal.

Campaigners had a variety of concerns including:

  • Pressure on health care, schools and other amenities in the area
  • Traffic pollution
  • The loss of a large number of trees including a row of poplars lining The Street

The estate is a consortium development between Taylor Wimpey and Bellway, comprising one-bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five-bedroom houses. The site once housed the hop fields at Manor Farm.

The sum of £2.3 million forms part of a planning agreement involving the two development companies and GBC.

Taylor Wimpey said in a statement: “Over £1.9 million is allocated to local schools and nurseries, including Ash Grange Primary School, Farnham Heath End School and Tongham Day Care (or Challengers, Farnham).

“The sum of £250,000 will be used to improve roads and pedestrian connectivity in the area, with an additional £75,000 earmarked for local cycle routes and public right-of-way improvements.”

But the 254 new homes at Manor Farm are just a proportion of the total number in the Ash and Tongham area that have been completed, proposed or are under construction. And there are major concerns about the pressure on local amenities, notably healthcare.

In August 2021 residents were assured that land is still being safeguarded for a new healthcare centre to meet the rise in the local population generated by the housing development boom.

The assurance came from both Guildford Borough Council and Bewley Homes, the developers building the new estate of 481 homes on land south of Ash Lodge Drive.

The land for a primary care centre on the new estate has been set aside by Bewley under a Section 106 legal agreement with GBC.  This agreement lasts five years, until 2024.

Progress towards a firm plan has been slow and some campaigners have voiced fears that there could be a real risk that the much-needed health centre will never happen.

Offering reassurance, GBC’s lead councillor for Community and Housing, Cllr Julia McShane, said on August 9, 2021: “The land is still being safeguarded through our 106 agreement. We have agreed funding from local developers to provide the healthcare facilities for local people whether through a new healthcare facility or increased capacity at existing centres, which the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will determine based on local need.”

Meanwhile, residents are waiting for words to be turned into action.

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Responses to Tongham Housing Plan: £2.3 million Pledged to Support Local Facilities 

  1. John Ferns Reply

    December 3, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    I read the developers marketing statement on this development and smiled. It said: “With an area of green open space at the heart of the development, as well as a community orchard on-site, residents at Admiral Park will be able to enjoy the great outdoors on their doorstep. A 17-acre area of natural green space across the road from the development will also provide plenty of open space to explore.”

    It sounds positively idyllic.

    In reality, the estate is bounded on two sides by two very major and fast-moving dual carriageways; homes will be subject to incessant traffic noise and engine fumes. On the third side, access into and out of the estate is down a narrow village road, The Street. If parents thought their secondary school-aged children would be able to walk to their local school, Ash Manor, less than a mile away, they will be disappointed as the education authority is directing them to a school almost three miles away in Farnham.

    And as for getting to the “17-acre natural green space”, they will need to take their lives in their hands as they traverse the major road networks, and once they get there, they will need their earplugs, to be able to enjoy the sight of traffic streaming along the Hog’s Back.

    We can only hope that prospective buyers find out the truth on their inspection visit before they commit themselves.

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