Apologies for not replying sooner.
Thank you for your response outlining your committee’s plans to resurface the Fairground Site as a permanent car park. As I understand it Waverley will be benefitting from the revenue from car parking charging. I would be grateful if you would confirm if this is the case?
With Waverley’s support, as you have stated it, for the station multi-story car park I find it difficult to understand the logic of retaining the fairground site as a commuter car park unless it is primarily in order for Waverley to continue to benefit from the revenue in the future. Such a move would clearly preclude any sustainable future use or change of use of the site as part of a considered masterplan for the area.
In my view this is a very serious breach of responsibility by Waverley District Council as a Planning Authority especially in the light of the new powers, which are given to the community under the new Localism Act. It would mean that the Fairground site, a key piece of potential developable land within the Weyhill neighbourhood, will be permanently precluded from any future change of use arising from any future masterplan for the area.
I think implication of your reference to the two proposed multi story car parks in Haslemere is that it would be preferable to have a multi story on the station site and a surface car park on the Fairground site. In the event of no alternative of course I would have to agree, on the basis of limiting the detrimental impact of having two multi story car parks in a small market town.
The fairground site is very valuable land, close to the station and close to excellent amenities. It would be perfectly possible to plan the fairground site to include appropriate active uses, an attractive and active frontage, indeed with car parking, with community and market led uses and in architectural and urban design terms, consistent with the grain and spirit of St. Christopher’s Green and the wider neighbourhood.
Please can you confirm whether Waverley owns the site or where it is acting in a custodial capacity arising from the register of common land?
Under normal planning procedure, any consent given in 1993 would have lapsed after 5 years. 19 years hence, it is not supportable to claim that any public consultation at the time has any relevance in 2012. Therefore, despite any special conditions under which the Secretary of State awarded consent, it would be quite reasonable to expect a responsible planning authority to reconsult in 2012. Not to do so would be intentionally seeking to preclude any local accountability.
Not withstanding this, as a professional, and local resident I would seek to review your car park design proposals to ensure they are sensitive in terms of sustainable design and visual impact and confirm that a proper tendering procedure for the works is undertaken. Therefore I would be grateful if you would arrange for drawings and specifications to be made available locally for comment.
Landscape Architect DipLA CMLI
From: David O’Brien [mailto: removed]
Sent: 09 April 2012 7:30 AM
Subject: Fairground Site Proposal to Resurface and Charge.
Email sent to Carole King, Parking Portfolio Holder, Waverley Borough Council, 7th April 2012