Tuesday, 17 February 2009


This is not an acronym that I would have known prior to becoming a councillor, but it is one that has a significant impact on planning, especially new houses, in our town.

Suitable Natural Alternative Green Space

The below text is on the Waverley website, and describes a review about to occur of the status of Farnham Park as a Suitable Natural Alternative Green Space, for planning applications. It is critical that any review not only takes into account the need to allow planning to continue without unnecessary constraints, but also legitimately identifies green space that mitigates the potential negative impacts of any new construction in the town.

If you need to know more, do search on the Waverley website for historic documents and news items related to this. And ask the planning department for more information. But - and here I admit my ignorance (further than what I've described) - don't ask me!

“Information for prospective applicants regarding the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) and the Council’s Interim Miniplan

In order to avoid new housing in the Farnham area having an adverse impact on the Thames Basin Heaths SPA, the Council adopted an Interim Miniplan in 2007, whereby developers contributed to the enhancement of Farnham Park as an alternative green space. When the Miniplan was first adopted, the identified capacity at Farnham park was 10.9 hectares. That capacity has now been almost completely exhausted and it is likely that it will be completely used up as a result of planning applications that are already in the system or pending appeal decisions. Therefore, prospective applicants for new housing within the affected area are advised that, in the short term, it is likely that there will no longer be the opportunity to contribute to the enhancement of Farnham Park as alternative green space. As a result, the Council may have no alternative but to withhold planning permission for new residential development within the affected area.

On 10th February, the Council’s Executive approved plans to review the Interim Miniplan. This review will include exploring with Natural England the scope to increase the capacity of the green space at Farnham Park. This review will take some months to complete and in the meantime, prospective applicants are advised to discuss their proposals, and progress with the Miniplan review, with the planning officer before submitting their planning application to the Council.”

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