The letter from Janette Gallini in last week’s Farnham Herald raises serious concerns about Waverley’s commitment to its declared Climate Emergency versus the growing pollution issues due to increased traffic on already seriously congested local roads. 

Application WA/2023/00087 seeks to build a large funeral ceremony building with carparking with a 4m access road across and over an Area of Great Landscape Value and an Area of High Landscape Value and Sensitivity. This is totally unacceptable especially as the planners have refused the construction of a building on the site more than once before. In 2010 this land was changed from agricultural use to woodland burial ground, subject to strict conditions – no headstones or buildings to be permitted on the site. 

What is the point of having areas of land designated and subject to conditions to protect the area, then allow the land to be built on?

Returning to the issue of traffic pollution this building is for the SOLE use of the Ismaili faith community based in London, as the applicants state in their Travel Plan. Therefore, how can Waverley justify the need to manage Farnham’s carbon footprint in a serious climate emergency with the plan to bring huge numbers of vehicles, at least three times a week, into an area of countryside over 30 miles away, to bury their dead? And drive many of these vehicles across the protected landscape.

I do not need to mention the already seriously congested traffic on the section of A325 which passes the proposed site. At one end the infamous Six Bells roundabout, at the other the historic listed buildings overshadowing narrow junction with the A3016 which experiences serious traffic issues daily. 

With two new housing developments recently approved travel by car will not get any easier! However, the applicants wishing to build the funeral building have refused to consider the cycle path and footpath through the woodland burial area, thus taking away the incentive to walk or cycle to school or town.

Personally, I have serious concerns about the intended usage of the funeral building itself as documents submitted indicate it will be used for the preparation of corpses for burial. There are strict NHS rules covering this kind of personal preparation and the disposal of associated waste. Everything I have read indicates that waste from body preparation will be transported by buggy to the bins at Daniele’s restaurant. 

Are these the same buggies they will use to drive mourners to the funeral site? How will the waste be separated from restaurant waste? Local foxes have no qualms when it comes to ransacking bins, no matter how high the fences erected to keep resident wild life out. What are the health risks? Who is asking these questions – not just the planning committee but the wider councils responsible for the health and safety of local residents?

How have we ended up with an organisation with no local associations, bringing no benefits to the local community, riding rough shot over local planning decisions and ignoring the conditions in place in a protected area? Currently we have far more questions than answers and a decision is due to be made on March 6. 

Madeleine Gibb

Oast House Lane, Farnham