FEWER than 10 people have commented on proposed changes to a crucial Waverley Borough Council strategy that could dramatically increase the number of houses able to be built in Farnham, with the deadline fast approaching.

The council has conducted a review of its Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) Avoidance Strategy, which is designed to protect rare heathland species while allowing new housing to be built.

Originally adopted in December 2009 and updated in May 2013 the current strategy sets out the council’s approach to avoiding the effect of increases in population from new housing developments within 5km of the SPA, as required by Natural England.

The current plan earmarks Farnham Park as the borough’s only suitable alternative natural greenspace (SANG) for recreational pursuits, such as dog walking, away from the SPA.

A six-week consultation on proposed changes to the strategy, including expanding the SANG provision at Farnham Park and revising the contributions made to the council by developers, will come to a close on Monday, April 25.

Brian Adams, Waverley’s portfolio holder for planning said: “As part of work on the Waverley Local Plan the council has investigated options for identifying more SANG. The review has looked at other potential sites SANG sites in the borough and has also reassessed the capacity of Farnham Park as a result of new information on visitor numbers, usage and planning permissions.

“A visitor survey was conducted in 2014 and the results have shown that the overall SANG capacity within Farnham Park can be increased to allow for additional housing growth.

“The council is now inviting residents and interested parties to comment on the proposals to increase the SANG capacity at Farnham Park and the revised developer tariff.”

The draft strategy, along with the latest visitor survey can be viewed online at www.waverley.gov.uk/planning. The documents are also available to view at Farnham Town Council offices, Farnham library and Waverley Borough Council’s planning reception.

Responses to the consultation can either be made online, by email to plan

[email protected] or by writing to the Planning Policy Manager, Waverley Borough Council, The Burys, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1HR.

Feedback provided through the consultation will be assessed before the formal adoption of the revised strategy at a meeting of the full Waverley council in July 2016.