WAVERLEY came under fire from a Farnham campaign group this week, for kicking proposals to improve Weydon Lane’s former landfill site “into the long grass - again”.

At their meeting on Tuesday night, executive committee members agreed a recommendation to take no further action beyond monitoring and maintaining the land for two to three years.

The borough council set up a Special Interest Group (SIG) in January 2015 to explore options for de-contaminating the former tip, which was clay-capped and gifted to the town in the early 1970s to enable greater public use.

The SIG presented its report to the full council in April 2016, and recommended funding the restoration of the site by relocating Farnham Town FC to Weydon Lane and, in turn, building houses on the club’s current home at the Memorial Ground in West Street.

Councillors signed off £50,000 for a feasibility study into this recommendation, specifically looking at the restrictive covenants placed on both the ex-tip and the Memorial Ground.

This week, Farnham Residents councillor Jerry Hyman told the committee: “The £10,000 already spent by Waverley could have been used to improve the site within the restrictions of the covenant.”

Supporting the recommendation committee member Farnham councillor Chris Storey said: “I was a SIG member. The costs involved in doing almost anything to this field are astronomical. Making it safe is almost beyond our budget, let alone others uses. Keeping it static is about as much as we can do at the moment.”

The delay was blasted by local resident Jon Austen, who set up the ‘Friends of Brambleton Park’ group in 2014 to campaign for the site to be brought back into public use.

“In a piece of incredibly bad decision-making, Waverley Borough Council has kicked a simple project which would benefit the local people into the long grass – again,” he said. “Brambleton Park, or the ‘Weydon Lane ex-landfill site’ as it is officially known, is a 10-acre patch of grassy, uneven waste land in a built up residential part of south Farnham. A relatively small amount of money would create a park.

“The feasibility study has finally produced a report, which had six options, including ‘Do nothing’ and ‘Continue with the technical feasibility study’. So back to square one after more years’ wasted.

“Why was there no option to spend a relatively small amount of money and just create a park? Why make a simple thing complicated? Why not just do something positive and real now, for the local residents?

“Farnham is surrounded by beautiful areas. But in the middle of a built-up residential area is 10 acres of abandoned land, untouched for 45 years, without so much as a bench to sit on, or a bin for your rubbish. The land hasn’t even been officially open to the public or given a name. Waverley should be doing their duty and handing the land over to the people who own it. Grants are available for projects such as this, through the very same body which manages the land, SITA.

“A football club ground is not and cannot be described as a public recreation ground, or public open space. Waverley Borough Council would seem to seek to ignore and overturn restrictive covenants should they wish to transfer the Farnham Town FC to this site, or to build on it.”