What has happened so far?
The local councils for Farnham - Surrey County Council (SCC), Waverley Borough Council (WBC) and Farnham Town Council (FTC) - have joined with local MP Jeremy Hunt to form the Farnham Infrastructure Programme (FIP). The programme's key documents are the Vision Statement and the Optimised Infrastructure Plan (OIP).
What are the timescales for the programme?
The full programme is expected to take around 15 years.
Are previous transport studies being considered?
The programme is building upon previous studies of Farnham and the A31 Corridor. However, these studies must be considered in the context of emerging policy and strategy from local, borough, county and central government, which address the present challenges relating to place, climate and transport.
Community suggestions for the future of Farnham, including feedback from members of the public, must also being considered to ensure the programme addresses the current needs of the town.
Have the projects already been predetermined?
The programme team consulted with key stakeholders, which included local councillors, during the early stages of the programme. This helped to create a Vision Statement for the programme. This was consulted on between October and November 2020 and found broad support for the document among respondents.
The vision proposed four projects:
- Short and medium-term improvements
- Farnham town centre improvements
- Farnham A31 Corridor
- Wrecclesham and Western Bypasses
However, the programme remains flexible so it can adapt to the needs of the town. Engagement with the public regarding the project proposals will be maintained throughout the programme.
How is the programme being funded?
Some of the funding for the programme will come from the three partner councils. However, it is expected that most funding will come from central government.
To win the necessary funding, the programme is working to gather the necessary evidence to produce business cases. This includes demonstrating the required level of local engagement and support.
What is the decision-making power of the Farnham Board?
The Farnham Board includes representatives from Farnham Town Council, Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council, as well as Jeremy Hunt MP. The board is responsible for governing the programme and overseeing the development of potential schemes for Farnham. However, any proposals agreed at the board will need to go back to the relevant council for final agreement and implementation.
How has the programme been secured to ensure that it will withstand changes over the next 15 years?
The FIP is overseen by the Farnham Board, which has support from Waverley Borough Council, Farnham Town Council and Surrey County Council. Members of the board may change over the programme lifetime, however any changes to the programme will need to be agreed by the board members.
How is the climate emergency being considered as part of the OIP?
Responding to the climate emergency is a key theme of the OIP. Any proposals for Farnham will support the Climate Change Strategies of the partners.
Read the climate strategies for:
The programme will contribute to the delivery of the roadmap to net-zero carbon by 2030 set out by WBC and FTC, which will include mitigation of carbon. It will also protect existing biodiversity and related habitats surrounding Farnham and work to actively enhance them within the town.
How will the changes impact on businesses in Farnham?
The aim of the programme's vision is to enable Farnham to become 'a connected and vibrant town, where people choose to live, work, study and spend their leisure time in sustainable ways'. Reducing traffic and congestion will encourage more people to shop and spend time in the town centre. The vision aims to consider the needs of local businesses and increase levels of local employment.
Will Farnham's historic nature be preserved through the programme?
Yes, preserving and highlighting the town's historic nature is an integral part of the programme. Any changes will use appropriate building materials and consider key architectural details.
Is the Western Relief Road being considered as part of the FIP?
The viability of a western bypass will be explored as part of the business case work before deciding whether it should be progressed.
How will the floodplains be impacted?
It is known that areas of Farnham are subject to significant flood risks. The programme will consider any environmental impacts of the proposals with the appropriate level of environmental assessment and appraisal.
Is Upper Hale being considered as part of the FIP?
Yes, Upper Hale, and the impact of any proposals on the area, are being considered as part of the programme. A Local Liaison Forum focusing on Upper Hale was held in January 2021. You can watch previous meetings on the Farnham Town Council website.