All posts by Peter


To see progress on the re-building of Park Hatch, go to menu at top of this page and click on….Building Park Hatch


Lots of photos and some video are available


Meanwhile, ITV have been filming in the park.  On our screens next year – something about Hidden England.


The view from above


One of our Parish Councillors – Sarah Sullivan – flew over the site at the weekend and took the below picture.

Garden Cottage is in the foreground, with the walled rose garden and its new square fishpond in the middle, and the outline of our house at the top.  3 neat squares in a row that will satisfy geometric pedants like me.


aerial 2013 4

The Godmans’ revisit

August 2013 – we are visited by Mrs Joe Godman and her son Dominic, plus Caroline Hyman nee Godman.

Joe and Caroline are the siblings of the last Godman – their father Joseph – to own Park Hatch.

Attached is a photo of them on the original front door steps, plus some other great photos that I copied from Caroline’s home photo album.

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21 March 2013

Planning permission has been granted allowing us to demolish the chalet bungalow and build our perfect house.

It was on 28 March 2012, 12 months ago, that Councillors and Officers rejected our application because…”the floor area, bulk, height …. would be harmful to the character of the area”.

Yet miraculously, 12 months later, the same design ( now 40cms narrower and 500cms higher) is perfectly acceptable.

What a waste of time, money, effort and emotions.




The Chauffeur’s daughter gets in touch!

Via this website, we have been contacted by Margaret Tasker, whose father…….I’ll let her explain.


“My father was with the Godman family and was their chaffeur for many years. He was born in 1881, and was in the first world war.  I do know if he was with them before the war,maybe after he came back from this war.  He lived in a house in Burgate Lane with his first wife and daughter. This is on the way up to Burgate house.
My mother was in service at park hatch, when she was 13-14yrs old, she came from Co.Durham. I am not aware of the details, you know how these family details were kept secret!!!  My mother and father obviously knew each other then, 1925 or there about.  My father’s first wife died at 47yrs old, and somehow my mother and him kept in touch, as she returned to the North to become a nurse.  He would drive up to the estate in Inverness which the Godmans owned, and would meet in Newcastle.  Or so the story goes?!!
Anyway they did marry in 1937 in Guildford and lived in a flat over the garage, which I believe was the stables before.  I was born there, and now I believe it is the coach house.  I did go in there many years ago on one of my trips back.
He stayed with the Godmans until the 2nd world war, then it was taken over I think by the air-force, but anyway they never lived in it again.  We moved down to one of the houses in New Road, and that was where we remained until his death in 1948. Years later we moved to Binhams Meadow in Dunsfold.
My childhood memories are of always going into the Park, and over into the garden of Park hatch and picking primroses in the huge garden. The corner cottage at the crossroads to Cranleigh and Dunsfold, lived the head gardener Mr Markwell, so I was always allowed to collect the flowers.
When I was a baby my mother had a bad car accident in New Road, and the people who lived in the Lodge towards Loxhill, each side was a separate house, their name was Hampshire.  Well they looked after me for quite a long time, as my father was working.
I clearly remember the large pond, and the kitchen garden, which had greenhouses attached to one of the long walls to the big house. I would often go up with Mr.Markwell to help water this.
I suppose I thought it all belonged to us as it was on the doorstep, and a wonderful playground.
The photos I have of the house, I have the originals, but are framed on the wall of our house.  Also many black and white photos of my father with the car he drove, some in the snow, which was higher than the car.
I will be coming to the UK  in September this year again, and staying with friends in Godalming, so maybe could help you with any details, if I remember of course?
I always think these stories are worth recording for history,and my childhood is very clear to me.
The couple who lived in the coach house some years ago, and I cannot remember their name,her name was Geraldine, were doing some research on the house, and did have lots of photos, and I let her have copies of a couple of mine. I know she now lives in Bosham, and with my friends from Dunsfold maybe able to locate her?
Please let me know if you would like more information, if any.  Thank you for contacting me, I was thrilled to get your email.  Living on the other side of the world, very nice.

Margaret Gregory Tasker.”

What will the new building at PH look like?

Assuming we get Planning permission…

and that is a big assumption…

the house, designed by Mr and Mrs T, will look like this :-

The Palladian design is based upon the work of John Nash – who designed Buckingham Palace and the Brighton Pavillion, and whose first palladian villa called  Llanerchaeron was to set the Georgian style in the 1800’s.  The building, as below, is now owned by the National Trust.




The PP to enable us to extend Garden Cottage has just been confirmed.

Rimavon – our builders – are back on site and the target completion date is 30 april 2013.

Not long before we move in to the cottage.

Follow build on the site at top of page – “Building Garden Cottage”.


Meanwhile, PP on the main house has been submitted with the date for an answer being 26 March 2013.

Fingers (and everything else) crossed

Planning Bollocks – phase 3

4 December 2012 and our planning permission to add a 116 sq m two storey extension is approved.  This gives a total of 452

Our first success at the main house.   Yehhhh!

Of course we don’t really want to build an extension, but that is not relevant to the Planners at Waverley.  We have to make a start and put in the footings,

Next up is a Certificate of Lawfulness application to erect a further 66 sq m single storey extension – we are in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so “Call me Dave”s latest initiative to increase PD rights does not apply to us.  We have to start – but not finish – building this extension  (do try to keep up)  for it to be included in the combined sq m’age of the existing house.


So here are the foundations for the PD extension:-

We are therefore on track to resubmit our application within the planning rules for a 508 sq m house.

But….will it yet be rejected?

Planning Bollocks – phase 2

Following the rejection of our initial planning application, we paid for a ‘post refusal-surgery’ which was attended by our planning officer, Rosie Smith, and her replacement, Michael Wood.

Being a little Waverley battle hardened, we recorded the meeting on my i phone just to be sure.

Turns out that even Waverley’s own officers think that some of their policies are plain daft!

The main thing is that they said we should be able to get the permission we want if we :-

  1. Apply to extend the existing house by  36% – this will ensure our Permitted Development rights are unaffected
  2. Then apply for a certificate of lawfulness to build the permitted development – a 4m deep single storey extension out the back
  3. Then, with the habitable area being increased from 330 sq ms to 446 sq ms with the extension, and then to 511 sq ms with the PD, we should be able to apply to knock it all down and build a 511 sq m house plus 10% i.e 562 sq ms

Oddly, the application they originally turned down was for 537 sq ms.

Is it me?….

Any road up, we duly applied to build the 36% extension as discussed at the surgery, with both us and Waverley understanding that this will never be built or built and then demolished;  and Michael Wood’s Boss over-ruled him (great man management skills being exhibited there!) and rejected the application as it wasn’t very nice!

So we have today drawn up a prettier plan and await a response

Meanwhile, the house rots and generates no rates for the people of Waverley

Funny old world!!




Having paid more fees to draw up a prettier application, we received an e mail from our Officer withdrawing all the previous advice and telling us we would have to build both extensions if we wanted to demolish them and build a replacement house.  This caused anger/tears/resignation/put the bloody house up for sale and move abroad… type emotions!

The following morning, this came through from the same Officer:-

Following my e-mail last night I have discussed the matter further this morning with management to establish further our position and I think we have come to a reasonable conclusion.

If you were to get the planning permission for the extension to the dwelling in accordance with the plan submitted yesterday, then apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness for the permitted development you would have a fallback position to argue the case for a replacement dwelling of the size you desire.  However, as I mentioned below, there is case law surrounding the issue of fallback positions which have established two main tests:

  • Whether the fallback position is more than a legal / theoretical option (are you realistically going to implement the fallback position).
  • Whether the fallback position has more harm on the environment (design and size would be your argument here).

I believe that you would be able to argue both of these points in your final application, but only if you make a material start (insert the footings) on the development to satisfy us that your fallback position is more than a legal / theoretical option.

I still have a concern with regards the conflict your permitted development extension would have on the drawing numbers condition we would put on the planning permission, however, colleagues believe this would only be a technical breach.

So in summary, I believe that your original plan, to obtain planning permission for an extension and then a Certificate of Lawfulness for a permitted development extension, would still be possible.  However, in order for these development’s to constitute a valid fallback position you would need to make a material start so as to evidence that they are realistic fallback options.  Then to satisfy the second bullet point above you would have to show / evidence that the replacement dwelling would have environmental benefits as opposed to the fallback position and this argument would be based around the design and size of the building.

Hopefully this makes sense and I apologise if I have muddied the waters over the past two days I am conscious not to waste both our time going about this the wrong way. If you want to discuss further then you can call me on the details below.

Please note that the views expressed above are my own and not that of the Council; they are given strictly without prejudice to the determination of any future planning applications.


So, we don’t have to build both extensions in their entirety, but we do have do cause environmental damage and waste thousands of pounds putting in foundations for two extensions which may not eventually be built, but if we argue they may not be built, they will not be included in our allowance for what we want to build.

Is this Orwellian or Hellerarian?