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‘Breakthrough’ in mission to improve Farnham’s air quality

A Farnham Project Board has been set up by Surrey County Council and agreed by Waverley Borough and Farnham Town councils to help deliver a 25-year Masterplan for Farnham and tackle the town’s air quality issues.

The board will be chaired by the Leader of Surrey County Council and also include Waverley Borough Council, and Farnham Town Council. South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt will also be on the board.

A full-time Project Manager will lead the work, helping with planning and coordinating, whilst also producing modelling on the impacts of any schemes identified by the board.

Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council said: “This is a real breakthrough to bring everybody together and deliver a long-term plan to truly reshape the centre of Farnham and tackle the long-standing issues around pollution and air quality. This project group will listen to residents and other interested parties and bring together experts to analyse and take the action that is both necessary and deliverable. If we get this right, there’s no reason we can’t use Farnham as a blueprint to take similar action in other areas of the County.”

South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt said: “This is great news for the town, I am immensely grateful to SCC Leader Tim Oliver for seizing the reigns and agreeing to SCC taking the lead with a dedicated project manager. I have always firmly believed that Farnham could be one of the most beautiful towns in the UK. Resolving the pollution and traffic congestion issues are of course key to this, but we are also aiming to introduce new green initiatives such as dedicated, safe cycling paths and pedestrianised zones which will transform the town.”

John Ward, Leader of Waverley Borough Council added: “I welcome these next steps and look forward to working together with all three councils on this important project. This move recognises Surrey County Council’s key responsibilities for roads and traffic, which are a key barrier to the success in reducing Farnham’s air pollution and achieving its full potential as a destination and thriving town. I am pleased Surrey can build on the work done over the last year by the councils, which have led to us gathering much data and evidence that will feed into this project board.”

John Neale, Leader of Farnham Town Council said: “This is an exciting time for the Farnham and I’m pleased this initiative will see the collaboration of all our councils. We are all extremely keen for this work to be a success and in order to deliver the best outcomes we need to ensure the voices of the local community are heard and there is good engagement with the people living and working in the town.”

The inaugural meeting of the board will take place in the coming weeks, and further meetings will provide an opportunity to take evidence from residents and interested groups. The initial focus will be on the issues of the Hickleys Corner project, air pollution, pedestrianisation schemes and the integration of Brightwells into the town centre. Further issues like the Wrecclesham relief road will also be a key part of the 25-year Masterplan.

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