With the recent publication of the Agenda and accompanying Local Plan documents for the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Monday, 27th June, 2016 7.00 pm came the shocking news that Waverley are dumping 45% of their total housing allocation in and around Cranleigh, with a new settlement on Dunsfold Park.
Waverley’s published Local Plan documents include Strategic Sites selected across the borough. This includes two strategic sites in Cranleigh, including phase 2 of the Crest Nicholson site with an additional 101 houses off the Horsham Road, this increases the total housing number on this site to 250 houses.
The other site is an amalgamation of the Berkeley Homes, Little Meadow and Knowle Park Initiative sites, creating a huge mega-site off the Alfold Road of 765 houses. The West Cranleigh Nurseries site (Knowle Park Initiative) which was going to be refused by planning officers, then got called in by Cllr Brian Ellis, thereby by-passing officers’ decision and finally was refused by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee.
You can look at the full meeting details and documents using the link below:
Dunsfold New Town
It is clear that Waverley are now favouring 2,600 new houses at Dunsfold Park and this has also been identified as a strategic site.
At the moment there is a planning application for 1,800 houses on this site, however, Waverley have delayed making a decision on this. You can still add your comments and objections against this application.
Any housing on Dunsfold is in addition to 1,520 houses in Cranleigh, as well as 335 in the surrounding villages. This brings the total amount of new housing in this area to 4,455, which is equivalent in total to a new settlement the size of Cranleigh.
Dunsfold in the 2011 census had a population of 989 with 467 dwellings. Should an additional 2, 600, plus 80 dwellings be added to Dunsfold village, this will be almost a six-fold increase in the number of houses and with the proposed business expansion create a new town adjacent to Alfold and Cranleigh.
A previous attempt to develop a new town at Dunsfold Aerodrome was put forward in 2007 and sought to develop a town of exactly the same size with 2,600 houses. This was rejected by Waverley and dismissed at Appeal as unsustainable.
The planning inspector stated at the 2009 Appeal; “The site is not in a sustainable location and little can be done to improve the existing infrastructure.” Under Overall Conclusions, he stated “The Secretary of State has concluded that the development would generate a considerable amount of additional road traffic and he concludes that this would have a severe and unacceptable impact on an overstretched local road network, and that the scheme would be unsustainable in transport terms.”
What has changed in the surrounding area since 2009 to make the road network around Cranleigh now sustainable to Waverley Planning Officers?
What are the implications for Cranleigh?
With the proposal for 1,520 more houses for Cranleigh and almost 3,000 in total in neighbouring villages the effect on Cranleigh and the high risk of coalescence between Cranleigh, Dunsfold and Alfold is huge.
In the gaps between these three areas there will be continued pressure by developers to acquire land for residential and commercial use. The Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan provides no policies for any buffer zones or strategic gaps between these settlements, and it does not suit Waverley to limit development in countryside beyond the green belt. The pressure to develop and fill these gaps could be constant and overwhelming.
Cranleigh is deemed the nearest main service centre for Dunsfold and Alfold and there will be massive impacts on the village from all the development:
- Urbanisation of our village and loss of countryside. At the recent consultation regarding the relocation of the Cranleigh Primary School when the developer’s agent was asked about the urban feel to the proposed housing they replied that Waverley wanted an urban look.
- 4,500 houses will double the number of local cars on our road infrastructure (this is approximately the same number of houses that Cranleigh has in total NOW). That’s a potential 9,000 extra vehicles.
- Increased traffic will lead to increased congestion, especially on the roads in and out of Cranleigh, Bramley and Shamley Green as well as all locations along the A281.
- There will be a significant impact on local services including our doctors and schools.
- The negative impact on Air Quality from traffic emissions from petrol and diesel-engined motor vehicles include a wide variety of pollutants, principally carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM10), which have an increasing negative impact on air quality, on public health and on the environment. In addition, pollutants from these sources may not only prove a problem in the immediate vicinity of these sources, but can be transported long distances.
- The current sewerage system has no capacity and there is no provision being made for a 100% increase in liquid effluent being discharged into Cranleigh Waters and no mitigation being proposed. Waverley have not even done a Water Cycle Study, which is usually carried out at the beginning of the Local Plan process.
- Cranleigh is in an area of known severe “Water Stress” as acknowledged by Surrey County Council Water Management Report Sept 2013. This combination of increased housing and limited supply could lead to serious water shortages.
- Requirement for large increase in electrical supply. EDF indicated to Waverley in January 2011 that Cranleigh would require an increase in capacity if there was a significant increase in population. This also appears to have NOT been factored in so far.
Have your say
Waverley say in the Local Plan documents that:
“The vitality and viability of the main centres of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh will have been safeguarded in a way that takes account of their distinctive roles. This will have been achieved through carefully planned development, which meets the need of these centres, whilst recognising the importance of preserving and enhancing their historic character” [our emphasis]
We have never read such utter and blatant ‘spin’ regarding development in and around Cranleigh. We know that the only reason they are dumping housing here is simply because there is NO GREEN BELT.
It’s time to let the Leader of Waverley Borough Council, Julia Potts and the planning portfolio holder, Brian Adams what you think about their decision to dump 45% of their housing allocation in and around Cranleigh
Julia Potts – firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Adams – email@example.com