Cranleigh Civic Society has established a Liaison Group with CALA Homes and residents living near to the Amlets Lane development site.
We hope that this will prove to be an effective way to keep residents informed during the ongoing building phase.
The group met with representatives of CALA, Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council (Drainage) on 22 November 2016 on the Amlets site to discuss concerns, particularly about drainage and safety concerns regarding construction traffic entering and leaving the site along the narrow lane.
The plan to manage the construction traffic is yet to be finalised, however, the current proposal by Surrey Highways is for traffic to enter the site from the western side of Amlets via Smithwood Common and then to exit to the east via Barhatch Lane, Ewhurst Road and the High Street.
We are extremely concerned about the impact of this traffic on the High Street and local businesses, in addition to the cumulative effect of this and construction traffic to and from other major sites due to start building soon.
The Liaison Group has expressed major concerns to Richard Cooper of Surrey Highways, and requested that the traffic avoid the high street and instead use a manned signal controlled system using the same access and exit route.
Email from Liaison Group sent 4 December 2016:
Dear Mr Cooper,
- We hear that you have imposed a specific route plan upon Cala Homes which, on the face of it, is about to cause untold misery on the residents of Cranleigh through the inclusion of Cranleigh High Street. The Access Route from Guildford to Amlets Lane involves the most narrow part of Amlets Lane where the road width is only 4.8m wide and where two HGVs cannot pass. Hauling heavy and bulky construction equipment down this part of the Lane represents a significant hazard/inconvenience to those travelling in the opposite direction. Liz Townsend, Chair of the Cranleigh Society, has spoken with Stuart Forrester of Cala Homes and had suggested operating a single lorry system along Amlets, using a radio system with a person at the Cranleigh school end of Amlets and the site gatekeeper and allowing one lorry only either arriving or leaving along the road. These lorries will be heavily laden when leaving with soil. This scheme would involve more planning but would remove the necessity to use the High Street for the return journey, although we notice that the CEMP (page26, para2) refers to “active vehicle control in stipulated times”. This appears to be what we are requesting but used in a more intelligent manner.
- Traffic will at present be leaving the site exit via Barhatch Lane en route to the already chaotic Cranleigh High Street. This is especially so during “school run” times and appears to be a recipe for gridlock, bearing in mind that there will be several other concurrent developments e.g. Crest Nicholson in Horsham Road and the very large Berkeley Homes development of 425 dwellings just behind the High Street. These points have been raised in objections to WBC over the past three years and are now becoming reality.
- There are several more approved developments in the pipeline, all of which will wish to commence building works before this project is completed so the situation can only get worse.
- There are, in fact, five schools which are directly affected by the present route plan and not two. The Cranleigh Society/Cala Homes option would indeed affect only two schools. By including the High Street and Ewhurst Road, Park Mead School (many children access the school via the Ewhurst Road), St Cuthbert Mayne RC School (where parents park in numbers on both sides of Ewhurst Road for drop-off and collection, thus effectively narrowing the road), St. Joseph’s School, Cranleigh senior school and Cranleigh prep school are all affected. Allowing construction traffic to operate between 16.00 and 17.00 will have implications for the prep school. The pupils leave at 16.30 when parents, in their cars, pick them up. Glebelands school, off the High Street, is less directly affected, although many of its pupils catch buses and use the High Street shops after school.
- Surely this traffic flow problem must be seen and resolved in the round, from a list of approved and likely to be approved applications obtainable from Waverley Borough Council rather than treating each application in isolation. One may be forgiven for wondering if anyone attached to Surrey County Council has any regard for what happens in Cranleigh. The use of the High Street, and the disruption that it will cause, is not necessary and illustrates the folly of permitting uncontrolled development in Cranleigh due to a lack of sound judgement from statutory agencies.We assume that the Highways Department is responsible for efforts to maintain a reasonable traffic flow throughout its area. The present plan will certainly fail on that score. The Cranleigh Society proposal (above) entails more effort but should provide a happier and safer outcome for the residents of Cranleigh.