Category Archives: Development

Good News & updates from us (July 2018)

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We thought we’d put together the following overview of what we are working on at the moment to keep you in the loop. Please feel free to comment or let us know if you have any questions and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

HOUSING

Due to the Government’s need to build more houses in the South East, the lack of a Green Belt around Cranleigh, the position we were in having no “Local Plan” (WBC now have one, but it’s subject to Judicial Review) and our Borough Councillors being outnumbered on the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) of Waverley Borough Council (WBC); numerous large planning applications have been successful,  resulting in around 1,700 additional homes being built.

Cranleigh Civic Society has scrutinised the major planning applications and brought pressure to bear on the planning authority – WBC – bringing attention to poor design and deficiencies details and suggesting alterations to improve them.

CCS ensures Councillors of all areas understand the problems, including information that the Professional Planning Officers should provide.

CCS has put up spirited opposition to many of the planning applications, often promoting a more thorough debate and consideration of detail with some successful results.

What now?  We must keep a watch on the conditions imposed by WBC and ensure they are implemented correctly. Ideally we must try to ensure no more planning permissions are granted until the housing that is in the pipeline is up, the effects are understood and supporting infrastructure is in place.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Drinking water supply and sewage treatment and removal.
CCS has put pressure on Thames Water (TW) to replace old drinking water pipes – being 50 to 70 years old and made of asbestos cement, some “blue” and very dangerous if released into the water supply and ingested.

As pipes burst TW put a programme in place to replace sections – so some success. WBC and TW have had to admit that they do not have asbestos liability insurance so they would have to pay claims themselves – very expensive to the public purse.
Thames Water has upgraded Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works (STW) to accommodate the current housing demand and will, by law, have to do so again to meet the sewage emanating from the huge new housing developments.

Cranleigh Waters is a designated river which takes the outflow from STW . CCS has worked hard to show that this river is inadequate, and has caused depletion in fish numbers  and must be re-considered.  Some CCS members have undertaken river searches / water quality measuring and officially reported to and interacted with the authorities.
Ditches are being monitored thanks to CCS and Surrey Wildlife Trust is to undertake remedial work and bring life back to the river and local streams.

The Environment Agency (EA) had left Cranleigh off its watch list of threatened environments, so CCS and others worked to get Cranleigh back onto the maps and monitored regularly. The EA now works with CCS to monitor the area and make more relevant recommendations to our planning authority.

Flooding and flood plains.
CCS has worked tirelessly with the planning authority WBC, EA, and TW to point out, measure and photograph full information about flooding.  The EA now records and reports flood levels, thanks to CCS. Surrey County Council (SCC) is tasked with cleaning out drains and ditches especially when heavy rains are forecast.

Anne Milton MP.
CCS has been in disucssions with Anne all along and she has started a Flood Forum in Cranleigh where many officers and local reprentatives work to improve knowledge, understanding, and even to alter laws and planning conditions.  She has been able to get the attention of the movers and shakers at SCC.

Roads, Pavements, Footpaths.
CCS is in constant touch with SCC regarding potholes, flooding and traffic jams, and improvements are scheduled.  A hard and lit footpath / cycleway from Cranleigh to Guildford is being looked at.
WBC’s New Local Plan shows minimal road and junction improvements at the moment, despite the new Local Plan approving 2,600 homes plus a school at Dunsfold, producing more traffic for the A281,

CCS continues to read and react to all such documents hoping to influence the authorities from our local knowledge point of view

Railways
Surrey County Council and national government say new railways are not going ahead at the moment but that there must always be a footpath and bridle way available along the old railway line.
Buses . SCC is responsible and we know of no changes at the moment.

Schools and GP surgeries 
SCC must, by law, provide enough school places and doctors when the population rises.

Police & Fire Service 
SCC must, by law, provide adequate cover.

COUNTRYSIDE
Our wildlife and waterways experts have helped WBC to improve ponds and waterways. CCS congratulates Cranleigh Parish Council (CPC) for its work on creating Fields in Trust including: The Beryl Harvey field which has been saved and improved and the Centenary garden marking 100 years since the end of the first World War, which is under construction thanks to our Parish Council.

PEOPLE
WBC’s interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Services, Tom Horwood, has listened and responded to CCS’s complaints about the way officers and councillors have made us feel and he will attend  a meeting next month with CCS and Councillor Julia Potts, the Leader of Waverley Council  to hear more about why the residents  of Cranleigh and surrounding area are so disillusioned with so many of their actions.

CCS will put forward very constructive suggestions to support our local knowledge and expertise hoping to work more effectively together in the future.

Liz Townsend was the inspirational first chair of CCS until she was voted onto CPC, then Waverley Borough Council and she is doing a great job.

Steve Jeacock  was a member of CCS committee and was also voted onto CPC and has worked hard to represent all our views.

Adrian Clarke is our key attribute regarding drinking water pipes and the risks posed by their age and the blue asbestos fibres they contain.

We welcome your input!

Set up in 2014 by volunteers for the Neighbourhood Plan, the committee of CCS has worked hard and morphed into a quietly professional group of careful researchers and communicators to help keep Cranleigh special – speaking up for all.

The committee of eight needs help and support please.
WEB SITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, MEMBERSHIP, NEWSLETTERS are all proving a great success and we welcome input for the web site including valued photos and stories. We also welcome help with these applications.

Becoming a member and supporter helps to tell the Councils what the public really know and want and feel.

USEFUL LINKS

 

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Neighbourhood Plan dates – Next week!

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Can you attend any of the dates next week?

There are three Neighbourhood Plan Exhibitions planned taking place in the Village Hall, on the following dates:

  • Thursday 12 July 9am – 4pm
  • Friday 13 July 4pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 14 July 9am – 12.30pm
These plans affect how our Parish will be developed until 2032.

Click here for more details.

If members can attend on one of these dates and/or encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same we can help ensure Cranleigh has a say on these plans.

News from Waverley…

Also, if you haven’t so already perhaps you’d like to subscribe to the Waverley e-newsletter to keep up to date on all plans effecting the area. You can do so here: www.waverley.gov.uk/newsletter

 

 

 

 

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Your Response to the Waverley Local Plan?

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Response to Waverley Council on their Public Consultation on the Waverley Local Plan (Part 2).

Deadline is 9th July.

The draft Local Plan, Part 2 considers:-

– Sites for Additional Housing in Cranleigh
- Proposed sites for Travellers in Cranleigh

– The Settlement Boundary for Cranleigh
- Housing Standards for New Housing

The objective of the consultation exercise is to clarify whether we as a village are in agreement with the proposed Policies.

It is important to consider the accuracy of the Council’s ‘statements of fact’, whether we object to the proposed policies or other proposals and if so, why.

Accordingly, whether you were able to attend either of  the exhibitions at the Arts Centre (31st May & 25th June) CCS invite you to let us know if you have any:

a. queries
b. concerns
c. comments or
d. objections to the proposals outlined in the Local Plan, Part 2 consultations.

CCS are compiling a list of comments and objections, which has to be lodged with the Council by Monday, 9th July.
We are happy to consider any points you would like to raise and to include them (if appropriate) in our representation to the Council.

Any objections should be supported with evidence, demonstrating how/why the Council’s proposed policies are inaccurate/incomplete/ill thought through.

Please email us before the deadline to be included.

Thank you

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Dunsfold Planning Application Approved – What now?

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Dunsfold Planning Application Approved – What now?

On the 29 March, the plan to build 1,800 homes in Dunsfold park was approved by the Secretary of State Sajid Javid despite heavy opposition from residents.

It’s time to put pressure on regarding the effects on infrastructure.

Get Surrey has reported that Councillors have expressed fear on Increased traffic and congestion in the area once the homes are built and included a map to show likely problem areas following the development.

Specifically mentioned is more traffic expected on an already busy A281, but other areas for concern include:

•    The partly single-track route from Dunsfold Park via Markwick Lane, Salt Lane and Station Road to the nearest railway station at Milford – this is also the quickest route to the A3;
•    The use of B2130 through Hascombe to Godalming, and onto Guildford; and
•    The roads through Hambledon towards Witley Station.

However, the increase of traffic on country lanes was assessed and deemed sustainable by transport planners.

Jim McAllister, Dunsfold Park Ltd’s chief executive said:

“The development of Dunsfold Aerodrome will provide homes for all sections of the community including young families currently priced out of the area, create new jobs and deliver a range of new community facilities together with infrastructure improvements. We look forward to working with Waverley Borough Council to progress the detail.”

What can be done now?

The pressure on infrastructure is the main concern affecting residents when any new housing development is approved.

If these developments effect you and your family, you can still make an impact. Cranleigh Society welcomes new members to help spread awareness and ensure our voices are heard. For further information email: membership@cranleighsociety.org

Further reading:

Join Cranleigh Civic Society

Get Surrey – The reaction after 1800 homes approved

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Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 Adopted

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20 Feb 2018  Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 adopted

was adopted tonight:

  • For – 41
  • Against – 1
  • Abstained – 3

Even those who opposed or had serious reservations took the view that the Waverley area would have more protection with a LP. Even with it’s flaws,  WBC would be able to take back control.  No longer would planning be developer led.

All three Cranleigh Councillors expressed their deep concerns about Waverley’s Local Plan. But they decided to vote For IT because the consequences of having no LP would be disastrous. Nothing will undo the damage that has already been inflicted on Cranleigh but further damage can be minimised with the LP.

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/news/article/337/waverley_s_local_plan_is_adopted

Waverley’s local plan part 1 – Cranleigh Society’s opinion was shared before the vote –

Whilst Cranleigh is viewed by Waverley as one of the four main “settlements”, it has some serious infrastructure problems which the Inspector, Jonathan Bore, has not addressed in the report, even though they were pointed out to him by Cranleigh Civic Society and others at the Inquiry.

  • Cranleigh is only served by already congested B-roads, and lanes (we call them “rat runs”) which do not even qualify for B-road status, and there are no plans in his report (or in the Local Plan) to solve this.
  • Any new dwellings being built in Cranleigh rely on sewage treatment at the Elmbridge Road works.  In recent years, the so-called river that the effluent is pumped into, Cranleigh Waters, has developed serious flow problems, sometimes ceasing flowing altogether.  The river has become polluted, with local angling societies reporting dying fish stocks to the Environment Agency, and there is currently no plan by Waverley to solve this problem.  The Inspector has not considered this in his report.
  • 29.6% of all Cranleigh’s drinking water supply network is made from old asbestos cement pipes which are at the end of their 50 to 70 year design life, and they are regularly bursting releasing free asbestos fibres into the water supply.  Some of the pipes recently tested by Thames Water are made from highly dangerous blue asbestos.  Waverley are aware of this problem, and it has been suggested to them that all the old asbestos cement pipes be replaced before any new housing is connected to the network. Again, this important matter has not been considered by the Inspector in his report.
  • There are no plans to create new local jobs, so increasing the population will simply create a need to commute to work, which is hardly sustainable.

We accept that there is a need to build new houses in SE England and we do not have a problem with Cranleigh taking its fair share, but unless the infrastructure problems are addressed before the plan is published and put into place, we see big problems ahead.

Modern town planning (actually even Ebenezer Howard said this in the 1920s) states that “houses should be built where the jobs are”.  Modern thinking is to build settlements as close as possible to places where people can work or to at least give people easy access to commute.  Of the four settlements in the report, Cranleigh is least able to meet this criteria.  It has only B-roads and narrow lanes leading out of it, no railway station and so on.  The obvious place to build substantial quantities of new houses, in the Waverley area, is Milford, as:

(1) It has a mainline railway station that can easily be extended to take the new 12 car trains to London; (2)  It is close to both the A31 and A3; (3) It is close to the job markets in Guildford, Godalming and Farnham; (4) It is adjacent to the River Wey and therefore readily lends itself to the building of a new major sewage treatment works that can meet the needs of the latest 2017 implementations of the Water Framework Directive.  Yet I think we are correct in saying that the Local Plan only envisages 180 new dwellings in Milford?  If this is the situation we have to ask “Why?”

Richard Bryant

 Vice Chair.

 CRANLEIGH CIVIC SOCIETY.

Go to Waverley Borough Council  website and complete the consultation if you feel you can.

Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies

 

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Cranleigh Stuffed!

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One of our Facebook friends asked us to post a map of all the development in Cranleigh to indicate to residents the true scale of our problem.  Well here it is, hot off the Waverley Planning Maps website:

Cranleigh Planning Applications 2011 onwards

This only shows planning applications from 2011 onwards.  You will no doubt recognise the mega site south of the High Street which totals 765 new dwellings alone!  This includes Berkeley Homes 425 dwellings (spanning Knowle Lane to Alfold Road), Little Meadow (Alfold Road) 75 dwellings and the Knowle Park Initiative (A2 Dominion) 265 dwellings (Alfold Road as well!). We do not understand how Surrey Highways thinks the rural roads will cope, with the explosion of  houses Waverley has planned for this area. and how they believe road safety will not be compromised.

Those of you also concerned about the sewage and foul water from all of these houses, will no doubt be astonished to learn, as we were last week at a meeting in Guildford with Thames Water, that no provision has yet been made for the expansion of the sewage treatment works on Elmbridge Road and no consideration has been given to the river into which the effluent flows.  We have reported countless times that Cranleigh Waters now regularly dries up, yet apparently, according to the “experts” in their desktop studies, it can cope with double the number of houses, and double the amount of effluent being poured into it, yes another minimum of 4,455 new dwellings, without any pollution problems whatsoever!

Over the last couple of days, Residents have yet again been reporting to us more Thames Water contractor vans across the village (picture below opposite turning to Elm Park 5 June 2017).

Elm House opp Elm Park 5 June 2017

Thames Water confirmed it had spent £1M on new filters to improve the sewage treatment works for EXISTING residents only, but as yet have not secured funding, or designed the sewage works for the new loos, showers, dishwashers, washing machines etc in the pipeline for 1,300 new houses in Cranleigh, let alone the 2, 600 (Local Plan figure) for Dunsfold or 600+ on the Springbok Estate.  This is utter madness!!  And yet still more applications pile up – another 98 on the primary school sites and another 101 in phase 2 for the Crest Nicholson site off the Horsham Road, which some of you may have attended the consultation in the village for.  Does it end there?  No of course not the numbers just keep growing, whilst the certain environmental damage on our doorstep is being firmly ignored.

What legacy is this Waverley Borough Council leaving to the next generation of residents in Cranleigh?

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Concerns over plans for New Junior School in Cranleigh

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Surrey County Council have submitted a planning application (ref SCC2017/0064 & WBC: WA/2017/0696) for a new Junior and Infant School at Glebelands in Cranleigh, and this was discussed at the Cranleigh Parish Council Planning meeting on 24 April 2017.

Having reviewed the application we at Cranleigh Civic Society have concerns regarding child safety.

It appears that with the new school building, the impact of having 3 schools in close proximity in the Glebelands area, and the dangers of hugely increased population of school children travelling to and from school, have not been addressed.

The current Church of England Infant School in Church Lane, has parking available that allows parents to park and walk their Infant school children to the safety of the Infant School premises.

There is no parking provision for parents in the proposed new infant School at Glebelands that will allow parents to ensure their children’s safe arrival at School.

As well as no parking provision for the younger children’s parents/guardians, there is also no extra drop-off area provision for the increased number of High School children.

The impact of the Dunsfold and Cranleigh development proposals could double the current numbers of children of Infant and High School age travelling to and from Glebelands School.

The lack of safety provision in the proposed application will put the new and existing school attendees at unacceptably high risk in many ways in the future while travelling to, from and arriving at school.

We believe that Surrey County Council & Waverley Borough Council both have a duty to properly address this serious issue to ensure child safety and we would be interested to hear how they will carry out their duty of care in ensuring the safe arrival and departure of the huge numbers of children that will attend the Schools at Glebelands in the future.

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Cranleigh Councillors Slashed from Waverley Planning Committee

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In a truly shocking revelation, we have discovered that Waverley is proposing to slash Cranleigh’s representation on the committee that decides all the big housing applications from four voting Cranleigh Councillors to just ONE to represent the whole of Cranleigh Village.

The only reason we can see for reducing Cranleigh’s representation by so much is so that Waverley can dump even more houses here.

We are calling a PUBLIC MEETING – THURSDAY  25th May 2017 at 7pm in the Village Hall for you to Have Your Say!

It is disgraceful that a council can act like this and treat residents with such contempt. They are relying on the apathy of Cranleigh residents to help them achieve their goal. Cranleigh has already seen a disproportionate and unfair number of planning permissions granted totalling 1,300 so far.

Waverley has allocated 1,520 here in the village in the first part of its local plan and is planning to dump 45% of its ENTIRE housing allocation, that’s 4,455 in and around Cranleigh.

Waverley Borough Housing Allocation June 2016

THIS IS NOT PLANNING; IT IS MADNESS!

Now it seems that the Waverley Conservative Leadership want to stack the Joint Planning Committee in their favour, with people that don’t give a damn about what happens to Cranleigh, as long as it’s not in their backyard, making it much easier to dump even more houses here.

Cranleigh Village Meeting

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We are calling a public meeting in Cranleigh on:

THURSDAY  25th May 2017  at 7pm in the Village Hall

and we are inviting our 5 borough councillors. We want to ask them what they are doing to represent our views, and what they are doing for Cranleigh residents. We will also be asking you if you want to call for a vote of “No confidence” in the leadership of Waverley Borough Council.

We have heard that people living in other parts of the borough are laughing at us. “Why is Cranleigh not up in arms?” they say, “why aren’t they shouting in the street?” and “why are they accepting this housing dump without any fuss?”. They think you don’t care, and basically, they think Waverley can, and will do, whatever it wants in Cranleigh with absolutely no backlash.

It is time to shake off any apathy and stand up to be counted. Are you going to let them wreck Cranleigh completely?

This is the last opportunity to hold the Conservative Waverley leadership –“we can do whatever we like to Cranleigh” – to account and really show them what the people of Cranleigh think about their secret plans to expand Cranleigh into a major town in Waverley.

More to come…..

And don’t believe you have seen the end of huge planning applications in Cranleigh, Waverley want our Neighbourhood Plan Group, as you will see from Item 5 on the Parish Council Agenda for 20th April to find even more housing sites, employment sites, community sites and retail sites in and around the village. So, if you live near a green field and are breathing a sigh of relief because you think you’re safe, think again. You could soon have a huge housing estate, or industrial units next to you. If we do nothing, this will only be the beginning……………….

Join us in the Village Hall at 7pm on Thursday 25th May. Invite your family, neighbours and friends, because Cranleigh people are not going down without a fight!

WE WILL BE HEARD

Tell us what you think by adding your comments below.

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KPI Decision Challenged – Update

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As an update to this previous article, we have now been informed that the Secretary of State has not agreed to call in this application.

So, sadly that’s another 265 houses approved to be built in an unsustainable location.

Original article follows:

Following the decision two weeks ago by Waverley Borough Council to approve the building of 265 houses on another of Cranleigh’s green fields, Cranleigh Civic Society has written to DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) to ask for the application to be ‘called in’.  If accepted, this will lead to an inquiry being held by the Secretary of State.

Our reasons for requesting a call in are:

  1. Cranleigh’s Parish Councillor Liz Townsend was denied a vote for this application, in place of the late Brian Ellis.
  2. The vote was 8 for and 8 against, with the deciding vote given by a Hindhead councillor.
  3. There were four missing members of the JPC who could have given their vote to one of the Cranleigh councillors in their place, but chose not to elect substitutes.
  4. The Planning Officers were not acting impartially, but appeared to be in favour of the developers.
  5. This application had previously been rejected and was just resubmitted without significant changes, so why was this allowed?
  6. We have uncovered the existence of asbestos cement water pipes which could pose a serious risk to public health and if this is to be fixed 30% of Cranleigh’s drinking water pipes will need to be dug up. If not resolved the danger from asbestos will be exacerbated by the extra water pressure from new homes.
  7. Why have the developers not been questioned about the illegal dredging of Cranleigh Waters carried out by a contractor at their request?
  8. The KPI site fails the sequential test, as there are other sites better suited to development which do not flood. There will be no subsidised affordable flood insurance from Flood Re as, since 1 January 2009, new homes should not be built on high flood risk areas.
  9. This application was submitted at the same time as an appeal against the refusal of the previous application, which in itself is odd.

For these reasons we have serious and valid concerns about the granting of this application and hope that the Secretary of State will agree with us.

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AGM 2nd March

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This Thursday, 2nd of March is the AGM of the Cranleigh Civic Society at the Band Room on Village Way at 7:30pm and never before have we been so much in need of your help. We have fought the good fight examining every detail of the huge number of houses planned and approved to be built in our village, only to be ignored and criticised by the borough council and other parties who stand to make huge financial gains.

In fact, they’ve openly said that nothing you or I say or do has any effect on the decisions they make about the quality, well-being and safety of existing resident’s lives. It seems we’re unimportant, compared to their desire to dump all the housing here despite the lack of infrastructure, thereby protecting Haslemere, Godalming and in the main Farnham.

Cranleigh only has 5 borough councillors, of which 2 have declared a pecuniary interest in development in Cranleigh, compared to the stronghold of 18 borough councillors for Farnham.

The dump on Cranleigh has only just begun, with this imbalance of power this will never stop.

Please join us now to take a stand against the outrageous abuse of this power and help us to keep up the fight for fair representation on the borough council and for fair recognition of the constraints of our rural roads, sewage treatment, public transport and the undermining of the character of our village.

This will not stop!  Areas of farmland and woods have already been decimated but we must still fight on. We have irrefutable evidence of the extent of Cranleigh’s ageing asbestos cement drinking water pipes and no clear evidence that this is not a risk to our health, despite asking the Drinking Water Inspectorate several times to confirm this they have not done so.  We have set up an online petition to ask our MP Anne Milton to help us find out what these asbestos pipes are doing to us and to our children.

We think we have a right to know, do you?

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/remove-asbestos-cement-drinking-water-pipes

We can also prove that the sewerage treatment works intends to pump out more and more pollution into our river, even though it is already polluted, and the Environment Agency is most likely going to roll over and play dead, and let them do this, whilst wildlife suffers and our environment suffers too.  We need to continue to push Waverley on this point, even if ultimately it may lead to the law courts.

We’ll bring you right up to date on Thursday with the battles we are fighting and let you know how you can help us.  And, never forget:

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

 Margaret Mead Anthropologist

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