Category Archives: Housing

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 Leader advised of No Confidence Vote

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Cranleigh Civic Society have confirmed the vote of “No Confidence” taken by those attending the public meeting on 25 May 2017 to the Leader, Julia Potts, of Waverley Borough Council and are now investigating in full the options available to us and the next steps we will be taking.


Dear Ms Potts

As you are aware, Cranleigh Civic Society recently organised a public meeting at our village hall at which we shared our knowledge of what is happening now, and what is being planned for the future of our village. Many of the 229 people who attended passionately expressed their anger and concerns about the volume of housing your team has approved to be built on our green fields and how many more you intend to send our way.

Equal to this were the worries about how our already poor infrastructure will cope with the huge increase in the population. As promised, I relayed your message of how much you care about our village, and I must tell you it was not well received.

At the end of the meeting we offered the opportunity for them to vote by a show of hands if they wanted to send you a strong and clear message that they do not have confidence in your team’s ability to care for the quality of our lives and wellbeing  through your actions and inaction; 226 voted to support this statement, one opposed and two abstained.

I trust this message is clear.

Phill Price

Chairman

Cranleigh Civic Society


 

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VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN WAVERLEY

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VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL’S LEADERSHIP

 On Thursday 25th May, Cranleigh Civic Society organised a meeting in the Village Hall to discuss the number of new houses where planning permission has already been granted and the further huge amount of housing being earmarked for Cranleigh in the draft Local Plan.
Village Hall 25May17
 
Subjects discussed included:
 
1. Waverley allocating a huge proportion (44%) of their borough-wide new housing target onto Cranleigh, knowing that there are few job opportunities locally.
2. Waverley holding secret meetings with developers.
3. A lack of concern and action by Waverley over the many infrastructure problems facing Cranleigh.
4. A lack of consultation by Waverley with Cranleigh residents and their Parish Council.
5. Waverley’s practice of recruiting substitutes to vote at JPC meetings (against Waverley’s own Constitution), and
6. Waverley’s inability to have produced a coherant Local Plan, having spent many unproductive years working on it.
 
Many residents expressed their deep concerns about the relentless growth of new housing in Cranleigh, particularly as Waverley Borough Council has simply not dealt with Cranleigh’s serious infrastructure problems first.
 

At the end of the meeting, local residents took a vote of “NO CONFIDENCE” in the Leadership of Waverley Borough Council.

The results of the vote were:

 
226 FOR
1 AGAINST
2 ABSTENTIONS
Here’s a link to a short video giving you a flavour of the meeting:

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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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Flood Insurance for new homes?

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The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that new houses should not be built:

  • on flood plains
  • on other high risk flood areas
  • in areas where, if houses are built, it would increase the risk of flooding neighbouring property

Despite this requirement, many homes are being built (or we expect to be built) in such areas – for example:

  • Crest Nicholson, betweenHorsham Road and the Downs Link
  • Berkeley Homes, south of the High Street
  • Little Meadow, east ofAlfold Road
  • Thakeham Homes, next to Elmbridge Road – on land that was seriously flooded in January 2015including the pumping station!
  • A2 Dominion, Knowle Park – new application expected soon for new houses on the lowest area in Cranleigh!

elmbridge-road-pumping-station-24-12-13

Cranleigh Society will continue to object to Waverley Borough Council to granting permission to build in these high risk flood areas, and to stop relying on so-called Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) as a guarantee against flooding, which are not always reliable!

FloodRe is a joint insurance industry and Government initiative to enable the owners of homes which have flooded to not only obtain flood insurance but at an affordable price. The problem is that FloodRe can only “come to the rescue” when a house was built before 1st January 2009! This is because, since that date, no houses should have been built in those three areas specified in the NPPF.

People who bought a house built after 1st January 2009 which has subsequently flooded are on their own when trying to renew their insurance.  Their house could be uninsurable or, at best, they may have to pay a very expensive premium for cover with a high flood excess.

Until recently, the FloodRe literature did not directly mention that all important date of 1st January 2009 – it merely referred to “qualifying properties” with the reader having to visit their website to see if the house qualified!  We found this to be simply unbelievable!

Cranleigh Society tackled FloodRe on this issue and, finally, they did agree to include the cut-off date in all new literature – with no explanation or apology for excluding it in the first place.  There are thousands of these leaflets in circulation, and with no print date to help distinguish the correct and incorrect versions, this would of course be misleading for house buyers.

FLOODRE LEAFLET WITH 1 JAN 2009 DATE

We fear that a lot of new Cranleigh residents are in for a rough time after their first experience of several days of incessant heavy rain.

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A Resident’s View – Housing Need is Big Business!

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Ask yourself, what is the incentive for the big developers to build enough housing to meet demand?

Building enough housing would force down house prices.

Developers are in a position where they can manipulate the market by controlling supply to keep prices high and profits higher still.  They have created the perfect investment vehicle with ever present demand from a rising population in the UK coupled with the basic need for a roof over people’s heads.

It is reported that almost 500,000 new homes in England and Wales have planning permission but haven’t yet been built, despite a huge housing shortage.  Developers have been accused of profiteering for years and yet no penalties have been levied on them or their growing land banks.

Recognition of the developers’ role in restricting the supply of housing to boost their own profits at the expense of ordinary people is growing.

The Guardian recently reported that “the number of unbuilt homes with planning permission has reached record levels and is 25% higher than five years ago.”, furthermore “the nine biggest house builders are sitting on enough land to build 615,152 homes.  This includes plots with planning permission and those without.”

Developers are firmly in the driving seat, riding roughshod over government targets and laughing all the way to the land bank. Believing that the major house builders will play their part in providing access to a reasonable supply of more affordable homes has proven to be misguided and rather like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

This is surely the time to take back control and introduce a land bank tax –if developers don’t build within a certain period of time they pay a punitive rate of tax.  Worries that the big builders will throw their toys out of their pram and stomp off is counter-intuitive and like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Furthermore, developers should by law have to publish a public record of all land that they own.

We know that developers will only build at the rate to maximise their profits, not in line with housing need.  Why is permission being granted for more and more valuable green fields to be concreted over when developers are not building the houses they’ve already got permission for?

People are struggling to get on the housing ladder and the controlled rate of completions is keeping prices artificially high and forcing people to take on eye-watering loan to value mortgages.  The term “Mortgage Zombies” has emerged in the UK, where people are simply working to pay their mortgage and nothing else.

An overall average house price in Cranleigh is now around £472,745 how many people can really afford that?

The fact is the big house builders are not delivering the homes that are needed, despite planning applications being approved, and are amassing more and more land, shifting the balance of power even further in their favour.

Targeted Government funded incentives, like Starter Homes, don’t seem to have worked, surely its time for a major rethink?

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Dunsfold Park ‘call-in’ request

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It has been confirmed that a request for a ‘call in’ has been made to the Secretary of State for the Dunsfold Park planning application for 1,800 dwellings.

Anyone can request for an application to be called in.  IF this call in is successful this means that the Secretary of State will take the decision-making power on this planning application out of the hands of Waverley Borough Council as the local planning authority and he will decide whether it should be granted or refused.

‘Calling in’ can be done at any time during the planning application process, up to the point at which the local planning authority actually makes the final decision.

Once the planning application is called in, there will be a public inquiry chaired by a planning inspector, or lawyer, who based on their findings will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State can choose to reject the inspector’s recommendations if he wishes and will genuinely take the final decision.

You can read more about the application in the recent article on the GetSurrey website

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Knowle Park Initiative & Little Meadow before Planning Committee

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PICTURE ABOVE SHOWS SEWAGE FUNGUS IN CRANLEIGH BROOK 10 APRIL 2016


On 27th April 2016 at 7pm both applications for the Knowle Park Initiative and Little Meadow (Crownhall Estates Ltd) amounting to another 340 houses off Alfold Road go before the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) in Waverley.

Come to the JPC meeting, it is extremely important that councillors make this decision directly in front of Cranleigh residents and we know exactly how they vote, especially our local Cranleigh councillors.

If approved, this would bring the total number of new houses  off Alfold Road to 765.

The nearby Hewitts Industrial Estate application for another 120 houses is also due to be heard at Appeal by the Planning Inspector in October 2016. That would bring the TOTAL JUST in this part of the village to 885.


Where’s the Sewage Going?

We also note that Thames Water have not raised any objection to either of these applications based on sewerage capacity and yet they have placed Grampian style conditions on both Cala Homes and Crest Nicholson, which means that development cannot commence on these sites until foul water drainage strategies for on and/or off-site work, has been approved by Waverley Borough Council and Thames Water.

We have written to Thames Water to point out this discrepancy and the fact that we believe that it is in breach of its statutory obligations as the water and sewage undertaker if it now fails to raise an objection to the Knowle Park Initiative and Little Meadow applications.


Knowle Park Initiative Saga

For those of you who have been following the Knowle Park Initiative (KPI)  application, you might remember that Thames Water originally objected to the application on the grounds that the existing waste water (that’s sewage) infrastructure couldn’t accommodate another 265 houses in addition to 425 on the Berkeley Homes site.  It also confirmed that the water supply infrastructure didn’t have sufficient capacity either.

When the Berkeley’s application for 425 homes was refused on 6 January 2015, KPI’s advisers moved swiftly and contacted Thames Water on 7 January 2015 to point out that in light of the refusal there was now some notional sewage capacity available to them, although we wonder where this was, seeing as Cala and Crest were told there was none?

Thames Water faced with the fact that they had not objected at all to the Berkeley Homes application on sewage grounds had to concede on this point and issued a letter on 15 January 2015 ( view KPI Correspondence to Waverley regarding Thames Water ) withdrawing their objection. However, the letter from Lance Cooper of Thames Water did point out that: “Please note that the views expressed by Thames Water in this letter is in response to this pre-development enquiry only and does not represent our final views on any future planning applications made in relation to this site.”

Now you might think that in light of the decision for Berkeley Homes Appeal on 31 March 2016 giving permission for 425 houses, and bearing in mind the recent  widely publicised sewage issues in Cranleigh, which are referred to by planning officers in their report for the meeting on 27 April, Waverley officers would go back to Thames Water and get an updated statement before they recommended 340 more houses for approval in Cranleigh?

And especially as the sewers becoming overwhelmed by another 340 houses and foul water flooding would be an environmental and a public health risk.

But you would be wrong, the planning officers have recommended both of these sites for approval, relying on what might be a verbal update from Thames Water prior to the meeting on 27 April. This seems to amount to a serious oversight by Waverley Borough Council Planning Officers.


What about the Water Supply?

And what of the water supply infrastructure you might ask? That’s the stuff that comes out of your taps. Thames Water has maintained that the water supply infrastructure CANNOT SUPPORT either of these developments, however, this appears to have been completely overlooked by officers. There is no mention of a condition regarding this in their recommendation to approve these sites, and there is no mention of the impact study that Thames Water requested.

We think this is yet another serious oversight by Waverley Planning Officers and we would like to know why.


What are we doing?

Yesterday we wrote to Thames Water regarding the Knowle Park Initiative and Litle Meadows applications requesting that they uphold their statutory obligations and we copied in our MP Anne Milton, Waverley Planning Officers and the Environment Agency.

We also met up yesterday with a representative of Waverley’s Environmental Health Department, who seem to be taking this issue seriously.

We will keep you informed of the outcome.


What can you do?

Demand to know what is going on with Cranleigh’s sewerage system:

Send ONE email to the following people quoting references KPI WA/2015/1569 and Little Meadow WA/2015/0478 (please copy us in at info@cranleighsociety.org):

Email your MP Anne Milton anne.milton.mp@parliament.uk

Email Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning Services (Chief Planning Officer)  elizabeth.sims@waverley.gov.uk

Email the Current Leader of Waverley Borough Council Robert Knowles robert.knowles@waverley.gov.uk

Email the New Leader (from May) of Waverley Borough Council Julia Potts julia.potts@waverley.gov.uk

Thank you for your continued support.

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Amlets Lane Full Planning Application

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UPDATE: Residents Liaison Group Established 22 November 2016


UPDATE: Amlets Lane Detailed Permission Granted 8 November 2016


UPDATE: Amlets Lane deferred 14 September 2016


UPDATE: Full application will be heard by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee on 14 September 2016


Original Article:

The Full Application by Cala Homes ref WA/2016/0517 for 125 dwellings on Land South of Amlets Land and North of Roberts Way is available on the Waverley Borough Council Planning Portal website.

Confirmed Lack of Sewage Capacity!

Thames Water finally confirmed on 14 April that they have identified an inability of the existing waste water infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this application.

The reason quoted is ” The development may lead to sewage flooding; to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to cope with the new development; and in order to avoid adverse environmental impact upon the community.”

This is the first time we believe that the impact on the existing community has ever been mentioned!

This means that development cannot commence until a drainage strategy detailing on and/or off site drainage works, has been submitted and approved by Waverley Borough Council in consultation with Thames Water.

It also states that the existing water supply infrastructure has insufficient capacity to meet the additional demands for the proposed development and requests that impact studies of the existing water supply infrastructure must be carried out and approved by Waverley Borough Council in consultation with Thames Water.

You can read the full Thames Water objection to Amlets Lane.

This does not mean that the application will be refused, however it does at least mean that at long last Thames Water are publicly recognising the lack of capacity in Cranleigh’s sewage system to cope with all of this development.

You can read more about this application on our website article Amlets lane workers to use Cranleigh Train Station. You can still add comments and objections against the Full Planning Application.

Amlets lane width

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