Horsham Road Planning Application Date

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We have been advised that the Full Planning Application (Detailed Planning Permission) by Crest Nicholson for 149 dwellings off Horsham Road will be heard by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee on 24 August 2016 at the Council Offices in Godalming.

We will add more details when the time and the agenda are published on Waverley’s website.

At present there remain outstanding details regarding the drainage system which need to be addressed. We also have major concerns about the raising of the land by 1m on the northern edge of the site and the added risk of flooding for existing residents of Nightingales, as well as sewerage infrastructure.

If you still want to comment against this application you can do so via Waverley’s Planning Portal WA/2016/0417full instructions on how to comment are here.

Or by emailing the Planning Officer Mrs Jo Dawes on planconsult@waverley.gov.uk you must include your name and address and quote reference WA/2016/0417

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Tales from Cranleigh’s Riverbank

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Cranleigh Civic Society is investigating the report received that Waverley Borough Council has not yet completed a full Water Cycle Study as part of it’s preparation for their draft Local Plan about to be released for public consultation.


Local Authorities, in accordance with best practice guidelines, should do a Water Cycle Study at the beginning of the local plan process as an important part of their evidence base. This will uncover at an early stage any constraints to development from environmental issues or water infrastructure capacity, and provides an informed platform from which discussions can take place with the Environment Agency (EA), water and wastewater providers (Thames Water, Southern Water etc) and other stakeholders.

This in-depth study usually includes areas such as:
Water Resources – potential increased demand for water and the infrastructure requirements to distribute it
Water Quality – potential increased generation of sewerage and other wastewater, requiring collection and treatment systems and the potential increased risk to the quality of the water environment including its ecology
Flood Risk – potential increase in wastewater or surface water run-off which could increase the risk of flooding.

Both the Cranleigh Society and the Environment Agency (EA) have highlighted that Waverley needed to do a water cycle study as part of their local plan. The EA referred to this again in the Officer’s Report for the Little Meadow planning application for 75 houses on the Alfold Road:

“The local plan evidence base would need to demonstrate that the planned housing numbers would not:
1. Lead to a deterioration in class status of the Cranleigh Waters, for any element Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Ammonia or Phosphorous,or
2. Compromise our ability to get the Cranleigh Waters to ‘Good Ecological Status’. Additional water quality modelling would need to be completed to support all of the developments cumulatively to identify whether there would be a deterioration risk to the Cranleigh Waters as a result of growth alone. This will need to be set out in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan, with the evidence being gathered from the conclusions made by a required Water Cycle Study.” [our emphasis]

The Cranleigh Society has continually reported pollution concerns to Waverley regarding Cranleigh Waters (the stream that Cranleigh Sewage Works discharges PER DAY on average the equivalent of two Olympic-sized Swimming Pools of liquid effluent) which over the last few years has started to dry up, particularly during summer months. This is causing serious pollution down stream from the sewage works right up to the point where the stream joins the River Wey near to Shalford.

The following photo was taken on 21st July 2016, before the sewage works discharge point into Cranleigh Waters, and as you can see one of our committee members is standing on the mostly dry stream bed and there is only a tiny trickle of water still flowing on the far side.
Where's the water gone Cranleigh Society

This image shows the discharge point at the sewage works and clearly shows the increase in the water level from liquid sewage effluent alone.
Cranleigh waters sewage works discharge point

Waverley have now accepted the need for a water cycle study and have appointed consultants CAPITA, however, they have left it too late to do a full report. The first stage of this two part process normally takes between 6 and 12 months, however, Waverley have advised us that their study will be available when the draft local plan and other supporting documentation is published in approximately one week.

We have serious concerns about the depth of the study they are carrying out.  We have been advised that they only have time to do an overview study known as a “High Level Water Cycle Study” which is reported to be a desktop sift-through of government web-site data and published water abstraction licences and will not take account of specific local issues.

Considering we are in an area of water stress, where demand for water can exceed the amount available,  as well as having a well-documented history of sewage issues, we believe that the scale of the housing being proposed in and around Cranleigh makes a full study essential.

The Environment Agency have advised us that they will object to the draft Local Plan, if an appropriate water cycle study has not been carried out.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency is sending a team of their experts to Cranleigh to investigate the pollution problem, following our meeting at the sewage works and a report from the Shamley Green Angling Club (they have fishing rights to Cranleigh Waters in Bramley) that they have stopped fishing this stream as fish stocks have died out due to the pollution. We would like to acknowledge the invaluable and professional support and advice from the Environment Agency, despite considerable cuts in their workforce and a mounting workload.

We would also like to thank all of you who have been involved with the Cranleigh Sewage Works Odour Survey and just to let you know we will be publishing our results very soon.

If you have any concerns about the growing pollution in Cranleigh Waters, please get in touch.


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Amlets Lane Planning Application Date

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We have been advised that the Full Planning Application (Detailed Planning Permission) by Cala Homes for 125 dwellings off Amlets Lane will be heard by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee on 14 September 2016 at the Council Offices in Godalming.

We will add more details when the time and the agenda are published on Waverley’s website.

If you still want to comment against this application you can do so via Waverley’s Planning Portal WA/2016/0517full instructions on how to comment are here.

Or by emailing the Planning Officer Jennifer Samuelson on planconsult@waverley.gov.uk you must include your name and address and quote reference WA/2016/0517

View updated site plan using the link below:
Amlets Lane Final Site Layout

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Traffic Chaos in Amlets Lane

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Local resident’s have been forced to take their lives in their hands and measure the width of Amlets Lane themselves.

Safety concerns regarding increased traffic levels on this narrow rural road have been highlighted again and again by residents. Now as building on the site for 125 dwellings by Cala Homes draws nearer, heavy construction traffic is forefront in the minds of local residents.

It has been said time and time again that the road is simply not wide enough to allow for two HGVs to pass and residents are extremely worried about safety on this road.

Transport Assessments submitted against the planning application have failed to record width measurements along the lane. However, a recent email published against the application from Richard Cooper, Senior Transportation Development Planning Officer at Surrey County Council to Waverley Planning Officer Jennifer Samuelson, has provided an official width guideline required for two goods vehicles to pass:

From: Richard Cooper
Sent: Wednesday 22 June 2016 12:30
To: Jennifer Samuelson
Subject: Re: WA/2016/0517: Amlets LAne
Hi Jen,
Thanks for your email.
The main access road into the site measures 5.5m wide. Mfs guidance states that this width is sufficient to allow two goods vehicles to pass. As a general rule a 5.5m wide single access can serve up to 300 dwellings, with parking on one side of the road.
The secondary roads within the site have a width of 4.8m. This width is sufficient to allow a car to pass a goods vehicle.
Finally there are some roads proposed serving only a small number of houses or a parking area, measuring 4.1m in width. These roads will only be used by cars, and this width is sufficient to allow two cars to pass.
I confirm therefore that the proposed road widths are acceptable on highway safety grounds.
Hope this helps,
Richard Cooper
Senior Transportation Development Planning Officer
Surrey County Council [our emphasis]

This email promoted two local residents to don high-vis vests and armed with their measuring tape they took width measurements at various points along Amlets Lane, thus finally dispelling the myth that the lane is wide enough for two HGVs to pass.

The following email was subsequently sent to Richard Cooper and Jennifer Samuelson on  11 July 2016:

Having studied your response of 22/06/2016 to Ms Samuelson’s query with respect to road widths I noticed that a road of 5.5m width is sufficient to allow two HGVs to pass. At the site meeting of interested parties two days before the Joint Planning Committee Meeting which approved Outline Planning Consent two HGVs did in fact get stuck near to the proposed entrance to the site.

As a metrologist in my pre-retirement life, I believe in measurement. To that end my wife and I set out to measure the width of Amlets Lane at 5 points. Our start point was the entrance to the triangle at the eastern end of Amlets Lane. Only one measurement gave a width of greater than 5.5m (where part of the verge had been removed when the Lane was resurfaced in 2013) while, by the entrance to Hilliards House the maximum width SCC can claim is 4.8m. As we were unsure of the definition of “Road Width” we measured to the outside of the white lines (W) AND to the very edge of the bitumen (B).

The measurements were as follows:

Distance from origin(miles) Description Measurement (W) (B) (both metres)
> 0.1 By gate leading to Amlets Hill 5.33 5.63
> 0.2 By development entrance 4.87 5.32*
> 0.3 By gate to Amlets Cottage 4.70 5.30
> 0.4 By gate to Dower House 4.83 5.08+
> 0.5 By gate to Hilliards House 4.30 4.80+

 * Room to widen when entrance is laid, + By outward-leaning wall – no room to widen

The distance from origin was measured using the car odometer, which is clearly imprecise over such short distances, and so a description of the measurement point is included. The measurement points were, of necessity, taken where it was possible to park at least partially off the road for safety reasons. I am not sure of your evidence base but there is clearly a major issue here.

Your estimate of the road width would appear to be completely inaccurate and misleading. If this is not corrected it could constitute gross negligence.

I have forwarded this information to Ms Samuelson so I am sure that she will be as interested as I to hear your comments.

The Cranleigh Society has also emailed Richard Cooper and submitted residents’ photos of vehicles causing an obstruction along Amlets Lane as further evidence of this serious problem.

A resident sent this photo in on 20 July 2016 of a low loader stuck in Amlets Lane yet again causing long tailbacks and delays.

Amlets Lane Low Loader 20-07-16

Amlets Lane 20 July 2016

Please keep sending in your stories and photos, this provides clear evidence that we pass on to the relevant authorities.


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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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Residents Demonstrate Against Waverley Local Plan

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Last night around 100 residents from the borough’s Eastern Villages came together to voice their anger and frustration with Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan which dumps over 4,500 new houses in this area, amounting to 45% of the total housing allocation for the entire borough.

Waverley Borough Housing Allocation June 2016

Councillors ran the gauntlet of protesters with placards outside the Godalming offices chanting “The Local Plan is rubbish, shame on you!”

Most protesters cited inadequate infrastructure, together with a complete lack of consultation with eastern villages, and a disregard for the quality of life for existing residents, as the main reasons for attending the event.

“We are sick of being ignored” said one attendee, “The improvements to the roads that are being suggested are a complete joke!”.

Councillors were called to a meeting of the Full Council to consider, a recommendation to put forward the draft Local Plan to a 6-week consultation stage.  Concerns were raised by several councillors about road infrastructure and highway safety, as well as questioning the inadequate improvement measures submitted by Surrey Highways, including those for the A281.  There was additional criticism about the complete lack of any impact study on the minor B roads which account for the majority of the road network in and around Cranleigh.

It was generally felt that a “lot more work” needed to be done on infrastructure. Several times it was stressed that the Local Plan was a “living document” that would be subject to change prior to being submitted for independent inspection.  We hope that this will be the case, as at the moment we do not have any confidence in the effectiveness of the extremely minimal road network improvements that are being put forward for Cranleigh, in addition to the lack of scrutiny regarding sewerage, water quality and air quality.

Cllr Mary Foryszewski pointed out that the consultation provided the forum for the local plan to be thoroughly inspected by everyone and that all responses would be taken into account.

Previously Cllr Foryszewski has pointed out that there has been a complete lack of consultation with Cranleigh Parish Council in selecting the  strategic sites contained in the Local Plan for Cranleigh.

Placating comments that “this [development] will not happen overnight” are not supported by the fact that development is heavily weighted towards the first five years of the plan, when it is forecast that 5,000 new homes, out of the total 9,861,  will be delivered in Waverley.

There was also a shock revelation that this figure could increase to over 12,000 if Woking cannot meet their housing allocation numbers and it could then fall to adjoining boroughs to absorb the shortfall.

The Leader of the Council, Julia Potts mentioned that Waverley was a unique borough with large areas of green belt and AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)  providing protection for most of the borough with the exception of the East and West.  She expressed sympathy towards Cranleigh and Farnham that were taking the bulk of development, but basically said there was no where else to put the housing.  This could be seen to contradict her previous statement on 2 Oct 2015 –  “The most important thing is that any new homes are built in the right places and that the council works with Waverley residents to ensure it has the right strategy in place to meet our community’s needs over the coming years.”

We cannot understand why our council, faced with the borough’s considerable environmental constraints, have not challenged the number of 519 houses per year, allocated to the borough in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).

The SHMA document produced by a the company GL Hearn uses a commercially sensitive calculation method to project the number and type of dwellings needed across an area.  This calculation is not published and is not subject to any independent analysis.  It is extremely difficult to challenge a number when you have no idea how is was arrived at!

We welcomed Julia Potts invitation for interested groups to get involved with the consultation process and we will be taking her up on this offer.




The consultation is not “live” yet but if  you register you will be kept informed of the process and will have six weeks to make your comments.

When the consultation period starts, anyone wishing to make a representation on the draft Local Plan can either:

·    Log onto the consultation portal.

·    Email planningpolicy@waverley.gov.uk.

·    Write to: Planning Policy, Waverley Borough Council, The Burys, Godalming, GU7 1 HR.

We cannot stress to you the importance of being involved.  Every comment will be sent to the Inspector for consideration this is not a case of Waverley picking and choosing the ones that they want.  We have made some observations so far on some of the areas included in the Local Plan in our article about the residents’ demonstration and will be adding to this over the next couple of weeks.

If you have any queries or concerns just get in touch.

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Our elected representatives need to know what you think about 4,455 new houses being built in and around Cranleigh.
TONIGHT our elected representatives will be voting on whether the Local Plan should proceed to the next stage.

We cannot stress enough that if this Local Plan goes ahead Cranleigh residents will experience the complete destruction of our village with 100% growth over the next 10 years.  The place where you live will change dramatically, don’t you want to have a say?

We say the plan is unsound!  Dumping nearly 50% of your total housing allocation in one area is unrealistic and NOT SUSTAINABLE!

  • The 4 Scenario consultation that Waverley carried out  was not representative of residents’ views and only included 3.5% (4,265 out of a population of 122,000) of the total Waverley population.  Of which only 2.3% (2,856) favoured significant growth in and around Cranleigh.  We have not been able to ascertain so far what part of the borough the 2.3% responding were located. This is not an overwhelming mandate to dump almost 50% of housing here!
  • Waverley has not calculated the attributable deaths from the increase in particulates in air pollution that this Local Plan will cause.  Indeed we have not had sight of any study or monitoring figures for particulates even from Air Quality Monitoring Areas (AQMA) in Waverley.
  • Waverley’s plans to update the A281 include; widening the Nanhurst crossroads, mention adding traffic lights to Bramley instead of the mini roundabout (although there is currently no planned developer contribution to do this) and widening the road at the Shalford roundabout by using common land  (acquiring common land is a long and slow process and certainly not guaranteed).  This is all they propose to accommodate another new settlement the size of Cranleigh and a potential 11,000 residents and most of it is not deliverable.
  • Waverley is ignoring the problem of Cranleigh Waters drying up.  This river will need to accommodate the liquid effluent from double the number of people and it is failing on water quality grounds now. A local angling society has advised us that fish stocks have dramatically fallen to the lowest ever level, indicating poor biodiversity.
  • Waverley has exaggerated the amount of available employment land in Cranleigh to suit its need for significant growth in this area.
  • Waverley has opted for the majority of significant growth in Cranleigh on our green fields and flood plain and has continually ignored flood evidence provided from December 2013 and January 2014.
  • Waverley’s plan for this area is purely driven by a lack of landscape designation – no green belt!  Housing need it has been proven is NOT focused in this part of the borough.  THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THIS AMOUNT OF HOUSING HERE.
  • Waverley’s figures for additional traffic movements along the A281 from development are lacking in detail and woefully understated. They simply keep passing the buck to individual developers to mitigate against traffic impact. We thought this was meant to be a strategic plan?
  • Surrey Highways modelling figures need to be scrutinsed to ensure they include significant housing growth from Horsham and HGV movements.
  • Waverley say this is a 30-year plan to build 9,000 houses yet they are relying in their plan on 5,000 being built in the first 5 years and most of it in and around Cranleigh.  his is not deliverable.
  • Waverley has not consulted with Cranleigh residents about the dumping of housing in and around our village.

The majority of your Cranleigh’s Borough Councillors are supporting this massive growth and ignoring the voice of residents.  They keep saying that Cranleigh needs more housing even though we have 900 new houses on the way with more in the pipeline!



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Have your Say! Waverley Local Plan

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In a nutshell Waverley’s Local Plan involves dumping 45% of their housing allocation in and around Cranleigh.

The Local Plan goes before a Full Council Meeting on 19th July 2016 at 7pm for approval.  PLEASE ATTEND THIS MEETING!

Once the Plan is approved it will then go forward to a 6 week consultation period when you can ALL comment on the proposal.

It is VERY important that you submit any comments so that the Planning Inspector, who will have the final say on the Plan, can see how residents in Cranleigh and the surrounding villages really feel about this irresponsible proposal.


In order to comment you MUST register on the planning portal.  Please make sure you do this if you want to have your say about the future of Cranleigh and the place where we live.

Register here to be able to make comments on the Local Plan

If you have been involved in a Waverley Borough Council consultation previously you may already be registered online.

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Save Our Green Belt!

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It is with a heavy heart that we post today, as if 45% of the borough’s total housing supply wasn’t enough to dump on Cranleigh, now it appears our own Waverley Borough Councillors Stewart and Jeanette Stennett directors of the company Stennetts Ltd are attempting to build a mixed-use development on our green belt.


Gaston gate Elevation proposed flats

site plan Gaston Gate Stennetts Ltd

If agreed, this sets a dangerous precedent for Cranleigh and opens Waverley up to countless appeals should they refuse other green belt development in the future.

The green belt is heavily protected by Waverley’s own planning policies as well as by national planning policies and it is only in “special circumstances” that development is granted. We believe that there are NO “special circumstances” here. The application refers to a loss of employment, however this is a residential dwelling adjacent to “Stennetts Yard” it does not have commercial usage.

We sincerely hope that members of the Eastern Planning Committee will consider the contents of our letter sent today to them.

Click on the following link to view the contents of the letter: Gaston Gate Green Belt Planning Application

Although we are unable to persuade Waverley to grant us a public speaking slot for this evening’s planning meeting, as the minimum 5 objections had not been received by the closing date for comments (although objections are now growing), we still plan to attend the meeting this evening (13 July).


The meeting  starts at 5pm at Waverley Borough Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming GU7 1HR.


Cranleigh’s green belt is under threat, if this application is approved this evening it WILL result in further applications and permanent damage to the very little environmental protection from green belt that Cranleigh has.

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Gaston Gate Development on Green Belt!

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UPDATE: Application passed by Eastern Area Planning Committee 13 July 2016.


Dangerous Precedent on Cranleigh Green Belt

Object TODAY as goes before Waverley Eastern Planing Committee tomorrow (13 July 2016 5pm): http://planning.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/(RefNoLU)/WA20160846?OpenDocument

We have only just found out about this application on Green Belt at Gaston Gate for the erection of mixed use building to provide B1 Offices and 2 dwellings following demolition of existing dwelling and associated outbuildings, Applicant Company: Stennetts Ltd.

This is a substantial development which is being surprisingly recommended for approval by Waverley Borough Council Officers at the Eastern Area Planning Committee tomorrow evening – 13th July at 5pm. This is an exception to policy and if approved this will set an extremely dangerous precedent for redevelopment of houses in Rowley on the green belt and for significant infilling in this area as well. This will change the rural nature of Rowley completely.

The application went before Wonersh Parish Council, Cranleigh Parish Council were not consulted, and this was all they had to say about this significant development in the GREEN BELT. Although looking back they have not previously supported development in this area.

Wonersh Parish Council no comment 09-06-16

This development contravenes both Waverley’s own planning policies and the National Planning Policy Framework and Waverley’s planning officers have very good grounds to refuse it and yet they are recommending that permission be GRANTED. We cannot understand why such a significant development at the rural fringe of Rowley is being recommended for approval.

You can object to this application on the following grounds by clicking  on the link http://planning.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/(RefNoLU)/WA20160846?OpenDocument then click on the button to the right of the screen On-line Comment  

( Full instructions on how to object are here https://www.cranleighsociety.org/2016/07/12/waverley-planning-portal/. ):

      • The proposal conflicts with national, and local planning policy regarding protection of the Green Belt as set out in Waverley’s policy C1 and the NPPF. There is clear presumption against inappropriate development in the green belt and development which adversely affects the openness of the Green Belt. This development would clearly be harmful to the openness of the green belt and its visual amenity. There are absolutely no special circumstances which justify this development that overcome or outweighs the harm.
      • The site is situated in Green Belt, of which Cranleigh has very little, and the NPPF is very clear on Green Belt status and its protection. Waverley as a planning authority has a statutory duty to protect this land. With nearly 900 dwellings already granted by Waverley in Cranleigh there can be no justification to attack the green belt as well. This also sets a dangerous precedent for this area.
      • The vast increase in development on this site conflicts with the inherent openness and rural location on the outskirts of Rowley.
      • Visual amenity will be diminished by virtue of the increase in size, bulk and the built height and footprint of the replacement structure, which will be very visible and overbearing due to its location.
      • This conflicts with Waverley’s policy RD2A – Replacement of Dwellings in the Countryside as the building is materially much larger than the previous building, including its bulk and height, is not of appropriate design compared to its locale and will be intrusive and detract from the rural character of Rowley.
      • It will result in a clear loss of privacy for the neighbouring property as well as an increase in noise and disturbance.
      • If refused by councillors it will NOT result in a loss of employment land – this is currently a residential dwelling house not a commercial property.
      • There is insufficient parking provision for the flats and the offices proposed, which contravenes Waverley’s adopted parking guidelines.

Gaston gate Elevation proposed flats

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