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.
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?”
CRANLEIGH CIVIC SOCIETY.
Go to Waverley Borough Council website and complete the consultation if you feel you can.
The Committee of Cranleigh Civic Society has been strengthened and energised to fight the growing avalanche of proposed housing. The new Chair, Terry Stewart, was Chair, then President, of Dorset CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) for 8 years. He was faced with the threat of building houses throughout the Poole and Bournemouth Green Belt so lead a team of six villages and communities to defeat the proposals. This included MPs speaking to a demonstration outside Parliament (see photo) and a procession to Downing Street to present a petition to the Prime Minister (see photo). The proposals were defeated – as were plans for a new village at Lytchett Minster.
Experience shows that attacks on the Green Belt and unprotected beautiful countryside can only be defeated if there is a strong, professional team leading an active, widespread community with clear objectives. So the new Civic Society Team includes a retired Solicitor, two experts on building and infrastructure, an insurance expert and environmental and wildlife specialists – meeting on a fortnightly basis or more often if needed.
We understand that villagers may believe that, whatever they feel, the Council and Government will do whatever they want to do, but the successes referred to above demonstrate that these battles CAN be won! Apathy only plays into their hands – do you really want this to happen?
CRANLEIGH IS UNDER AN INCREASING THREAT FROM DEVELOPERS – changing YOUR quality of life and the Cranleigh we know and love. Since 2014, Waverley Borough Council has approved the building of over 1,300 houses in Cranleigh. Think for a moment the huge impact this will have on the A281, our B-roads and country lanes, our already overloaded and inadequate sewage treatment works and the crumbling infrastructure – and the increased flooding risk. Also, please remember that we are the only main settlement in Waverley without a railway station.
Despite all this, more and more new planning applications are regularly being received.
Just a few days ago we heard that Dunsfold Park is virtually assured of being given approval for 2,600 new houses – and that is just the beginning! Just think of all those extra cars entering and using the A281.
We have heard credible accounts of a developer acquiring “options to buy” large tracts of land down Knowle Lane – is the idea for Cranleigh and Dunsfold to merge? Are we to become another Crawley?
Cranleigh Civic Society needs YOUR support so please visit our website – www.cranleighsociety.org – Facebook and Twitter links and join our membership. We are working hard on YOUR behalf to protect our very special village, its environment and wildlife.
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