Congratulations and thank you Cranleigh Parish Residents!

Cranleigh now has a legally binding Neighbourhood Plan.  Voting yes was the right thing to do.

The Neighbourhood planning device was set up by the new Conservative Government in 2011.  They hoped that planning applications would be nodded through swiftly because communities had already agreed where housing could go.  Click here to read the whole final Neighbourhood Plan document.

But what about the infrastructure? 

There is no legal requirement to install infrastructure before homes are on the market!  However, the infrastructure is being very gradually improved, although it is not fun having roads dug up so often.

What is neighbourhood planning?

Do you wonder what the Neighbourhood plan is supposed to achieve? This is a quote from the Government of 2014:

‘Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. They are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided, and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead. Neighbourhood planning provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community’s needs and where the ambition of the neighbourhood is aligned with the strategic needs and priorities of the wider local area.’

Whilst Neighbourhood plans are about where the community agrees housing can be built, it’s so much more than that too. Waverley planners must consider all aspects of the plan when they look at planning applications.  If you are interested there are several acronyms to understand –

AONB – area of outstanding natural beauty – but this has recently been changed to National Landscapes. Cranleigh is surrounded which is one reason why it is a great place to live.  However the village is not protected against development.

GREEN BELT – Cranleigh does not have protection, however Rowly does.  There are also areas ‘beyond the green belt’ that should have some protection.

ASVI – area of strategic visual importance – in the Neighbourhood plan there is a page showing places where one can stand and feel in fairly open countryside – Waverley Borough Council put it like this –

‘Review Snoxhall Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI)  Snoxhall Fields, an area to the south of the village was designated an Area of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI) in 1984. Waverley Borough Council has a long history of protecting these important areas.
The 1981 Local Plan Brief set out the criteria for designation as “They are areas of predominantly open land, usually adjacent to urban areas and perhaps relatively small, whose importance lies in the crucial role they play in preserving the character of the locality. The District Plan set out to identify such areas with policies for protection.”  ASVI’s were then defined in the 1984 Local Plan as having a ‘crucial role in establishing the character of a locality and preventing the coalescence of developed areas’.
Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan 2002 reiterated this role and included the ASVI policy C5.’

You may note that the areas all around Snoxhall playing fields, including the old Paddock are all designated ASVI.  That means it is not at all easy to get planning permission on any of it.

AGLV – Areas of Great Landscape Value – to the east of Cranleigh Parish there are areas that have this designation which includes Vachery pond and lands, Baynard’s Park and to the north of Amletts lane.

Cranleigh Civic Society was created

By 2014 Cranleigh had a team of 70 people voluntarily working on the Neighbourhood Plan  for the village, in small groups for each aspect of the plan.  The housing group investigated pieces of land and their sizes and owners, as well as design aspects.  However it looked hopeless in terms of stopping inappropriate housing developments, on green fields, that flood.  So the ‘housing group’ started Cranleigh Society to try to fight those developments straight away.  There were some successes, mainly delays, and some improvements to the plans, but the fields were ploughed up and it continues.

We welcome new residents and all they contribute

The good news it that some great people have joined our ‘village’ and are contributing to the social life in particular.  So, much like the developments of the 1970s – there is some good news.

The future

It is important that all aspects of the newly adopted Neighbourhood Plan are adhered to by the planners at Waverley and we all need to be aware of what the details are, and to make a noise if there are infringements threatened.

There will be another round of designing the next Neighbourhood plan sooner that anyone would like.  It will be especially to allow for more housing somewhere.