Cranleigh Primary School NEW build on EXISTING site

Cranleigh Primary School NEW build on EXISTING site


Issues to be considered in relation to the alternative proposal of building a new school on the current Middle School site – using, primarily, the plans already developed by Surrey County Council (SCC) for a full new build on a green field elsewhere.

SCC have stated that the existing site is not big enough to accommodate the amalgamation of the 2 existing schools plus the nursery and future 1 Form Entry expansion. (FAQs April 2020).

If it can be shown that this can be achieved on the existing Middle School site while keeping the existing Middle and Infants Schools open the following programme might be adopted which will be considerably cheaper than the refurbishment proposal offered by SCC.

It is assumed that the plans for the new school prepared for the site adjacent to the Social Club incorporate all the requirements stated in Paragraph 1.

The plans would need to be re-orientated to suit the new location but otherwise need not be significantly changed. For the purpose of this exercise the same footprint has been used.

Despite costs associated with the additional 28 weeks this alternative proposal should be considerably cheaper than the 179 weeks suggested for the refurbishment of the existing buildings plus the other necessary extensions and far less disruptive for the children.

If the existing grass playing field next to the Social Club can be used by the Primary School there will be no need for the 3G pitch. Perhaps this money can be redirected towards the construction of the new school?

Obviously the Infants School site can still be sold for housing. If the money coming from central government can be also redirected to building on the existing site there will be a shortfall needing to be addressed as the Middle School site will not now be sold for housing development.

The attached sketch plans indicate how this might hopefully be achieved.

A degree of cut and fill would need to be undertaken on the site to overcome the cross fall.

A topographical survey has been undertaken by SCC of the Middle School site so no additional costs would be involved in this respect.

Has demolition of the existing Middle School buildings been included by SCC in preparation for the site being sold for housing development?

Incoming mains services are likely to be cheaper into the Middle School site than the greater distance between Parsonage Road and the proposed site next to the Social Club.

Basic construction costs for the new school should be similar n either of the sites being considered.

Better, safer access and parking provision can be incorporated along the Parsonage Road frontage making it easier for parents to drop off and collect their children.

Minor redesign of scheme and new TP application 24 weeks

Tender negotiation and placement of contract – 12 weeks

Construction of school and demolition of Horsa blocks  – 52 weeks

Relocation of children and occupation – 2 weeks

Total  90 weeks (an additional 28 weeks over the 62 weeks quoted for the new school new by the Social Club

Demolition of existing school buildings- 12 weeks

Completion of external works- 8 weeks

CofE primary school, Surrey’s business case versus what people want

CofE primary school, Surrey’s business case versus what people want

Cranleigh CofE Primary School 

The news plans WOULD fit onto the current site – but at what cost?

In their presentation recently Surrey County Council (SCC ) showed a strong business case for selling the 2 sites of the school and building a new combined school and nursery on a playing field.  Cranleigh Society has great concerns about this plan.

SCC explained that their professionals compared the costs of the new build, including the sale of the land for housing, with refurbishing the current school, and bringing a new build onto the Junior site for the infants and nursery.  The cost was shown as almost double the plans and no income stream.  So we do understand!


Cranleigh Society has been shown the way that the new, eco-friendly, expanded school plans would fit well onto the current Cranleigh CofE school site.

This desktop exercise was carried out by a retired architect with plenty of experience of working with councils on schools. Living in Cranleigh and walking around all the sites he knows what he is looking at first hand.

It shows that a new build on the existing site would achieve the following –

maintain and improve access to the school and nursery.

Incorporate all the features of the new build eco-friendly plans – Infants, Juniors, extra classes, nursery and SEND unit, and a pond.

It suggests using the playing fields as playing fields rather than building on both sites. Any improvements to the fields’ drainage necessary should be done.

Financially it would require funds that we are very aware SCC has not allocated for education in Cranleigh.  Is this really acceptable?

Having declared a climate emergency SCC should not be allowing green fields and trees to be destroyed as a matter of overarching policy – same for all building projects going forwards.

We know too that the new housing on the 2 school sites is in Waverley’s Local Plan and therefore has to be in Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood plan – this does not make it right.

Access to the new build on the playing fields would be difficult for all, cycles, scooters, cars and pedestrians, and the site is out of sight, tucked away from view, and would be a haven for unwanted behaviour around its perimeter.  See our picture…

In addition the increased people, cars and therefore pollution caused by building on both sites is unwanted by Cranleigh people.

Rowland Road and Parsonage Road are narrow, and the path from the corner where they join and bend around, and where all school traffic and pedestrians would have to go is more narrow and cannot be widened.

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW as we depend on your feedback – we are representing you as best we can.

We want a fair and speedy result here – and so does the school and nursery.

thank you



Renovate and rebuild e-petition news Cranleigh CofE Primary School

Renovate and rebuild e-petition news Cranleigh CofE Primary School

Result of E-petition to renovate and rebuild Cranleigh Primary School on its present site

Result of E-petition to renovate and rebuild Cranleigh Primary School on its present site

As a result of attaining over 200 signatures, Cranleigh Civic Society was able to present its case to Surrey County Council’s (SCC) meeting lead by Cabinet Member for all age learning Cllr Julie Iles (see here )on 9thJune 2020 – to renovate and rebuild Cranleigh Primary School on its present site, rather than sell the land for housing and rebuild the school on fields to the west of the Social Club behind the houses on the Common. 

The Cabinet Office presented its case for the current proposal to relocate to the Glebelands playing fields.  

However, in recognition of the arguments relating to the restricted access, non-availability of parking, building size and design, location and safety issues from representations by stakeholders, local councillors, residents and representatives of the Diocese and the governing body and the headteacher, it was evident that many local people were opposed to this new build project, much preferring that the school remains on its current site with refurbishment/extension.   

Cllr Julie Iles therefore proposed that Surrey County Council write to the Dept. of Education asking if the identified Priority School Building Programme 2 (PSBP2)  funding can be allocated to a refurbishment on the Junior School site, something that the local MP, Angela Richardson will be taking a keen interest in.

When this outcome is known, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Office can review further and point that consequently any indication of when essential repairs or refurbishment/extension might be carried out to the existing buildings can not be given yet.

 A recording of the full meeting can be heard on the Surrey County Council webcast here  item “Cabinet Member for All-Age Learning Decisions Tuesday 9th June” n.b. there was another item on the agenda – go to petition in video. 

 We feel that this is a very positive move forward for the Cranleigh Community and would like to thank all those who have contributed to this outcome. However this is just the initial step in getting to the community’s preferred outcome and we must maintain both dialogue with and pressure on SCC to see this through.

Renovate and rebuild e-petition news Cranleigh CofE Primary School

Society Update – Cranleigh Primary School concerns continue

All of Our Cranleigh Primary School’s future concerns continue

We are still beavering away as best we can –  after all the letters and emails sent to various people we asked you all to – thank you!  we have received the Officers’ responses and are examining all minutely for gaps in logic and care.

We feel under threat

We feel that Cranleigh is under threat from Surrey County council because they are willing and able to proceed with building a new school on their green fields – but they DO NEED to get planning permission from Waverley Borough Council to build around 90 & 17 dwellings on the old sites in order to part fund the new school and nursery.

They consulted with the right people?

There were invitations to various meetings and on line papers over the years – the issue is that everyone was lead to believe there was actually no choice – to get a new school and nursery we have to have all that new housing – they have done their figures – others have too and just don’t agree. It is clear that a new school could have been built in the grounds of the old one when the 2 sites first joined together!

They are sure they can persuade nearly all the children to walk to school

By creating a very congested set of roads the future is that we will all just walk and cycle – right? Little consideration then for those who have to deliver and collect from more that school or nursery every day, those who live further than 2 miles away – yes those are all meant to walk like our grandparents did – and those who depend on Grandparents and carers who come from far away.  A greener future can’t be created this way…..

Traffic and Safety issues

We know that all Primary school suffer with traffic issues, especially in September with the new intakes!  This scheme however does beggar belief!  Parsonage Road is where people have always parked, including the school buses – now add the cars and vans of those living in the new housing – and the increase in cycling – all to access a tucked away building behind housing on the Common – all of whom will be impacted by the noise and any anti-social behaviour too.

We are trying

Cranleigh Society representatives and councillors have been asked to attend a meeting – on line- soon and hope to represent your views so do write in and let us know details of your feelings – especially if you can “consult” with future parents of the schools and nursery.



We are so sorry to see so many people are having terrible trouble with fresh water supply – we suspect things can only get worse with this long – but beautiful! – drought.  Let’s find ways to clean and water thoughtfully – in the meantime Thames Water really do need to step up and tell us what is happening.

Tummy Bugs

Several people have had inexplicable tummy bugs very recently – from 48 hours to 3 or 4 days.  Could be water connected?  keep in touch

ACTION NOW – Creeping threats to Cranleigh?


Good Morning and May the Force Be With You!  (because it’s May the fourth!) We trust that you are all well? and thank all our paid up members  – we really appreciate your support.  For those of you who read these missives as well as our members – please remember – we are trying to help keep Cranleigh special…  fight unreasonable change and conserve what’s best about Cranleigh.

We want you to take action please – concerning the on going plans that Surrey County Council (SCC)  has to build a new Primary School on green fields. Please can you get your letters out today or tomorrow so that they arrive before the end of this week – of course Friday is a “Bank Holiday” – VE Day Please read on……

Background in brief – Surrey County Council owns Land in Cranleigh -both Longfields and that the schools are on – Glebelands and Cranleigh Primary (yes it has been bought from the Diocese) Cranleigh Infants and Acorns Nursery.  For many years SCC have had a plan to build a new Primary school on fields that Glebelands and other schools can and sometimes do use for sports.  If you have an enquiring mind please note that the submitted Cranleigh Parish Council Neighbourhood Plan includes provisions for further housing to be developed in Cranleigh at Longfields old people’s home (closed) 20; St NIcholas school 75; Cranleigh Infants school 15;  and that this goes with Waverley’s Local Plan part one.  So it appears that there is nothing we can do to stop the policies turning into realities – or is there?

Waverley planners and councillors rejected a planning permission submission to build houses on both schools’ sites.  Surrey CC will resubmit. We must keep vigilent.

Surrey CC have long since provided plans, on which they consulted as far back as 2011, to build a brand new large school on green fields. These are often waterlooged, they are sited behind residential housing along the Common (opposite the Curry Inn). To get to the new school will involve walking past the social Club and Bowls club (in the direction towards Guildford) They are on the school’s web site for viewing. Increases in housing, traffic and a weird tucked away access point are worrying us all.

And recently SCC have submitted elaborate changes to the new school plan – you can see them here – there are many documents to look at. 

Planning Application 2018/0138/SJ/WA/2018/2044  Waverley borough Council’s website – use the code from WA

Surrey County Council’s long term Plans to build new a primary school and nursery in Cranleigh on bare fields that are currently available for sports for pupils at Glebelands senior school, Cranleigh are challenged by us.  The updated NPPF of 2018 does not seem to have been taken into account.  The Environment Emergency declared by Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council and Cranleigh Parish Council have not been taken into account.

Cranleigh Society Requests a full review of the legitimacy and appropriateness of these plans – urgently required public consultation too – because the people who live here now just don’t know what is going on.  Also and very urgently we – 

 Request an Environmental Impact Assessment

With reference to the planning application WA/2018/2044, we all can write to complain that the latest communication from the Surrey County Council dated 27th April 2020 does not just provide us with ‘additional Information’ as indicated, but shows significant changes to the plans, including the appearance of the south elevation and the height of the school hall. This is very misleading, and another example of how the applicant is trying to avoid public scrutiny and push this proposal through at a time when the public is focused on COVID 19.

We request that an Environmental Impact Assessment be carried out immediately:

  • especially as the site is located between a Conservation Area and an Area of Outstanding Beauty.
  • This EIA should have been carried out when the Secretary of State first gave permission to build on the school playing fields in November 2015, but it was not.
  • Since then, the very serious implications of climate change have been recognized and need to be more fully considered in this application.
  • Due to the sensitive and vulnerable location of this site and the adverse environmental effects that will arise from covering this green field site with tarmac, concrete and an artificial football pitch, there is an urgent need to carry out a full and detailed EIA, taking into consideration all aspects of the development;
  • including noise pollution due to its close proximity to residential buildings.  The noise emanating from a 60 pupil nursery outdoor classroom, from the air-conditioning and from the vents of the kitchens will be quite considerable.

Caroline Smith <>

and copy our Councillors Paul Follows too  – Liz Townsend <>; Andrew Povey CLR <>; Cllr Angela Richardson <>; Tim Oliver <