The nightmare has come true! Yet another 265 houses on green fields were voted in last night on the casting vote of the Waverley Joint Planning Committee’s Chairman Cllr Peter Isherwood.
So now Cranleigh has a deluge of 1,236 new houses (and that doesn’t include the infilling going on all around Cranleigh in back gardens everywhere, especially up the Horsham Road) of these houses 418 are meant to be affordable – whatever that really means.
We just want to put the enormity of the scale of this development into context, the Swallowhurst Estate was for 58 houses only!
This is now the masterplan (so far) for Cranleigh, showing the Berkeley’s, Little Meadow and now KPI sites (A2 Dominion) together:
The countryside to the left of the high street has now all but disappeared:
Cllr Mary Foryszewski was the only Cranleigh Councillor who could vote at last night’s meeting, as once again Cllrs Stewart and Jeanette Stennett declared a pecuniary interest in the KPI development, and Cllr Patricia Ellis was nowhere in sight. Cllr Foryszewski alone battled valiantly for Cranleigh, but all was in vain. Be very scared Cranleigh residents, Waverley has big plans for Cranleigh and they are not pretty.
It was also revealed last night that Waverley agreed a reduction in affordable housing on the KPI site in return for more money for the Elmbridge Road bridge (we can’t wait to see what actually happens there, as the estimated cost by Waverley is more akin to a fairy tale) and a sizeable contribution to a new Leisure Centre, proposed for the parish owned Snoxhall Fields, no doubt surrounded by a big car park. Never mind, Cranleigh doesn’t need free recreation space, not when it can have even more houses who will pay council tax to Waverley! However, it transpired that the Parish Council were not even given the courtesy of a consultation about this new Leisure Centre, the Cllrs we spoke to knew nothing about it, and are desperately trying to save this area for the community, by putting the land into a Trust, rather than see it consumed by Waverley.
Cllr Liz Townsend, who it seems has not been allowed to take up Cllr Brian Ellis’s vacant place on the planning committee, was allowed a speaking slot and conveyed how angry Cranleigh residents felt about the destruction of our village. She also pointed out how seriously under represented Cranleigh is on the planning committee and that our voices were not being heard.
Officers brushed Cllr Townsend’s concerns about flooding on the site under the carpet, as well as the carefully worded advice from the Environment Agency to Waverley about something called the Sequential Test, which basically seems to mean that areas at less risk of flooding in Cranleigh should be built on first. However, officers forged ahead regardless, avoiding carefully answering the question of whether the sequential test had actually been passed. One shocked Cranleigh resident said “it’s as if the officers work for the developers”.
Cllr Townsend spoke from the heart, highlighting the unsustainable location of Cranleigh, and the harm that this deluge of development, in such as short space of time, would have on the character of Cranleigh and on its residents. However, other hearts and minds appeared firmly closed, particularly Cllr Brian Adams (yes, he’s the one who said if we accepted the Crest Nicholson site for 149 houses Cranleigh would’ve taken its share of the borough’s housing, strangely the webcast of that meeting disappeared) who called his fellow councillors perverse if they refused this application, even though they had refused the identical application only last year.
Richard Bryant, on behalf of Cranleigh Civic Society, reminded Waverley that they have a legal duty to maintain water quality in our rivers and not to increase pollution levels in accordance with the Water Framework Directive. Unfortunately, this was not even acknowledged, Waverley’s eye was firmly on the prize of 265 dwellings that won’t have to go anywhere near their precious green belt. Houses that are far from major roads, far from a train station, far from jobs, and far from where most Waverley Councillors live.
Concerns about the sewage treatment works were cast aside with ease and pollution of Cranleigh Waters was not really worthy of a mention from officers, other than to imply that all was fine and dandy. Apparently, the sewage from an additional 3,000 residents makes no difference. And don’t forget that’s just Cranleigh’s new residents, we have other surrounding villages sending their muck here too to process. Oh, and did we forget to say, no one gives a damn about the environment, it’s an inconvenient tick box in a developer-led planning system.
Cranleigh Cllr Brian Freeston admitted “we don’t feel part of Waverley at all, can you blame us?” he spoke about the unfair allocation of houses on a blighted Cranleigh. The fact that we are being forced to take 30% (so far), in the village alone, other areas have a maximum of 15%, and that doesn’t even take the Dunsfold settlement into account. Cllr Freeston voiced concerns about the viability of the parkland, and said Cranleigh was in an untenable position. Serious and informed comments about the ageing asbestos cement drinking water pipes, of which Cranleigh unenviably has almost 30%, compared to 2% in the entire Thames Water area, received about as much attention as a Cranleigh Councillor at a Local Plan meeting.
As Cllr Townsend said “there is not a big enough material constraint, not even banned blue asbestos, that trumps more housing on Cranleigh’s green fields”.
So there you have it folks, Cranleigh is being officially destroyed with impunity by Waverley, next it will be a massive big shopping centre, just like Waverley have planned for Farnham, and one day you will wake up and find yourselves living in the biggest town in Waverley, and wonder how the hell you got there.
This application is to be heard on 15 March 2017 7pm at Council Chamber, The Burys, Godalming
Objections need to be submitted by 10 March.
Your village needs you to object NOW.
The application is not materially different to the original that was refused 29/04/2016 and is now at appeal. The reason for refusal remain and when an application is not materially different to that refused a period of 2 years must pass before a similar application can be considered. To reflect on previous objections, the application is not sustainable, remains outside the village envelope, the proposed area is in flood zone 3, agricultural land, removal of employment land, should the other nearby applications commence the accumulation of traffic on the Alfold road, the density of housing is excessive, affordable housing reduced to 35%, the ‘Parkland’ remaining in perpetuity how will this be achieved.
Berkeleys has applied for WA/2016/2160 Phase 1 development of the site providing no affordable housing and with no timeline for the delivery of the remainder of the site.
Despite the Inspector stating clearly at Appeal that Berkeley Homes was not to be given permission to develop only part of the site south of the High Street off Knowle Lane, it appears that this exclusive gated development might be allowed to take place.
The market housing being applied for is comprised of:
11 x 3 bedroom houses
30 x 4 bedroom houses
14 x 5 bedroom houses
The streetscene proposed is:
Add Your Comments
We appreciate that like us you may have written several times to Waverley about this application but it is important that we continue. Please add your own comments against this application WA/2016/2160 on the Waverley Planning Portal.
We have submitted our objection to this application. The following is a summary of our points:
There is no provision for affordable housing within Phase 1 of the development and the timescale for future phases is unknown. This does not comply with the need, as highlighted by the Inspector at Appeal (point 79), for the delivery of “a large number of affordable homes” to be delivered “speedily”:
“79. As for benefits, the 425 dwellings would make a significant contribution to an acknowledged shortfall in deliverable sites for the five-year period, and would help boost the area’s supply generally. The new homes can be delivered speedily, as confirmed by the appellant. The Council recognises the need for a large number of affordable homes in the Borough. Third parties too made an eloquent case for providing more affordable homes, given the difficulties faced by young people in accessing affordable accommodation. Delivery of affordable and market homes in the context of the constraints that apply to the Borough would therefore comprise the most significant social benefit to flow from the proposed development and would be consistent with the NPPF’s basic imperative of delivery.”
These homes do not meet housing need in the borough as outlined in the West Surrey SHMA September 2015.
This urban style gated development is out of keeping with its rural location off the High Street. This creates a sense of separation, and will have a negative effect on the relationship with, and inclusion of, the broader Cranleigh community. There is no justification or requirement for this in the setting of Cranleigh and is certainly not in line with the design and access statement:
The dwellings that front on to Knowle Lane are excessively high and overbearing (height 8.5 and 10.5m mainly at the site entrance). They do not blend into the rural location, on the edge of the settlement and will have a harmful and urbanising effect. They will dominate the street scene from Knowle Lane and will have a detrimental effect on visual amenity. This is contrary to the Cranleigh Design Statement 2008. The council recently requested that buildings on the Amlets Lane site in Cranleigh should be reduced.
Details of Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SuDs) for this phase are incomplete and with this lack of detail it is impossible to ascertain if this will not increase flooding elsewhere. It appears that the sole strategy for the disposal of surface water is to discharge run-off at a restricted rate to the Littlemead Brook, which is a watercourse that runs to the south of the site. No mitigation for this run-off is provided, as required in line with Waverley’s responsibilities under the Water Framework Directive. Furthermore, there does not appear to be any attenuation storage figures provided. It is extremely important that revised climate change allowances by the government and the Environment Agency published in February 2016 are considered. These now require developers to assess a range of climate range allowances from 25% to 70% above the 1% AEP as part of planning applications. This is particularly important bearing in mind the fluvial and surface water flood risk on this site as shown by the Environment Agency surface water flood map:
To protect the site from flood risk, it is necessary to secure the FRA mitigation measures and recommendations and to ensure that the crossings/bridges are constructed in accordance with conditions 17 and 18. Knowle Lane is recorded on Surrey County Council’s wet spot database and it is important that emergency access and egress from the site is maintained in the event of a flood.
This application, without a condition and timescale for delivery for the remainder of the site contravenes point 81 of the appeal decision which refuted the Council’s suggestion to develop only part of the site “The Council’s suggestion that only part of the site be developed would also involve loss of countryside but without meaningful contribution to the area’s housing needs.”:
“81. Turning then to the overall planning balance. The social and economic benefits of the scheme are considerable. The need for new housing in the area is undisputed and in Cranleigh greenfield sites are expected to make a contribution to the overall supply. The homes would be delivered speedily on land that sits high in the sustainability ranking of sites. Having accepted the need for greenfield sites to help fulfil the Borough’s housing obligations, the loss of an undesignated piece of countryside abutting the urban edge of Cranleigh, with limited harm to the wider landscape, would be outweighed by the social and economic gains identified. The Council’s suggestion that only part of the site be developed would also involve loss of countryside but without meaningful contribution to the area’s housing needs.”
You can submit your comments online or email your comments to the case officer Jennifer Samuelson direct on firstname.lastname@example.org quoting ref WA/2016/2160 and include your FULL name and Postal Address.
Or write to Waverley Borough Council at (please quote ref WA/2016/2160 and include your FULL name and Postal Address):
Waverley Borough Council
Haven’t we been told that there is a desperate need for affordable housing in Cranleigh?
Isn’t that the reasoning behind Waverley allowing developers to build on pristine green fields in order to provide affordable housing in Cranleigh?
Haven’t we been told that there are approximately 130 households currently waiting for rented affordable housing in Cranleigh on the Housing Needs Register?
So why is Waverley Borough Council selling off these two family homes, owned by them on the Elmbridge Road, when they say that meeting housing need is one of their principle objectives and the need for affordable rented housing is, they report, so great?
After Rob Kerby’s presentation on the 16 July we have had several requests for a brief guide to ‘affordable housing’ so here goes.
Social housingis affordable housing – accommodation that is affordable to meet the needs of people who do not have sufficient income to pay for open market housing to rent or buy. It is similar to the old council housing scheme.
Social housing is allocated on the basis of need. Unlike in the private rented sector, where tenancies are offered to whomever the landlord chooses, social housing is distributed according to the local council’s allocation policy. Since the Localism Act 2011, councils can decide who is or isn’t eligible to go on the waiting list for social housing. Waverley Borough Council advise which groups will be given ‘reasonable preference’ in their allocations policy.
Registered providers (often known as social landlords) are the bodies that own and manage social housing. They tend to be non-commercial organisations such as local authorities or housing associations.
Affordable housing comes in many forms, briefly summarised below:
Social rent – is let at low rents on a secure basis to those who are most in ‘’need’. Normally councils and not-for-profit organisations (such as housing associations aka registered providers) are the ones to provide social housing.
Affordable rent – is a recently introduced approach to setting rents for new housing association properties at 80% of average local market rents.
Market rent – some housing associations will develop housing for rent at market levels to subsidise their charitable activities.
Shared ownership – involves buying a proportion of a property and paying rent on the remainder, usually to a housing association. It may be possible to buy additional ‘shares’ until the property is owned outright.
Shared equity – purchasers buy a specified proportion of the value of the home but do not pay rent on the remaining proportion, which is owned by a housing association or developer who ensures that future sales are restricted to eligible households and that affordability is maintained.
Outright sale – some registered providers will develop housing for outright sale on the open market to subsidise their charitable activities.
UPDATE 4 February 2016 – McCarthy & Stone appeal REFUSED
Save Our Homes
Residents of Penwerris have received notification that McCarthy & Stone are appealing against Waverley Borough Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a luxury block of 25 flats for over 55’s. The appeal has shocked residents who are desperately concerned that Penwerris on the Horsham Road will be bulldozed and that they will be homeless.
Cranleigh Parish Council members objected to the application by McCarthy & Stone and it was also rejected by Waverley Borough Council planners on several grounds. Full details are available on the Waverley planning portal.
Currently this Victorian house, part owned by Surrey County Council, is home to 21 low wage earners. It is Cranleigh’s only proper affordable housing. These people have nowhere else to go.