AN APOLOGY AND AN UPDATE FOR OUR MEMBERS
We do apologise for the absence of any postings since 20 November last year but we can assure you that this does not mean we were not continuing with our fight to keep Cranleigh special – a fight that will go on, it appears, for a very long time if what we have recently heard proves to be true.
We promise to send regular, detailed postings now that the new Committee has settled in and the newbies have been informed of all that we have done and the enormous tasks that we face in the future. In the meantime here is a summary of some of the happenings in the past two months.
- ALFOLD – SPRINGBOK – This was an application for, inter alia, 400 houses which would have tripled the size of the village of Alfold. It was REFUSED by a Government Inspector.
- ASBESTOS CEMENT DRINKING WATER PIPES – Following the promise by Thames Water to start replacing the AC pipes in Cranleigh starting early this year, we are still working on this problem from different angles but we cannot say anything more right now!
- RECYCLING CENTRE – We are keeping up the pressure on Surrey County Council as we believe cutting down the opening days by a whopping 50% is foolhardy and will lead to a huge increase in fly tipping. Please take photos of any fly tipping you see and send them to us via the website with the exact location.
- HEWITTS – We objected to this application being agreed until this highly polluted and contaminated site is “cleaned up” to the full satisfaction of the Environment Agency. The application was withdrawn.
- KNOWLE LANE – Only last week we learned of a proposal for 20 new homes, some distance from the settlement boundary, and heard reports that Berkeley Homes are securing “options to buy” many tracts of land down Knowle Lane. We are monitoring this closely.
- LAW SOCIETY – We have written to the Law Society with suggestions for improving the searches process when new houses are being purchased. We will let you know when (if?) we receive their response.
- PENWERRIS HORSHAM ROAD – You will recall that the McCarthy and Stone application was refused some time ago but there is a new application, on a smaller scale, from Renaissance. If agreed, the present tenants would be made homeless so we will keep a very watchful eye on this proposed development.
- PARKING – Where do we start? There seems to be no attention being given by Waverley to the need for more car parking with a big increase in resident numbers. Already roads near the village centre, which do not have parking restrictions, are being used extensively so that high parking charges can be avoided – although it appears from recent WBC Notices that more road parking restrictions are imminent.
- THAKEHAM HOMES, ELMBRIDGE ROAD – We are endeavouring to warn leading Home Insurers to flag up this future development as one to consider very carefully as we consider it to be an extremely high flood risk, providing them with the evidence which was just dismissed out of hand by Waverley in order to push this through in the chase to meet housing targets.
CCS Committee News – new chair Terry Stewart has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is looking for YOU to come forward to help support CCS please –
- to raise our profile so that people know that we are active on the issues that are important to Cranleigh residents;
- to use your interests, skills and availability;
- to improve our communication methods to all residents – and the decision makers/influencers;
- to widen the reach of recipients of our messages;
- to use our limited resources, to prioritise our efforts, and assign responsibilities to members of the committee;
There are so many ways to work for our community honestly and effectively – please get in touch. thank you
Berkeley homes have appealed to the secretary of state against Waverley Borough Council following the refusal of full planning permission.
Waverley approved outline planning permission with reserved matters (WA/2016/1625) for 425 dwellings but refused phase one details. WA/2016/2160.
Waverley have forwarded all the representations made to them on the application to the Planning Inspectorate and the appellant.
If you wish to make comments or modify/withdraw your previous representation, you can do so BY 5 OCTOBER 2017 at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk
or send 3 copies of your letter to: Neil Devereux, Zone 3N, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN
It appears that Berkeley Homes are not content with the level of tree clearing they have already carried out for the access road to their site in Cranleigh, as they have now applied for the removal of a Tree Preservation Order, which protects the remaining ancient woodland. We say it’s a shame they got permission to remove so many trees, and how dare they put the remaining beautiful trees at risk!
The TPO was specifically put in place by Waverley Borough Council to prevent further removal of trees, so what possible reason could there be to remove it? Apparently it would be “a potential significant further barrier to delivery of the development”. Does that sound like they want to chop those trees down too? According to BH the TPO is unnecessary as there are already “measures in place” to protect the remaining trees.
Berkeley Homes say they are “committed to delivery of the Cranleigh development….to the benefit of the stakeholders!” Well, we knew it wasn’t the existing residents of Cranleigh.
Interestingly the penultimate paragraph in their letter threatens bad working relationship with WBC, delays in building, and additional costs for WBC and Berkeley Homes! Didn’t they notice the trees were there before? Ancient woodland doesn’t just appear overnight!
See item 8 OBJECTION TO TREE PRESERVATION ORDER (NO. 01/2017) – TREES ON LAND BETWEEN ALFOLD ROAD AND KNOWLE LANE, CRANLEIGH, via this link: https://modgov.waverley.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=148&MId=1874&Ver=4
You can read the full details including the letter from Berkeley Homes and the response from Waverley Borough Council here:
Berkeley Homes Objection to tree preservation
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.
Full instructions on how to comment are provided here.
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 email@example.com 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
With the recent publication of the Agenda and accompanying Local Plan documents for the Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Monday, 27th June, 2016 7.00 pm came the shocking news that Waverley are dumping 45% of their total housing allocation in and around Cranleigh, with a new settlement on Dunsfold Park.
Waverley’s published Local Plan documents include Strategic Sites selected across the borough. This includes two strategic sites in Cranleigh, including phase 2 of the Crest Nicholson site with an additional 101 houses off the Horsham Road, this increases the total housing number on this site to 250 houses.
The other site is an amalgamation of the Berkeley Homes, Little Meadow and Knowle Park Initiative sites, creating a huge mega-site off the Alfold Road of 765 houses. The West Cranleigh Nurseries site (Knowle Park Initiative) which was going to be refused by planning officers, then got called in by Cllr Brian Ellis, thereby by-passing officers’ decision and finally was refused by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee.
You can look at the full meeting details and documents using the link below:
Dunsfold New Town
It is clear that Waverley are now favouring 2,600 new houses at Dunsfold Park and this has also been identified as a strategic site.
At the moment there is a planning application for 1,800 houses on this site, however, Waverley have delayed making a decision on this. You can still add your comments and objections against this application.
Any housing on Dunsfold is in addition to 1,520 houses in Cranleigh, as well as 335 in the surrounding villages. This brings the total amount of new housing in this area to 4,455, which is equivalent in total to a new settlement the size of Cranleigh.
Dunsfold in the 2011 census had a population of 989 with 467 dwellings. Should an additional 2, 600, plus 80 dwellings be added to Dunsfold village, this will be almost a six-fold increase in the number of houses and with the proposed business expansion create a new town adjacent to Alfold and Cranleigh.
A previous attempt to develop a new town at Dunsfold Aerodrome was put forward in 2007 and sought to develop a town of exactly the same size with 2,600 houses. This was rejected by Waverley and dismissed at Appeal as unsustainable.
The planning inspector stated at the 2009 Appeal; “The site is not in a sustainable location and little can be done to improve the existing infrastructure.” Under Overall Conclusions, he stated “The Secretary of State has concluded that the development would generate a considerable amount of additional road traffic and he concludes that this would have a severe and unacceptable impact on an overstretched local road network, and that the scheme would be unsustainable in transport terms.”
What has changed in the surrounding area since 2009 to make the road network around Cranleigh now sustainable to Waverley Planning Officers?
What are the implications for Cranleigh?
With the proposal for 1,520 more houses for Cranleigh and almost 3,000 in total in neighbouring villages the effect on Cranleigh and the high risk of coalescence between Cranleigh, Dunsfold and Alfold is huge.
In the gaps between these three areas there will be continued pressure by developers to acquire land for residential and commercial use. The Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan provides no policies for any buffer zones or strategic gaps between these settlements, and it does not suit Waverley to limit development in countryside beyond the green belt. The pressure to develop and fill these gaps could be constant and overwhelming.
Cranleigh is deemed the nearest main service centre for Dunsfold and Alfold and there will be massive impacts on the village from all the development:
- Urbanisation of our village and loss of countryside. At the recent consultation regarding the relocation of the Cranleigh Primary School when the developer’s agent was asked about the urban feel to the proposed housing they replied that Waverley wanted an urban look.
- 4,500 houses will double the number of local cars on our road infrastructure (this is approximately the same number of houses that Cranleigh has in total NOW). That’s a potential 9,000 extra vehicles.
- Increased traffic will lead to increased congestion, especially on the roads in and out of Cranleigh, Bramley and Shamley Green as well as all locations along the A281.
- There will be a significant impact on local services including our doctors and schools.
- The negative impact on Air Quality from traffic emissions from petrol and diesel-engined motor vehicles include a wide variety of pollutants, principally carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter (PM10), which have an increasing negative impact on air quality, on public health and on the environment. In addition, pollutants from these sources may not only prove a problem in the immediate vicinity of these sources, but can be transported long distances.
- The current sewerage system has no capacity and there is no provision being made for a 100% increase in liquid effluent being discharged into Cranleigh Waters and no mitigation being proposed. Waverley have not even done a Water Cycle Study, which is usually carried out at the beginning of the Local Plan process.
- Cranleigh is in an area of known severe “Water Stress” as acknowledged by Surrey County Council Water Management Report Sept 2013. This combination of increased housing and limited supply could lead to serious water shortages.
- Requirement for large increase in electrical supply. EDF indicated to Waverley in January 2011 that Cranleigh would require an increase in capacity if there was a significant increase in population. This also appears to have NOT been factored in so far.
Have your say
Waverley say in the Local Plan documents that:
“The vitality and viability of the main centres of Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh will have been safeguarded in a way that takes account of their distinctive roles. This will have been achieved through carefully planned development, which meets the need of these centres, whilst recognising the importance of preserving and enhancing their historic character” [our emphasis]
We have never read such utter and blatant ‘spin’ regarding development in and around Cranleigh. We know that the only reason they are dumping housing here is simply because there is NO GREEN BELT.
It’s time to let the Leader of Waverley Borough Council, Julia Potts and the planning portfolio holder, Brian Adams what you think about their decision to dump 45% of their housing allocation in and around Cranleigh
Tell them by email, always include your name and address and copy in both the Cranleigh Civic Society – firstname.lastname@example.org and your MP Anne Milton – email@example.com :
Julia Potts – firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Adams – email@example.com
PICTURE ABOVE SHOWS SEWAGE FUNGUS IN CRANLEIGH BROOK 10 APRIL 2016
On 27th April 2016 at 7pm both applications for the Knowle Park Initiative and Little Meadow (Crownhall Estates Ltd) amounting to another 340 houses off Alfold Road go before the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) in Waverley.
Come to the JPC meeting, it is extremely important that councillors make this decision directly in front of Cranleigh residents and we know exactly how they vote, especially our local Cranleigh councillors.
If approved, this would bring the total number of new houses off Alfold Road to 765.
The nearby Hewitts Industrial Estate application for another 120 houses is also due to be heard at Appeal by the Planning Inspector in October 2016. That would bring the TOTAL JUST in this part of the village to 885.
Where’s the Sewage Going?
We also note that Thames Water have not raised any objection to either of these applications based on sewerage capacity and yet they have placed Grampian style conditions on both Cala Homes and Crest Nicholson, which means that development cannot commence on these sites until foul water drainage strategies for on and/or off-site work, has been approved by Waverley Borough Council and Thames Water.
We have written to Thames Water to point out this discrepancy and the fact that we believe that it is in breach of its statutory obligations as the water and sewage undertaker if it now fails to raise an objection to the Knowle Park Initiative and Little Meadow applications.
Knowle Park Initiative Saga
For those of you who have been following the Knowle Park Initiative (KPI) application, you might remember that Thames Water originally objected to the application on the grounds that the existing waste water (that’s sewage) infrastructure couldn’t accommodate another 265 houses in addition to 425 on the Berkeley Homes site. It also confirmed that the water supply infrastructure didn’t have sufficient capacity either.
When the Berkeley’s application for 425 homes was refused on 6 January 2015, KPI’s advisers moved swiftly and contacted Thames Water on 7 January 2015 to point out that in light of the refusal there was now some notional sewage capacity available to them, although we wonder where this was, seeing as Cala and Crest were told there was none?
Thames Water faced with the fact that they had not objected at all to the Berkeley Homes application on sewage grounds had to concede on this point and issued a letter on 15 January 2015 ( view KPI Correspondence to Waverley regarding Thames Water ) withdrawing their objection. However, the letter from Lance Cooper of Thames Water did point out that: “Please note that the views expressed by Thames Water in this letter is in response to this pre-development enquiry only and does not represent our final views on any future planning applications made in relation to this site.”
Now you might think that in light of the decision for Berkeley Homes Appeal on 31 March 2016 giving permission for 425 houses, and bearing in mind the recent widely publicised sewage issues in Cranleigh, which are referred to by planning officers in their report for the meeting on 27 April, Waverley officers would go back to Thames Water and get an updated statement before they recommended 340 more houses for approval in Cranleigh?
And especially as the sewers becoming overwhelmed by another 340 houses and foul water flooding would be an environmental and a public health risk.
But you would be wrong, the planning officers have recommended both of these sites for approval, relying on what might be a verbal update from Thames Water prior to the meeting on 27 April. This seems to amount to a serious oversight by Waverley Borough Council Planning Officers.
What about the Water Supply?
And what of the water supply infrastructure you might ask? That’s the stuff that comes out of your taps. Thames Water has maintained that the water supply infrastructure CANNOT SUPPORT either of these developments, however, this appears to have been completely overlooked by officers. There is no mention of a condition regarding this in their recommendation to approve these sites, and there is no mention of the impact study that Thames Water requested.
We think this is yet another serious oversight by Waverley Planning Officers and we would like to know why.
What are we doing?
Yesterday we wrote to Thames Water regarding the Knowle Park Initiative and Litle Meadows applications requesting that they uphold their statutory obligations and we copied in our MP Anne Milton, Waverley Planning Officers and the Environment Agency.
We also met up yesterday with a representative of Waverley’s Environmental Health Department, who seem to be taking this issue seriously.
We will keep you informed of the outcome.
What can you do?
Demand to know what is going on with Cranleigh’s sewerage system:
Send ONE email to the following people quoting references KPI WA/2015/1569 and Little Meadow WA/2015/0478 (please copy us in at firstname.lastname@example.org):
Email your MP Anne Milton email@example.com
Email Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning Services (Chief Planning Officer) firstname.lastname@example.org
Email the Current Leader of Waverley Borough Council Robert Knowles email@example.com
Email the New Leader (from May) of Waverley Borough Council Julia Potts firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your continued support.