One of our members has contacted us to express extreme concern over the size of the lorries travelling up and down Amlets Lane to deliver building materials to Cala Homes.
It seems that these drivers are not following the agreed route to and from the building site, and this is causing dangerous conditions for other road users.
Following our recommendation, the lady involved sent a letter to Waverley Borough Council, as below:
Dear Waverley Borough Council
I would like to draw your attention to massive disruption for locals, a potential driving hazard and a danger to cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians etc.
I was driving along Amlets Lane in Cranleigh towards Barhatch Lane last Thursday, 1st June at about 8am. I had just passed the new entrance for the Cala Homes development when I met a huge lorry coming round the bend towards me across the white line. I hooted as he was in my lane and I had to slow down to less than 5mph to be able to pass it.
Having only just managed to get through, I was then met by an even larger articulated lorry (carrying massive concrete pipe sections) parked by the grass triangle where Amlets Lane joins Barhatch Lane. I complained to the three men on foot waiting there in high vis jackets, about the huge lorries using tiny lanes (with a bend) and one of them said that he was the driver for the parked HGV lorry! He said the lane was too narrow for him to get through, although I presume he later did so.
About an hour later on the same day, I was travelling back along Amlets Lane but in an easterly direction towards Smithwood Common Road/Horseshoe Lane, when I met yet another large lorry. The photos below clearly demonstrate that it was well over the centre line. It was simply impossible to pass it. The lorry had a tail back of traffic behind it so I (and three cars behind me) had no option but to reverse back along a windy narrow lane until we got to a driveway to get out of the lorry’s way.<
Three massive lorries in only a few minutes on one day. All hindering traffic and causing obstructions and /or dangers for other road users. The lane is very narrow and has no pavement. I believe the ‘one way system’ for lorries should be used (as demonstrated by the red Cala Home signs along the road) but clearly this is already being breached as I saw lorries coming from both directions!
Cala Homes and/or Waverley Borough Council must do something about this. Building has only just started. Such massive lorries are bound to have a huge impact on our local lanes (which are already full of pot holes) and/or be a danger to other road users, cyclists and pedestrians. It would be useful to ask all local residents to take photos of offending vehicles. I’m sure you would be inundated.
Please ensure I receive a reply to this email, in the absence of which I will take the matter to my local MP, the Police, Surrey Highways and other interested parties. Please include a correspondence address so I can contact Cala Homes about the issue.
I understand that there was very recently a fatality on Amlets Lane. It would a terrible tragedy if lorries arriving/leaving the Cala Homes development were involved.
This is the reply:
Thank you for your email of 9th June in which you raise concerns about large vehicles travelling along Amlets Lane to the CALA Homes development in Cranleigh. I have now had the opportunity to gain further information from Officers and I would respond to your email as follows.
The routing of traffic accessing the CALA Homes development is controlled by a Construction Management Plan (CTMP), required by a planning condition attached to the permission to develop the site. The CTMP was agreed by the Council following consultation with Surrey County Council (SCC) as Highway Authority.
The CTMP sets out the preferred route traffic accessing the CALA Homes development should take. The agreed route is along Amlets Lane from the direction of Smithwood Common Road. On leaving the site, traffic should again head along Amlets Lane back towards Smithwood Common Road. However, traffic leaving the site may also turn right out of the site and head towards Barhatch Road.
Taking into account your concern, our Planning Enforcement Team will investigate whether or not there has been a breach of the CTMP with regards to your comment about a large articulated lorry being parked on the grass verge at the junction of Amlets Lane and Barhatch Lane. Following investigation, Officers shall respond to you directly on their findings.
I am also aware that Officers from our Enforcement Team previously investigated a complaint relating to the construction of the access and sightlines formed at the entrance to the CALA Homes development. Surrey County Council as Highway Authority was asked to confirm whether or not the works carried out to form the access and sightlines were acceptable in highway safety terms. Subsequently, an Officer from SCC visited the site and confirmed that the access and visibility splays have been constructed in general accordance with the planning permission. As such, the Highway Authority is satisfied with the construction of the access and sightlines.
Although Waverley Borough Council, in terms of the CTMP, may have an element of control over vehicles travelling to and from the site, it does not have the authority to carry out works to the highway or investigate any potential road safety issues. Therefore, should you have any additional concerns about Amlets Lane and, in particular, road safety concerns, may I suggest that you raise your concerns with Surrey County Council as Highway Authority. The Highway Authority is contactable on 0300 200 1003are via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org:email@example.com.
I trust my response answers the points raised. However, should you require any additional information, then please contact Mr William Gibb, Planning Enforcement Officer. Mr Gibb is contactable on 01483 523 581.
Finally,you asked for contact detail for CALA Homes and these are as follows;
Cala Homes (South Homes Counties) Limited
Farnham Business Park
I am copying in for information your M.P Anne Milton, the Cranleigh ward councillors and in addition your Surrey County Councillor, Dr Andrew Povey so that he is aware from a SCC highways perspective of your concerns. His contact details are;
If you are not happy with this response, and have encountered these large lorries going in the wrong direction, had any incidents or are just concerned, please write to Julia Potts at Waverley Borough Council, Cala Homes, and Andrew Povey at Surrey County Council.
Post: Cala Homes (South Home Counties) Ltd, Tilford House, Farnham Business Park, Weydon Lane, Farnham, Surrey. GU9 8QT
It won’t have gone unnoticed to residents that both Crest Nicholson on the Horsham Road and Cala Homes on Amlets Lane have started developing their sites.
Both these sites had Grampian style conditions. This was meant to prevent the start of the development until off-site works were completed on the sewerage network, including the sewage treatment works on Elmbridge Road. However, we were recently advised by planning enforcement at Waverley that the Grampian Condition wording is too woolly to enforce and doesn’t specifically mention the words sewage “TREATMENT”, so no work to the sewage works are apparently included – another nail in the coffin for Cranleigh.
To say that we felt let down by the lack of rigour exercised in the planners’ wording of the Grampian and the lack of ability by Waverley to enforce it, is an understatement!
There is no consideration being given to existing residents, who after all fund the borough council, in the scramble to achieve a housing number at all costs. We don’t need to remind you, that you will have to bear the brunt of polluted rivers, congested roads, odour nuisance from the sewage works, an over burdened GP surgery, the list goes on.
The bungalow on the Horsham Road, which was acquired by Crest Nicholson to provide an access road to the site, was demolished long before their Grampian Condition was even discharged (such as it was), and work was also immediately commenced on the green fields to build 149 houses. Grampian, what Grampian?
“Cranleigh is a pretty Surrey village where one can enjoy a relaxed pace of life yet benefit from daily conveniences aplenty on the doorstep, including a selection of shops, cafes and restaurants.”
Sounds idyllic, and surprising how keen developers are to emphasise that we are a “village” in their marketing literature.
Despite the unsustainable location of Cranleigh, on a rural road network, with little public transport, a heavy reliance on the use of the private car, limited employment opportunities, water quality issues, a high percentage of asbestos cement drinking water pipes, an inadequate sewage treatment plant, and on green fields to boot, none of this matters, as long as the houses are built.
The ONLY reason for these dwellings is because we have NO GREEN BELT protection, nothing else, and national planning policy will be twisted at the whim of the planners to suit their ultimate plan for this area, which is CRANLEIGH TOWN.
However, before you start thinking, how bad can that be, it will be bad! We are the only community in Waverley without green belt protection AND any environmental designation. Farnham at least has the protection of Thames Basin Special Protection Area. So going forward, Cranleigh will be the dumping ground for any, and all, unmet housing in Waverley. However, Waverley Borough Council seem to be the winners, they have a convenient area, in the corner of the borough, which will be a cash cow for council tax, and with only 5 councillors (Farnham has 18) representing this area, and two of those with a declared pecuniary interest in development, this really does seem like a marvellous arrangement.
There is the rather inconvenient truth of Cranleigh Waters, which is polluted and failing in terms of the Water Framework Directive, but that can be smoothed over, by applying pressure to an overworked and under resourced Environment Agency (EA) with the promise of funds for river restoration and flood plain replacement projects.
There’s the problem of the rural roads and A281, but as Matthew Evans, Ex-Waverley Head Planner, said it really doesn’t matter if people are stuck in traffic. Obviously air quality issues and quality of life, for residents in this part of the borough, was not something that disturbed his sleep.
And then there’s the ageing asbestos cement drinking water pipes, which have an extremely inconvenient habit of bursting whenever water pressure increases, still, studies of health risks are inconclusive, so it appears Waverley don’t need to worry about that either. Despite the fact that we can find no reports that include the age of pipes we have here, or our particularly agressive type of water.
It would be difficult to imagine what would ever be considered as a material constraint by Waverley planners against development in Cranleigh, perhaps the discovery of uranium in the high street?
And to add insult to injury, the EA are now actively looking for replacement flood plain for this area, as let’s face it, they don’t want to create too much flooding downstream for Bramley and Guildford, residents there might start to wonder why the hell all this building was allowed, or should we say encouraged, on the natural flood plain we DID have.
However, we still have something up our sleeve and that’s you!
Joined together, you are the most powerful force. Stronger than Waverley and stronger than developers.
Working together in big enough numbers, people can, and will, make a difference. We can fight for fairness, we can fight for our community, and we can fight for our environment.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Many residents have raised concerns that development was progressing on the Amlets Lane site prior to discharge of pre-commencement planning conditions regarding sewage.
In response to this, two Committee Members of Cranleigh Society visited the site of Amlets Park on 20th January and had a tour of the site and lengthy discussions with the Site Manager and Construction Director.
They confirmed the work they have done so far, as well as work currently being carried out, can be summarised as follows:
The overhead electric cable which crosses the site has been diverted and located underground. This work was undertaken in December.
Jointing works are taking place within the site in January 2017 – extreme weather could delay the work.
Approved tree felling etc to the site frontage in relation to the proposed access (as agreed with WBC’s Tree Officer and in accordance with the approved plans) took place in December.
In relation to the proposed access works they commenced operations in December. However in advance of the S278 works (legal agreement between local highway authority and developer to either pay for, or make alterations or improvements to, the highway) , interim works are due to be carried out over the extent of the area coloured brown on the plan below as well as works to form clear visibility splays explicitly for highway safety.
A S50 licence application, for permission to carry out works to break into the public highway, was submitted to Surrey County Council, in accordance with the S50 Plan. A licence was issued and works have commenced.
Temporary traffic lights are now in operation for the duration of the interim works.
The works include tree and hedge clearance, the laying of a culvert pipe, where the brown coloured access crosses the roadside ditch, the removal of soils to a suitable formation over the extent of the brown area, followed by the placing of Type 1 sub-base and a macadam overlay to form a heavy duty interim access.
We were advised that Cala Homes are fully aware that, when these interim works are completed, they will have to cease work on the site until the Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works have been upgraded and are “fit for purpose” – that is, they have the capacity to efficiently process not only the sewage from existing properties but also that from new dwellings.
Both the Cranleigh Civic Society and Summerlands Estate Residents Association will continue to liaise with Cala Homes through the Residents Liaison Group and monitor development on the Amlets Park estate.
Cala Homes have confirmed in their revised Construction Traffic Management Plan that the preferred exit route for construction traffic leaving the development site will no longer be via Cranleigh high street as was previously stated. The primary route leaving the site is now proposed to be westwards along Amlets Lane:
“It is preferred all delivery vehicles return westwards along Amlets Lane and follow Smith Common Road, Guildford Road, Run Common and back on to the A281 and into Guildford. However it is accepted that in exceptional circumstances site vehicles can travel via the alternative departure route below.”
Site deliveries are proposed between the following hours:
Monday to Friday – 0930hrs to 15:00hrs – 16:00hrs to 17:30hrs
Saturday – 09:30hrs to 13:00hrs
You can read a full copy of the revised plan by clicking on the link below:
The Residents’ Liaison Group, set up by the Cranleigh Society, is awaiting full details from Cala Homes re temporary road widening proposals on Amlets Lane currently being considered by Surrey County Council Highways.
We still have serious concerns regarding road safety for users of this narrow country lane and would urge our members to continue to inform us of any incidents they witness and to take photos only when it is safe to do so.
Cranleigh Civic Society has established a Liaison Group with CALA Homes and residents living near to the Amlets Lane development site.
We hope that this will prove to be an effective way to keep residents informed during the ongoing building phase.
The group met with representatives of CALA, Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council (Drainage) on 22 November 2016 on the Amlets site to discuss concerns, particularly about drainage and safety concerns regarding construction traffic entering and leaving the site along the narrow lane.
The plan to manage the construction traffic is yet to be finalised, however, the current proposal by Surrey Highways is for traffic to enter the site from the western side of Amlets via Smithwood Common and then to exit to the east via Barhatch Lane, Ewhurst Road and the High Street.
We are extremely concerned about the impact of this traffic on the High Street and local businesses, in addition to the cumulative effect of this and construction traffic to and from other major sites due to start building soon.
The Liaison Group has expressed major concerns to Richard Cooper of Surrey Highways, and requested that the traffic avoid the high street and instead use a manned signal controlled system using the same access and exit route.
Email from Liaison Group sent 4 December 2016:
Dear Mr Cooper,
We have just received from Cala Homes their Construction Traffic Management Plan for the development off Amlets Lane. We, the local community and the Cranleigh Society, have formed a Liaison Group with Cala Homes. This group operates under the stewardship of the Cranleigh Society.
We hear that you have imposed a specific route plan upon Cala Homes which, on the face of it, is about to cause untold misery on the residents of Cranleigh through the inclusion of Cranleigh High Street. The Access Route from Guildford to Amlets Lane involves the most narrow part of Amlets Lane where the road width is only 4.8m wide and where two HGVs cannot pass. Hauling heavy and bulky construction equipment down this part of the Lane represents a significant hazard/inconvenience to those travelling in the opposite direction. Liz Townsend, Chair of the Cranleigh Society, has spoken with Stuart Forrester of Cala Homes and had suggested operating a single lorry system along Amlets, using a radio system with a person at the Cranleigh school end of Amlets and the site gatekeeper and allowing one lorry only either arriving or leaving along the road. These lorries will be heavily laden when leaving with soil. This scheme would involve more planning but would remove the necessity to use the High Street for the return journey, although we notice that the CEMP (page26, para2) refers to “active vehicle control in stipulated times”. This appears to be what we are requesting but used in a more intelligent manner.
Traffic will at present be leaving the site exit via Barhatch Lane en route to the already chaotic Cranleigh High Street. This is especially so during “school run” times and appears to be a recipe for gridlock, bearing in mind that there will be several other concurrent developments e.g. Crest Nicholson in Horsham Road and the very large Berkeley Homes development of 425 dwellings just behind the High Street. These points have been raised in objections to WBC over the past three years and are now becoming reality.
There are several more approved developments in the pipeline, all of which will wish to commence building works before this project is completed so the situation can only get worse.
Were these other projects taken into account when you dictated the departure route for this development?
There are, in fact, five schools which are directly affected by the present route plan and not two. The Cranleigh Society/Cala Homes option would indeed affect only two schools. By including the High Street and Ewhurst Road, Park Mead School (many children access the school via the Ewhurst Road), St Cuthbert Mayne RC School (where parents park in numbers on both sides of Ewhurst Road for drop-off and collection, thus effectively narrowing the road), St. Joseph’s School, Cranleigh senior school and Cranleigh prep school are all affected. Allowing construction traffic to operate between 16.00 and 17.00 will have implications for the prep school. The pupils leave at 16.30 when parents, in their cars, pick them up. Glebelands school, off the High Street, is less directly affected, although many of its pupils catch buses and use the High Street shops after school.
Surely this traffic flow problem must be seen and resolved in the round, from a list of approved and likely to be approved applications obtainable from Waverley Borough Council rather than treating each application in isolation. One may be forgiven for wondering if anyone attached to Surrey County Council has any regard for what happens in Cranleigh. The use of the High Street, and the disruption that it will cause, is not necessary and illustrates the folly of permitting uncontrolled development in Cranleigh due to a lack of sound judgement from statutory agencies.We assume that the Highways Department is responsible for efforts to maintain a reasonable traffic flow throughout its area. The present plan will certainly fail on that score. The Cranleigh Society proposal (above) entails more effort but should provide a happier and safer outcome for the residents of Cranleigh.
We, the Liaison Group, would appreciate hearing your reasons for imposing this route on Cala Homes, bearing in mind the chaos that it will cause in the centre of Cranleigh and its effect on the five schools..
Mr Cooper has confirmed that the final decision on the route has not yet been made, however, if you feel strongly that the High Street should be avoided, or would like to make any comments about the route, please add them below, or email the Society at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass these on.
The Amlets Lane application by Cala Homes for 125 dwellings got the final vote of approval at Waverley Borough Council last night by 12 votes to 9. Cranleigh’s Waverley Councillors all voted against the application, however this last minute push was too late to save the site from development.
Liz Townsend spoke on behalf of Summerlands Estate Residents Association and residents of Copse Edge:
We acknowledged that Cala Homes had made some welcome and positive changes to the layout since the application was deferred in September, with a reduction in the height and bulk of the apartment buildings, the positioning of bungalows along Copse Edge and the removal of a parking court.
Residents’ Liaison Group
Residents remain extremely concerned about the access road into the site and the lack of detail regarding the drainage system for surface water run-off. On residents behalf, we requested ongoing involvement in the design of the drainage scheme by sharing local knowledge on flooding. The idea of a liaison group was endorsed by some councillors, and we have emailed Waverley Borough Council today to repeat this request.
To protect the privacy of residents living adjacent to the site, we requested a restriction on permitted development to the roof of any dwelling along the site boundaries, as recently imposed on the Crest Nicholson development on Horsham Road, which was agreed. This means that householders on the Amlets estate will have to apply for planning permission to extend into their roof space.
We also requested details that the buffer zone (shown above) around the edge of the site should be included in the overall management plan for the estate, as there is a risk that it could become overgrown, neglected and unsightly, or encroached on as part of the drainage scheme.
Since the first application, residents have highlighted subsidence issues on Summerlands and the requirement for pile driving on Copse Edge. We expressed surprise that the developers were still recommending concrete strip foundations and maintain that these will not be adequate and the need for deeper foundations could be used as leverage to further reduce the amount of affordable housing on the estate on viability grounds.
We noted with regret, that the proposed tenure split is now to be 50:50 between social rented and shared ownership, rather than, as was agreed at outline, 76% rented and 24% shared ownership. However, Cllrs were unable to discuss this aspect of the application, as the alteration will be by way of a separate variation to the S106 agreement and will be agreed by planning officers under what is called delegated powers. However, we asked Cllrs to honour the original condition as this was one of the main determining points in approving this exceptional green field site.
Sewerage Infrastructure and water Quality
We requested further details from Waverley about the calculation of S106 contributions from the developer for off-site sewage upgrade work, or for water quality mitigation, as required under the Water Framework Directive (WFD), for Cranleigh Waters. We have repeated this request today.
In response to a meeting on 12 October with Cranleigh Civic Society, Anne Milton and Andrea Leadsom. Defra confirmed that development must not be contrary to the WFD and to paragraph 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment. The obligation that Waverley has, to consider WFD when determining local development, has, we believe, not been fully satisfied.
Cranleigh’s Councillors raised lengthy additional comments surrounding road safety, which unfortunately was not one of the reasons for the previous deferral of the application, and although, we firmly agree, extremely important, was all too late to save the Amlets site.
There were further concerns raised about traffic turning out of the estate onto Amlets Lane and the route of construction traffic, suggestions of a one-way system were raised. The Construction Management Plan will ultimately be decided by planning officers, who will we hope take up the suggestion of a further site visit.
We will all need to be vigilant once construction starts on this site and use this road only when necessary and with increased care. Please continue to report any incidents to us email@example.com and send in photos if these can be taken safely.