Cranleigh Society wishes you a Happy New Year – keep your strength up!

Cranleigh Society wishes you a Happy New Year – keep your strength up!

Good morning

– what a blustery day – the weather was generated far away a few weeks ago as temperatures in the South Pacific warmed unusually – La Nina rocked its way across the Americas – producing their extreme weather and we have the tail end of it!


Meanwhile in Little Ol’ Cranleigh we have floods and water running down roads. Elmbridge Road, Alfold Road, High Street + Church Lane, Barhatch Road – to name a few. Our pavements get flooded so easily we can’t walk along the High street without getting drenched by passing cars and trying to cross at official crossing points!   What’s it all about? Can it all be fixed?  Can you help to find out and to tackle those who could spend the time and money fixing it all?  Do comment below, get in touch.

Blocked drains – Surrey Highways

Please keep reporting drain blockages to Surrey Highways.  click the link here    

If you think the issue is an immediate risk to public safety please call Surrey County Council anytime, day or night on:

0300 200 1003

Cranleigh Society meetings

On Wednesday the team and some other welcome friends enjoyed a gathering in the Three Horseshoes Snug bar – it being the 4th Wednesday in the month – from 6 till 8 ish, including nice food.   Topics included the water issues, the broken bridge and of course Knowle Lane.

DUNSFOLD access road (it’s a separate planning issue to any housing project)

Turned to the request by Dunsfold to chip into ideas for a name for their new access road – a straight road off the main A281.  many ideas came up – some unrepeatable here!

The Rutland Group have publicly invited suggestions for names for the new access road to the proposed new build on the airfield. The road and roundabout are currently in advanced construction. The access road aligns with the existing main runway.  If you would like to say your ideas click the link here  

Suggestions from the group:

Hangar Straight – self-evident

Hawker Way – the main employer in the post war years

Harrier Way – the vertical take-off and landing ‘jump jet’ built and flown from here.

Hunter Drive – the Hawker Hunter built and flown from here including the gaining of the World Speed Record by Neville Duke on 7 September 1953, the modified first prototype broke the world air speed record for jet-powered aircraft, achieving a speed of 727.63 mph (1,171.01 km/h; 632.29 kn)

Skyways Drive – Skyways was a private airline post the Berlin Airlift that had an aircraft maintenance base at Dunsfold

Eisenhower Avenue – Shortly before D-Day, on 18 April 1944, General Eisenhower, then Allied Supreme Commander, visited Dunsfold, presumably to give a pre-D-Day morale talk.

Cunningham Way – John ‘Cats-eyes’ Cunningham, the renowned WW2 night fighter ace crashed on take-off on 20 November 1975 due to a multiple bird strike. Tragically 6 car occupants on the A281 were killed. All survived on the aircraft.

On that cheery note – let’s get back to why we are writing today – wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year.

very best wishes from

The Team – you know who we are!


Dunsfold development on the move

Dunsfold aerodrome development is on the move:

Waverley Borough Council has engaged a consultancy firm   Allies and Morrison (click here to see their web site) to continue the previous work on the development of Dunsfold aerodrome

As you will probably remember outline planning permission was gained in the past, then owners put the site up for sale.  Our councillors are involved in this stage of the consultation in a group called Dunsfold Advisory Group – includes our very own Liz Townsend and councillors from surrounding villages.

Will this development ruin Cranleigh’s chances of keeping its shops and schools?

This question is often raised – certainly the new village will have to have a 2 form entry school, a GP practice, and a good bus service.  There are all other facilities planned except a leisure centre.  The facts are that Waverley BC have included this development in their Local Plan which runs until 2032, and if this housing is not built then Waverley BC will have to ensure it is built in and around the villages and towns.  That means us Cranleigh.

New owners on the way

We understand a buyer has been found and that the development is going ahead.  The junction with the A281 is already being made ready for the new “Village”.

Have your say  The consultation is called an SPD – which means Supplementary Planning Document.

Waverley BC would really, really like your opinions about the way the development is being designed by their consultants!  They are consulting in various ways – on-line seminars, exhibitions and through the website. Please click here to follow the link.

What we think – but we want to know your views too

Our comments on your behalf so far have been emphasising the following needs –

wild life corridors, water and sewage management issues, future proofed eco properties, making sure all legislation that is coming within the next 10 years doesn’t mean householders having to retro-fit eco items, ensuring all age groups and mobility needs are catered very well for, green spaces and places to grow vegetables and fruit, transparency about drainage, caring for the pupils and staff at Jigsaw school – who hate noise – making sure that UCOG doesn’t get a look in, ground source heat pumps before building properties, owned shop houses rather than land owners who charge big rents for shops, ensuring plenty of opportunities for self-build especially for “Passivhaus” types (little or no energy required) and we have emphasised too that it is a very windy site!!!

Levy money that will make its way to Cranleigh – eventually

Developers are required to pay some money to Councils for a variety of “infrastructure” and “new” items that the public will benefit from, such as parks.  In this case around three quarters of a million pounds (only) will eventually find its way into Waverley’s coffers to go towards Cranleigh’s £12-£30 million pound new leisure centre and other facilities development!


Dunsfold Park Public Exhibition

Dunsfold Park Public Exhibition

A message to Cranleigh society – DUNSFOLD INVITATION:  Dunsfold Park Public Exhibition

As you will be aware, plans and vision for the redevelopment of Dunsfold Park are now taking shape and they are at the stage where they can present the evolved Masterplan for the site.As part of a planned programme of community and stakeholder consultation, they are holding a Public Exhibition from 13-19 November at the following locations and times:

Wednesday 13 November Unit 217, Dunsfold Park 08:00 – 20:00
Thursday 14 November Unit 217, Dunsfold Park 08:00 – 20:00
Friday 15 November Cranleigh Arts Centre 10:00 – 16:30
Saturday 16 November Godalming Borough Hall 12:00 – 20:00
Monday 18 November Unit 217, Dunsfold Park 08:00 – 20:00
Tuesday 19 November Unit 217, Dunsfold Park 08:00 – 20:00




Worried about Oil & Gas exploration?

Worried about Oil & Gas exploration?

Fighting exploration for oil and gas within the UK seems to some to be essential and to others useless and not helpful. Cranleigh Society thinks you would like to make up your own minds – here is some information prepared by Cranleigh resident and retired geologist Chris Bulley.

UK Government says it needs UK oil and gas exploration whilst other forms of energy become reliable, available and used. 

They say that at the same time as renewable energy is being developed, and people are being urged to use less energy, oil and gas companies must continue, otherwise the lights will go out – no Government wants that to happen on its watch.

UKOG – UK Oil & Gas PLC


Surrey County Council – SCC Ref 2019/0072 (

Waverley Borough Council WA/2019/0796

Loxley Well Site – Land South of Dunsfold Road and East of High Loxley Road, Dunsfold, Surrey

Submitted 30/5/19; public consultation opened 11/6/19; public consultation ends 8/7/19; withdrawn late June subject to resubmission with revised access route.

Drilling at Dunsfold – What is planned and Updates to application

UKOG (UK Oil & Gas) submitted a planning application to Surrey County Council (SCC) in May 2019 to drill a conventional gas appraisal well in the Dunsfold area. UKOG was hopeful that a decision would be made on the application before year-end.  The area is covered by Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence PEDL234 and operations are regulated by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), a government agency, which reports to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS), where a company’s financial and operational competencies are checked.

In late June, UKOG confirmed that it will submit a revised application to SCC due to the need to pursue an alternative access route. The originally proposed access road might have impacted sites of reptile activity and of prehistoric activity, an Area of High Archaeological Potential. UKOG has not put a timescale on when the application will be resubmitted.

The application covers a gas appraisal well on the eastern extension of the Godley Bridge structure, which has been previously drilled by Conoco with the Godley Bridge-1, Alfold-1 and Godley Bridge-2 wells in 1982/3, 1986 and 1986/7, respectively, (without incident). The map below (from UKOG’s November 2018 corporate presentation with my annotation, shows the location of these three wells with respect to the gross reservoir structure. The potential gas-bearing reservoir is the Portland Sandstone of uppermost Jurassic age, which is at a depth of around 2,800 feet (about 850 metres) below sea-level. The Portland Sandstone is a recognised oil/gas producing reservoir elsewhere in the Weald Basin such as at the Horse Hill discovery. The drilling plan for the appraisal well includes a deeper test of the underlying Kimmeridge section (a section of rocks found at Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, and running beneath the Weald), which UKOG considers lies within the largest untested Kimmeridge feature in the Weald Basin. The appraisal well will drill to a vertical depth of about 4,750 feet (nearly one mile) below the surface. It is planned that the appraisal pilot hole, horizontal sidetrack and testing programme can commence in late 2020 following further production drilling at Horse Hill near Gatwick.

There is no fracking planned within the proposed drilling programme and if UKOG was to consider that it was necessary then a further planning application would be mandatory. Fracking is not necessary as the targeted reservoirs do not require fracking, as demonstrated by UKOG’s operations at Horse Hill, near Gatwick, and Broadford Bridge, near Billingshurst.

The well site will be a zero-discharge site with the whole area and adjacent drainage ditches covered by an impermeable membrane, a tried and tested process. Once the operations are complete: if the wells are considered commercially viable then a further application will be submitted to retain the site for longer-term production of hydrocarbons; otherwise, the site will be restored to its original use. The site itself is located upon Weald Clay, an impermeable rock.

The new well will appraise an accumulation that could contain a significant gross gas-in-place estimated at around 60 billion cubic feet, similar in size to a small North Sea field.

UKOG plan to long-term test any hydrocarbons encountered in the well in order to assess commercial viability in as short a time as possible.

Of additional interest, following the decision by DEFRA not to renew the lease at Bury Hill Wood for Europa Oil & Gas to drill the Holmwood well to beneath Coldharbour, UKOG has become operator for the hydrocarbon licence (PEDL143) and is assessing other potential well sites for exploratory drilling. UKOG states that the locations under review fall outside the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As of 4th July, IGas Energy PLC, the operator of the licence to the west of Dunsfold that covers the western half of the Godley Bridge structure (including wells Godley Bridge-1 and Godley Bridge-2) has announced that it plans to drill two exploration/appraisal wells on Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence PEDL235 to explore and evaluate the resource potential of both the Portland Sandstones and the Kimmeridge Micrites. It further states that it will now move to submit a planning application but will undertake community consultation to take account of feedback from local residents before submitting the full planning application.

No fracking is suggested – but for interest here is the explanation –

Hydraulic Fracturing = Fracking according to Wiki

In the United Kingdom, the environmental regulator permits only chemical additives which are classed as non-hazardous to groundwater for fracturing fluids.[3][4][5] Operators are required to disclose the content of hydraulic fracturing fluids to the relevant environment agency[6] while the composition must be disclosed if the regulator demands it.[7] The permitted additives for hydraulic fracturing fluid include polycrylamidehydrochloric acid and a biocide.


Dunsfold Planning Application Approved – What now?

Dunsfold Planning Application Approved – What now?

Dunsfold Planning Application Approved – What now?

On the 29 March, the plan to build 1,800 homes in Dunsfold park was approved by the Secretary of State Sajid Javid despite heavy opposition from residents.

It’s time to put pressure on regarding the effects on infrastructure.

Get Surrey has reported that Councillors have expressed fear on Increased traffic and congestion in the area once the homes are built and included a map to show likely problem areas following the development.

Specifically mentioned is more traffic expected on an already busy A281, but other areas for concern include:

•    The partly single-track route from Dunsfold Park via Markwick Lane, Salt Lane and Station Road to the nearest railway station at Milford – this is also the quickest route to the A3;
•    The use of B2130 through Hascombe to Godalming, and onto Guildford; and
•    The roads through Hambledon towards Witley Station.

However, the increase of traffic on country lanes was assessed and deemed sustainable by transport planners.

Jim McAllister, Dunsfold Park Ltd’s chief executive said:

“The development of Dunsfold Aerodrome will provide homes for all sections of the community including young families currently priced out of the area, create new jobs and deliver a range of new community facilities together with infrastructure improvements. We look forward to working with Waverley Borough Council to progress the detail.”

What can be done now?

The pressure on infrastructure is the main concern affecting residents when any new housing development is approved.

If these developments effect you and your family, you can still make an impact. Cranleigh Society welcomes new members to help spread awareness and ensure our voices are heard. For further information email:

Further reading:

Join Cranleigh Civic Society

Get Surrey – The reaction after 1800 homes approved

Dunsfold Park Decision Called-in

Dunsfold Park Decision Called-in

Dunsfold Park WA/2015/2395  was granted permission by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee (JPC) on 14 December in a recorded vote  of 10 Councillors in favour and 8 against.

Before the application went to committee there had been several reports of the application being called-in to the Secretary of State by Anne Milton MP, and the 11 Parish Councils, which form the Joint Parishes.

Subsequently on Thursday 15 December it was confirmed that a planning inspector had in fact been appointed to carry out an inquiry into the granted application. The inspector will report their recommendation to the Secretary of State who will then make the final decision on Dunsfold Park.

Calling-in Process

This is where an application goes to The Secretary of State (SoS) for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid MP, for his final consideration and determination.

Applications are called-in where planning issues of more than local importance are involved. This can include applications which:

  • Are of national significance.
  • Conflict with government policy.
  • Impact on long-term economic growth.
  • Have significant effects beyond their immediate locality.
  • Are controversial.
  • Raise significant architectural and urban design issues.
  • Involve national security or foreign governments

Where an application is called in, a planning inspector is appointed to hold an inquiry into the application and the Secretary of State takes the findings of this inquiry into account when they make their final decision.

The Dunsfold Debate

On the night of the JPC meeting, Surrey County Council Highways Department and the Environment Agency maintained their objections to the application on traffic impact and water quality.

The debate lasted over four hours.  Points in favour of the application included the total number of dwellings, including 30% affordable housing, which would meet a significant percentage of the borough’s housing need, as well as significant employment opportunities being provided on site (Dunsfold is already one of the biggest employment sites in the borough), a new primary school and a local bus service funded in perpetuity.  Cllr Foryszewski said:

 “This is a development we can be proud of, that can be exemplary, built for the future, to address how we live and work.”

Cllr Cockburn, also spoke in favour of the application saying that:

“We have been saying for years, use brownfield sites first, especially in Farnham and Cranleigh.”

However, councillors also voiced concerns about traffic. It was pointed out that significant impacts on the surrounding highways had led to the dismissal of the previous planning Appeal in 2009.  Furthermore, the robustness of traffic modelling  was brought into question and was said to be “more of an art than a science” .  The extent of objectors and the evidence they had submitted, including a professional transport study, should, it was noted, be taken seriously.  Although it was recognised that there would be considerable contributions from the applicants, amounting to a package of approximately £40M, which is proportionally far higher than those negotiated with other Cranleigh developers, the opportunity to deliver extensive road improvements, due to the limiting characteristics of the A281,  was questioned.

Cranleigh Civic Society would stress that we feel that these same characteristics should apply to the over 1,500 dwellings being proposed for our village too.

Cllr Mulliner (Haslemere East and Grayswood Ward) pointed out that this was the most significant site in Waverley and highly contentious,  having had over 5,000 objections submitted against it. He disagreed with officers on the point of prematurity with regard to the Local Plan, which he pointed out was at an advanced stage, having been agreed by full council two weeks previously, and was being submitted for examination by the inspector two days later on 16 December 2016 (the Local plan has 3,500 objections against it).

Dunsfold Park is listed as a Strategic Site in the Local Plan with a total of 2,600 dwellings proposed for the site.  Cllr  Mulliner expressed his concern that the application should not be determined until the Inspector had rigorously examined the Local Plan and agreed that the Dunsfold site should be included. Otherwise, he said, this could be predetermining the scale, position and phasing of 25% of Waverley’s entire housing allocation.  He went on to state that this was “clearest possible case of predetermination and pre-emption of the Inspector’s role”.

The Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) figure of 519 dwellings per year for the Waverley borough was also commented on.  This figure has already been challenged by the Neil MacDonald Report (September 2016).  The report concluded that the OAN figure should be reduced by approximately 120 dwellings per year. Over the lifetime of the local plan this could equate to a total decrease of 2,280 dwellings.

The MacDonald  concludes that:

The key issue emerging from this report is the significantly different picture painted by the most recent projections and population statistics from that set out in the SHMA. Whilst the SHMA suggests that the full objectively assessed need for housing in Waverley is 519 homes a year 2013-33, the analysis in this report indicates that an up to date estimate would lie in the range 400 +/- 30 homes a year.”

( SHMA = Strategic Housing Market Assessment.  The last assessment was carried out in September 2015 by GL Hearn and set the annual housing need for Waverley at 519 dwellings – see page 117)

GL Hearn, authors of the SHMA, in their response to the MacDonald report in November 2016  accepted the main point of the report.

5.13 In conclusion we recognise that if repeating this work today a different figure is likely to emerge, particularly as we would have a different starting point. This reflects the availability of data. However our approach is one that reflects the NPPF and PPG and remains a sound basis for planning.”

We now await the Inspector’s report to the SoS, which may take a couple of months to be issued.

You can watch the full Waverley meeting from 14 December 2016 here on YouTube.