Cranleigh is under severe threat from our own County Council. It seems this is news to many local residents. If you know please pass it on before it is too late. Surrey CC are trying to bulldoze their plans while we are unable to demonstrate our feelings.
To those of you who have done something – many thanks – but far too many people in our community are still unaware of the plans to devastate Cranleigh with 90 homes right in the centre of our village, on the land occupied by Cranleigh C of E school opposite Glebelands. The new school building is planned to be so inaccessible that parents and children face a long arduous walk behind housing with no nearby parking in all weathers. In fact the current lay-by parking will be severely affected because that is where the new housing is planned.
They should have completed an Environmental Impact Assessment. They have not. We believe your help is needed to ‘encourage’ them to do so NOW.
Surrey County Council have neglected Cranleigh C of E school building for 18 years. The roof leaks – children have been sitting in class with rain water collecting next to them for far too long. Rather than repair properly, Surrey CC have decided to build a new school on green field land that is known to flood. The new building is claimed to be a Beacon. Take a look at the plans here It is an EYESORE. It has no natural space but an artificial surface. The classrooms are smaller than the current ones and the main hall is so small that assembly will have to be in two parts. Also lunch will be over at least 2 if not 3 sittings. The whole effect is cheap and nasty and Surrey want to sell the current land for housing to make a profit we believe.
Once again Cranleigh will suffer. So please email or write to Tim Oliver, the Surrey County Council Leader, our MP Angela Richardson, our County Councillor, Andrew Povey and our Borough and Parish Councillors, Liz Townsend and Paul Follows.
Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee – meets tonight Wednesday 27th November 6:30 pm. They are looking at at least 4 issues – Cranleigh Care Home with Community beds and accommodation block. Cranleigh Primary School with 91 dwellings on the old sites. Knowle Country Park development – All about Cranleigh’s green fields being used up for building works.
CVHT article in newspaper by reported Eleanor – some details not quite accurate but she has done a good job of explaining so many aspects of this project. You can read her article here and you could email her here – firstname.lastname@example.org 27th Nov 2019
Cranleigh Society has members with a wide variety of knowledge and views – and on Wednesday 27 November at 6.30 this issue will be fully shared with all Waverley’s Councillors on the Joint Planning Committee – you can read their briefing document here
The event will be videoed and so you can find it live or later – no need to attend. People are not allowed to speak or heckle – only Councillors may speak by invitation. If people wanted to speak they would have had to write in advance asking for a slot to speak – and would be given exactly 4 minutes.
One of our Facebook friends asked us to post a map of all the development in Cranleigh to indicate to residents the true scale of our problem. Well here it is, hot off the Waverley Planning Maps website:
This only shows planning applications from 2011 onwards. You will no doubt recognise the mega site south of the High Street which totals 765 new dwellings alone! This includes Berkeley Homes 425 dwellings (spanning Knowle Lane to Alfold Road), Little Meadow (Alfold Road) 75 dwellings and the Knowle Park Initiative (A2 Dominion) 265 dwellings (Alfold Road as well!). We do not understand how Surrey Highways thinks the rural roads will cope, with the explosion of houses Waverley has planned for this area. and how they believe road safety will not be compromised.
Those of you also concerned about the sewage and foul water from all of these houses, will no doubt be astonished to learn, as we were last week at a meeting in Guildford with Thames Water, that no provision has yet been made for the expansion of the sewage treatment works on Elmbridge Road and no consideration has been given to the river into which the effluent flows. We have reported countless times that Cranleigh Waters now regularly dries up, yet apparently, according to the “experts” in their desktop studies, it can cope with double the number of houses, and double the amount of effluent being poured into it, yes another minimum of 4,455 new dwellings, without any pollution problems whatsoever!
Over the last couple of days, Residents have yet again been reporting to us more Thames Water contractor vans across the village (picture below opposite turning to Elm Park 5 June 2017).
Thames Water confirmed it had spent £1M on new filters to improve the sewage treatment works for EXISTING residents only, but as yet have not secured funding, or designed the sewage works for the new loos, showers, dishwashers, washing machines etc in the pipeline for 1,300 new houses in Cranleigh, let alone the 2, 600 (Local Plan figure) for Dunsfold or 600+ on the Springbok Estate. This is utter madness!! And yet still more applications pile up – another 98 on the primary school sites and another 101 in phase 2 for the Crest Nicholson site off the Horsham Road, which some of you may have attended the consultation in the village for. Does it end there? No of course not the numbers just keep growing, whilst the certain environmental damage on our doorstep is being firmly ignored.
What legacy is this Waverley Borough Council leaving to the next generation of residents in Cranleigh?
As an update to this previous article, we have now been informed that the Secretary of State has not agreed to call in this application.
So, sadly that’s another 265 houses approved to be built in an unsustainable location.
Original article follows:
Following the decision two weeks ago by Waverley Borough Council to approve the building of 265 houses on another of Cranleigh’s green fields, Cranleigh Civic Society has written to DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) to ask for the application to be ‘called in’. If accepted, this will lead to an inquiry being held by the Secretary of State.
Our reasons for requesting a call in are:
Cranleigh’s Parish Councillor Liz Townsend was denied a vote for this application, in place of the late Brian Ellis.
The vote was 8 for and 8 against, with the deciding vote given by a Hindhead councillor.
There were four missing members of the JPC who could have given their vote to one of the Cranleigh councillors in their place, but chose not to elect substitutes.
The Planning Officers were not acting impartially, but appeared to be in favour of the developers.
This application had previously been rejected and was just resubmitted without significant changes, so why was this allowed?
We have uncovered the existence of asbestos cement water pipes which could pose a serious risk to public health and if this is to be fixed 30% of Cranleigh’s drinking water pipes will need to be dug up. If not resolved the danger from asbestos will be exacerbated by the extra water pressure from new homes.
Why have the developers not been questioned about the illegal dredging of Cranleigh Waters carried out by a contractor at their request?
The KPI site fails the sequential test, as there are other sites better suited to development which do not flood. There will be no subsidised affordable flood insurance from Flood Re as, since 1 January 2009, new homes should not be built on high flood risk areas.
This application was submitted at the same time as an appeal against the refusal of the previous application, which in itself is odd.
For these reasons we have serious and valid concerns about the granting of this application and hope that the Secretary of State will agree with us.
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.
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.”