Category Archives: Housing

Local plan? Affordable housing? Waverley meeting

Share Button

Cranleigh Society met with Waverley Borough Council councillors and officers. Many topics were covered, which we continue to share openly with you here as well as action points that may make improvement or provide further information:

HOUSING QUESTIONS 

We asked about low cost and affordable housing and part of the answers included that WBC cannot MAKE developers build low cost and affordable housing!  But, they have a bit more say if they have a working “LOCAL PLAN“.

ACTION

It is suggested that Cranleigh Society and ALL LOCALS  lobby their MP Anne Milton about this.

When asked why developers sometimes say they cannot offer 30% affordable housing, the reply is that “It is a viability issue. Where viability is capable of being a planning consideration, Waverley appoint an independent viability consultant to test the evidence.”  so that’s clearly a difficult question then.

We asked, what is the definition of Affordable Housing? Waverley’s officer explained that the National Planning Policy Framework contains the definition of Affordable housing.  So, we obtained the definition from the Government’s website, see below:-

Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).

Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels subject to the criteria in the Affordable Housing definition above. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as “low cost market” housing, may not be considered as affordable housing for planning purposes.”

Waverley’s Local Plan includes the required percentage, 30% of affordable housing on schemes above a certain size. The tenure split is informed by advice from our Housing Enabling Team. A contract with a registered provider, as negotiated through a section 106 agreement, is effected in liaison with Waverley’s housing team.

ACTION

In answer to the question about the provision of starter homes, this could be incorporated into a future Neighbourhood Plan.

DEVELOPERS AND THEIR AGREEMENTS WITH WAVERLEY

Cranleigh Society asked what the council is doing about ensuring that planning permission requirements are complied with. In the past the officers have pointed out that they struggle to oversee everything and rely on the public’s help.

WBC has recently appointed a new officer called a Section 106 Enforcement Officer. Although the role is part-time,  this should help.

ACTION

However, we the public still very much need to bring information to WBC.  So, please keep your observations up and report.

Thank you for your continued support.

Share Button

Neighbourhood Plan dates – Next week!

Share Button

Can you attend any of the dates next week?

There are three Neighbourhood Plan Exhibitions planned taking place in the Village Hall, on the following dates:

  • Thursday 12 July 9am – 4pm
  • Friday 13 July 4pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 14 July 9am – 12.30pm
These plans affect how our Parish will be developed until 2032.

Click here for more details.

If members can attend on one of these dates and/or encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same we can help ensure Cranleigh has a say on these plans.

News from Waverley…

Also, if you haven’t so already perhaps you’d like to subscribe to the Waverley e-newsletter to keep up to date on all plans effecting the area. You can do so here: www.waverley.gov.uk/newsletter

 

 

 

 

Share Button

2nd date for PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE WAVERLEY LOCAL PLAN

Share Button

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY: If you missed the Waverley Council exhibition of the Local Plan Part 2 in the Arts Centre last Thursday, there is an opportunity again at the Arts Centre on June 25 2018 at 2.30pm to 7.30pm.

PLEASE ATTEND THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE WAVERLEY LOCAL PLAN : PART 2

This Proposes :

-Sites for Additional Housing in Cranleigh
-Proposed sites for Travellers in Cranleigh
-The Settlement Boundary for Cranleigh
– Housing Standards for New Housing

Waverley Council will later announce an additional Consultation Date for YOU to see their Plans

Terry Stewart. Chairman Cranleigh Civic Society.
21 Brookside, Cranleigh, Surrey. GU6 8DA.
01483 273808.
ts@terencestewart.plus.com

Website: www.cranleighsociety.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cranleighsociety
Twitter: @CranleighSoc

Share Button

Dunsfold Planning Application Approved – What now?

Share Button

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: membership@cranleighsociety.org

Further reading:

Join Cranleigh Civic Society

Get Surrey – The reaction after 1800 homes approved

Share Button

Waverley Leader advised of No Confidence Vote

Share Button

Cranleigh Civic Society have confirmed the vote of “No Confidence” taken by those attending the public meeting on 25 May 2017 to the Leader, Julia Potts, of Waverley Borough Council and are now investigating in full the options available to us and the next steps we will be taking.


Dear Ms Potts

As you are aware, Cranleigh Civic Society recently organised a public meeting at our village hall at which we shared our knowledge of what is happening now, and what is being planned for the future of our village. Many of the 229 people who attended passionately expressed their anger and concerns about the volume of housing your team has approved to be built on our green fields and how many more you intend to send our way.

Equal to this were the worries about how our already poor infrastructure will cope with the huge increase in the population. As promised, I relayed your message of how much you care about our village, and I must tell you it was not well received.

At the end of the meeting we offered the opportunity for them to vote by a show of hands if they wanted to send you a strong and clear message that they do not have confidence in your team’s ability to care for the quality of our lives and wellbeing  through your actions and inaction; 226 voted to support this statement, one opposed and two abstained.

I trust this message is clear.

Phill Price

Chairman

Cranleigh Civic Society


 

Share Button

VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN WAVERLEY

Share Button

VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL’S LEADERSHIP

 On Thursday 25th May, Cranleigh Civic Society organised a meeting in the Village Hall to discuss the number of new houses where planning permission has already been granted and the further huge amount of housing being earmarked for Cranleigh in the draft Local Plan.
Village Hall 25May17
 
Subjects discussed included:
 
1. Waverley allocating a huge proportion (44%) of their borough-wide new housing target onto Cranleigh, knowing that there are few job opportunities locally.
2. Waverley holding secret meetings with developers.
3. A lack of concern and action by Waverley over the many infrastructure problems facing Cranleigh.
4. A lack of consultation by Waverley with Cranleigh residents and their Parish Council.
5. Waverley’s practice of recruiting substitutes to vote at JPC meetings (against Waverley’s own Constitution), and
6. Waverley’s inability to have produced a coherant Local Plan, having spent many unproductive years working on it.
 
Many residents expressed their deep concerns about the relentless growth of new housing in Cranleigh, particularly as Waverley Borough Council has simply not dealt with Cranleigh’s serious infrastructure problems first.
 

At the end of the meeting, local residents took a vote of “NO CONFIDENCE” in the Leadership of Waverley Borough Council.

The results of the vote were:

 
226 FOR
1 AGAINST
2 ABSTENTIONS
Here’s a link to a short video giving you a flavour of the meeting:

Share Button

KPI Decision Challenged – Update

Share Button

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:

  1. Cranleigh’s Parish Councillor Liz Townsend was denied a vote for this application, in place of the late Brian Ellis.
  2. The vote was 8 for and 8 against, with the deciding vote given by a Hindhead councillor.
  3. 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.
  4. The Planning Officers were not acting impartially, but appeared to be in favour of the developers.
  5. This application had previously been rejected and was just resubmitted without significant changes, so why was this allowed?
  6. 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.
  7. Why have the developers not been questioned about the illegal dredging of Cranleigh Waters carried out by a contractor at their request?
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

Share Button

AGM 2nd March

Share Button

This Thursday, 2nd of March is the AGM of the Cranleigh Civic Society at the Band Room on Village Way at 7:30pm and never before have we been so much in need of your help. We have fought the good fight examining every detail of the huge number of houses planned and approved to be built in our village, only to be ignored and criticised by the borough council and other parties who stand to make huge financial gains.

In fact, they’ve openly said that nothing you or I say or do has any effect on the decisions they make about the quality, well-being and safety of existing resident’s lives. It seems we’re unimportant, compared to their desire to dump all the housing here despite the lack of infrastructure, thereby protecting Haslemere, Godalming and in the main Farnham.

Cranleigh only has 5 borough councillors, of which 2 have declared a pecuniary interest in development in Cranleigh, compared to the stronghold of 18 borough councillors for Farnham.

The dump on Cranleigh has only just begun, with this imbalance of power this will never stop.

Please join us now to take a stand against the outrageous abuse of this power and help us to keep up the fight for fair representation on the borough council and for fair recognition of the constraints of our rural roads, sewage treatment, public transport and the undermining of the character of our village.

This will not stop!  Areas of farmland and woods have already been decimated but we must still fight on. We have irrefutable evidence of the extent of Cranleigh’s ageing asbestos cement drinking water pipes and no clear evidence that this is not a risk to our health, despite asking the Drinking Water Inspectorate several times to confirm this they have not done so.  We have set up an online petition to ask our MP Anne Milton to help us find out what these asbestos pipes are doing to us and to our children.

We think we have a right to know, do you?

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/remove-asbestos-cement-drinking-water-pipes

We can also prove that the sewerage treatment works intends to pump out more and more pollution into our river, even though it is already polluted, and the Environment Agency is most likely going to roll over and play dead, and let them do this, whilst wildlife suffers and our environment suffers too.  We need to continue to push Waverley on this point, even if ultimately it may lead to the law courts.

We’ll bring you right up to date on Thursday with the battles we are fighting and let you know how you can help us.  And, never forget:

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

 Margaret Mead Anthropologist

Share Button

Flood Insurance for new homes?

Share Button

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that new houses should not be built:

  • on flood plains
  • on other high risk flood areas
  • in areas where, if houses are built, it would increase the risk of flooding neighbouring property

Despite this requirement, many homes are being built (or we expect to be built) in such areas – for example:

  • Crest Nicholson, betweenHorsham Road and the Downs Link
  • Berkeley Homes, south of the High Street
  • Little Meadow, east ofAlfold Road
  • Thakeham Homes, next to Elmbridge Road – on land that was seriously flooded in January 2015including the pumping station!
  • A2 Dominion, Knowle Park – new application expected soon for new houses on the lowest area in Cranleigh!

elmbridge-road-pumping-station-24-12-13

Cranleigh Society will continue to object to Waverley Borough Council to granting permission to build in these high risk flood areas, and to stop relying on so-called Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) as a guarantee against flooding, which are not always reliable!

FloodRe is a joint insurance industry and Government initiative to enable the owners of homes which have flooded to not only obtain flood insurance but at an affordable price. The problem is that FloodRe can only “come to the rescue” when a house was built before 1st January 2009! This is because, since that date, no houses should have been built in those three areas specified in the NPPF.

People who bought a house built after 1st January 2009 which has subsequently flooded are on their own when trying to renew their insurance.  Their house could be uninsurable or, at best, they may have to pay a very expensive premium for cover with a high flood excess.

Until recently, the FloodRe literature did not directly mention that all important date of 1st January 2009 – it merely referred to “qualifying properties” with the reader having to visit their website to see if the house qualified!  We found this to be simply unbelievable!

Cranleigh Society tackled FloodRe on this issue and, finally, they did agree to include the cut-off date in all new literature – with no explanation or apology for excluding it in the first place.  There are thousands of these leaflets in circulation, and with no print date to help distinguish the correct and incorrect versions, this would of course be misleading for house buyers.

FLOODRE LEAFLET WITH 1 JAN 2009 DATE

We fear that a lot of new Cranleigh residents are in for a rough time after their first experience of several days of incessant heavy rain.

Share Button

A Resident’s View – Housing Need is Big Business!

Share Button

Ask yourself, what is the incentive for the big developers to build enough housing to meet demand?

Building enough housing would force down house prices.

Developers are in a position where they can manipulate the market by controlling supply to keep prices high and profits higher still.  They have created the perfect investment vehicle with ever present demand from a rising population in the UK coupled with the basic need for a roof over people’s heads.

It is reported that almost 500,000 new homes in England and Wales have planning permission but haven’t yet been built, despite a huge housing shortage.  Developers have been accused of profiteering for years and yet no penalties have been levied on them or their growing land banks.

Recognition of the developers’ role in restricting the supply of housing to boost their own profits at the expense of ordinary people is growing.

The Guardian recently reported that “the number of unbuilt homes with planning permission has reached record levels and is 25% higher than five years ago.”, furthermore “the nine biggest house builders are sitting on enough land to build 615,152 homes.  This includes plots with planning permission and those without.”

Developers are firmly in the driving seat, riding roughshod over government targets and laughing all the way to the land bank. Believing that the major house builders will play their part in providing access to a reasonable supply of more affordable homes has proven to be misguided and rather like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

This is surely the time to take back control and introduce a land bank tax –if developers don’t build within a certain period of time they pay a punitive rate of tax.  Worries that the big builders will throw their toys out of their pram and stomp off is counter-intuitive and like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Furthermore, developers should by law have to publish a public record of all land that they own.

We know that developers will only build at the rate to maximise their profits, not in line with housing need.  Why is permission being granted for more and more valuable green fields to be concreted over when developers are not building the houses they’ve already got permission for?

People are struggling to get on the housing ladder and the controlled rate of completions is keeping prices artificially high and forcing people to take on eye-watering loan to value mortgages.  The term “Mortgage Zombies” has emerged in the UK, where people are simply working to pay their mortgage and nothing else.

An overall average house price in Cranleigh is now around £472,745 how many people can really afford that?

The fact is the big house builders are not delivering the homes that are needed, despite planning applications being approved, and are amassing more and more land, shifting the balance of power even further in their favour.

Targeted Government funded incentives, like Starter Homes, don’t seem to have worked, surely its time for a major rethink?

Share Button