Knowle Lane planning application WA/2023/00294 Appeal

Knowle Lane planning application WA/2023/00294 Appeal

2023 Aug Knowle lane appeal Renotification_4705833

The planning application was rejected and the document in this post explains the planning officers’ work.

You can write to Waverley explaining what you think. Appeals cost us the tax payers a huge amount of money.  Like Amletts Lane this application may well win on appeal because the Government favours building more homes.  Waverley does not have a Water Neutrality policy in place which requires developers to design in returning as much water to the system as it removes for new houses to use.

Here is an example of the reasons people think the land should be maintained as natural as possible.

We respect the issues around people who own farm land but it is so sad that all these fields,
trees and hedgerows are being taken away. It is not good for anyone or wildlife. As a
community we must find a way to live in harmony with nature. New housing over the past
20 years has steadfastly failed to provide green energy, or for wildlife now. Planting trees to
replace those lost does not count. Loss of nature and habitats is causing problems for all.
The access road would be onto Knowle lane at a narrow corner. To create a safe road for
hundreds more people to live along the road needs to be made safe all along it. People do try
to walk and cycle along it and it is very difficult, narrow, dark, twisty, potholed. The high
banks make seeing impossible yet people drive fast towards Cranleigh. The ‘splay’ drawing is
inaccurate – not fit for purpose.
In addition, whilst the way onto Cranleigh High Street remains the same please no more cars!
Cars and delivery lorries park on our narrow High Street and on Knowle Lane, both legally and
illegally, causing traffic jams for various lengths of time from a few minutes to 20 – not long enough for
SCC to worry but upsetting for commuters and school drop offs.
Cranleigh has an advantage over Waverley’s other ‘towns’ – it has one attractive Village High
Street and we are hoping that will recover soon and be improved. The High Street businesses
have suffered disruption due to new services coming plus burst pipes  problems for years.
We have yet to have the infrastructure up graded – Thames Water’s scheme for new water
supplies – won’t be ready until at least 2025 for example – massive disruption. Thames Water
also has a responsibility to remove waste including during storms and they do not have the
money or power to fix this any time soon.  There are combined sewage outflows monitors but not at the points where sewage is discharged!  Our tiny waterways are a very important part of the larger network of vital rivers and they are not healthy.
The planning application shows housing surrounding current dwellings and concreting over a
hill which currently acts as a sponge for heavy rains. The dwellings will overlook, cause
shading, and noise.

Whilst we love meeting new people and enjoy seeing children growing
up in Cranleigh, please honour the ‘no more dwellings along Knowle Lane’ comment made by the Inspector at
the Berkeley homes appeal.


Our Councillors are listening


Cranleigh Society reps plus several members of the public attended Cranleigh Parish Council’s monthly planning meeting this evening, to put forward feelings and planning application observations. The councillors then put their own views.  They had a long list but they worked on Knowle Lane and Pets Pantry first.  It was a friendly and supportive event, where all were in agreement – both applications are not in Cranleigh’s best interests as proposed.

So we urge all who have a valid opinion in planning terms to write up their views  on line – click on this link for Knowle Lane here – and on this one for Pets Pantry here .

and/or write – You can also write personally to the planning officers so long as you refer to the planning application reference – Knowle Lane is WA/2023/00294; Pets Pantry is WA/2023/00213.

If your comments exceed 5,000 characters or you need to attach a document to your comment, please:

Please remember to include the application reference number, as well as your name and full address, for your comment to be considered.

We hope to see some of you at The Three Horseshoes pub this week – Wednesday from 6pm – for social and concerns chatter.  Food is pretty good too.

best regards

The team

Knowle Lane

Hello!  Are you bothered by planning applications? 

Knowle Lane Planning application number WA/2023/00294  click here

Cranleigh Society team recognises that the owner of some land in the centre of Cranleigh is among us, and is well thought of.  However many people are extremely unhappy about the prospect of more housing along Knowle Lane and wish to object strenuously.

Here are some initial observations for you – firstly – this proposal is outside the settlement boundary as shown in Waverley BCs Local Plan. click here to view

  1. The overall concept of the masterplan and density are similar to other recent approvals so are likely to prove acceptable to WBC – i.e. not unlawful.  The developer has won the last 7 appeals on behalf of clients. Appeals cost the taxpayers huge amounts of money.
  2. New Residents may use their cars to visit Cranleigh for shopping, although the houses are parallel with Fortune Drive, because walking along the Downs Link to the High Street is too far and unsuitable for most purposes. Walking along Knowle Lane is extremely hazardous. The nearest bus stops in the High Street Horsham road are quite a trek.
  3. Knowle Lane is a narrow rural road carrying local traffic and an increased traffic flow from this proposed development would contribute to unacceptable vehicle movements especially at the junction between Knowle Lane and Cranleigh High Street which is difficult enough at the present time.
  4. The proposed junction from the development onto Knowle Lane is just below a blind brow when approached from the South and would likely create a potentially dangerous situation. The access road is shown coming out of a cutting which will restrict visibility, particularly to the South, shortening the reaction time for drivers to take avoiding action. It is also immediately adjacent to the private road serving several existing properties, adding to an already hazardous situation.
  5. Disruption during building phase is not a planning objection point but building in  phases would impact new residents as the construction traffic for phases 2 and 3 will all have to pass already occupied properties.
  6. It appears that the Southern part of the development will be reliant upon a pumping station to remove sewage. This is not ideal and together with the balance of the site drainage may overload the existing sewers.
  7. The houses that are already there will be almost surrounded, exposing the residents to intolerable loss of their rural location, noise, light, smells, lack of privacy and disruption.  These properties are very old and need to be cared for.
  8. Having to remove trees and hedgerows that have retained the fields for decades will surely harm wildlife.
  9. When Berkeley Homes were finally granted planning permission on appeal, it was stated that no more housing would be allowed along Knowle Lane.

Infrastructure – provision of fresh water, sewerage systems, electricity, doctors, school places, and ability to drive around the roads, parking,  broadband, mobile phone signals and bus services.   

There are legal obligations on all infrastructure providers to catch up with developments, but Cranleigh has yet to be serviced appropriately since the new housing has been built out.  Our councils can’t control the build out rate, or the rate at which tax money comes in per agreements (section 106, CIL and others) and can sometimes loose the promised cash for projects such as upgrading the High Street!  In addition the Government has said that new housing can no longer be fitted with gas boilers after 2025, so any developments before then will probably have them!  Recently new housing has not included alternative sources of energy – how can that be right?  Retrofitting is so distressing!

We wish you well and hope the forthcoming week is fun – maybe half term brings you to playing with little ones, maybe Valentine’s day is extra special, maybe getting around when the kids are off school suits you better! Whatever you are doing this week, do take time to think about our planning processes and why we end up with vast amounts of new housing – such as happened in the 1970s.

We DO welcome newcomers to Cranleigh! 

Thank you for joining in our village way of life!!

What is concerning you here in Cranleigh? come and chat?

What is concerning you here in Cranleigh? come and chat?

Come along! Wednesday 25th January from 6pm

Cranleigh Society invites you to The Three Horseshoes pub – Wednesday 25 January – for a meet up to talk through concerns and actions we can take to improve lives in Cranleigh.

Do come along.  The pub food is good too so we have our evening meal there.

Issues we are following and trying to influence for the better –

Planning applications, High Street, Thames Water, Cycling routes, GP surgery, further medical services, conservation of our Heritage – Cranleigh Cottage Hospital, water quality in our streams,


More of Cranleigh’s fields could be built on

More of Cranleigh’s fields could be built on

Knowle Lane has plenty of green fields left – but look here  to explore a new housing development idea.

Cranleigh Society looks at all the planning rules to find any that can be held up as applicable, with the aim of reducing stress on our village and its community.

Neighbour responses: this is a big one for us. The voice of the community helps us and our councillors to understand the concerns locally and  will often try to make our statements reflect those views if they comply with a relevant condition in planning rules.

Our planning laws are so difficult to get around once a government says build more houses.  The councillors aren’t allowed to enter into chats before planning applications are put forward because if they did they wouldn’t be allowed to vote.  The reason is this – by the time an application is put before councillors our paid officers work on the application with the current laws in mind and state whether there are planning reasons to turn it down or not.  Once the councillors hear and read all this information only then are they allowed to vote.

Here are some planning guidelines – planners and councillors have to look at these things –

The impact on any planning item e.g. when this item is applied for – it isn’t yet – land south of Cranleigh and East of Knowle Lane.   You can play with Surrey County Council Interactive map – click here – to see that Cranleigh has no protections such as Green Belt or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The current Parish Boundaries don’t protect this either.

The Cranleigh neighbourhood plan, recently proved (as opposed to approved) for having met and exceeded the minimum requirement for housing allocations by Waverley.

The Cranleigh neighbourhood plan conditions for all developments needing to take place within the residential curtilage, as set by current clauses and maps. ( Out of interest only, this development falls outside this)

Referrals to Natural England and other nature conservation agencies for impact on wildlife and amenity.

Surrey Highways: though we can do little more than review their assessment here. Challenges to the veracity of their assessment have little impact, if any. We have no science to back up challenges to their statements, though we can, of course, question the formulas used to assess traffic movement and sight lines. Having said that, we are not limited in our comments by this and are entitled to state our opinion if a matter is of concern. We do this often.

Water infrastructure: similarly to Highways, we have very little we can challenge. We have anecdotal evidence, and will use it if it is appropriate, but the developers will simply refer to the assessments of the water agencies for legality.

Town & Country Planning Act regulations: too complicated to go into detail here, but we thoroughly review applicable conditions and often assess the planning condition statement’s made by developers. They will often only quote the part of the statutes and approved plans that suit their application and not those parts that don’t.