Are Waverley Planners going stark staring mad?


They are coming to take them away – we hope!

That is the question on the lips of almost every man woman and now, even schoolchildren in Cranleigh and the surrounding villages!

The Berkeley Homes successful appeal has caused a flurry of activity and,  before the dust has even settled on the Planning Inspector’s decision for 425 houses South of Cranleigh High Street, Waverley Planning Officers are cramming two major applications into ONE Joint Planning Committee  meeting next Wednesday  27th April and is recommending BOTH for approval.

Guess where these applications are? YES, over there in the East of the borough in Cranleigh!  Once again it could be the lucky recipient of yet more housing, despite Waverley’s own admission that housing need is not focused in that part of the borough. Yet its officers admit they are not meeting the demand on their growing housing list for Cranleigh or even Waverley – but for the housing lists of others beyond!

Well if you’re not focusing on  Cranleigh Waverley Borough Council – where exactly are you focusing your housing?

Thames Water finally confirmed on 14 April that they have identified an inability of the existing waste water infrastructure to accommodate the needs  of 125 homes already granted at Amlets Park, Amlets Lane, Cranleigh- the first green field site to go last year.

The reason quoted is “The development may lead to sewage flooding; to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to cope with the new development; and in order to avoid adverse environmental impact upon the community.”

This is the first time we believe that the impact on the existing community has ever been mentioned!

This means that development cannot commence until a drainage strategy detailing on and/or off site drainage works, has been submitted and approved by Waverley Borough Council in consultation with Thames Water.
It also states that the existing water supply infrastructure has insufficient capacity to meet the additional demands for the proposed development and requests that impact studies of the existing water supply infrastructure must be carried out and approved by Waverley Borough Council in consultation with Thames Water.
You can read the full Thames Water objection to Amlets Lane on the Cranleigh Civic Society website.   
This does not mean that the application will be refused, however it does at least mean that at long last Thames Water are publicly recognising the lack of capacity in Cranleigh’s sewage system to cope with all of this development. Not that that will make any difference to the Joint Planning Committee next week when it shoves another three hundred and forty  through!

In the meantime The Cranleigh Civic Society is urging villagers to go en masse to the Joint Planning Committee Meeting, at The Burys in Godalming at 7 p.m. on Wednesday 27th April – before another 265 + 75 are given the go ahead – because that is what Waverley’s planning officers recommend.

The applications now up for grabs are 265 houses on West Cranleigh Nurseries  an employment site on Alfold Road (Knowle Park Initiative.) With a loss of local jobs and a profitable horticultural enterprise.
Little Meadow 75 houses on a green field site on Alfold Road adjacent to the Knowle Park Initiative site, at least that’s what the owner told Sainsburys’ and Waitress according to our research!
Together that’s another THREE HUNDRED AND FORTY HOUSES FOR CRANLEIGH!  The occupants of which will join the 375 houses Berkeley Homes will be building soon with an access into Alfold Road the rest of the 425 will access onto Knowle Lane. All pouring  onto a single track Alfold Road adjoining onto Elmbridge Road – now becoming  known as the Cranleigh dumping ground where effluent erupts into residents’  back gardens!

an e-mail we received from a follower this morning sums it up…

“Amlets Lane building plot. Thames Water have now admitted that the sewage system in Cranleigh cannot cope with the proposed new housing development in Amlets Lane (see Cranleigh Society) so before building can commence new drainage ,sewage lines etc have to be done and approved by Waverley and Thames Water, would his not have made sense when the plans were first put in for planning permission to be dealt with then, what does the planning committee members actually discuss? And we talk about wasting money!”

OUR RUNNING TOTAL FOR NEW HOUSES IS NOW 1,116 ON GREEN FIELDS AND COUNTING! Guess What? Waverley intends to start on the Green Belt  next so it can move local employment onto Mansfield Park in the Guildford Rpad – thus allowing another 120 homes to be build on the Hewitts Industrial Estate.

Then of course there is more much more  to come on Horsham Road, Notcutts Garden Centre- Stonescapes, then Alfold; Ewhurst; Shamley Green and all the cars will pile onto the side roads through Wonersh and Shere just to get out! And so it goes on…and on – Cranleigh New Town is arriving?



One thought on “Are Waverley Planners going stark staring mad?”

  1. As always, your information is accurate, poignant and entertainingly written!

    One more piece of the jigsaw though, and it’s the “elephant in the room” no one wants to talk about. In the last 3 years, Cranleigh Waters (the stream Cranleigh Sewage Works discharges into) has become ephemeral. This means it flows OK in winter as it always has done, but in summer it flows much less, and at times it stops flowing altogether. (The Environment Agency told us it is because of low aquifers, increasing water abstraction upstream, global warming and increasing population density).

    The Environment Agency said a few weeks ago that it is currently “technically infeasible” (their words) for Thames Water to upgrade the sewage works in Cranleigh to meet growing housing developments because the technology doesn’t exist to upgrade the plant in Cranleigh to give a clean enough discharge into the stream. Cranleigh Society explained this to Elizabeth Sims at Waverley in December (I know because I was at that meeting) and she and the other planners are simply ignoring this, hoping the problem will magically go away. The Environment Agency is well aware of the problem, and we’ve sent them photos of a dry stream bed on the 6th October last year, but they are too weak to do anything about it, as much of their power has been stripped by Government in the last 2 years. Take a look at

    I just thought you should know this critical piece of information, as I think that it has has become the single biggest problem for new housing schemes in Cranleigh. It’s “Catch 22”. Waverley are pushing their allocation onto Cranleigh as we don’t have any Greenbelt Protection. The Environment Agency knows about the ephemeral nature of the stream but they are keeping quiet about it. Waverley are keeping quite about it saying that if the Environment Agency doesn’t properly object, then what’s the problem? And Thames Water blithely look on as the Environment Agency hasn’t updated their Permit to Discharge for Cranleigh since 2009, so they don’t have to actually DO anything! The perfect storm of bungling caused by Waverley sticking their heads in the sand on this.

    And against this background, I find it incredible that Waverley are recommending that KPI and Little Meadow go through at the JPC meeting on the 27th.

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