KNOWLE PARK INITIATIVE (265 HOMES)REFUSED.

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Your Waverley Councillors refused the KPI application for 265 houses at West Cranleigh Nurseries by 12 votes to 7. And – only one of  Your Cranleigh Councillors recommended refusal because the other two  Brian Ellis and Stewart Stennett “declared a pecuniary interest!

Over 100 people turned out to hear Waverley’s  Joint Planning Committee refuse the KPI application to build 265 houses at West Cranleigh Nurseries despite a Herculean attempt, during a two and a half hour debate by the Council’s new Chief Planning Officer, to persuade them otherwise!

Another application for 75 houses nearby was deferred to a later  date.

Cranleigh Councillor Mary Foryszewski fought like a tiger to persuade her colleagues to join her in opposing  the scheme claiming its  accumulative effect, following a spate of   recent permissions for 800 homes, would “ruin” Cranleigh’s character.

 Brian Freestone said the parish council objected because  the location was remote, unsustainable and the Country Park could become  a burden on the ratepayers – a responsibility, which he warned, it,   would definitely not  pick up.

The Cranleigh Civic Society spokesman Liz Townsend, provided  some highly technical reasons why the application should be refused siting very serious issues with Cranleigh’s water and sewage systems should any more development be allowed. All of  which had been recognised by Thames Water and the Environment Agency. “Every day – two Olympic size swimming pools of effluent are discharged into the Cranleigh Waters” and the system would  not cope.

Unfortunately, due to technical problems with the microphone, Martin Bamford for the KPI Trust – could not be heard  and neither could the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce President Richard Graham – except to say Cranleigh  definitely “needed” more homes.

However Councillor Foryszewski didn’t need a microphone, she made her voice heard by everyone in the Chamber and in the extra room set aside to hold the huge crowd of villagers who turned out to opposed the scheme.

She congratulated  the developer on a “first-class marketing campaign” but I am very disappointed at the lengths that  some people went to to prevent  me from being here this evening which I find quite disgraceful !”

“But you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to recognise – Cranleigh cannot cope – this application is wrong and if you allow it you will be letting the people of Cranleigh down!  She said she would not sit back and watch Cranleigh robbed of – yet more green fields.

And I want to assure everyone here – I was not one of the Cranleigh Ward members that worked  with the officers to bring forward  this application”

She warned officers and colleagues they were putting the cart before the horse  by not ensuring that Infrastructure – water; drainage; transport issues; congestion; and the fact that Cranleigh had a poor road network was taken into account.

Planning expert Liz Sims claimed the officers were not drainage experts – “neither are we expected to be. and members should trust the statutory authorities.” However, when she introduced the application at the outset she said: “It is this council’s  strong preference and  generally acceptable to build houses on Brown Field sites.”

Members said it just didn’t wash that they could rely on Thames Water  siting  how many times they had been letdown by them.

Michael Goodridge (Wonersh) and Maurice Byham (Bramley) were satisfied all the sewage/water problems could be overcome by imposing conditions. Not a word was spoken by By-Pass Byham or Goodridge on traffic congestion on local roads or the A281!

Nick Holder (Witley) said “come hell or high water” either Thames Water or the developer should be forced  to pay for sewage treatment improvements.

But it was Councillor Pat Frost (Farnham) who argued the development, a mile from the village, was too remote , “who’s going to walk with buggies and bags of shopping into the high street?” This application is detrimental to the countryside and the residents nearby. I don’t like the design,or  inadequate parking, so I am voting against.”

Farnham councillor Andy McLeod said Cranleigh was being asked to take too many houses, and would end up as “one great big building site” for the forseable future. His colleague John William argued the Environmental Impact Assessment was not adequate, and the impact of yet more development on Cranleigh people would be “huge.”

Said Councillor Cristiaan Hesse (Hindhead ). “Cranleigh will end up looking like Poland in 1939 – if we allow this we will  fundamentally  change the character of this village for ever more.” Others said they felt “sorry for Cranleigh” which was under siege. Another claimed he  certainly wouldn’t want to live there.

The Application was refused after two and a half hours of heated debate by 12 votes to seven.

10 thoughts on “KNOWLE PARK INITIATIVE (265 HOMES)REFUSED.

  1. Great report WW! So uplifting to see the Borough Councillors challenging the incompetent planners tonight, a small victory for the “little people”.

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  2. I see that Councillor Patricia Ellis was there,did Councilllor Ellis vote? If so which way or was she just watching?
    Also what is the point of being a councillor if you have so many interests! you can’t vote on anything?

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  3. Yes, WW wondered about that too! After her husband declared a pecuniary interest, you would suppose that this would apply to her too? WW wonders what Councillors’ Brian Ellis and Stewart Stennetts’ pecuniary interests are – no doubt all will be revealed! At least it will if the WW has anything to do with it! The plot thickens!!!!

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  4. Are the planners finally going to come unstuck because of their abysmal failure to provide a Daft Local Plan? Watch Lizzy the grey suits are on their way and your shiny new job plaque is getting a little tarnished

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  5. Now lets hope common sense prevails and they refuse the daft application for Springbok Housing Estate which is even less sustainable than this one.

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  6. Does anyone know where the wbc keeps its list of pecurinary interests that the councillors have to declare and by the councils code of practice should be public?

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  7. The WW has a copy of the document to which you refer, and will be posting it up shortly. Perhaps someone should trot along to the next Cranleigh Parish Council Meeting over there and ask Ellis and Stennett what their pecuniary interests are in the West Cranleigh Nurseries Application and which prevented them from speaking up for Cranleigh? If they have nothing to hide, it won’t be a problem for them will it? WW

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