A Cranleigh housing scheme described as “bonkers,” “appalling,” “that should never have been allowed”… has been deferred .

 Developers Cala homes has been told by “Your Waverley” to go back to the drawing board and come back with something of which “Cranleigh can be proud!”

With outline permission already tucked under its belt, Cala Homes  detailed scheme was  considered tonight  by Waverley Planners. It included   the design /layout, tenure, landscaping and access to the site for 125 homes. But the Amlets Lane scheme,  failed to find a single supporter. 

“Unless of course you count the officers, who quite predictably, were right behind it!

Yesterday an eagle eyed Cranleigh follower of the Waverley Web pointed out that the confusing drawings  showing  two accesses from the controversial site, was in fact only a pedestrian and cycle access through Roberts Way. But, this did nothing to assuage the fears of speakers from the Cranleigh Society,  parish council and the lone voice of a Cranleigh borough councillor.They were horrified that all the traffic will spew out onto the  narrow country lane opposite St Joseph’s Special School for children.

Despite repeated warnings  she was over the  four minutes allowed, an utterly determined Cranleigh Civic Society  spokesperson Liz Townsend, refused to halt her tirade against developers who, she claimed, had made revision after revision to the agreed outline plans.

  • The design was poor.     
  • Three storey buildings were out of character.
  • The bungalows at Copse Edge were overlooked with inappropriate  car parks on their boundary and a prospect of flooding.
  • Amlets Lane was a dangerous road along which a traffic count conducted this week between 7 a.m. – 9 a.m.had revealed 820 cars.
  • Evidence showed two HGV’s could not pass.
  • SUDS information not supplied.
  •  Outline permission for 76% affordable homes had now been reduced to 50%
  • No  traffic movement plan,showing how construction traffic would enter and leave.
  • Concern about discharge of sewage…

and despite being breathless,she  ignored the chairman’s repeated attempts to  interrupt.. and  rattled out even more!

 Chris Bryant outlined  Cranleigh Parish Council’s concerns including the ongoing maintenance of – a community building; open spaces; and allotments. He criticised   the tenure and number of affordable  homes proposed. And the  unwelcome   change from self-build to  custom built homes all  significantly different from that granted at the outline stage.

 Building apartment blocks eleven metres high was “unacceptable” and  was “urbanising a site adjoining  an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

But a  spokesman for the developers disagreed, describing  the scheme as “Landscape Rich” with only 9.6. dwellings per hectare – where normal development was at least three times higher. There was a high proportion of public open space, allotments, orchards and a community building. “it is a very special development -and  a development of which we are proud.”

One councillor agreed saying where he lived in Waverley the density of development was 54 dwellings to the hectare!

Ye God’s where’s that Waverley Web wonders?

As  no other Cranleigh borough councillors were presentCouncillor Brian Ellis, Jeannette Stennett, Stewart Stennett or the Cranleigh North and Shamley Green councillor Mike Band,  it remained for the stalwart villagers have dubbed ‘ Cranleigh’s Boudica’ to slate  the scheme she claimed “ should never have been granted in the first place.”

 Assurances  from  officers that a Grampian Condition would prevent occupation of dwellings until a satisfactory way of dealing  with sewage had been approved by Thames Water did nothing to mollify, Councillor Foryszewski.

She  called for a deferral arguing, ” no new homes should be built before residents could be sure they could flush the toilets in their homes!”

One councillor after another lambasted the poor design, describing it as bizarre, unimaginative, on a beautiful site with very real potential.  Allotments weren’t needed and affordable homes should be built there, car parking should be provided on individual plots, not in car parks.

“The apartment blocks are like something out of an Adams Family film,” said Councillor Pat Frost, who was only marginally less critical than her fellow Farnham colleague Councillor Carole Cockburn who said they were – “simply appalling.”

But the council’s planning officers didn’t agree and stuck to their recommendation to approve the scheme which they stressed had been “achieved” with a great deal of thought and effort by them and the  Waverley design officer.”

Ah – well there you are then – now we all know why it all went so terribly wrong?

To read more details the scheme read yesterday’s post:






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