A Cranleigh man’s view.

The Waverley Web seldom posts  the comments it receives from followers. But,  every now and again a comment hits a chord with us, and perhaps it will do the same for many of our followers/readers?

So here’s Cranleigh resident Adrian Clarke’s view. This is how he sees the efforts now being made by Waverley Planners to solve issues affecting those in the East of the borough. 

Since he posted this comment a  Government Inspector has given Threadneedle permission to build 120 new homes on a  brownfield site at the Hewitts Industrial Estate in Cranleigh. (Not that it will necessarily build them now John Lewis is rumoured to want the site for a new Waitrose/JL at Home store.) Read here: THE LONG WAIT(rose) MAY FINALLY BE OVER?

However, the lack of infrastructure continues to  haunt the developers champing at the bit to cut through  the swathes of countryside in and around  Cranleigh. and villages.

He says in a nutshell he believes “Your Waverley” planners are getting a handle on things – environmentally speaking – however the WW is not quite as confident as Mr Clarke.

Dear Waverley Web.

Like a lot of people I know, my wife and I moved out to leafy Surrey in the 80s to enjoy living in the countryside and to bring up our children in a non-urban environment. In the natural way of things, many people in their late teens and early twenties move back into towns and cities to experience urban life. And many of those then drift back to their roots eventually.

The large net migration influx into the UK in the last few years, an increase in single person households and increased longevity are driving the need for more housing, and to me it does make sense to use up “brown field” sites like Dunsfold and Hewitts in Cranleigh first, and develop those fully, before encroaching into pristine green fields.

I feel it is really important to deal fully with environmental and infrastructure issues at the same time, and that is something that Waverley Borough Council have not been doing well in recent years. The Planning Officers (I know because I have asked them myself) have had scant regard to environmental pollution issues, and they simply haven’t grappled effectively with the complexities of balancing infrastructure with the need to build more houses in the draft Local Plan.

Waverley Borough Council staff, and especially many of the Borough Councillors themselves, have so many different egotistical and private agenda issues that it has become difficult to get effective agreement and action on environmental and infrastructure issues. So instead, they’ve just been playing the housing numbers game. And we’ve all heard transport people from Surrey County Council saying “yes the traffic is bad and it’s going to get worse, so just get over it”.

Rather than just bitch about all this, I felt I should try and do something instead. So I joined Cranleigh Civic Society over a year ago and, like many others, I’ve put a lot of time into trying to get Waverley to understand and deal with environmental and infrastructure issues. What started out as an acrimonious conflict between Waverley Borough Council and what they saw as a village pressure group has now morphed into a friendly and productive relationship, and I’ve just recently noticed a sea change in the way Planning Officers have started to deal with particularly environmental issues.

So, credit to Waverley’s Planners where it’s due; but there’s still a long way to go.

This is just a personal comment to recent messages I’ve been following on Waverley Web, and it’s not been sent to or endorsed by either Waverley BC or Cranleigh Civic Society, though I hope they would be sympathetic to my views.

WW: Please keep these comments coming.

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