Those of our readers who aren’t familiar with Cranleigh New Town probably don’t know that, once upon a time, half the nation’s lettuces were grown there, or so we are told by the locals! Or, rather, they were grown there until the Lettuce King, who owned Cranleigh Nurseries in Alfold Road, decided to become a developer and, aided and abetted by Waverley Planners, develop 265 homes!
You couldn’t make it up! Good quality agricultural land, providing squillions of lettuce and employment is frittered away on housing whilst just a hop, skip and a jump away an under-developed brownfield site that could provide 1800 homes is called in by the Secretary of State! Where was Mistress Milton when the nation’s lettuces were under threat? Busy tongue lashing Gavin Barwell to do the bidding of the Cash & Clout brigade she spends most of her time brown-nosing. Never mind that Dunsfold Park isn’t in her constituency and West Cranleigh Nurseries is. M M isn’t one to let a little inconvenience like that stand between her and the C & C Brigade’s coveted cheques!
Meanwhile, just across the Alfold Road, new access roads have been constructed to serve the first 18 of a swathe of 425 Berkeley Homes. Another 55 executive homes, which are part of the same development is accessed from Knowle Lane, Cranleigh, and it is this that is the subject of the latest appeal decision.
You couldn’t make it up! Yes, we know we’ve already said that but it’s worth repeating! Cranleigh New Town – formely known as a village – is fast becoming a building site! Not that there’s anything unusual about that these days. Over here in Farnham, we’re up to our eyeballs in concrete mixers … but we kind of expected that, as we do at least have a railway station!
Local councillors refused to give the go-ahead in February for the detailed design and layout of the 55 Executive £1M+ homes, believing the three-storey entrance blocks leading onto the site were entirely “inappropriate in a rural lane”.
here’s what they said then and why the BB’s went to appeal: Oh! Carole!
But not for much longer … because a Government Inspector has today allowed Berkeleys’ appeal, making Waverley Planners more frightened than ever about turning anything down. Talk about a Wake-up Call. The Inspector might as well have issued a press release: Calling all developers! Cranleigh is open for business! Bring it on! Let’s carpet over all our green fields!
Now Councillor Carole Cockburn can sit smugly by and watch all those red faces as they hear that their protestations have fallen on deaf ears! ‘I told you so’ we hear her cry!
Oh! just for interest – the men who chopped down the ancient woodland on this, and an adjacent site, said if made them feel ‘physically sick’ as did digging a hole to move badgers onto it, only to come back later to find their new home filled with water! Still there won’t be bunnies there much longer either, well at least, not the wild ones!
Here’s why councillors refused the application:
and here’s the outline for the next phase of the next shedload of housing in Elmbridge.