Roll up, roll up – the housing circus continues unabated in the former village – dubbed by Waverley planners​ as – “poor old Cranleigh.’​

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The developer circus has well and truly arrived in Waverley’s New Town. There will be shedloads more if developers get their way.

 Cranleigh New Town has become an established part of Waverley’s bid to cover the Eastern part of the borough’s countryside in concrete.

And this week another green field looked destined to bite the dust.

 However, Waverley Planners unanimously refused by 17 votes to give Phase 1 of the detailed scheme consent.

 Instead, deferring it for further consultation.  

Nick Vrijland and Alan Spriggs’ scheme for the first 67 of 265 homes in the area now   dubbed – ‘Poor Old Elmbridge.’ People living in the area say they are “sick and tired” of the endless disruption and noise.

Councillors were at one in claiming there were insufficient affordable homes – and described the design of the proposed ‘contemporary’ housing estate as Marmite – ‘you either love it or you hate it’- and most hated it!  

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Members claimed that there were insufficient guarantees that the Public Parkland promised as part of the overall scheme would ever be provided. Citing this, and the high provision of affordable homes offered in the outline consent, as being the prime reasons why planning permission was granted, so far from the village centre, in the first place. They were unimpressed that this was now being degraded to only 14 affordable homes – 21%. Neither were they satisfied that three homes earmarked to provide funding for the parkland’s upkeep in perpetuity would be sufficient? 

However, the council’s planning ‘experts’ were happy to support the scheme despite knowing that until the 200th home was occupied in Phases 2 and 3 the public park would not necessarily go ahead.

 

Despite repeated requests, officers were unable to provide members with a timetable for Phases 2 and 3 of the A2 Dominion development, only to say the timing was – “fluid.”

“So what if the developer decides that 37% affordable housing granted at outline stage for all three phases of 265 homes  – now reduced to 21% in Phase 1 is not economically viable? Or it’s flogged on to yet another developer.  And, how could specific homes be handed to a Trust that had not been formed “ Asked Councillor Liz Townsend? How many trees would be sacrificed and why did it need metal entrance gates in what was once a rural lane?

Farnham’s Jerry Hyman asked – what if only 198 of the 200 homes were built? How long would it be before the public park was actually provided? What would happen if the developer goes bust, or cannot complete the remainder of the phases, or wants to reduce the affordable home provision in the later phases? Far too much confusion – too many unanswered questions! “Sounds to me like someone wanting to do the profitable bits first – this is could prove to be very dangerous! 

The council’s officers and solicitor struggled to answer most of the questions posed by the increasingly sceptical members of Waverley’s senior planning committee. Particularly when the lawyer suggested that if the further phases did not come forward …

 Waverley may have to buy the parkland – or seek legal redress from the developer!

By this time, all Cranleigh Parish Council’s worst nightmares were being played out at once in Waverley’s council chamber. Fears and confusion heightened yet further when the officer said 35% per cent affordable housing would be provided in the Phasing Plan for the remainder of the development site on the other side of Alfold Road, but revealed there was no actual phasing plan!

By our calculations, fewer AH homes (21%) being provided in Phase 1 would result in over 40% plus affordable required in Phases 2 and 3.  So what guarantees did the council have that this figure would be met?

Mike Band – said Waverley needed to fire a shot across the developer’s bows, telling it to provide the required number of affordable homes they had received permission for!

Responding to officers comments that Cranleigh’s Berkeley Homes development was also phased – and only Part 1 was under construction – Councillor Patricia Ellis bit the bullet!

“That was granted by an Inspector and the phasing was agreed by him. She said Cranleigh had so many properties being built by so many developers, and she was suspicious that not all will ever be completed. “Some developers are already talking about phasing developments themselves – and that it would depend on the market whether or not they would actually ever be finished. – and who is going to fill all these homes?”

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Cranleigh Councillor Liz Townsend told the Joint Planning Committee if the promised affordable homes and public parkland was not provided it would be a complete betrayal of the people of Cranleigh! 

In the officers’ report, the applicant confirmed that, subject to ongoing investigations and pre-application advice, planning applications for Phases 2 and 3 are likely to be submitted to the Council for consideration in Spring 2019 and Autumn 2019 respectively. These dates are fluid and may be subject to change.

One thought on “Roll up, roll up – the housing circus continues unabated in the former village – dubbed by Waverley planners​ as – “poor old Cranleigh.’​

  1. I completely missed this one so many thanks for your Link… It was tucked under the Licensing and Regulatory Committee meetings… and I only spotted the one that is on today.

    All I can say is Well Done JPC – (Now that really is a First from me!!)

    Far too many questions unanswered – I still wasn’t clear by the end of it if Phasing Had been approved during the Outline stage – or whether it was simply agreed with the Planning Officers afterwards. and what there was of it on Page 28 was meaningless.

    I think Developers are finally realising that with So much development in and around Cranleigh they are seriously going to struggle to fill these houses so I am sure many will be thinking of Phasing and if this isn’t noted at the outset or Outline stage – It shouldn’t be allowed. As for dropping the Affordable homes from 37% – 21% that is just shocking – But they obviously thought they would get away with it – after all the Planning Officers thought it was OK.

    As Liz Townsend noted – Most of the support for this development locally was due to the amount of Affordable (Not) houses and the fact that they would have a nice parkland to take their families too – who wouldn’t want to have all those things? … Well I think we all know who wouldn’t and they have just had their Application Deferred – so here is hoping that they realise that they have been Twigged and come back to the JPC with the correct allocation of affordable homes for all Phases with details of When they will be implemented, and that they can show that the Park will Happen and the 3 properties that are supposed to Fund this Parks Maintenance will actually generate enough Revenue to do so in perpetuity.

    I will be watching tonight to see how YET ANOTHER Developer has phased in Development in a Devious way. I know it was allowed Phasing by the Inspector – But I thought it was a simple 1,2,3,4 But NO Phase 2 is now 2.1 & 2.2 and here is the clever bit – They UP phase 2 from 50 Affordable homes to 58 (Yipee..)

    Tonight’s JPC is for 2.2 which includes 48 of them. with the remaining 10 in Phase 2.1 (Pending) But I can see how they have managed this. 100% of the 48 are Below Government Guidelines for Housing Standards – These being primarily 1/2 Bed Flats 2bed Terraces and 3bed Semis. Then you look at the Market Housing and 35% of them are below – so I questioned that until I looked at where they were…..and Yes you guessed it…. at the end of the Gardens of the Hewitts New Development. so in Total 59% of this phase are below GOVERNMENT TECHNICAL HOUSING STANDARDS – It shouldn’t matter that this has not been adopted by WBC’s Local Plan yet – surely the Government is a higher authority and if they think these Are the Standards then we are beholden to stick to them or better still exceed them. This phase of the development will have 59% Below that standard overall. Shocking!

    Within the Affordable Homes the smallest 1 Bed Flats are almost 9m2 smaller that the Govt. Standard of 50m2 – For those of you like me that means nothing… but it is equivalent of a small bedroom. I am not so worried about the larger homes – But if you only have a 1 bed flat that is a lot of space to be losing!!

    Enough ranting – I must prep dinner so I can watch tonight’s in comfort

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