Jeremy Hunt pays a fleeting visit to ‘Your Waverley?

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Put your foot down – the clock starts ticking – NOW!

If you had blinked an eye, or stopped to sneeze, into your handkerchief, or the crook of your arm of course, you may have missed him. Because, after nine-long months, during which he has been spending more time with his family/entrepreneurial activities/bidding for the country’s head honcho job and electioneering, the Hon Jeremy could only manage an hour at Waverley Council.

An hour? Just an hour – to talk through all the issues which face our borough with  the heads of the new all inclusive Rainbow Administration?  Was one of his many aides standing by with a stopwatch?

Did you have to swallow hard as the bile rose in your throat, as you summoned up the courage to speak to those leading ‘Your Borough Council’ because its administration isn’t Tory?’ You know, the council that has been covering your whole constituency of South West Surrey since May 2018?

Did you just slip in the visit between photo ops in Godalming & Farncombe, to shut the voting fodder up, including us here at the Waverley Web, just in case we all started to lose faith in you as our newly re-elected MP?

No worries, we suspect that the new Administration will just about to manage to continue running Waverley without more than an hour of you precious time.

 However, perhaps you were able to glean just a little about the pressing matters that are impacting on Waverley residents. Like:

  •  Anti-Social behaviour
     
  • Residents concerns with rail service
     
  • Fairer funding for local government
  •  Government Planning policy and it’s impact on our area

Following your request for any questions  –  Cllr Followssorry we couldn’t add a few  of our own, as the WW didn’t receive  notice of J’s flying visit.

WHY?

  • Because we were travelling on an overcrowded train into the City standing room only!
  • One of our team was worrying themselves sick as every single penny of their parents money, which included their former home, has now run out having been spent on their nursing-home fees after being  turned down for any NHS Care at the age of 99 years!
  • Another has just been refused  a mortgage, despite being a key health-care worker.
  • Another who has just bought a home in a Waverley village only to find that the planners have allowed a 4th Gypsy site nearby.
  • Another who fears they may soon be floooded.
  • And another whose business is about to hit the rocks, and doesn’t know how he is going to afford the proposed council-tax hikes.

Oh, and just in case he has forgotten, we are choking on traffic fumes here in Farnham, as we fall into potholed roads and pavements, trying to get our kids to school without using the car. ~ in our bid to Save The Planet!

However, we have all taken his advice to wash our hands up to our elbows – and self isolate, so thanks for that bit of advice you gave on the radio Jeremy. But, as some of us are on zero hours contracts and don’t get paid, any ideas on how we live? Answers on a postcard Jeremy?

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Gypsy site NO 4 Stovolds Hill, DUNSFOLD has been GRANTED.

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HEY – HO – HERE THEY GO… AGAIN!

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But  – surprise – surprise – even the settled  gypsy community objected to yet another site being established – but nobody listened. 

 It is well-known locally that ‘Your Waverley’s officers want more sites to satisfy provision for gypsy families as part of its Local Plan Part 2.  The occupants of Lydia Park have been urged by officers to come forward with more sites.

So it makes sense for  Waverley Planners to turn a blind-eye to the creation of a Fourth unauthorised gypsy site which has been under construction for over two years adjacent to the existing gypsy sites at Lydia Park, Hilltops and New Acres. The new site runs alongside Dunsfold Road and adjoins Lydia Park. It also adjoins the proposed UCOG – oil and gas exploration site.

Permission was  GRANTED a few days ago – with Conditions – which some may find almost laughable! This settlement is an entirely new group of travellers from Ireland. And it is called …. wait for it!

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Aptly named – as nearby residents are weeping into their breakfast cereal – as they already live near one of the largest concentrations of gypsies in the country.

WA/2019/1265 for 9 family units and WA/2019/0515 for 4 family units, a total of 13 on a site which could in the future accommodate several hundred families.

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Condition: Any further development cannot take place without the prior consent of the local planning authority! So exactly where has the LPA been for the past couple of years?

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 The settled families who have lived in Stovolds Hill for decades describe permission for yet another site as ‘sheer madness’ and predict a recipe for trouble!

Mr Nelson Smith, an occupant of nearby Lydia Park for over 30 years put in the following application to extend his holding, but this was withdrawn.

WA/2019/1277 Change of use of land to residential use for 5 gypsy families. The site to contain 5 static caravans, 5 touring caravans, 5 amenity buildings, fencing and hardstanding. Land North of Lydia Park, Stovolds Hill, Cranleigh. 

Parish Councils including Alfold, Dunsfold, Bramley and Cranleigh – all objected.

Here’s Alfold’s Letter of objection:

Lydia Park and surrounding land, together with the adjacent New Acres site, have been the subject of planning permissions in recent years for the intensification of the sites and sprawl into the adjoining agricultural land, which is classified as AGLV and clearly visible from Hascombe Hill (AONB). The net effect of this is that the gypsy and traveller community now dominates the existing settled community on Stovolds Hill, contrary to National Planning Policy for Traveller Sites 2015, and further expansion would make this worse. The continued expansion of this site represents unsustainable development and is therefore contrary to Local Plan Policies SP1, SP2, AHN4, RE1 and RE3.

The lack of enforcement of conditions on the equestrian/agricultural mixed-use site (WA/2017/2013) located between Lydia Park and the application site has caused material visual harm to this rural area, damages the residential amenity of the neighbouring properties and has a negative impact on traffic safety. The Parish council is therefore very concerned that no further application on this site should be considered without absolute certainty that all conditions can be and will be enforced. Since this letter was sent the application has been withdrawn.

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APC endorses the submission from Bramley Parish Council and agrees that there should be no further expansion of the gypsy and traveller sites on Stovolds Hill until such a time as there is a clear strategy for the site.

For these reasons, APC requests this application be refused.

 

Are the Tories about to remove planning controls – what’s left of them – from ‘Your Waverley?’

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As homes swimming in floodwater become a familiar site, isn’t now an ideal time to hand more power to developers? You really couldn’t make it up!

The Tories are about to remove planning controls from local authorities and hand it to developers and Waverley planning officers are eagerly awaiting the new White Paper. 
Beautiful homes on sunlit uplands? Not once the developers are in charge.
 

Boris Johnson’s “smash the system” approach to public policy is about to reach every street, town, village and field in the country including ‘Your Waverley.’

The Government is preparing to dynamite development controls and unleash market forces on us all , moving power from councils to developers and inflicting great harm on the built and natural environments. Just another step on from giving Inspectors’, not local people a say on what goes on around them. 

Screen Shot 2020-02-27 at 10.34.13.pngWhile No 10 advisers like Dominic Cummins grab the headlines, it is Jack Airey who may well have the more lasting impact on our lives. As Johnson’s new adviser on housing and planning, Airey is leading the charge to strip local councils of meaningful control over local development. Just last month, in his role as head of housing at influential right-wing thinktank Policy Exchange, he published his manifesto, Rethinking the planning system for the 21st century.

Airey is undoubtedly right that the planning system is not fit for modern times. Fertile land is being gobbled up for ugly, sprawling, car-dependent, amenity-free housing developments

In Godalming Tales of the River Bank. New lakeside homes available in Cranleigh?

CCS’s flabber is ghasted. But will anyone take one blind bit of notice? – Perhaps the flood insurers might?

Poorly planned building on, or close to flood plains, is exacerbating the menace of floods. Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes have been dubbed as “useless” even by Surrey County Council experts. Too few new buildings minimise their carbon footprint. Developers constantly dodge their obligations to build social housing.  Planning decisions can take too long and the rationale can be opaque. But junking democratic accountability and putting developers in charge is not the answer.

Airey claims councils are saddled with too many policy objectives around development, often pulling in different directions. Of course there are conflicts, and it is the role of local and national politicians, accountable to voters, to do their best to resolve them. The outcomes will be inherently imperfect, but still superior to allowing the answers to be determined by those whose primary objective is to maximise profit.

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Farnham garden saved from the diggers? But for how long?

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As the Secretary of State for Environment  warns councils not to build in areas that flood – ‘Your Waverley’s planning officers wanted to – Carry on Regardless!

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However, councillors refused to follow their advice and ditched proposed development in Frensham Vale due to flooding environmental and other concerns.

Almost 50 letters of objection have been received by ‘Your Waverley’ planners including those from Farnham Town Council, Frensham Vale Action Group and the Farnham Society all opposed to build a dwelling in the gardens of Springfield, 30 Frensham Road, Lower Bourne. The applicant had wanted to build three.

 However the list of objections as long as your arm did not deter the planners from recommending approval, and neither did the fact that councillors were prevented by the owners from entering for a site visit, due to the area being flooded. But pictures sent in by residents, but not revealed by officers, showed serious flooding issues.

Councillors said the owner had already created large swathes of bituminous macadam to create a driveway across a flood plain which had already exacerbated flooding in the area. Nearby roads and properties are affected. They claimed his bid to create an alternative 195 metre driveway to serve the new dwelling in his grounds, would only make things worse.

One councillor after another, asked officers what was the point of having a Farnham Design Statement or a Farnham Neighbourhood Plan if nobody took any notice of them?

Photographs of recent floods there provided by nearby residents, said Cllr Carole Cockburn – ‘were enough to make you weep.’  She knew the site well, and had thought there was a lake on the property, it was flooded so often.

 Others asked –  had everyone lost sight of the fact that both Waverley and the county council had declared ‘A Climate Emergency,’ and the likelyhood was, that things could only get worse?

Trees had already been felled, without consent,  to make-way for the development, at a time when everyone in the country was being encouraged to plant trees.

Cllr Gerry Hyman, who gains more support each day  for his stand on environmental issues affecting the Thames Basin Heath, said no proper assessment had been made for the development’s effect on Farnham’s Special Protection areas. He said it was “scandalous” that officers had not adhered to the reasons spelled out in detail by an Inspector’s where his refusal given on two other properties were on Habitats Grounds.

“And as for asking anyone to drag bins down a 195m drive to the main road,  against the council’s own policy, and objections from the Council’s own Refuse Teams, made a nonsense of the officers’ recommendation to grant consent. 

Objections included …

 The proposed house is situated beyond the Built-up Area Boundary and would have a harmful impact on the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside, in an Area of Special Environmental Quality.

Would erode the rural and wooded landscape adding to the ‘urban creep’ and leading to infilling of the gap between Lower Bourne and Rowledge.

  •   lead to the pressure of fragmentation and overdevelopment.
  •   The provision of a driveway has already contributed to the erosion of the semi-  rural character of the area.
  •  The removal of the existing fence should not be regarded as a planning benefit for the proposal and Flood Risk
    The proposal would increase the risk of flooding to nearby properties;

    The culvert running parallel to the road is often at full capacity and frequently spills onto the road;

  •   It has not been demonstrated that the site is sequentially preferred or meets the exception test with regard to flooding.
  •   No evidence of safe escape has been provided in the event of flooding as the only    escape route is across the flood plain and there is no dry escape route beyond local roads (as required by the Flood Risk Practice Guide.
  •   The site is within Flood Zone 3
  •   Owners have erected a fence which interferes with the Flood Zone.
  •   The Flood Risk Assessment is not robust.
  •  Trees have been felled pre-emptively leading to a loss of privacy to neighbours at No 28.

 

Biodiversity

The urbanisation of the site would harm the biodiversity of the area and erode the Frensham Vale Wildlife Corridor.

 The flood risk assessment undertaken by the applicants is flawed and does not account for climate change.

Contrary to Farnham Neighbourhood Plan and the Farnham Design Statement.

 The development is not sustainable as it does not accord with the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan (outside of Built Up Area Boundary) and there are no extenuating circumstance to warrant a departure from the Plan; as it is not required in order to meet housing allocations.

The application was unanimously refused – at least – the WW thinks it was – as it is too much trouble for anyone to actually announce the result! Just an almost silent counting of hands. What’s happened to the electronic voting system?

You can watch it here:

BB strikes a blow for the Cranleigh Village Health honchos.

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Will no one save us from the constant drip, drip, of drivel that is being dispensed by that self-promoting Cranleigh crank Martin Bamford?  

Having set up the Cranleigh Community Board, Martin Bamford threw his toys out of the pram and left the Board when people insisted on posting comments that he and his cronies in the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce didn’t like or agree with.

Huge sighs of relief all round then!

Only to be followed by much pantomime-villain-style booing when he dived back in again – because the Cranleigh Community Group, which was set up to question and debate Bamford and his cronies’ self-interested take on Cranleigh, dared to launch a petition to stop a PRIVATE CARE HOME being built on a site that had formerly been promoted for a REPLACEMENT VILLAGE HOSPITAL. Then, shock horror, they dared to support bringing back to the eastern villages, a once treasured minor injuries unit, which could become an Urgent Care Centre.

In short, the Village went to war with Bamford and his cronies and he didn’t like it.    In fact, he fizzed  and foamed with fury and was so cross you could hear the elastic in his Y-fronts pinging!

 He has now put up a post on the alternative Cranleigh Community Board – the one that he still manages to censor, despite ostensibly handing it over  to a Cranleigh Parish Councillor, to tell everyone  about his new client. 

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It would be interesting to know whether BB’s new client is paying BB for services rendered?  We understand from the locals, regularly in touch with the WW, that he now occupies offices owned by non-other than the Flying Dutchman, recently resigned Trustee of  CVHT to concentrate on his real role as a developer.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the people of Cranleigh and the surrounding villages gave up their time, their efforts and their money to support the creation of a new village hospital/day hospital with local beds for local people, free at the point of demand.  They did not dig deep to line the coffers of a PRIVATELY OWNED NURSING HOME and its promotors and developers with a few community beds that would be open to all comers from across the Borough.  They want their site – which was sold for a measly £1 – and their donations – which ran to over £1.5m  – back.  It’s not a lot to ask, nor is it remotely unreasonable.  After all, if you buy a kettle and find when you get it home it’s making toast you take it back and demand – your money back!

Got it, Mr Bamford?

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Jeremy solves Farnham’s Air Pollution with… more meetings!

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Congratulations for FINALLY meeting a Council Leader Jeremy! Even if he was a friendly Conservative, dropping in to your Constituency office for a cosy cup of tea. And between you you’ve agreed to get all the Stakeholders together for a Masterplan. EH?? Eh??

Isn’t that what you have been promising Farnham ay EVERY ELECTION since 2005 young man? Here’s your leaflet from  – wait for it – wait for it…

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Aha! let’s look at No. 6 – “A Traffic Plan for Farnham:” Jeremy is working closely with local councillors and campaigners to develop a pedestrianisation plan for Farnham that is practical and viable.”

And 14 very painful and lung congested years later, that’s the best plan you can come up with – again!

And lets politely ignore the ‘Success’ you claimed for fighting Dunsfold New Town at No.3!

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Dunsfold Garden Villge Coming soon – but thanks to Jeremy  Three years later than planned. And then only after shedloads of money down Waverley’s drain. –  Due to his intervention – 600/700 fewer homes built on the brownfield site- which now threatens the borough’s 5-year land supply and the loss of yet more countryside! Thanks Jeremy.

 

 

Oh! another one bites the dust!

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Trustees are dropping off the CVHT radar faster than branches from local trees.  Not Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust now of course, but the Cranleigh Village ‘Health’ Trust.  

This time it’s Mr Cranleahy, who has resigned from his charitable aims to spend more time with his developer aims. The Rudgwick man, has thrown in the shovel, following in the clog-steps of his developer mate Nick Vrijland, who resigned shortly before Christmas.  Remember him, the one who once grew lettuces to feed the nation. Now along with his CVHT running-mate now grows houses – because they want to make Cranleigh a better place.

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Here’s the reason above why they are regularly biting the dust! The Trustees who are working to find the most effective way forward of how best to use public land and the public’s money are mentioned below?

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Here’s a list of the Trustees left on the Board. 

 

 

Another shedload of new homes on their way to Alfold?

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So sick of developers queuing up  to concrete over their village on the Surrey/Sussex borders – that its residents are writing  to the cash and carry on brigade to hear their impassioned please. 

 Denise Wordworth comments on the latest screening opinion by another developer who wants to build 80 homes on agricultural land with direct access onto the A281 Horsham/ Guildford Road adjacent to the Crossways Petrol Station.  

She says: “Please do not waste Tax payers money on this. We already have more than enough Planning applications for the Village of Alfold. And if we have to pay for Planners to review this application I will request a FOI into the costs relating to this Application.    

The developer claims:

2.5 The Site is highly accessible by car, and an approximate 5 minute walk to the centre of Alfold Crossways. The nearest bus stop is approximately 650 metres to the north of the Site serving the 42 bus route between Guildford and Cranleigh.

I challenge officers to walk this footpath – we do it daily with our dog – It is hazardous, WET, Noisy and scary with a young dog let alone children. I would also like to know what the centre of Alfold Crossways is, apart from our lovely Sports & Social club and playing fields?

2.6 The nearest settlement is Alfold Crossways which provides a few local services and amenities including the Alfold Crossways Village Hall, Alfold Sports Council Social Club, small-scale retail,

There is a M&S Simply Food and the garden centre (CLOSED) located approximately 60 metres to the north of the Site. The Wildwood Country Club and golf course (CLOSED – subject to planning) is located immediately to the north-west of the site on the opposite side of Horsham Road. 2.7 There are further amenities and services, including a Post Office (CLOSED from 1pm Week days),Veterinary Surgery and St Nicholas Church within the village of Alfold, located approximately 820 metres to the south-west of the Site. The nearest educational and medical facilities are located in Loxwood, located approximately 3 kilometres to the south of the Site.

A GP site under pressure and a school which is FULL! Children from Alfold are transported to oversubscribed, and dilapidated schools in Cranleigh – or beyond to Billingshurst in West Sussex. It is quite obvious that this, along with other applications already the subject of Appeals, are being lodged by Developers in the hope that at least one or two will slip thorough the Appeal process.

 This Village is Not Sustainable as it stands and until Government spends money improving local facilities for Alfold’s existing and new residents this size of development is not sustainable and developers should not be forcing our council into wasting our money.

With all of the accumulated developments in the area and outside the area in Horsham – the A281 is taking on more traffic then it was ever expected or constructed to accommodate.  The fact that Surrey County Council  doesn’t seem to recognise this as an issue is laughable.

It seems to me these developers are presuming that the former Wyevale Garden Centre Application HAS been approved as this Diagram shows – making it look as though this proposed development is adjoing another. Please explain??

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There is no reason for Alfold to take any further development  as we have already exceeded our Minimum number of 125. This is a waste of money and should be thrown out despite the heavy tactics of the developers. It is not in the interests of the local residents nor the wider Borough to exceed the numbers agreed in LPP1 and I am sure LPP2 will confirm this

Denise Wordsworth

Alfold Screening Option Adj petrol Station 28 Jan 2020

By 2023 if Government funding cuts continue ‘Your Waverley’ goes bust – simple!

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These two Waverley Tory MP’s bagged their seats at Westminster. Now it is time they start working for the people who put them there because Waverley is joining other local authorities in lambasting the Tory Government. They now have to earn those votes and may  find themselves needing those tin hats! The borough needs more than just those Smarties around your neck Angela – they want fair and decent funding restored.

Despite some opposition to parts of the new Administration’s first Budget, Waverley Towers experienced a phenomenon seldom witnessed there.

UNITY IN BLAMING THE TORY GOVERNMENT FOR THE COUNCIL’S PARLOUS STATE!

Following in the wake of Storm Dennis – the annual Budget setting meeting was predicted to be of similar turbulant proportions. Instead it resulted in a show of togetherness of the never to be forgotten variety! United – the whole council rounded on the Tory Government – and its local MP’s.

The Government received an all round  bashing for the unfair treatment meted out to councils in the South of England.

The Tory Group offered to join forces with the new Rainbow Coalition to demand fairness from Westminster. Watch out Jeremy – you could be facing the wrath of  your Tory colleagues, and as for the Honourable Angela – she may need a tin hat to weather the storm heading her way. Some are even considering marching on Westminster! So shocked was the WW, we almost fell off our web!animated-spider-image-0201

As the clock ticks on ‘Your Waverley’s’ worsening financial crisis –   the drama was played out at Tuesday’s Budget setting round in the Council Chamber that may soon find itself  sporting a ‘For Sale’ sign. 

As well as collecting council tax to support its own budget, by law Waverley has to collect council tax for Surrey County Council (SCC), Surrey Police and the borough’s town and parish councils and this money is paid over to other organisations.

Surrey County Council is increasing Council Tax by 3.99%. Surrey Police by 3.85% and some parish town and councils in Waverley by a considerable amount

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 For 2020/21, this is equivalent to around 7p a week on a Band D property;

How did it achieve this? By slashing its operating costs by £700,000.

 

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Said Surrey County Council Leader Tim Oliver.

However, cash- strapped Surrey County Council is considering issuing an invite to the wealthiest in the county to dig even deeper and send over even more as voluntary contributions. Really, honestly, we kid you not!  The county’s begging bowl is out, all donations gratefully received! 

 

Waverley keeps a measly 10p in every pound of council tax collected to fund its services, and also the Government has a strangle-hold over councils by restricting  the amount that council tax can be increased each year.  ‘Your Waverley’ collects business rates from all non-domestic premises in the Borough. Most of this money is paid to the Government with a relatively small amount being retained by Waverley…

…Just 5p from every pound collected! Stingy Government blighters!

The Government also sets the rateable value and rates chargeable for all business premises.

 

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Waverley’s Revenue Support Grant from the government is now ZERO. There has been a dramatic reduction over the last 6 years from £6m in 2010/11.

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There was however a noticeable absence of unity between the newbies and the Tories over…

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The newbies are not impressed that the Tories promised the burgeoning New Town a spanking new Leisure Centre shortly before receiving the order of the boot at the 2019 May polls. A promise announced in the full knowledge that the cupboard was bare!

“Very naughty”

Said the new Leader John Ward.

Now the newbies are left holding the babies and the poolwater! Acutely aware that the centre is falling apart at the seams and must either be refurbished or replaced – with money the authority doesn’t have.  If you didn’t already know Cranleigh – you were duped by the scurrilous Tory bunch to buy your vote! The Tories threw the blame back on the newbies, and claim its “dithering and delay” has cost Farnham a “climbing wall.”

But never fear – the newbies on the block are promising to do all they can to get Cranleigh up and swimming. But keep holding your breath, because it won’t be soon. Just keep watching those HGV’s rolling along your country roads, building ever-higher platforms for all those flood-prone new properties coming your way – without the fringe benefits – hey ho!

 

  Waverley was persuaded to keep some, under-used car parking charges lower in Cranleigh. However as charges around the borough haven’t  increased for 3/4 years,  small increases here and there generates £145k of badly-needed additional income. 

An independent review of charges was commissioned to take effect in 2020/21. Of the additional income generated, some £100k, is earmarked to pay for the ongoing costs of delivering Waverley’s climate change emergency action plan. Altogether £300,000 has  been earmarked to tackle the climate emergency and the growing chasm of inequality in our borough. A figure that Tory Cllr Trevor Sadler described as – “paltry.”

Although council tenants face a 2.7% increase, there has been no change to their rents for the past 4 years – because yes, you guessed, due to Government intervention yet again!! 

Fees and charges have been reviewed too, Some are statutory but for those determined by Waverley some inflationary increases are proposed for 2020/21 where appropriate. Many charges have been increased in line with estimated inflation. The administration  considered increasing Green Waste subscription charges by £5 to a total charge of £70 to generate an additional £70k per year as past increases had not led to a reduction in the number of subscribers. However it decided that such an increase would not be in the spirit of the council’s declared Climate Change Emergency Strategy.

There were a few skimishes before the Budget was passed. Elstead’s Aunty Elsey waxed lyrical about retaining grants to the Voluntary Sector in the full knowledge that the Tories have been effectively cutting their grants in real terms for a decade. And aware that a Residents Consultation survey, conducted by Waverley, has placed them as a low priority. The Deputy Leader Paul Follows said – despite the Tory Government’s wilful neglect, he pledged the new Administration would do “the very best it could for the residents of Waverley, of all ages.”

See here from a post we made earlier, based on council paperwork which was made public and then removed from the public domain before the meetting? Could a nasty shock be on the horizon for Waverley’s grant-funded organisations?

‘Worried of Wonersh’ aka Michael Goodridge warned officers he intends  to take them to task alleging they are not adhering to the Council’s Constitution!  

Another Tory accused the Executive of making too many decisions behind closed doors. Because of course, they had never dreamed of doing such a thing?!? Perish the thought!

Despite the sniping the Budget was passed – with the Tories voting for almost everything. Funny though, with all that experience gained over a decade in power by all those Tory councillors … and yet NOTHING in response either verbally or in terms of ideas for getting ‘Your Waverley’ out of the financial hole that they, and the  Tory Government, has dug for our borough?

 

 

 

Traffic chaos and danger for children in Cranleigh here it comes?

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Cranleigh residents say NO, so does Cranleigh Parish Council, Waverley Borough Council, School Governors and teachers to new schools being built in one of the most congested areas of Cranleigh.

Surrey County Council (SCC) want to build a Nursery School, a Primary School and the former C of E Middle School to join Glebelands Comprehensive in Parsonage Road, All near to an old people’s day centre, a Waverley housing development at Sarus Place, and the Glebe Estate. 

Yet another new development will surely follow soon with plans to build behind David Manns Department Store?

The former school sites will also provide 91 new homes, bringing in even more traffic, while at the same time filling up the county council’s coffers.

However Waverley Planners refused SCC’s  housing application on the grounds that the density was too high – and without parking bays – would cause a danger to motorists and pedestrians, in particular young children.  No problem there – then? No doubt the county honchos will get around that little minor local difficulty?

Waverley planners refuse 91 new homes and send the county council back to the drawing board.

The proposed new schools, the existing St Cuthbert Mayne RC School, and the new homes together with existing homes and businesses will all access onto two main roads in the immediate area. St Nicolas Avenue onto Ewhurst Road and Rowland Road. Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 10.15.26.pngBut if Surrey County  Council decides what locals say is an “ugly building” is going ahead  in the countryside then what it says goes! Everyone can shut-up and put-up – because the County Planners can do just what the hell they like. Even without having yet granted itself planning consent, it put two fingers up to Natural England and environmental best practice this week and sent in contractors to scrub out an ancient hedge.

Yes you guessed in flood-torn Cranleigh! During the nesting season, which due to the warm winter has arrived early. So s*d the birds says Surrey?

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The new school that even before it is actually built is too small. It cannot house a full school assembly and there will have to be three seprate lunchtime sittings.

The long established and well-loved Cranleigh Sports & Social Club adjacent is “fuming” that its long-standing premises and bowling green will now be totially exposed.

The parish council backed by residents has made its opposition widely known. It   fears for childrens safety as there will be no layby’s or drop-off points.

However, the numpty know-alls at County Hall believe that little problem can be easily overcome by paying staff/ teachers to corall the kids up – and get them to their parents’ waiting cars – or school coaches!  

Another poor use of public money? Still we guess better use than stumping up almost £60m to provide new shops and restaurants here in Farnham? In the middle of a retail downturn?

REMEMBER EVERYONE THERE IS A SCC ELECTION NEXT YEAR!

The Cranleigh Society is asking parents?

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The  Society has looked carefully at the new building plans and beleives the scheme to tuck a new school for more children from Nursery Age to 11 behind the Social Club is fraught with problems.

But say something really must be done as soon as possible. All we can do is lobby to get the current sites upgraded or a much better plan – ideas?

 SCC has promised  to  rebuild or refurbished the existing schools for over 20 years – now their roofs are leaking and pupils forced to sit with buckets to collect water pouring through ceilings. Rising 5’s are using facilities over 70 years old. Facilities used by their grandparents, we are told by our Cranleigh followers!

Apparently the stream at the top of the fields are  too soggy for sport, but this has never been dealt with and the schools don’t use them because they flood.

  • The Assembly hall is small: it cannot accommodate assembly for the whole school & there will have to be 3 sittings for lunch
  • The new site will have AstroTurf not grass play areas.
  • There is no area for parents to gather at drop-off and pick-up
  • The access is limited to school vehicles.
  • No parking close by for pick-up & drop-off
  • The school will have to pay staff extra to walk children to & from the bus parking.

It is urging Cranleigh people to stand up and  contribute to the debate. Warning – if you don’t, then those who have the power to make decision on your behalf won’t know what you think and want.

Write to Surrey County Council at mwcd@surreycc.gov.uk  and our Surrey County Councillor Andrew Poveyandrew.f.povey@surreycc.gov.uk

Write to our planning authority -Waverley Borough Council, in Godalming – have a lookhere WA/2018/2044

Write to our Member of Parliament Angela Richardson,angela.richardson.mp@parliament.uk

SCC has declared declard a climate emergency. Wouldn’t be better for SCC to examine all aspects of this projects now, and rebuild on the current site, and make the school carbon neutral – a new primary just opened in Sutton says this – “The school will be Zero Carbon and Passivhaus certified”.  see more details here 

Cranleigh Society says  is there to help Cranleigh maintain its special feel by examining planning applications and infrastructure, and letting our Councils know how the public feel about proposed changes.  Please contribute by contacting us and also your councillors.. and the links we send you.  You can join the mailing list on our website for free. You can also complete the membership request found on our web page.