The Society which speaks up for the people of Cranleigh has been campaigning for months to persuade Surrey County Council to drop its plans for two new schools on a new site near Glebelands School.
The Parsonage Road green field site, adjacent to The Cranleigh Bowling Club and Cranleigh Sports & Social Club is a highly unpopular choice with local people and letters have poured into County Hall urging its as decision-makers to think again.
Cranleigh Parish Council was one of the first to oppose the school development, and several of its Waverley borough councillors also opposed the density of a proposed housing development on the two former school sites as ‘overdevelopment.’
Residents of the eastern villages led by the Cranleigh Society are urging education officials to go back to the drawing board, and consider refurbishing the existing schools on two sites – one in Church Lane and the other in nearby Parsonage Road. The Society has been campaigning for many months for a volte face by the county council, believing its combined bid to build new schools and housing in the same area will cause traffic chaos and a danger to children.
In addition to the huge increase in traffic expected in the area of the new development, in Parsonage Road the council is dependent on Waverley Planners agreeing to an application to build 91 homes on the vacated former school sites. Parking bays would be removed – causing further parking problems in an already highly congested area in the centre of Cranleigh.
Plans to ensure children walk to school has been rubbished by the residents of rural villages of Alfold, Dunsfold and beyond, where parents are forced to ferry children to Cranleigh as their primary schools were closed by Surrey. The rural villages in the east of the borough have little or no public transport.
SCC recently held an on-line meeting with Cranleigh Society representatives, after responding to hundreds of comments, letters and emails objecting to its plans for building the new Primary School.
The Society hopes that the strength of local opposition will ensure the scheme is fully reviewed in light of the county council’s recent Declaration of a Climate Emergency.
However, Waverley Planners could hold the key to the school’s development as the 91 new homes are required in part to pay for the multi-million pound school development.
Although the county council can give itself planning consent to build the schools, the housing development requires borough consent.
With water shortages experienced all over the Cranleigh area during the lock-down, residents are also wondering how much longer the water supply can stand up to the demands being put on it by even more housing.