‘Your Waverley’s Draft Local Plan Part 2 has now been published. Included, are Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI’s) (ASVI’s.) This policy aims to protect areas from development
Sites in Farnham, Haslemere, Godalming and Cranleigh are included which are considered by the council to be areas that contribute to the particular character of an area.
In Cranleigh’s case, it aims to protect an area around the Snoxhall Fields and in particular, the site proposed by The Cranleigh Village
Hospital Health Trust (CVHT) for a controversial new private 64-bed Care Home – 16 community continuing care beds – and an apartment block of 14 individual one and two-bedroom self-contained apartments. A scheme which is a 20% reduction on an application refused in 2019. An appeal has also been lodged Planning Inspectors reference: APP/R3650/W/20/3253368 against the refusal of the larger scheme for an 80-bed care home for Surrey people and 28 bedsits for health workers in Surrey. Comments can be made to the Inspector by the 23 October at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk Or by letter to Tommy Caie, Room 3B, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6PN.
The former Guildford & Waverley CCG has since April 2020 become part of a huge organisation called Surrey Heartlands. This includes CCG’s from – East Surrey; Guildford & Waverley; North West Surrey and Surrey Downs.
Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVIs is a local designation that was developed as part of the Local Plan Briefs of 1981 and 1984. The importance of the designation is to protect areas of land unprotected by national landscape designations, but that still need protection because of the role they play in establishing the character of a locality and preventing coalescence between developed areas.
The issues that the designation addresses are:
- Where land is vulnerable to development pressure
- Where protection is essential due to strategic visual importance
- Where there are strong environmental reasons
- For the preservation of the character of the locality
- In order to prevent coalescence
- Where parcels of land are relatively small and open on the urban fringe The designation was reviewed as part of the LLDR undertaken for Local Plan Part 1 but detailed boundary changes were not considered. Local Plan Part 1 retains the existing ASVI areas under Policy RE3 following the conclusions of the LLDR, pending a review of the detailed boundaries in Local Plan Part 2.
So the question is? Will Waverley Planners continue once again refuse the scheme due to go before them shortly. bearing in mind that the site is – in the opinion of Cranleigh residents who signed off on the Cranleigh Parish’s `Neighbourhood Plan, now with Inspectors – an Area of Strategic Visual Importance?
The residents over there in the eastern villages, who dug deep into their pockets to supply £1.8m to build a new hospital will now have to wait and see if Waverley Planners will succumb to the threat of a costly public inquiry before a Government Inspector that now hangs over them?
Villagers are now asking? How can a local charity Cranleigh Village
Hospital Health Trust (CVHT) afford yet another expensive planning application with all that it entails, plus an appeal that includes a public hearing, when it does not have sufficient funds in its coffers?
Although the Trust includes in the value of its accounts £2.5m for land it paid the parish £1, despite having no extant planning consent, it is claimed, it does not have insufficient funds for costly planning battles. Battles that have split the village, and increased Waverley’s officers’ workload as they are bombarded with hundreds of letters and a petition launched by Andy Webb’s (Nothing to do with the WW) Cranleigh Community Group which so far has 2,686 signatures. http://chng.it/VzZwfTL4PH
The ASVI in Cranleigh has been reviewed as part of the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan and so the boundary will remain unchanged until the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan is adopted with a new ASVI boundary. Policy RE3 of Local Plan Part 1 will apply to the Cranleigh ASVI as set out in Map 35 below until the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan is adopted, at which point Policy RE3 will apply to the ASVI as set out in the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan.
Policy RE3 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan Part 1: Strategic Policies and Sites, will apply to the areas designated as Areas of Strategic Visual Importance (ASVI) in Cranleigh below.
The Triangle at the top of the land edged in green is opposite the new Berkeley Homes(425) site in Knowle Lane – formerly part of parish-owned Snoxhall playing fields. The land which Cranleigh parish council has asked to be returned, as it claims the proposed use is not in the spirit of a covenant it signed over 20 years ago for a hospital and day hospital to replace the old Cranleigh village Hospital – which is now back in use.
Letters for and against the scheme can be found here: http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/planning/search-applications?civica.query.FullTextSearch=0965#VIEW?RefType=GFPlanning&KeyNo=448559&KeyText=Subject
Click on comments. There is also a petition against the application on the Cranleigh Community Board. Not to be confused with another board called Cranleigh Conversations where no dissenting view on the application are allowed.