The huge development of 265 homes on land in Alfold Road isn’t enough for the developers of the Knowle Park Initiative (KPI)- they want even more?
The latest phase of the development by A2 Dominion includes homes in Knowle Park, off Knowle Lane and homes in Alfold Road. The third phase of the 265 homes is the subject of a planning application which goes before Waverley Planners tomorrow Wednesday.
In line with ‘Your Waverley’s Local Plan which inflicts more than 40% of the borough’s housing on the eastern villages, the latest scheme (Phase 3) increases the number of homes in the former lettuce nursery by 5% – a further 36 homes giving a total of 310 homes. Some in three-storey apartment blocks, like this.
The town of Farnham on the A31/A3 and with a main-line railway station will take 25% of the borough’s allocation. Haslemere, with its railway station, is fighting against taking its allocation, due to environmental constraints.
Alfold has already taken consent for 500 homes and 2,600 are earmarked for Dunsfold aerodrome. Dunsfold Gipsy sites are also growing exponentially and Waverley Planners have granted consent for an extension to the traveller sites for well over 150 families. There appears to be no end to the amount of development impacting the east of the Waverley borough.
An officer’s report states that objections from the Environment Agency must be satisfied before consent can be given tomorrow when the reserved matters application will be considered by the eastern planning committee.
The Environment Agency has raised objections to the proposed scheme on the following grounds:
Objection 1 – No Flood Risk Assessment had been submitted. To overcome the objection an FRA is to be submitted that confirms no flood risk and reduced flood risk overall.
-Objection 2 – Opportunity missed to protect and enhance the water environment. Biodiversity assessment has not considered enhancements to the Cranleigh Waters. A scheme should be submitted demonstrating how the Cranleigh Waters and Littlemead Brook will be restored and enhanced.
The Environment Agency has yet to respond to the FRA, in the absence of any response Officers have recommended approval subject to confirmation of no objection being received.
Surrey Wildlife Trust has confirmed it has detailed proposals for the restoration of Cranleigh Waters, which run alongside the western boundary of the Alfold Road nursery site. Due to the flashy nature of the river on this clay catchment, much of the course has been modified to help convey flood flows. As a result, the river is over wide and over deep in parts and unable to support the natural processes which are necessary to maintain instream habitat and species communities.
As a result, the river is currently failing Water Framework Directive targets for dissolved oxygen and macrophytes (aquatic plants). As hosts of the River Wey Landscape Partnership, SWT is working towards achieving a good ecological status across the rivers and streams of the Wey Catchment, in line with the objectives of the Water Framework Directive.
The partnership is a collaboration between SWT, the Environment Agency (EA), water companies, local authorities and local interest groups.
The principle of residential development on the application site for up to 265 dwellings has already been established, and planning officers are accepting the current uplift in housing by 36 units, and are recommending approval. They say Policy SP2 establishes the Spatial Strategy for the borough, focusing on development at the four main settlements, which include Cranleigh, and strategic sites, including the development of the land South of Elmbridge Road and the High Street, Cranleigh, which includes the application site, the wider area is to deliver ‘around’ 765 dwellings.
In their report they say this comprises:
- Land to the east of Alfold Road and west of Knowle Lane was developed by Berkeley Homes for 425 dwellings;
- Land at Little Meadow developed by Bellway for 75 dwellings:
- Land at Cranleigh Nurseries is being developed by A2Dominion for 265 dwellings, which includes 110 dwellings proposed on the application site t the proposed additional 36 dwellings would represent less than a 5% increase in the overall number of dwellings.
- Another large site at the former Hewitts Industrial Estate in Elmbridge Road for 120 homes (some of which are 4-storeys) is not mentioned by officers, although it is within spitting distance of the above developments,
- The Hewitts’ development in Cranleigh is granted … again … after Waverley’s head planning honcho offers a grovelling apology… with a caveat!
- A further 58 in Elmbridge Rd beside Cranleigh Waters by Thakeham Homes – oops, no they sold the site off as soon as it received planning consent This is your Captain speaking: All aboard HMS Elmbridge?
That makes 979 homes all in the Elmbridge Road area by our reckoning.
The officers argue that the increase in numbers is only ‘moderate’ and the housing allocation was only a minimum number anyway. So Cranleigh’s share has to go up by another 59 homes during the Plan period (2032) this figure will likely be reached long before the end of the planning period.
WHY THE EASTERN VILLAGES?
Waverley doesn’t have a 5-year-land supply – it only has 4.3 years – so in simple terms Cranleigh and the eastern villages are stuffed!
To refuse the scheme would most likely result in an Appeal and a Government Inspector will impose the increase.
However, an extension of 13 homes to the existing development on the opposite side of Cranleigh by Cala Homes in Amlets Lane Cranleigh – has been languishing in the bowels of Waverley Towers for well over a year! Wonder why?
According to our records, the lettuce nurseries once provided major Supermarkets including Waitrose & Sainbury’s with a local supply of lettuces and locals with many jobs.
As one local said: “Planning – what planning?”
The applicant has stated that the rationale behind the submission is linked to the change in market demand that has been highlighted by the demand for 2 and 3-bed homes rather than 4 and 5-bed homes in phase 1 since sales commenced. People looking to move within or to Cranleigh clearly have a stronger preference for 2 and 3-bed homes. A2Dominion has as a result reviewed the unit mix on Phase 3 and is seeking to reduce the number of 4 and 5-bed properties, which was higher than the mix in Phase 1 and 2.