Strangers KEEP OUT of Cranleigh’s new Willowbrook development

Don’t trespass on our land; warn residents of Willowbrook.

A war between neighbours has broken out between the estate of new homes overlooking Cranleigh’s Poo Factory and its neighbours.

A new development where the sewage aroma seeps into residents’ pores wants to replicate St George’s Hill and prevent public access.

The 59 homes villagers vigorously opposed now nestles against the banks of the polluted Cranleigh Waters that regularly flood.

 The picture was taken in 2019

 Thakeham Homes convinced Waverley’s planners that the site on Elmbridge Road was ripe for development. So ripe was it for Thakeham that days after gaining planning consent, it offloaded the site to another developer who built a platform, or was it a raft for the homes to sit on?

However, that’s water under the Elm Bridge. Homes are built, and some people living there are so pleased with their purchases that they don’t want any public members to set foot upon their hallowed floodplain.

Cranleigh councillors, including the holder of the Portfolio for planning, is concerned about this worrying trend on new developments in her patch – and elsewhere in the borough where residents want to either gate or stop public access. At Willowbrook, walkers, some of whom have used the fields when dry for many years, have been verbally abused for “trespassing”.  CCTV cameras are cropping up faster than privacy signs. Even some recent purchasers want to leave Willowbrook’s increasingly toxic environment.

There have been some pretty unpleasant exchanges between Willowbrook residents and public members, who have been warned off setting foot on the estate, and tempers have run high.

According to the development arm of Clarian:

“Willowbrook, like all Latimer schemes, has been designed with the long-term sustainability of the community in mind. It offers a mix of seclusion and community, focusing on shared outdoor space to retain Cranleigh’s ‘quintessential’ English village feel.  By offering high-spec homes with transparent pricing, we hope downsizers will be drawn to the quality of the product and the village feels before making a Willowbrook house their forever home.  

So what exactly is the planning position here?

 Here’s the link to the planning application:

Mentions pedestrian access on page 25/26 on their map, AND take a read of page 30!!! Their initial booklet says:

The layout shows that local public open spaces have been created in points around the site…..”

Might it be an idea to walk on the wild side in Willowbrook? The WW is heading from our civilised town to Cranleigh to see what type of welcome we get from the natives.




5 thoughts on “Strangers KEEP OUT of Cranleigh’s new Willowbrook development”

  1. This is a right of way issue. Were the roads and pedestrian throughfares throughout the development designated public? If so. The public have rights to access. An occupant or landowner may decide to delineate a boundary as appropriate within the legal constraints. But from experience the more the individual or community does the more they advertise their worth by want of obvious security measures. I urge those local residents that know if rights if way adopted and especially those requiring formal adoption to inform their parish council and local authority of regular use and of any obstruction to that right of way. Especially before proposed development.

    1. We just think the residents of Willowbrook are being unneighbourly. Why should public access be denied to these parts of Cranleigh that were once open to all? This action, if replicated across the borough on all the new estates, would make most of the borough no go areas.

      1. Whilst not a resident in Willowbrook, there have been plenty of posts about this development on Facebook in the past – and it has been confirmed (by counsellors I may add – despite the nonsense in the article) that the land there is private. I suspect that the residents are trying to protect themselves from any liability in case of injury to members of the public through slips or trips – hence the use of signs telling people it is private property. These issues have largely been put to bed – why does WW consider it important to re-open these issues? What will that achieve? There are far greater issues and concerns in the local area than this!

      2. We understand from the neighbours who have contacted us that SOME residents of Willowbrook don’t want anybody, and we mean anybody other than delivery vehicles and the postman on the estate. They simply want to keep it private. If there are more serious issues in Cranleigh that we should concentrate on, please tell us about them. We know you have water shortages, flooding issues, traffic issues, poor local bus service and sewage issues. Are there more?

  2. As I said in my last comment, and whilst I’m only speculating, I suspect that they want to limit their liability. As far as I understand from residents who live there, and from local counsellors, the land is private, roads have not been adopted by the council and it’s the responsibility of the estate management company to maintain the land. There was no public right of way through the land prior to the development despite some people claiming it was – it was privately owned land. In the crazy world we live in where people will sue one another for literally the most ridiculous things in the world, I can completely understand why the residents of Willowbrook don’t want to run the risk of being sued by people who are essentially trespassing! Besides, if the smells from the sewage works there are so bad, and if it floods all the time, why do non-residents want to step foot onto the estate anyway?! Or is it about having cake and eating it?

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