Will Cranleigh’s housing boom continue unabated?

Maybe, Cranleigh Alfold & Dunsfold could become one?

This latest planning application for 162 new homes from local landowner Richard Graham owner of 140, a High Street store, and former Chairman of the Chamber of Trade, has set the townsfolk of Cranleigh reaching for their keyboard to hit  Waverley’s Planning Portal… yet again!

Kerching! Mr Graham is on record with his fellow Chamber of Trade members, urging Cranleigh New Town shops and restaurants to receive more footfall. He intends to contribute his share with 162 new homes, some “affordable.”

The green green grass of Knowle.

With 1,743 homes already consented to in Cranleigh and 1,074 built as of September 2022 – along comes an application to build a massive tranche of dwellings on  1.7 hectares in Knowle Lane—a lane with an unenviable accident record. Villagers are pinning all their hopes on Surrey’s highway honchos, putting up an objection – but they can live in hope even if they die in despair.  

Letters of objection are pouring onto the council’s planning portal. Some say that the former village bears no resemblance to the characterful place it once was. The Cranleigh Society has already slammed the scheme claiming it will damage Knowle Lane and its access to the High Street. Others say Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan will be in tatters and Cranleigh’s notorious flood issues will be exacerbated.

Who will determine the application? Most likely, a Government Inspector once this scheme goes to Appeal. The applicants are already gearing up for an appeal. It is jumping on the bandwagon, claiming that Waverley recognises it does not have a 5-year housing land supply. (presently 4.9) And a previous Inspector said in an Alfold Appeal letter that there was no minimum housing requirement in Waverley towns and villages.   The Local Plan allocated  1,700 for Cranleigh.

The homes back onto the Northdowns area of the Hitherwood Estate.

Here’s a picture of Knowle Lane a couple of years back – after a heavy downpour. Wet, wet, wet



Children were tearing through the floodwater outside Kerbside Garage in Knowle Lane in 2016. The Knowle Lane flooding erupted in minutes; according to the follower who sent this picture, deep floodwater stretched right through the back of the car park and delivery roads behind Stockland Square into Knowle Lane and beyond. Take a look at the countryside that is up for grabs.



Says one resident of the hundreds objecting: Some have already suggested that when  Planning Inspectors become involved, they should visit Cranleigh when residents queue up for bottled water. 

Said one resident:

Access to the site will be onto a narrow busy lane with poor visibility and steep corners. There is no pavement for pedestrians and cyclists also frequently use the lane.

Onward connection to the A281 is via another even narrower lane (Wildwood Lane) which is constantly under repair due to weight of traffic. All construction traffic will have to use that route. Residents of the new development may also use this route in preference to the already congested junction with the High Street.

Cranleigh has reached the limit of what is comfortable for the present population. The medical centre seems unable to increase capacity, there is no school provision post 16 , the surrounding roads are inadequate for the morning and evening rush hours. Sewerage and water supplies already require constant repair. 

When considering this application it should be taken into account that some 600 houses on sites already given permission in Cranleigh have not yet been built, due to lack of need by buyers and also the nearby Dunsfold Aerodrome site with permission for 1800 (asctually 2,600)  homes has not even been started.


3 thoughts on “Will Cranleigh’s housing boom continue unabated?”

  1. This is utterly mindless. Cranleigh has notoriety for being described as the “largest village” in the country. No arguing about that any more. I don’t know what the latest population figures are but if all these homes go ahead along with others in the pipeline, it will soon rival Horsham.

  2. Local democracy is dead, the Planning Inspectorate steps in every time and over turns local decisions. we all know that the existing infrastructure ( health, education, roads and sewage ) cannot support further development but that matters not a jot

    1. The Inspectorate doesn’t overturn every local decision. Appeal Ref: APP/R360/W/22/3293777
      Land to the North Gratton Chase, Dunsfold, Surrey GU8 4NW was dismissed.

      The largest village is correct, but more revealing is that it is the only one of the 4 towns of Waverley that doesn’t have a railway station, nor access to a Trunk road. It should really be called the most isolated town in the Borough. It is the last place you should squeeze in 5000 homes without infrastructure.

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