Fringe Box



Waverley Witness: Is A Cranleigh New Town On The Cards?

Published on: 24 Sep, 2015
Updated on: 25 Sep, 2015

The Guildford Dragon NEWS is an online newspaper for Guildford but, of course, the borough has connections to all the surrounding areas. Some of the strongest links are to the area south of Guildford in Waverley borough. Many of the villages there look to Guildford as their town along with Godalming.

So we are pleased to announce the start of an occasional column giving views and reports from that area, many of which we believe will resonate with, or be of interest to, Guildford Dragon NEWS readers. The name we have given the column is the Waverley Witness.

Cranleigh - will it remain a village?

Cranleigh – will it remain a village?

Could a Cranleigh new town soon be on the cards for the “largest village in England”?

County leaders have met in secret with Waverley planners and wannabe developers eager to provide the borough with its fourth town – joining those of Godalming, Haslemere and Farnham.

It is believed Waverley Borough Council’s senior planning officers met with five major developers including a national housebuilder all eager to ensure what is often called “the largest village in England”, gets much bigger.

In total, the green fields around Cranleigh and nearby Alfold could soon be under concrete to provide around 1,700 new homes with other developers hanging onto their coat-tails eager to meet the whole of Waverley’s housing need in just one village.

With no local plan in place, no five-year land supply and appeals stacking up with Government inspectors, it is claimed that Waverley wants to head off costly public inquiries already lodged. It is meeting secretly with Cranleigh’s newly elected local Tory parish and borough councillors and the county councillor for the area to find ways to make the feeder roads out of the village onto the A281 Horsham-Guildford Road easier to access.

A flooded road in Cranleigh.

A flooded road in Cranleigh.

It is believed the meeting discussed the transport issues that are hampering their efforts, particularly poor access roads out of Cranleigh, in particularly the Alfold Road and Elmbridge Road which regularly flood.

The pinch point in Elmbridge over the Wey & Arun Canal where homes abut each side of a dangerous one-way road was also under discussion. Also discussed was the A281 onto which all the traffic will spill on its way to the rapidly growing town of Horsham and into Guildford.

The recently formed Cranleigh Civic Society is working hard to fend off development of Cranleigh and nearby green fields, believing the largest brown-field site in the borough at Dunsfold Park. a former BAe airfield and home to Wings & Wheels, should be earmarked for new homes – and it is only such a site that can provide the vital new infrastructure required for a huge rise in population.

Another of the items on their agenda was an extension of the Manfield Park Industrial Estate on the a green belt land it adjoins in Guildford Road, Cranleigh, as a site for employment and housing use, which could signal the breach of a strategic gap between the settlement of Rowley and Cranleigh.

Recent approvals have already boosted housing numbers by 125 in a country lane near Cranleigh Public School, and 150 in Horsham Road – on which a councillor gave the casting vote.

Last year, Cranleigh Parish Council resolved not to meet “any” developers in future behind closed doors. Councillors said they wanted to be more transparent in future about their dealings with developers and pledged future meetings would be held in public.

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Responses to Waverley Witness: Is A Cranleigh New Town On The Cards?

  1. Paul Robinson Reply

    September 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    “…find ways to make the feeder roads out of the village onto the A281 Horsham-Guildford Road easier to access.”

    Nothing like getting to the traffic jam quicker.

  2. Cranleigh Society Reply

    September 26, 2015 at 1:30 am

    The Cranleigh Society has not contributed to this article or been asked for a comment.

  3. Dominique McAll Reply

    September 26, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    As a newly elected parish councillor I can confirm that Cranleigh Parish Council has not met with Waverley’s planning officers or any developers. For the contributor to suggest that they have is mischief making and unfair to new parish councillors who are fully supportive of neighbourhood planning.

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