Neighbourhood Plan was published for Regulation 14 consultation 12 February
2019 – 26 March 2019. It was submitted
for independent public examination in early 2020. The independent examiner had suggested a
number of minor amendments, which have been addressed in the latest draft of
the Neighbourhood Plan. Unfortunately,
two of the three sites allocated in the Neighbourhood Plan on Cranleigh Primary
School land were then withdrawn by Surrey County Council. This meant that the Neighbourhood Plan could
no longer meet Waverley Borough Council’s site allocation housing numbers for
the Local Plan. The plan was withdrawn
from examination pending a revised site allocation.
The Council looked at previously assessed sites and focussed on those that were on brownfield sites or had minor constraints. Some new brownfield sites also came forward since the 2020 call for sites. Waverley Borough Council has confirmed that the Parish Council is required to allocate 57 dwellings (the remaining number out of the total 1,700 allocation) in accordance with the Local Plan plus a buffer of 20% as the Local Plan cannot currently demonstrate a five year housing land supply. The minimum number of houses to allocate in the Neighbourhood Plan for Cranleigh is 67 dwellings.
The Council has concentrated on trying to allocate brownfield (previously developed land) sites in the village. However, the owners of these sites were unable to commit to the timeline of the Neighbourhood Plan to deliver the allocated housing by 2032. The planning consultant had therefore prepared three options for the Council to consider from the sites that were available and deliverable within the lifetime of the plan. The Council considered the options carefully and opted for the smaller sites allocations as primarily these would be of a lower density, which was highlighted by residents as preferred during previous consultations and also provided the opportunity for self-build on one site. The Council had initiated preliminary discussions with Surrey Highways to highlight any major concerns for these sites and none were forthcoming.
The Council rejected the (previously phase 3) site at Horsham Road because they considered the mitigation proposed by the developer would not reduce the impact of harm to the landscape and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and would put additional strain on surrounding infrastructure as well as extending the envelope of the village further into the open countryside, previously recommended in 2010 as an Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV).
The Council was also conscious of ensuring that should any of the sites fail to come forward to application stage that the Council had a backup plan with a reserve brownfield site allocation, subject to additional investigations regarding flood risk.