CranleighHighStreet.uk Updates

May Update


We are writing to update you on the Cranleigh High Street redevelopment plans and to let you know about a few other projects that are ‘in the pipeline’ for Cranleigh.


As a result of the 1108 signatures to our petition, and also the support of 50 High Street businesses, SCC have agreed to pause the original plans, dis-band the High Street Working Party, and form a new stakeholder group to represent the residents and businesses. This new group will include a member of the CranleighHighStreet.uk team. We understand that the project will now be broken down into phases, with phase one consisting of the part-time pedestrianisation of Fountain Square – for which there was the most support during the November 2022 consultation. The SCC Placemaking Team will consult on this, as part of the formal Traffic Regulation Order Process. A second phase will look at the design of improvement works along the high street to be developed with the new stakeholder group.


Thank you to everyone who signed the petition and to the businesses who supported it.


Looking forward, it is worth highlighting the Surrey County Council Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4) adopted in July 2022 – this is SCC’s plan for transforming the transport network from 2022 up to 2032 and beyond.

On our website (LTP4 - cranleighhighstreet.uk) we have highlighted some of the ways that LTP4 might impact you – as you’ll see – it seems to be a driving force behind many of the changes that were proposed that our petition has halted.  You can find out more about LTP4 on SCC’s website here: Why we need our new local transport plan - Surrey County Council (surreycc.gov.uk).


Below is a list of some projects that will impact Cranleigh in the coming months and years. Where possible, we have included information about how you can find out more information and/or be kept up to date about them.


Project

Further Information

Cranleigh High Street Redevelopment 

Lots of information on this website about the proposals for further information, and/or sign up to receive project updates from Surrey County Council via the Commonplace website here: https://cranleighhighstreet.commonplace.is/

Planned changes to the Obelisk Junction

No public details are currently available but we believe it to include adding an additional crossing point at this roundabout.

Horseshoe Lane Roundabout

Surrey County Council are re looking at the planned removal of the Horseshoe Lane/High Street roundabout – no public details are currently available

New Cranleigh Leisure Centre – Current proposal to build a new leisure centre in the middle of Village Way car park

View current plans and details of the public consultation that took place in March 2024 and sign up for updates on the project from Waverley Borough Council here: https://clcnewbuild.commonplace.is/.

The current plans include a 22% reduction (68 spaces) in parking spaces available at the end of the project, and very little parking being available during the construction period of circa two years. We are concerned that this will have a serous impact on Cranleigh businesses.


A formal planning application is expected to be submitted in Spring/Summer 2024.

Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP)

You can find out more about this on our website here https://www.cranleighhighstreet.uk/lcwip/

Stocklund Square Planning Application - Design proposals submitted by the owner to Waverley Borough Council. 

Private (not council) Plans to enhance Stocklund Square.

View and/or comment on the application (WA/2024/00769) here: Planning | Waverley Borough Council.

Comments Due By 17/05/2024

 

Thank you again to everyone who has supported the petition and campaign so far – and please do share the information above with friends and neighbours

Cranleigh High Street Redevelopment Project: Factchecker


The CranleighHighStreet.uk team have seen various statements made by SCC, either publicly, or in written communications to members of the public, and local elected representatives. Many of these statements are misleading at best, and inaccurate at worst. Below, we set out where we believe this to be the case.


  • Surrey County Council said: Cranleigh Public realm High Street project has been consulting with residents and businesses within Cranleigh since January 2021. Initially the scheme was based on closing Fountain Square, and in October 2021, 476 people responded to a questionnaire about the closure with 96.6% of people in favour of it.

Factcheck: Whilst SCC has been discussing the proposals in some shape or form for several years, this has mainly been with a very narrow group of local organisations. When broader public surveys or engagement activities have taken place, they have been very poorly publicised, so that awareness levels in Cranleigh and surrounding areas were extremely low.


  • Surrey County Council said: In November 2022, Surrey County Council (SCC) carried out 3 face to face public engagement sessions. These sessions were advertised by leaflets hand-delivered to the local businesses and social media posts, which included Nextdoor (3728 views); Twitter (1024 views); and Facebook with a potential audience of 25,609 people.  During this time a public website was set up. This allowed residents to register for updates to the scheme, as well as record their thoughts on the proposals. The website gathered 868 responses from 472 people, plus SCC received 17 emails and 4 letters. The consultation was also advertised on Destination Cranleigh, a local comprehensive directory of local businesses and organisations, along with Village news and events. It is managed to Bear Content and supported by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce.

Factcheck: Whilst SCC publicised the consultation via its own social media channels, the reality is that a tiny proportion of the general public follow local government social media channels – as can be seen by the resulting low level of local awareness, and just 472 respondents to the consultation. Large banners advertising forthcoming events are often tied to the railings outside the old Cromwell’s Tea Shop – and had SCC taken this approach, it might have resulted in greater awareness of the project. Analysis of the Commonplace comments shows that just 26% of all comments submitted were either happy or very happy with the proposals. This statistic was not shared with the Parish Council or Working Party – it was not made clear to them how little support there was for the proposals.


  • Surrey County Council said: Following the consultation, designs were adjusted to support the some of the changes proposed by the people who attended the consultation event or contacted the project team. Additional survey and modelling works were undertaken including bus stop surveys so we could understand the frequency and duration of buses using the laybys. Modelling on the removal of the roundabouts was also re-done, and additional traffic was added, to take into account the new developments (housing and leisure centre) in the area and likely increase in vehicles along the High Street. The Post Office area is to remain predominantly as it is, and the bus layby will no longer be completely removed. 

Factcheck: There was no recognition of the volume of comments submitted, objecting to the removal of the Village Way roundabout, or concerns about the removal of the Horseshoe Lane roundabout. The core traffic calming measures such as the installation of several raised platforms and the narrowing of the road were never openly discussed with residents and businesses.


  • Surrey County Council said: We have held regular meetings with the Cranleigh Working party since December 2021. This year [2023] we have had two meetings. The first one (13th Feb) we discussed the 2022 consultation results and discussed that we would carry out more studies (businesses loading requirements and bus laybys) and revisit the designs based on comments received. The working party during that meeting consisted of a number of people, including: Waverley Borough Council representatives & Cllrs, Parish Councillors, Chamber of commerce, BID, Local Lions Group, Civic society, local residents, Cranleigh in Bloom

Factcheck: There is no record on how this Working Party was constituted, its terms of reference, or how members were selected and whether they represented Cranleigh residents and businesses. Feedback from some individuals who attended meetings confirm that these meetings were not set up to scrutinise and change the designs. Working Party meetings in February 2022 and May 2022 were very sparsely attended by anyone from Cranleigh. On 26th January 2023 the Placemaking Team fed back the results of the 2022 consultation event to the Parish Council. At that meeting they misrepresented the level of opposition to the plans. Following that meeting the Parish Council discussed the designs and submitted a number of comments to SCC in February 2023, most of these comments were ignored by SCC.


  • Surrey County Council said: In September 2023 we met again, to show the revised plans and discuss our proposed engagement activity for November. The Working group were in favour of the new plans  - particularly leaving the bus laybys where they currently are and only making minor alterations to the Post Office area.

Factcheck: At this meeting there were no representatives from the Cranleigh Society, the Waverley planning and conservation officers were again absent as was the Cranleigh in Bloom representative and the Waverley Councillor. During this meeting, several concerns were raised about the elements of the plans, but nowhere in the minutes does it state that the Working Party were asked if they were in favour of the new designs.


  • Surrey County Council said:  In May 2023 we visited all the retail businesses along the High Street and asked them for details of their loading and delivery schedules. This information will be used at the detailed design stage when identifying the most appropriate locations for loading bays and potential on street parking bays.

Factcheck: We have checked with the owner of the Tuck Shop in Cranleigh High Street, and nobody visited her shop in May 2023 to ask about loading and delivery schedules – we do not know if this applies to any of the other businesses.

 

  • Surrey County Council said: Prior to a recent public engagement event, from 31 Oct to 8 November 2023 we used social media and 3,458 accounts were reached with 643 link clicks. On Nextdoor, on 31 Oct a post was sent, with a reminder on 6 November. This targeted Cranleigh neighbourhoods. There were 153 views on the reminder post. Our website was also updated, with a save the date and a reminder on the 6 November. An email was sent to all the people who had registered an email address with the SCC commonplace website.

Factcheck: Whilst SCC publicised the event via its own social media channels, the reality is that a tiny proportion of the general public follow local government social media channels – and, as for the 2022 consultation, a very small proportion of the Cranleigh community were aware of the event.


  • Surrey County Council said: Additionally, we asked our Community Link officer and the Parish Council to share an email message with their contacts about the Cranleigh High Street Highways and Public Realm Community Event. We also visited the majority of the businesses in Cranleigh High Street where we would expect local people to go, such as the Doctors surgery, hospital and library and left posters advertising the engagement event. Following the two engagement events we then put the display boards in the library so local people could view them from Friday 10 to Tuesday 21 November 2023. There was a QR code on the boards, and pieces of paper with the email contact address was left with the library staff to hand out if people expressed an interest.

Factcheck: Despite the measures that SCC took, it remains the case that awareness levels, even after the November 2023 event, were extremely low – as demonstrated by the fact that 1,108 people signed our petition, and only 472 responded to the initial consultation. Large banners advertising forthcoming events are often tied to the railings outside the old Cromwell’s Tea Shop – and had SCC taken this approach, it might have resulted in greater awareness of the project. With regards to the email contact address – an email sent to this address during the engagement event elicited an automatic reply stating, ‘this consultation has ended’.


  • Surrey County Council said: Most recently, we emailed all the businesses that had provided their email addresses to us, with an opportunity for a morning’s meeting (as the consultation had covered the afternoon and evening) so we could share the proposed plan and listen to their feedback. Sadly no one attended this meeting. Due to the non-attendance, the project manager and her team have started to visit Cranleigh High Street businesses again and undertake further face to face engagement with independent businesses – such as the bakery, butcher and newsagents.

Factcheck: The Placemaking Team offered businesses a one-hour meeting.  This email was only sent to those businesses who had previously registered with the Placemaking Team and the meeting was scheduled for 9:30am when most high street businesses were open and busy dealing with customers. The Placemaking Team started to visit high street businesses in the run up to Christmas, a peak trading time for most shops. Here is the experience of one retailer regarding this engagement. “Two members of the Placemaking Team visited on a totally inappropriate day just before Christmas when the shop was full of customers, to ask what I thought of the Redevelopment Plans. After summarising my feedback one of the Placemaking Team responded, that the disruption time would not be continuous but in chunks - so 5 months for Village Way etc. When I explained about the worries I have, of people changing their shopping habits, diverted pedestrian routes (inevitable) leading to lower footfall and lower turnover, the SCC officer told me that she hadn't thought of that. Customers who were shopping joined in and told them that they didn't want the changes to go ahead.” It is clear from these comments that the Placemaking Team had neither thought of nor understood the impact on High Street businesses of the proposals, yet this was nearly 2 years after the initial designs had been produced. It is obvious that throughout the consultation process nobody had been speaking to retailers.”


  • Surrey County Council said: We are continuing to monitor the common place website and to read and respond to all the emails that we are receiving. All comments are being noted and the detailed design will seek to address common concerns along with further survey works and modelling on site. The following is an extract from a recent advert in a local Cranleigh magazine: We want these improvements to benefit Cranleigh, so we’re still listening to your feedback and making changes. The plans for Cranleigh High Street are still evolving based on continuous feedback received from residents and businesses. Following concerns raised in the October 2023 consultation we are no longer removing bus laybys or removing vehicle access to the Post Office. We’ve received a lot of feedback on our plans to change the mini-roundabouts with priority junctions at Horseshoe Lane and Village Way, and responses have been shared with our design team who will be carrying out further traffic flow tests. We’ve also heard your comments about the possible removal of central crossing points and we’re running additional pedestrian flow studies to see if we should still keep them. Works at the Obelisk Junction are currently in detailed design and are expected to start early this summer. We are anticipating that further works will take place in 2025, but residents will be kept updated with any changes.

Surrey County Council said: As the plans progress in the detailed design phase, we are still actively listening to your comments and will take on board feedback from residents. Surrey County Council will continue to develop plans over the coming months and will focus on prioritising safety and accessibility and fostering a vibrant, inclusive community in the village.

Factcheck: The decision to retain smaller bus laybys was taken as a result of the 2022 consultation – not as a result of the 2023 engagement event, which was in November, not October. Shortly after SCC realised that people were unhappy with the November 2023 event, the project email address was reactivated, and SCC placed notices on the Commonplace website stating that it was still listening and that people should email them with suggestions and concerns – this took place only after the CranleighHighStreet.uk team began publicising the petition and its website. A report by SCC’s Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee, about transport schemes, states: “Co-design will be at the core of the Council’s thinking, with the aim to empower communities by working with residents, local groups, community organisations, businesses and partners helping communities decide what and how the most appropriate, effective and preferred measures can be delivered.”

It is clear that SCC developed designs without substantive community input. Following an initial public consultation, it produced final designs, and only once it became aware of the level of opposition and activity, did it then state that it was still engaging with and listening to the community.


  • Surrey County Council said: Consultation was undertaken in 2021, November 2022 and November 2023.

Factcheck: The event in November 2023 was not a consultation – it was, as described on the Commonplace website as a ‘public exhibition’ and email invitations to the event stated ‘we are pleased to invite you to a special community event to view the final designs.’ An email sent by the SCC Placemaking Team to a local Councillor on 26th October 2023, referring to the forthcoming public event, stated ‘please be aware that this is not a consultation event and we do not want to confuse residents by sending out mixed conflicting messages.’ Emails sent to the project email address during the November 2023 event received an automated response stating ‘this consultation has now ended’.

 

Updates from the first survey...

The results of the survey to date, from nearly 650 responses, show overwhelming rejection of the council plans. Of six questions that asked about specific aspects of the plan, support exceeded rejection for only one - the changes to Fountain Way at certain times of the week. The average rejection rate of the others is more than 80%.

Updates from the survey...

Over 90% of people are against narrowing the High Street

Updates from the survey...

A significant number of survey responses have put forth suggestions to tackle the traffic challenges between Superdrug and Horseshoe Lane. Currently, this stretch of the High Street is not accounted for in the council's plans, except for the addition of a raised platform.

CranleighHighStreet.uk featured in the Cranleigh Magazine


We are delighted to say that the CranleighHighStreet.uk has been featured in the Cranleigh Magazine - please take a look here: https://www.cranleighmagazine.co.uk/new-cranleigh-i-wish-i-had-known/

 

Petition and Survey update

Thanks to all the support we have now had over 650 people sign the petition and more than 500 responses to our survey - this is more than Surrey County Council received for their consultation. 


This shows great progress ahead of the next phase of our campaign to save the heart of cranleigh