Zöe: Waverley must get a grip on housing in Cranleigh

May 29, 2017 1:34 PM
By Zöe Franklin

Zoe Franklin, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford and Cranleigh, has hit out at the failure of Waverley to manage housing being built in Cranleigh.

She said: "Waverley Council has completely failed to manage housing in this area and, like Cranleigh residents, I too have no confidence in them. Far from allowing well thought through, sustainable developments like Dunsfold, which includes affordable housing, they have chosen to dump high price housing in Cranleigh. The Tories on Waverley Council opposed Dunsfold on the grounds of traffic infrastructure but have chosen instead to turn Cranleigh into a traffic nightmare. This community deserves better".

"Waverley have allowed developers to take over completely with housing developments that now include crafty phasing to avoid building affordable homes. One look at the houses being built shows that they will be sold at prices completely out of reach of local people." she said.

Commenting on the amount of development in areas prone to flooding she added "Waverley has even failed to prevent houses being built on flood plains, which will further add to drainage problems across Cranleigh".

"I'm shocked that Anne Milton who, while an MP, opposed Dunsfold on the grounds of inadequate infrastructure and the risk of further congestion in the Bramley area, but even now continues to defend her actions" said Zöe. "It is quite clear that the Dunsfold development can still make a crucial contribution to the housing that Waverley needs to build, including affordable housing for local people.

"Waverley Tories instead ignored all expert planning advice and failed to produce a proper local plan, preferring instead to allow rampant housebuilding over Cranleigh's green fields, for maximum profit." Zoe concluded.

From the Liberal Democrat Manifesto

The housing crisis in Britain has become an emergency. For far too long Britain has built many fewer homes than we need; unless we build enough to meet demand, year after year, we will find that housing costs rise further out of reach. That is why we have set an ambitious target of increasing the rate of housebuilding to 300,000 a year - almost double the current level. These new houses must be sustainably planned to ensure that excessive pressure is not placed on existing infrastructure. We will:

  • Directly build homes to fill the gap left by the market, to reach our house-building target of 300,000 homes a year, through a government commissioning programme to build homes for sale and rent. We will ensure that half a million affordable, energy-efficient homes are built by the end of the Parliament.
  • Create at least ten new Garden Cities in England, providing tens of thousands of high-quality new zero carbon homes, with gardens and shared green space, jobs, schools and public transport.
  • Set up a new government-backed British Housing and Infrastructure Development Bank with a remit including providing long-term capital for major new settlements and helping attract finance for major house building projects.
  • End the Voluntary Right to Buy pilots that sell off Housing Association homes and the associated high value asset levy.
  • Lift the borrowing cap on local authorities and increase the borrowing capacity of Housing Associations so that they can build council and social housing.
  • Scrap exemptions on smaller housing development schemes from their obligation to provide affordable homes, and strengthen the hand of local government to prevent large developers reneging on their commitments.
  • Require Local Plans to take into account at least 15 years of future housing need - focusing on long-term development and community needs.
  • Create a Community Right of Appeal in cases where planning decisions go against the approved local plan.
  • Enable local authorities to: - Levy up to 200% Council Tax on second homes and 'buy to leave empty' investments from overseas. - Enforce house-building on unwanted public sector land. - Penalise excessive land-banking when builders with planning permission have failed to build after 3 years. - End the Right to Buy if they choose.