Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce supports this opportunity to secure developer contributions (Section 106) and, hopefully, further match funding to improve the High Street. The Chamber recognises this is a ‘one off’ opportunity, the first since the improvements made to Fountain Square in the early 2010s.
The Chamber would like a High Street which is a safer and more attractive area in which to work, shop, eat, drink and be entertained. In doing so, the success of the independent shops, which Cranleigh residents cherish, can be maintained and grow.
The Chamber has long recognised that the pavements are far too narrow, in a dreadful state of repair, and that crossing the road can be difficult and sometimes dangerous. More seating and resting areas are needed.
Illegal and inconsiderate parking is common and chaotic, and the continual flooding we experience on the High Street is unacceptable.
The Chamber has also recognised the success of closing Fountain Square to traffic on certain days, particularly during the pandemic, which has created a more continental and leisurely ambience. The closure of Fountain Square service road every weekend is something that the Chamber strongly supports.
The plan that Surrey County Council put out for consultation was an early first draft. However, by putting the plan before residents and businesses, a wealth of feedback has been received. Over the next few months, the Chamber has been assured that Surrey County Council will consider consultation feedback, which will inform the next draft plan.
In conclusion, while change creates uncertainty and disruption, the Chamber knows that the High Street cannot remain as it is while other villages and towns benefit from such funding. We are confident that Surrey County Council is listening and will endeavour to get it right with the support of businesses, residents and visitors.