Cranleigh Sewage Works opened almost 50 years ago in July 1967 to serve between 10,000 and 15,000 people locally. As at 6th July 2016, Thames Water estimated that they now deal with sewage from a minimum of 14,150 people, so the works is at its upper limit. What is obvious to us is that the sewage works isn’t coping with current levels of foul water and this is leading to sewage spills and odour issues.
As you will be aware there are several new housing developments that have been granted planning permission, amounting to an additional 832 homes with even more in the pipeline if Waverley’s Local Plan is passed. There could be an additional 3,750 residents in Cranleigh alone and a possible 6,500 in surrounding villages. This means that the sewage works will need to double its capacity and Thames Water has a statutory duty to meet this extra demand.
Thames Water have already begun works to increase capacity at the site in Cranleigh by approximately 30%; a huge expansion. They’ve not asked Waverley for Planning Permission to do this, because under Government legislation they say it comes within something called “Permitted Development”.
But there is a problem. Leading up to 2009, many residents living close to the plant complained bitterly to Waverley about strong smells (odours) coming from the plant, and Waverley’s Environmental Health Department insisted that Thames Water carry out an “Odour Impact Assessment” and apply for Planning Permission to add in new equipment and processes to reduce the smell. This work was all carried out successfully by Thames Water in 2010.
Cranleigh Civic Society believes that the 30% expansion currently being undertaken on site will mean that nearby residents will suffer from an increased risk of odour nuisance. We think that that Waverley should have insisted that an Odour Impact Assessment be done and full Planning Permission applied for. This is supported by Government guidance in the form of a DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) instruction to Local Authorities, which states that additional sewage works odour risk be dealt with through planning controls.
Cranleigh Civic Society is delivering a survey form at the weekend to all households within 800 metres of the sewage works, to ask local residents if they have suffered any problems with odours from the site.
If you have not received a hand delivered survey you can still help us with our evidence gathering by completing the short survey below (please don’t forget to click on the Done button at the very end of the survey when you’re finished). We’ll collate all your answers and comments and will discuss our findings with Waverley Borough Council.
Thank you so much for your help.
(if you cannot see the survey form below please click on this link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/89VQKQ6)
This Odour Impact Survey is completely separate from our ongoing investigations into pollution of Cranleigh Waters and the effects of the liquid effluent discharged from the sewage works on the biodiversity in the river.