Category Archives: Anne Milton


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 The venue is The Band Room  in Village Way, Cranleigh, and the meeting starts at 10:30 am

This is the second  meeting of Cranleigh Flood Forum chaired by Anne Milton MP.  The issues Cranleigh Civic Society wishes to discuss include:

  • Thakeham Homes, Elmbridge Road Planning Permission
  • Illegal river dredging
  • Water Quality (Cranleigh Waters)
  • Asbestos Cement drinking water pipes
  • Flood Risk in general

Please attend this meeting if you can. It is open to all Cranleigh residents, not just Cranleigh Civic Society members!

Please speak to your friends and neighbours as the more people who attend the more we can demonstrate the serious concerns we have in Cranleigh about the over development of our village and problems that lie ahead.

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Anne Milton opens Flood Gates

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On Monday the 24th of July, Anne Milton MP organised a meeting at the village hall that she described as a flood forum and it turned out to be much more than that. She brought together Waverley planners, Thames Water, the Environment Agency, the Drinking Water Inspectorate, Public Health England, Surrey County Council, the National Flood Forum, Cranleigh Parish Council and Cranleigh Civic Society to discuss openly several of the major concerns Cranleigh’s residents have raised with her. 65 members of the public came along and several parish and borough councillors also attended.

The plan was to address these concerns and direct them specifically to the authority responsible, so that the answers could be heard by all. We were very happy to hear sewerage problems, flooding and asbestos cement water pipes all discussed openly. It was always understood that the problems would not be resolved then and there but that efforts could be made to address them in the coming weeks and months.

To aid this, small sub committees were formed to work on specific areas and they will report back at the next meeting planned for the autumn. It was just the beginning of what will be a long term effort but a positive step and one that Cranleigh Civic Society welcomes. Members of the Society volunteered to join sub committees and share the information they have collected specific to each area so we will be close to the decision making process.

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Last Chance to Sign our Petition – deadline 30 April 2017

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We have previously highlighted our concerns about the asbestos cement pipes that supply drinking water to 29.6% of the homes in Cranleigh.

Read our previous article in full here.

We have recently found that over 30% of the drinking water pipes in Ewhurst are also asbestos cement. This is compared to about 4% in Godalming and Haslemere.

We are collecting signatures on a petition as we are so concerned that this issue is not being taken seriously, and ask for Ewhurst residents to sign as well.

The petition calls on Anne Milton to ask for an independent assessment of the risk to the health of local people from the asbestos cement pipes in almost 30% of the drinking water pipes in Cranleigh and surrounding villages.  Many of our members signed a paper version of the petition at the recent AGM and these were added to the on-line petition.

At the time of writing, the petition has 346 signatures, which is a great start – please add your details before 30th April.

Click here to sign the petition.
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Thames Water Still Can’t Find Sewage Leak

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After more than seven years Thames Water say they still can’t find the source of the sewage leak into the brook running along the field behind Marks and Spencer’s off the high street.

10 April brook sewage2

Despite claims that cameras have been in and out of the sewage pipes along the high street more times than a rat up a drain pipe, the story is exactly the same as it was when we first reported this problem on our website on 2 June 2015.

Thames Water has claimed, on different occasions over the past, at least, 7 years, yes that’s SEVEN YEARS, that the problem, has been sorted, or is about to be sorted.

Apparently several metres of the sewer has now been relined, but the latest report to Anne Milton MP on 23 February 2017 is:

“I write further to my email of 8 February regarding our investigation into the issues affecting both the Marks & Spencer’s and Sainsbury’s on the High Street, Cranleigh.

I am very sorry, but after the previously experienced difficulty in viewing the camera footage that was taken during our recent investigation, it has been agreed that our Technical Specialist and our contractors need to return to Cranleigh to carry out further detailed investigations to locate any misconnections that may be contributing to the reported pollution. This has been scheduled for 6 March.

This will involve further camera surveys and tracing of the pipes that connect into our network. This will enable our team to identify the source of the pollution and put in place plans for any misconnected pipes to be addressed by the relevant property or business owners.

As we do not have enforcement powers, once identified, any misconnected properties will be reported to the Local Authority so they can issue enforcement notices to make good the pipework. 

Once I have received a report following our planned visit on 6 March, I will be able to update you again on our plans moving forwards. This will be by no later than 13 March.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Yours sincerely 

Jon Denny

Senior Case Manager – Executive Office”

Actually Mr Denny we don’t find this helpful at all, yet again this matter has not been resolved and untreated sewage continues to flow into an open ditch running alongside a playing field where children have been seen playing football.

We certainly do not think this is good enough.

We would again appeal for the good people of Cranleigh to email your MP Anne Milton and ask her what penalties can be placed on Thames Water, as at the moment there seems to be diddly-squat anyone can, or wants to do.

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Residents Without Water

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2,000 residents had no water for approximately 24 hours, starting in the early hours of Friday morning, due to a number of burst water pipes across Cranleigh.

Most residents will be aware of the burst water main on Barhatch Lane.  The road was closed for the day in order for a large tree to be removed before workers could fix the burst.  It also affected an overhead power cable and residents on Amlets Lane reported a power cut.

Barhatch Lane Burst Water Main

Thames water Van on Barhatch Lane

There was another burst pipe on Homewood, just off The Ridgeway, affecting 28 properties, where residents suffered from some external flooding.  Thames Water also reported it was working on a pipe on Bloxham Road affecting 13 properties.

Finally, there was another report of a burst on Wyphurst Road which affected 50 properties.

Cranleigh Civic Society is investigating this matter further with Thames Water assisted by our MP Anne Milton.

We have been highlighting water supply issues with Waverley Borough Council for some time and have been successful in calling for Thames Water to request Grampian Style Conditions against new housing estates. This means that development shall not be commenced until impact studies on the existing water supply infrastructure and sewerage network have been submitted and approved by the local planning authority. We also expect that developers will have to contribute towards any upgrade work.

We have serious concerns about Cranleigh’s water supply infrastructure and aging pipe network and will continue to investigate this matter.

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Knowle Park Initiative Rejected

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Last evening the Knowle Park Initiative (West Cranleigh Nurseries) was rejected by the Joint Planning Committee at Waverley Borough Council.

(Due to the very lengthy debate of 2 ½ hours, the Little Meadow application for 75 houses, which was also due to be heard, was postponed and another date will be arranged.)

Over 100 residents attended the meeting, the public gallery in the Council Chamber was full and the overflow room was packed to the gunnels, where people watched proceedings on a big screen.

The vast majority of people were there to show their opposition against yet another huge housing estate for Cranleigh, which would’ve taken our number to over 1,000 new houses.

At the very  start of the meeting, we were somewhat stunned when Cllr Brian Ellis and Cllr Stewart Stennett declared a pecuniary interest in the Knowle Park Initiative application and left the Chamber, followed by Cllr Jeanette Stennett.

There was a lengthy presentation by the planning officers, who until almost the last minute had been publishing extensive updates to members.  This was in the main due to the continued pressure that the Cranleigh Society had applied and the serious concerns we and residents had raised.  There were many pages in the final documents issued to members that mentioned the Cranleigh Society, our comments formed the basis of several of the final conditions that were to be imposed on this application.

We had, after many hours of research, emailing, telephone calls and sheer determination, managed to get Thames Water to impose a Grampian style agreement, which meant that should permission have been granted the developers would’ve, at the very least, have had to contribute towards the upgrades to Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works.  This in itself was a major achievement, and one that in our view planning officers should’ve been pushing for on behalf of the Cranleigh community.

There was recognition of one of our main arguments around the five five-year housing supply.   We pointed out that  it would take Thames Water a minimum of 7 years for the sewage works to be upgraded, which would mean a considerable delay to the delivery of these new houses.  One of the Councillors asked the planning officers to explain this “time warp” to the members.  The fact that the houses couldn’t be built until the sewerage was improved, finally hit home.

Also, the very valid concerns about sewerage raised at the last minute by the Environment Agency, again due to our continued pressure, was acknowledged, together with the damaging effect on the Cranleigh Waters of yet more effluent being pumped into it and the need to assess the impact of multiple developments on water quality.

We also managed at the very last minute to get DCLG involved and should the application have been approved they were going to consider our request for a ‘call in’.  This is when the Secretary of State takes the decision-making power on a planning application out of the hands of a local planning authority and he decides whether it should be granted or refused.

It was a very busy day!

Thank you for the many emails you sent, it really did make a difference.  It is so important that you add your voice to ours, we have proved how effective we are when we work together.

We would also like to extend our thanks to our MP Anne Milton and her team for replying to our many, many emails, for listening and for their support of Cranleigh residents concerns over infrastructure.

And we would like to thank members of the Joint Planning Committee who undertook an informed and measured debate. There was real empathy shown for Cranleigh’s plight and recognition that our village was about to end up as a building site.  One councillor said they wouldn’t want to live in Cranleigh at the moment! Another said Cranleigh will end up looking like Poland in 1939!

We have to reserve a special thank you for Cranleigh’s Cllr Mary Foryszewski , her passion and commitment under immense pressure was admirable.  She has on occasion be the lone voice speaking up for Cranleigh and she has our heartfelt thanks.

In addition, we would like to thank the Cranleigh Parish Council, Cllr Brian Freeston spoke on behalf of the planning committee and eloquently voiced their many objections to this application.

Finally thank you to the Cranleigh Civic Society committee whose commitment, courage, persistence, and reliability are second to none and they should stand proudly today together with all our members.

The fight is not over!  However today we will celebrate a victory for democracy, transparency, and the right to be heard.

Thank you all for speaking up for Cranleigh!

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Thames Water Sewage Crisis in Cranleigh

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Email Anne Milton MP TODAY and let her know that Cranleigh has a sewage crisis. She has previously said that if she gets more than 5 emails from residents on a given subject she will act. Let’s make sure her Inbox is bursting!

It’s official, there’s no capacity in the sewage system for Crest Nicholson’s 149 houses off the Horsham Road and it could end up being stored on Snoxhall playing fields!

In a report from Thames Water (Thames Water Report on Capacity April 2015) they confirm that:

5.1.3 Foul System Improvement Works
The hydraulic model indicates that the foul network does not have available capacity downstream of the proposed connection manhole to accept the proposed development flows. On inclusion of the additional flows from the development site, an increase in the predicted volume of flooding and surcharge on the downstream sewer network is predicted to occur.

Thames Water statement on Crest Nicholson Site

Then Thames Water has come up with two options for all that raw sewage flowing from these houses.

Option 1: to provide a pumping station which could only operate in dry weather, or when existing sewer levels are low, which as far as we are aware would be rarely!

It will be based on a telemetry system, which if this is reliant on a good mobile signal, there will be simply no hope for it! A similar system in Alfold has consistently failed due to flooding of the equipment and poor phone signal.

Crest will need to conceal in the ground on the north-eastern edge of the site a huge 821m3 storage tank, which needs to store up to 19 hours’ worth of sewage from the estate.

This capacity is what the developers have calculated they need in the event of a 1 in 20-year flood (which happens when surface water caused by rainfall overwhelms the sewage network and/or when groundwater levels are high); this can also be referred to as a 20% chance of a flood occurring within any given year.

There seems to be no accommodation in the tank’s capacity for multiple flood events so we’re not sure what they propose if we have several days of heavy rainfall as we did in the winter of 2013/14 – these tanks would fail if that same event occurred.

Another problem is that after 12 hours of storing sewage there is a high risk of septicity which means that bacteria will multiply and this produces hydrogen sulphide. This is a colourless gas with the characteristic foul odour of rotten eggs; it is heavier than air, very poisonous, corrosive, flammable, and explosive!

The image below shows where this tank could be buried.

Sewage tanks on Crest Nicholson Site

Not very comforting for existing residents that will be living right next to this tank, which if it fails the effects would be catastrophic.

It is the developer’s responsibility to size this tank, not Thames Water, who are obviously washing their hands of this task, perhaps because if it fails it isn’t their liability!

Then there’s

Option 2: to stick an even bigger storage tank somewhere. Now where would be the perfect place? One of the community’s much-loved green spaces and our children’s football pitches perhaps? Yes, you guessed it, Snoxhall Playing Fields!

We would like to know who offered the Parish Council owned field for the storage of 1216m3 of foul waste, this is basically a sewage plant on Snoxhall.

It has the potential for the same problem with septicity and spillage as the tanks on the Crest site, however, there are very few details provided by Thames Water. A case of dump and run perhaps!

The image below shows the proposed position of the sewage tank under Snoxhall football pitches.

Sewage tanks on Snoxhall

You might at this stage be wondering where the sewage is going to go from the 125 houses at Amlets, we have heard that Thames Water has not given permission for these houses to be connected to the sewage system yet.

Then there’re 425 houses on the Berkeley’s site that have just been approved, we can’t wait to see what Thames Water’s strategy is going to be for this massive housing estate. Perhaps they have been saving a bit of space for Berkeley’s as they seem to have a special relationship.

We have already uncovered and advised Waverley Borough Council of the sewage issues, they are fully aware, however, they continue to dump all the Borough’s housing here and leave us with the mess.

Surprise, surprise now Berkeley’s has been approved we have been told that the Knowle Park Initiative (West Cranleigh Nurseries) have come out of the woodwork and could be in front of Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee as early as 27th April.


Email Anne Milton MP TODAY and let her know that Cranleigh has a sewage crisis and we need her help!


Read more about the sewage crisis in our articles






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Berkeley Homes are appealing Waverley’s decision to dump 425 houses on open countryside South of Cranleigh High Street.

  • Our Parish Councillors said No to Berkeley Homes
  • Our Waverley Borough Councillors said No to Berkeley Homes
  • Hundreds of Cranleigh residents said No to Berkeley Homes

But Berkeley Homes is not listening.  We need to SHOUT LOUDER!

Can you do ONE thing to Save Cranleigh?

Write to your MP Anne Milton and say to her that you “SAY NO TO BERKELEY HOMES” and include your name and address.  Then get one friend or family member to write too.


Poster Cranleigh Says NO to Berkeley Homes Appeal

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McCarthy & Stone Appeal Waverley Decision

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UPDATE 4 February 2016 – McCarthy & Stone appeal REFUSED

Save Our Homes

Residents of Penwerris have received notification that McCarthy & Stone are appealing against Waverley Borough Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a luxury block of 25 flats for over 55’s. The appeal has shocked residents who are desperately concerned that Penwerris on the Horsham Road will be bulldozed and that they will be homeless.

Cranleigh Parish Council members objected to the application by McCarthy & Stone and it was also rejected by Waverley Borough Council planners on several grounds. Full details are available on the Waverley planning portal.

Currently this Victorian house, part owned by Surrey County Council, is home to 21 low wage earners. It is Cranleigh’s only proper affordable housing. These people have nowhere else to go.

Please don’t let this happen.

Email your MP Anne Milton and tell her what you think about this social cleansing.

We are waiting for the application to appear on the Planning Inspectorate website and will then add these details so that members of our community can also submit their objections online.

You can read more about the McCarthy & Stone application on our website

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Berkeley Homes Appeal

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Berkeley Homes has lodged an appeal against the decision by Waverley Borough Council to reject their application for 425 dwellings on a green field site (The Maples) to the South of Cranleigh High Street. This site is the size of 29 full sized football pitches.

You can view the application on the Waverley Borough Council planning portal Reference Number WA/2014/0912

The Berkeley Homes appeal is despite 300 objections lodged against the application including an objection letter by the Cranleigh Society.

We have nearly 300 new houses already granted planning permission for Cranleighs Green Fields:
Amlets Lane 125 dwellings
Crest Nicholson Horsham Road 149 dwellings
Cranleigh Brick and Tile Works 19 dwellings

Let your MP Anne Milton know that “Cranleigh says NO to Berkeley Homes”

Always include your FULL NAME AND ADDRESS in your email or letter.

Anne Milton MP

Constituency Address:
17a Home Farm, Loseley Park, Guildford, GU3 1HS


List of Cranleigh Parish Councillors:

Cranleigh East:
Stewart Stennett –;
Jeanette Stennett – ;
Rosemary Burbridge – ;
Gareth Emmett – ;
Howard Wagstaff –

Cranleigh West:
Brian Ellis – ;
Patricia Ellis – ; 
David Gill – ;
Dominique McAll – 

Cranleigh North:
Mary Foryszewski – 

Robert Wilson –

Cranleigh Rural:
Liz Townsend –

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