Category Archives: Asbestos

UPDATE – Asbestos in Cranleigh

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Thames Water advised Cranleigh Civic Society on the 20th October that the 3km of asbestos cement pipe that they are replacing in Cranleigh is only one fifth of the total length of the asbestos pipes in the village.

That means that Cranleigh will still have 12km of very old, decaying asbestos cement (AC) drinking water pipes operational in the drinking water network.

Cranleigh Civic Society has written several times to the Government’s Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) asking them to confirm that these old pipes will not be a risk to the health of Cranleigh residents, and we have not received reassurance from them.

The position of Cranleigh Civic Society remains unequivocal.  We think these very old AC pipes in the Cranleigh area should all be replaced BEFORE any new houses are connected to the network.  We think that the infrastructure should be sorted out by Waverley Borough Council first, particularly in this case where, we believe, it cannot be ruled out that there is a clear and present danger to public health.

 

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VICTORY for Cranleigh Civic Society!

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After a long fight by Cranleigh Civic Society, Thames Water have agreed to start replacing Cranleigh’s  asbestos cement drinking water pipes starting in 2018.

29.6% of our drinking water pipes are old and made from asbestos cement (compared to an average throughout SE England of just 2%).  The design life of these pipes is 50 to 70 years, and as some of these were installed in the early 1960’s, they are starting to decay and burst.

During the last nine months, a team from Thames Water has met with Cranleigh Civic Society several times to discuss the problem, and Thames Water has carried out tests on samples of burst pipes to determine the composition of the materials used.  They have found a mixture of white and blue asbestos.  On the 5th October, the team from Thames Water announced to Cranleigh Civic Society that they will start a programme of replacement in Spring 2018 (they will need the time between now and then for planning and to seek the licences that will be needed).

Cranleigh Civic Society is grateful to Thames Water who have been open and helpful in giving advice, and also to them for carrying out tests on the samples of burst pipe.  On the 9th October, Thames Water told us that they have identified over 3 km of pipes to replace, and we are awaiting confirmation from them as to how much of our old asbestos cement network that accounts for, and over what period of time the replacement programme will take place.

Thames Water has advised us that they have secured the funding for this project, which comes out of central pot and will not impact on our bills locally.

New housing being built in Cranleigh must comply with current Building Regulations that require a minimum 1 bar drinking water pressure provision.  This is because many new houses nowadays are provided with unvented hot water systems, which work on higher pressure than the old “indirect” systems based on a header tank in the attic space.  Over the past three months the number of burst water pipes has increased considerably with over 20 bursts occurring, some leaving residents without water for days at a time.  This has coincided with the building of new housing estates in the village.

Cranleigh Civic Society’s opinion is that if more new housing estates are connected onto the existing network before Thames Water has finished replacing the old asbestos cement pipes, the number of bursts will increase exponentially, and could raise the risk of more free asbestos fibres entering the drinking water network.

We think these old asbestos cement pipes in the Cranleigh area should be replaced BEFORE more new houses are connected to the network.

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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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Asbestos Cement Pipes Risk Assessment

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Main Report sent to Waverley Borough Council by Cranleigh Civic Society:

Asbestos Cement Pipes, H & S Risk Assessment, CCS, 29-Jan-17

References:

1. Thames Water email 23-Dec-16, 30% & 2%

2. Water Research Council report, deterioration of AC pipes, 1988

3. Water Research Council Report, May 1985

4. Asbestos in Drinking Water, WHO, 1996, updated 2003

5. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 14, 122-152, 2011

6. Faber Maunsell Ltd Report for DWI, May 2002

7. Crysotile Institute, Bulletin V10, Nov 2011

8. Health Protection Agency toxicological overview, 2007

9. WHO Crysotile Asbestos Report, 2014,

10. Institute of Public Health (Netherlands) Report no. 758473006, 1987, Section 1.1.1 Oral

11. ATSDR (USA) toxicology report, 2001

12. WHO declaration of interest form, 2010

13. Woodstock report, asbestos risk from AC pipes, 1987

14. Request to Jeremy Hunt for medical data, Jan-08-17

15. Asbestos (Hansard, 8 November 1983)

16. Brita filters statement, 28-Apr-16

17. 2015 Thames Water, Drinking Water Quality Report_Z0163_Cranleigh

18. pH tests in Cranleigh, 28-Jan-17

Since publishing this report we have located several other studies on  the risk of Asbestos Drinking Water Pipes (although the majority appears to cover Chrysotile (white) asbestos only):

Drinking Water Quality: Problems and Solutions

Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and exposure to asbestos in drinking water among lighthouse keepers (Norway). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7758048_Cancer_of_the_gastrointestinal_tract_and_exposure_to_asbestos_in_drinking_water_among_lighthouse_keepers_Norway [accessed Jun 6, 2017].

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/12/prweb13918925.htm– Scientists Warn of Mesothelioma Risk in Italy’s Drinking Water, According to Surviving Mesothelioma 7 April 2017

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27919155– [Possible health risks from asbestos in drinking water] PubMed Article Dec 2016 Further information here –http://www.epiprev.it/intervento/rischio-clinico-da-ingestione-di-fibre-di-amianto-acqua-potabile english translation towards the bottom of the page).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2744839  Conclusion – There is no agreement between the results of the various studies, but an association between ingested asbestos fibres and cancer of the stomach and pancreas has been found with some degree of consistency.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1569098/pdf/envhper00459-0054.pdf  – In conclusion, there is no question that studies designed at the individual level, such as case control studies, are now needed to establish firmly risk levels to ingested asbestos. However, as illustrated above, the costs of reliably establishing these risk levels will be high, a fact that should be recognized by the sponsors and investigators of future research in this area.

 

 

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Blue Asbestos

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As you will be aware we have had major concerns about our ageing and deteriorating asbestos cement drinking water pipes for some time now. Due to the age of previous significant development in Cranleigh in the 60’s, we suspected that they may contain crocidolite (blue asbestos), in addition to chrysotile (white asbestos). Although Thames Water assured us that the pipes were constructed from white asbestos, our own research did not reflect this, and we have been pushing for testing to be carried out.

Over the past two weeks we were successful in getting Thames Water to send a section of drinking water pipe, being replaced in the Hitherwood area, for independent testing to confirm the presence of blue asbestos (crocidolite). This has now been confirmed.

The presence of crocidolite (blue asbestos) is not the result we were hoping for, but it is in line with the guidance given on the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) website under the Asbestos section.  HSE state that asbestos cement pipes made prior to 1969 are likely to contain crocidolite.

A further section of pipe from the Summerlands area has been tested and this has been shown to contain only white asbestos. We have asked also requested details from Thames Water of the percentage of blue to white asbestos, and to assess how much deterioration has taken place in the pipes. Furthermore, we have requested that a section of pipe be tested from the Park Mead area, although we have been told that this will not be carried out until there is a burst pipe there. We will be challenging Thames water on this.

Blue and white asbestos have very different risks associated with them, with the crocidolite being considered more hazardous. We should stress that the majority of evidenced high risks are associated with inhaling asbestos fibres, however, there does appear to be a growing evidence base worldwide that suggests that there is also a risk associated with ingested fibres.

Recently Australia and New Zealand have announced replacement programmes for their asbestos cement pipes, and in the USA they already test drinking water for asbestos fibres, and have set maximum guidelines, testing is NOT carried out in the UK.

We have been asking the authorities, including the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), since September 2016 to assess the risk to Cranleigh residents from a high percentage of ageing and deteriorating asbestos cement drinking water pipes without success. Asbestos cement pipes have a 50-70 year design life and some of these in Cranleigh are approaching 70 years old. The issue also affects residents in Dunsfold, Ewhurst and Alfold, we have not looked into any of the other surrounding areas. In a recent planning application in Waverley for development in Alfold, once again the Society advised Waverley of the existence of blue asbestos in the drinking water network, once again we were ignored.

We have questioned the position of the DWI.  Whilst their blanket statement broadly states that there is no consistent evidence to suggest that asbestos is dangerous when ingested, we have studied their database of evidence and that of other qualified evidence available and we are of the opinion that the DWI, and the World Health Organisation (WHO), have based their studies in the main on chrysotile (white asbestos).  Furthermore, many of the reports back in the 1970s and 1980s were sponsored by the asbestos industry, and in particular by the Chrysotile Institute, and they should be treated with some caution, as well as being based mainly on the effects of chrysotile.

In January 2017, in discussion with HSE, Cranleigh Civic Society circulated our own Risk Assessment under the Health and Safety Act looking at data from contemporary research carried out over the last few years, some of it by highly respected organisations such as the American Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health (a leading publication respected around the world).  Our increasing concerns surrounding crocidolite remain, because of its needle-like structure, it has the potential to penetrate membranes in the body more easily than the more curly fibres of white asbestos.

Our research is continuing, and we have received this from a contact in New Zealand.  It was put out by Radio New Zealand and is now on their website:

‘A $2.2 billion price tag has been put on the cost of replacing the country’s asbestos water supply pipelines.

 Drinking water delivered through functioning asbestos pipes isn’t risky, but airborne particles from broken pipes can be dangerous.

 Asbestos cement pipes were installed for local water supply networks from the 1950s to the 1970s, and manufacturers stopped producing them in the mid 1980’s. The pipes’ life expectancy is about 50 years so many will be due for replacement.

 Functioning pipes being used for water do not pose a threat to health. The World Health Organisation has said swallowing asbestos present in water does not present the same cancer risk as inhaling dry particles. However, asbestos pipes that are cut or broken when dry can pose a health risk if particles are released into the air.

 

The Water Services Association of Australia has estimated it could cost $AU8b ($NZ9b) to safely remove Australia’s roughly 40,000km of worn-out asbestos piping.

Water New Zealand estimated the total length of this country’s water supply pipelines at 36,436km, with the network valued at $8.7b. It estimated 9000km of those pipes were made of asbestos cement and that they would need to be replaced in the next 20 to 30 years.

With many of the pipes nearing the end of their useful life, Water New Zealand chief executive John Pfahlert said local councils would have to do careful planning to make the replacement affordable to ratepayers. There were a number of available options cheaper than digging them out, such as relining existing pipes or leaving decommissioned pipes in the ground and placing new pipes around them, he said. Wellington Water spokesperson Alex van Paassen said replacing asbestos cement pipes, as opposed to those made of other materials, did require safety precautions. However, he said, those precautions would not add a significant amount to the overall cost of replacement. Mr van Paassen said pipes in Wellington were prioritised for renewal based on how critical the need for repairs was, or how many households were served, and not on whether they were made of asbestos.

 “Wellington Water had a regular pipe renewal schedule for all types of pipes”, he said.’

We have continued to keep our MP Anne Milton informed of our research and she has now arranged a meeting on 24th July in Cranleigh to investigate this further. Thames Water, the DWI and other relevant parties have confirmed their attendance.  This is also following the petition sent to Anne Milton following our public meeting on 25th May. We are grateful to her for listening to our concerns and seizing this opportunity to seek answers.

Cranleigh Civic Society, in consultation with the Government’s Health and Safety Executive, prepared a full Risk Assessment on the network of asbestos cement pipes in Cranleigh and sent this to Waverley Borough Council on the 29th January.  Waverley ignored it.

We are aware that this subject will cause a high degree of concern in the village and we will of course keep you informed of any developments.

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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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Yet another 265 houses given approval

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Yet another 265 houses on green fields were voted in last night on the casting vote of the Waverley Joint Planning Committee’s Chairman Cllr Isherwood.  So now Cranleigh has a deluge of 1,236 new houses (and that doesn’t include the infilling going on all around Cranleigh in back gardens everywhere, especially up the Horsham Road) of these houses 418 are meant to be affordable – whatever that really means.

We just want to put the enormity of the scale of this development into context, ­the Swallowhurst Estate was for 58 houses only!

This is now the masterplan (so far) for Cranleigh, showing the Berkeley’s, Little Meadow and now KPI sites (A2 Dominion) together: Cllr Mary Foryszewski was the only Cranleigh Councillor who could vote at last night’s meeting, as once again Cllrs Stewart and Jeanette Stennett declared a pecuniary interest in the KPI development, and Cllr Patricia Ellis was nowhere in sight.  Cllr Foryszewski alone battled valiantly for Cranleigh, but all was in vain.  Be very scared Cranleigh residents, Waverley has big plans for Cranleigh and they are not pretty.

It was also revealed last night that Waverley agreed a reduction in affordable housing on the KPI site in return for more money for the Elmbridge Road bridge (we can’t wait to see what actually happens there, as the estimated cost by Waverley is more akin to a fairy tale) and a sizeable contribution to a new Leisure Centre, proposed for the parish owned Snoxhall Fields, no doubt surrounded by a big car park.  Never mind, Cranleigh doesn’t need free recreation space, not when it can have even more houses who will pay council tax to Waverley!
However, it transpired that the Parish Council were not even given the courtesy of a consultation about this new Leisure Centre, the Cllrs we spoke to knew nothing about it, and are desperately trying to save this area for the community, by putting the land into a Trust, rather than see it consumed by Waverley.  Cllr Liz Townsend, who it seems has not been allowed to take up Cllr Brian Ellis’s vacant place on the planning committee, was allowed a speaking slot and conveyed how angry Cranleigh residents felt about the
destruction of our village.  She also pointed out how seriously under represented Cranleigh is on the planning committee and that our voices were not being heard.

Officers brushed Cllr Townsend’s concerns about flooding on the site under the carpet, as well as the carefully worded advice from the Environment Agency to Waverley about something called the Sequential Test, which basically seems to mean that areas at less risk of flooding in Cranleigh should be built on first.  However, officers forged ahead regardless, avoiding carefully answering the question of whether the sequential test had actually been passed.  One shocked Cranleigh resident said “it’s as if the officers work for the developers”.

Cllr Townsend spoke from the heart, highlighting the unsustainable location of Cranleigh, and the harm that this deluge of development, in such as short space of time, would have on the character of Cranleigh and on its residents.  However, other hearts and minds appeared firmly closed, particularly Cllr Brian Adams (yes, he’s the one who said if we accepted the Crest Nicholson site for 149 houses Cranleigh would’ve taken its share of the borough’s housing, strangely the webcast of that meeting disappeared) who called his fellow councillors perverse if they refused this application, even though they had refused the identical application only last year.

Richard Bryant, on behalfof Cranleigh Civic Society, reminded Waverley that they have a legal duty to maintain water quality in our rivers and not to increase pollution levels in accordance with the Water Framework Directive.  Unfortunately, this was not even acknowledged, Waverley’s eye was firmly on the prize of 265 dwellings that won’t have to go anywhere near their precious green belt.  Houses that are far from major roads, far from a train station, far from jobs, and far from where most Waverley Councillors live.

Concerns about the sewage treatment works were cast aside with ease and pollution of Cranleigh Waters was not really worthy of a mention from officers, other than to imply that all was fine and dandy.  Apparently, the sewage from an additional 3,000 residents makes no difference.  And don’t forget that’s just Cranleigh’s new residents, we have other surrounding villages sending their muck here too to process.  Oh, and did we forget to say, no one gives a damn about the environment, it’s an inconvenient tick box in a developer-led planning system.  Cranleigh Cllr Brian Freeston admitted “we don’t feel part of Waverley at all, can you blame us?” he spoke about the unfair allocation of houses on a blighted Cranleigh. The fact that we are being forced to take 30% (so far), in the village alone, other areas have a maximum of 15%, and that doesn’t even take the Dunsfold settlement into account.

Cllr Freeston voiced concerns about the viability of the parkland, and said Cranleigh was in an untenable position.  Serious and informed comments about the ageing asbestos cement drinking water pipes, of which Cranleigh unenviably has almost 30%, compared to 2% in the entire Thames Water area, received about as much attention as a Cranleigh Councillor at a Local Plan meeting.  As Cllr Townsend said “there is not a big enough material constraint, not even banned blue asbestos, that trumps more housing on Cranleigh’s green fields”.  So there you have it folks, Cranleigh has been officially destroyed by Waverley, next it will be a massive big shopping centre, just like Waverley have planned for Farnham, and one day you will wake up and find yourselves living in the biggest city in Waverley, and wonder how the hell you got there.  Perhaps it’s time for some of us to move on……….

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KPI and A2 Dominion Granted Permission

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The nightmare has come true!  Yet another 265 houses on green fields were voted in last night on the casting vote of the Waverley Joint Planning Committee’s Chairman Cllr Peter Isherwood.

So now Cranleigh has a deluge of 1,236 new houses (and that doesn’t include the infilling going on all around Cranleigh in back gardens everywhere, especially up the Horsham Road) of these houses 418 are meant to be affordable – whatever that really means.

We just want to put the enormity of the scale of this development into context, the Swallowhurst Estate was for 58 houses only!

This is now the masterplan (so far) for Cranleigh, showing the Berkeley’s, Little Meadow and now KPI sites (A2 Dominion) together:

Masterplan for Cranleigh

The countryside to the left of the high street has now all but disappeared:

Cranleigh aerial photo

Cllr Mary Foryszewski was the only Cranleigh Councillor who could vote at last night’s meeting, as once again Cllrs Stewart and Jeanette Stennett declared a pecuniary interest in the KPI development, and Cllr Patricia Ellis was nowhere in sight.  Cllr Foryszewski alone battled valiantly for Cranleigh, but all was in vain.  Be very scared Cranleigh residents, Waverley has big plans for Cranleigh and they are not pretty.

It was also revealed last night that Waverley agreed a reduction in affordable housing on the KPI site in return for more money for the Elmbridge Road bridge (we can’t wait to see what actually happens there, as the estimated cost by Waverley is more akin to a fairy tale) and a sizeable contribution to a new Leisure Centre, proposed for the parish owned Snoxhall Fields, no doubt surrounded by a big car park.  Never mind, Cranleigh doesn’t need free recreation space, not when it can have even more houses who will pay council tax to Waverley!  However, it transpired that the Parish Council were not even given the courtesy of a consultation about this new Leisure Centre, the Cllrs we spoke to knew nothing about it, and are desperately trying to save this area for the community, by putting the land into a Trust, rather than see it consumed by Waverley.

Cllr Liz Townsend, who it seems has not been allowed to take up Cllr Brian Ellis’s vacant place on the planning committee, was allowed a speaking slot and conveyed how angry Cranleigh residents felt about the destruction of our village.  She also pointed out how seriously under represented Cranleigh is on the planning committee and that our voices were not being heard.

Officers brushed Cllr Townsend’s concerns about flooding on the site under the carpet, as well as the carefully worded advice from the Environment Agency to Waverley about something called the Sequential Test, which basically seems to mean that areas at less risk of flooding in Cranleigh should be built on first.  However, officers forged ahead regardless, avoiding carefully answering the question of whether the sequential test had actually been passed.  One shocked Cranleigh resident said “it’s as if the officers work for the developers”.

Cllr Townsend spoke from the heart, highlighting the unsustainable location of Cranleigh, and the harm that this deluge of development, in such as short space of time, would have on the character of Cranleigh and on its residents.  However, other hearts and minds appeared firmly closed, particularly Cllr Brian Adams (yes, he’s the one who said if we accepted the Crest Nicholson site for 149 houses Cranleigh would’ve taken its share of the borough’s housing, strangely the webcast of that meeting disappeared) who called his fellow councillors perverse if they refused this application, even though they had refused the identical application only last year.

Richard Bryant, on behalf of Cranleigh Civic Society, reminded Waverley that they have a legal duty to maintain water quality in our rivers and not to increase pollution levels in accordance with the Water Framework Directive.  Unfortunately, this was not even acknowledged, Waverley’s eye was firmly on the prize of 265 dwellings that won’t have to go anywhere near their precious green belt.  Houses that are far from major roads, far from a train station, far from jobs, and far from where most Waverley Councillors live.

Concerns about the sewage treatment works were cast aside with ease and pollution of Cranleigh Waters was not really worthy of a mention from officers, other than to imply that all was fine and dandy.  Apparently, the sewage from an additional 3,000 residents makes no difference.  And don’t forget that’s just Cranleigh’s new residents, we have other surrounding villages sending their muck here too to process.  Oh, and did we forget to say, no one gives a damn about the environment, it’s an inconvenient tick box in a developer-led planning system.

Cranleigh Cllr Brian Freeston admitted “we don’t feel part of Waverley at all, can you blame us?” he spoke about the unfair allocation of houses on a blighted Cranleigh. The fact that we are being forced to take 30% (so far), in the village alone, other areas have a maximum of 15%, and that doesn’t even take the Dunsfold settlement into account. Cllr Freeston voiced concerns about the viability of the parkland, and said Cranleigh was in an untenable position.  Serious and informed comments about the ageing asbestos cement drinking water pipes, of which Cranleigh unenviably has almost 30%, compared to 2% in the entire Thames Water area, received about as much attention as a Cranleigh Councillor at a Local Plan meeting.

As Cllr Townsend said “there is not a big enough material constraint, not even banned blue asbestos, that trumps more housing on Cranleigh’s green fields”.

So there you have it folks, Cranleigh is being officially destroyed with impunity by Waverley, next it will be a massive big shopping centre, just like Waverley have planned for Farnham, and one day you will wake up and find yourselves living in the biggest town in Waverley, and wonder how the hell you got there.

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Death of the Grampian Condition

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It won’t have gone unnoticed to residents that both Crest Nicholson on the Horsham Road and Cala Homes on Amlets Lane have started developing their sites.

Both these sites had Grampian style conditions.  This was meant to prevent the start of the development until off-site works were completed on the sewerage network, including the sewage treatment works on Elmbridge Road. However, we were recently advised by planning enforcement at Waverley that the Grampian Condition wording is too woolly to enforce and doesn’t specifically mention the words sewage “TREATMENT”,  so no work to the sewage works are apparently included – another nail in the coffin for Cranleigh.

To say that we felt let down by the lack of rigour exercised in the planners’ wording of the Grampian and the lack of ability by Waverley to enforce it, is an understatement!

There is no consideration being given to existing residents, who after all fund the borough council, in the scramble to achieve a housing number at all costs.  We don’t need to remind you, that you will have to bear the brunt of polluted rivers, congested roads, odour nuisance from the sewage works, an over burdened GP surgery, the list goes on.


As you might remember Cala Homes had applied for their Grampian condition to be removed, however, Waverley Borough Council, in a rare moment of what seemed common sense, refused their request. Surprisingly, this did not stop work on Cala’s show houses.

Amlets 8 Jan 2017

The bungalow on the Horsham Road, which was acquired by Crest Nicholson to provide an access road to the site, was demolished long before their Grampian Condition was even discharged (such as it was), and work was also immediately commenced on the green fields to build 149 houses.  Grampian, what Grampian?

It was also pointed out that Crest’s Grampian was a little more lax than that for Cala Homes, despite all the initial concerns Thames Water had about this site and the need for huge on-site sewage storage tanks. These worries seem to have been a mere flash in the pan!

Not long after the first Crest spade was in the ground, they were plotting to build 121 more houses in the pristine green fields adjacent to this site.

Crest describes Cranleigh on their website:

“Cranleigh is a pretty Surrey village where one can enjoy a relaxed pace of life yet benefit from daily conveniences aplenty on the doorstep, including a selection of shops, cafes and restaurants.”

Crest Nicholson demolish Bungalow Horsham Road

Sounds idyllic, and surprising how keen developers are to emphasise that we are a “village” in their marketing literature.


Despite the unsustainable location of Cranleigh, on a rural road network, with little public transport, a heavy reliance on the use of the private car, limited employment opportunities, water quality issues, a high percentage of asbestos cement drinking water pipes, an inadequate sewage treatment plant, and on green fields to boot,  none of this matters, as long as the houses are built.

The ONLY reason for these dwellings is because we have NO GREEN BELT protection, nothing else, and national planning policy will be twisted at the whim of the planners to suit their ultimate plan for this area, which is CRANLEIGH TOWN.

However, before you start thinking, how bad can that be, it will be bad!  We are the only community in Waverley without green belt protection AND any environmental designation.  Farnham at least has the protection of Thames Basin Special Protection Area.  So going forward, Cranleigh will be the dumping ground for any, and all, unmet housing in Waverley.  However, Waverley Borough Council seem to be the winners, they have a convenient area, in the corner of the borough, which will be a cash cow for council tax, and with only 5 councillors (Farnham has 18) representing this area, and two of those with a declared pecuniary interest in development, this really does seem like a marvellous arrangement.

There is the rather inconvenient truth of Cranleigh Waters, which is polluted and failing in terms of the Water Framework Directive, but that can be smoothed over, by applying pressure to an overworked and under resourced Environment Agency (EA) with the promise of funds for river restoration  and flood plain replacement projects.

There’s the problem of the rural roads and A281, but as Matthew Evans, Ex-Waverley Head Planner, said it really doesn’t matter if people are stuck in traffic.  Obviously air quality issues and quality of life, for residents in this part of the borough,  was not something that disturbed his sleep.

And then there’s the ageing asbestos cement drinking water pipes, which have an extremely inconvenient habit of bursting whenever water pressure increases, still, studies of health risks are inconclusive, so it appears Waverley don’t need to worry about that either.  Despite the fact that we can find no reports that include the age of pipes we have here, or our particularly agressive type of water.

It would be difficult to imagine what would ever be considered as a material constraint by Waverley planners against development in Cranleigh, perhaps the discovery of uranium in the high street?

And to add insult to injury, the EA are now actively looking for replacement flood plain for this area, as let’s face it, they don’t want to create too much flooding downstream for Bramley and Guildford, residents there might start to wonder why the hell all this building was allowed, or should we say encouraged, on the natural flood plain we DID have.

However, we still have something up our sleeve and that’s you!

Joined together, you are the most powerful force.  Stronger than Waverley and stronger than developers.

Working together in big enough numbers, people can, and will, make a difference.  We can fight for fairness, we can fight for our community, and we can fight for our environment.

JOIN US


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead


 

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