PICTURE ABOVE SHOWS SEWAGE FUNGUS IN CRANLEIGH BROOK 10 APRIL 2016
On 27th April 2016 at 7pm both applications for the Knowle Park Initiative and Little Meadow (Crownhall Estates Ltd) amounting to another 340 houses off Alfold Road go before the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) in Waverley.
Come to the JPC meeting, it is extremely important that councillors make this decision directly in front of Cranleigh residents and we know exactly how they vote, especially our local Cranleigh councillors.
If approved, this would bring the total number of new houses off Alfold Road to 765.
The nearby Hewitts Industrial Estate application for another 120 houses is also due to be heard at Appeal by the Planning Inspector in October 2016. That would bring the TOTAL JUST in this part of the village to 885.
Where’s the Sewage Going?
We also note that Thames Water have not raised any objection to either of these applications based on sewerage capacity and yet they have placed Grampian style conditions on both Cala Homes and Crest Nicholson, which means that development cannot commence on these sites until foul water drainage strategies for on and/or off-site work, has been approved by Waverley Borough Council and Thames Water.
We have written to Thames Water to point out this discrepancy and the fact that we believe that it is in breach of its statutory obligations as the water and sewage undertaker if it now fails to raise an objection to the Knowle Park Initiative and Little Meadow applications.
Knowle Park Initiative Saga
For those of you who have been following the Knowle Park Initiative (KPI) application, you might remember that Thames Water originally objected to the application on the grounds that the existing waste water (that’s sewage) infrastructure couldn’t accommodate another 265 houses in addition to 425 on the Berkeley Homes site. It also confirmed that the water supply infrastructure didn’t have sufficient capacity either.
When the Berkeley’s application for 425 homes was refused on 6 January 2015, KPI’s advisers moved swiftly and contacted Thames Water on 7 January 2015 to point out that in light of the refusal there was now some notional sewage capacity available to them, although we wonder where this was, seeing as Cala and Crest were told there was none?
Thames Water faced with the fact that they had not objected at all to the Berkeley Homes application on sewage grounds had to concede on this point and issued a letter on 15 January 2015 ( view KPI Correspondence to Waverley regarding Thames Water ) withdrawing their objection. However, the letter from Lance Cooper of Thames Water did point out that: “Please note that the views expressed by Thames Water in this letter is in response to this pre-development enquiry only and does not represent our final views on any future planning applications made in relation to this site.”
Now you might think that in light of the decision for Berkeley Homes Appeal on 31 March 2016 giving permission for 425 houses, and bearing in mind the recent widely publicised sewage issues in Cranleigh, which are referred to by planning officers in their report for the meeting on 27 April, Waverley officers would go back to Thames Water and get an updated statement before they recommended 340 more houses for approval in Cranleigh?
And especially as the sewers becoming overwhelmed by another 340 houses and foul water flooding would be an environmental and a public health risk.
But you would be wrong, the planning officers have recommended both of these sites for approval, relying on what might be a verbal update from Thames Water prior to the meeting on 27 April. This seems to amount to a serious oversight by Waverley Borough Council Planning Officers.
What about the Water Supply?
And what of the water supply infrastructure you might ask? That’s the stuff that comes out of your taps. Thames Water has maintained that the water supply infrastructure CANNOT SUPPORT either of these developments, however, this appears to have been completely overlooked by officers. There is no mention of a condition regarding this in their recommendation to approve these sites, and there is no mention of the impact study that Thames Water requested.
We think this is yet another serious oversight by Waverley Planning Officers and we would like to know why.
What are we doing?
Yesterday we wrote to Thames Water regarding the Knowle Park Initiative and Litle Meadows applications requesting that they uphold their statutory obligations and we copied in our MP Anne Milton, Waverley Planning Officers and the Environment Agency.
We also met up yesterday with a representative of Waverley’s Environmental Health Department, who seem to be taking this issue seriously.
We will keep you informed of the outcome.
What can you do?
Demand to know what is going on with Cranleigh’s sewerage system:
Send ONE email to the following people quoting references KPI WA/2015/1569 and Little Meadow WA/2015/0478 (please copy us in at email@example.com):
Email your MP Anne Milton firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Elizabeth Sims, Head of Planning Services (Chief Planning Officer) email@example.com
Email the Current Leader of Waverley Borough Council Robert Knowles firstname.lastname@example.org
Email the New Leader (from May) of Waverley Borough Council Julia Potts email@example.com
Thank you for your continued support.