Category Archives: infrastructure

Dunsfold Planning Application Approved – What now?

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Dunsfold Planning Application Approved – What now?

On the 29 March, the plan to build 1,800 homes in Dunsfold park was approved by the Secretary of State Sajid Javid despite heavy opposition from residents.

It’s time to put pressure on regarding the effects on infrastructure.

Get Surrey has reported that Councillors have expressed fear on Increased traffic and congestion in the area once the homes are built and included a map to show likely problem areas following the development.

Specifically mentioned is more traffic expected on an already busy A281, but other areas for concern include:

•    The partly single-track route from Dunsfold Park via Markwick Lane, Salt Lane and Station Road to the nearest railway station at Milford – this is also the quickest route to the A3;
•    The use of B2130 through Hascombe to Godalming, and onto Guildford; and
•    The roads through Hambledon towards Witley Station.

However, the increase of traffic on country lanes was assessed and deemed sustainable by transport planners.

Jim McAllister, Dunsfold Park Ltd’s chief executive said:

“The development of Dunsfold Aerodrome will provide homes for all sections of the community including young families currently priced out of the area, create new jobs and deliver a range of new community facilities together with infrastructure improvements. We look forward to working with Waverley Borough Council to progress the detail.”

What can be done now?

The pressure on infrastructure is the main concern affecting residents when any new housing development is approved.

If these developments effect you and your family, you can still make an impact. Cranleigh Society welcomes new members to help spread awareness and ensure our voices are heard. For further information email: membership@cranleighsociety.org

Further reading:

Join Cranleigh Civic Society

Get Surrey – The reaction after 1800 homes approved

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Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 Adopted

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20 Feb 2018  Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 adopted

was adopted tonight:

  • For – 41
  • Against – 1
  • Abstained – 3

Even those who opposed or had serious reservations took the view that the Waverley area would have more protection with a LP. Even with it’s flaws,  WBC would be able to take back control.  No longer would planning be developer led.

All three Cranleigh Councillors expressed their deep concerns about Waverley’s Local Plan. But they decided to vote For IT because the consequences of having no LP would be disastrous. Nothing will undo the damage that has already been inflicted on Cranleigh but further damage can be minimised with the LP.

http://www.waverley.gov.uk/news/article/337/waverley_s_local_plan_is_adopted

Waverley’s local plan part 1 – Cranleigh Society’s opinion was shared before the vote –

Whilst Cranleigh is viewed by Waverley as one of the four main “settlements”, it has some serious infrastructure problems which the Inspector, Jonathan Bore, has not addressed in the report, even though they were pointed out to him by Cranleigh Civic Society and others at the Inquiry.

  • Cranleigh is only served by already congested B-roads, and lanes (we call them “rat runs”) which do not even qualify for B-road status, and there are no plans in his report (or in the Local Plan) to solve this.
  • Any new dwellings being built in Cranleigh rely on sewage treatment at the Elmbridge Road works.  In recent years, the so-called river that the effluent is pumped into, Cranleigh Waters, has developed serious flow problems, sometimes ceasing flowing altogether.  The river has become polluted, with local angling societies reporting dying fish stocks to the Environment Agency, and there is currently no plan by Waverley to solve this problem.  The Inspector has not considered this in his report.
  • 29.6% of all Cranleigh’s drinking water supply network is made from old asbestos cement pipes which are at the end of their 50 to 70 year design life, and they are regularly bursting releasing free asbestos fibres into the water supply.  Some of the pipes recently tested by Thames Water are made from highly dangerous blue asbestos.  Waverley are aware of this problem, and it has been suggested to them that all the old asbestos cement pipes be replaced before any new housing is connected to the network. Again, this important matter has not been considered by the Inspector in his report.
  • There are no plans to create new local jobs, so increasing the population will simply create a need to commute to work, which is hardly sustainable.

We accept that there is a need to build new houses in SE England and we do not have a problem with Cranleigh taking its fair share, but unless the infrastructure problems are addressed before the plan is published and put into place, we see big problems ahead.

Modern town planning (actually even Ebenezer Howard said this in the 1920s) states that “houses should be built where the jobs are”.  Modern thinking is to build settlements as close as possible to places where people can work or to at least give people easy access to commute.  Of the four settlements in the report, Cranleigh is least able to meet this criteria.  It has only B-roads and narrow lanes leading out of it, no railway station and so on.  The obvious place to build substantial quantities of new houses, in the Waverley area, is Milford, as:

(1) It has a mainline railway station that can easily be extended to take the new 12 car trains to London; (2)  It is close to both the A31 and A3; (3) It is close to the job markets in Guildford, Godalming and Farnham; (4) It is adjacent to the River Wey and therefore readily lends itself to the building of a new major sewage treatment works that can meet the needs of the latest 2017 implementations of the Water Framework Directive.  Yet I think we are correct in saying that the Local Plan only envisages 180 new dwellings in Milford?  If this is the situation we have to ask “Why?”

Richard Bryant

 Vice Chair.

 CRANLEIGH CIVIC SOCIETY.

Go to Waverley Borough Council  website and complete the consultation if you feel you can.

Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies

 

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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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Refuse tip at risk of closure

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You may have read recently that Surrey County Council are considering closing Cranleigh Recycling Centre! Before they go ahead with this closure SCC are carrying out a consultation on their proposal to shut the recycling and refuse tip in Cranleigh and other sites across the county.

This news comes only months after the opening hours at the Cranleigh site were reduced. Considering the increase in residents we are expecting following all the house building that Waverley Borough Council have approved this seems pretty short-sighted. Infrastructure issues have been at the heart of our objections to the high increase of housing in the area and this change is very unhelpful and we think it could lead to an increase in the amount of fly-tipping that already costs Waverley Borough Council large amounts each year.

Please click on the link to the consultation site below and complete the questionnaire before 7 August to let them know what you think.

Consultation

Also, if you have anything you have been meaning to chuck out, take a trip to the tip in the next few days.  The more we can prove that we need this refuse tip, the better!

Here is what one of our members thought about this proposal:

Dear Cranleigh Society

As I am sure are aware, the local paper recently carried a story about a SCC consultation to close a number of Community Recycling Centres including Cranleigh. Travelling to the alternative CRCs would not in any way be convenient, Witley would be a 45 minute journey and the alternative of Guildford likely well in excess of an hour as it will require negotiating central Guildford and then queuing traffic at Slyfield.

I have completed the online survey and if you are able to encourage members (and indeed non members) to respond to the survey there are three opportunities to specifically object to the closure of Cranleigh CRC:

Question 5 – strongly disagree to close Cranleigh

Question 7 – preferred option “closure of some CRCs” set to lowest preference i.e. 1

Question 8 other comments – I have pasted in my own answers below as an example. Although answers to this question cannot be relied on as it is unstructured data it is an opportunity to get individual comments across:

1. Apart from my fortnightly refuse collection, my local CRC is one of the few obvious ways I see that I get something in return for the large amount of council tax I pay. Closing my local CRC would cause me to resent paying my council tax. It’s no good pointing out what else my council tax is spent on as I don’t see any evidence of that, for instance my local roads are very poorly maintained. Putting out “positive” messages about what the saved money would be spent on instead simply won’t cut it as that doesn’t compensate me for the considerable inconvenience of travelling to an alternative CRC. I want the Cranleigh CRC retained, period.

2. At a time when a very large number of new houses are being built or planned to be built in Cranleigh it seems beyond belief that the council would consider closing the Cranleigh CRC. This would be rubbing salt in the wound opened up by having so much housing dumped on a community whose infrastructure is already struggling to cope, and that is before before the population is increased by all the planned house building.

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Concerns over plans for New Junior School in Cranleigh

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Surrey County Council have submitted a planning application (ref SCC2017/0064 & WBC: WA/2017/0696) for a new Junior and Infant School at Glebelands in Cranleigh, and this was discussed at the Cranleigh Parish Council Planning meeting on 24 April 2017.

Having reviewed the application we at Cranleigh Civic Society have concerns regarding child safety.

It appears that with the new school building, the impact of having 3 schools in close proximity in the Glebelands area, and the dangers of hugely increased population of school children travelling to and from school, have not been addressed.

The current Church of England Infant School in Church Lane, has parking available that allows parents to park and walk their Infant school children to the safety of the Infant School premises.

There is no parking provision for parents in the proposed new infant School at Glebelands that will allow parents to ensure their children’s safe arrival at School.

As well as no parking provision for the younger children’s parents/guardians, there is also no extra drop-off area provision for the increased number of High School children.

The impact of the Dunsfold and Cranleigh development proposals could double the current numbers of children of Infant and High School age travelling to and from Glebelands School.

The lack of safety provision in the proposed application will put the new and existing school attendees at unacceptably high risk in many ways in the future while travelling to, from and arriving at school.

We believe that Surrey County Council & Waverley Borough Council both have a duty to properly address this serious issue to ensure child safety and we would be interested to hear how they will carry out their duty of care in ensuring the safe arrival and departure of the huge numbers of children that will attend the Schools at Glebelands in the future.

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KPI application to be heard 15th March

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Development Application: Land at West Cranleigh Nurseries and North of Knowle Park between Knowle Land and Alfold Road, CRANLEIGH

Reference : WA/2016/2207

www.waverley.gov.uk/planning

This application is to be heard on 15 March 2017 7pm at Council Chamber, The Burys, Godalming

Objections need to be submitted by 10 March.

Your village needs you to object NOW.

The application is not materially different to the original that was refused 29/04/2016 and is now at appeal.  The reason for refusal remain and when an application is not materially different to that refused a period of 2 years must pass before a similar application can be considered.  To reflect on previous objections, the application is not sustainable, remains outside the village envelope, the proposed area is in flood zone 3, agricultural land, removal of employment land, should the other nearby applications commence the accumulation of traffic on the Alfold road, the density of housing is excessive, affordable housing reduced to 35%, the ‘Parkland’ remaining in perpetuity how will this be achieved.

Object today!

How to Object to Planning Applications

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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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AGM 2nd March

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This Thursday, 2nd of March is the AGM of the Cranleigh Civic Society at the Band Room on Village Way at 7:30pm and never before have we been so much in need of your help. We have fought the good fight examining every detail of the huge number of houses planned and approved to be built in our village, only to be ignored and criticised by the borough council and other parties who stand to make huge financial gains.

In fact, they’ve openly said that nothing you or I say or do has any effect on the decisions they make about the quality, well-being and safety of existing resident’s lives. It seems we’re unimportant, compared to their desire to dump all the housing here despite the lack of infrastructure, thereby protecting Haslemere, Godalming and in the main Farnham.

Cranleigh only has 5 borough councillors, of which 2 have declared a pecuniary interest in development in Cranleigh, compared to the stronghold of 18 borough councillors for Farnham.

The dump on Cranleigh has only just begun, with this imbalance of power this will never stop.

Please join us now to take a stand against the outrageous abuse of this power and help us to keep up the fight for fair representation on the borough council and for fair recognition of the constraints of our rural roads, sewage treatment, public transport and the undermining of the character of our village.

This will not stop!  Areas of farmland and woods have already been decimated but we must still fight on. We have irrefutable evidence of the extent of Cranleigh’s ageing asbestos cement drinking water pipes and no clear evidence that this is not a risk to our health, despite asking the Drinking Water Inspectorate several times to confirm this they have not done so.  We have set up an online petition to ask our MP Anne Milton to help us find out what these asbestos pipes are doing to us and to our children.

We think we have a right to know, do you?

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/remove-asbestos-cement-drinking-water-pipes

We can also prove that the sewerage treatment works intends to pump out more and more pollution into our river, even though it is already polluted, and the Environment Agency is most likely going to roll over and play dead, and let them do this, whilst wildlife suffers and our environment suffers too.  We need to continue to push Waverley on this point, even if ultimately it may lead to the law courts.

We’ll bring you right up to date on Thursday with the battles we are fighting and let you know how you can help us.  And, never forget:

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

 Margaret Mead Anthropologist

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SAFETY FEARS FOR CRANLEIGH BRIDGE CONTINUE

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Since our posting on 30th January 2016 we have been regularly monitoring the movement of the bridge over the Downs Link on Elmbridge Road and liaising with Surrey County Council (SCC).

Elmbridge Bridge Repairs 29-04-16

On 2nd March, Adrian Clarke (Chartered Builder and Committee Member of the Society) revisited the site as one of our members had alerted us to work being carried out. A sub-contractor acting for Surrey County Council was filling in the cracks with a weak mixture of sand and cement. Adrian noted that a crack not yet filled in had bulged more since his previous visit.

Adrian Clarke at Elmbridge

Filling cracks with a weak mortar mix is a waste of money – it was purely a cosmetic job to hide a very real problem.

It is our view that the bridge abutments should be renewed now whist the arch is still sound. If Surrey County Council delay this work until one of the abutments completely fails, then the structural arch will tilt and once this happens the whole bridge will have to be demolished and completely rebuilt. This would be both extremely expensive and disruptive to village life for a very long time.

In July, another Cranleigh Society member was studying a Surrey County Council document on Dunsfold Park and was startled to see reference to “Downs Link bridge (which is in need of structural work”. Obviously we drew the Council’s attention to this but they played down its significance.

On 2nd August there was a bridge collapse in Leicestershire – a bridge not dissimilar in design to the Downs Link bridge. This prompted us to research other bridge collapses and our findings were sent to Surrey County Council in the forlorn hope that these failures would spur them into taking our concerns more seriously.

At this point we decided to notify our MP, Anne Milton, of the matter and she is being kept informed of developments.

On 8th August we received an email from Surrey County Council which they hoped “would allay our fears” – it does not! They referred to:

  • The Council’s “scheduled and ad hoc visual inspections do not indicate there has been movement in the cracks that are visible from ground level” – we say get a ladder! Also, there is no mention of the walls bulging!
  • The “bridge was strengthened in 2006 ensuring the structure was capable of carrying a 40T full highway loading for single lane traffic” – we want to know why no weight limit has been imposed – also the traffic is controlled by lights and it is quite feasible for a breakdown on the far side of the bridge, or a slow cyclist, to bring a following mini convoy of 40T grab trucks to a halt! Also, nearby Hewitts has just been approved for development – even more HGVs!
  • “We do not currently have any concerns about the structural integrity of the bridge” – we say that this totally contradicts what Surrey County Council stated in the Dunsfold Park document!

Also in August the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) was published and this includes reference to the Downs Link bridge being rebuilt! We asked Surrey County Council to confirm this is correct but there was no response in their email of 16th November.

That email does refer to “seasonal movement of the wing wall foundations” which we find interesting. Structurally a bridge abutment is designed as a single composite component and if an abutment experiences cracking, then it is no longer acting as a single component – it is now two or more components and engineering performance is obviously compromised. This view is not accepted by Surrey County Council and they insist the bridge is safe – even though the Infrastructure Delivery Plan allows for it to be rebuilt!

Looking at all the photos again, we have noticed that the triangle of bricks within the crack looks different to the other bricks, perhaps suggesting that this section has failed before, was repaired and has failed again? We will investigate!

Elmbridge Bridge 23 Jan 2016

So this is where we are at right now but Cranleigh Civic Society will continue to monitor the bridge and do everything possible to ensure it is made “fit for purpose” for the traffic demands of the 21st century.

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Land Slip Barhatch Lane

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We have had several enquires concerning progress to deal with the land slip on Barhatch Lane.  In response to this we thought it would be helpful to publish a copy of the email received from Surrey County Council on 15 December 2016 (we will be chasing this up again soon):

“Thank you for your email, after speaking with the local engineer I can provide the following update.

We are currently working as quickly as we can with a Geotechnical engineer to formulate a remedial scheme and hope to have a solution soon.

It was previously programmed for the toe of the embankment slippage to be removed from the highway during the October half term however the Geotechnical advice received subsequently has been to not remove it as this could merely bring the entire embankment down. 

A full closure is being considered which would potentially cause serious disruptions to local residents locally, as Barhatch Lane is a well-used route and a full closure could remain in place for some considerable time before this issue would be finally resolved. There have also been other closures in the area recently necessitated for works, which have required the use of Barhatch Lane. Traffic signals were considered however due to the very rural nature of the area and the lack of street lights to enable temporary traffic signals to be chained to, this option was not considered viable as the signals would be stolen very quickly, which would subsequently leave an even more dangerous situation.

Our major concern has always been that the entire embankment could slip onto the carriageway below, but in the short term when the weather gets colder, freezing of the water will cause a completely iced up carriageway. We have however been attempting to be as proactive as possible in order to expedite this problem, as our duty is to protect the highway and the highway user.

We have served notice on the owners and are currently dealing with the insurance company, the claims adjuster, and geotechnical engineers to resolve the problem ASAP. I understand that it may yet come to a full closure of the carriageway for an undetermined period.”

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