Category Archives: Waverley Borough Council

THAKEHAM HOMES ELMBRIDGE ROAD UPDATE

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Since our posting on 6 October we have written to Anne Milton MP, Tom Horwood (Interim MD at Waverley Borough Council) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to confirm our utter amazement and dismay that this application was granted.

We are meeting this morning with Tom Horwood to discuss this matter further.

We asked DCLG to call-in the application on the basis that the Joint Planning Committee Chairman, Cllr Isherwood, refused to allow the members of the JPC to consider the correct flood levels provided by Cllr Hyman and which have been subsequently checked by our expert who confirmed the (higher) levels were 100% correct. The refusal to allow a debate is a fact – have a look at the video of the meeting:

JOINT PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING 5 OCTOBER 2017

Cllr Isherwood relied heavily on an desktop computer report by a company working on behalf of the developers to the total exclusion of all other primary evidence presented by residents and other councillors. The developer’s representative was allowed unprecedented access to members throughout the entire meeting and sat with officers at the head table and was allowed to speak throughout the discussion of the flooding item, unlike the parish council, residents or the Cranleigh ward member who were only allowed a maximum of 4 minutes.

We take the view that there has been a blatant violation of planning law.  DCLG refused our call-in request so Anne Milton was then requested to not only push DCLG to reconsider their decision but also involve the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It was only at the beginning of this year that DEFRA, following the disastrous flooding in the North of England, issued a consultation document asking for submissions on how to reduce the Governments exposure to the ever increasing cost of flood relief – and here we have another Government Department hell bent on condoning the granting of planning permission on a flood plain where future serious flooding is a certainty!

Where is the joined up thinking here?

Hopefully we will be able to get some answers today and achieve some joined up thinking from central government but we have to be prepared for inaction so we have already commenced discussions with the Association of British Insurers with a view to having this Thakeham site as a decline risk for flood insurance as Insurers only take on flood risks, not flood certainties.

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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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Thakeham Homes Elmbridge Road GRANTED

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Last night Waverley Borough Council granted planning permission for 54 houses on the worst site in Cranleigh for new houses on the Elmbridge Road.

The developers Thakeham Homes say they pride themselves on the quality of their homes and yet they are building houses smaller than nationally set space standards between a smelly sewage treatment plant and a river that regularly floods. New residents will need pegs for their noses and water wings.

However, on a serious note the drainage for this site is being put in an area that we know floods regularly so will be completely useless when its needed most, as is the children’s play area, we hope that anyone who lives there keeps a careful eye on their children, as we know how quickly the river can change from a low to high state and how quickly it flows in times of flood.

The Joint Planing Committee accepted (10 to 8) the new “expert” estimated advice that the flood zones on the land had now miraculously moved since the last time it came before committee in JUNE 2017 and they ignored local residents, the Parish Council and expert evidence put forward by our Councillor Liz Townsend that the flooding had been much worse in December 2013 than was being stated and was at the very least 45.194m. They also refused to look at photographic evidence presented by Councillor Jerry Hyman from Farnham, that showed both a water mark on the pumping station on the Elmbridge Road, taken in December 2013, as well as flood detritus, that proved the water had been over a 1 in 1,000 years predicted flood event. We have had at least two floods of this magnitude in 50 years – 1968 and 2013, so more of 1 in 25 years! Far from the flood zones being reduced, they should have been increased and the safety of new residents and people living further downstream should have been paramount.

As a chartered insurance broker I am acutely aware of the fact that these new residents are not guaranteed flood insurance, in fact they could end up with new (and very expensive) homes that are frankly worthless.

Yet another development in Cranleigh bringing our total new houses up to nearly 1,400.  In a race for a housing figure corners are most definitely being cut and it is Cranleigh residents that will be left with all the mounting problems.

We hope that the articles on this website will assist any new residents when they need to make an insurance claim in the future.

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Thakeham Homes to JPC this Thursday

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Despite fears about flooding from Cranleigh Waters and odour from the sewage treatment plant as well as water quality in the river, Waverley Borough Council’s Joint Planning Committee are being recommended to GRANT permission to Thakeham Homes for 54 new dwellings on the Elmbridge Road site.  The meeting will take place on Thursday 5th October – public are welcome.  Time 7pm at the Burys – Council offices in Godalming.

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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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Flooding on Thakeham Site – Elmbridge Road

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As you will be aware the decision on the Thakeham Homes application for 54 dwellings off the Elmbridge Road was deferred by the Joint Planning Committee pending more evidence on flooding and odour from the Sewage Treatment Works.

If you have any photos of flooding on this site whatsoever, could you please email your photos to info@cranleighsociety.org or send printed copies of photos to Phill Price, Chair, Cranleigh Civic Society, 18 Brookside, Cranleigh GU6 8DA

thakeham-homes-main-rivers-labelled

Thank you.

 

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Another 54 houses for Cranleigh – **Decision Deferred!**

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As an update on this post from last week, the JPC voted 9-5 to defer the decision on this application, on grounds of flooding and odour from the nearby sewage works.

 

Thakeham Homes application (Planning Ref : WA/2016/1921) for 54 houses off Elmbridge Road goes to Joint Planning Committee this Weds 28 June 2017 6:30pm at Waverley Offices in Godalming. Officers are recommending this for APPROVAL.

thakeham-homes-block-plan

This entire site was underwater in Dec 2013/Jan 2014 – the road, which was higher than the site, was impassable.

In January 2015 about 30%  of the site was flooded.

The site also enjoys sewage odour during the summer months – this has got to be a low point even for Waverley! Under 2.3 Odour Complaints of the Odour Assessment it is alleged that odour is only a problem to residents living NE and SE of the site and that only one property to the south complained.

Is that, perhaps, because the main area to the south is the green field where development is being proposed?

Thakeham Homes have stated that “odour is not considered to be a constraint to residential development at the site”.

Would you like your children to buy a house here with no guarantee of flood insurance and likely to have unpleasant odours?  Doesn’t sound like idyllic village life to us.

What you can do:

Attend the JPC meeting:

6.30pm 28 June 2017 Waverley Borough Council offices, The Bury’s, Godalming.

Object online: http://planning.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/(RefNoLU)/WA20161921?OpenDocument Click on  and enter your details and comments.

Write to Waverley Borough Council:

http://www.cranleighsociety.org/2014/10/25/joint-planning-committee-contacts/

Write to Anne Milton:

Ask her to call in this outrageous application. Email her on anne.milton.mp@parliament.uk the reference is WA/2016/1921 Land South Of Elmbridge Road, Cranleigh perhaps notice will be taken if lots of people request it.

 

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Narrow Lanes blocked by Cala Homes lorries

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One of our members has contacted us to express extreme concern over the size of the lorries travelling up and down Amlets Lane to deliver building materials to Cala Homes.

It seems that these drivers are not following the agreed route to and from the building site, and this is causing dangerous conditions for other road users.

Following our recommendation, the lady involved sent a letter to Waverley Borough Council, as below:

Dear Waverley Borough Council

I would like to draw your attention to massive disruption for locals, a potential driving hazard and a danger to cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians etc.

I was driving along Amlets Lane in Cranleigh towards Barhatch Lane last Thursday, 1st June at about 8am. I had just passed the new entrance for the Cala Homes development when I met a huge lorry coming round the bend towards me across the white line. I hooted as he was in my lane and I had to slow down to less than 5mph to be able to pass it.

Having only just managed to get through, I was then met by an even larger articulated lorry (carrying massive concrete pipe sections) parked by the grass triangle where Amlets Lane joins Barhatch Lane. I complained to the three men on foot waiting there in high vis jackets, about the huge lorries using tiny lanes (with a bend) and one of them said that he was the driver for the parked HGV lorry! He said the lane was too narrow for him to get through, although I presume he later did so.

About an hour later on the same day, I was travelling back along Amlets Lane but in an easterly direction towards Smithwood Common Road/Horseshoe Lane, when I met yet another large lorry. The photos below clearly demonstrate that it was well over the centre line. It was simply impossible to pass it. The lorry had a tail back of traffic behind it so I (and three cars behind me) had no option but to reverse back along a windy narrow lane until we got to a driveway to get out of the lorry’s way.<

Three massive lorries in only a few minutes on one day. All hindering traffic and causing obstructions and /or dangers for other road users. The lane is very narrow and has no pavement. I believe the ‘one way system’ for lorries should be used (as demonstrated by the red Cala Home signs along the road) but clearly this is already being breached as I saw lorries coming from both directions!

Cala Homes and/or Waverley Borough Council must do something about this. Building has only just started. Such massive lorries are bound to have a huge impact on our local lanes (which are already full of pot holes) and/or be a danger to other road users, cyclists and pedestrians. It would be useful to ask all local residents to take photos of offending vehicles. I’m sure you would be inundated.

Please ensure I receive a reply to this email, in the absence of which I will take the matter to my local MP, the Police, Surrey Highways and other interested parties. Please include a correspondence address so I can contact Cala Homes about the issue.

I understand that there was very recently a fatality on Amlets Lane. It would a terrible tragedy if lorries arriving/leaving the Cala Homes development were involved.

Kind regards

This is the reply:

Thank you for your email of 9th June in which you raise concerns about large vehicles travelling along Amlets Lane to the CALA Homes development in Cranleigh. I have now had the opportunity to gain further information from Officers and I would respond to your email as follows.

The routing of traffic accessing the CALA Homes development is controlled by a Construction Management Plan (CTMP), required by a planning condition attached to the permission to develop the site. The CTMP was agreed by the Council following consultation with Surrey County Council (SCC) as Highway Authority.

The CTMP sets out the preferred route traffic accessing the CALA Homes development should take. The agreed route is along Amlets Lane from the direction of Smithwood Common Road. On leaving the site, traffic should again head along Amlets Lane back towards Smithwood Common Road. However, traffic leaving the site may also turn right out of the site and head towards Barhatch Road.

Taking into account your concern, our Planning Enforcement Team will investigate whether or not there has been a breach of the CTMP with regards to your comment about a large articulated lorry being parked on the grass verge at the junction of Amlets Lane and Barhatch Lane. Following investigation, Officers shall respond to you directly on their findings.

I am also aware that Officers from our Enforcement Team previously investigated a complaint relating to the construction of the access and sightlines formed at the entrance to the CALA Homes development. Surrey County Council as Highway Authority was asked to confirm whether or not the works carried out to form the access and sightlines were acceptable in highway safety terms. Subsequently, an Officer from SCC visited the site and confirmed that the access and visibility splays have been constructed in general accordance with the planning permission. As such, the Highway Authority is satisfied with the construction of the access and sightlines.

Although Waverley Borough Council, in terms of the CTMP, may have an element of control over vehicles travelling to and from the site, it does not have the authority to carry out works to the highway or investigate any potential road safety issues. Therefore, should you have any additional concerns about Amlets Lane and, in particular, road safety concerns, may I suggest that you raise your concerns with Surrey County Council as Highway Authority. The Highway Authority is contactable on 0300 200 1003are via email to: contact.centre@surreycc.gov.ukmailto:contact.centre@surreycc.gov.uk.

I trust my response answers the points raised. However, should you require any additional information, then please contact Mr William Gibb, Planning Enforcement Officer. Mr Gibb is contactable on 01483 523 581.

 

Finally,you asked for contact detail for CALA Homes and these are as follows;

Cala Homes (South Homes Counties) Limited
Tilford House
Farnham Business Park
Weydon Lane
Farnham
Surrey
GU9 8QT

Telephone number 01252 736750

I am copying in for information your M.P Anne Milton, the Cranleigh ward councillors and in addition your Surrey County Councillor, Dr Andrew Povey so that he is aware from a SCC highways perspective of your concerns. His contact details are;

Andrew.f.povey@surreycc.gov.uk

Kind regards

Julia Potts

Cllr.Julia Potts

Farnham Upper Hale Ward

Leader Waverley Borough Council

01483 523484

So, there you have it!

If you are not happy with this response, and have encountered these large lorries going in the wrong direction, had any incidents or are just concerned, please write to Julia Potts at Waverley Borough Council, Cala Homes, and Andrew Povey at Surrey County Council.

Email: Julia.Potts@Waverley.gov.uk

Email: Andrew.f.povey@surreycc.gov.uk

Post: Cala Homes (South Home Counties) Ltd, Tilford House, Farnham Business Park, Weydon Lane, Farnham, Surrey. GU9 8QT

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Cranleigh Stuffed!

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One of our Facebook friends asked us to post a map of all the development in Cranleigh to indicate to residents the true scale of our problem.  Well here it is, hot off the Waverley Planning Maps website:

Cranleigh Planning Applications 2011 onwards

This only shows planning applications from 2011 onwards.  You will no doubt recognise the mega site south of the High Street which totals 765 new dwellings alone!  This includes Berkeley Homes 425 dwellings (spanning Knowle Lane to Alfold Road), Little Meadow (Alfold Road) 75 dwellings and the Knowle Park Initiative (A2 Dominion) 265 dwellings (Alfold Road as well!). We do not understand how Surrey Highways thinks the rural roads will cope, with the explosion of  houses Waverley has planned for this area. and how they believe road safety will not be compromised.

Those of you also concerned about the sewage and foul water from all of these houses, will no doubt be astonished to learn, as we were last week at a meeting in Guildford with Thames Water, that no provision has yet been made for the expansion of the sewage treatment works on Elmbridge Road and no consideration has been given to the river into which the effluent flows.  We have reported countless times that Cranleigh Waters now regularly dries up, yet apparently, according to the “experts” in their desktop studies, it can cope with double the number of houses, and double the amount of effluent being poured into it, yes another minimum of 4,455 new dwellings, without any pollution problems whatsoever!

Over the last couple of days, Residents have yet again been reporting to us more Thames Water contractor vans across the village (picture below opposite turning to Elm Park 5 June 2017).

Elm House opp Elm Park 5 June 2017

Thames Water confirmed it had spent £1M on new filters to improve the sewage treatment works for EXISTING residents only, but as yet have not secured funding, or designed the sewage works for the new loos, showers, dishwashers, washing machines etc in the pipeline for 1,300 new houses in Cranleigh, let alone the 2, 600 (Local Plan figure) for Dunsfold or 600+ on the Springbok Estate.  This is utter madness!!  And yet still more applications pile up – another 98 on the primary school sites and another 101 in phase 2 for the Crest Nicholson site off the Horsham Road, which some of you may have attended the consultation in the village for.  Does it end there?  No of course not the numbers just keep growing, whilst the certain environmental damage on our doorstep is being firmly ignored.

What legacy is this Waverley Borough Council leaving to the next generation of residents in Cranleigh?

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