Category Archives: Waverley Borough Council

Proposed Dog Control Order Consultation – by Waverley Borough Council

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On 20th July, our local councillor, Liz Townsend, posted on the Cranleigh Community Board of Facebook, a message seeking peoples views and opinions on the proposed dog control orders that Waverley Borough Council are consulting on.

Whilst the writer believes that this is yet another example of the minority spoiling it for the majority, for anyone who is interested in finding out more information regarding the following or if you wish to participate in the consultation about the following:-

a. whether dogs should be excluded from specific areas altogether;

b. whether in certain areas dogs should be required to be walked on a lead;

c. whether the number of dogs walked by any individual should not be greater than four,

d. whether in specified areas dogs should be required to be on the lead at certain times of the year etc

For more information you click here or alternatively please visit the Waverley Brought Council website and click on the Dog Control in Waverley button.

Let us know in the comments what you think about the dog control orders being proposed for the borough including Cranleigh.

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Cranleigh Society Challenges County Highways

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Cranleigh Society’s Committee recently held an important meeting with four of Surrey County Council Highways Officers to demand an improvement to Waverley’s roads.

We need them to take account of the planned 1,700 extra houses for Cranleigh and the 2,600 houses for Dunsfold.

These extra houses could mean up to an extra 5,000 cars on our roads as well as the extra commercial and HGV lorries from the new factories being built on the Airfield. Everyone feels that the A281 to Guildford will be totally overwhelmed as well as the smaller roads and lanes.

The officers explained the problem they have, the Government are not providing ANY extra funds for roads and the Highways Department are not doing a major study to analyse the congestion – or to analyse what extra funds are needed.

Waverley have explained that the Dunsfold Developers have been promised that they need only pay Section 106 contributions – rather than the much larger Community Infrastructure Levies (CIL).

It is not possible to levy CIL whilst there is no Waverley Local Plan.There are different rules for how S106 payments and CIL payments can be spent.

WBC believe S106 is better as it stays within the Borough.  However we also gather that it also means none goes to Surrey to improve roads!

Here is a summary of what they are planning:

1.      There will be a new roundabout towards the A281 to take traffic from the airfield

2.       the A281 junction with Elmbridge Road will have signal improvements and extra lanes – not a new roundabout.

3.      There is a budget of £2.6M to improve junctions at Bramley and Shalford – but the officers agreed that this will not make much improvement because the section into Guildford is so narrow.

4.      Cranleigh’s bridge over the Canal will be rebuilt, starting in 2020, with a £2million budget.

5.      The bridge over Downlink needs to be re-built, but will be delayed as the cost estimate is  £1.5million.

6.      The bridge over the stream in Alfold Road needs rebuilding – but is delayed at cost of £350,000.

7.      There is a budget of £0.5M for improvements to Cranleigh High Street, mainly to speed the buses, but the junction of the High Street and Knowle Lane cannot be improved.

8.      There are no plans as yet to increase parking in Cranleigh, but Julia Potts has asked if Cranleigh people would consider a multi-storey carpark on Village Way.

In addition Waverley and The County are considering whether to improve the surface and provide some lighting along the Downslink from Cranleigh to Guildford.

Your Society pressed Surrey Highways to put in a bid from Government for roads improvement money, which they promised, but were not at all hopeful that they would get any extra money.

Highways are concerned about the growth of HGV traffic on the road to Shere, but will not be doing any work to relieve.

POT HOLES NEWS

Highways admitted that they have a £300 MILLION backlog on pothole and road repairs, but are only spending £50 million per year. The contractor is only paid per fully refurbished pothole and there are limits to the speed with which they can complete the task.

In summary, Cranleigh residents are facing a major delay in driving to Guildford, with no improvements to the rat-runs that serve Cranleigh. Your Society will continue to press our Councillors for improvement, remember they are all up for election next year.

Do you have any fresh ideas about improvements to the roads?  Let us know….

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Good News & updates from us (July 2018)

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We thought we’d put together the following overview of what we are working on at the moment to keep you in the loop. Please feel free to comment or let us know if you have any questions and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

HOUSING

Due to the Government’s need to build more houses in the South East, the lack of a Green Belt around Cranleigh, the position we were in having no “Local Plan” (WBC now have one, but it’s subject to Judicial Review) and our Borough Councillors being outnumbered on the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) of Waverley Borough Council (WBC); numerous large planning applications have been successful,  resulting in around 1,700 additional homes being built.

Cranleigh Civic Society has scrutinised the major planning applications and brought pressure to bear on the planning authority – WBC – bringing attention to poor design and deficiencies details and suggesting alterations to improve them.

CCS ensures Councillors of all areas understand the problems, including information that the Professional Planning Officers should provide.

CCS has put up spirited opposition to many of the planning applications, often promoting a more thorough debate and consideration of detail with some successful results.

What now?  We must keep a watch on the conditions imposed by WBC and ensure they are implemented correctly. Ideally we must try to ensure no more planning permissions are granted until the housing that is in the pipeline is up, the effects are understood and supporting infrastructure is in place.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Drinking water supply and sewage treatment and removal.
CCS has put pressure on Thames Water (TW) to replace old drinking water pipes – being 50 to 70 years old and made of asbestos cement, some “blue” and very dangerous if released into the water supply and ingested.

As pipes burst TW put a programme in place to replace sections – so some success. WBC and TW have had to admit that they do not have asbestos liability insurance so they would have to pay claims themselves – very expensive to the public purse.
Thames Water has upgraded Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works (STW) to accommodate the current housing demand and will, by law, have to do so again to meet the sewage emanating from the huge new housing developments.

Cranleigh Waters is a designated river which takes the outflow from STW . CCS has worked hard to show that this river is inadequate, and has caused depletion in fish numbers  and must be re-considered.  Some CCS members have undertaken river searches / water quality measuring and officially reported to and interacted with the authorities.
Ditches are being monitored thanks to CCS and Surrey Wildlife Trust is to undertake remedial work and bring life back to the river and local streams.

The Environment Agency (EA) had left Cranleigh off its watch list of threatened environments, so CCS and others worked to get Cranleigh back onto the maps and monitored regularly. The EA now works with CCS to monitor the area and make more relevant recommendations to our planning authority.

Flooding and flood plains.
CCS has worked tirelessly with the planning authority WBC, EA, and TW to point out, measure and photograph full information about flooding.  The EA now records and reports flood levels, thanks to CCS. Surrey County Council (SCC) is tasked with cleaning out drains and ditches especially when heavy rains are forecast.

Anne Milton MP.
CCS has been in disucssions with Anne all along and she has started a Flood Forum in Cranleigh where many officers and local reprentatives work to improve knowledge, understanding, and even to alter laws and planning conditions.  She has been able to get the attention of the movers and shakers at SCC.

Roads, Pavements, Footpaths.
CCS is in constant touch with SCC regarding potholes, flooding and traffic jams, and improvements are scheduled.  A hard and lit footpath / cycleway from Cranleigh to Guildford is being looked at.
WBC’s New Local Plan shows minimal road and junction improvements at the moment, despite the new Local Plan approving 2,600 homes plus a school at Dunsfold, producing more traffic for the A281,

CCS continues to read and react to all such documents hoping to influence the authorities from our local knowledge point of view

Railways
Surrey County Council and national government say new railways are not going ahead at the moment but that there must always be a footpath and bridle way available along the old railway line.
Buses . SCC is responsible and we know of no changes at the moment.

Schools and GP surgeries 
SCC must, by law, provide enough school places and doctors when the population rises.

Police & Fire Service 
SCC must, by law, provide adequate cover.

COUNTRYSIDE
Our wildlife and waterways experts have helped WBC to improve ponds and waterways. CCS congratulates Cranleigh Parish Council (CPC) for its work on creating Fields in Trust including: The Beryl Harvey field which has been saved and improved and the Centenary garden marking 100 years since the end of the first World War, which is under construction thanks to our Parish Council.

PEOPLE
WBC’s interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Services, Tom Horwood, has listened and responded to CCS’s complaints about the way officers and councillors have made us feel and he will attend  a meeting next month with CCS and Councillor Julia Potts, the Leader of Waverley Council  to hear more about why the residents  of Cranleigh and surrounding area are so disillusioned with so many of their actions.

CCS will put forward very constructive suggestions to support our local knowledge and expertise hoping to work more effectively together in the future.

Liz Townsend was the inspirational first chair of CCS until she was voted onto CPC, then Waverley Borough Council and she is doing a great job.

Steve Jeacock  was a member of CCS committee and was also voted onto CPC and has worked hard to represent all our views.

Adrian Clarke is our key attribute regarding drinking water pipes and the risks posed by their age and the blue asbestos fibres they contain.

We welcome your input!

Set up in 2014 by volunteers for the Neighbourhood Plan, the committee of CCS has worked hard and morphed into a quietly professional group of careful researchers and communicators to help keep Cranleigh special – speaking up for all.

The committee of eight needs help and support please.
WEB SITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, MEMBERSHIP, NEWSLETTERS are all proving a great success and we welcome input for the web site including valued photos and stories. We also welcome help with these applications.

Becoming a member and supporter helps to tell the Councils what the public really know and want and feel.

USEFUL LINKS

 

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Neighbourhood Plan dates – Next week!

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Can you attend any of the dates next week?

There are three Neighbourhood Plan Exhibitions planned taking place in the Village Hall, on the following dates:

  • Thursday 12 July 9am – 4pm
  • Friday 13 July 4pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 14 July 9am – 12.30pm
These plans affect how our Parish will be developed until 2032.

Click here for more details.

If members can attend on one of these dates and/or encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same we can help ensure Cranleigh has a say on these plans.

News from Waverley…

Also, if you haven’t so already perhaps you’d like to subscribe to the Waverley e-newsletter to keep up to date on all plans effecting the area. You can do so here: www.waverley.gov.uk/newsletter

 

 

 

 

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Your Response to the Waverley Local Plan?

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Response to Waverley Council on their Public Consultation on the Waverley Local Plan (Part 2).

Deadline is 9th July.

The draft Local Plan, Part 2 considers:-

– Sites for Additional Housing in Cranleigh
- Proposed sites for Travellers in Cranleigh

– The Settlement Boundary for Cranleigh
- Housing Standards for New Housing

The objective of the consultation exercise is to clarify whether we as a village are in agreement with the proposed Policies.

It is important to consider the accuracy of the Council’s ‘statements of fact’, whether we object to the proposed policies or other proposals and if so, why.

Accordingly, whether you were able to attend either of  the exhibitions at the Arts Centre (31st May & 25th June) CCS invite you to let us know if you have any:

a. queries
b. concerns
c. comments or
d. objections to the proposals outlined in the Local Plan, Part 2 consultations.

CCS are compiling a list of comments and objections, which has to be lodged with the Council by Monday, 9th July.
We are happy to consider any points you would like to raise and to include them (if appropriate) in our representation to the Council.

Any objections should be supported with evidence, demonstrating how/why the Council’s proposed policies are inaccurate/incomplete/ill thought through.

Please email us before the deadline to be included.

Thank you

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2nd date for PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE WAVERLEY LOCAL PLAN

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DATE FOR YOUR DIARY: If you missed the Waverley Council exhibition of the Local Plan Part 2 in the Arts Centre last Thursday, there is an opportunity again at the Arts Centre on June 25 2018 at 2.30pm to 7.30pm.

PLEASE ATTEND THE PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE WAVERLEY LOCAL PLAN : PART 2

This Proposes :

-Sites for Additional Housing in Cranleigh
-Proposed sites for Travellers in Cranleigh
-The Settlement Boundary for Cranleigh
– Housing Standards for New Housing

Waverley Council will later announce an additional Consultation Date for YOU to see their Plans

Terry Stewart. Chairman Cranleigh Civic Society.
21 Brookside, Cranleigh, Surrey. GU6 8DA.
01483 273808.
ts@terencestewart.plus.com

Website: www.cranleighsociety.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cranleighsociety
Twitter: @CranleighSoc

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SUCCESSFUL MEETING FOR CRANLEIGH CIVIC SOCIETY WITH WAVERLEY COUNCIL LEADERS

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Cranleigh Civic Society  “Speaking up for Cranleigh”

SUCCESSFUL  MEETING  FOR  CRANLEIGH  CIVIC SOCIETY  WITH  WAVERLEY COUNCIL  LEADERS

Many of you will remember the negative reaction from Waverley Council following the Cranleigh Public Protest Meeting last Summer. Well, relations have improved substantially with a meeting of Cllr. Julia Potts, Leader of the Council, Tom Horwood, Chief Executive, and three Cranleigh Councillors with seven members of the Cranleigh Civic Society Committee. The meeting had been arranged to establish useful and meaningful communication and achieve common ground.

KEY DISCUSSION POINTS –

Infrastructure.

The Civic Society expressed strong concern at the lack of infrastructure following the planned massive growth in housing. The Waverley Local Plan has demanded that Cranleigh MUST build 1,700 extra houses by 2033.

However, in the last three years Cranleigh has experienced planning applications for almost 1,700 houses – most of which have been accepted – so what will happen in the next 15 years? On top of this the Plan has demanded 2,600 houses for Dunsfold Airfield – indeed there has been discussion of up to 6,000 houses for Dunsfold. If this happens our infrastructure will be overwhelmed and the A281 to Guildford will be clogged with traffic.

The Society pointed out that Cranleigh’s access roads are all B-roads or are narrow unclassified lanes – many used as ‘rat runs’. With Cranleigh houses due to be expanded by one-third, and the potential massive development of Dunsfold there will be a major problem of traffic disruption. Terry Stewart asked what plans Highways has for overcoming this disruption.

The Council recognised the potential problems and is working to mitigate the impacts where the Council has control – but road improvements are the responsibility of Surrey County Council. Cllr. Potts proposed that meetings should be held every two months to discuss answers and problems. The Civic Society warmly welcomed this proposal.

Flooding.

A key concern is flooding in Cranleigh and the Council’s decision to allow 55 houses to be built by Thakeham Homes off Elmbridge Road which was in the field most likely to flood. Richard Bryant has discussed this site with the largest UK Home Insurer who have since confirmed that they are well aware of this site and will be very unlikely to offer insurance in view of the very high flood risk.

Being aware of this problem, at the last Cranleigh Flood Forum meeting, Anne Milton MP said she would contact Thakeham to arrange a meeting to discuss the concerns with this site. Not only would buyers of homes on this site face flooding but also smells from Cranleigh Sewerage Treatment Works located the other side of the Elmbridge Road. What a way to start a life in Cranleigh!

Sewerage and Thames Water.

The Society pointed out that the current Sewerage Treatment Works are inadequate to meet the needs of the planned six major development sites. Thames Water state that it is possible to expand the Works. By doing so they would probably be contravening the Water Framework Directive. The Works discharges effluent into the Cranleigh Waters, but in the Summer the stream runs dry so the effluent poisons the fish, which is a serious environmental problem.

The Surrey Wildlife Trust is so concerned that they are arranging special surveys of the Waters. The Society has asked Thames Water for a timetable for improvement – but there has been no response from Thames Water.

Terry Stewart, Society Chairman, paid tribute to the three public Flood Forum meetings that Anne Milton MP has organised in the Bandroom with Thames Water and Council Officers present to try and agree solutions. Cllr. Potts stated that it is disappointing that there is a lack of joined up communication amongst the various agencies, but she would lobby to improve the environmental issues.

Asbestos and Drinking Water.

In addition Thames Water has admitted that 29.6% of the drinking water supply pipes in Cranleigh are made from asbestos cement – some of which are made of blue asbestos.

Recently many of these pipes had burst as they had reached the end of their lifespan – which would release blue asbestos fibres into the drinking water.

The Society strongly demanded that new housing is not connected to the drinking water mains until the drinking water pipes have ALL been replaced and the sewerage works expanded to meet the demand.

Parking.

The Society reported that the car parks in Cranleigh are over 90% full at peak times such as Market Days. With Cranleigh housing increasing by one-third, and the likelihood of many Dunsfold residents shopping in Cranleigh, the car parks will be inadequate.

Cllr Potts responded that a possible option could be to build a double deck car park at the Village Way site, when the Leisure Centre was redeveloped.

The Society had heard that the owner of Stocklund Square was planning to redevelop the site with possible multi level parking – the Society was very concerned at this.

Cllr. Mary Foryszewski encouraged the Society to lobby our councillors before Borough and Parish meetings and meet the Chamber of Commerce to discuss key issues.

KEY OUTCOMES –

– Cllr. Potts proposed that meetings should be held every two months with Cranleigh Civic Society to discuss answers and problems. Cranleigh Society warmly welcomed this proposal.

– Cllr. Potts stated that it is disappointing that there is a lack of joined up communication amongst the various agencies, but she would lobby to improve the environmental issues.

– Cllr. Mary Foryszewski encouraged the Society to speak to Cranleigh Parish councillors before Borough and Parish meetings and meet the Chamber of Commerce to discuss key issues.

Tom Horwood summarised with three proposed actions :

  1. There must be clarity in defining who is responsible for what.
  2. There must be productive meetings, adopting a joined up approach with effective lobbying by the Society.
  3. There must be effective communication with meaningful involvement and the right level of engagement.

Terry Stewart also suggested that the Council introduce effective email Newsletters to improve communication to residents. Other Councils had regular Monthly Newsletters giving new Council policies, decisions and consultations – with key meeting dates, agendas and minutes. Individual Council departments should issue ad hoc Newsletters with their news. ALL residents should be encouraged to sign up to receive Newsletters that were relevant for them.

THIS WAS A PRODUCTIVE AND FRIENDLY MEETING THAT AUGURS WELL FOR FUTURE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE CIVIC SOCIETY AND WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL.

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5.15 today BBC radio Surrey

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Hello,

If you go to BBC Radio Surrey Drive at 5 today (iPlayer) you will be able to hear our Chairman speaking strenuously with Gregory Spanswick about Cranleigh and all the problems posed by overdevelopment plans for the area.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p065h8y6

I hope you are impressed – let us know!

see you soon

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Cranleigh Flood Forum News (29.3.18)

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Our last Flood Forum update posted here on 18 March was based on an article The Cranleigh Society were asked to provide by the Surrey Advertiser – but it was not published.

The Society was then asked to expand on other real problems being faced by Cranleigh; we obliged by sending the content for a second article and that, also, was not published.

Both articles were 100% factual, so we can only conclude that the Surrey Advertiser did not wish to be controversial.

Pressure can still be put on Waverley…

As mentioned in the website posting on 18 March, AC drinking water pipes and the Thakeham site were the main concerns expressed at the Flood Forum but the bigger picture also needs to be considered. There is a general concern for the number of sites where there are flood issues and/or an over reliance on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).

More and more Cranleigh residents are complaining about the ever increasing numbers of grab trucks and other contractor’s vehicles thundering through the High Street. These are causing havoc in the B-roads and narrow lanes, and it is going to get immeasurably worse as the building work intensifies.

These heavy vehicles are causing new potholes to appear daily in the High Street, and cars are being forced up on to paths to avoid wheel and tyre damage.

But Waverley and Surrey County Council do not care.

There are other major problems as well:
  • Waverley has pushed 48% of all the new housing in the Local Plan on to sites in and around Cranleigh
  • In doing so, they have ignored infrastructure issues.

The Society accepts there is nothing that can be done about the first point.  Those planning applications have all received permission, but pressure can still be put on Waverley as regards the infrastructure issues where Cranleigh Civic Society believe Waverley are vulnerable. These are:

1. Flood risk.
2. Asbestos cement pipes.
3. Cranleigh Waters pollution.

Of course, everyone is concerned about roads and bridges too, but these are the responsibility of Surrey County Council, not Waverley.

Naturally prone to flooding…

There is an interesting story emerging about flood risk to which there appears to be no solution, solely because of the actions of Waverley and the inaction of the Environment Agency.

This whole sorry saga began in November 2015 when the owner of the Knowle Park Initiative site dredged a section of Cranleigh Waters, not realising that they needed a permit to do so from the Environment Agency which, incidentally would have been refused.

On site, their contractor told the Society that this was done to “move the flood risk downstream”. The effect of this dredging was to move the flood risk from the KPI site to the area just before the bridge at Elmbridge Road, which at the time was fine as it was just meadowland. The problem is that Thakeham Homes bought the site and, on 5 October 2017, they were granted permission to build 54 houses on it.

KPI knew what would happen by doing this dredging,  as it is on their website! They knew that the Thakeham site is “part of the functional flood plain of Cranleigh Waters  and is naturally prone to flooding”.

They went on to state; “The main thing is to make sure the drainage and water courses are kept clear (a clear reference here to dredging) to allow these areas (the Thakeham site) to take the water quickly”.

The Thakeham site had serious flooding in December 2013, two years before the dredging – there is now the very real possibility of much higher flood levels, a matter that was totally ignored by Waverley when raised by Cranleigh Civic Society when the application was heard. The Society has a photo of the December 2013 flood level being higher than the site SuDS level, and we know from Met Office Data that they are predicting +30% rainfall during winter months up to 2080.  So that is why the Thakeham site is liable to flood.

Reducing, not removing the flood risk…

On 16 March, the Society heard from Surrey Wildlife Trust that the bulk of the funding announced at Anne Milton’s 9th March village meeting is to be spent putting the KPI stretch of Cranleigh Waters back to a two stage river. People may well ask why KPI themselves are not required to bear the cost of the reinstatement to a two stage river – the answer is that the Environment Agency did not act within the time limit of six months from the date of the illegal act, even though Cranleigh Civic Society advised them in January 2016 and the EA visited the site on 29 March 2016. So it appears that public money is now going to be spent correcting the damage done by the KPI dredging!

Was there pressure being put on the Environment Agency to let the KPI planning application go through to help meet Government housing targets?  It wasn’t until after the six months statute of limitations period that this all came to light, and the Environment Agency admitted their failure to act.

The problem is that if the KPI stretch of Cranleigh Waters is reinstated to two stage, it reduces (not removes) the flood risk at the Thakeham site and puts a flood risk back onto the KPI site.

What an awful mess – a mess that was totally avoidable if planning was considered on all the facts, good and bad, and not on just chasing housing numbers.

The Society envisages decades of flooding incidents, insurance problems and law suits.

Please help raise awareness by sharing our news updates where you can.

As always please email us at info@cranleighsociety.org with any relevant information regarding this article.

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Cranleigh Flood Forum Update – 18 March 2018

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CRANLEIGH FLOOD FORUM NEWS UPDATE, 18 MARCH 2018

Many of you attended the third Cranleigh Flood Forum on 9 March, hosted by Anne Milton MP, when discussions continued on sewer and surface water pipe misconnections, concerns about the sewage treatment works and Cranleigh Waters, questionable planning decisions by the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) of Waverley Borough Council and other matters.

However the asbestos cement (AC) drinking water pipes and the very controversial approval of the Thakeham homes site in Elmbridge Road dominated the meeting.

We, Cranleigh Civic Society, reported that, just the previous day, we had a high level meeting with a leading Insurer to discuss the insurance implications of both these very real concerns.

This Insurer confirmed what we had heard from a leading Insurer of County, Borough and Town/Parish Councils – this is that, except for a few specialist schemes, all UK Public and Products Liability policies have a total asbestos exclusion. This follows the inhaled asbestos disaster, where claims are still being made, and which is reported to have cost Insurers worldwide $100 billion – and which nearly brought Lloyd’s of London to it’s knees in the 1990s.

So, at the meeting, the we urged Waverley and Thames Water to check their own policies as, if they have no asbestos cover, and asbestos fibres in eroding and bursting drinking water pipes (which make up 29.6% of Cranleigh’s pipes) do lead to ingested asbestos fibre health problems, they could well have to finance both the claims and legal costs out of their own fund – for decades.

Of course, Cranleigh is not alone – this is a matter of concern and receiving attention throughout the World including Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe so we continue to monitor activity worldwide.

Whilst we are pleased Thames Water are starting to replace Cranleigh’s AC pipes, our aim is to seek a cessation of all connections of new housing to the drinking water system until all the AC pipes have been replaced with new, safe plastic pipes. Failure to do so would mean that, as new homes are connected to the existing system, it would result in the flow having to be increased which would lead to faster erosion and more frequent bursts.

We also discussed with the Insurer the decision by Waverley to grant permission for the building of 54 houses on a flood plain – an area which regularly floods seriously with the last occasion being as recently as December 2013.

The JPC ignored the detailed evidence submitted by us and, instead, relied on the report provided by consultants engaged and paid by the applicant, Thakeham Homes. Their representative was even allowed to sit at the planners table – very unorthodox.

Prior to the meeting on 5 October 2017, a member of the JPC submitted his flood risk evidence to the Chair of the JPC but it was ignored. That same member tried to have his evidence considered at the meeting but he was shouted down by the Chair and told to shut up.

The Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) is Surrey County Council and the Flood Risk Management Strategy and Partnerships Team Leader (who attended the Flood Forum) confirmed to a Councillor, in an email dated 21 February 2018, that when considering building on this type of site, the planning “process is in part reliant on robust and accurate feedback from the community” but the JPC chose to ignore this guidance and the detailed evidence, including photos, submitted by Cranleigh Civic Society.

So there is the terrible prospect of families buying new homes built on a flood plain and which are highly likely to flood, with all the dire consequences, because of a seriously flawed planning decision.

When, at the meeting last week, we explained this situation to the Insurance Company it was made very clear that obtaining flood insurance on this site would be very difficult if the Insurer agrees that the evidence presented to them is sound. Top UK Insurers do not rely on the flood maps available to all on websites – they have invested in their own exceptionally detailed flood mapping, so detailed that they can have separate risk classifications for individual houses. They pay particular attention to new housing developments including local knowledge, nearby postcodes, topography and using the very latest technology.

Perhaps the unavailability of flood insurance from reputable Insurers may stop innocent families making the worst financial decision of their lives?

Anne Milton was of the view that a meeting should be arranged with Thakeham Homes, attended by all the relevant organisations, to explain the very real issues with developing this site, and undertook to put this in motion.

Needless to say we welcome this initiative by our MP but will Cranleigh Civic Society be invited? We sincerely hope so!

 

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