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.
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 –
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.
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.
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 :
- There must be clarity in defining who is responsible for what.
- There must be productive meetings, adopting a joined up approach with effective lobbying by the Society.
- 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.
Updates from Cranleigh in Bloom…
Cranleigh Parish Council in association with Fields in Trust has dedicated a corner of Snoxhall Fields to be a tranquil natural woodland style Centenary Garden.
This special garden project is designed to honour local people who lost their lives over the past one hundred years in conflict as well as those who were left behind.
Work started in April and Cranleigh in Bloom will be involved with the planting and will help look after the garden.
You can find out more about this project on the Cranleigh Parish Council website at www.cranleighpc.org
South & South East in Bloom Awards
Cranleigh in Bloom have entered Cranleigh into the South & South East in Bloom Awards this year, hoping to win Gold again for Cranleigh.
Judging day is the 3rd July 2018, and in preparation the village must be litter and weed free!
We hope everyone will help make Cranleigh look as good as possible and as a result enjoy the benefits of a beautiful flower filled village for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Cranleigh in Bloom will also carry out their own judging during July and August, with a prize giving tea party to be held at Cranleigh Arts Centre on 19 September 2018 where the awards will be announced.
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.
I hope you are impressed – let us know!
see you soon
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cranleigh Society was set up to ensure we could highlight issues that effect residents and make sure our voices are heard. However, it’s so very easy to get bogged down by problems and sometimes because of this we feel we can forget to appreciate what we have around us.
Inspired by The Brooking Collection, we’d like to encourage local residents to help get involved in creating a collection of images that celebrate local life and architecture.
We’d love to see photos, past and present of houses, other properties and things that you love about Cranleigh to add to our own photo library. Perhaps you have taken a special photo of the railway building on Knowle Lane, Cromwells tea house or other high street images we could share? If there’s a story behind the image, even better, let us know!
What we particular liked about the ethos of The Brooking Collection is that it does not discriminate between the humblest and the grandest, embracing the everyday as well as the privileged.
Budding photographers, please send across your images with the subject ‘The Cranleigh Collection’. We’ll aim to share these on our social media pages where possible. Everyone is welcome to contribute new or old images. We’d love to hear from you.
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 email@example.com with any relevant information regarding this article.
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!
Love Your River!
Cranleigh Village Hall Meeting
Monday 26th March 7 till 9 pm
Following on from the recent informative Flood Forum meeting held earlier this month, we can now announce a date for Cranleigh Water’s Love Your River Meeting, which will be held on Monday 26th March at 7pm in Cranleigh Village Hall.
We highly encourage as many of our members and Cranleigh residents to attend if they are able.
Cranleigh Waters has experienced serious flow problems, particularly in the summer months and has also unfortunately become quite polluted with most of the flow downstream emanating from the Cranleigh Sewage Works.
According to Shamley Green Angling Society, the environmental effect of this can already be seen with fish dying out downstream.
Why should you attend?
This has been an ongoing problem for some time, with many issues raised.
JOIN US TO CELEBRATE THE PARTNERSHIP WORK TO IMPROVE CRANLEIGH WATERS.
We urge Cranleigh residents to attend this event to put further pressure on Waverley to make this issue a priority. Discover how you could help improve habitat and water quality. Bring your ideas and stories and get involved!
Help us ensure that Waverley takes action on:
• Reconfiguring the river bed
• Providing a wetland area upstream to release water over the summer months
• Addressing the pollution problems
Help us make improvements to our village and join us on Monday 26 March.
Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org Assistant Conservation Officer at Surrey Wildlife Trust .
If you have further information about Cranleigh Waters that you feel should be raised at this meeting please email us at email@example.com
You can also read more about sewage pollution in the Cranleigh Waters in our articles: