Cranleigh Brick and Tile Works – Knowle Lane

Cranleigh Brick and Tile Works – Knowle Lane


Cranleigh Brickworks situated in open countryside, has been subject to a number of failed planning applications since 2002. The current one is for 19 large dwellings following remediation of the site which is heavily polluted (Waverley Planning Reference WA/2013/1947).

The site as well as being a former brickworks, also stored munitions in the past and was used for chemical production. There is no doubt that the site is polluted, and in 2000 the Environment Agency (EA) declared it a Special Site, as a result of the threat of pollution of Controlled Waters.

However despite its status as one of the most polluted sites in the country it has been bought and sold without the owners being forced to carry out any remediation work.

The current application involves capping the pollution on site with waste material, primarily from other construction projects. This will result in 70 HGV (32 tonne 8 wheel vehicles with a load of 20 tonnes) movements Monday to Friday between the hours of 7:30am and 6:00pm. The lorries will also run on Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm. This will continue for a minimum period of 5 ½ years.

The lorries will run to and from the brickworks site, approximately every 9 minutes during operating hours, via Knowle Lane and Wildwood Lane. It is unclear at present whether the main approach and exit by means of the A281 will be through Alfold or north through Bramley.

Cranleigh Brick and Tiles HGV lorry route for 5 1/2 years

We echo local residents’ deeply held concerns about public safety on the highways from vehicle movements of this size and frequency along Knowle Lane and Wildwood Lane. These lanes are extremely narrow and dangerous. Wildwood Lane has sections which are only 4m wide. The lorries proposed will be 2.55m wide, which suggests that along the majority of Wildwood Lane it would not be possible for a car and a lorry to pass safely and impossible for two lorries to pass. These lanes are also marked on the Sustrans (charity promoting sustainable transport) website as regular routes for cyclists. Surrey Highways have raised no concerns about the safety of this route.

From what we can see no upgrades have been planned for the highway to accommodate these vehicles other than some extra signage and hedge cutting, which is already regularly carried out.

If you would like to submit your objection to this application it must be done before the 22 June 2015, when it goes before the Eastern Area Planning Committee for a decision for Full Planning Permission.

Please email today your Cranleigh Borough Councillors who represent you on the Eastern Area Planning Committee and tell them what you think about this application:
Cllr Brian Ellis (Vice Chairman) –
Cllr Patricia Ellis –
Cllr Mary Foryszewski –
Cllr Jeanette Stennett –
Cllr Stewart Stennett –
Cllr Kevin Deanus –

Thank you.

Dangerous levels of sewage in Cranleigh Brook

Dangerous levels of sewage in Cranleigh Brook

Cranleigh residents have been shocked to discover that raw sewage is flowing into a village brook from a number of properties in Cranleigh that are wrongly connected to surface water drains.

The Cranleigh Society has commissioned water sampling to identify the level of contamination and can now report that some levels of contamination are over 270 times the normally acceptable limit.

For a number of years (one resident reported that it was at least six) residents of Cranleigh have been informing Thames Water of an unpleasant smell and the sight of what appeared to be raw sewage entering a brook that runs along Knowle Lane in Cranleigh. The watercourse runs along one side of the site that was previously proposed for the Cranleigh Hospital.

map of raw sewage entering watercourse in Cranleigh

Unable to get the problem resolved by Thames Water, residents approached the Cranleigh Civic Society four weeks ago for help.

A spokesperson for the Cranleigh Civic Society said “We took a look at the brook and it is immediately obvious from the smell and the presence of sewage fungus that significant amounts of sewage are being discharged into it from a nearby surface water drain.

section of brook in Cranleigh with  raw sewage

The Government’s Water Framework Directive 2010 states that the level of ammonia in “good” rivers and streams should be less than 0.3 mg/l, and Tesco and Marks and Spencer both state that the presence of e coli in irrigation water used for “crops likely to be eaten uncooked” must be less than 1000 cfu/l, this seemed to be a reasonable basis to start from.

Samples of water from the ditch were taken and sent for analysis to an independent laboratory, South East Water Scientific Services, who found the ammonia level to be 270 times the limit and E.coli levels to be 24 times the limit.

E.coli and Enterococci which can indicate the presence of faecal solids and high levels of ammonium are representative of urine contamination.

The Cranleigh Society took our findings two weeks ago to the Environment Agency who immediately put the ditch onto their ‘Priority hot spot list’.

The EA advised us initially that they were working with Thames Water and had identified a property in Cranleigh High Street, where the raw sewage outlet was directly connected to the surface water drain instead of the main sewer. We understand that they have now served a 30 day notice on the property to get this problem rectified. The Society is getting regular updates from Thames Water as to their progress.

However, from the quantity of sewage entering the brook, Thames Water now believe that there may be more properties incorrectly connected. They now have a crew working overnight dye testing the system to see what is flowing into the surface water system. They now think they have identified a group of houses where the foul water drains are connected to the surface water drainage system. They will be carrying out further dye testing on each house to fully assess the situation over the next week.

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