Guildford Road HGV Application Refused

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Interested residents recently received the Traffic Commissioners decision on the application made by Tunnell Grab Services Ltd to use Yew Tree Nursery (now known as Stonescapes located on Green Belt) as an operating centre for 10 HGV’s,  following the Public Inquiry held on 7th April 2016.

After careful consideration the Traffic Commissioner decided to refuse the application under S19(6)(a) of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing Of Operators) Act 1995. A fully reasoned decision was provided (which runs to 9 pages) andcan be viewed below.

Traffic Comm. Decision May 2016 Tunnell Grab Service Ltd

The applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the Upper Tribunal.

It is noteworthy that the Traffic Commissioner considered granting the application for 6 HGV’s if the applicant had agreed to various conditions, but they were not agreed and the application was therefore refused.

It is imperative that local residents remain vigilant should any appeal be lodged.

You can read more about this story in our article


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New Bramley Cycle Path

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Would you like to see a new cycle path from Bramley to Guildford? Bramley Parish Council have published an online survey to assess demand for a clean, paved, commutable, direct cycle path to Guildford. The proposal is that this path would closely follow the A281 creating a safer and cleaner way to commute from Bramley to Guildford by bike.

The path would also benefit cyclists from Cranleigh who could join the new path at the junction of the Downs Link and the A281, or possibly at the roundabout in Bramley if the new path is able to start there. The precise route is to be decided later and, for now the council are hoping to establish that there is demand for such a path.

Please take the online survey and ask your friends and family to complete it too:

On behalf of Martin Foley (Bramley Parish Council)

The Image Of Bramley above was reproduced by kind permission of © Copyright Robin Webster and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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More Sewage being pumped out!

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The ongoing problem with raw sewage being released into the brook running along the edge of the CVHT field and abutting Knowle Lane is now receiving long overdue attention.

In yet another email to dated 4 May 2016 to the Environment Agency, who are a regulator for water quality, we pointed out that again with the onset of warmer weather the sewage fungus had returned with a vengeance and there was also a lot of smelly, disgusting solids matter in the brook.

Once again we sent in copies of the following photos taken by a resident on their phone (the white area is sewage fungus).

Cranleigh sewage fungus in brook 21-04-16(2)

Cranleigh sewage fungus in brook 21-04-16(1)


It was also pointed out that the bund (white pipe above), installed we believe by Thames Water, was not only completely ineffective as it didn’t even touch the surface of the water, but also inappropriate for this problem.

We asked the Environment Agency (EA) to :

1. Elevate this to your top pollution status (recently young children were playing in the brook 200 yds downstream constructing a play dam).
2. Take appropriate ENFORCEMENT action to get Thames Water to sort out this pollution problem.
3. Give this an EA incident reference and confirm the reference number to me.

As regular readers of our blog will be aware this incident has been ongoing for over 10 years.  You can read more about the background in our articles:



On 9 May 2016 the EA confirmed that “Thames Water Utilities Limited (TWUL) have been in contact with some further information relating to the incident that you (and others) reported. They have carried out a CCTV survey of the sewers in the areas and have detected a small leak from the foul sewer into a surface water drain. Thames Water contractors need to re-attend site to plan works to rectify the issue, at present the proposal is to reline the leaking sewers or reroute them.

One of our officers attended site on Friday to make an assessment of the current impact. At present the incident is having a localised low-level environmental impact on the channel that feeds the Littlemead Brook near Knowle Park. Approximately 10m of the channel was observed to be impacted by sewage fungus. Impacts were not observed to extend onto the Littlemead brook itself. Our assessment has been communicated with TWUL, and we are working with them to address the issue.

As I think you are aware, we do not advise on human health issues. If you are concerned about particular health risks from this ditch please contact your local council Environmental Health department for further advice.

This brook connects directly to Littlemead Brook and it is not unreasonable to believe that there has been during this period a detrimental impact on this watercourse from raw sewage running into the brook for over 10 years.  To reroute or reline this sewer is we understand quite a major undertaking.

Residents have now reported activity around the brook over the last 2 days.  There have been tankers pumping the sewage from, what appears to be a large underground cesspit by the Gate House at the top of Knowle Lane.



We will keep you updated as this issue continues to develop.

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Little Meadow passed by Waverley Councillors

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Despite being a remote site on a green field, impact on sewage, roads, visual amenity, urbanising impact, absence of protected species surveys and impact on ancient woodland, the list went on, Little Meadow application for 75 houses on the Alfold Road was GRANTED last night.

This just adds to the concerted effort to dump all Waverley Borough Council’s housing allocation on Cranleigh.  Added to the 757 already approved, this brings the GRAND TOTAL to 832 and that’s without the 30 extra new homes on small sites in the village.

Yay, we’re heading towards 900 new houses!

Hang on though……..

Then there’s approximately 220 more on Hewitts and the Cranleigh First and Primary School brownfield sites in the planning system too!

We’ve reached the 1,000 Jackpot!

Cranleigh councillors Brian Ellis, Stewart Stennett and Jeanette Stennett all voted in favour of the Little Meadow development as  ALL three said that Cranleigh NEEDS more housing, despite permission granted for over 700 already.

We are not sure when they will think that Cranleigh has enough?

Pecuniary Interest

Brian Ellis at the start of the meeting declared that his pecuniary interest in the Knowle Park Initiative (KPI) was a mistake and it was a non-pecuniary interest that should have been recorded in the previous meeting, due to his involvement with the transfer of land between the Parish Council and the Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust of which the owner, Nick Vrijland, of KPI, is also a Trustee.

You can read more about this in the Surrey Advertiser story at the time.

There was no withdrawal of the Stennetts’ pecuniary interest in the Knowle Park Initiative and Mrs Stennett also declared that she knew the landowners of the Little Meadow site.

Unfortunately Vice Chairman of the Joint Planning Committee Maurice Byham (who had attended the Cranleigh Society stakeholder meeting at the Cranleigh Sewage Works only last week), the planning portfolio holder Bryan Adams, Waverley Mayor Mike Band, Cllr Pat Frost and Cllr Stephen Mulliner did not attend this meeting.

Reasons for Refusal

Despite Cllr Mary Foryszewski’s valiant attempts to draw attention to available brown field sites in Cranleigh and the overall detrimental impact of yet more development on Cranleigh’s green fields, she was in the minority.

Cllr Patricia Ellis drew attention to the state of the Alfold Road and said it was the worst road in Cranleigh.

Parish Council

Cranleigh Councillor’s Brian Freeston’s speech outlining the parish council’s reasons for refusal, including the remoteness of the site, distance from the High Street, availability of  brownfield sites and the lack of reports for protected species.  He also pointed out that a recent Appeal for a dwelling on Bookhurst Road had been refused on biodiversity grounds, quoting:

However, there would be a potentially detrimental effect on biodiversity in conflict with national policy and with the development plan. There are no other material considerations including the lack of a 5 year housing supply and the provisions of the Framework that outweigh these findings. Therefore, for the reasons given, the proposal is unacceptable and the appeal should not succeed.

Cranleigh Civic Society

Warning this may get a bit technical 🙂

The Cranleigh Society (when the video footage seemed to go a bit wonky! A brief moment of fame lost ;D) emphasised the point that Waverley Borough Council’s Officers’ advice to members of the Joint Planning Committee was erroneous and the council was taking on the full risk and liability, if the application was approved, of non-compliance with the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

The Society pointed out that it is the responsibility of Waverley, as advised by the Environment Agency (EA), to assess the impact on water quality from this development. This has not been done to date.

The Society also pointed out that Waverley was wrong in saying that the EA had not objected to this application. Yet again we had to point out to Waverley that the EA is only a regulator with regards to WFD and as such CANNOT OBJECT, only provide advice. The EA had provided strongly worded advice on this subject to Waverley which was largely ignored.

Waverley as the competent authority for planning & development should have ensured that an ‘appropriate’ water quality assessment was made.  As it stands, no impact on water quality has been measured or reported.

Waverley, it seems, continues to be confused about their role with regards to WFD and said in their Officer’s report (page 50), that accompanied the meeting last night, that:

in terms of water quality, it is for Thames Water, in consultation with the Environment Agency to address this matter, and not a matter for consideration under the planning application. This is a separate regulatory process, which the statutory authorities work under.”

We spoke to an Environment Planning Specialist at the EA before the meeting last night who confirmed that the above statement was “factually incorrect”. This was relayed to Councillors.

The EA confirmed that it is for the LA [local authority] to ensure that the developer has confirmed that there will be no additional impacts to water quality (& WFD) as a result of the new development.

This water quality impact will then have a knock on impact on WFD. The Environment Agency as a regulator does not assess the developments potential to impact and neither does Thames Water (TW).  TW will just confirm whether or not they can accommodate the development within their existing permit or network/STW [sewage treatment works] capacity.

Thames Water’s current environmental permit to discharge effluent into Cranleigh Waters is OLD and does NOT consider the requirements of the Water Framework Directive, as it was issued prior to these regulations and has not been renewed.

As a result, the existence of this permit, or the fact that Thames Water is operating within the boundaries of the permit cannot be used by Officers as an indicator of compliance with WFD, as it has absolutely diddly-squat to do with it and they should know that!

By passing the application last night Waverley has done so with the ‘full knowledge’ that no water quality assessment has been carried out and Waverley will bear the full risk and liability of this decision.

The application was passed by 11 to 7 votes opening the door wide to yet more development in Cranleigh.  We wonder if next time WFD will be taken more seriously……………

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Little Meadow Planning Application Alfold Road

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The postponed planning application for 75 houses on the Little Meadow site on the Alfold Road has now been arranged for 16 May 7pm at the Waverley Borough Council offices.

Position of Little Meadow Alfold Road planning application

This is yet another application on Cranleigh’s green fields and will put more strain on our sewerage system, which is already over capacity and rural road network.  Please show your support by attending this meeting with us.

And if you haven’t objected you can still do so Waverley Borough Council Ref WA/2015/0478.

We would like to thank all of you for your support that contributed towards the refusal of the Knowle Park Initiative planning application for a remote site of 265 houses on the Alfold Road.

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Shamley Green, Wonersh and Bramley Angling Society

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Recently we have been in contact with Shamley Green, Wonersh and Bramley Angling Society about the quality of Cranleigh Waters and how this is affecting its biodiversity.

The Angling Club was established in 1950 and have been a vibrant small club for the last 66 years with a number of surviving original members one of which is Chairman Mr Peter Payne.

Over the last 3/4 years, they have noticed a poor catch rate amongst the native fish species along  stretches of the river namely the Hambledon Rural District Council section at Bramley and our Gosden section along the main Guildford Road towards Shalford.

At one point fish like Roach, Bream, Chubb, Perch, Gudgeon and Pike were a common catch amongst club members, but now are very, very hard if not impossible to catch using any methods of fishing.

The older members of the Club talk about the good old days of fishing upon stretches of river ‘bagging up’ upon the previously mentioned fish but now river fishing is somewhat a poor affair with very little fish caught at all especially in the summer months.

This predicament is leading to a dwindling membership within the club of river anglers which is a shame.

If you have any information about pollution affecting the biodiversity of Cranleigh Waters please email us

You can read more about sewage pollution in the Cranleigh Waters in our articles:






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Thames Water Update

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UPDATE 11:27 5 May 2016: The Environment Agency have now confirmed Oliver Roden will be attending.

We have been advised that the reason for the sewage tankers in the village is due to maintenance work being carried out at the Cranleigh sewage treatment plant on the Elmbridge Road.

We have highlighted the area on the image below (courtesy of Google Maps) to show its location behind the allotments.

Picture showing the location of Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works

Thames Water report that the tankering (their word!) is enabling work for the planned maintenance happening on site at Cranleigh sewage treatment works. They are currently undertaking a series of improvement works which include cleaning and replacing parts of the filters they use as part of the treatment process and installing 2 additional filters. They expect the tankering to be required for 1 – 2 weeks (it’s been a week already).

Seems a lot of pumping out just to carry out routine maintenance work on filters?  We do hope that they are also fixing the collapsed sewer as well.

After much negotiation, we have now at last arranged for a meeting of stakeholders at the Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works on 11 May at 2pm to discuss the ongoing capacity problem.  The following representatives have confirmed their attendance.  It is a great shame that we have not yet had confirmation from a representative of the Environment Agency who have responsibilities relating to the protection and enhancement of the environment, including watercourses, or a representative of Waverley Borough Council Environmental Health who previously were extremely helpful during the recent sewage spill.

  1. Mark Matthews – Thames Water Planning Manager
  2. Paul Church – Thames Water Technical Manager
  3. Clare Collard – Thames Water Local & Regional Government Liaison Manager
  4. Jim Jones – Surrey Wildlife Trust
  5. Maurice Byham – Waverley Joint Planning Committee Vice Chair
  6. Peter Cleveland – Waverley Planning Officer
  7. Mary Foryszewski – Chair of Cranleigh Parish Council
  8. Brian Freeston – Cranleigh Parish Councillor
  9. Peter Seaton – Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan
  10. Ken Mitchell – Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan
  11. Liz Townsend – Chair Cranleigh Civic Society
  12. Adrian Clarke – Vice Chair Cranleigh Civic Society

If you have any questions you would like us to ask Thames Water on your behalf or any of the other attendees, please email them to us at or contact us via the website.

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Cranleigh Sewage – The Plot Thickens!

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Since the Knowle Park Initiative planning application for 265 houses was thrown out last Wednesday by  Waverley Borough Council Joint Planning Committee, Cranleigh’s sewage network has been the source of a great deal of attention.

Residents on Hitherwood and Nightingales have been sending in pictures of trucks that have been pumping out sewage almost day and night since last week (there 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th April and 1, 2 May)

There has been a series of large tankers draining sewage out of a reported underground tank on Nightingales opposite Fortune Drive.

A neighbour was told by 1 of the workmen that they were doing this due to capacity problems at the Elmbridge Road sewage works.

Tanker 2 - May 2016

Another resident witnessed tankers (there were two there at once) sucking out sewage on Stovolds Hill most of the week too.

Stovolds hill tanker sewage pumping 29-04-16

We have also had emails from residents in Bramley with their concerns about pollution they have witnessed in Cranleigh Waters, as well as reports of a distinct odour.

We have also been in contact with Environmental Health at Waverley Borough Council as the brook at the side of the Cranleigh Village Hospital site still has raw sewage entering it after 10 years, perhaps more!

Sewage Fungus Cranleigh Brook 10 April 2016


If you have any pictures or stories you want to share please email we need to make sure we keep a log of all evidence on this website.

Cranleigh’s sewage is at crisis point.  If you are concerned email Anne Milton MP TODAY and let her know that Cranleigh has a sewage crisis and we need her help!

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Tipper Lorry Movements to Cranleigh Brick & Tile Works

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By a Cranleigh Resident

Work commenced at the Cranleigh Brick & Tile Works (CB&TW) at the end of 2015; it soon became very apparent that both Wildwood Lane and Knowle Lane were not suitable to take the size of vehicles that are currently bringing in waste soil to the site.  The question is, did Surrey Highways carry out a comprehensive survey of both lanes prior to giving consent?

Surrey Highways seem to be very reluctant to engage with local residents to discuss the state of both lanes. Do Surrey Highways have any future plans to enhance Wildwood and Knowle Lane to a standard that can take this size and weight and vehicle?  The roads are being torn apart with vehicle movements and they are not yet working at full capacity.

In the coming weeks CB&TW will be ramping up to seventy movements per day (140 in and out) for a minimum of five years. After asking Surrey Highways on many occasions for an understanding of how road repairs should be highlighted, as of yet I have had no response from them.

The current potholes along Wildwood Lane are very dangerous and are putting public safety at risk; have they been highlighted with bright orange paint like the minor potholes you see along the A281?      NO!

As Surrey Highways are aware of the condition of the road, you have to question their motive. Could it possibly be that if Surrey Highways do highlight the potholes then they become responsible for vehicle damage and or a possible road traffic accident?  Clarity on this point would be appreciated but probably not forthcoming!!

If you think more should be done to maintain the safety and condition of Wildwood Lane email your Cranleigh Surrey County Councillor Alan Young and copy in your MP Anne Milton and as always copy in the Cranleigh Civic Society

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