We have been advised that the Full Planning Application (Detailed Planning Permission) by Crest Nicholson for 149 dwellings off Horsham Road will be heard by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee on 24 August 2016 at the Council Offices in Godalming.
We will add more details when the time and the agenda are published on Waverley’s website.
Local Authorities, in accordance with best practice guidelines, should do a Water Cycle Study at the beginning of the local plan process as an important part of their evidence base. This will uncover at an early stage any constraints to development from environmental issues or water infrastructure capacity, and provides an informed platform from which discussions can take place with the Environment Agency (EA), water and wastewater providers (Thames Water, Southern Water etc) and other stakeholders.
This in-depth study usually includes areas such as: Water Resources – potential increased demand for water and the infrastructure requirements to distribute it Water Quality – potential increased generation of sewerage and other wastewater, requiring collection and treatment systems and the potential increased risk to the quality of the water environment including its ecology Flood Risk – potential increase in wastewater or surface water run-off which could increase the risk of flooding.
Both the Cranleigh Society and the Environment Agency (EA) have highlighted that Waverley needed to do a water cycle study as part of their local plan. The EA referred to this again in the Officer’s Report for the Little Meadow planning application for 75 houses on the Alfold Road:
“The local plan evidence base would need to demonstrate that the planned housing numbers would not:
1. Lead to a deterioration in class status of the Cranleigh Waters, for any element Biochemical Oxygen Demand, Ammonia or Phosphorous,or
2. Compromise our ability to get the Cranleigh Waters to ‘Good Ecological Status’. Additional water quality modelling would need to be completed to support all of the developments cumulatively to identify whether there would be a deterioration risk to the Cranleigh Waters as a result of growth alone. This will need to be set out in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan, with the evidence being gathered from the conclusions made by a required Water Cycle Study.” [our emphasis]
The Cranleigh Society has continually reported pollution concerns to Waverley regarding Cranleigh Waters (the stream that Cranleigh Sewage Works discharges PER DAY on average the equivalent of two Olympic-sized Swimming Pools of liquid effluent) which over the last few years has started to dry up, particularly during summer months. This is causing serious pollution down stream from the sewage works right up to the point where the stream joins the River Wey near to Shalford.
The following photo was taken on 21st July 2016, before the sewage works discharge point into Cranleigh Waters, and as you can see one of our committee members is standing on the mostly dry stream bed and there is only a tiny trickle of water still flowing on the far side.
This image shows the discharge point at the sewage works and clearly shows the increase in the water level from liquid sewage effluent alone.
Waverley have now accepted the need for a water cycle study and have appointed consultants CAPITA, however, they have left it too late to do a full report. The first stage of this two part process normally takes between 6 and 12 months, however, Waverley have advised us that their study will be available when the draft local plan and other supporting documentation is published in approximately one week.
We have serious concerns about the depth of the study they are carrying out. We have been advised that they only have time to do an overview study known as a “High Level Water Cycle Study” which is reported to be a desktop sift-through of government web-site data and published water abstraction licences and will not take account of specific local issues.
The Environment Agency have advised us that they will object to the draft Local Plan, if an appropriate water cycle study has not been carried out.
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency is sending a team of their experts to Cranleigh to investigate the pollution problem, following our meeting at the sewage works and a report from the Shamley Green Angling Club (they have fishing rights to Cranleigh Waters in Bramley) that they have stopped fishing this stream as fish stocks have died out due to the pollution. We would like to acknowledge the invaluable and professional support and advice from the Environment Agency, despite considerable cuts in their workforce and a mounting workload.
We would also like to thank all of you who have been involved with the Cranleigh Sewage Works Odour Survey and just to let you know we will be publishing our results very soon.
If you have any concerns about the growing pollution in Cranleigh Waters, please get in touch.
We have been advised that the Full Planning Application (Detailed Planning Permission) by Cala Homes for 125 dwellings off Amlets Lane will be heard by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee on 14 September 2016 at the Council Offices in Godalming.
We will add more details when the time and the agenda are published on Waverley’s website.
Local resident’s have been forced to take their lives in their hands and measure the width of Amlets Lane themselves.
Safety concerns regarding increased traffic levels on this narrow rural road have been highlighted again and again by residents. Now as building on the site for 125 dwellings by Cala Homes draws nearer, heavy construction traffic is forefront in the minds of local residents.
It has been said time and time again that the road is simply not wide enough to allow for two HGVs to pass and residents are extremely worried about safety on this road.
Transport Assessments submitted against the planning application have failed to record width measurements along the lane. However, a recent email published against the application from Richard Cooper, Senior Transportation Development Planning Officer at Surrey County Council to Waverley Planning Officer Jennifer Samuelson, has provided an official width guideline required for two goods vehicles to pass:
From: Richard Cooper Sent: Wednesday 22 June 2016 12:30 To: Jennifer Samuelson Subject: Re: WA/2016/0517: Amlets LAne Hi Jen, Thanks for your email. The main access road into the site measures 5.5m wide. Mfs guidance states that this width is sufficient to allow two goods vehicles to pass. As a general rule a 5.5m wide single access can serve up to 300 dwellings, with parking on one side of the road. The secondary roads within the site have a width of 4.8m. This width is sufficient to allow a car to pass a goods vehicle. Finally there are some roads proposed serving only a small number of houses or a parking area, measuring 4.1m in width. These roads will only be used by cars, and this width is sufficient to allow two cars to pass. I confirm therefore that the proposed road widths are acceptable on highway safety grounds. Hope this helps, Richard Cooper Senior Transportation Development Planning Officer Surrey County Council [our emphasis]
This email promoted two local residents to don high-vis vests and armed with their measuring tape they took width measurements at various points along Amlets Lane, thus finally dispelling the myth that the lane is wide enough for two HGVs to pass.
The following email was subsequently sent to Richard Cooper and Jennifer Samuelson on 11 July 2016:
Having studied your response of 22/06/2016 to Ms Samuelson’s query with respect to road widths I noticed that a road of 5.5m width is sufficient to allow two HGVs to pass. At the site meeting of interested parties two days before the Joint Planning Committee Meeting which approved Outline Planning Consent two HGVs did in fact get stuck near to the proposed entrance to the site.
As a metrologist in my pre-retirement life, I believe in measurement. To that end my wife and I set out to measure the width of Amlets Lane at 5 points. Our start point was the entrance to the triangle at the eastern end of Amlets Lane. Only one measurement gave a width of greater than 5.5m (where part of the verge had been removed when the Lane was resurfaced in 2013) while, by the entrance to Hilliards House the maximum width SCC can claim is 4.8m. As we were unsure of the definition of “Road Width” we measured to the outside of the white lines (W) AND to the very edge of the bitumen (B).
The measurements were as follows:
Distance from origin(miles) Description Measurement (W) (B) (both metres) > 0.1 By gate leading to Amlets Hill 5.33 5.63 > 0.2 By development entrance 4.87 5.32* > 0.3 By gate to Amlets Cottage 4.70 5.30 > 0.4 By gate to Dower House 4.83 5.08+ > 0.5 By gate to Hilliards House 4.30 4.80+
* Room to widen when entrance is laid, + By outward-leaning wall – no room to widen
The distance from origin was measured using the car odometer, which is clearly imprecise over such short distances, and so a description of the measurement point is included. The measurement points were, of necessity, taken where it was possible to park at least partially off the road for safety reasons. I am not sure of your evidence base but there is clearly a major issue here.
Your estimate of the road width would appear to be completely inaccurate and misleading. If this is not corrected it could constitute gross negligence.
I have forwarded this information to Ms Samuelson so I am sure that she will be as interested as I to hear your comments.
The Cranleigh Society has also emailed Richard Cooper and submitted residents’ photos of vehicles causing an obstruction along Amlets Lane as further evidence of this serious problem.
A resident sent this photo in on 20 July 2016 of a low loader stuck in Amlets Lane yet again causing long tailbacks and delays.
Amlets Lane 20 July 2016
Please keep sending in your stories and photos, this provides clear evidence that we pass on to the relevant authorities.
Ask yourself, what is the incentive for the big developers to build enough housing to meet demand?
Building enough housing would force down house prices.
Developers are in a position where they can manipulate the market by controlling supply to keep prices high and profits higher still. They have created the perfect investment vehicle with ever present demand from a rising population in the UK coupled with the basic need for a roof over people’s heads.
It is reported that almost 500,000 new homes in England and Wales have planning permission but haven’t yet been built, despite a huge housing shortage. Developers have been accused of profiteering for years and yet no penalties have been levied on them or their growing land banks.
Recognition of the developers’ role in restricting the supply of housing to boost their own profits at the expense of ordinary people is growing.
The Guardian recently reported that “the number of unbuilt homes with planning permission has reached record levels and is 25% higher than five years ago.”, furthermore “the nine biggest house builders are sitting on enough land to build 615,152 homes. This includes plots with planning permission and those without.”
Developers are firmly in the driving seat, riding roughshod over government targets and laughing all the way to the land bank. Believing that the major house builders will play their part in providing access to a reasonable supply of more affordable homes has proven to be misguided and rather like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
This is surely the time to take back control and introduce a land bank tax –if developers don’t build within a certain period of time they pay a punitive rate of tax. Worries that the big builders will throw their toys out of their pram and stomp off is counter-intuitive and like killing the goose that lays the golden egg.
Furthermore, developers should by law have to publish a public record of all land that they own.
We know that developers will only build at the rate to maximise their profits, not in line with housing need. Why is permission being granted for more and more valuable green fields to be concreted over when developers are not building the houses they’ve already got permission for?
People are struggling to get on the housing ladder and the controlled rate of completions is keeping prices artificially high and forcing people to take on eye-watering loan to value mortgages. The term “Mortgage Zombies” has emerged in the UK, where people are simply working to pay their mortgage and nothing else.
An overall average house price in Cranleigh is now around £472,745 how many people can really afford that?
The fact is the big house builders are not delivering the homes that are needed, despite planning applications being approved, and are amassing more and more land, shifting the balance of power even further in their favour.
Targeted Government funded incentives, like Starter Homes, don’t seem to have worked, surely its time for a major rethink?