Brook Sewage Saga Goes On!

Brook Sewage Saga Goes On!

We first wrote about the sewage in the brook saga on 2 June 2015. Can you believe it, nearly 17 months later and the problem is still not resolved.

map of raw sewage entering watercourse in Cranleigh

In the intervening months Cranleigh Civic Society has sent countless emails and made several calls to Thames Water, the Environment Agency and Waverley Borough Council’s Environmental Health Department.

The fact that this problem seems to have been going on for over 7 years, some residents say longer, is a disgrace.  We can’t help but feel that there is something seriously wrong with our sewerage system when the continued discharge of raw sewage into a brook off the high street remains unchecked for so many years.

After unsuccessful attempts to get the brook problem resolved, in April 2015 the Cranleigh Civic Society took water samples, got them analysed at an independent specialist laboratory and reported the results to the Environment Agency (the E coli result was 24 times above the allowable limit).

section of brook in Cranleigh with raw sewage

The Environment Agency response was immediate, they elevated the brook to “Priority Status” and the very next day they served a 30 day notice on Thames Water to deal with the issue.

In May 2015 a cleanup of the brook took place and Thames Water commenced a series of extensive dye tests around Cranleigh, whilst keeping us informed of their progress.


On 1 June 2015 Thames Water confirmed that they had found units on the High Street that had misconnected their foul sewer lines into the surface water sewer draining into the brook. The two properties were advised how to resolve this issue, and we understand that arrangements were made for the connections to be made to the correct sewer system.

However, Thames Water continued with their investigations, as they advised us that two units could not on their own account for the extent of the problem in the brook.

Subsequently, they carried out more camera and dye testing working their way down the High Street sewers.

In August 2015, the Environment Agency (EA) confirmed that Thames Water had discovered a significant misconnection, again located in the High Street.

Apparently, according to Thames Water remedial work for this issue was completed in October 2015; and it was understood that this should resolve most of the issues in the brook.

Thames Water said they were also aware of a couple of  minor outstanding issues  (sinks that need re-plumbing) that they were going to follow up. However, it was stressed that these shouldn’t cause significant growth of fungus in the brook.

Finally, EA confirmed that Thames Water were continuing to work on the problem, including doing some additional clean-up work – “after which they believe they will be able to better judge whether or not there are any other significant misconnections or other pollution sources.”

However that was not the end! After further reports of continued sewage in the brook yet another clean up was carried out on 26 November 2015.


There was a a lull over the winter months with the onset of heavier rainfall and colder temperatures.  However, in April 2016 sewage was reported to be discharging into the brook once more.

Cranleigh Civic Society advised the EA on 4 May 2016 once again that with the onset of warmer weather sewage fungus was flourishing in the brook  (see image below).  You can also see that a bund (grey pipe),  had appeared across the exit point of the surface water sewer pipe, which was not even touching the surface of the brook, and therefore was of no use whatsoever.

4 May 2016 Brook Cranleigh sewage fungus

On 6 May 2016 the EA replied confirming that “We were made aware of a ‘sludge-like deposit’ on the bed of the channel in the Knowle Park area on the 28/04/16. Thames Water attended the incident within 2 hours of the report. They were unable to identify a discharge to the river, but have logged the incident and confirmed to us that they will be sending out a member of their network team to investigate this matter further. We are currently awaiting further information from them.

On 9 May 2016 the EA confirmed that they had been in contact with Thames  Water who had carried out a CCTV survey of the sewers in the areas and have detected a “small leak from the foul sewer” into the surface water drain.

The solution they said was for Thames Water to re-attend the site to plan works to rectify the issue  The proposal was to to reline the leaking sewers or reroute them.

EA also confirmed that “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.

We have seen no major sewer relining/rerouting work taking place.

9 September 2016 and residents reported sewage fungus again in the brook, which we subsequently reported to Thames Water and Environmental Health at Waverley.  Tankers arrived on 12 September to suck out sewage from the brook and so the problem continues…….

A resident advised us that they had a telephone call on 14 September 2016 from Thames Water confirming that a tanker would be going to the brook on Knowle Lane every six weeks to pump out the sewage until the problem was solved.

The latest email from Thames Water on 19 October 2016 repeats the same old unacceptable story of unknown sewage misconnections into Thames Water’s  surface water sewer in the High Street discharging into the brook:

From the latest reports received, it would appear that there may be further and previously unidentified properties that also have misconnected sewer pipes and we will have to arrange for further testing and investigations to be carried out. I have asked that one of our Engineers reattend Cranleigh High Street and carry out further investigations into the reported problems.”

Thames Water confirmed that they would provide an update by no later than 2 November 2016.  We are not holding our breath.

We want to know what is really going on with the sewerage network in Cranleigh?  Is there a significant problem with the ageing main sewer running down the high street? Is the sewage tank on the corner of John Whiskar Drive and Knowle Lane leaking into the brook?

Against this backdrop of issues, Waverley Borough Council keep granting planning permission for huge estates in and around the village, taking no account of this and other ongoing sewage problems.  For the latest application by Thakeham Homes,  Thames Water has not even applied a Grampian style condition requiring upgrade work to the sewerage network prior to commencement of the development.  This is completely unacceptable.

We intend to keep investigating the problems with our sewerage network and water supply and will keep you updated as soon as we can.

We have kept our MP Anne Milton informed of the situation and she has also been pressing Thames Water for answers.  If you are concerned please email Anne Milton and ask her to continue to pursue this matter on your behalf.  Thank you.

Cranleigh Civic Society is run completely by volunteers, please help us to keep you informed and become a member.

Thames Water Object to Thakeham Homes

Thames Water Object to Thakeham Homes

Thames Water have objected to the Thakeham Homes site for 58 dwellings off Elmbridge Road on the grounds of odour emanating from Cranleigh’s Sewage Treatment Works (STW).

In a document published against the application Thames Water state that:

“Cranleigh STW is located close to the proposed development. Our consultation response reflects our concern that the applicant has failed to demonstrate that future occupiers of the proposed development will have adequate amenity. Given the proposed development’s close proximity to the Sewage Asset we object to the planning application.”

They go on in the document to report that:


Odour can be a particular issue at our sewage assets. It is important to ensure that development which might be sensitive to the odour environment in the vicinity of existing assets is not permitted to take place unless:

(a) it can be established that it will be located or designed in such a manner as not actually to be sensitive to such odour;

(b) or that funding is made available by the applicant for the installation of odour treatment apparatus sufficient to overcome any conflict between the development and uses proposed.

To address odour as an environmental impact, the applicant should submit an odour assessment to demonstrate that there will be no adverse impact in relation to odour. The odour assessment should be based on assessing onsite odour emissions. The assessment should also include an outline of an odour mitigation measures strategy.

If the odour assessment is considered acceptable by the local planning authority and Thames Water, then we would request that any proposed mitigation that is set out in the odour assessment is controlled via a planning condition.”

You can read the full response from Thames Water here:

Thames Water Objection Thakeham Homes Cranleigh

We are extremely interested to discover how Thakeham Homes will locate and design their houses “as not actually to be sensitive to such odour“. Completely sealed units perhaps, with a garden in a bubble?

As well as seeing what “odour treatment apparatus” they will fund to “overcome any conflict between the development and uses proposed” – Perhaps the standard issue of nose pegs?

Finally, Thames Water have requested, at last, an odour assessment and mitigation to be included in a planning condition.

The condition suggested by Thames Water if the planning application is approved is:

“There should be no occupation of the development until the recommendations of the odour mitigation strategy have been implemented and are operational.”

So Thakeham could still go ahead and build, but no one can move in until the anti-odour strategy is deployed!

And what about the odour assessment, will this be a mere desktop, box ticking exercise, or will real sniffers and survey forms be employed?

Odour assessments can take several months and measurements should be taken at various points in the year.  Summer months can be the most troublesome for residents due to high temperatures.  It is also widely recognised that you cannot rely on a history of complaints, as, although public complaints provide evidence that there is a problem in a given area, they provide no real indication of the actual magnitude of the underlying problem, or the potential for impact on areas proposed for new development. This is because people very often don’t register a public complaint to authorities due to a number of personal reasons, which are unrelated to the extent of the odour nuisance.

We wait to see if, and when, a “real” odour assessment will be carried out.

We have reported that expansion work is taking place at the treatment plant, for which no planning permission, or odour assessment was required.  However, as you are aware we are still investigating this matter.

What we know is that we have existing residents who cannot use their gardens on hot summer days, suffer fly infestations, and only yesterday we had yet another email from a resident confirming that  “I am having to shut my bedroom windows at night due to the smell from the Cranleigh sewage  works.”

Thames Water are obviously concerned about the pong for new residents of the site, we are too, but we are extremely concerned about the pong for existing residents who already live here, and the impact on their quality of life.

Residents near to the sewage treatment works are facing expansion works and a significant increase in sewage being processed at the Elmbridge Road treatment works due to the huge amount of new development already granted in and around Cranleigh.  Another 58 dwellings will only add to, what is already, odour nuisance, and there is still no mention of further environmental damage to Cranleigh Waters, into which mounting levels of liquid sewage effluent is discharged.

If you are concerned about the effect of this application please follow the instructions in our post and add your comments against the Thakeham Homes Planning Application WA/2016/1921.

Cranleigh is being being dumped on! There is no consideration for existing residents, or for sustainable development.  Please add your voice to ours and together we can speak up for Cranleigh.

Surrey Say Permission Not Needed for Sewage Works Expansion

Surrey Say Permission Not Needed for Sewage Works Expansion

Following on from the article below on 4 October confirming that Surrey County Council’s  Enforcement Team were investigating whether Thames Water should have applied for planning permission, and carried out a full odour impact assessment, prior to expansion at Cranleigh’s Sewage Treatment Works:

Surrey County Council Investigate Odour Survey Results

We have now had a reply from Surrey County Council’s Senior Planning Enforcement Officer confirming that members of the enforcement team had been to Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works and that:

Works were underway for the construction of two 30 m diameter filter beds, with the disposal of excavated spoil on site.  Thames Water maintained that the development was Permitted Development (PD).  We believe however that they failed to interpret the Regulations correctly and that screening to determine whether there is a need for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should have been done in advance.

An EIA is Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is the process by which the anticipated effects on the environment of a proposed development or project are measured. If the likely effects are unacceptable, design measures or other relevant mitigation measures can be taken to reduce or avoid those effects – 

The Officer went on to refute the need for an EIA by saying that based on subsequent information supplied by Thames Water the works were lawful and:

notwithstanding the scale of activity the development did not require an EIA.

Strong and unpleasant sewage odour continues to plague residents living near to the sewage treatment works and in other areas of Cranleigh. The current work being carried out is increasing capacity on the site by approximately 30%.  This expansion we were advised was not to accommodate the 1,520 new dwellings being proposed for Cranleigh, of which nearly 800 have now been granted planning permission by Waverley Borough Council.

In the future, residents living near to the sewage works are going to be faced with further expansion work to accommodate new dwellings in and around Cranleigh, and this may lead to a significant increase in sewage odour problems, in addition to increases in pollution levels in Cranleigh Waters from liquid effluent.

We are  determined to ensure that the impacts on existing residents are taken into consideration and intend to continue to press Surrey County Council on the need for planning permission.

On 22 October we wrote again to Paul Warner, Senior Planning Enforcement Officer at Surrey County Council, (we are also keeping our MP Anne Milton fully informed of this situation) requesting:

Dear Mr Warner,

May we ask you one additional question please?

One of the safeguards put in place by the planning process is to ensure that a valid “Permit to Discharge” has been issued by the Environment Agency before any above or below-ground extension capacity works are done at sewage treatment plants.  Because CPA [County Planning Authority] is trying to short-cut the planning process, we assume that this important safeguard has not been assessed.

Thames Water themselves acknowledge this.  In an email dated 09-Feb-16 to Cranleigh Civic Society, Thames Water said “if Thames Water intend to increase the capacity of the works then the permit will be reviewed and re-modelled.”

Permits to Discharge used to be issued to Cranleigh STW every year or so (Cranleigh Civic Society has got back copies of them), but the last one was issued right back in 2009.  The Environment Agency has told Thames Water that they can’t currently renew the 2009 permit because it is “technically infeasible” for Thames Water to meet current chemical requirements (phosphate content for example).  Thames Water acknowledges this, and they have written to Anne Milton MP (Anne Milton has been copied in on this email) to explain that there are ongoing trials to see if a new process can be adopted to meet current phosphate limits.  The results of these trials are expected later next year, and no one knows yet of course if these trials will prove productive.

The Environment Agency started work on producing a new Permit Limit for Cranleigh STW on 12-May-16, but it will be subject to a successful result to these trials next year, and also to flow-rate infrastructure work being carried out to previously dredged areas of Cranleigh Waters (this work has not been date-programmed yet).

Because Waverley Borough Council has not carried out a full Water Cycle Study for the Borough, we are assuming that they have not pointed these facts out to CPA.  And if CPA allows the STW extension works to continue, they are contravening the 2027 WFD “work towards good status” requirement.

So our question is, has CPA taken the above into account in deciding that an EIA is unnecessary?

We are still reviewing your email dated 19th October and taking advice before replying.

Yours sincerely

If you are concerned about increased odour from Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works blighting your home please contact your MP Anne Milton and copy in Cranleigh Civic Society insisting that Thames Water apply for planning permission for expansion works and carry out  a full odour impact assessment.

Together we need to speak up for Cranleigh!

Please become a member of the Cranleigh Civic Society- a community run organisation run entirely and tirelessly by volunteers.

Thakeham Homes Apply for Planning Permission

Thakeham Homes Apply for Planning Permission

Another application for planning permission for a further 58 dwellings by Thakeham Homes on a green field site off the Elmbridge Road, that regularly floods, and is one of the last  pieces of Cranleigh’s rapidly diminishing Flood Plain.

Please add your comments against this application Reference WA/2016/1921 (decision date 29 Dec 2016) on the grounds that:

  1. The site is subject to regular flooding and the flood risk has been significantly underestimated.
  2. Up-to-date allowances for flooding and climate change (16 February 2016) have not been used.
  3. Water quality in Cranleigh Waters will be detrimentally affected by this application and it does not comply with the Water Framework Directive.
  4. The sewerage infrastructure is not adequate to deal with sewage from this site, particularly taking into account the cumulative impact of other already granted developments in Cranleigh.
  5. The site is not deliverable within 5 years.
  6. The site is a green field site and there are other identified brownfield sites in Cranleigh, which can provide a higher number of dwellings and are nearer to the high street.
  7. The distance of this site from the high street means that residents will have a heavy reliance on the use of a private car.

Full instructions on how to add your comments online.

Or email your comments to the case officer Chris French direct on quoting ref WA/2016/1921 and include your FULL name and Postal Address.

Or write to Waverley Borough Council at (please quote ref WA/2016/1921 and include your FULL name and Postal Address):
Chris French
Planning Officer
Waverley Borough Council
The Burys

Additional information :

Flood Risk

Thakeham Homes in partnership with Stovolds Hill Farms Limited have submitted an application for 58 dwellings to Waverley Borough Council ref WA/2016/1921.

The application site is bordered on two sides by the Environment Agency designated main rivers – Cranleigh Waters and Littlemead Brook.


A significant part of the site is in flood zones 2 and 3.

The following image is of the Environment Agency’s Flood Map for Planning (this map does not include an allowance for climate change):


This is the reality – Thakeham Homes Site Elmbridge Road 24 December 2013:



January 2015:




28 March 2015:


A Flood Risk Assessment Report dated August 2016 has been produced by Cannon Consulting Engineers on behalf of the applicants.  However, the Environment Agency Flood maps included in the report are dated 26 January 2016 and appear to only include a 20% allowance for climate change.  This does not take into account the revised climate change allowances by the government and the Environment Agency published in February 2016.  These now require applicants and developers to assess a range of climate range allowances from 25% to 70% above the 1% AEP as part of planning applications.  As the application appears to have been submitted to Waverley on 7 September 2016 the new allowances should be used.

The Flood Re Insurance Scheme will not cover these properties

Consultants Cannon Consulting Engineers have been unable to locate the name of the main river-  Cranleigh Waters, they state on Page 2 of their report that:

2. The off-site watercourse which flows northwards some 40 m to the west of the site is apparently unnamed on mapping or in reports, but is again a Main River. The watercourse is a tributary/the headwaters of the River Wey.

The image below taken from the Cannon Report shows Label 2 indicating the “unnamed” main river – not very reassuring for local residents.


We also have major concerns that this development would increase flooding for vulnerable residents at Cedar Court in Elmbridge Village and residents of Elm Park.


Water Quality and Sewerage Infrastructure

Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works (STW) is at capacity, current upgrade works, adding 2 new filter beds are to improve resilience for existing residents, and not to accommodate an additional 793 new dwellings already approved by Waverley.  This figure may shortly be increased by a further 120 dwellings following the result of the recent appeal for the brownfield site – Hewitt’s Industrial Estate.  The cumulative effect of these dwellings on the STW and on Cranleigh Waters, into which the liquid sewage effluent is discharged, we believe should be considered as material constraints by Waverley Planning Officers.

National Planning Practice Guidance Paragraph : 016 Reference ID: 34-016-20140306 states that Water Quality is likely to be a significant planning concern when a proposal would affect a water body “– through a lack of adequate infrastructure to deal with wastewater.”,  we strongly believe this is the case with regard to the situation in Cranleigh.  This application should therefore be assessed against the harmful impact on water quality in Cranleigh Waters and the Water Framework Directive,  and the applicant should be able to explain how the proposed development would impact on water quality and how they propose to mitigate these impacts.

Local planning authorities have statutory duties to deliver water quality as outlined in the Water Framework Directive (WFD).  This directive established a legal framework for the protection and promotion of sustainable water management of surface waters and groundwater.  WFD requires all inland (which would include Cranleigh Waters) and coastal waters to achieve “good” status by 2027.

Data released by the EA in 2015 provided reasons for not achieving good status in Cranleigh Waters in their River Basin Management plan and attributed this to continuous sewage discharge.  This indicated that all three key water body pollution indicator categories, Solids, Biochemical Oxygen Demand and Ammoniacal Nitrogen were being exceeded.

Cranleigh Waters is failing in terms of the WFD, particularly with regard to phosphates.  This is confirmed in the High Level Water Cycle Study carried out by Capita for Waverley in August 2016, as evidence for the Local Plan Part 1.

Read the Capita Report in full – wbc-high-level-water-cycle-study-wastewater-final-18-august-2016-issuedm 

The failing status was also confirmed by the Environment Agency (EA) in an email to Cranleigh Civic Society on 25 February 2016 at 16:56:44 GMT (shared with Waverley Borough Council at the time) confirming which elements Cranleigh Waters was failing, and also adivsing of water company trials taking place to meet tighter permit levels required for discharged liquid effluent under WFD:

“The elements that are not passing are Phosphate (moderate status), macrophytes (moderate status) and diatoms (poor status). Macrophytes and diatoms are ecological indicators of phosphate pressure. Therefore the permit has been reviewed recently with respect to these failing elements (Summer 2015) and it was identified that to improve this status a permit would be required that currently is technically infeasible. As mentioned previously water companies are undertaking trials to try and identify technology that would be capable of treating effluent to meet these tighter permits. The Environment Agency will be tracking the success of these trial and the permits will be reviewed if the technology becomes available to treat to these tighter levels.”

The “permit” referred to in the EA’s email was issued to Thames Water in 2009 as part of blanket conditions to bring discharge permits in line with other Combined Sewage Overflow permits.  This has not been renewed since 2009 and was not based on WFD legislation. It also relies on a certain level of dilution in Cranleigh Waters, which is no longer available due to extremely low to non-existent flow levels, particularly during summer months.  At times the flow past the STW discharge point is almost 100% effluent.


As advised by the EA, water companies are undertaking countrywide trials in an attempt to bring effluent levels in line with WFD, the results are not due until 2017.

In the absence of an up-to-date environmental permit based on WFD to discharge into Cranleigh Waters and the need for new technology to process sewage to comply with WFD, it would be reasonable to assume that the cumulative effect of this application by Thakeham Homes, and other development in and around Cranleigh would cause further environmental harm and have a significant negative effect on Cranleigh Waters.

Waverley has a responsibility to ensure that a development does not increase pollution.  Planning Officers are aware that Cranleigh Waters is failing with regard to WFD.  The effluent from an additional 58 dwellings would have a further detrimental effect on water quality and would prevent the river achieving “good” status by 2027.  This contravenes the local authorities obligations under WFD.

Cranleigh Waters Overview

The Environment Agency has confirmed that Cranleigh Waters is ephemeral (suffers from low to no flow) and eutrophic (resulting in low oxygen levels) .

EA website maps as at 05-Mar-16 indicated that:

  • Cranleigh Waters is in “Drinking water safeguard zone” (zone ends at Shalford).
  • Cranleigh Waters is in a “Nitrate vulnerable zone”, so “Eutrophic”.
  • Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works shown as “Water industrial pollution: Significant”
  • Cranleigh Waters Ecological Quality rated “Bad”. Must be “Good” by 2027 to meet Water Framework Directive (WFD)

In addition to awaiting the outcome of the water company trials, to comply with WFD, and the need for strategic expansion works at the STW off the Elmbridge Road, consideration must be given to the now regular low flow rate of Cranleigh Waters.

With an average daily discharge from the Cranleigh Sewage Works, recorded in 2014, of 5143 m3 (over 2 Olympic-sized swimming pools per day) and, at times, low to no flow in the Cranleigh Waters upstream of the STW, pollution has increased.  Shamley Green Angling Society has confirmed that there are depleted fish stocks in the river.  At times the flow downstream of the STW discharge point is almost 100% liquid effluent.  This encourages the growth of algae in the river, called eutrophication, meaning that it is rich in nutrients and promotes plant growth, leading to low oxygen levels, at the expense of providing a suitable habitat for fish, amphibians and invertebrates.

Some fish may be still present in the river but they will be stressed, suffering large amounts of suspended biodegradable matter (toxic silt, algae etc.) that clog and irritate their gills.  Fish will not feed or spawn in these situations and over long periods of deoxygenation they will become weak and die. The food chain then starts to deteriorate with invertebrate death, then a cascade ecosystem failure ensues. This results in a dead system that will take decades to recover and only then if sources of pollution are stopped or technology becomes available to filter the harmful elements out of effluent discharge.

A local member of the angling society confirmed that “As once you could walk the banks of Cranleigh Waters of an evening and see a myriad of ephemerides hatching from the river surface, splashes of feeding fish and a host of water creatures feeding on this bonanza. Now you will see very little surface activity, no ephemerides, dragon flies or demoiselles that once used to fly over this river in large quantities.  In the past the river margins were alive with large shoals of juvenile fish, now only mosquito larva are noticeable.  We have a dying river that needs help. Further expansion of the sewerage works means a greater capacity of polluted discharge into this failing system. The choice is simple, we sit back and let this river die and let its polluted water flow (slowly) into the River Wey at Shalford where it then becomes somebody else’s problem.”

The following image taken upstream of the STW on 18 August 2016, clearly shows a river depth of approximately 2 inches.


Cranleigh Civic Society also took flow measurements (Geopacks ZMFP51 Flow Meter) on the 7th September 2016 and recorded at 13.61 l/s (averaged over several measurements):



The Cranleigh Civic Society questions the deliverability of this site.  There are already a number of Grampian style conditions on approved planning applications with regard to water and sewerage infrastructure.

A “Grampian condition” is a planning condition attached to a decision notice that prevents the start of a development until off-site works have been completed on land not controlled by the applicant. (see Planning Practice Guidance Paragraph: 009 Reference ID: 21a-009-20140306)

However, it will take a number of years before expansion and upgrade work to Cranleigh’s Sewage Treatment Works (STW) can be carried out due to several influencing factors.

Firstly, the water company trials (referred to in the email from EA on 25 February 2016 above) need to be successfully concluded, and any new technology to deal with the liquid effluent in line with WFD needs to be established.

Thames Water will have to then submit a planning application, carry out a full odour assessment (there have been a number of complaints about sewage odour from the treatment works), as well as applying for funding from Ofwat, the next funding round is not until 2019 for 2020-25.

A strategic expansion to the treatment works of the size required for Cranleigh, we have been informed by Thames Water, would take approximately 3 -5 years to complete, as confirmed in the High Level Water Cycle Study carried out by Capita for Waverley in August 2016 “Typically local network upgrades take 18 months – 3 years to investigate design and build. More strategic solutions 3 – 5 years and where new Sewage treatment works are required this could take 7 – 10 years.”.

Should the upgrade works take only 3 years after securing Ofwat funding, this would take the timeline to 2023.  This does not meet with the NPPF definition of a deliverable site – see footnote 11, which states that there should be a “realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years”:

“11. To be considered deliverable, sites should be available now, offer a suitable location for development now, and be achievable with a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years and in particular that development of the site is viable. Sites with planning permission should be considered deliverable until permission expires, unless there is clear evidence that schemes will not be implemented within five years, for example they will not be viable, there is no longer a demand for the type of units or sites have long term phasing plans.”

We do not believe that the requirement for sewerage infrastructure has been realistically or adequately costed or assessed in this application and this affects the deliverability of this site.

Inclusion in the Waverley Borough Council Land Availability Assessment August 2016 (LAA) of this site does not imply that it is acceptable in terms of sustainability criteria as outlined in the NPPF.  Waverley has not carried out a full water cycle study and therefore the impact on sewerage, water quality and supply of any sites in the LAA have not been assessed.

The current study by Capita, carried out after the production of the LAA, is a desktop scoping report (High Level Water Cycle Study August 2016) and although important evidence, should not be confused with a full water cycle study.

The Waverley Borough Council Local Development Framework Pre-Submission Core Strategy Habitat Regulations Assessment Report June 2012 also confirmed that the borough is in an area of serious water stress with regard to water supply.  Concerns about the ability of the existing water supply and sewerage networks to cope have also been highlighted in the Council’s own sustainability appraisals.


Against this backdrop Waverley must take the matter of sewerage infrastructure, water supply and water quality as material constraints when considering this application, as well as the availability of brownfield sites within the village.

The Cranleigh Society will be submitting these points to Waverley Borough Council and objecting to this application on these grounds.

Please add your own comments against this application without delay, together we can speak up for Cranleigh and its residents.

More Burst Pipes in Cranleigh

More Burst Pipes in Cranleigh

After the last incident when many residents were left without water, there has been yet another spate of burst pipes in Cranleigh.

They have been at:

6 Elmbridge Road – we have been advised that this is scheduled to be fixed by Thames Water on Monday 24 October

Horsham Road – scheduled to be fixed on Tuesday 25 October

Bridge Cottages, Elmbridge Road – scheduled to be fixed on 2 November.  The video below shows water bubbling up through the ground.

We are currently investigating further issues with water supply in Cranleigh, however, please continue to report any burst water mains immediately to Thames Water on the 24-hour customer service team 0800 316 9800  and let us know too or use our Contact Us page.

Sewage Odour

We have also recently received several ongoing reports from residents of unpleasant and strong sewage odour issues around the Sewage Treatment Works on Elmbridge Road, on the Downslink at the back of Northdowns and also along the Guildford Road near to Notcutts (the source of this may be the treatment works).  Please ensure that you report these to Thames Water on the 24-hour customer service team 0800 316 9800  and let us know too or use our Contact Us page.

We will continue to take these issues up with Thames Water directly, however, it is extremely important that residents also report odour issues to support our efforts.

Thank you.