CRANLEIGH FLOOD FORUM NEWS
MP Anne Milton ran an effective and Informative Flood Forum today, in the Band room, from 10 till 11am.
The team assembled around her included representatives from Thames Water, Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council.
Questions had been sent to Anne Milton’s office – to her secretary Sarah – in advance – plus Anne used the minutes of the previous meeting to ask those present for the answers.
MP Anne first asked if the public have been looking at Cranleigh Parish Council’s website for news – most people said no – so here is a link which we urge you to read – http://www.cranleighpc.org/_VirDir/CoreContents/News/Display.aspx?id=11210
The meeting was attended by at least 60 people including 3 Councillors. The minutes will be circulated as soon as possible, meanwhile here are the minutes of the previous meeting.
PREVIOUS CRANLEIGH FLOOD FORUM MINUTES
Note of Meeting: 24 July 2017, Band Room, Cranleigh
The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP (Chair)
Sue Pennison, Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI)
Waverley Borough Council (WBC):
Peter Cleveland, Planning
Gayle Wootton, Planning
William Gibb, Planning Enforcement
Nick Laker, Engineers
Richard Homewood, Environmental Services
Beverley Bell, Clerk, Cranleigh Parish Council
Sarah Coleby, Office of Anne Milton MP
Cyril Mitkov, Thames Water (TW)
Nishad Sowky, Thames Water
Paul Hudson, Environment Agency (EA)
Tor Peebles, Surrey County Council (SCC)
County Cllr Andrew Povey
Cllr Liz Townsend
Cllr Stewart Stennett
Cllr Jeannette Stennett
Parish Cllr Angela Richardson
Steve Robjohns, Public Health England
Parish Council – Beverley Bell reported that information was on the website and in the September newsletter
Waverley planning officers have sent a link to the Parish Council to put on their website.
Thames Water reported that this was an ongoing battle. Many had been addressed, but always keen to receive more evidence. A specialist engineers has been identified, and action is planned.
Thames Water cannot enforce, but the Borough Council can. It was suggested that home owners should be required to provide invoice evidence that new connections have been carried out.
The foul sewer is inundated with surface water, or ingress from ground water. With more housing it was suggested that 12 times dry weather flow may be required, and a total upgrade required, to accommodate current housing and housing that now had planning permission.
Database: Cllr Townsend requested a hotspot database. It was recognised that local knowledge and local people identifying a problem was crucial. This should be reported through the Parish Council who can refer on to Thames Water/Environmental Health/Environment Agency as appropriate.
Cranleigh Waters: the water course is categorised as ‘moderate’. The EA reported that macrophytes and phosphates are the key problem, based on worst case analysis, not averages. It was suggested that data is only available up to 2013-14, and was taken from only one monitoring point.
ACTION: Thames Water to confirm that the wet weather flow is 10 times the dry weather flow – whereas tank capacity is 6 times dry weather flow.
ACTION: All – to report what they see to firstname.lastname@example.org
ACTION: Catchment Group – to consider moving sampling sites and investigate the availability of more up to date data. EA to report back to next meeting.
Waverley planners reported that the Local Plan includes general policy about avoiding pollution, and mitigation for flooding. It was still with the Planning Inspector
Cllr Stennett stressed that flooding occurred less when the EA maintained the river, and that annual maintenance is vital. Riparian ownership is recognised, but the EA can move an obstruction where there is specific flood risk.
It was acknowledged that a culture change is required – so that people take responsibility personally (under riparian ownership) or as a community. This would help to make sure funding is prioritised where enforcement is difficult (eg a vulnerable owner physically unable to undertake work). There is grant funding available for community schemes, and riparian owners should also be asked to contribute. Solutions can be relatively easy. Anne Milton pointed out that a walkabout can help to highlight problem areas, this is an approach she uses in other Flood Forum groups once a year.
Tor Peebles (SCC) confirmed the importance of feedback, and stressed that priority depends whether homes are at risk.
Nightingales Culvert: culvert owned by Thames Water, upstream is a riparian issue with a group of residents looking to maintain, but concern that there is a blockage within the 200m culvert.
Insurance for Community Groups: Tor Peebles suggested crowdfunding, organisations such as Scottish Electric, Tesco (plastic bag fund), Greggs, Surrey Community Foundation.
ACTION: Tor Peebles to put group in touch with others who have previous experience.
Cranleigh Waters: Cllr Townsend reported that dredging has caused problems downstream. EA reported that they are investigating with Cranleigh Nurseries, and although there may be no increase in flood risk the environmental damage may be significant – and they will not give up.
Planning Applications: Cranleigh Society are concerned about developments given planning permission with no apparent objection by the EA, and particularly about the Thakeham Homes development. The EA reported that they did not object because there was no flood risk of homes at the level where homes will be built. Residents expressed concern if the EA accept evidence provided by a developer over anecdotal and even photographic evidence provided by residents. There had been work carried out by Adrian Clarke (Cranleigh Society) and Doug Hill (SCC) in 2015 to map the flood plain, including collecting photo evidence, this may not have been taken into account by SCC as Lead Flood Authority.
ACTION: SCC Tor Peebles to get details and do letter about SUDS standards.
ACTION: Cllr Townsend to provide questions to Tor Peebles
ACTION: WBC Planners to share response re Thakeham application to Parish Council to publish on website
Thames Water reported sampling pipe material at 5 sites. Water at 13 sites had been sampled and analysed. At 10 sites there were no fibres, 3 had tested positive for some fibres (2/millilitre at one and 1/millilitre at the others). TW tested under normal conditions to household supply, at the time of a burst and near the burst site, and after a flush of the system.
By comparison, 1 cubic metre of air contains 10 fibres. Some of these fires would be occurring naturally, and this represents a very low concentration.
3 km out of 14 km water pipes in Cranleigh (about 20%) are asbestos cement mains. TW are continuing to look at the possibility of risk and will be consulting next year, when they will welcome feedback.
The Drinking Water Inspectorate (Sue Pennison) reported that she has written to the World Health Organisation to request an opportunity to engage; she would work further with Cllr Townsend and with Cranleigh Society. She confirmed that the Inspectorate and Thames Water consider the water supply in Cranleigh to be safe to drink.
The next meeting was proposed for Friday 9 March 2018