Cranleigh Society News 9 Feb 2019
Firstly – Social – join us at The Three Horseshoes pub on Monday 11th Feb, any time from 6.30pm – let’s share a drink, chat and action plans too. There is always an option to buy meals or snacks too.
Next – Cranleigh Society asks – What would YOU say and want to know from Waverley if you were sitting in a room with their undivided attention? Our next meeting is coming up.
Soon – What would YOU ask MP Anne Milton when she next comes to Cranleigh? Flood forum – Friday 22nd March 10.30am Band Room – VERY Important YOU attend. We will provide information sheets and hope to sort out the lack of microphones by then for the Band Room. Let us have your worries and questions please.
Surrey County Council consultations – so here’s the thing – our democracy requires many things such as hard working officers working for the community and elected Councillors, such as consultations – when they get to points where they can see a large impact on communities – and they have to count them and take their views into account. So if we don’t write in etc. we don’t count!!! Please go onto the Website for Surrey County Council consultations and read what they have put up. BTW – if ever you can’t – please go to the library and ask for help with the computers there – it’s your right and this too could be taken away if not used enough.
Cranleigh Parish Council – all public are welcome to their meetings – and there is a moment in those meetings when the councillors are free to discuss matters more openly when the public are excluded – reasonably. Local planning applications are considered by members of the Planning Committee on a three weekly basis. The Planning List of planning applications to be considered by the Committee is displayed at the Council Offices. Look at their web site – meetings for dates – they change!
There are twelve Parish Councillors who take an active part in village life and who are elected to represent the community. The Council has adopted a Business Plan for the period 2019 – 2023 which can be viewed here. CPC looks after many amenities – Snoxhall fields, village Hall, Cemetery, Allotments, and also lists information about ROAD CLOSURES, REPORTING FLOODING, DEFIBRILLATOR, FIRST RESPONDERS.
Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan is up for reading and commenting up – please see their web site – click the top tab Neighbourhood plan, then Draft, then Regulation 14 consultation!
FLOOD ALERTS – GOV.UK WEB SITE – https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/warnings
Thank you for reading this far – please do join in
CRANLEIGH FLOOD FORUM NEWS UPDATE, 18 MARCH 2018
Many of you attended the third Cranleigh Flood Forum on 9 March, hosted by Anne Milton MP, when discussions continued on sewer and surface water pipe misconnections, concerns about the sewage treatment works and Cranleigh Waters, questionable planning decisions by the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) of Waverley Borough Council and other matters.
However the asbestos cement (AC) drinking water pipes and the very controversial approval of the Thakeham homes site in Elmbridge Road dominated the meeting.
We, Cranleigh Civic Society, reported that, just the previous day, we had a high level meeting with a leading Insurer to discuss the insurance implications of both these very real concerns.
This Insurer confirmed what we had heard from a leading Insurer of County, Borough and Town/Parish Councils – this is that, except for a few specialist schemes, all UK Public and Products Liability policies have a total asbestos exclusion. This follows the inhaled asbestos disaster, where claims are still being made, and which is reported to have cost Insurers worldwide $100 billion – and which nearly brought Lloyd’s of London to it’s knees in the 1990s.
So, at the meeting, the we urged Waverley and Thames Water to check their own policies as, if they have no asbestos cover, and asbestos fibres in eroding and bursting drinking water pipes (which make up 29.6% of Cranleigh’s pipes) do lead to ingested asbestos fibre health problems, they could well have to finance both the claims and legal costs out of their own fund – for decades.
Of course, Cranleigh is not alone – this is a matter of concern and receiving attention throughout the World including Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe so we continue to monitor activity worldwide.
Whilst we are pleased Thames Water are starting to replace Cranleigh’s AC pipes, our aim is to seek a cessation of all connections of new housing to the drinking water system until all the AC pipes have been replaced with new, safe plastic pipes. Failure to do so would mean that, as new homes are connected to the existing system, it would result in the flow having to be increased which would lead to faster erosion and more frequent bursts.
We also discussed with the Insurer the decision by Waverley to grant permission for the building of 54 houses on a flood plain – an area which regularly floods seriously with the last occasion being as recently as December 2013.
The JPC ignored the detailed evidence submitted by us and, instead, relied on the report provided by consultants engaged and paid by the applicant, Thakeham Homes. Their representative was even allowed to sit at the planners table – very unorthodox.
Prior to the meeting on 5 October 2017, a member of the JPC submitted his flood risk evidence to the Chair of the JPC but it was ignored. That same member tried to have his evidence considered at the meeting but he was shouted down by the Chair and told to shut up.
The Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) is Surrey County Council and the Flood Risk Management Strategy and Partnerships Team Leader (who attended the Flood Forum) confirmed to a Councillor, in an email dated 21 February 2018, that when considering building on this type of site, the planning “process is in part reliant on robust and accurate feedback from the community” but the JPC chose to ignore this guidance and the detailed evidence, including photos, submitted by Cranleigh Civic Society.
So there is the terrible prospect of families buying new homes built on a flood plain and which are highly likely to flood, with all the dire consequences, because of a seriously flawed planning decision.
When, at the meeting last week, we explained this situation to the Insurance Company it was made very clear that obtaining flood insurance on this site would be very difficult if the Insurer agrees that the evidence presented to them is sound. Top UK Insurers do not rely on the flood maps available to all on websites – they have invested in their own exceptionally detailed flood mapping, so detailed that they can have separate risk classifications for individual houses. They pay particular attention to new housing developments including local knowledge, nearby postcodes, topography and using the very latest technology.
Perhaps the unavailability of flood insurance from reputable Insurers may stop innocent families making the worst financial decision of their lives?
Anne Milton was of the view that a meeting should be arranged with Thakeham Homes, attended by all the relevant organisations, to explain the very real issues with developing this site, and undertook to put this in motion.
Needless to say we welcome this initiative by our MP but will Cranleigh Civic Society be invited? We sincerely hope so!
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 email@example.com
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
Your MP Hears your problems – FLOOD FORUM
Bandroom, Friday, March 9th. 9.30 am
VITAL YOU & YOUR NEIGHBOURS ATTEND
Anne Milton MP and your Waverley Borough & Cranleigh Parish Councillors plus many Officers from the Council, Thames Water & other agencies – will attend 10-11.30 – can they
STOP the next Cranleigh FLOOD?
STOP house building until our overloaded Sewerage System is upgraded
replace 29% of our drinking water pipes that are made from asbestos containing cement
Slow down At least 2,600 houses in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan – for Dunsfold aerodrome
STOP Massive Overload of our infrastructure
ENSURE A281 to Guildford DOES NOT GET clogged up!
WE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING AND HEARING YOU ON FRIDAY
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST AND SUPPORT
** PLEASE NOTE START TIME AND VENUE **
The venue is The Band Room in Village Way, Cranleigh, and the meeting starts at 10:30 am
This is the second meeting of Cranleigh Flood Forum chaired by Anne Milton MP. The issues Cranleigh Civic Society wishes to discuss include:
- Thakeham Homes, Elmbridge Road Planning Permission
- Illegal river dredging
- Water Quality (Cranleigh Waters)
- Asbestos Cement drinking water pipes
- Flood Risk in general
Please attend this meeting if you can. It is open to all Cranleigh residents, not just Cranleigh Civic Society members!
Please speak to your friends and neighbours as the more people who attend the more we can demonstrate the serious concerns we have in Cranleigh about the over development of our village and problems that lie ahead.