Category Archives: Elmbridge Road


Share Button

Since our posting on 6 October we have written to Anne Milton MP, Tom Horwood (Interim MD at Waverley Borough Council) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to confirm our utter amazement and dismay that this application was granted.

We are meeting this morning with Tom Horwood to discuss this matter further.

We asked DCLG to call-in the application on the basis that the Joint Planning Committee Chairman, Cllr Isherwood, refused to allow the members of the JPC to consider the correct flood levels provided by Cllr Hyman and which have been subsequently checked by our expert who confirmed the (higher) levels were 100% correct. The refusal to allow a debate is a fact – have a look at the video of the meeting:


Cllr Isherwood relied heavily on an desktop computer report by a company working on behalf of the developers to the total exclusion of all other primary evidence presented by residents and other councillors. The developer’s representative was allowed unprecedented access to members throughout the entire meeting and sat with officers at the head table and was allowed to speak throughout the discussion of the flooding item, unlike the parish council, residents or the Cranleigh ward member who were only allowed a maximum of 4 minutes.

We take the view that there has been a blatant violation of planning law.  DCLG refused our call-in request so Anne Milton was then requested to not only push DCLG to reconsider their decision but also involve the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It was only at the beginning of this year that DEFRA, following the disastrous flooding in the North of England, issued a consultation document asking for submissions on how to reduce the Governments exposure to the ever increasing cost of flood relief – and here we have another Government Department hell bent on condoning the granting of planning permission on a flood plain where future serious flooding is a certainty!

Where is the joined up thinking here?

Hopefully we will be able to get some answers today and achieve some joined up thinking from central government but we have to be prepared for inaction so we have already commenced discussions with the Association of British Insurers with a view to having this Thakeham site as a decline risk for flood insurance as Insurers only take on flood risks, not flood certainties.

Share Button

Thakeham Homes Elmbridge Road GRANTED

Share Button

Last night Waverley Borough Council granted planning permission for 54 houses on the worst site in Cranleigh for new houses on the Elmbridge Road.

The developers Thakeham Homes say they pride themselves on the quality of their homes and yet they are building houses smaller than nationally set space standards between a smelly sewage treatment plant and a river that regularly floods. New residents will need pegs for their noses and water wings.

However, on a serious note the drainage for this site is being put in an area that we know floods regularly so will be completely useless when its needed most, as is the children’s play area, we hope that anyone who lives there keeps a careful eye on their children, as we know how quickly the river can change from a low to high state and how quickly it flows in times of flood.

The Joint Planing Committee accepted (10 to 8) the new “expert” estimated advice that the flood zones on the land had now miraculously moved since the last time it came before committee in JUNE 2017 and they ignored local residents, the Parish Council and expert evidence put forward by our Councillor Liz Townsend that the flooding had been much worse in December 2013 than was being stated and was at the very least 45.194m. They also refused to look at photographic evidence presented by Councillor Jerry Hyman from Farnham, that showed both a water mark on the pumping station on the Elmbridge Road, taken in December 2013, as well as flood detritus, that proved the water had been over a 1 in 1,000 years predicted flood event. We have had at least two floods of this magnitude in 50 years – 1968 and 2013, so more of 1 in 25 years! Far from the flood zones being reduced, they should have been increased and the safety of new residents and people living further downstream should have been paramount.

As a chartered insurance broker I am acutely aware of the fact that these new residents are not guaranteed flood insurance, in fact they could end up with new (and very expensive) homes that are frankly worthless.

Yet another development in Cranleigh bringing our total new houses up to nearly 1,400.  In a race for a housing figure corners are most definitely being cut and it is Cranleigh residents that will be left with all the mounting problems.

We hope that the articles on this website will assist any new residents when they need to make an insurance claim in the future.

Share Button

Thakeham Homes to JPC this Thursday

Share Button

Despite fears about flooding from Cranleigh Waters and odour from the sewage treatment plant as well as water quality in the river, Waverley Borough Council’s Joint Planning Committee are being recommended to GRANT permission to Thakeham Homes for 54 new dwellings on the Elmbridge Road site.  The meeting will take place on Thursday 5th October – public are welcome.  Time 7pm at the Burys – Council offices in Godalming.

Share Button

Flooding on Thakeham Site – Elmbridge Road

Share Button

As you will be aware the decision on the Thakeham Homes application for 54 dwellings off the Elmbridge Road was deferred by the Joint Planning Committee pending more evidence on flooding and odour from the Sewage Treatment Works.

If you have any photos of flooding on this site whatsoever, could you please email your photos to or send printed copies of photos to Phill Price, Chair, Cranleigh Civic Society, 18 Brookside, Cranleigh GU6 8DA


Thank you.


Share Button


Share Button

Since our posting on 30th January 2016 we have been regularly monitoring the movement of the bridge over the Downs Link on Elmbridge Road and liaising with Surrey County Council (SCC).

Elmbridge Bridge Repairs 29-04-16

On 2nd March, Adrian Clarke (Chartered Builder and Committee Member of the Society) revisited the site as one of our members had alerted us to work being carried out. A sub-contractor acting for Surrey County Council was filling in the cracks with a weak mixture of sand and cement. Adrian noted that a crack not yet filled in had bulged more since his previous visit.

Adrian Clarke at Elmbridge

Filling cracks with a weak mortar mix is a waste of money – it was purely a cosmetic job to hide a very real problem.

It is our view that the bridge abutments should be renewed now whist the arch is still sound. If Surrey County Council delay this work until one of the abutments completely fails, then the structural arch will tilt and once this happens the whole bridge will have to be demolished and completely rebuilt. This would be both extremely expensive and disruptive to village life for a very long time.

In July, another Cranleigh Society member was studying a Surrey County Council document on Dunsfold Park and was startled to see reference to “Downs Link bridge (which is in need of structural work”. Obviously we drew the Council’s attention to this but they played down its significance.

On 2nd August there was a bridge collapse in Leicestershire – a bridge not dissimilar in design to the Downs Link bridge. This prompted us to research other bridge collapses and our findings were sent to Surrey County Council in the forlorn hope that these failures would spur them into taking our concerns more seriously.

At this point we decided to notify our MP, Anne Milton, of the matter and she is being kept informed of developments.

On 8th August we received an email from Surrey County Council which they hoped “would allay our fears” – it does not! They referred to:

  • The Council’s “scheduled and ad hoc visual inspections do not indicate there has been movement in the cracks that are visible from ground level” – we say get a ladder! Also, there is no mention of the walls bulging!
  • The “bridge was strengthened in 2006 ensuring the structure was capable of carrying a 40T full highway loading for single lane traffic” – we want to know why no weight limit has been imposed – also the traffic is controlled by lights and it is quite feasible for a breakdown on the far side of the bridge, or a slow cyclist, to bring a following mini convoy of 40T grab trucks to a halt! Also, nearby Hewitts has just been approved for development – even more HGVs!
  • “We do not currently have any concerns about the structural integrity of the bridge” – we say that this totally contradicts what Surrey County Council stated in the Dunsfold Park document!

Also in August the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) was published and this includes reference to the Downs Link bridge being rebuilt! We asked Surrey County Council to confirm this is correct but there was no response in their email of 16th November.

That email does refer to “seasonal movement of the wing wall foundations” which we find interesting. Structurally a bridge abutment is designed as a single composite component and if an abutment experiences cracking, then it is no longer acting as a single component – it is now two or more components and engineering performance is obviously compromised. This view is not accepted by Surrey County Council and they insist the bridge is safe – even though the Infrastructure Delivery Plan allows for it to be rebuilt!

Looking at all the photos again, we have noticed that the triangle of bricks within the crack looks different to the other bricks, perhaps suggesting that this section has failed before, was repaired and has failed again? We will investigate!

Elmbridge Bridge 23 Jan 2016

So this is where we are at right now but Cranleigh Civic Society will continue to monitor the bridge and do everything possible to ensure it is made “fit for purpose” for the traffic demands of the 21st century.

Share Button

Expansion Work Continues at Sewage Treatment Plant

Share Button

Despite ongoing complaints of sewage odour from residents living near to Elmbridge Road Sewage Treatment Works,  work has commenced on two additional 30m diameter open-air filtration beds.


Members of Cranleigh Civic Society are extremely disappointed that Surrey County Council has maintained its position that planning permission is not required for the expansion work, despite evidence of ongoing odour nuisance and serious pollution issues in Cranleigh Waters – the river the sewage works discharges into.

For some time residents living near to the sewage treatment works have been emailing us about the effect of sewage odour on their homes.  Residents report being unable to use their gardens because of the overwhelming smell of sewage and of distressing fly infestations. Although we asked Thames Water to carry out an odour impact assessment, nothing appeared to be forthcoming, so we arranged for an odour survey on behalf of residents living  within an 800m radius of the sewage works, in accordance with Thames Water’s “Odour Zone” criteria.  The results were sent to Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council.

The reason for the expansion work has not been firmly established, however, Thames Water recently informed us that this 30% expansion is in readiness for the new housing estates being planned for Cranleigh and surrounding villages, as unfortunately most of the untreated sewage is headed this way. However, other residents have reported a very different story from Thames Water, who have advised them that the work is simply to upgrade the system to accommodate current users.  Cranleigh Civic Society is meeting with representatives from Thames Water on 16 December 2016, as part of Cranleigh Waters Partnership and this is one of the queries we will be taking up with them.  The Environment Agency and Surrey Wildlife Trust will also be attending.

Cranleigh Civic Society discovered that the sewage treatment plant expansion work was being carried out without planning permission back in October, this means that the effect on residents of any additional odour originating from these extra filtration beds is not being taken into account.

We believe that Surrey County Council should have undertaken an Environmental Impact Assessment to investigate not only odour but also pollution issues in Cranleigh Waters from additional liquid sewage effluent. On 29-Sep-16 we challenged the council to this effect and their response was to undertake a scoping report, subsequently issued on 11-Oct-16, which concluded that Thames Water did not need to get planning permission as the works came under what is called “Permitted Development”.

On behalf of residents, we have studied relevant Government legislation and we disagree, and have outlined our reasons to Surrey County Council and to Anne Milton MP.  However, Surrey are regrettably sticking to their original decision.

We have also sought the assistance of Waverley Environmental Health and on 7-Nov-16 wrote to them asking for an Abatement Notice to stop works on site until a full Environmental Impact Assessment was done. We also sent them a copy of the Society’s July Odour Survey that residents took part in.

In a telephone call on 23-Nov-16, Environmental Health told us, that after consulting with the Waverley Planning Department, they would not be taking our survey results into account as it was carried out by a pressure group, instead going forward they would be asking affected residents to fill in a diary of days on which they experience odour nuisance. This appears to ignore any previous history of odour problems whilst the sewage works expansion progresses unchecked.

We think that residents’ prior complaints should be taken into account.

If you have been affected by odour nuisance from the sewage works, are worried about the risk of increasing odour arising from the current expansion, and you think that the impact on your home should be considered, please write to, or email, your MP Anne Milton.  Please always include your FULL name and address with any correspondence.

Anne Milton MP email:
or write to: 17A Home Farm, Loseley Park, Guildford, GU3 1HS

Please copy Cranleigh Civic Society in on your email/letter, if possible, prior to our next meeting with Thames Water on 16-Dec-16, where we will be discussing this matter, as well as concerns about ongoing and increasing pollution of Cranleigh Waters.

Cranleigh Civic Society email:
or write to: 18 Brookside, Cranleigh GU6 8DA



Thank you for speaking up for Cranleigh.

Share Button

Thames Water Object to Thakeham Homes

Share Button

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.

Share Button

Thakeham Homes Apply for Planning Permission

Share Button

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.

Share Button

Waverley Plan for Cranleigh

Share Button


After several months of cancelled Joint Planning Committee (JPC) meetings, Waverley Borough Council is now on a roll.


The Berkeley Homes successful appeal has caused a flurry of activity and now, even before the dust has settled on the Planning Inspector’s decision for 425 houses South of Cranleigh High Street,  Waverley Planning Officers are cramming two major applications into ONE JPC meeting on 27th April and is recommending BOTH for approval.

Guess where these applications are?  YES, Cranleigh is once again the lucky recipient of yet more housing, despite Waverley’s own admission that housing need is not focused in this part of the borough.


Come along to the JPC meeting to be held at Waverley Borough Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming at 7pm on 27th April

The applications up for grabs are 265 houses on West Cranleigh Nurseries green field site on Alfold Road (Knowle Park Initiative)
Little Meadow 75 houses on a green field site on Alfold Road adjacent to the Knowle Park Initiative site.





These applications keep being approved because Waverley claims it doesn’t have a five-year housing supply and can’t get its Local Plan together.

However, even Waverley’s own Councillors are confused as to whether they have a five-year supply or not, and the outgoing Leader Robert Knowles wasn’t sharing the number with them at the Executive meeting on 5 April 2016, as it’s a bit too technical.


What with the lack of ability to add up how many houses Waverley have now granted permission for, and yet another delay in the Local Plan, we think that residents in Cranleigh have the right to feel that they are being well and truly scapegoated.

Waverley may not officially have a Local Plan in place, but it is clear they have a ‘Plan’, and that plan is to place ALL the housing possible in Cranleigh, despite the material constraints of our rural roads, sewerage capacity, non-compliance with the Water Frameworks Directive and flooding.

We can’t find any justification in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), or in government planning guidance that says, if you haven’t got a local plan in place or have not published your housing supply figures, you should ignore material constraints and keep dumping housing on green fields, irrespective of their cumulative effect.

Waverley councillors acknowledge the effect that 1,800 houses at Dunsfold will have on the transport infrastructure, and in the main on the A281,  but seem incapable of acknowledging the impact of a similar number of houses in Cranleigh!  Perhaps they could explain this anomaly to the residents of Cranleigh, and let us know why no Transport Assessment is being carried out to identify the overall effect of all of this development on our rural road network?

YOU can still do something for Cranleigh

If you haven’t objected to the Knowle Park Initiative or Little Meadows applications it is not too late.

You can object using the links below to the Waverley Borough Council Planning Portal:

1. Knowle Park Initiative Alfold Road 265 houses (West Cranleigh Nurseries application:

2. Little Meadows Alfold Road 75 houses:


3. Email members of the JPC and let them know what you think of Waverley’s plan to put the major share of the entire borough’s housing in Cranleigh (you can copy and paste the list into your email address box).

4. Attend the JPC meeting on 27th April 7pm at Waverley Council Offices and let them justify in front of residents their decision on the day.

Share Button

Sewer Collapse Confirmed!

Share Button

Waverley Environmental Health, who we are very pleased to report have been extremely helpful, regarding the sewage spill on the Elmbridge Road, have confirmed that Thames Water have identified the cause of the recent sewage spill as a collapsed sewage pipe, which is located under the garden of a property on the Elmbridge Road.

However, for some reason Thames Water have advised the occupants of the property that the necessary works will not be completed before 18th May.  Anne Milton MP, having been alerted by residents’ emails, after a request on our website and Facebook page, is now involved and has asked for works to be brought forward.

You Must Report Incidents!

We have been told that, when sewage issues occur, it is up to you, as residents, to report the incident to Thames Water (24-hour customer service team on 0800 316 9800), and you also need to contact Waverley Borough Council’s Environmental Health on 01483 523393, or email separately.

Apparently, Thames Water does not automatically inform Waverley Borough Council, or even the Environment Agency when there is a sewage leak.

Yes,  it is also up to you to report incidents to the Environment Agency (0800 807 060),  if you think that a culvert and/or a watercourse is threatened by sewage.

How people are expected to know this, we have no idea!

It seems ridiculous in this age of instant 24/7 communication, that these details are not shared between organisations.  How hard would that be!

We think that Thames Water should HAVE to inform both the local Environmental Health office and the Environment Agency about raw sewage incidents.  Tell us what you think?

Share Button