The floods were better predicted and managed, but not without some people getting stranded on flooded roads – and some people experienced sewage coming up – again! Thames Water need to fix this! Thanks to our fire brigade for all their hard work. Also Surrey CC & WBC for sending out BIFFA – Various drains and grills were cleared before and during the storms. BIFFA are the current contractors. People cleared their own drains outside their houses too. Were you badly affected? Please let us know and we offer our sympathy and will make sure to let the councils know.
CRANLEIGH PRIMARY SCHOOL – there is a notice on the door of Cranleigh Village Sports & Social Club stating that the contractors have moved in and will be clearing a hedge this week, before the birds nest, and sorting out some pipe work too. The notice said in preparation for the new school being built. click here to see the vision.
Cranleigh Church of England Primary School including the Infants school and nursery are likely to be moved to one new site – yes a brand new building but the location and details are not good…
Surrey County Council want to sell the current excellent school sites for housing.
Approximately 90 houses in the centre of the village will be built if they get planning permission on appeal. The current crop are not selling as well as hoped.
The application has been turned down by Waverley Borough Council planners.
But Surrey County Council planners have stated they think they can ‘get around this’. If this succeeds Mann’s warehouse site may go for housing too.
THINKING ABOUT NEW BUILDING – IT IS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND THE WALKING & PARKING – HOW WILL YOU DELIVER AND COLLECT YOUR CHILDREN SAFELY? WILL WALKING THERE BE EASY ENOUGH OR FRAUGHT WITH TRAFFIC?
Cranleigh Society has looked carefully at the new building plans and feels that the scheme to tuck a new school for more children from Nursery Age to 11 behind the Social Club is Fraught with problems.
But something really must be done as soon as possible. All we can do is lobby to get the current sites upgraded or a much better plan – ideas?
The existing school building has been promised to be rebuilt or refurbished for 18 years. Because of this It has been thoroughly neglected!
The roof is leaking. Children sit with buckets collecting water pouring through the ceiling
Surrey County Council plan to move it to a site that is currently unused even for playing fields – to the side of Cranleigh Village sports & Social Club.
Apparently the stream at the top of the fields means the fields are often too soggy for sport, but this has never been dealt with and so Glebelands and Cranleigh primary don’t use them because they flood.
The Assembly hall is small: it cannot accommodate assembly for the whole school & there will have to be 3 sittings for lunch
The new site will have AstroTurf not grass play areas.
There is no area for parents to gather at drop-off and pick-up
The access is limited to school vehicles.
No parking close by for pick-up & drop-off
The school will have to pay staff extra to walk children to & from the bus parking.
If you don’t contribute – then those who have powers to make decision on your behalf won’t know what you think and want.
Having declared a climate emergency it would be better for SCC to examine all aspects of this projects now, and rebuild on the current site, and make the school carbon neutral – a new primary just opened in Sutton says this – “The school will be Zero Carbon and Passivhaus certified”. see more details here
Cranleigh Society is here to help Cranleigh maintain its special feel by examining planning applications and infrastructure, and letting our Councils know how the public feel about proposed changes. Please contribute by contacting us and also your councillors.. and the links we send you. You can join the mailing list on our website for free. You can also complete the membership request found on our web page.
CVHT – Cranleigh village hospital trust has changed its name – legally – to Cranleigh village health trust. They have had their AGM and 2 directors left. They have pledged to continue their project to get beds back to Cranleigh. You can see their story on their web site here and also the Parish Council’s minutes of a meeting – here . Cranleigh Society has no opinion.
DID YOU KNOW – that we are lucky enough to have several places to go with friends and family – or to make new friends – here in Cranleigh ?
Cranleigh village Sports & Social Club has many activities to suit all tastes and ages – have a look here – they are open mostly in the evenings.
Rowleys is not just a day centre for the very old – far from it – it is a very nice place to go for coffee, lunch and activities, and to have ones hair and nails done, between 9 and 3 daily. They also sell beautiful flowers donated by M&S at reduced prices! have a look here
Not forgetting our wonderful Cranleigh Arts Centre and U3A and so many other clubs too.
And also SMART Cranleigh – on the High street, manned by volunteers, connecting people – opening hours are during shopping times – opposite M&S.
Cranleigh Leisure Centre is meant to be being upgraded or rebuilt or something – but we just don’t have news at the moment – however plenty of people really enjoy the classes and facilities there.
Please do leave a comment and follow up with actions too.
We hope to see you at The Three Horseshoes pub sometimes. Usually the second Wednesday in each month from 6:30 pm (good food)
1st February 2020 and all is well……. let’s put our energies into things that really matter now rather than worrying about the National and International political landscape – it’s out of our hands for now.
Our councils are settling into their roles now, and the declaration of a climate emergency by the 3 councils that affect us means things will change. For them to reduce their carbon footprints they have to look into all they do. This might include not sending contractors all over the area to fix and maintain things such as our verges and commons. They might decide to have less meetings where they need light and heat! who knows? They are certainly looking into the best uses for all buildings and also at the gas boilers throughout the borough.
If you are interested in keeping up to date with what Cranleigh Parish Councillors and staff are doing – the Clerk Beverley keeps a good record in the minutes of meetings and the messages on the web site. You can access all this here – we attend some of the meetings and recently were pleased to see 2 police attend too. The Friday Night project at the Leisure centre was discussed – they would benefit from a couple more volunteers – anyone interested in interacting with youngsters aged 11-15? Plenty of youngsters benefit from having the club and they are pretty well behaved too. The Council are installing public toilets at Snoxhall Pavilion which should be good news for all who use the area. Did you ever read the latest version of Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood Plan – see their web site.
Waverley Borough councillors are finding all sorts of financial problems associated with the planning applications that have been passed. Also they seem to prefer to be cautious about giving planning permissions – great for the environment, but we do wonder where their next £s will come from if not from the builders! They have slowed down on efforts to rebuild Cranleigh leisure centre – which has had to net the cladding as it had become a danger. The car park was cordoned off while the work was completed last week. If the activities of our Borough council interest you have a look here
As you will no doubt realise the services provided to us all are divided between the 3 councils and Surrey County Council is responsible for the major aspects of our lives such as the removal of rubbish and recycling, rebuilding and maintaining schools, and roads and so on. Our County Councillor is Andrew Povey – firstname.lastname@example.org – and he is looking into improving Cranleigh High Street – there is a small pot of money from the developers – we don’t yet know what can be afforded and what will benefit Cranleigh the most. The project to build Cranleigh a new Primary School has stalled at the moment – we are watching SCC meetings to try to see what they will do next. You can look up for yourselves here
Looking forwards there continue to be – very slow – moves afoot to clean and clear and reshape our local watercourses and rivers to improve natural habitats and to ease potential flood waters. Surrey Wildlife Trust has very few people and very little money but they are great people with big ideas. How has your winter been so far? Any flooding? If so please do record dates and depths and tell Cranleigh Parish Council – or us. Cranleigh cemetery certainly has problems that CPC are hoping to address soon. We don’t have any updates about Thames Water’s management of our fresh water supplies and sewage removal. We have yet to talk to our new MP Angela Richardson, about the Flood Forums too. The Wey & Arun Canal trust are working very hard – there’s very few of them and little money – but the aims to reopen sections of the canals are fabulous as it all helps with wildlife as well as providing for humans to enjoy nature. There is a special event 23-25 May we hope to support. Do check out their web site here
We continue to meet and monitor all we can – Facebook forums and Twitter too – If you are keen to get involved in promoting Cranleigh as a great place to live, work and play, please get in touch, and also join us at our Monthly socials – these take place at The Three Horsehoes pub, by the obelisk, on the 2nd Wednesdays each month, from 6:30 pm. Good pub food is available, some come and go early, some later – do join in and get to know us, tell us about you and how we can defend our village against problems, improve it and make it simply the best.
PUB MEETINGS – 12 FEBRUARY; 11 MARCH, 8 APRIL
We also meet Monthly at one of our houses – 24th Feb, 1st April.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post – please do add your comments! We read them.
Rain affects us in Cranleigh because we are supplied with many rivers and streams. Local flooding is likely.
Autumn leaves are causing drains to block up and we all need to clear these when we can.
Environment Agency advice – “Cranleigh Waters – Flooding is possible – be prepared. Property flooding is not currently expected. River levels remain high on the Cranleigh Waters following heavy rainfall but are beginning to fall. Therefore flooding of roads and low lying land is expected to continue. There is no further rainfall forecast tonight with a few showers possible tomorrow (15/11/19). We are closely monitoring the situation. Please remain safe and aware of your local surroundings and refer to the ‘River and Sea levels in England’ webpage for current river levels. This message will be updated tomorrow morning, 15/11/19, or as the situation changes.”
New Primary School – Surrey County Council is trying to explain to the planning officers at Waverley that the Glebelands sports fields really are the best place to build a new Primary School – to replace what was St Nicolas and Cranleigh Infants (and Acorns nursery). This has been in the pipe line for many years and the old schools sites could be redeveloped for housing providing SCC with much needed cash. So far so good – or not – what do you think? The application was turned down in January 2019 but SCC has submitted surveys and slight changes saying that the flood issues are not an issue and that parking isn’t either.
A member of Cranleigh Society has this to say ” Regarding the relocation of the school, the environment agency asked the SCC to do a comparative study to prove that the playing fields are the only site to be considered for building the school. The study concluded that the playing fields would be more accessible to pedestrians, there would be better access for vehicles and less impact on green space than if the school were rebuilt on its present site! It also said that the parents would continue to use the local roads to park in! All the arguments were flawed and biased. As you can imagine the residents on the Common are not happy and some of us have written to SCC.”
The study can be viewed on planning360.waverley.gov.uk Ref WA/2018/2044. or click here then click on documents. The study is called The Sequential And Extension Test. n.b. Nowhere mentions that there is access to the Cranleigh Primary School via the post office side passage.
When Cranleigh Society met with WBC on 30th September we asked
What is the progress of the SCC application to Waverley planners to replace Cranleigh Primary School by building on Glebelands sports fields? The new integrated school would be lovely – and is very much needed but on the new site? We have concerns about Access to the proposed school site via footpaths, from car parks, and parking on the common risk? and what about Loss of the fields for more general sports and outdoor use? We asked about the Increasing flood risks that might be caused by building on fields that flood? Recently residents say that their gardens (on the common) have experienced increased rain water coming from the fields in question.
CCS accepts that the schools must be upgraded and that needs to be funded. We did a mini survey – CCS members reported that they asked people who were dropping off their children and grandchildren where they park, and if they think they would change their habits if the new school is built on the proposed site – they said no, and CCS observed the various parking on the roads and verges. As well as the access to the site problems – the road in and out is very narrow – CCS commented that despite the SUDS arrangements water could flood elsewhere nearby. Also The bus layby will be retained but is then further to walk. Also would WBC make the 2 car parks (Co-op & Sainsbury’s) free till say 9:30 am? Waverley says – Not likely.
Waverley provided these answers – Information on when the proposed school building extension will be reported to planning committee has been requested from the County Education department. The estimated date for consideration of this matter is the November area planning committee, and officers are seeking to confirm this with SCC planners.
Liz T says Cranleigh Parish council is in favour of redevelopment on the existing site.
WBC say the plans have been rejected because of poor access – and that Tim Oliver and Anne Milton MP agree. All agree that the infants (and nursery site) could be developed for housing and one replacement school could be built on the existing site.
We also tried to get cleared up the issue around Cranleigh School – private – installing a modern sports track etc. and the proposed Primary School – state – installing something very similar and adjacent?
Waverley told us – regarding the all weather pitches – they are two different things – the primary school is looking to create an artificial (3G) pitch for school and community use. Cranleigh School’s project is a much larger offering with less community use. The Primary School offering is supported by the Football Foundation and is in line with our adopted Playing Pitch Strategy.
CCS is concerned about out of school hours use impact on the surrounding people in their homes and at the Sports club.
Regarding sports provision – Cranleigh should have a 3G pitch according to the Football Foundation and no money has been allocated or spent on this – WBC could write to SCC about this.
n.b. no comments made at the moment about the mayhem and parking issues whilst the buildings are all built.
Please do write to Waverley once you have been onto their web site and found out all about this application.
Cranleigh Society met with Waverley Officers and Councillors and asked many important questions about:
Asbestos cement drinking water pipes,
House buying in such a high flood risk area,
Water pipes bursting so often, especially near to each other,
The risks of sewage rising in homes during extreme weather,
The never considered issues of the effects of droughts on trees, food growing and properties alike.
A long time ago your Society carried out a risk assessment concerning the ageing asbestos-cement drinking water pipes in and around Cranleigh – as many as 29% of the pipes are made of these substances. Waverley Borough Council (WBC) has not been able to respond to this despite repeated requests because it is not their responsibility they say but we say that with all the planning applications there needs to be a coherent plan with Thames Water (TW).
Thames Water is constantly having to mend burst pipes in Cranleigh. Clearly there is an on-going issue around the pipes – they should be replaced in a planned way and the risks of bursts minimised. Any work on asbestos containing materials must be carried out by specialist contractors. The cutting or drilling of asbestos containing products is generally prohibited due to the release of free asbestos fibres into the atmosphere of the work area where there is a risk of inhalation. So the pipes are not to be cut but replaced to the next joint.
Waverley Officers have repeated that due to the lack of any recognised scientific evidence of a link between ingestion of asbestos fibres and intestinal cancers (such as “Jelly Belly” – a slow growing cancer of thepseudo-myoxma peritoneae) – WBC has no power to compel Thames Water to replace the pipes. WBC says it continues to meet its statutory responsibilities under the Water Industry Act, will assess any new research or evidence and will maintain regular contact with Thames Water to review the situation.
We will all continue to lobby MP Anne Milton’s flood group to see if research can be done and requirements laid out!
We asked what contingency plans does WBC have to cope with burst pipes and flooding? What about when flooding causes sewage to rise in people’s homes?
Water pipes burst for a variety of reasons and WBC is asking TW to work smarter and in a more joined up way. TW are not planning full replacement at this time.
The Chair of Cranleigh Parish Council Liz Townsend is working on a map of bursts to see numbers and clusters. This will provide evidence to pressure TW further.
If you have ever had a burst pipe please, please write to us or to Cranleigh Parish Council!
Whilst Thames Water has responsibility for dealing with burst pipes and the consequences of them The Waverley Flood Plan acknowledges that sewers can surcharge due to structural collapse and root ingresses. In an event where sewage has leaked into flood water and mixed then Waverley would liaise closely with Thames Water to help understand the risks posed. If this occurs, WBC would expect Thames Water to deal with the functioning status of their network. WBC would provide advice and support for the community if burst pipes or sewage flooding led to the need for evacuation, clean up etc. by providing temporary accommodation. Thames Water would bear the cost of any impact.
We also asked has any consideration been given to future droughts? The Environment Agency (EA) leads on drought planning and especially with responses at the time. They are liaising closely with Thames Water and other water companies to protect and sustain water supplies, reduce leakage etc. They are also working with the Surrey Local Resilience Forum and other LRFs to produce drought plans. The council would provide support during the recovery phase of any serious drought. Waverley is developing a plan in which they work alongside the tactical drought teams provided by the EA in a drought event.
So have they considered a big problem could come in the future namely serious depletion of natural water! This could impact on buildings as well as trees and other plants such as home grown vegetables and even farming. WBC has a plan BUT – Is this drought resilience document a high priority? and is it enough? How will we feel if we go ahead and plant plenty of trees to help with the Climate Emergency, only to find they cannot put roots down and find water?!!!
Cranleigh Society is concerned about people who want to buy houses in Cranleigh but are not told by solicitors about the floods of the past on what had been green fields, and of the Environment Agency (EA) and Surrey County Council’s (SCC) responsibilities about flood risks.
WBC does not respond to questions raised by solicitors regarding flooding. They say this is a matter for the Environment Agency. The Environment Agency’s website classes Cranleigh in the highest flood risk level of 3. On the EA’s website they provide the risk assessment forms for the different flood levels and they also provide sequential tests for planning permission applicants.
If there is a real risk to properties then evidence will have to be credible and in the public domain. Otherwise it is just opinion. Planning permissions are granted in the belief that flood risks will be properly managed. WBC relies on the reports from EA and SCC when granting planning permissions.
There are 2 types of flood risks – Fluvial – water from the sea and rivers – and Pluvial – water from surface water run-off.
The Environment Agency only keeps records of Fluvial risks and does not measure water on green fields.
Surrey CC has only recently been made the Statutory consultee for planning permissions regarding Pluvial waters.
Neither covers the other’s responsibilities.
Developers often challenge the EA’s assessments and win….
New maps are needed for all!
CCS has been told that properties were purchased without people being made aware that they were moving into a road where the house had previously flooded or where the land had flooded before the house was built. Some properties have flooded three or more times and the occupiers are waiting for the next time that exceptional weather/poor drainage management means they are flooded again. It may be that this is no longer true because now all sellers have to complete a statement – when putting a property on the market – of any problems the property has or had in the past such as flooding. We don’t know if there are any truth tests! We don’t know if this is the case with new builds but we don’t think so.
Also – when planning permissions are sought there is no requirement for the developers to show the ground height they expect to have to build up to before beginning to build. In Cranleigh New builds are being built on raised land and they all rely on SUDS working well.
We just don’t know what the cumulative effects of all this in the future and no-one is keeping track of all of the SUDS together and their effectiveness has yet to be tested.
Burst Pipes over recent months and years? Please share –
message from Councillor Liz Townsend “Those residents that came to the Flood Forum with Anne Milton MP will know that for some time I have been involved in an ongoing dialogue with Thames Water about the increasing number of burst water pipes in the village. Am attempting to create a map of the burst pipe areas to present to the next meeting. If over the past 2 years you have had a burst pipe near to your home, or place of work, or have had an interruption in your water supply, can you please post details here including the road name and if possible a rough idea when the issue occurred, or if you prefer you can email details to me on email@example.com. Please don’t post your full address on here. Thank you for your help.”
FLOOD FORUM NOTES
Mains replacement Thames Water are putting in a bid – waiting for more information.
SERA – Summerlands Residents Association – Thames Water have done some repairs, sections of pipe are being replaced – they are monitoring to see if it is stable or deteriorating – Thames Water needs to meet with Summerlands residents association including to improve relations.
OTHER BURST PIPES ISSUES – people said they really struggle to get sensible and uniform responses from on line, on the phone and the burst pipes teams, plus the burst pipe teams’ skills truly vary widely…
SURREY HIGHWAYS – SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL’S POTHOLES MANAGEMENT – their website is good – but Thames Water’s is very difficult to use, especially to pinpoint leaks!
AMLETS LANE and Cala Homes – connected to mains supply and sewers. Thames Water carried out research – no need for improvements. Neighbouring residents are not satisfied. A trees officer is being consulted –regarding completing some tree work soon. Water runs down the lane – but ground water control not needed says CALA – there are 6 balancing ponds – including on the western boundary ditch but the rate of the run off is the same as before. Surrey County Council agrees that there is a leak which is not of CALA’s making, but there is a problem – local Highways officer – get in touch if it is a problem again. Slightly better on Barhatch Lane – there was leaking TW plate – still leaking further up, fields’ run off has stopped, water has stopped flowing down AMLETS lane.
RIPARIAN RIGHTS & DUTIES – DITCHES AND CULVERTS – it is the legal duty of every land owner to ensure all ditches, culverts, and streams that are on their land are kept free flowing and free of plants and rubbish. If a property floods because of someone else’s failure to keep their waterways clean and clear then the land owner is liable for heavy fines. (Riparian duty of householders and land owners – “Any landowner or developer whose property adjoins or contains a natural watercourse should be aware of the system of rights and obligations along the length of the watercourse known as riparian rights. Developing or using land without giving due consideration to riparian rights can lead to problems”)
WHAT DOES GROUND LEVEL MEAN? Is the Amlets’ Lane development higher than seemed on the planning permission? When plans are presented for planning applications it is made clear how tall the overall buildings will be from ground level but never notes if the ground level is to be raised!
ASBESTOS CEMENT WATER MAINS PIPES UPDATE – Anne Milton MP has followed up with Public Health England are reliant on W.H.O. research. Research is on-going. Not much we can do from here and keeping up to date with the organisations is important – Environment Agency as well. If 10s of 1000s of areas push for change more research will be done! No studies have been carried out on ingested blue asbestos fibres – so no evidence has been looked for yet. A proper replacement programme of water pipes is needed to stop the constant problems with bursts and the constant health fear.
KERBS, GULLEYS, DRAINS AND VERGES where water is unable to soak away and instead floods easily across roads people need to report and get the kerbs, drains and verges cleaned and cleared. Surrey County Council Highways!
COMPLETED HOUSES – completed and signed off – 8 at Knowle lane Berkeleys, and Amlets 48 and 21 and 6 nearly ready, Little meadow 6, Horsham road 52. Impact on the water system is considerable already – number of leaks – even though around 150 only completed. A house had a flooded drive for 6 months. All these leaks need to be recorded and reported in a meaningful way over at least 3 years to see clusters. Cranleigh Parish Council and Thames Water to action this. residents need to report.
HIGH STREET Why has the High st been dug up 3 times recently?
Utilities dig up roads and they should be repaired as per the previous state – this is a big problem across the County.
WATER PRESSURE CHANGES – if water pressure changes people must report it straight away to Thames Water so that they can find out why and put it right.
WATER SUPPLY TANKERS – these have been noticed across the summer – is Thames Water having to top up the reservoirs
ELMBRIDGE ROAD developments – the building seems to have slowed down and this is probably due to slow sales.
FISH PASS (passage) project – WEY forward – trying to open up the river WEY for improved fish passage, also flood alleviation project. Low water flow is affecting water quality. The Environment Agency is working alongside flood management projects.
SURREY WILDLIFE TRUST working to restore the rivers and streams, and to work with all other areas to join up the waterways and wildlife corridors. There is a sum of money allocated to a small stretch of this work to take place in Cranleigh.
SEWAGE WORKS – Upgrade discharge permits in line to comply with water framework.
THAKEHAM HOMES They need to put in a pump – surcharge – protecting properties with a pump system rather than a gravity system because they are the lowest point in the catchment area/settlement. Storm tank capacity – Environment Agency agreed that there is sufficient storm tank capacity.
Anne Milton MP charged all present to take the actions spoken of and report back at the next Flood Forum