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 the pseudo-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.
Planning approvals are granted when conditions are met – on paper – using devices such as – Sustainable Drainage System (SUDS) – for surface water Surrey County Council – Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) planning advice. This means that WBC is not responsible if bad flooding occurs!
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.
9 am FLOOD FORUM Sept 6th BAND ROOM (with microphones and information sheets)
Anne Milton’s MEETING starts at 9:30 for one hour only.
Do get in touch in advance, join us and please tell us and the forum your flood news –
Do you have any problems you want to share – do write and reply to this post –
Perhaps you have noticed dried up rivers and brooks in Cranleigh area during the summer? Or maybe flooding and surface water pooling?
What about burst pipes, mains replacements, and the sewage plant upgrades?
In England and Wales much of the rain water is meant to go into the sewers and be added to the sewage from households etc. Some people have another system – see OFWAT’s link below.
Surface water drainage
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting and also to reading your comments
Spring has sprung! Lots to report – please read on…..
Cranleigh Society Social meetings – Monday 11th March From 6.30 at Three Horseshoes pub – remember you can order food if you would like to – some of us do. And please remember we need your support and ideas.
COMMUNITY! If you belong to another group in Cranleigh please contribute to our cause – are you a member of a Resident Association, or similar – then we would like to hear from you!
This Week – Cranleigh Parish Council needs you!
Village Hall on Wednesday evening 7pm to discuss the hospital project CVHT hostel for health workers & HC-One private care home plus 20 NHS & SCC beds
Village Hall on Thursday all day and early evening to discuss Cranleigh’s Plan – Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan. It has been written, we have to respond then it goes to an inspector, then we have to vote! And only after that all succeeds can Cranleigh be better off regarding planning permissions because it has an Adopted Plan!
Meetings with Waverley Councillors & Officers continue
Cranleigh Civic Society and Waverley Borough Council Officers and Borough & Parish Councillors met up to discuss concerns and prompt ACTIONS.
They urge the community to communicate strongly either to Cranleigh Parish Council or Waverley Borough Council or any group such as Cranleigh Civic Society so that your voices can be heard. In turn they weigh up all the responses and in the context of the law and their own strategies.
The topics and questions covered are the key questions you all ask us. The responses are in some cases detailed and satisfactory and in others we must continue to try to get improvements and changes.
Waverley is working hard – to reduce costs and confusion, and reduce the problems they have to deal with – by communicating better and responding where possible in helpful ways.
Community Recycling Centres – Waverley agree that if these services close to save Surrey County Council money, WBC will have to pay for the removal of fly tipped matter – so please everyone write to Cllr Andrew Povey and explain your ideas about what to do. He is leading a task force and has asked for everyone’s suggestions/evidence to keep the CRC open e.g. levy our Parish precept as we do to ensure the toilets stay open? email: email@example.com
Most of you will most likely have seen and signed this petition to keep our recycling centre open (it’s had a brief stay of execution but it’s days are numbered) but if not please do! Unless of course you don’t mind having to schlep over to Witley or the other side of Guildford at the weekend to dispose of any waste… Click on link, share with friends. It takes 5 secs. https://petitions.surreycc.gov.uk/CranleighCRC/
Drinking Water pipes – please report problems and bursts to Cranleigh Parish Council so that they can continue to press Thames Water to sort them out, They need replacing whether or not there is a health risk associated with bursts (blue asbestos fibres). We are hoping that someone in authority can help the World Health Authority to set up a new world wide investigation into the use of asbestos cement fresh water pipes. Come to the flood forum 22nd March for more – we will have microphones and a PA system – details below.
A comment about our water pipes has been found reminding us of the complicated nature of it all – “The National Water Council spent 4 years and a lot of money trying to develop a method of resin lining asbestos cement pipes to slow down exfoliation, but in the end they gave up as no one could come up with a reliable, lasting installation method. Some of the pipe manufacturers sprayed the insides of their pipes with bitumen, but the NWC tested that and found it didn’t last long so they never endorsed it”.
Flooding – it’s essential that you report flooding to Cranleigh Parish Council so that they can press Waverley BC and all other bodies that keep the house buildings going on. Photos with dates and times are essential please.
Cranleigh Leisure Centre – Waverley have paid for outside expert advice and consulted with Cranleigh Parish councillors who in turn say they have their “ears to the ground” and know what people want. Waverley must now decide what to do next but it’s delicate because the Leisure centre is run by an outside business and they have the right to be dealt with in private.
Planning permissions – if you can’t find out how to tell Waverley how you feel about planning permissions please contact the Clerk at Cranleigh Parish Council for the reference number and details. All PPs go to our Parish councils as soon as they are made. Glebelands school sports pitch has long since been assumed to be given up for a new Cranleigh Primary school – but there are problems….. Cranleigh School – private – has withdrawn its application to build 40 houses opposite Notcutts. The housing along Elmbridge Road is being built – watch and report! HC-One Care home with 20 hospital beds for the community, and CVHT’s hostel are both being looked at by Waverley at the moment – see above item about the meeting this week.
The future of sport in Cranleigh – Waverley have a department that works on providing sports facilities. They state that Cranleigh school – PRIVATE – was never involved in the building planning permission levy – Section106 money for a new all weather pitch in Cranleigh. Something is being considered if and when there is planning permission for Surrey County Council to build on Glebelands sports field (it has been reported that this field is unused because is floods).
Lost income from levying builders – S106 & CIL – it’s complicated! Let’s just say it’s all a matter of delicate decision making to make sure houses are built and money comes in for small projects – not major roads etc. The CIL – COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY – can be used after March 1st 2019. but at the discretion of the council. When S106 or CIL money becomes available is a complicated matter…… we have been explained to and we have a spreadsheet if you are interested.
Trees and Hedgerows – Waverley says that trees impact is part of the planning balance required by national policy. We say Waverley’s strategy must be strengthened. Do you have photos and details of destruction or better of protection needed?
Planning conditions – must be undertaken – if you believe some builder is breaching conditions or don’t know what conditions have been put in place then contact – firstname.lastname@example.org. Victoria Choularton is the Enforcement Team Leader on 01483 523008.
Communications – The Waverley Borough Council officers say their team always welcomes feedback on what can be improved and what works well – any suggestions can be sent to: email@example.com. In the mean time people are welcome to sign up to the existing newsletters on the council’s website: www.waverley.gov.uk/newsletters.
Some of Waverley’s processes and methods are being upgraded thanks to pressure from the public including Cranleigh Civic Society. Meeting up with Waverley regularly is clearly very important.
If you would like more details – join us when you can – 2nd Monday in each Month – at the Three Horseshoes Pub any time from 6.30pm, 11th March.
MP ANNE MILTON’s FLOOD FORUM FRIDAY 22nd MARCH 10.30 BAND ROOM – we will have MICROPHONES and a PA System. This meeting will include preparation leaflets to help participants understand who is on the panel, the language and the issues. We have borrowed the Lions PA system – thank you Lions – so let’s get a good crowd going – bring evidence of what is wrong.
CRANLEIGH’S RIVERS & STREAMS – message from Glen at Surrey Wildlife Trust
A history of poor management and pollution has left the Cranleigh Waters a shadow of its former self so Surrey Wildlife Trust are working with the Cranleigh community on a 3 year project, funded by Thames Water, to improve the health of the river. Understanding the issues is key to restoration so in 2018 volunteers were trained to monitor river health by sampling invertebrates on the river bed whose presence can tell us how clean the water is as well as pin point pollution and habitat issues. Monitoring is done in pairs and involves taking a 3 minute kick sample with a net to collect invertebrates such as mayflies. The invertebrates are then counted and the score can tell us what sort of state the river is in. By taking a snap shot of the catchment using this method we can focus our efforts to maximise our impact. Later in the Summer there will be a number of volunteer restoration days installing habitat in to the stream to create opportunities for wildlife and kick start natural processes. A rivers workshop will also be held in the summer to present the findings of all the investigations to the community and look at next steps.
Cranleigh Village Hospital Trust (CVHT) invite us to Cranleigh Baptist Church to hear from their contracted partner firms HC-One on 11 OCTOBER 2018 at 3 till 8pm.
The proposals are for the following planning permissions:
2 new buildings and parking on “The Paddock” field of Snoxhall Fields.
One is a Care Home with hospital beds and the other is a block of flats or bedsits, hopefully to be taken up by staff of the Care Home and hospital beds.
RSVP via firstname.lastname@example.org and we hope to see you there!!
Further information can be found here:
The Cranleigh Civic Society has responded to the Draft Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan by proposing a number of additions to strengthen the Plan:
1. The Policies MUST be strengthened to ensure they can be enforced on Developers: “developers should be encouraged to ….” is far too weak. Developers MUST be held to firm policies, otherwise they will try and evade them.
2. The Plan must have policies on Roads and Infrastructure. This is the greatest threat from building 1,700+ houses in Cranleigh. Since the A281 goes through Cranleigh Parish, it is vital to state that the A281 and other access roads to Cranleigh should be subject to a major study to determine how traffic congestion – as a result of the increased housing development in Cranleigh and Dunsfold – can be relieved. There should be a clear policy on how Cranleigh will pressure Surrey County Council and Waverley Council to improve Infrastructure and Roads.
3. There must be clear policies on the building of the Care Home, and the move or expansion of the Leisure Centre, since these are the major expansion of facilities for Cranleigh. The Plan must support the building of the Care Home, to include staff accommodation, BUT priority must be given to Cranleigh residents since a large proportion of the funding has been donated by Cranleigh residents.
4. The Leisure Centre should be expanded rather than being re-built in another location, by extending the building into the staff car park – and tennis courts if necessary, in order to provide changing rooms for Male, Female and Families. The pool should be improved, but it must retain spectator seating. A Sports Hall would be a good
benefit if there is space.
5. The Plan should state that Cranleigh residents should get priority for Affordable Home allocation.
6. 3 storey buildings should be avoided, such as the ones at Crest Nicholson and Hewitts, since these impact the privacy of nearby existing buildings.
7. Development sites must retain as many existing trees, hedges and natural features to retain the site’s character. All Planning Applications MUST include a scaled landscape and tree plan showing trees proposed for removal and new trees.
8. A replacement building must not appreciably increase mass, height or scale compared to the existing building, and be compatible with the street scene and scale.
9. The Snoxall Fields should be protected as an Area of Special Visual Interest, apart from the Care Home Site.
10. The increased homes in Cranleigh and Dunsford will put severe pressure on parking for shopping. The Society is against building a multi-storey car park on Village Way.
11. There must be no further loss of employment sites for commercial, light industrial and entrepreneurial use, with the loss of Hewitts – and the Astra House and buildings must not be demolished for housing.
12. The Waverley Plan has dictated that Cranleigh MUST build 1,700 houses by 2032 – but we have had over 1,700 Planning Applications already – and the great majority have been given Planning Approval. So what is going to happen for the next 14 years? There MUST be firm policies that NO Planning Applications – apart from windfall sites should be approved.
Please let us know if you have any comments for improvements.
Cranleigh Society’s Committee recently held an important meeting with four of Surrey County Council Highways Officers to demand an improvement to Waverley’s roads.
We need them to take account of the planned 1,700 extra houses for Cranleigh and the 2,600 houses for Dunsfold.
These extra houses could mean up to an extra 5,000 cars on our roads as well as the extra commercial and HGV lorries from the new factories being built on the Airfield. Everyone feels that the A281 to Guildford will be totally overwhelmed as well as the smaller roads and lanes.
The officers explained the problem they have, the Government are not providing ANY extra funds for roads and the Highways Department are not doing a major study to analyse the congestion – or to analyse what extra funds are needed.
Waverley have explained that the Dunsfold Developers have been promised that they need only pay Section 106 contributions – rather than the much larger Community Infrastructure Levies (CIL).
It is not possible to levy CIL whilst there is no Waverley Local Plan.There are different rules for how S106 payments and CIL payments can be spent.
WBC believe S106 is better as it stays within the Borough. However we also gather that it also means none goes to Surrey to improve roads!
Here is a summary of what they are planning:
1. There will be a new roundabout towards the A281 to take traffic from the airfield
2. the A281 junction with Elmbridge Road will have signal improvements and extra lanes – not a new roundabout.
3. There is a budget of £2.6M to improve junctions at Bramley and Shalford – but the officers agreed that this will not make much improvement because the section into Guildford is so narrow.
4. Cranleigh’s bridge over the Canal will be rebuilt, starting in 2020, with a £2million budget.
5. The bridge over Downlink needs to be re-built, but will be delayed as the cost estimate is £1.5million.
6. The bridge over the stream in Alfold Road needs rebuilding – but is delayed at cost of £350,000.
7. There is a budget of £0.5M for improvements to Cranleigh High Street, mainly to speed the buses, but the junction of the High Street and Knowle Lane cannot be improved.
8. There are no plans as yet to increase parking in Cranleigh, but Julia Potts has asked if Cranleigh people would consider a multi-storey carpark on Village Way.
In addition Waverley and The County are considering whether to improve the surface and provide some lighting along the Downslink from Cranleigh to Guildford.
Your Society pressed Surrey Highways to put in a bid from Government for roads improvement money, which they promised, but were not at all hopeful that they would get any extra money.
Highways are concerned about the growth of HGV traffic on the road to Shere, but will not be doing any work to relieve.
POT HOLES NEWS
Highways admitted that they have a £300 MILLION backlog on pothole and road repairs, but are only spending £50 million per year. The contractor is only paid per fully refurbished pothole and there are limits to the speed with which they can complete the task.
In summary, Cranleigh residents are facing a major delay in driving to Guildford, with no improvements to the rat-runs that serve Cranleigh. Your Society will continue to press our Councillors for improvement, remember they are all up for election next year.
Do you have any fresh ideas about improvements to the roads? Let us know….