Freshwater Watch are carrying out their annual Water Blitz in the Thames Region which involves volunteers taking samples of their local watercourses. For those of you that are interested in taking part please see the details below:
A MESSAGE FROM THE SURREY WILDLIFE TRUST:
We would like to invite you and your fellow members of Surrey Wildlife Trust again to join us on the 19th and 20th October for the autumn’s Thames Water Blitz as part of a great number of efforts to understand the water quality in river Thames catchment. This year, we are running a two day Water Blitz which coincides with the start of half-term for the majority of schools. We hope this will be a good opportunity for schools and families to join in with freshwater research.
The Thames Water Blitz is a two-day event held in spring and autumn where volunteers in the Thames Valley collect as many water quality samples as possible. The purpose is to get an overview of the water quality in lakes, ponds and streams throughout the Thames Valley.
This Water Blitz will be the seventh such event and it is timed to coincide with the regular Thames sample run undertaken by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) as part of a long-term monitoring programme of the Thames and its tributaries. Along with data collected by CEH and data held by the Environment Agency continued Thames Water Blitz efforts complement monitoring by providing information from areas and water body types that would otherwise not be monitored. This could be a particularly interesting Water Blitz given the UK heatwave this summer.
Click here to read what Dr Steven Loiselle has to say about the UK water crisis and the importance of water monitoring. Water Blitz is also a fun learning experience for any volunteer that is interested in their local environment, and would like to learn more about water quality.
By following this link: https://ewgis.org/waterblitz-registration/, you will be able to find further information and results from previous Thames Water Blitz events where we have partnered with Wild Oxfordshire and the Freshwater Habitats trust (amongst others).
Following on from the recent informative Flood Forum meeting held earlier this month, we can now announce a date for Cranleigh Water’s Love Your River Meeting, which will be held on Monday 26th March at 7pm in Cranleigh Village Hall.
We highly encourage as many of our members and Cranleigh residents to attend if they are able.
Cranleigh Waters has experienced serious flow problems, particularly in the summer months and has also unfortunately become quite polluted with most of the flow downstream emanating from the Cranleigh Sewage Works.
According to Shamley Green Angling Society, the environmental effect of this can already be seen with fish dying out downstream.
Why should you attend?
This has been an ongoing problem for some time, with many issues raised.
JOIN US TO CELEBRATE THE PARTNERSHIP WORK TO IMPROVE CRANLEIGH WATERS.
We urge Cranleigh residents to attend this event to put further pressure on Waverley to make this issue a priority. Discover how you could help improve habitat and water quality. Bring your ideas and stories and get involved!
Help us ensure that Waverley takes action on:
• Reconfiguring the river bed
• Providing a wetland area upstream to release water over the summer months
• Addressing the pollution problems
Help us make improvements to our village and join us on Monday 26 March.
Even those who opposed or had serious reservations took the view that the Waverley area would have more protection with a LP. Even with it’s flaws, WBC would be able to take back control. No longer would planning be developer led.
All three Cranleigh Councillors expressed their deep concerns about Waverley’s Local Plan. But they decided to vote For IT because the consequences of having no LP would be disastrous. Nothing will undo the damage that has already been inflicted on Cranleigh but further damage can be minimised with the LP.
Waverley’s local plan part 1 – Cranleigh Society’s opinion was shared before the vote –
Whilst Cranleigh is viewed by Waverley as one of the four main “settlements”, it has some serious infrastructure problems which the Inspector, Jonathan Bore, has not addressed in the report, even though they were pointed out to him by Cranleigh Civic Society and others at the Inquiry.
Cranleigh is only served by already congested B-roads, and lanes (we call them “rat runs”) which do not even qualify for B-road status, and there are no plans in his report (or in the Local Plan) to solve this.
Any new dwellings being built in Cranleigh rely on sewage treatment at the Elmbridge Road works. In recent years, the so-called river that the effluent is pumped into, Cranleigh Waters, has developed serious flow problems, sometimes ceasing flowing altogether. The river has become polluted, with local angling societies reporting dying fish stocks to the Environment Agency, and there is currently no plan by Waverley to solve this problem. The Inspector has not considered this in his report.
29.6% of all Cranleigh’s drinking water supply network is made from old asbestos cement pipes which are at the end of their 50 to 70 year design life, and they are regularly bursting releasing free asbestos fibres into the water supply. Some of the pipes recently tested by Thames Water are made from highly dangerous blue asbestos. Waverley are aware of this problem, and it has been suggested to them that all the old asbestos cement pipes be replaced before any new housing is connected to the network. Again, this important matter has not been considered by the Inspector in his report.
There are no plans to create new local jobs, so increasing the population will simply create a need to commute to work, which is hardly sustainable.
We accept that there is a need to build new houses in SE England and we do not have a problem with Cranleigh taking its fair share, but unless the infrastructure problems are addressed before the plan is published and put into place, we see big problems ahead.
Modern town planning (actually even Ebenezer Howard said this in the 1920s) states that “houses should be built where the jobs are”. Modern thinking is to build settlements as close as possible to places where people can work or to at least give people easy access to commute. Of the four settlements in the report, Cranleigh is least able to meet this criteria. It has only B-roads and narrow lanes leading out of it, no railway station and so on. The obvious place to build substantial quantities of new houses, in the Waverley area, is Milford, as:
(1) It has a mainline railway station that can easily be extended to take the new 12 car trains to London; (2) It is close to both the A31 and A3; (3) It is close to the job markets in Guildford, Godalming and Farnham; (4) It is adjacent to the River Wey and therefore readily lends itself to the building of a new major sewage treatment works that can meet the needs of the latest 2017 implementations of the Water Framework Directive. Yet I think we are correct in saying that the Local Plan only envisages 180 new dwellings in Milford? If this is the situation we have to ask “Why?”
CRANLEIGH CIVIC SOCIETY.
Go to Waverley Borough Council website and complete the consultation if you feel you can.
On Monday the 24th of July, Anne Milton MP organised a meeting at the village hall that she described as a flood forum and it turned out to be much more than that. She brought together Waverley planners, Thames Water, the Environment Agency, the Drinking Water Inspectorate, Public Health England, Surrey County Council, the National Flood Forum, Cranleigh Parish Council and Cranleigh Civic Society to discuss openly several of the major concerns Cranleigh’s residents have raised with her. 65 members of the public came along and several parish and borough councillors also attended.
The plan was to address these concerns and direct them specifically to the authority responsible, so that the answers could be heard by all. We were very happy to hear sewerage problems, flooding and asbestos cement water pipes all discussed openly. It was always understood that the problems would not be resolved then and there but that efforts could be made to address them in the coming weeks and months.
To aid this, small sub committees were formed to work on specific areas and they will report back at the next meeting planned for the autumn. It was just the beginning of what will be a long term effort but a positive step and one that Cranleigh Civic Society welcomes. Members of the Society volunteered to join sub committees and share the information they have collected specific to each area so we will be close to the decision making process.
As an update on this post from last week, the JPC voted 9-5 to defer the decision on this application, on grounds of flooding and odour from the nearby sewage works.
Thakeham Homes application (Planning Ref : WA/2016/1921) for 54 houses off Elmbridge Road goes to Joint Planning Committee this Weds 28 June 2017 6:30pm at Waverley Offices in Godalming. Officers are recommending this for APPROVAL.
This entire site was underwater in Dec 2013/Jan 2014 – the road, which was higher than the site, was impassable.
In January 2015 about 30% of the site was flooded.
The site also enjoys sewage odour during the summer months – this has got to be a low point even for Waverley! Under 2.3 Odour Complaints of the Odour Assessment it is alleged that odour is only a problem to residents living NE and SE of the site and that only one property to the south complained.
Is that, perhaps, because the main area to the south is the green field where development is being proposed?
Thakeham Homes have stated that “odour is not considered to be a constraint to residential development at the site”.
Would you like your children to buy a house here with no guarantee of flood insurance and likely to have unpleasant odours? Doesn’t sound like idyllic village life to us.
What you can do:
Attend the JPC meeting:
6.30pm 28 June 2017 Waverley Borough Council offices, The Bury’s, Godalming.
Ask her to call in this outrageous application. Email her on firstname.lastname@example.org the reference is WA/2016/1921 Land South Of Elmbridge Road, Cranleigh perhaps notice will be taken if lots of people request it.