CofE primary school, Surrey’s business case versus what people want

CofE primary school, Surrey’s business case versus what people want

Cranleigh CofE Primary School 

The news plans WOULD fit onto the current site – but at what cost?

In their presentation recently Surrey County Council (SCC ) showed a strong business case for selling the 2 sites of the school and building a new combined school and nursery on a playing field.  Cranleigh Society has great concerns about this plan.

SCC explained that their professionals compared the costs of the new build, including the sale of the land for housing, with refurbishing the current school, and bringing a new build onto the Junior site for the infants and nursery.  The cost was shown as almost double the plans and no income stream.  So we do understand!

BUT

Cranleigh Society has been shown the way that the new, eco-friendly, expanded school plans would fit well onto the current Cranleigh CofE school site.

This desktop exercise was carried out by a retired architect with plenty of experience of working with councils on schools. Living in Cranleigh and walking around all the sites he knows what he is looking at first hand.

It shows that a new build on the existing site would achieve the following –

maintain and improve access to the school and nursery.

Incorporate all the features of the new build eco-friendly plans – Infants, Juniors, extra classes, nursery and SEND unit, and a pond.

It suggests using the playing fields as playing fields rather than building on both sites. Any improvements to the fields’ drainage necessary should be done.

Financially it would require funds that we are very aware SCC has not allocated for education in Cranleigh.  Is this really acceptable?

Having declared a climate emergency SCC should not be allowing green fields and trees to be destroyed as a matter of overarching policy – same for all building projects going forwards.

We know too that the new housing on the 2 school sites is in Waverley’s Local Plan and therefore has to be in Cranleigh’s Neighbourhood plan – this does not make it right.

Access to the new build on the playing fields would be difficult for all, cycles, scooters, cars and pedestrians, and the site is out of sight, tucked away from view, and would be a haven for unwanted behaviour around its perimeter.  See our picture…

In addition the increased people, cars and therefore pollution caused by building on both sites is unwanted by Cranleigh people.

Rowland Road and Parsonage Road are narrow, and the path from the corner where they join and bend around, and where all school traffic and pedestrians would have to go is more narrow and cannot be widened.

PLEASE COMMENT BELOW as we depend on your feedback – we are representing you as best we can.

We want a fair and speedy result here – and so does the school and nursery.

thank you

 

 

Cranleigh needs you now – more housing planned – we MUST act today

Cranleigh is under severe threat from our own County Council. It seems this is news to many local residents. If you know please pass it on before it is too late. Surrey CC are trying to bulldoze their plans while we are unable to demonstrate our feelings.

To those of you who have done something – many thanks – but far too many people in our community are still unaware of the plans to devastate Cranleigh with 90 homes right in the centre of our village, on the land occupied by Cranleigh C of E school opposite Glebelands. The new school building is planned to be so inaccessible that parents and children face a long arduous walk behind housing with no nearby parking in all weathers. In fact the current lay-by parking will be severely affected because that is where the new housing is planned.

They should have completed an Environmental Impact Assessment. They have not. We believe your help is needed to ‘encourage’ them to do so NOW.

Surrey County Council have neglected Cranleigh C of E school building for 18 years. The roof leaks – children have been sitting in class with rain water collecting next to them for far too long. Rather than repair properly, Surrey CC have decided to build a new school on green field land that is known to flood. The new building is claimed to be a Beacon. Take a look at the plans here   It is an EYESORE. It has no natural space but an artificial surface. The classrooms are smaller than the current ones and the main hall is so small that assembly will have to be in two parts. Also lunch will be over at least 2 if not 3 sittings. The whole effect is cheap and nasty and Surrey want to sell the current land for housing to make a profit we believe.

Once again Cranleigh will suffer. So please email or write to Tim Oliver, the Surrey County Council Leader, our MP Angela Richardson, our County Councillor, Andrew Povey and our Borough and Parish Councillors, Liz Townsend and Paul Follows.

This needs to be Now. Please pass this on. Liz Townsend <liz.townsend@waverley.gov.uk>; Andrew Povey CLR <andrew.f.povey@surreycc.gov.uk>; Cllr Angela Richardson <angela.richardson@cranleigh-pc.gov.uk>; Tim Oliver <tim.oliver@surreycc.gov.uk

Cranleigh Society update

Cranleigh Society update

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 – andrew.f.povey@surreycc.gov.uk – 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.

DATES

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.

Not all the green fields are going – yet!

Our fields are saved – so far! And even the trees ……

At the Waverley borough Council Joint Planning meeting on 27th November the councillors and all others spoke well and represented every view. On balance they voted to say no to HC-One & CVHT‘s planning application – the 60 bed Care Home Application with 20 community beds and health workers’ accommodation block – for reasons of  “over-development & traffic & against the Local Plan” – in essence we don’t want the field filled up and the traffic increased, but we do feel upset that their isn’t a viable way to bring beds back to Cranleigh now.

They also voted to say no to the housing on the 2 Cranleigh Primary School sites – 91 dwellings and the loss of many trees – reasons – “over-development, loss of trees, loss of village look and feel (we think)”.

They voted for the Knowle Country Park and its lake – this will go ahead and is nothing but an asset all the while it has a vibrant and caring management team – how the future will go remains to be seen but we are lucky – so long as we understand that a body of wild water is a dangerous place!  We will witness digging to provide the lake, then planting on a mass scale. The Ancient Woodland is to be preserved too – yippee.

All the councillors and visiting speakers did their best for Cranleigh.  If you follow this link you can read all the agenda pack and additional documents – here and the minutes will be published there as well.

As for the replacement Primary School project – this is not over at all.  Surrey County Council Cabinet has already approved building the new school with nursery on fields that are currently Glebelands school’s.  On December 18th their Planning and Scrutiny committee will look at this again.  see here for details and watch same space for the agenda items and agenda pack.

Surrey County Council –
Venue:   Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. 
 Wednesday, 18 December 2019 10.30 am, Planning and Regulatory Committee.

Our representative on this committee is Dr Andrew Povey – you can contact him here –

Phone:  01483 267 443  Mobile:  07881 655166         Bus. email:  andrew.f.povey@surreycc.gov.uk

New school? Surrey County Council tries again

New school? Surrey County Council tries again

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. 

thank you

Flood risks, asbestos pipes, drought, your Waverley

Flood risks, asbestos pipes, drought, your Waverley

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.

Comments please!