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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 – email@example.com. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Please sign up to help restore our local “Rivers” – Cranleigh Waters! Will you join in so that the water flows better and the wildlife come back? We all want and need a thriving river. It starts with counting what’s there at the moment.
SURREY WILDLIFE TRUST
Surrey Wildlife Trust has secured some funds to do some much needed restoration works but really need volunteers to help on the following days :-
Wednesday 29th August 10am till 3pm
Saturday 15th September 10am till 3pm
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP PLEASE CONTACT GLENSKELTON YOURSELVES AT
“The project: In partnership with Thames Water, Surrey Wildlife Trust are working to restore the Cranleigh Waters back to a thriving river. To do this we need your help. We are recruiting volunteers in the area to join our team of regular Riverfly monitors who sample the aquatic life that lives on the river bed”
Please also consider joining Surrey Wildlife Trust – they are amazing and there are not enough staff to look after everything that needs to be cared for.
Our last Flood Forum update posted here on 18 March was based on an article The Cranleigh Society were asked to provide by the Surrey Advertiser – but it was not published.
The Society was then asked to expand on other real problems being faced by Cranleigh; we obliged by sending the content for a second article and that, also, was not published.
Both articles were 100% factual, so we can only conclude that the Surrey Advertiser did not wish to be controversial.
Pressure can still be put on Waverley…
As mentioned in the website posting on 18 March, AC drinking water pipes and the Thakeham site were the main concerns expressed at the Flood Forum but the bigger picture also needs to be considered. There is a general concern for the number of sites where there are flood issues and/or an over reliance on Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).
More and more Cranleigh residents are complaining about the ever increasing numbers of grab trucks and other contractor’s vehicles thundering through the High Street. These are causing havoc in the B-roads and narrow lanes, and it is going to get immeasurably worse as the building work intensifies.
These heavy vehicles are causing new potholes to appear daily in the High Street, and cars are being forced up on to paths to avoid wheel and tyre damage.
But Waverley and Surrey County Council do not care.
There are other major problems as well:
Waverley has pushed 48% of all the new housing in the Local Plan on to sites in and around Cranleigh
In doing so, they have ignored infrastructure issues.
The Society accepts there is nothing that can be done about the first point. Those planning applications have all received permission, but pressure can still be put on Waverley as regards the infrastructure issues where Cranleigh Civic Society believe Waverley are vulnerable. These are:
Of course, everyone is concerned about roads and bridges too, but these are the responsibility of Surrey County Council, not Waverley.
Naturally prone to flooding…
There is an interesting story emerging about flood risk to which there appears to be no solution, solely because of the actions of Waverley and the inaction of the Environment Agency.
This whole sorry saga began in November 2015 when the owner of the Knowle Park Initiative site dredged a section of Cranleigh Waters, not realising that they needed a permit to do so from the Environment Agency which, incidentally would have been refused.
On site, their contractor told the Society that this was done to “move the flood risk downstream”. The effect of this dredging was to move the flood risk from the KPI site to the area just before the bridge at Elmbridge Road, which at the time was fine as it was just meadowland. The problem is that Thakeham Homes bought the site and, on 5 October 2017, they were granted permission to build 54 houses on it.
KPI knew what would happen by doing this dredging, as it is on their website! They knew that the Thakeham site is “part of the functional flood plain of Cranleigh Waters and is naturally prone to flooding”.
They went on to state; “The main thing is to make sure the drainage and water courses are kept clear (a clear reference here to dredging) to allow these areas (the Thakeham site) to take the water quickly”.
The Thakeham site had serious flooding in December 2013, two years before the dredging – there is now the very real possibility of much higher flood levels, a matter that was totally ignored by Waverley when raised by Cranleigh Civic Society when the application was heard. The Society has a photo of the December 2013 flood level being higher than the site SuDS level, and we know from Met Office Data that they are predicting +30% rainfall during winter months up to 2080. So that is why the Thakeham site is liable to flood.
Reducing, not removing the flood risk…
On 16 March, the Society heard from Surrey Wildlife Trust that the bulk of the funding announced at Anne Milton’s 9th March village meeting is to be spent putting the KPI stretch of Cranleigh Waters back to a two stage river. People may well ask why KPI themselves are not required to bear the cost of the reinstatement to a two stage river – the answer is that the Environment Agency did not act within the time limit of six months from the date of the illegal act, even though Cranleigh Civic Society advised them in January 2016 and the EA visited the site on 29 March 2016. So it appears that public money is now going to be spent correcting the damage done by the KPI dredging!
Was there pressure being put on the Environment Agency to let the KPI planning application go through to help meet Government housing targets? It wasn’t until after the six months statute of limitations period that this all came to light, and the Environment Agency admitted their failure to act.
The problem is that if the KPI stretch of Cranleigh Waters is reinstated to two stage, it reduces (not removes) the flood risk at the Thakeham site and puts a flood risk back onto the KPI site.
What an awful mess – a mess that was totally avoidable if planning was considered on all the facts, good and bad, and not on just chasing housing numbers.
The Society envisages decades of flooding incidents, insurance problems and law suits.
Please help raise awareness by sharing our news updates where you can.
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.
One of the great concerns of Cranleigh Civic Society is the ongoing damage caused to Cranleigh Waters by the outflow from the sewage works on the Elmbridge Road. Although the effluent has been treated, Thames Water has a licence to pour the equivalent volume of two Olympic sized swimming pools worth of waste into this tiny stream. This simply cannot be good for anything living there, be it a plant or a fish. We paid a laboratory to test what was going into the stream and they reported that alongside the ‘solids’ that are allowed to go in, they found excessive levels of phosphates. Thames Water confirmed that this is the case but explained that they have no technology to resolve the problem. We find it difficult to accept that they know that they’re causing harm yet have no intention of stopping. As thousands more homes are built in the area this problem will become worse still.
Because we wanted to understand the consequences of this vast volume of effluent entering this delicate waterway, members of our team underwent specialist training from Surrey Wildlife Trust to become accredited river wardens. With this knowledge we undertook the first of our quarterly surveys to lay down a baseline for future surveys to be compared with.
River Search training with Surrey Wildlife Trust
We were trained to look at the vegetation in the water, at the margins and on the banks. Each area offers specific information that describes the health, or otherwise, of the water body. Next, we looked at how the water flowed to give various habitats to suit a variety of creatures and plants, plus many other revealing factors. Little by little a highly detailed map was created from a distance upstream of the sewage works and around the outflow itself. Despite our polite requests, we were unable to gain permission from landowners to continue our survey downstream.
We’re sad to report that the stream is in very poor condition, made worse by long sections of inappropriate dredging that has stripped the stream bed of any life. This has also slowed the flow damagingly, making any chance of recovery take much longer than desirable.
We also invested in a calibrated water flow meter and have been taking readings to try to understand the stream’s habits. Many of us have seen the flow slow to a trickle and even dry up completely at times. This means that the only liquid flowing towards Bramley has been through our toilets first. It comes as no surprise then that Bramley Fishing Club has given up and closed. When your members no longer catch any fish, there’s no point in carrying on and perhaps this tells us all we need to know.
On Monday the Cranleigh Civic Society accompanied members of the Environment Agency (EA) and Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) on a formal river walk along Cranleigh Waters.
Regular readers will know that we have been highlighting the fact that Cranleigh Waters stops flowing, especially during summer and autumn months, for some time, and have been involved in ongoing discussions with the EA and SWT.
Both of these organisations are taking this situation extremely seriously and the river walk was arranged to help to identify areas of low to no flow, obstructions, signs of wildlife, invasive species, as well as to gauge the overall depth and width of the river.
This was an extremely useful exercise and we would like to thank all of those who took part and look forward to sharing their report.
Become a Volunteer River Warden
Going forward we will continue to monitor Cranleigh Waters for pollution, as well as help to improve and protect its biodiversity.
And that’s where you come in. You can help us by becoming a Volunteer River Warden for Cranleigh Waters.
Our FREE training day is on 2 September 2016 at Farnham Town Council Offices from 9:30 am to 4:00pm. Numbers are limited to 12 people and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact us if you would like to reserve a place and we can send you more information about the format of the day.
We will be encouraging people to car share so let us know if you need a lift.
After attending the training session our volunteers will be assigned a stretch of river (averagely 1km in length) and asked to carry out a mapping survey (with the consent of the landowner) during which all features and habitats along the river are mapped and photographed and any issues reported.
Following this initial mapping survey volunteers carry out regular walk over surveys once every 3 months keeping an eye out for any issues as well as recording the wildlife and habitats they come across.
This is an exciting opportunity to get involved and help to protect the river habitat on our own doorstep for the benefit of local people and our local wildlife.
Further training will be available to our volunteers as our programme progresses.