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).
Please feel free to email email@example.com if you have any further questions.
Glen Skelton – Wetland Landscapes Officer
Surrey Wildlife Trust
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 GLEN SKELTON 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.
We thought we’d put together the following overview of what we are working on at the moment to keep you in the loop. Please feel free to comment or let us know if you have any questions and we’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
Due to the Government’s need to build more houses in the South East, the lack of a Green Belt around Cranleigh, the position we were in having no “Local Plan” (WBC now have one, but it’s subject to Judicial Review) and our Borough Councillors being outnumbered on the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) of Waverley Borough Council (WBC); numerous large planning applications have been successful, resulting in around 1,700 additional homes being built.
Cranleigh Civic Society has scrutinised the major planning applications and brought pressure to bear on the planning authority – WBC – bringing attention to poor design and deficiencies details and suggesting alterations to improve them.
CCS ensures Councillors of all areas understand the problems, including information that the Professional Planning Officers should provide.
CCS has put up spirited opposition to many of the planning applications, often promoting a more thorough debate and consideration of detail with some successful results.
What now? We must keep a watch on the conditions imposed by WBC and ensure they are implemented correctly. Ideally we must try to ensure no more planning permissions are granted until the housing that is in the pipeline is up, the effects are understood and supporting infrastructure is in place.
Drinking water supply and sewage treatment and removal.
CCS has put pressure on Thames Water (TW) to replace old drinking water pipes – being 50 to 70 years old and made of asbestos cement, some “blue” and very dangerous if released into the water supply and ingested.
As pipes burst TW put a programme in place to replace sections – so some success. WBC and TW have had to admit that they do not have asbestos liability insurance so they would have to pay claims themselves – very expensive to the public purse.
Thames Water has upgraded Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works (STW) to accommodate the current housing demand and will, by law, have to do so again to meet the sewage emanating from the huge new housing developments.
Cranleigh Waters is a designated river which takes the outflow from STW . CCS has worked hard to show that this river is inadequate, and has caused depletion in fish numbers and must be re-considered. Some CCS members have undertaken river searches / water quality measuring and officially reported to and interacted with the authorities.
Ditches are being monitored thanks to CCS and Surrey Wildlife Trust is to undertake remedial work and bring life back to the river and local streams.
The Environment Agency (EA) had left Cranleigh off its watch list of threatened environments, so CCS and others worked to get Cranleigh back onto the maps and monitored regularly. The EA now works with CCS to monitor the area and make more relevant recommendations to our planning authority.
Flooding and flood plains.
CCS has worked tirelessly with the planning authority WBC, EA, and TW to point out, measure and photograph full information about flooding. The EA now records and reports flood levels, thanks to CCS. Surrey County Council (SCC) is tasked with cleaning out drains and ditches especially when heavy rains are forecast.
Anne Milton MP.
CCS has been in disucssions with Anne all along and she has started a Flood Forum in Cranleigh where many officers and local reprentatives work to improve knowledge, understanding, and even to alter laws and planning conditions. She has been able to get the attention of the movers and shakers at SCC.
Roads, Pavements, Footpaths.
CCS is in constant touch with SCC regarding potholes, flooding and traffic jams, and improvements are scheduled. A hard and lit footpath / cycleway from Cranleigh to Guildford is being looked at.
WBC’s New Local Plan shows minimal road and junction improvements at the moment, despite the new Local Plan approving 2,600 homes plus a school at Dunsfold, producing more traffic for the A281,
CCS continues to read and react to all such documents hoping to influence the authorities from our local knowledge point of view
Surrey County Council and national government say new railways are not going ahead at the moment but that there must always be a footpath and bridle way available along the old railway line.
Buses . SCC is responsible and we know of no changes at the moment.
Schools and GP surgeries
SCC must, by law, provide enough school places and doctors when the population rises.
Police & Fire Service
SCC must, by law, provide adequate cover.
Our wildlife and waterways experts have helped WBC to improve ponds and waterways. CCS congratulates Cranleigh Parish Council (CPC) for its work on creating Fields in Trust including: The Beryl Harvey field which has been saved and improved and the Centenary garden marking 100 years since the end of the first World War, which is under construction thanks to our Parish Council.
WBC’s interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Services, Tom Horwood, has listened and responded to CCS’s complaints about the way officers and councillors have made us feel and he will attend a meeting next month with CCS and Councillor Julia Potts, the Leader of Waverley Council to hear more about why the residents of Cranleigh and surrounding area are so disillusioned with so many of their actions.
CCS will put forward very constructive suggestions to support our local knowledge and expertise hoping to work more effectively together in the future.
Liz Townsend was the inspirational first chair of CCS until she was voted onto CPC, then Waverley Borough Council and she is doing a great job.
Steve Jeacock was a member of CCS committee and was also voted onto CPC and has worked hard to represent all our views.
Adrian Clarke is our key attribute regarding drinking water pipes and the risks posed by their age and the blue asbestos fibres they contain.
We welcome your input!
Set up in 2014 by volunteers for the Neighbourhood Plan, the committee of CCS has worked hard and morphed into a quietly professional group of careful researchers and communicators to help keep Cranleigh special – speaking up for all.
The committee of eight needs help and support please.
WEB SITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, MEMBERSHIP, NEWSLETTERS are all proving a great success and we welcome input for the web site including valued photos and stories. We also welcome help with these applications.
Becoming a member and supporter helps to tell the Councils what the public really know and want and feel.
Your MP Hears your problems – FLOOD FORUM
Bandroom, Friday, March 9th. 9.30 am
VITAL YOU & YOUR NEIGHBOURS ATTEND
Anne Milton MP and your Waverley Borough & Cranleigh Parish Councillors plus many Officers from the Council, Thames Water & other agencies – will attend 10-11.30 – can they
STOP the next Cranleigh FLOOD?
STOP house building until our overloaded Sewerage System is upgraded
replace 29% of our drinking water pipes that are made from asbestos containing cement
Slow down At least 2,600 houses in Waverley Borough Council’s Local Plan – for Dunsfold aerodrome
STOP Massive Overload of our infrastructure
ENSURE A281 to Guildford DOES NOT GET clogged up!
WE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING AND HEARING YOU ON FRIDAY
THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST AND SUPPORT
20 Feb 2018 Waverley’s Local Plan Part 1 adopted
was adopted tonight:
- For – 41
- Against – 1
- Abstained – 3
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.
Local Plan Part 2: Site Allocations and Development Management Policies
AN APOLOGY AND AN UPDATE FOR OUR MEMBERS
We do apologise for the absence of any postings since 20 November last year but we can assure you that this does not mean we were not continuing with our fight to keep Cranleigh special – a fight that will go on, it appears, for a very long time if what we have recently heard proves to be true.
We promise to send regular, detailed postings now that the new Committee has settled in and the newbies have been informed of all that we have done and the enormous tasks that we face in the future. In the meantime here is a summary of some of the happenings in the past two months.
- ALFOLD – SPRINGBOK – This was an application for, inter alia, 400 houses which would have tripled the size of the village of Alfold. It was REFUSED by a Government Inspector.
- ASBESTOS CEMENT DRINKING WATER PIPES – Following the promise by Thames Water to start replacing the AC pipes in Cranleigh starting early this year, we are still working on this problem from different angles but we cannot say anything more right now!
- RECYCLING CENTRE – We are keeping up the pressure on Surrey County Council as we believe cutting down the opening days by a whopping 50% is foolhardy and will lead to a huge increase in fly tipping. Please take photos of any fly tipping you see and send them to us via the website with the exact location.
- HEWITTS – We objected to this application being agreed until this highly polluted and contaminated site is “cleaned up” to the full satisfaction of the Environment Agency. The application was withdrawn.
- KNOWLE LANE – Only last week we learned of a proposal for 20 new homes, some distance from the settlement boundary, and heard reports that Berkeley Homes are securing “options to buy” many tracts of land down Knowle Lane. We are monitoring this closely.
- LAW SOCIETY – We have written to the Law Society with suggestions for improving the searches process when new houses are being purchased. We will let you know when (if?) we receive their response.
- PENWERRIS HORSHAM ROAD – You will recall that the McCarthy and Stone application was refused some time ago but there is a new application, on a smaller scale, from Renaissance. If agreed, the present tenants would be made homeless so we will keep a very watchful eye on this proposed development.
- PARKING – Where do we start? There seems to be no attention being given by Waverley to the need for more car parking with a big increase in resident numbers. Already roads near the village centre, which do not have parking restrictions, are being used extensively so that high parking charges can be avoided – although it appears from recent WBC Notices that more road parking restrictions are imminent.
- THAKEHAM HOMES, ELMBRIDGE ROAD – We are endeavouring to warn leading Home Insurers to flag up this future development as one to consider very carefully as we consider it to be an extremely high flood risk, providing them with the evidence which was just dismissed out of hand by Waverley in order to push this through in the chase to meet housing targets.
CCS Committee News – new chair Terry Stewart has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is looking for YOU to come forward to help support CCS please –
- to raise our profile so that people know that we are active on the issues that are important to Cranleigh residents;
- to use your interests, skills and availability;
- to improve our communication methods to all residents – and the decision makers/influencers;
- to widen the reach of recipients of our messages;
- to use our limited resources, to prioritise our efforts, and assign responsibilities to members of the committee;
There are so many ways to work for our community honestly and effectively – please get in touch. thank you