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.

More Green Fields in Cranleigh going

Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee – meets tonight Wednesday 27th November 6:30 pm.  They are looking at at least 4 issues – Cranleigh Care Home with Community beds and accommodation block. Cranleigh Primary School with 91 dwellings on the old sites.  Knowle Country Park development – All about Cranleigh’s green fields being used up for building works.

CVHT article in newspaper by reported Eleanor – some details not quite accurate but she has done a good job of explaining so many aspects of this project. You can read her article  here    and you could email her here – eleanor.fleming@reachplc.com    27th Nov 2019

Cranleigh Society has members with a wide variety of knowledge and views – and on Wednesday 27 November at 6.30 this issue will be fully shared with all Waverley’s Councillors on the Joint Planning Committee – you can read their briefing document here

The event will be videoed and so you can find it live or later – no need to attend.  People are not allowed to speak or heckle – only Councillors may speak by invitation.  If people wanted to speak they would have had to write in advance asking for a slot to speak – and would be given exactly 4 minutes.

Waverley Planning Committee news

Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee will meet on 27th November to discuss 3 major plans – 

WA/2018/1966 CRANLEIGH NURSING HOME – applied for by CVHT with HC-One – the Officers recommend refusal on planning grounds. 

WA/2017/1389 resite and build new PRIMARY SCHOOL – the Officers recommend this is Granted!  They believe all their planning issues have been addressed. 

WA/2019/1168  & WA/2016/2207 Knowle Country Park details – the Officers recommend this is Granted. 

If you want to go to the meeting you can, you can also ask to speak – see the web site for details.

for the AGENDA PACK – 150 pages – click here

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!

Drinking Water Asbestos Cement Pipes – concerns

Drinking Water Asbestos Cement Pipes – concerns

WE HAVE LONG BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT DRINKING WATER PIPES – THEY KEEP BURSTING AND SOME ARE MADE OF ASBESTOS CEMENT

Cranleigh Society members have done their best to persuade Waverley Borough Council (WBC) and Thames Water (TW) to renew our drinking water pipes.

We believe this should be planned and completed before the new housing is attached to the network for two reasons – the pipes are 50-70 yrs old and getting close to the end of their lives Due to this frequent  bursts occur causing major disruption . The latest guidelines for new housing also state that the water pressure must be higher than the previous norm.

In addition, you may have seen that Cranleigh Society member Adrian Clarke has recently worked with the Financial Times (article dated 30-March-19) concerning the asbestos cement used in around 29% of Cranleigh’s water supply pipes, some of which contains the more worrying “blue” type.

So the World Health Organisation (WHO) must look into the problem and are looking for funds so that they can. Our MP Anne Milton is aware of the potential issue, it having been raised during the regular ‘flood forums’ that she has established.

WBC have done some investigation and have summarised the situation – Tom Horwood, the CEO of WBC stated “This whole issue keeps coming back to the established view of the lack of harm of ingested asbestos, which we would all like reviewed.”  

Like many other health concerns there is no evidence that stands up at the moment to say there is definitely a problem with ingested asbestos from the drinking water, or indeed that there isn’t. At present, no one knows.

To put you in the picture – The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Cranleigh Society late in 2016 that, under clause 79 of The Water Industry 1991 (as amended), it is our local authority’s responsibility to risk assess this issue, and HSE gave us help in preparing the hazard report we sent to WBC on 29-Jan-17. The Drinking Water Inspectorate’s (DWI) (and hence Thames Water’s) advice to WBC was based on the following paragraph taken from the 1996 WHO report:

“Although the carcinogenicity of inhaled asbestos is well established, there is no conclusive evidence that ingested asbestos is carcinogenic (1,3,16). ….”

But the animal tests were done to assess the risk of chrysotile, amosite and tremolite asbestos contaminated talc used as fillers in processed foods in the USA in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Crocidolite (blue) asbestos, the worst one and the one we are concerned about in Cranleigh, was not tested because it is not a contaminant in North American talc deposits.  Also, the asbestos tested was ground down (milled) into mainly sub-microscopic particles in the same machines as would be used for processing talc, so they didn’t contain complete whole fibres as would be the case from bursts in water pipes.  If you’ve got a bit of spare time, Google the reports (references 17, 18 and 19 in the WHO 1996 report) and follow the trail to check out what I just stated.  This would suggest that the 1996 WHO report is irrelevant. No “blue” asbestos was looked for.

A few months ago, in 2018, the latest WHO statement came out (WHO information is always based on their latest update): The link is –

https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/asbestos-elimination-of-asbestos-related-diseases

“All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans. Exposure to asbestos causes cancer of the lung, larynx, and ovaries, and also mesothelioma (a cancer of the pleural and peritoneal linings).”

Our concern is risk of peritoneal mesothelioma from crocidolite (blue) asbestos, and this is what we asked WBC to risk assess.

The good thing is that as these failing asbestos cement pipes in Cranleigh are really so old, Thames Water is gradually having to replace them all anyway, so it is only a temporary problem.  Other areas in the UK may be at greater risk, particularly Suffolk/Norfolk and Cornwall, where a much higher percentage of asbestos cement pipes per head of population were installed, and where lower population density and less aggressive soil pH could extend the free fibre risk over a longer period.

Asbestos refers to six unique minerals — chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite — belonging to the serpentine and amphibole families. … Crocidolite (blue asbestos) was commonly used to insulate steam engines. It was also used in some spray-on coatings, pipe insulation, plastics and cement products.  Serpentine is nottoxic rock. It sometimes contains the fibrous mineral chrysotile asbestos,

Crocidolite

The notes below were found on a US web site – https://www.mesotheliomaguide.com/mesothelioma/peritoneal/
How Does Peritoneal Mesothelioma Develop?
  • Asbestos fibers are ingested. This can happen after being inhaled, coughed up, and then swallowed.
  • The body attempts to filter and remove them, but the sharp fibers can lodge into the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). The fibers irritate the peritoneum and can cause genetic damage to cells.
  • Genetic damage can keep cells from receiving important signals about when to stop replicating. This causes unchecked cell division and the formation of a malignant tumor. It can take decades for this process to happen.