Tag Archives: waverely

Your opportunity to question Waverley

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The next meeting between Cranleigh Civic Society and Waverley will take place on Monday 29th October at 3pm.

Is there something you would like us to raise on your behalf? Please let us know ASAP, either by responding to this post or emailing membership@cranleighsociety.org. We can then write to ask for a response on that day.

Many groups and individuals have concerns about how our elected Councillors and our paid for Council Officers make decisions on our behalf and spend the money they collect.

Some of the Questions we are pursuing:

  • What is the current rate of Borough Recycling to act a a base for comparison with future achievement ?
  • What are  proposals to improve communication to the Community ?
  • Can there be an Annual Presentation by the Council Leader – in say December – to all Resident/Community/Commercial Groups on the Council’s Objectives for the following Fiscal, with planned Expenditure /Rates ?
  • Please can CCS be included in the monthly report to the Parish Council on : Section 106 Funds unspent, Proposals for spending Section 106 Funds.
  • When the Cranleigh Neighbourhood Plan is finally approved, can the CCS be informed of the 25% of the CIL that will be available to the Neighbourhood Plan Committee to decide on ?
  • When will the Sewerage Plant be expanded to cope with the new houses in Cranleigh ?
  • What can be done to deal with the serious environmental problem of the Sewerage Plant discharge into Cranleigh Waters, especially when the hot weather has meant the flow is dry ?
  • When will the Waverley Infrastructure Delivery Schedule be updated, since there are so many information gaps ?

Questions on Planning, etc.

  • What is the genuine need for meetings between Developers and Councillors, and Developers and Officers?
  • Is Development in Waverley  transparent and understandable?
  • Could Pre- planning Appliations meetings be minuted, and published on the web where possible?
  • Can the Status of Planning Applications be updated promptly on the Planning web, so we can be informed promptly of decisions?
  • What is the proposed timetable for developing/replacing the Cranleigh Leisure Centre?
  • Are there any proposals to merge Councils in Surrey to achieve savings, as there are in many other Counties ?
  • Since the proposal to install an all-weather pitch at Cranleigh School is for a private commercial school, can these Section 106 funds be diverted to install an all-weather pitch on Cranleigh football fields ?

If you think there is anything we’ve missed, please take this opportunity to let us know and we will report on Waverley’s reply.

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Local plan? Affordable housing? Waverley meeting

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Cranleigh Society met with Waverley Borough Council councillors and officers. Many topics were covered, which we continue to share openly with you here as well as action points that may make improvement or provide further information:

HOUSING QUESTIONS 

We asked about low cost and affordable housing and part of the answers included that WBC cannot MAKE developers build low cost and affordable housing!  But, they have a bit more say if they have a working “LOCAL PLAN“.

ACTION

It is suggested that Cranleigh Society and ALL LOCALS  lobby their MP Anne Milton about this.

When asked why developers sometimes say they cannot offer 30% affordable housing, the reply is that “It is a viability issue. Where viability is capable of being a planning consideration, Waverley appoint an independent viability consultant to test the evidence.”  so that’s clearly a difficult question then.

We asked, what is the definition of Affordable Housing? Waverley’s officer explained that the National Planning Policy Framework contains the definition of Affordable housing.  So, we obtained the definition from the Government’s website, see below:-

Social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices. Affordable housing should include provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision.

Social rented housing is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (as defined in section 80 of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with the Homes and Communities Agency.

Affordable rented housing is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of no more than 80% of the local market rent (including service charges, where applicable).

Intermediate housing is homes for sale and rent provided at a cost above social rent, but below market levels subject to the criteria in the Affordable Housing definition above. These can include shared equity (shared ownership and equity loans), other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent, but not affordable rented housing.

Homes that do not meet the above definition of affordable housing, such as “low cost market” housing, may not be considered as affordable housing for planning purposes.”

Waverley’s Local Plan includes the required percentage, 30% of affordable housing on schemes above a certain size. The tenure split is informed by advice from our Housing Enabling Team. A contract with a registered provider, as negotiated through a section 106 agreement, is effected in liaison with Waverley’s housing team.

ACTION

In answer to the question about the provision of starter homes, this could be incorporated into a future Neighbourhood Plan.

DEVELOPERS AND THEIR AGREEMENTS WITH WAVERLEY

Cranleigh Society asked what the council is doing about ensuring that planning permission requirements are complied with. In the past the officers have pointed out that they struggle to oversee everything and rely on the public’s help.

WBC has recently appointed a new officer called a Section 106 Enforcement Officer. Although the role is part-time,  this should help.

ACTION

However, we the public still very much need to bring information to WBC.  So, please keep your observations up and report.

Thank you for your continued support.

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Productive meeting with Waverley leaders

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Cranleigh Society representatives met with Waverley council leaders – Councillors and officers –  for the second time on behalf of Cranleigh’s residents.

We pursued many of your worries and were given the councillors’ and officers’ replies.  Due to the number of topics covered there will be more than one post on this website.

n.b. Waverley Borough Council employs Officers to carry out the Strategic plans of the Senior Officers plus our Councillors. Many plans take years, even decades to be carried forward by which time we the public are sometimes somewhat surprised!

WORKING TOGETHER

CCS asked the Council to make an annual presentation to all residents groups (e.g. in December) to explain current Objectives for the next Fiscal year with stated expenditure plans. 

In reply, WBC asks that all the residents’ groups contact each other and work together as well as working with our local Cranleigh Parish Councillors.

We pressed for a more active role, along with our councillors, in the early stages of thinking.

The council says that they are doing a total review regarding improving information to all residents.  They will re-activate email Newsletters on the website.  (You can search many newsletters at  https://www.waverley.gov.uk/site/)

DRINKING WATER PIPES

CCS asked WBC to challenge Thames Water. We believe all the old asbestos cement pipes (as much as 29% of our pipes)  should be replaced urgently.   They burst very often and are made of fibres that might cause health problems in the future.

WBC officer replied that he had an extensive conversation with Thames Water recently and in such circumstances they undertake a risk assessment process. Thames Water will prioritise in the areas where the system is failing but works are aligned to their budget.

WBC stated that they had sought legal advice that confirmed that WBC was complying with its legal responsibilities. The Parish Council’s recent letter to the Secretary of State was welcomed.

ACTION – Cranleigh Civic Society and members could lobby their MP Anne Milton on this issue. 

WBC’s position is that whilst there is no evidence that deteriorating water mains pipes cause harm WBC cannot “require” TW to act.  BUT WBC agree that the disruption caused by so many bursts plus all the new housing is very inefficient.

CRANLEIGH RESIDENTS SUFFERED FROM NO WATER RECENTLY DURING A LONG HOT DROUGHT

WBC officer provided an update: Recently, demand outstripped supply. An electric pump that fed the reservoir failed and Thames Water supplied tankers to top up the reservoir. (n.b. Thames Water’s contract as a provider is with the government and not WBC. OFWAT is the regulator in England and Wales.)

WBC help where they can and have responsibility only for knowing and ensuring that the water is safe to drink.

Meanwhile in Cranleigh a pipe burst, and  TW did supply bottled water, eventually. However they weren’t able to co-ordinate with the community affected well.

ACTIONS – CCS & Cranleigh Parish Council need to help put a plan in place to help residents.    WBC Officer to contact TW and suggest they develop their own database of vulnerable people in the area.

Also Residents can contact Thames Water   https://www.thameswater.co.uk/Help-and-Advice/Customer-Commitment/Priority-services   

SEWERAGE ISSUES

CCS asked WBC about the capacity of the sewerage works and the problems with the treated outflow into Cranleigh Water; our sometimes dry  “river”  which is said to be too high in phosphates

CCS asked: why has planning permissions been granted when the water and sewerage issues have not been resolved?

CCS said that there was yet to be a full discussion with regard to the sewage treatment and we have a copy of a letter  written in both 2017 and 2018 to which there has been no response.

CCS asked whether the permit issued in 2009 was still in use?  CCS believes that there could be a contravention of the Water Common Framework Directive if Thames Water’s actions and inactions knowingly led to a “class reduction” in river water quality status.

WBC have told us they will meet with TW soon to discuss, and therefore were unable to provide us with comment on the above at this stage.

CRANLEIGH LEISURE CENTRE

Waverley have an outside expert consultants’ report (2017) advising on the best way to improve and maintain all the leisure centres in Waverley.  Their remit  includes pleasing the public and making a profit for the partner.  A recommendation is that Cranleigh Leisure Centre will benefit from a rebuild; CCS is aware that the “plant” the pool, the roof and the air conditioning are all past their replace by dates.  How, when, where and at what cost has yet to be decided.  The amount of money from current Section 106 receipts has been decided and Cranleigh will benefit.

We have been informed there will be a consultation “soon”.

ACTIONS   look out for consultation and engage with the process.

That’s the end of our first set of topics, please feel free to comment. The next instalment will be shared here soon.

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Neighbourhood Plan dates – Next week!

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Can you attend any of the dates next week?

There are three Neighbourhood Plan Exhibitions planned taking place in the Village Hall, on the following dates:

  • Thursday 12 July 9am – 4pm
  • Friday 13 July 4pm – 8pm
  • Saturday 14 July 9am – 12.30pm
These plans affect how our Parish will be developed until 2032.

Click here for more details.

If members can attend on one of these dates and/or encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same we can help ensure Cranleigh has a say on these plans.

News from Waverley…

Also, if you haven’t so already perhaps you’d like to subscribe to the Waverley e-newsletter to keep up to date on all plans effecting the area. You can do so here: www.waverley.gov.uk/newsletter

 

 

 

 

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Your Response to the Waverley Local Plan?

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Response to Waverley Council on their Public Consultation on the Waverley Local Plan (Part 2).

Deadline is 9th July.

The draft Local Plan, Part 2 considers:-

– Sites for Additional Housing in Cranleigh
- Proposed sites for Travellers in Cranleigh

– The Settlement Boundary for Cranleigh
- Housing Standards for New Housing

The objective of the consultation exercise is to clarify whether we as a village are in agreement with the proposed Policies.

It is important to consider the accuracy of the Council’s ‘statements of fact’, whether we object to the proposed policies or other proposals and if so, why.

Accordingly, whether you were able to attend either of  the exhibitions at the Arts Centre (31st May & 25th June) CCS invite you to let us know if you have any:

a. queries
b. concerns
c. comments or
d. objections to the proposals outlined in the Local Plan, Part 2 consultations.

CCS are compiling a list of comments and objections, which has to be lodged with the Council by Monday, 9th July.
We are happy to consider any points you would like to raise and to include them (if appropriate) in our representation to the Council.

Any objections should be supported with evidence, demonstrating how/why the Council’s proposed policies are inaccurate/incomplete/ill thought through.

Please email us before the deadline to be included.

Thank you

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SUCCESSFUL MEETING FOR CRANLEIGH CIVIC SOCIETY WITH WAVERLEY COUNCIL LEADERS

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Cranleigh Civic Society  “Speaking up for Cranleigh”

SUCCESSFUL  MEETING  FOR  CRANLEIGH  CIVIC SOCIETY  WITH  WAVERLEY COUNCIL  LEADERS

Many of you will remember the negative reaction from Waverley Council following the Cranleigh Public Protest Meeting last Summer. Well, relations have improved substantially with a meeting of Cllr. Julia Potts, Leader of the Council, Tom Horwood, Chief Executive, and three Cranleigh Councillors with seven members of the Cranleigh Civic Society Committee. The meeting had been arranged to establish useful and meaningful communication and achieve common ground.

KEY DISCUSSION POINTS –

Infrastructure.

The Civic Society expressed strong concern at the lack of infrastructure following the planned massive growth in housing. The Waverley Local Plan has demanded that Cranleigh MUST build 1,700 extra houses by 2033.

However, in the last three years Cranleigh has experienced planning applications for almost 1,700 houses – most of which have been accepted – so what will happen in the next 15 years? On top of this the Plan has demanded 2,600 houses for Dunsfold Airfield – indeed there has been discussion of up to 6,000 houses for Dunsfold. If this happens our infrastructure will be overwhelmed and the A281 to Guildford will be clogged with traffic.

The Society pointed out that Cranleigh’s access roads are all B-roads or are narrow unclassified lanes – many used as ‘rat runs’. With Cranleigh houses due to be expanded by one-third, and the potential massive development of Dunsfold there will be a major problem of traffic disruption. Terry Stewart asked what plans Highways has for overcoming this disruption.

The Council recognised the potential problems and is working to mitigate the impacts where the Council has control – but road improvements are the responsibility of Surrey County Council. Cllr. Potts proposed that meetings should be held every two months to discuss answers and problems. The Civic Society warmly welcomed this proposal.

Flooding.

A key concern is flooding in Cranleigh and the Council’s decision to allow 55 houses to be built by Thakeham Homes off Elmbridge Road which was in the field most likely to flood. Richard Bryant has discussed this site with the largest UK Home Insurer who have since confirmed that they are well aware of this site and will be very unlikely to offer insurance in view of the very high flood risk.

Being aware of this problem, at the last Cranleigh Flood Forum meeting, Anne Milton MP said she would contact Thakeham to arrange a meeting to discuss the concerns with this site. Not only would buyers of homes on this site face flooding but also smells from Cranleigh Sewerage Treatment Works located the other side of the Elmbridge Road. What a way to start a life in Cranleigh!

Sewerage and Thames Water.

The Society pointed out that the current Sewerage Treatment Works are inadequate to meet the needs of the planned six major development sites. Thames Water state that it is possible to expand the Works. By doing so they would probably be contravening the Water Framework Directive. The Works discharges effluent into the Cranleigh Waters, but in the Summer the stream runs dry so the effluent poisons the fish, which is a serious environmental problem.

The Surrey Wildlife Trust is so concerned that they are arranging special surveys of the Waters. The Society has asked Thames Water for a timetable for improvement – but there has been no response from Thames Water.

Terry Stewart, Society Chairman, paid tribute to the three public Flood Forum meetings that Anne Milton MP has organised in the Bandroom with Thames Water and Council Officers present to try and agree solutions. Cllr. Potts stated that it is disappointing that there is a lack of joined up communication amongst the various agencies, but she would lobby to improve the environmental issues.

Asbestos and Drinking Water.

In addition Thames Water has admitted that 29.6% of the drinking water supply pipes in Cranleigh are made from asbestos cement – some of which are made of blue asbestos.

Recently many of these pipes had burst as they had reached the end of their lifespan – which would release blue asbestos fibres into the drinking water.

The Society strongly demanded that new housing is not connected to the drinking water mains until the drinking water pipes have ALL been replaced and the sewerage works expanded to meet the demand.

Parking.

The Society reported that the car parks in Cranleigh are over 90% full at peak times such as Market Days. With Cranleigh housing increasing by one-third, and the likelihood of many Dunsfold residents shopping in Cranleigh, the car parks will be inadequate.

Cllr Potts responded that a possible option could be to build a double deck car park at the Village Way site, when the Leisure Centre was redeveloped.

The Society had heard that the owner of Stocklund Square was planning to redevelop the site with possible multi level parking – the Society was very concerned at this.

Cllr. Mary Foryszewski encouraged the Society to lobby our councillors before Borough and Parish meetings and meet the Chamber of Commerce to discuss key issues.

KEY OUTCOMES –

– Cllr. Potts proposed that meetings should be held every two months with Cranleigh Civic Society to discuss answers and problems. Cranleigh Society warmly welcomed this proposal.

– Cllr. Potts stated that it is disappointing that there is a lack of joined up communication amongst the various agencies, but she would lobby to improve the environmental issues.

– Cllr. Mary Foryszewski encouraged the Society to speak to Cranleigh Parish councillors before Borough and Parish meetings and meet the Chamber of Commerce to discuss key issues.

Tom Horwood summarised with three proposed actions :

  1. There must be clarity in defining who is responsible for what.
  2. There must be productive meetings, adopting a joined up approach with effective lobbying by the Society.
  3. There must be effective communication with meaningful involvement and the right level of engagement.

Terry Stewart also suggested that the Council introduce effective email Newsletters to improve communication to residents. Other Councils had regular Monthly Newsletters giving new Council policies, decisions and consultations – with key meeting dates, agendas and minutes. Individual Council departments should issue ad hoc Newsletters with their news. ALL residents should be encouraged to sign up to receive Newsletters that were relevant for them.

THIS WAS A PRODUCTIVE AND FRIENDLY MEETING THAT AUGURS WELL FOR FUTURE RELATIONS BETWEEN THE CIVIC SOCIETY AND WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL.

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Cranleigh Flood Forum Update – 18 March 2018

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CRANLEIGH FLOOD FORUM NEWS UPDATE, 18 MARCH 2018

Many of you attended the third Cranleigh Flood Forum on 9 March, hosted by Anne Milton MP, when discussions continued on sewer and surface water pipe misconnections, concerns about the sewage treatment works and Cranleigh Waters, questionable planning decisions by the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) of Waverley Borough Council and other matters.

However the asbestos cement (AC) drinking water pipes and the very controversial approval of the Thakeham homes site in Elmbridge Road dominated the meeting.

We, Cranleigh Civic Society, reported that, just the previous day, we had a high level meeting with a leading Insurer to discuss the insurance implications of both these very real concerns.

This Insurer confirmed what we had heard from a leading Insurer of County, Borough and Town/Parish Councils – this is that, except for a few specialist schemes, all UK Public and Products Liability policies have a total asbestos exclusion. This follows the inhaled asbestos disaster, where claims are still being made, and which is reported to have cost Insurers worldwide $100 billion – and which nearly brought Lloyd’s of London to it’s knees in the 1990s.

So, at the meeting, the we urged Waverley and Thames Water to check their own policies as, if they have no asbestos cover, and asbestos fibres in eroding and bursting drinking water pipes (which make up 29.6% of Cranleigh’s pipes) do lead to ingested asbestos fibre health problems, they could well have to finance both the claims and legal costs out of their own fund – for decades.

Of course, Cranleigh is not alone – this is a matter of concern and receiving attention throughout the World including Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe so we continue to monitor activity worldwide.

Whilst we are pleased Thames Water are starting to replace Cranleigh’s AC pipes, our aim is to seek a cessation of all connections of new housing to the drinking water system until all the AC pipes have been replaced with new, safe plastic pipes. Failure to do so would mean that, as new homes are connected to the existing system, it would result in the flow having to be increased which would lead to faster erosion and more frequent bursts.

We also discussed with the Insurer the decision by Waverley to grant permission for the building of 54 houses on a flood plain – an area which regularly floods seriously with the last occasion being as recently as December 2013.

The JPC ignored the detailed evidence submitted by us and, instead, relied on the report provided by consultants engaged and paid by the applicant, Thakeham Homes. Their representative was even allowed to sit at the planners table – very unorthodox.

Prior to the meeting on 5 October 2017, a member of the JPC submitted his flood risk evidence to the Chair of the JPC but it was ignored. That same member tried to have his evidence considered at the meeting but he was shouted down by the Chair and told to shut up.

The Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) is Surrey County Council and the Flood Risk Management Strategy and Partnerships Team Leader (who attended the Flood Forum) confirmed to a Councillor, in an email dated 21 February 2018, that when considering building on this type of site, the planning “process is in part reliant on robust and accurate feedback from the community” but the JPC chose to ignore this guidance and the detailed evidence, including photos, submitted by Cranleigh Civic Society.

So there is the terrible prospect of families buying new homes built on a flood plain and which are highly likely to flood, with all the dire consequences, because of a seriously flawed planning decision.

When, at the meeting last week, we explained this situation to the Insurance Company it was made very clear that obtaining flood insurance on this site would be very difficult if the Insurer agrees that the evidence presented to them is sound. Top UK Insurers do not rely on the flood maps available to all on websites – they have invested in their own exceptionally detailed flood mapping, so detailed that they can have separate risk classifications for individual houses. They pay particular attention to new housing developments including local knowledge, nearby postcodes, topography and using the very latest technology.

Perhaps the unavailability of flood insurance from reputable Insurers may stop innocent families making the worst financial decision of their lives?

Anne Milton was of the view that a meeting should be arranged with Thakeham Homes, attended by all the relevant organisations, to explain the very real issues with developing this site, and undertook to put this in motion.

Needless to say we welcome this initiative by our MP but will Cranleigh Civic Society be invited? We sincerely hope so!

 

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