Another bit of a stink in Cranleigh’s troubled waters?

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 17.30.21.pngWhat is it about the statutory authorities responsible for managing “Your Waverley” who seem to be of the opinion they can do what they like when they like – ignoring the well-tried and tested planning rules?

The very same rules they expect the rest of us to live by!

After receiving Cranleigh Civic Society’s  Odour Assessment Survey, Surrey County Council’s  Planning Enforcement Team is  now investigating whether Thames Water should have applied for planning permission, and carried out a full odour impact assessment, prior to expanding  Cranleigh’s Sewage Treatment Works.

Now there’s a  surprise!

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Welcome new homeowners to – “Stinksville” the new name for  Cranleigh

In May the  C C S, Cranleigh Parish Council, Surrey Wildlife Trust and ‘Your Waverley”  met with Thames Water and the Environment Agency at Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works (STW) on Elmbridge Road.  They were gathered there in the sight of sewage to discuss capacity issues and concerns about pollution from the liquid effluent discharge (by-product of sewage treatment) into Cranleigh Waters.

At that meeting Thames Water confirmed that the STW was being expanded from 6 filter beds to 8, a 30% increase in filtration capacity, to improve resilience at the SWT in response to capacity issues.

The CCS  told  Thames Water that when it carried out some minor works  in 2010, it should  have  applied for Planning Permission and carry out an Odour Impact Assessment.

The Waverley Web wonders why it takes a local amenity society to tell a statutory authority how to suck eggs, or in this case smell the sewage stink, which according to the locals has been  a  cloud hanging over West Cranleigh for years?

Triggered by  complaints , Thames Water was  asked why it hadn’t followed this process for the current works ?

Its response,  “permitted development”. Where have we heard that one before? Pull the other leg it has effluent stuck to it. However, the CCS questioned  this explanation.

So in  July it  conducted its  own survey to find out whether there  was an odour problem from the sewage works.

 Forms were delivered to 330 households within an 800m radius of the Cranleigh Sewage Treatment Works (STW), 104 survey forms (32%) were returned. The aim  – to identify if residents suffered from the stink; had reported their concerns  to Thames Water or ‘Your Waverley;”   and  were they even aware of the treatment works’ enlargement? 

Of the respondents, 71% of households had experienced odour problems, however only 16% of households had complained directly to Thames Water or ‘Your Waverley”, and 93% wanted Thames Water to carry out a full Odour Impact Assessment before proceeding with further work on site.

So there you have it!

The survey results revealed  a high level of concern from residents living within 800m concerning the stink  emanating from the STW, but most failed to report it, probably because they knew their concerns would  be ignored.

One resident said; “I didn’t know I could complain”.

The survey also revealed that the stink was, “distressing,” spoiled the enjoyment of their homes, particularly during hot weather when they have to close their windows and go indoors, because of mosquito’s and the stench.

Welcome to  Cranleigh where there are plans to build 1,500 new ones and where permissions for 700 new homes have already been granted. Oh! and just in case you wondered which direction  the 500/600 hundred new homes proposed in Alfold and Dunsfold’s poo is going – yes the Cranleigh poo factory!

 However, Dunsfold Park is building its own modern sewage works. And its effluent , will not be going anywhere near Cranleigh. phew! That’s a relief!

Against this background and the advice given in DEFRA’s “Odour Guidance for Local Authorities, 2010”,  the survey results have been given to ‘Your Waverley”  for them to investigate. Who, needless to say, have passed it on to Surrey County Council, who will pass it on to… and collect £200 when they pass GO!

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