The town dubbed by Waverley Planners as ‘Poor Old Cranleigh’ has now been joined by the residents of ‘Poor Old Haslemere’ as they suffer the ignominy of running out of water!
Showers are either dribbling or have ceased completely, and there is not enough pressure to turn on taps in homes where water has been leaking underground for months, and in some cases years! Calls to Thames Water have gone unheeded, and some families have been told they are ‘not a priority’ and will have to wait months for underground leaks to be fixed.
Right around the villages, the pressure is low, with many homes having no pressure at all.
In Haslemere Thames Water is delivering lorry loads of water to residents at the Leisure Centre, whilst telling them to restrict their water consumption and warning of a possible hosepipe ban! This has infuriated gardeners, who claim they are very responsible and only sparingly watering plants in pots, which is more than can be said for the water companies who, have, and are still allowing millions of gallons of water to be lost through leaks and burst pipes.
Cranleigh borough councilors have repeatedly warned Waverley Officers that Cranleigh, in particular, was highly vulnerable. But their pleas were ignored when planning officers claimed it was up to the statutory authorities to provide enough water and sewerage capacity to existing and new homes, and not theirs! Their priority was to ensure the borough had a five-year land supply and Cranleigh and the eastern villages, as well as Farnham, would have to take the lions share of the borough’s future housing requirements.
Over one and half thousand homes are now presently under construction in the new town and despite repeated objections from Cranleigh Parish Council, The Civic Society, AND SOME borough councillors and individuals consents continue apace. Problems with a creaking infrastructure were forewarned in the numerous planning applications when a lack of water supply highlighted by Thames Water was predicted, unfortunately, this has all too soon impacted on Cranleigh.
The parish council is urging residents to check on their elderly neighbours who may be unable to get out, particularly in the baking temperatures, to carry bottles of water.
The problem has been caused in part by a power failure at a Thames Water reservoir and the high volume of water used during the long heatwave. There is no mention of the huge volume of burst pipes that have been identified during the construction of new homes and which requires increased water pressure.