More Gypsies and Travellers could​ be on their way to Farnham Dunsfold and Cranleigh if the Local Plan part 2 is approved.

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Part 2 of Waverley’s Local Plan is presently out to Consultation.

Consultation on the preferred options will end in June. There will be a pre-submission consultation from October until December this year with the Plan being submitted in February 2019 for adoption later in the year.

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We wonder what this think tank would make of the local challenge to prevent building on Milford Golf Course?

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In a nutshell – Mr and Mrs Tim House of Milford are seeking permission from the High Court to challenge the inclusion of land near their home close to  Milford Golf Course in Waverley’s (not so daft) Local Plan.

Read more here: We must talk about that Milford Golf Course covenant and that challenge by Mr House of the Local Plan!

But here’s where  The Centre For Cities believes development should go.http://www.centreforcities.org/blog/consensus-green-belt-reform-growing-pressure-government-act/

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Milford Station is adjacent to the land in question and within walking distance of the station! 

Another – Puff of Wind – from You know who!

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How to flog a dead horse until its bones rattle! Protect Our Waverley takes on yet another Judicial Review – this time against – Dunsfold Airfield!

 

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Editor’s Note: Protect our Little Corner claims to represent ‘a very large and continually growing number of concerned Waverley residents whose interest is in sustainable, balanced and appropriate development. We are seeking development to be led by a robust Local Plan and sustainable developments that meet local need as encouraged under the NPPF.’

Trouble is they have 339 followers, which is a mere 0.27% of the population of Waverley, which was 121,572 at the 2011 census!

Never mind flogging a dead horse, this particular horse’s bones are rattling!

Ah! well, that is the price we pay for democracy – another shedload of taxpayers’ money on its way to the legal beavers!

Potts lambasts the challengers of Waverley’s Local Plan as “despicable.”

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Potts goes Potty… AGAIN!

 


POW (Protect Our Waverley) the CPRE (Campaign for the Preservation of Rural England) and Mr and Mrs House (though she didn’t mention them by name) came in for a right rollicking from leader Julia  Potts at the Full Council meeting on Tuesday.

She began her tirade of chastisement gently saying  “how extremely disappointed” she was, by the three legal challenges, and how “unfair” it was of “them” to involve local taxpayers in £200,000 plus of legal costs.

But then she revved up the rhetoric, saying: ” I am appalled  I am absolutely horrified that these groups want to waste taxpayers money by trying to   sabotage the Local Plan – it is despicable.”

She said both POW (a limited company) and the CPRE had ticked the box on the legal papers marked AARHUS  (The Arthur’s convention which set a limit on costs of £5,000 for individuals and £10,000 for companies) – thereby limiting their individual costs to just £10,000 whilst the cost to the borough would be huge.

But she warned, all challenges would be defended robustly, with no stone unturned, all those involved in the Judicial Review had been given ample opportunity to have their say since 2013, and their concerns had been heard, listened to, and debated upon. The Local Plan was approved and would be fiercely defended.

Cranleigh Councillor Mary Foryszewski shared her “anger” and asked would the courts allow the challengers  to risk so little of their money after forcing  the Council to, “Spend, spend, spend.”

Councillor Jed Hall said – “the armchair pressure groups” should not be allowed to undermine local, and national planning decisions.

… However,  not everyone agreed.

Farnham Residents’ Councillor Jerry Hyman side-swiped the leader Julia Potts for her inexcusable use of the word “despicable” saying to describe Waverley residents as “despicable” was taking too harsh a line. “We should respect our residents’ and their right to challenge – if the courts decide they are wrong then so be it. But it was their right”  He said there were also many other residents of the borough who believed it was wrong that Waverley should be forced to take part of Woking’s unmet housing need.

Councillor Wyatt Ramsdale – admitted he wasn’t a massive fan of the LP,’ but, “this plan is better than no plan. Our residents have every right to criticise but the NIMBY approach here is just for their particular area!”

Planning Portfolio Holder Councillor Christopher Storey stressed that the Local Plan meant Waverley was no longer Developer-led, but Plan lead, and it carried full weight and would be defended. Any attempt to question its entirety would destroy the council’s credibility.

A Question from Godalming Councillor Paul Follows “What if the challenge succeeded?” fell on deaf ears!

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Have a guess how much money, NOT having a Local Plan, has cost the Waverley borough?

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HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS!

The mathematicians in one small part of the borough – but an area most affected by not having an up-to-date blueprint for development, has had the abacus out! And Cranleigh Civic Society’s findings make grim reading, they are quite simply – staggering! Particularly if these figures are extrapolated across all the major towns.

 At last, we have a LOCAL PLAN, but even that is now the subject of three separate Judicial Reviews to be heard in the High Court shortly!

An agreed LOCAL PLAN gives Waverley Planners power to control future housing development; they can plan for the development of new infrastructure, roads, railways, schools, hospitals etc.  More important it enables the Borough Council to charge house builders a COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY known as CIL for short. 

What is  CIL?

 CIL raises monies towards the cost of the new Infrastructure needed for developments to go ahead. What a wonderful step forward we all exclaim!! and so it is. But what of the housing already approved? 2,000 houses and growing every day throughout the borough. 

Unfortunately, CIL is not retrospective.

How much will Waverley charge? www.waverley.gov.uk/CIL

Waverley’s draft proposal sets a CIL rate of £395/ Sq Metre of floor area for all new housing, (about £40,000 on an average 3-bed house), except quite reasonably for “Affordable Housing” where there is no charge. So taking the 35% of Affordable Housing the Borough is committed to building away from the approximately 2,000 houses so far approved, there will be a loss of CIL to the tune of a minimum £60 MILLION pounds. £60 MILLION pounds that will NOT be available to improve our ROADS, our SCHOOLS, our HOSPITALS, our BOROUGH!!

 How could this have happened we may ask? It happened because our planning officers at Waverley failed to come up with a plan that satisfied the Government’s criteria for a LOCAL PLAN.

How a Local Plan is developed by the Borough Planners

The basic criteria affecting us as council tax payers was to identify suitable sites for new housing. This has to satisfy the Central Government’s housing policy, a requirement that was for about 350 houses a year until 2032. Woking BC have had an agreed  Local Plan for some years that has now proved inadequate, so the inspector added a further 150 or so houses per year to WBC’s to cover their shortfall! So WBC’s Yearly requirement rose to 509 houses until 2032 (a total of 7,126 houses) 35% of which must be “Affordable”. Plus a further rise to 590 was deemed necessary by the inspector recently to take account of some of Woking’s unmet need. 

What of democracy?

Of these 7,126 houses, a minimum of 4,300, rising to perhaps 5,000 are planned for CRANLEIGH and DUNSFOLD, with the balance spread around the rest of the Borough; We have to ask – just how democratic is that?

 Improvements to our Local Roads and Rail?

Perhaps we could have a new road to rescue us from the A281 Blight? Unfortunately not: there will, however, there will be a new roundabout at Shalford. The Elmbridge Road and Bramley crossroads junctions will be reconfigured, There will also be a new Canal bridge at Elmbridge but no new bridge over the old Railway.

What of the Railway?

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So if anyone comes along with a cunning plan for introducing a new railway line – “the movement corridor’ is protected! So watch out By-Pass Byham you may get what you wished for!

What of DUNSFOLD AERODROME?

There is a plan for 1,800 homes, plus businesses,, shops, a school, a medical centre approved by the Government.  The adopted Local Plan, now being challenged also includes increasing this to £2,600.

Dunsfold, due to its approval when 106 agreements were applicable and due to the limitation CIL would have on this major development there will be NO CIL. However, the Dunsfold developer will be contributing well over £50m towards a whole series of infrastructure improvements, not just the five included in CIL contributions.

And that is just the East of the Borough. Maybe, someone over here in Farnham will do the maths here?

Much of this article was contributed to the Waverley Web by the Cranleigh Civic Society, we have however made a few minor alterations in the interest of accuracy and the up-to-date situation on challenges to the Local Plan.

 

We must talk about that Milford Golf Course covenant and that challenge by Mr House of the Local Plan!

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As “Your Waverley’ keeps the champagne on ice – here’s one of the reasons why OUR LOCAL PLAN has been halted in its tracks!

houyseshouse.jpgThe very thorough Bea at the Haslemere Herald featured the issue of Mr House’s Covenant on Milford Golf Course, which is now the subject of a legal challenge to the Local Plan.

According to the Herald’s busy little Bea, in the Local Plan part one, surplus land at Milford Golf Club was allocated as a ‘strategic’ site for 180 houses, although it is in the green belt. Government Inspector Jonathon Bore has requested it’s GB status be removed to help meet Waverley’s and some of Woking’s housing targets.

However,  the land is the subject of a restrictive covenant owned by adjoining householders who are determined to prevent a major development on their doorstep.

The historic covenant allows some development, but not on such a large scale. It stipulates “one detached dwelling house to the acre with one lodge and one cottage suitable for and intended for occupation by a gardener, chauffeur or other employees of the occupier of the said dwelling house”.

Let’s all hark back to the ‘good old days’ when we all had housekeepers, gardeners and indeed the new must-have  –  a chauffeur.

Mr House seems to be relying on this very old-fashioned covenant, in a document he is yet to disclose to the Council or the Planning Inspector. The Covenant doesn’t save the site from development, in fact, it actually encourages development! 

As the ‘Houses’ (very apt name for a lawyer attempting to prevent just that) but acknowledges, the total number of units which could be built consistent with the covenant is 81: 27 main dwelling houses together with up to two units of staff accommodation on each plot (see §29 of counsel’s opinion).

Whether 27 or 81 is used as the number of units that could be built consistent with the covenant, any additional disruption would not be sufficiently substantial to satisfy the test.

The existing house is well set back from the boundary line and shielded by a mature boundary of trees and hedgerow. The house cannot be seen from the development land. In addition, there is no good evidence (indeed any evidence) to show that any reduction in value to the House’s land would be significantly affected regardless of whether the development was 27, 81 or 180 units.

Waverley’s detailed response to the Local Plan inspector about the covenant – [link] with some excerpts highlighted below:

Haslemere Herald report of Local Plan February 2018

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No doubt the High Court will be viewing those conveyancing documents soon?!

The controversial consultation on 180 homes on Milford Golf Course – begins.

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See if you can spot Milford Man’s great big pad- next to the golf course, and near the railway station, below?

Milford man is just one of the band of three challenging Waverley’s Local Plan. Read it by clicking on the link below.

Read all about him here: While Farnham man rejoiced, Milford Man WAS BUSY TRYING TO SCUPPER THAT DAMNED PLAN!

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But remember CPRE – more land in Surrey is under Golf Courses than housing – at the moment:

 

Potts goes…potty!

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… and who can blame her?

After all her hard work and all that heavy-lifting, dragging Waverley Borough and its Council into the 21st century, creating and adopting a long overdue Local Plan, Protect our Little Corner of Awfold, Duncefold, Kerchingfold and Where-has-all-the-traffic-combe-from have waited until two minutes to midnight to throw a hand grenade into the room!

Together with the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and the ineptly named Mr & Mrs House (seriously, you couldn’t make that one up!!!) PoW have launched a legal challenge over the adoption of Waverley’s Local Plan!

Call us cynical but we – and pretty much everyone else who knows anything about it – suspect that this is POW’s cunning ploy to scupper the planning consent just granted to Dunsfold Park. The infamous Bob Lies and cohorts are simply re-running the same old, same old arguments they ran at the recent Dunsfold Park Inquiry.

ANOTHER circa £200,000 down the borough drains!

As for CPRE, their knickers are knotted over Woking’s unmet housing need, which was added to Waverley’s numbers, resulting in an additional 83 houses per annum to Waverley’s target. OK, we get it, it’s not ideal but what CPRE fails to tell the public in its indignant, self-righteous justification for its actions is, that if it gets leave to appeal, not only will that leave Waverley totally exposed because it won’t have an adopted Local Plan but residents will have to cough up circa £200,000 to defend CPRE’s action!

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No wonder Potts has gone off on one! She said: I am appalled that we have to spend money on legal expenses AGAIN when we could be spending it on services – £200k at a time when, as a council, we face enormous financial challenges and are doing our utmost to deliver and protect key frontline services for our residents.’

Too damn right! And as Waverley council tax payers, we at the Waverley Web fully endorse, Potts’ assertion that the Council will ‘pursue full reimbursement of all legal costs we incur [and] these campaigning pressure groups must understand that this irresponsible abuse of public money will not be tolerated by Waverley Borough Council and its residents.’

We never thought we would find ourselves saying this but – deep breath

‘THREE CHEERS FOR POTTS!’

Now here’s a thought: why not give CPRE £200,000 to go away? After all, we all know these so-called rural campaigners are open to a spot of bribery!

We’ve all heard the one about how Clive Smith, the Surrey Hills AONB Planning Adviser (and bosom buddy of CPRE, whose AONB Board he sits on) repeatedly objected to Lakshmi Mittal’s £30 million mansion that he wanted to build in the Surrey Hills until, finally, finally, FINALLY, the billionaire took the oft repeated hints dropped by Mr Smith and his colleagues and greased the palm of the Surrey Hills Trust with £250,000 of silver and then suddenly – but entirely unsurprisingly – Mr Smith did a complete volte face and withdrew all his objections! Result! A win for the Surrey Hills AONB and a win for Mr Mittal, who got his planning permission.

Just goes to show everyone has their price – even so-called rural crusaders!

The hypocritical Clive Smith even went so far as to sing for his cheque by rocking up at the billionaire’s estate, quaffing his Champagne whilst bad mouthing all other development in the Surrey Hills! We know we’re repeating ourselves but, seriously folks, you couldn’t make it up! if only these people could see themselves as others see them … Now you know where Cheque book Clive got his sobriquet!

So there you have it, Leader Potts, it’s just a thought but why not take a leaf out of Mr Mittal’s book and call down to the Accounts Department and ask them to write CPRE a cheque for £200k to make them go away? OK, you won’t save any money but you’ll save yourself and your officers a shed-load of work and stress and you could save local residents from having several concrete mixers full of more housing dumped on us!

Eh?

Durrrh! You really need to read the small print!

What CPRE’s Surrey Director, Andy Smith, didn’t tell us when he was sounding off, is that if Waverley’s Local Plan fails and a new one has to be created Waverley could end up with even higher housing numbers being dumped on its green and pleasant fields because the Government will shortly be bringing out yet another new method for calculating housing numbers so we could end up with even more houses rather than less!!!

The words Be careful what you wish for come to mind …

PS. For those of you who’re wondering where Mr & Mrs House fit into the scheme of things, see our post of 7 April. And for those who can’t be bothered, here’s a quick resume: They’re just your average Surrey NIMBYs. They object to a proposal to build 130 houses on a golf course near them and as Mr House boasts of a successful 30-year career as a litigator, what’s he got to lose? After all, with his salary and bonus package, he can afford to dig deep if Waverley goes for costs!

While Farnham man rejoiced, Milford Man WAS BUSY TRYING TO SCUPPER THAT DAMNED PLAN!

 

D-Day for Dunsfold! But don’t hold your breath!

Remember – You heard it here first!

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It’s only taken a mere 16 years for the Flying Scot to learn today that his ambitious plans to turn  Dunsfold Aerodrome into an eco-village fit for the 21st century, complete with 1800 homes, a primary school, GP surgery and all the essential elements required to support day-to-day living has – at very long last – been consented.  And, by no less a personage than Sajid Javid the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Some would argue that amidst the growing hullabaloo about a lack of affordable housing.  The Tories’ alleged commitment to riding roughshod over the concerns of NIMBY residents and Councils’ in their determination to show they care – really, REALLY care! – about the housing crisis, there was no way they could afford to turn this application down but, by God, they’ve had a bloody good try!

Mistress Anne Milton, MP for Guildford, has made no bones about her opposition to the scheme from the get-go and – despite her colleague Dominic Raab’s call for ‘more affordable homes’ to ‘restore the dream of homeownership.’ She openly boasted how she’d whipped S of S  Javid into calling in the planning application in the hope he would overturn Waverley Council’s decision in December 2016 to grant consent.

 Rumour has it, deep in the burrow of the Burys, that Council Leader, Julia Potts, was so incensed at Mistress Milton’s unwarranted interference, that the two fell out BIG time!

A week to the day  Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey was outed by The Sun as a budding buy-to-let property-mogul – with more than a casual interest in keeping would-be homeowners tied into the rental market. Now – Javid, it would seem, has finally grown a pair and told his erstwhile colleagues they not only need to toe the party line but be seen to toe the party line in their own constituencies!

But a word of caution to the Flying Scot before he starts doing the Highland Fling:

Perhaps he should ask himself will his joy be short-lived? Remember …back in December 2016, when Your Waverley granted consent and, only weeks later, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory, when, at Annie’s and SHunt’s behest, (S of S) Javid ruled he would have the final say on Dunsfold Park’s future?

Waverley Web has no doubt as we write, Protect our little Corner of Awfold, Duncefold, Ker-Chingfold and Where-Has–All-the-Traffic-Combe-From is dusting off its begging bowls and door-stepping its supporters, asking them to dig deep – just one more time! WHY? To fund the final leg of its marathon act of NIMBYISM, to launch a Judicial Review of both the Dunsfold Park decision and the Local Plan!

Surely not, we hear you say! Why not?

 Because they can! 

With cheer-leader-in-chief’s  Mistress Milton’s backing, and a bit of behind the bikesheds manoeuvring from Jeremy Shunt-All-the-Houses elsewhere, these suburban terrorists – yes, we did say suburban!  This is Surrey, an extension of Greater London, not deepest-darkest-Dorset – have, for in excess of 10 long years, waged a very successful campaign to deny the children and grandchildren of their less-well-off neighbours any opportunity of getting a foothold on the property ladder within spitting distance of Awfold, Duncefold, Ker-Chingfold, etc and anywhere in between.

After all, it’s only 18 years since BAE Systems vacated Dunsfold Aerodrome … so what’s the hurry to make a decision about its future? We need to consult, consult, and CONSULT… with the dormouse (AKA Sarah Sullivan), the Bat (AKA Councillor Betty Ames), the Bullfrogs (AKA Councillor Betty Ames and the Leader of PoW, Bob Lees) not to mention Uncle Tom Cobbley (AKA Squire Orange) …  get the picture?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world, China plans to build 66 new airports in the next five years. And we wonder why we lost an Empire and are a declining world power … Go figure!

Isn’t it time PoW and the ilk stopped the monotonous moaning, got over themselves and embraced Sajid Javid’s decision and, in the words of the Beetles: [Just] let it be …

Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Interesting in this Press Release to concentrate on the often overlooked employment aspects!

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Will Dunsfold Aerodrome become home to 6,000 – yes really, six thousand, new homes?

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That’s what the Chairman of Cranleigh Civic Society predicted when he urged its members to be vigilant and sign up to fight for Cranleigh through the organisation he now leads. 

Although the CCS chairman claimed that consent had already been granted for 1,800 homes  WW believes he meant that Waverley planners had granted consent.  A final decision by the Secretary of State for Communities is expected next week  29th March. The Local Plan includes a figure of 2,600.

Over here in Farnham, we learned from our Cranleigh followers that concern is growing for the new town that nestles in the Surrey Hills! So much so, that with 1,357  homes already consented,  there are fears that with many more to come, both there, and in the surrounding villages, the local infrastructure will not cope!

CRANLEIGH”S RECENT FLOOD FORUM NEWS.

MP Anne Milton and her Flood Forum team which including representatives from Thames Water, Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council responded to questions which had been sent to her in advance, including those from the Cranleigh Civic Society. She said she, and concerned villagers,  now wanted some answers.

She urged the public to look at Cranleigh Parish Council’s website for news. http://www.cranleighpc.org/_VirDir/CoreContents/News/Display.aspx?id=11210

Around 60 people, including a handful of borough/or parish councillors heard from the ‘experts’ of any progress made since the last meeting.

Present: The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP (Chair); Waverley Borough Council (WBC): William Gibb, Planning Enforcement; Nick Laker, Engineer; Beverley Bell, Clerk, Cranleigh Parish Council; Sarah Coleby, Office of Anne Milton MP; Nishad Sowky, Thames Water; Paul Hudson, Environment Agency (EA);  Tor Peebles, Surrey County Council (SCC); Parish Councillors –  Brian Freeston; Angela Richardson; and borough councillor Patricia Ellis.

MISCONNECTIONS TO THE MAINS

Nishad Sowky, Thames Water said this was an ongoing battle and his organisation relied heavily upon intelligence provided by the public.   A specialist engineer had been appointed and action planned. However, he stressed, TW couldn’t enforce any action required only Waverley Borough Council was permitted to do this. It was suggested homeowners should be required to provide evidence of approval if it was believed illegal connections had been made. 

It was revealed that Cranleigh’s foul sewer was inundated with surface water or ingress from groundwater.  With more housing, it was suggested that 12 times dry weather flow may be required, and a total upgrade was required to accommodate both current housing and the large-scale development now approved.

Database:

Cllr Townsend had previously requested a hotspot database be provided as she believed that residents local knowledge was crucial in identifying problems. These should be reported to the Parish Council, in addition to the relevant agencies, e.g. Thames Water/WBC’s Environmental Health/Environment Agency as appropriate.

Cranleigh Waters:  Thames Water confirmed that the wet weather flow is 10 times the dry weather flow – whereas tank capacity is 6 times dry weather flow.

PLANNING

Waverley planners reported that the Local Plan includes a general policy on avoiding pollution and included measures for mitigating flooding.  

It was stressed that flooding occurred less when the EA maintained the river, and that annual maintenance was vital.  The importance of Riparian owners honouring their responsibilities was stressed, but the EA should move any obstructions whenever a  specific flood risk existed.

Commenting on a decision made by Waverley’s Joint Planning Committee described as ‘awful’ by the CCS  for 55 homes on a flood plain in Elmbridge Road, where Thakeham Homes scheme for  55 homes was granted despite huge local opposition,  Tor Peebles (SCC) suggested that Waverley councillors who granted such schemes would benefit from improved knowledge of drainage issues! He believed councillors would benefit from extra training.

William Gibb, Planning Enforcement Waverley, suggested that some junior planning officers also lacked sufficient knowledge of drainage issues.

Mr Peebles also reiterated his claim that the National Standard for Sustainable Urban Drainage Schemes (SUDS) were not fit for purpose and gave as an example of a development on the river Test in Hampshire, where (SUDS) provided for new properties had now flooded! After receiving his letter on SUDS standards, the MP said she would take his concerns to a Government Minister.

LOCAL ISSUES

Cranleigh Waters: Thames Water confirmed it had written to the owner of West Cranleigh Nurseries who, it is alleged, had illegally dredged the river. He said Waverley planners were aware of the breach and conditions would be imposed when its detailed planning application for the first phase of 265 homes was considered!

 Planning Applications: The Cranleigh Society remained concerned about developments granted planning permission with no apparent objection by the EA, SCC or Thames Water, particularly the Thakeham Homes development.

Residents said it was ‘a disgrace’ that planners and the EA preferred to accept a developers evidence over anecdotal and photographic evidence provided by residents.  Work was carried out by Adrian Clarke (Cranleigh Society) and Doug Hill (SCC) in 2015 to map the floodplain, including collecting and providing photographic evidence. They claimed this had not been properly considered and taken into account by SCC as the lead Flood Authority.

The MP said she would seek a meeting with Thakeham Homes and Cranleigh representatives. 

DRINKING WATER CONCERNS

Thames Water claimed blue asbestos found in Cranleigh’s pipes were not a danger to public health. as there was a very low concentration. However, 3.38 km of water pipes would be replaced. This includes Mapledrakes Road, Godalming Road; Satchel Court Road; Barhatch Lane, Sapte Close, and Cromwell Road.

It was pointed out to the TW representative that most of the roads mentioned weren’t actually in Cranleigh but in other towns and villages including Alfold, Godalming and Ewhurst! And… if only 3.8 km of pipework was being replaced… this was a very small proportion of the work required! 

The meeting heard that a response from The World Health Organisation through The Drinking Water Inspectorate (Sue Pennison) was still awaited. Residents commented that New Zealand and Australia were not waiting for the WHO’s decision,  but had begun a huge replacement programme!