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Letter: Newlands Corner – Is the County Council Really Listening To Us?

Newlands CornerFrom Valerie Thompson

After the riotous meeting at Holy Trinity Church, regarding developments at Newlands Corner, I find it horrifying that a report in the Surrey Advertiser (18 March), refers to SCC’s proposals for a play trail, as if it is a foregone conclusion that such erections are going ahead.

Surrey County Council (SCC) say: “they have listened to the public….” Were the SCC team all deaf?

The meeting clearly expressed vigorous objections to the whole idea of play-trails.  People did not want these structures at all; the 200+ members of the public who were there, were almost unanimous.

I wonder if SCC has done sufficient consultation with the public, to justify, legally, the employment of play-trail designers, at some enormous expense? I think not!

They will have spent considerable sums, which will take many years of parking charges to recover, let alone the actual cost of building the five wooden features, the largest of which, with crude, rough stakes sticking out of the top of two towers, would be visible for miles around.

The fact that SCC now says there will be just five features, rather than the ten originally planned makes no difference to people’s opinions, and demonstrates, even more, what a waste of money their whole scheme has been.

Many comments have already been made about the need to retain natural, beautiful and historically free, attractions.  The countryside needs no artificial enhancements to draw thousands of visitors, with or without dogs, children, motorbikes, walking sticks or thermos flasks every year.

SCC must be made to listen and to act on public opinion, not ignore local residents.

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4 Responses to Letter: Newlands Corner – Is the County Council Really Listening To Us?

  1. John Oliver Reply

    March 19, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    The fact that SCC say they are reducing to only five features not only makes no difference.

    As we all know in planning tactics, first establish the principle and then expand later. I have no doubt that this is the intention.

  2. Allen Johnson Reply

    March 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Surrey County Council is seduced into chasing easy money from car parking charges and structural building developments that will change Newlands Corner forever.

    Our natural countryside legacy belongs to future generations; it is not ours to lose unless you are Surrey County Councillor Goodman who is also on the Board of Surrey’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    SCC sees the natural countryside as an asset to plunder and will try to do it at any cost. I for one cannot wait until the ballot box comes around and I can vote against the people who abuse the privilege that comes with being elected to do precisely what the greater public do not want.

    We need to resist by writing to Cllrs Goodman and Hodge.

  3. Julie Brown Reply

    March 19, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    SCC leader David Hodge said in his speech to council on 15th March, ‘…I believe that when taking decisions, residents should be at the heart of each and every decision we take…’, …’this conservative council is committed to listening to our residents..’.

    SCC are not listening to us and they are not consulting with us on these decisions. They are just bulldozing ahead with these proposals with little regard to the overwhelming majority of Surrey residents who do not want these play structures. It is a disgrace.

    These proposals are unwanted and are simply a waste of public money.

  4. Pam Keale Reply

    March 19, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    Well said Valerie Thompson. I am horrified at the thought of the destruction that would be caused to the unique surroundings at Newlands Corner even by the work putting in the horrific artificial ‘play sites’.

    We are trustees of our countryside, and cannot sacrifice it to allow SCC/SWT/Albury Estate to use our money to impose these developments for their long term financial gain. Parking charges and a ‘play trail’ are the thin edge of the wedge. Further ‘attractions’ such as commercial cafe, ‘shopping activities’, etc. are also on their agenda, to bring in more visitors.

    Surely, it is obvious that these commercial developments are not desirable, necessary and are not required by local people and visitors alike.

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