Parish Council Update
Despite the holiday period, the Parish Council have been hard at work. We received eleven Planning applications this past month, nearly double the usual number pre-pandemic. Applications had been coming in at nearly that rate in the previous 3 months as well. We expect this to (and hope it will!) abate in the near future. And as ever, the Council have been working on a number of other matters, including planning for the Platinum Jubilee (covered elsewhere in the magazine this month). If you would like to volunteer, please email our Parish Clerk, Karen Newman, at email@example.com
New Salt Spreader
A new salt spreader has been ordered and recieved, to replace the aging old spreader, the costs of which we have shared with Tatsfield Parish Council and Church Farm Services. We have a supply of salt on hand. Let’s see if the weather this winter warrants gritting the roads. But we are prepared to do the roads that Surrey County Council do not cover.
Protecting our Village Green
You may be aware that large concrete blocks were placed along the village green to protect it from potential incursions and encampments. We borrowed the concrete blocks from Tandridge District Council and they must soon collect them. We have worked with residents and Tandridge District Council to find more permanent and attractive solutions to protecting the village green. We are currently assessing whether we could put a sufficient number of large planters along the Green to protect it.
Surrey Hills AONB Boundary Review
Our beautiful Surrey Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). An AONB is a statutory designation stemming from the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which applies to England and Wales. The designation means that local authorities have: “a permissive power to take action to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the AONBs in their areas.” The Surrey Hills was only the second landscape in England to be designated AONB. It was designated in 1958 and the boundaries have never been reviewed. Until now.
A little over 10 years ago, Natural England commissioned a study to assess evidence for a boundary review. After a positive outcome, additional studies took place to assess whether more areas of land should be considered for AONB designation and protection. And now, an official boundary review of the Surrey Hills has begun. The Parish Council is partnering, with great thanks, with the Woldingham Association, to submit evidence regarding additional areas in or impacting Woldingham that we believe should be considered for AONB designation. Evidence needs to be submitted by the end of January. The review then takes place through June and recommendations are then submitted to Natural England. We hope to protect more of our glorious landscape.
North Downs Golf Club
You may recall that we reported in these pages that the planning application for houses on the North Downs Golf Club, to which we objected, had been refused. The Parish Council also had successfully applied to Tandridge District Council to have the club designated an asset of community value. As the club is now up for sale, this designation gives the community the right to bid for it. The Parish Council is working with others in the community to raise funds to bid for the NDGC and protect the land for posterity. We may not be successful, but at this unique juncture in time, when wild belts are being created to help fight the climate crisis, the AONB is potentially being expanded and Surrey County Council has funds available for big projects, the Parish Council felt it must try. If you wish to help, please email our Parish Clerk, Karen Newman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parish Councillor Vacancies
We need your help. We have two vacancies for Parish Councillors. All you need is time and energy to help the village. If you would like to meet with some Councillors, we would be happy to talk to you about the work we do. And why not attend a Council meeting to see it for yourself. The Parish Council meet the last Wednesday of every month. If you are interested in attending a meeting or would like to know more, please email our clerk, Karen Newman, at email@example.com.
Chairman Deborah Sherry