Welcome to the Save Newlands Corner web site. Below are links to recent articles and documents for quick access. Please click on the ‘Follow’ button on the bottom right of this screen to receive regular updates from us. Thank you.
Click on the links below to read more on each subject.
Parking Charge Permit Refunds
We are so very pleased to confirm that, at the Surrey County Council Cabinet meeting this afternoon, approval was given to the removal of the parking charges in the Surrey Countryside Estate from 1 April 2020.
The Surrey County Council policy proposal for the Cabinet meeting on 26th November 2019 is recommending that parking charges in the Countryside Estate, including Newlands Corner, cease on 1 April. This is excellent news. We hope the Cabinet accepts the recommendation.
Cllr Witham’s “Sick and Tired” rant
Apparent Manipulation of Vehicle Data in Car Park Charging Plans
The Fight to have Parking Charges Scrapped at Countryside Car Parks Continues with Surrey Live starting a petition.
Be aware – penalty notices are now being issued at Newlands Corner. Remember – you must still take a ticket if you are going to be there less than 20 minutes, otherwise you risk being issued with a penalty notice. All you have to do is go to the machine, press the green button for a ticket and put the ticket on your dashboard. Please don’t get caught – for your sake and to stop these people getting a profit from the site.
We have produced a FACT SHEET detailing the main points of the situation and our thoughts on each topic. See our post ‘Fact Sheet – Summary of the Situation at Newlands Corner‘ or click here to go straight to the document. Latest update: 22nd May 2018.
Common land is under growing threat from urbanisation and development. Moreover, land owners and managers are ignoring the requirements of the Commons Act and the Planning Inspectorate is powerless to do anything about it. The results are being seen at Newlands Corner, and other commons in Surrey, which are being exploited by Surrey County Council.
Please support our petition to highlight the deficiencies of the legislation and to call for change.
Our petition is at:
A Black Day for Newlands Corner – Parking Charges Start Today, 9th July 2018.
Read the Get Surrey article, which details how, via a Freedom of Information request, it now known that Surrey County Council spent nearly £35,000 on plans for play structures at Newlands Corner before the authority decided “not to pursue this proposal” for the moment.
Play Structures Application Pulled by Surrey County Council! Read the full article by clicking here.
We have just learned that Surrey Council Council has ‘pulled’ its application for a play trail.
It threatens to come back to it but it is wonderful news in the meantime. Links to some of the press coverage are below:-
Get Surrey – Play Structures Cancelled – http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/newlands-corner-campaigners-celebrate-after-13588257
Eagle Radio – Development Scrapped – http://www.964eagle.co.uk/news/local-news/2374005/controversial-newlands-corner-development-scrapped
Guildford Dragon – Council Climbs Down – http://www.guildford-dragon.com/2017/09/08/county-council-climbs-newlands-corner-play-trail
Get Surrey – Activities without Permission – http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/newlands-corner-usage-raises-questions-13584101
Thank you so much to everyone who wrote in to object to the SCC application.
The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has published its decision which allows Surrey County Council (SCC) to introduce parking charge equipment onto the Newlands Corner site (see attachments). Whilst disappointing, the result is not unexpected. There have been a number of indicators:
- lack of public inquiry when there really should have been one according to PINS’s own criteria;
- rigid enforcement of the public’s deadline to make representations;
- PINS allowing three extensions to SCC’s deadline to respond to representations, doubling the length of time given in law – even though it does not have the power to do so;
- two significant changes to the application – one which the public was not told about, the second revealed but not properly notified to the public (see next);
- the public being sent a copy of SCC’s response “for information” rather than with the usual invitation to make further representations;
- a dormouse survey and bat survey, completed for the next application (for large artificial play structures) withheld by SCC until 24 hours before the decision. These indicate that licences to work in or near habitats (“mitigation licences”) might be needed for the installation of the parking charge equipment.
The greatest disappointment is the quality of the decision itself. It lacks intellectual rigour, fails to address properly the impacts that the machines will have on the neighbourhood and simply accepts SCC’s vague promises about future monitoring. The main consideration has been sympathy with SCC’s financial situation, rather than with the registered common and natural countryside PINS is there to protect. SCC’s refusal to even provide a financial/business plan has been ignored. There is no consideration of a Friends of Newlands Corner alternative.
Most disturbing is the way the inspector fails to acknowledge that 10 local Councils objected and dismisses the 1,400 objections because of the existence of a Save Newlands Corner campaign. All our campaign has ever done is to try to keep people informed of the facts, set out the issues and counter the misleading information that has flowed out of SCC. It has always been your decision as to what you do with that. The inspector implies that neither you nor elected Councils have any independent thought and that your concerns are not worthy of consideration. That is indefensible.
Natural England has been told about the surveys. We shall see what that brings.
SCC has to apply to itself (unfortunately) for planning permission and to the Planning Inspectorate again for ‘commons consent’ for the play structures. Notices must be placed in the Surrey Advertiser (in ‘Planning applications’ and ‘Public notices’). This may well happen very quickly, within 2-4 weeks, now that the parking charge equipment has been approved.
Save Newlands Corner will oppose the applications.
Nearly 1,400 people objected to SCC’s proposed parking charge infrastructure at Newlands Corner. The Planning Inspectorate has now sent out a copy of SCC’s response to those who objected. To those of you who have received it, please read it carefully. It is what SCC does not say that is just as important as what it does say. (Read a copy of the SCC letter and Planning Inspectorate covering letter by clicking the links below.). Save Newlands Corner concerns are listed on the document linked below.
The Inspectorate has not asked for responses, which it normally does. It considers it has enough information.
APPLICATION REFERENCE COM/3158795 – Commons Act 2006: Section 38. Application to Construct Restricted Works on Common Land at Albury Downs (known as Newlands Corner), Surrey.
The Planning Inspectorate has been inundated with objections to the Surrey County Council plans for Newlands Corner.
You can view the documents we produced regarding this application, just Click Here.
See our article about The People’s Trust for Endangered Species report on, ‘The State of Britain’s Dormice. Newlands Corner is a known habitat for the dormice and we need to protect it. Read more here.
Please see our new post ‘Friends of Newlands Corner Proposal‘. The Surrey Advertiser have covered our proposal. See our ‘In The Press’ section or click on the link here to go to the Get Surrey web site.
We are always happy to have help with everything we are doing, so if you wish to join in you would be very welcome. We are regularly at Newlands Corner speaking with visitors so just speak with one of us or use the ‘Contact Us’ link on this web site.
Public Meeting – 9th March 2016
What an amazing turn out to support the NO vote at the public meeting! See our report of the meeting here.
The Albury and Merrow drop-in sessions were held on 9th February and 24th February respectively. Over 280 of you attended, clearly voicing your displeasure at the proposals. An estimated total of more than 85% of visitors were against the proposals! More details are on this link.
Newlands Corner has a natural, peaceful beauty that is unsurpassed and we believe that it must remain that way. The Surrey County Council and Surrey Wildlife Trust proposals aim to commercialise the site and take away the natural beauty and tranquillity that visitors enjoy. An estimated 550,000 people per year visit Newlands Corner, so clearly the current formula works! There are a multitude of other sites locally that offer play trails and more commercial amenities if people wish for this sort of amenity.
Phase 2 is the construction of a large new café/visitor centre/shopping area with coach park. See New Café and Play Trails Proposals.
The main issues we have with the proposals are:
- The introduction of charging for parking without proper and up to date consultation with the thousands of people who use the site;
- The development of a new, huge cafe, visitor centre and shopping space with a coach park;
- The introduction of trails, one of which is a large, disruptive play trail, thus taking away the natural feel of the site;
- The lack of proper consultation undertaken;
- The impact of additional visitors on road safety at the already dangerous junction with the A25;
- The potential of overflow parking outside of the Newlands parking area;
- The commercialisation of Newlands Corner is wrong.
We additionally have a long list of questions that we have submitted in to SCC for response.