Representatives from Save Newlands Corner (SNC) went to the Surrey Countryside Access Forum meeting yesterday (16th April). Surrey County Council (SCC) was giving an update on rural parking charges. Lisa Creaye-Griffin, Head of the SCC Countryside Group, said that parking charges will be introduced on a phased basis at Newlands Corner and the other five sites involved (Ockham, Rodborough, Norbury Park, Chobham and Whitmoor) by mid-July.  SCC said work would begin at Newlands Corner today.  The sad news is that we can confirm that it has indeed started – posts along the roadside to stop parking on the verges when charges are introduced. 

SNC asked again what we have been asking since October (eight times) and that is “What is the legal basis for introducing charges at Newlands Corner?”. For the second time, we were told that it has been referred to the SCC legal department and that we would receive an answer in due course.  Considering that they intended to introduce charges two years ago, you would think that they would know the legal position by now. We are staying on the case with this!

The good news is that the Albury Estate is undertaking work to help protect the ancient yews on the site.  The woodland has been neglected for many years and the yews have been suffering damage from a variety of causes.  One ancient tree has died and some others have signs of stress.  So, it is good to see this work happening, with the likelihood of further measures being taken to conserve these venerable and ecologically-valuable trees.