MESSAGE FROM MARY ADKINS, “WANBOROUGH FIELDS” PETITION
For information, our petition has gained 259 signatures towards our objective of 500.
“Wanborough Fields” have been parcelled up into small lots and are being sold by a land-banker to “investors”. This agricultural Green Belt land, stretching from the Hog’s Back down to Westwood Lane and along towards Christmas Pie, is additionally designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty/Area of Great Landscape Value.
Our issue is that a beautiful, historic landscape is under imminent threat from a network of mis-matched fencing, field shelters, hard-standing and activities such as car boot sales or clay shoots, all of which are allowed on agricultural land under permitted development. An article 4 Direction would replace permitted development and require landowners to seek planning permission. Guildford Borough Council’s Planning Director has rejected our request for an Article 4 Direction despite the clear wish of the Wanborough community (expressed by a unanimous vote at a meeting in October); the support of the Surrey Hills AONB’s planning adviser and a review by a planning enforcement officer.
We’ve launched an online petition on the borough council’s website urging it to change its mind about rejecting an Article 4 Direction for our Wanborough Fields.
If we get more than 500 signatures our ePetition will be referred for debate at a meeting of the full council.
When we get the signatures and our debate in council, we can explain why an Article 4 Direction on Wanborough Fields is essential, not just for Wanborough but for Surrey’s landscape heritage too.
Please sign and persuade anyone living or working in Guildford borough to do so as well: your partners, adult children, relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours. We need those 500 signatures.
There are two ways to sign
- Click to register on Guildford Borough Council’s ePetition website here: http://www2.guildford.gov.uk/councilmeetings/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=15. When you’ve registered, click the link again to sign. For information, the petition is called “Wanborough Fields”.
- Google “Guildford Council current ePetitions”
- Click on “Wanborough Fields”
- Follow the registration instructions (check your junk mail if you don’t immediately receive your activation link)
- Activate your account and sign the petition
Why we need an Article 4 Direction
The upper AONB fields are being sold off by Vantage Land in lots. The lower field running along Westwood Lane is being sold off in up to 14 separate, small lots, and in the 20-acre field beyond it all but two of the seven lots are sold. The very first occupant of a plot has fenced their 2.21 acres and constructed substantial stabling for seven horses. Vehicles are already to be seen daily in the entrance layby to the field. That is only the beginning.
An Article 4 Direction removes “permitted development” from agricultural land such as Wanborough Fields. It means that new “plot” landowners would have to apply for planning permission to:
- Erect fences
- Lay down hard-standing
- Allow activities such as car boot sales or clay shoots to operate on their land
Their planned activities would be public and would give residents an opportunity to respond.