Perhaps talk of a buzz returning to the village, in my last Parish Council update, was premature. The buzz is there with Christmas celebrations still on the cards but Covid hasn’t given up yet with alarming levels of new infections being reported for Guildford. Indeed, Guildford and Waverley councils are asking the government to act to allow virtual council meetings again.
Your chance to vote on future development in the village – March 2022
The Parish Council has been informed by GBC that a referendum on our Neighbourhood Plan will be held in March 2022. Details of the arrangements and the final version of the plan will be available on the village website shortly. If adopted the Plan will influence future development in the village. All residents on the electoral register for the parish are eligible to vote and a simple majority of those who vote will decide whether the plan is legally adopted or not. The PC urges every resident to understand what is in the plan and exercise their votes.
As reported last month, Taylor Wimpey appealed the delay by GBC of a decision on the proposed internal roundabout and access road until the outcome of the M25 Jn.10 decision is known. Since then, TW made another application to GBC for virtually the same works. This was turned down flat by GBC councillors even though the Officers had recommended that it should be allowed. If the minister decides against the Jn. 10 works, it is hard to see how TW could implement its plans. Equally, if Jn. 10goes ahead, it is hard to see how GBC could not approve development because the site is allocated in the Local Plan. There is much water to go under this bridge yet.
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (A.O.N.B.)
West Clandon is on the edge of this area and Natural England is gathering evidence to support the extension of the A.O.N.B. The southern part of the village along the A246 is under consideration. Natural England is looking for supporting evidence such as photographs. The PC intends to make a submission, but it is open to anyone to make proposals. The links give access to a press release and a website explaining the process. Surrey Hills boundary review: Natural England press release | Surrey Hills and Surrey Hills AONB Boundary Review – Share.
The Village Hall has working heating. Not the full and final version yet but definite progress. The PC meeting was held without the need for coats.
The PC holds a small fund left to it by the Horticultural Society when it closed. The PC agreed that the area in front of the Hall and the south side of the entrance to the car park should be improved as it has become rather cluttered or overgrown and that some of the fund could be used for this purpose. A small group of councillors will look at what could be done to improve the area.
The PC agreed to explore funding and a suitable site for a set of outdoor fitness equipment. The PC also agreed to a Christmas tree collection point at the entrance to the car park.
The PC has written to GBC about the removal of the hedge at the Elm Cottage site and it has informed us that there appear to be several breaches of planning conditions and that it is dealing with the developer.
As decided at the October meeting, Paul Edwards and Chris Dean surveyed the remainder of The Street and Clandon Road and footpaths from the Hall to the A3 overpass. Their report was presented to Councillors together with recommended actions. These are mainly for Surrey Highways but there are one or two places where residents will be asked to attend to overhanging vegetation. As a result of the survey of The Street from the Hall to the A246 lights, reported last time, several actions have already been taken. Residents should still report any concerns they have on such matters directly on the SCC website Report or track faults with street and sign lighting – Surrey County Council (surreycc.gov.uk).
In the last report, reference was made to the action taken by SCC at the A247-A3 slip road junction following a serious accident. Well, there has been another, not quite as serious this time but enough to indicate that the problem still exists. The bollard on the central strip has been demolished and replaced with a cone and a sign as a temporary measure. The last time this happened, the replacement took a long time. Clearly, a bollard is not enough. The PC will again contact SCC to press for further action.
The planting of a suitable tree in a suitable site, a village picnic in Clandon Park and a showing of the film Royal Guildford by Circle Eight Film Group, which contains sequences on West Clandon, have been proposed to mark the occasion in addition to the beating of the bounds mentioned in last month’s report. The PC is still open to further suggestions from residents and may have some funds available to support agreed events. Suggestions should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not called “the fall” for nothing. Our village is enhanced by its many trees but when the leaves drop, out come the blowers. When the leaves are deliberately blown into the road, they get washed into the storm water drains and block them. Water may not flood into your place as a result but it might affect somebody else’s property. The PC is asking all residents and anyone clearing their leaves not to do this.
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Wednesday 12th January. As I write, it is planned to hold the meeting in the Village Hall.