Fringe Box



Green Lane Residents Asked To Leave Verges Alone

Published on: 4 Jul, 2013
Updated on: 6 Jul, 2013
The verge in Green Lane showing the natural state in the foreground and a mown verge beyond.

The verge in Green Lane showing the natural state in the foreground and the mown verge beyond.

New residents in Green Lane at the top of The Mount, the old road that leads to the Hog’s Back, have been asked to leave the verges and hedgerows to return to their natural state.

The request, made in official letters from the parks department of Guildford Borough Council (GBC), follows complaints from some who live nearby, or who use the lane. They say that its character is changing following the construction of houses in the back gardens of large properties in Guildown Avenue.

A press release from Cllr Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem, Friary & St Nicolas) states: “Many residents will be aware of the controversy surrounding the building of new houses at the end of The Mount, on the bridleway known as Green Lane. We fought the planning applications because, amongst other reasons, we felt that they would lead to the urbanisation of the bridleway, but our initial decisions on these individual applications for houses were overturned at appeal and several have now been built.

Some have complained that the tidier look makes the bridleway appear urbanised.

Some have complained that the tidier look makes the bridleway appear urbanised.

“The process of the building caused further concern as the verges of the bridleway became little more than car parks due to the volume of contractors’ vehicles accessing the site. We had frequent contact from residents concerned that in some cases planning conditions had been breached and our enforcement team have made many visits to the sites.

“Throughout we have worked with Surrey County Council (responsible for the actual surface of the bridleway and verges) and the Loseley Estate (landowners) to try to protect the area. Wooden bollards, funded with contributions from the Loseley Estate and Cllr David Goodwin’s County Council allocation, were installed along the length of the bridleway to try to stop parking. Unfortunately, developers and contractors have frequently removed and discarded these so they could park on the verges.

“Now that the latest new house on Green Lane has been completed we will continue to monitor the situation. GBC Parks and Countryside officers, Surrey County Council officers and the Loseley Estate are working to ensure that the verges can be returned to their natural, rural state.

“The contractors have left the sites and the natural vegetation has an opportunity to return. To encourage the grasses and wild flowers to grow, it has been agreed that the verges will only be mown twice a year and a GBC Parks and Countryside officer has written to the new residents asking them to allow the verges to return to their original rural state and refrain from mowing the grass and cutting back the hedgerow. Planning conditions are there to protect the verges and the hedgerows from further urbanisation.

“There are more planning applications to develop houses in the back gardens of Guildown Avenue, to be accessed from The Mount/Green Lane and we will continue, as far as we are able, to protect this green part of the town.”

The Guildford Dragon NEWS has tried to speak to residents in the new houses to get their views. One resident spoken to did not wish to comment and there was no response to gate entry systems at the other two new houses.

Do you think the council are right to ask residents to leave the verges alone or should they be able to maintain them as they wish? If you wish to comment please do so by using the “Leave a Reply” feature below.

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Responses to Green Lane Residents Asked To Leave Verges Alone

  1. Peter Challens Reply

    July 16, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Interesting article particularly as another application has just been made for 22 Guildown Avenue by developers who developed the adjacent house, parking their vehicles on verges and removing bollards placed to protect the verges.

    Building the houses in the gardens is just about acceptable but I think driveways should exit onto Guildown Avenue not Public Bridleway 14, as this stretch of Green Lane is.

    Trees should definitely be left on the verges to screen the houses and the verges left to harmonise with the rest of the lane. However the precedent has been set, the lane will become adopted, and nearby fields might be sold off for more mansions to be built. So sad.

  2. Peter Challens Reply

    August 20, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    I would just like to update the situation with the verges to Green Lane. Today someone sent a tractor with an extending cutter attachment to cut the verges to Green Lane along its entire length.

    Surely this was not the council which asked the new residents to let their verges grow?

    Guildford Borough Council were asked to ascertain whether the cutting was carried out by the council and, if not, will they be investigating? Ed.

    A GBC spokesperson later responded: “Countryside Contracts are carrying out the cuts for us and this is the only cut we are carrying out this year.

    “The verges are being cut to:

    “Manage the conservation verges as grass verges rather than letting them develop into scrub. This is standard practice for all areas managed as grassland.

    “Prevent the installed bollards from becoming invisible under the long grass and therefore pose a risk to drivers.

    “Following this work will replace missing and broken bollards in partnership with Surrey County Council.

    “We will continue to ask residents not to cut the verges on a frequent basis that does not allow development of the conservation verge.”

  3. Peter Challens Reply

    September 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I am grateful to GBC for clarifying the purpose of the recent verge cutting to Green Lane and I look forward to the replacement of the removed bollards and renewal of broken ones.

    Having just cycled past the new mansions I am pleased to see that both Guildown Heights and Green Lane House seem to be letting their verges grow as these have not been cut recently. However the owners of Chantry View do not seem to be complying with the council request as their verge has been recently cut.

    Two photos one showing verge, in foreground, after annual cut by GBC, second showing verge outside Chantry View. Ed.

    P1090440 cropped


  4. Peter Challens Reply

    October 15, 2015 at 11:16 am

    A further update on Green Lane. Green Lane House has now decided to ignore the borough council request not to cut its front verge and has recently done so.

    Work has now started on the next Green Lane mansion with hedge and tree cutting to allow erection of about a three metre high boarded fence fronting the lane. The verge behind the bollards has been cut and today a couple of vehicles parked on it. I take it the Council did not make it a planning condition not to use the verge as a vehicle park?

    Finally we are still awaiting the missing bollards replacement, a number of the bollards that have been pulled out are still lying on the verge. They need to be somewhat longer though to prevent a repetition.

  5. Peter Challens Reply

    January 30, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Today (Saturday, January 30) I have just returned from a walk along Green Lane [on The Mount in Guildford] only to witness the grass verges outside both Chantry View and Guildown Heights being mown at around 2.30pm – within minutes of each other.

    Some seem to have very little interest to concern themselves with, if a pressing need is to mow in mid winter outside their boundary and against the expressed wishes of the council, is any indication.

    By the way, I am still awaiting the council to fulfil its promise to replace the bollards that have been removed illegally.

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