Fringe Box



Green Lane – A Bridleway With A Parking Problem

Published on: 2 May, 2013
Updated on: 7 May, 2013
11 am on Green Lane - Parking congestion on a bridleway - police in attendance

Not the M25 or the A3, this is 11am on Green Lane – parking congestion on a bridleway – police in attendance.

Police officers attended Green Lane this morning (May 2) at 11am to sort out parking problems on a bridleway which should not normally even be used by non-resident motor vehicles.

the entrance to the Green Lane bridle way beyond which unauthorised motor vehicles are not permitted

The entrance to the Green Lane bridleway beyond which unauthorised motor vehicles are not permitted.

The vehicles belong to builders constructing houses on land that once formed the back gardens of houses in Guildown Avenue. Despite government claims that they would stop garden grabbing developments, planning permission was eventually given when the planning inspectorate in Bristol overturned a unanimous vote by Guildford Borough Council and allowed an appeal.

Green Lane is the continuation from The Mount on to the top of the Hog’s Back. Tensions between some residents and those developing the new properties on the lane have existed since construction projects have got under way.

Last August bollards were erected all along the lane to prevent illegal parking. But notices informing drivers that parking was illegal were removed almost as soon as they were put in place.

There have been criticisms of the police and enforcement officers at Guildford Borough Council for not being vigorous enough in their handling of the problems. Those found parking illegally are not normally ticketed by the police if it is the first occasion on which they have been caught.

The police and council have responded to criticisms by saying that there is only so much they can do under the law and with the resources they have.

Loseley Estates which owns at least the verge on the south side of the bridleway, and claims to own the bridleway itself, has allowed those building and residing in the new houses permission to cross the verges to obtain access to their properties.

It was found, during an earlier dispute when the council tried to prevent vehicles entering the first site that, under legislation introduced in 2006, it would deemed unreasonable for permission to be withheld. But only residents are allowed to use the bridleway with motor vehicles. For everyone else a public right of way only exists, in common with other bridleways, for walkers, cyclists and horses.

Vehicles parked on the verge holes where bollards have been removed clearly evident

Vehicles parked on the verge. Holes where bollards have been removed are clearly evident.

This afternoon, Loseley’s land agent Alexander Wilks said that he had spoken to the site foreman and told him that any removed bollards should be replaced as soon as possible and within a week. Now over a fortnight later with no remedial action observed he had contacted the land owner to ask for an explanation.

But the site foreman gave a different account. He admits that bollards were removed without permission but then, he claims, Mr Wilks, in ‘an amicable conversation’, gave him permission to park on the verges until the project was completed, so long as he replaced the bollards afterwards.

Police told some nearby residents, walking in the lane at the time of their visit, that builders did have permission to park. At 4pm today, 11 vehicles apparently connected with the building activity could still be counted parked on the verges.

The latest new house in Green Lane nearing completion. In front what some say is an ancient hedgeway has been removed

The latest new house in Green Lane nearing completion. In front, what some say is an ancient hedge, has been removed.

Residents are not only concerned with parking but about the way the verges are maintained. Hedgerows bordering the bridleway are said to be ancient but several on the new plots have been removed.

It is known that some councillors and residents are hoping that more stringent conditions can be applied to any future planning consents for new houses on Green Lane. The council is reluctant to refuse such applications as it is likely to lose subsequent appeals and have costs awarded against it.

It is reliably reported that one woman resident was threatened with legal action by a male occupant of one of the new houses because she took a photograph in which he could be seen mowing the grass on the verge which many feel should retain their original natural appearance.

4pm, 11 vehicles, a skip and a digger still parked up

4pm, 11 vehicles, a skip and a digger still parked up.

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Responses to Green Lane – A Bridleway With A Parking Problem

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    May 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Not so long ago this was a public recreational and amenity area but now it is little more than a private estate road with restricted access.

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