Fringe Box



Letter: AONB Boundary Changes Must Be Made With Community Support

Published on: 21 Apr, 2022
Updated on: 21 Apr, 2022

Surrey’s AONB

From: Bob Hughes

Conservative county councillor for Shere

In response to: Councillors Should Keep Promises

Mr Roberts and the GGG website cannot keep making it up to suit their argument. The facts of course are rather different from his spurious claims.

Last year, my election literature said: “This lovely part of Surrey with our beautiful countryside and historic town of Guildford needs protecting and much of the Surrey Hills are protected by law. Clandon and Send need to gain the same green spaces protection.”

This was to seek to use the then fairly new rule in AONB [Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty] reviews that the boundaries could skip over towns to include other areas that should be AONB. This is happening and I fully expect the outline plan due to be revealed in the summer to include a number of areas in the Shere division.

Most of the areas in Shere are of course already AONB. That is the point at which there will be a consultation, which is when I will make my points. That consultation will now run into 2023.

I have emphasised throughout the reality that proposals have to come from the local communities, and will not even be contemplated for inclusion by Natural England unless there is clear and unanimous community support for them. I expect Mr Roberts knows that but is not minded to offer that support.

A calmer, more factual approach would be much more helpful for everyone. Making spurious points in order to refight the last county council elections may amuse Mr Roberts but it will achieve nothing for the people I represent.

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Responses to Letter: AONB Boundary Changes Must Be Made With Community Support

  1. David Roberts Reply

    April 22, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    Cllr Hughes is miserably unable to specify anything I have said that is “spurious”.

    His fellow Tory candidate Jason Offord, who failed to beat GGG in Send ward, stated in his election leaflet: “I will work with Bob Hughes on the County Council to campaign for Send and West Clandon to be protected by being included in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

    Cllr Hughes has now confirmed that this was a false promise which he has taken no action at all to fulfil. Surely he knows from his party leader that trying to get away with deception by relegating it to the past won’t work. Councillors must at least try to keep the promises they make.

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