Fringe Box



Letter: County Council Should Leave Newlands Corner Alone

Published on: 5 Oct, 2015
Updated on: 5 Oct, 2015
The view from Newlands Corner. The Guildford Greenbelt Group is

The view from Newlands Corner.

From Dave Middleton

A story in the Surrey Advertiser (September 26 issue), referred to plans by Surrey County Council to “improve” Newlands Corner and make it “more viable”.

There were various vague references to improvements to the facilities there, along with other vague plans to attract more visitors and different sorts of visitors.

Everything was suitably vague and imprecise apart from one thing. The proposal to introduce parking charges. They’d even decided on the tariff at £1 for up to an hour and £4 for three hours or more.

Just what exactly do the county council propose to do at Newlands Corner? What do they plan to do to make it more viable?  Is it to be turned into some kind of theme park?

I say to the county council in no uncertain terms, please leave Newlands Corner alone. It does not need to be “improved”.

Newlands Corner is what it is: a nice, relatively unspoilt place where you can go to get a bit of fresh air, enjoy the view, meet friends, go for a walk, all free of charge and perhaps even have a cup of tea and maybe a burger from the excellent burger bar, which to my mind needs no improvement and which has been run by the same family for decades.

As for its existing popularity, that can be judged by the fact that on any weekend in good weather, the car park is packed and the queues at the burger bar are long (which I don’t mind as the food is all cooked to order).

Even during the week, in good or bad weather, it’s a well visited spot, with dog walkers, retired folk and people whose work requires them to drive taking a break and grabbing a hot drink and a bite to eat.

Many motorcyclists visit to meet friends and admire each other’s machines, as do many classic car owners. It’s a regular start and end point for many clubs, be they car, motorcycle, bicycle, walking or whatever.

It seems to me that the county council have suddenly cottoned on to the fact that there’s an untapped source of revenue in charging for parking at Newlands Corner and that their “improvements” are nothing but a smokescreen covering a means to extract more money from the council tax payers of Surrey and its visitors.

Please, leave it alone.

Share This Post

Responses to Letter: County Council Should Leave Newlands Corner Alone

  1. Nigel Trellis Reply

    October 5, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I totally agree with this letter. There is nothing wrong with Newlands Corner as it is now.

    This is all about Surrey County Councils aim reduce Surrey Wildlife Trust’s (SWT manage Newlands Corner) funding to zero within five years.

    Everything is supposed to generate income, they are obsessed with it.

    It’s another example of austerity measures brought in by the Tories making us all suffer for the mistakes made by people they represent in the financial industry who recklessly gambled in the money markets etc.

    Perhaps they should chase the big corporations who seem to escape paying tax in the way that they pursue individuals for tax. Or pursue those in the financial industry to give back bonuses etc.

  2. Anna-Marie Davis Reply

    October 8, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    I agree entirely with both this letter and the previous comment.

    My parents often meet at Newlands Corner with their walking group, which would collapse if each retired attendee had to pay £4 to go for a walk.

    The council Executive need to stop bleeding the people of Guildford dry and assuming all their recreation facilities need to be improved, i.e. monetised. There is similar talk about Stoke Park facilities. Many people will just stop visiting, rather than pay.

    We are considering leaving Guildford now, I can see that the town is starting its demise in the name of regeneration, and not enough voters can see that Guildford Borough Council only operates in the interests of business.

    Quality of life in Guildford is falling dramatically and swiftly and now is the time to get out, before the property prices follow suit.

    • Dave Middleton Reply

      October 10, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Just to make it clear, these proposals are by Surrey County Council, who manage Newlands Corner, not Guildford Borough Council.

      The land is in fact owned by the Albury Estate, who allow public access and have done so free of charge for several decades.

  3. Jim Allen Reply

    October 9, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    Leave Newlands Corner alone. They’ll be putting ripple generators in the silent pond next… or charging for the silence.

  4. Russell Morris Reply

    October 17, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Charging local people to visit Newlands Corner? What a spiteful idea. The whole point of Surrey’s countryside estate was to encourage citizens to enjoy and appreciate our surviving fragments of accessible open space.

    Imagine how a relaxing walk will be enhanced by the challenge of finding your way back before you parking time expires!

    Introduce the charge and many visitors will disappear before you can say, ‘Agatha Christie’.

  5. Mary Bedforth Reply

    October 31, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    It’s outrageous. From April, it will cost £1 per hour to park at Newlands Corner to a maximum of £4 for more than 3 hrs. Surrey County Council are withdrawing their funding to Surrey Wildlife Trust.

  6. Paul Dann Reply

    November 9, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Newlands Corner does not need “improving”.

    Its attraction lies in its unspoiled, low-key nature.

    The last thing it needs is a shop, and we who like to walk want our mug of tea or soup and bacon sandwich after, not some fancy and expensive café fare.

    For goodness sake, leave us somewhere simple and unpretentious, where we can just enjoy the beautiful countryside.

    £1 an hour to park? Are these people completely out of touch?!

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *