Fringe Box



Letter: Green Belt Damage? The Wanton Damage to Parts of the River Valley Is Worse

Published on: 22 Nov, 2021
Updated on: 22 Nov, 2021

Riverside Nature Reserve

From: Jim Allen

In response to: What Is the Council Planning for Our Heritage Assets?

Commenting on Ms Ishiguro’e letter, Jules Cranwell said:  “The greatest heritage asset in the borough is our countryside, and what used to be our green belt.”

But if he thinks the countryside is being decimated I would suggest he comes to see the River Wey valley between the A320 and Clay Lane.

Water levels have risen 12 inches in the lake, a foot higher than it was designed to be in the 1980s, causing the land to be waterlogged. The council has inserted exit dams at the wrong height. This has led to the streambeds becoming clogged.

A causeway had to be removed due to rot because it failed to clear the end of the water funnel of ditches at the allotments. It was replaced by a plastic and steel bridge but at what cost?

Untreated sewage was discharged into the river for 364 hours during 2020. Trees have been lost because of the too fast rate of flow during flooding which has also damaged parts of the towpath. Now it is intended to make a cycle superhighway, three metres wide, which will destroy the ambience of the location.

And plans have been approved for 3,500 additional people in six-storey accommodation boxes with no parking facilities right by the Riverside Nature reserve.

I think the Wey Valley utterly trumps our green belt when it comes to the current and ongoing wanton destruction of our heritage by the Environment Agency, the National Trust, GBC, uncle Tom Cobbly and all.

But no one seems to be shouting at this “mission creep of destruction” in this area.

Why is nobody else noticing?

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Responses to Letter: Green Belt Damage? The Wanton Damage to Parts of the River Valley Is Worse

  1. David Roberts Reply

    November 22, 2021 at 3:26 pm

    This is not a competition between the green belt and the river. Of course, both should be managed better. And recent government promises to protect the green belt are empty when so many Guildford villages have been ejected from it under the Tory Local Plan.

    Our rivers are in a dire state. The Environment Agency has just spent £2 million building a fish ladder where the Wey joins the Thames. Well done. But stopping sewage discharges would be better. Last month, a serious one in Send took two weeks to clear up.

    There were 19,800 sewage discharges into Surrey rivers last year. That’s four per cent of England’s total, even though Surrey accounts for only 1% of its surface area and 2% of its population. Our MP, Sir Paul Beresford, therefore needs to explain his counter-factual claim, in a recent letter to Mole Valley Conservatives, that there are “VERY FEW sewage overflows into Surrey rivers” (his emphasis).

  2. Julian Cranwell Reply

    November 22, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    I would humbly suggest that our rivers and wetlands are every bit a part of our countryside, and should be afforded the same protection as our greensward, rural villages and forests.

    To build 1,500 new homes on riverside floodplains is as unacceptable to me as the current orgy of concreting over every inch of our historic villages.

    GBC needs to think again, review its ruinous Local Plan, and in doing so, perhaps regain the respect of residents.

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