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Letter: West Horsley Place Trust Should Reconsider Its Proposal

Published on: 29 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 29 Nov, 2022

West Horsley Place

From: Penny Penman

In response to: Charity’s Plan to Sell Land for More Development in West Horsley Angers Residents

Feelings are running high in the Horsleys because of the hundreds of houses being built all at once, but it should still be possible to have a measured and polite discussion about West Horsley Place Trust’s plan to sell off land for development.

When Bamber Gascoigne inherited the estate he set up a trust for the benefit of the house and the neighbourhood. Since then the trust has been a shining example of engaging with its neighbours, providing a venue for local events, supporting local small businesses and promoting the arts while caring for the environment.

The local community has responded with enthusiasm. Many of us supported the application for the opera house. Many people give their time to volunteer in the house, opera house and gardens. When there was a problem with youngsters partying in the woods and leaving a mess, some of us did regular litter picks.

The situation that has now arisen is more than just some more buildings being built. It feels like a betrayal and the end of a respected and valued partnership with the trust. It feels disappointing.

Where does this leave the “environment and sustainability” credentials of the trust? If this parcel of land is developed will the same thing happen again later down the line?

I really hope that the West Horsley Place Trust will reconsider its plan in light of the local reaction.

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Responses to Letter: West Horsley Place Trust Should Reconsider Its Proposal

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    November 29, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    “Trust” used to have a meaning, which is why such an organisation is entitled to use such a word and is managed by “trustees”.

    Nowadays, the purposes seem to have changed to primarily business, not trust activities.

    We have a similar illustration in the development of land to the south of the Guildford Cathedral. Ask anybody “Who is responsible for the cathedral?” and the majority will say The Church of England Commissioners. But it seems it is self-financing managed by a trust.

    Also a lot of people, because of plaques, understand that the land to the south, purchased by the Duke of Onslow, was for a in memorial to Canadian Armed Forces.

    But this was not enshrined in documents, so now the land is sold for housing development.

  2. Jules Cranwell Reply

    November 30, 2022 at 2:29 am

    It’s about time we had a statement on this from Ms Harris, now she has had the opportunity to hear local opinion on the matter.

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