Fringe Box



SCC Cabinet Member Shouted Down Over Newlands Corner Proposals

Published on: 10 Apr, 2017
Updated on: 11 Apr, 2017

A Cabinet member from Surrey County Council (SCC) was shouted down several times as feelings ran high over proposed changes at Newlands Corner at a recent meeting of Merrow residents.

A local independent campaigner John Oliver, gave the meeting an update on the current proposals for Newlands Corner.

Oliver said that SCC’s proposals, including the introduction of parking charges, had proved controversial and the disquiet among local residents was demonstrated by the level of objections, nearly 1,400, that had been submitted.

Cllr Mike Goodman

According to those present at the meeting, when Cllr Mike Goodman, SCC Cabinet member for for environment and planning, responded he was constantly interrupted by irate members of the 140 strong audience.

In a statement, Sarah Smith, a spokesperson for the Merrow Residents Association, said: “The meeting was clearly opposed to all plans and intentions that SCC has for this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

“Merrow Residents’ Association (MRA) wishes to reiterate in the strongest possible terms its opposition to all planned or intended development by Surrey County Council (SCC) of Newlands Corner. This historic beauty spot, provides, from the chalk escarpment of the North Downs, some of the finest scenery in Southern England. It is a local and national treasure.

“We are is dismayed at the consent given for the introduction of parking charge equipment at Newlands Corner, even though nearly 1,400 local residents and local associations objected to the application. There is highly likely to be a displacement parking effect on Merrow. MRA is concerned at the suggestion that the funds gained from the parking charges will in part fund the future inappropriate development of Newlands Corner.

“The proposals for SCC and Surrey Wildlife Trust to develop a series of play structures along the woodland paths and any intention to construct a new visitor centre, café and retail space will rob the immediate area of much of its natural beauty.  This is beauty, which SCC as guardians of the site, should “conserve and enhance” given its designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

The meeting passed the following motion unanimously: “That the MRA determined at its AGM on the 27th March that it must do everything possible to dissuade Surrey County Council from spending money on a play trail or any further developments at Newlands Corner, since any such spend is not only unnecessary but also wasteful and unwanted by the local population.”

Cllr Mike Goodman was invited to comment.

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Responses to SCC Cabinet Member Shouted Down Over Newlands Corner Proposals

  1. Denise Hilton Reply

    April 11, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Cllr Goodman reiterated his belief that the new Play Trails will be beneficial to “The Elderly, the Disabled and those with Dementia”. He was ridiculed and quite rightly so.

    Most of the 140 Merrow Residents Present at the AGM agreed that all visitors enjoy the almost unique beauty and scenery at Newlands Corner without any contrived machinery, man made equipment or money making schemes. The whole project will cost the taxpayer £400,000 and when asked, Cllr Goodman couldn’t say how much revenue will be raised from the imposed parking charges to offset the costs. He stated that an interest free loan from SCC will cover the set up expenditure.

    The project is very flakey and he wasn’t able to give us any idea about the expected income for parking charges over a four-year period.

    In a nutshell, we don’t want it and Cllr Goodman isn’t listening to local residents and doesn’t understand the already huge attraction of Newlands Corner in its natural setting.

  2. Mike Murphy Reply

    April 11, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Cllr Goodman has never intended to change these dreadful plans which will dissuade poorer people from visiting this fantastic beauty spot. Then, to compound the error, he is going to ruin the beauty spot with unwanted structures only normally set in urban environments.

    He does however come up for election in May.

  3. John Powell Reply

    April 11, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I can’t help thinking that maybe Cllr Mike Goodman may have secret ambitions to be a parking warden.

    Obviously if he gets his way, and your old mum or your grandad, with his gammy knee, does not get a move on during their stroll around Newlands Corner then you get a fifty quid fine, but “That’s the rules guv”.

    These changes have been proposed because Surrey County Council has borrowed a few hundred thousand pounds of your money to waste it developing Newlands Corner.

    Cllr Goodman is the SCC cabinet member for environment and planning, not parking. Has he missed his vocation?

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