County coun­cil drops plan for play trail at beauty spot

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

CAM­PAIGN­ERS have wel­comed an an­nounce­ment from Sur­rey County Coun­cil that it will not pur­sue pro­pos­als to cre­ate ar­ti­fi­cial play struc­tures for chil­dren at New­lands Cor­ner.

The coun­cil had pro­posed to build six play struc­tures on the com­mon to make a ‘fam­ily play trail’ and the de­ci­sion was due to be made by the Plan­ning In­spec­torate.

The Save New­lands Cor­ner Cam­paign Group pre­vi­ously said the play struc­tures would change the coun­try­side ir­re­vo­ca­bly, call­ing it the ‘Dis­ney­fi­ca­tion’ of the site.

In Fe­bru­ary, Sur­rey County Coun­cil ob­tained ap­proval to put park­ing me­ters and as­so­ci­ated sig­nage at New­lands Cor­ner de­spite strong lo­cal op­po­si­tion.

Sur­rey County Coun­cil cab­i­net mem­ber for en­vi­ron­ment Mike Good­man said: “As the Plan­ning In­spec­torate has now told us a public in­quiry into the ed­u­ca­tional play trail is needed, we have de­cided not to pur­sue this pro­posal at the mo­ment.

“While we fully in­tend to re­visit our plans for the trail at a later date be­cause of its ed­u­ca­tional, health and learn­ing ben­e­fits, we are not pre­pared to spend around £30,000 of tax­pay­ers’ money on an in­quiry at a time when our bud­gets are un­der such se­vere pres­sure from the ris­ing need for the likes of chil­dren’s ser­vices and adult so­cial care.”

Sally Blake, from the cam­paign group, said: “We wel­come this state­ment from Sur­rey County Coun­cil and the de­ci­sion of the Plan­ning In­spec­torate to hold a public in­quiry af­ter re­ceiv­ing 1,100 ob­jec­tions against the pro­pos­als which it de­scribed as un­prece­dented.

“Ar­ti­fi­cial play struc­tures are not wanted or needed at New­lands Cor­ner and would be highly dam­ag­ing to the en­vi­ron­ment. This is one of the most im­por­tant an­cient wood­lands in Western Europe and home to the pro­tected and de­clin­ing dor­mouse.

“We can­not see how Sur­rey County Coun­cil in­tends to re­visit its plans when this would have the same dam­ag­ing im­pact.”

Pic­ture: Dar­ren Pepe SA171142_010

Sur­rey County Coun­cil will not pur­sue plans to cre­ate ar­ti­fi­cial play struc­tures for chil­dren at New­lands Cor­ner

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.