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Surrey news and views - your letters - April 2015

PUBLISHED: 11:03 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:09 19 March 2015

Surrey is renowned for its beautiful countryside (Photo: Simon Greig/ Getty Images/ iStockPhoto)

Surrey is renowned for its beautiful countryside (Photo: Simon Greig/ Getty Images/ iStockPhoto)

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Win a meal for two at one of Surrey’s top pubs by sharing your news and views with Surrey Life magazine

IF you’d like to see your letter printed in Surrey Life, write to us at the usual address or e-mail Every month, the writer of our star letter wins a three-course dinner for two at The William Bray in Shere (available Monday to Thursday, subject to availability, and booking is required). For more on The William Bray, call 01483 202044 or see online:





Time to take a stand

Dear Editor,

I have been following with interest your recent coverage of the efforts to protect Surrey’s Green Belt from development and would like to pose a question to fellow readers. Do the majority of readers value our precious Green Belt? And, if they do, are they prepared to defend it?

As a resident of Cobham for the last 40 years, I would like to congratulate the residents who have spoken out by saying, ‘Hands off our Green Belt’. We are told that people living in the built-up areas of London are looking to live in the country, and leafy Surrey seems to be particularly appealing. But, beware; it could all change in the not too distant future!

I have heard people say that it is not worth objecting to inappropriate development as the decision has already been made; is that really true? In Cobham, we have a very active Conservation & Heritage Trust, plus

an equally active Cobham & Downside Residents’ Association, and a Greenbelt Group, each of them keeping a watchful eye on planning applications affecting our community, especially in relation to the Green Belt. However, we rely on the support of local people who feel strongly about a development to make their feelings known to the authorities.

It might be interesting to point out, for example, that it took the applicant many years to obtain permission to build the Cobham Service Station on the M25 on 60 acres of Green Belt land next to the lovely village of Downside. Sadly, despite strong local opposition, including from Elmbridge Borough Council, it was eventually approved by Mr Prescott, the then Secretary of State for Transport.

But what about the Planning Application to build 2,100 houses on the Three Meadows Farm Site (Wisley Airfield)? This could potentially add up to over 5,000 residents with 3,000 cars on the edge of the M25 and the A3, one of the busiest road networks in the country, with the resultant loss and destruction of our country lanes, and village life. We are told that our hospitals are at full stretch, doctors’ surgeries are full, there is a shortage of school places, our roads are frequently gridlocked, and the train service to London is at bursting point. Surrey is already the largest populated county in the country. Can our infrastructure take more without destroying all that we value about this lovely area? We must protect the Green Belt at all costs.

If you are concerned about this intrusion and loss of Green Belt and reading this before the end of March, can I suggest that you visit Guildford Borough Council‘s Planning website to view the proposals Ref No 15/P/00012 and then write to the Head of Planning Services, Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford GU2 4BB or to no later than March 31, 2015.

David Tipping,


Cobham Conservation and Heritage Trust

Editor’s note: Dear David, thank you very much for your e-mail. We reckon you’re doing a great job in protecting our cherished landscape and, as such, we’re making you this month’s Star Letter – meaning you get to enjoy a lovely dinner for two at The William Bray in Shere. Best wishes, Caroline


On the right tracks

Dear Editor,

Most Surrey railway stations are under one hour by train from London, with a few notable locations that have longer times such as Bagshot, Camberley and Frimley.

The Camberley Society is running the Camberley 50-minute rail campaign to reduce the time to Waterloo to 50 minutes. This will require reinstating the direct link to Waterloo via Woking. Today, it is 73 minutes, usually necessitating changing trains at Ascot or Ash Vale, with only a few through trains from Camberley to Waterloo and back at peak times. You could travel faster to Waterloo in 1901 on a steam train!

Please support our campaign and help fund the development of the business case. For further information on getting involved, visit our website:

Kind regards,

David Powell,

Chairman, The Camberley Society

Editor’s note: Dear David, consider it done! Best of luck with your campaign. Kind regards, Caroline


A new subscriber

Dear Surrey Life,

As a new resident of Surrey, having recently moved down here from the north, I just wanted to say how much I have been enjoying your magazine.

With all the different ideas of things to do and places to go, it has really helped me to get acquainted with the area.

Thanks to your suggestions, I have already enjoyed a delicious dinner at The William Bray in Shere, a visit to the fabulous Lightbox gallery and museum in Woking and a spring stroll around the grounds of Polesden Lacey.

Next up? As many of your ‘25 secret gardens’ as I can possibly squeeze in! And I plan to take out a subscription too!

Thanks again,

Jane Adams,


Editor’s Note: Dear Jane, thank you so much for your kind words – you have quite made our day! Subscribing to the magazine is definitely the way forward, as not only do you benefit from a great saving, but you also get it delivered to your door every month at no extra cost! You can find out more details here. We hope that you enjoy! Best wishes, Caroline


The next masterchef?

Dear Editor,

I am contacting you from Shine Television regarding a brand-new BBC cookery show called The Box. We’re currently taking applications from people around the country who are interested in taking part and I thought that this may be an opportunity that might be of interest to your foodie-loving readers.

We’re looking for home cooks who can create some standout, delicious dishes. They don’t necessarily have to be very experienced or have a massive knowledge of food, or even give up much of their time.They just need to be passionate and enthusiastic about food and really happy to cook with whatever is presented to them. It will be a great fun experience that will be hosted by a well-known TV chef!

It’s a great opportunity for anyone who has an interest in food/cooking, so if anyone would like to find out more, please e-mail me at

Many thanks,

Amber Gillespie,

Junior researcher,

Shine TV, London


Thank you for the music

Dear Editor,

I write to say how much I enjoyed your March edition – not least because of all the fantastic music coverage I found inside!

How spoilt we are in our county to have not only the Guildford International Music Festival but the Leith Hill Musical Festival and the classical series of concerts at G Live as well.

I think they all got a mention somewhere in your last issue and it was nice to see them getting the airtime they most certainly deserve.

Keep up the good work, Surrey Life!

Best wishes,

John Brown,

Via e-mail

Editor’s note: Thanks for your kind words, John! We’re glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Best wishes, Caroline

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