CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Surrey news and views - your letters - March 2015

PUBLISHED: 14:20 18 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:50 18 February 2015

Here in Surrey, our countryside is under threat like never before (Photo: Simon Greig)

Here in Surrey, our countryside is under threat like never before (Photo: Simon Greig)

Archant

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, e-mail editor@surreylife.co.uk or visit surreylife.co.uk. 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: thewilliambray.co.uk

***

STAR LETTER

Guilty as charged…

 

Dear Editor,

I declare I am GUILTY! Guilty of not reading and understanding the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), guilty of not investigating the legal definition of “Rural Exceptions Site” and guilty of not understanding the current interpretation of Affordable Housing. Worst of all, I am guilty of assuming that Green Belt land and that designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) within the Surrey Hills would be protected from housing development.

Finally, I am guilty of assuming that our elected, political representatives on Parish and Borough Councils would protect our Green Belt and AONB sites... wrong, wrong, wrong!

To add to my guilt, I can also add a lack of knowledge about a new breed of “no win, no fee” organisations. I thought this designation was the sole preserve of solicitors. Alas not.

We have organisations who pride themselves on defeating the planning system by never accepting “no, you will not build”. They market their tenacity to appeal, appeal and appeal and proceed to Judicial Review until they obtain a “yes”. Then use this “win” to declare precedent for future building. This is all marketed under the altruistic and philanthropic strategic corporate statements pertaining to Affordable Housing for key workers and those on modest incomes. Then read their financial statements!

I agree and support the need for genuine Affordable Housing developments for those who genuinely qualify. The problem is, since 2012, open market, full-priced, profit earning houses can be built using Affordable Housing as the leverage point. So I also declare my guilt in spending too much time working, commuting, supporting my family and assuming that our Green Belt/AONB/Surrey Hills is/are protected from profit-driven organisations using the socially emotive Affordable Housing argument to build on what I thought was protected land.

There are many genuine brownfield sites available, as well as flats over high street shops that are unoccupied, such as above charity shops and estate agents. We need to invest more effort in investigating these opportunities first, however difficult, before allowing developers, some in conjunction with Housing Associations, to destroy an asset protected for many years by our predecessors.

Please don’t be guilty like me; be aware, be well educated in these matters and ensure you have input to your Neighbourhood Plan, so that future generations can enjoy what is a national asset – our land.

Yours faithfully,

Steve Maycock,

Hambledon

Editor’s Note: Thanks Steve; we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. We’re all aware that we need more houses, just in the right places. Thank you for taking the time to write. Best wishes, Caroline

***

Double standards

Dear Editor,

I recently read a report in the local newspaper pertaining to the number of deer that are culled each year in Richmond Park, and have to say that I was horrified to learn that any were culled at all.

I love going over there with my camera to photograph these beautiful animals, which I have seen pictured many times on your own pages, and I think most would agree are a key feature of Richmond Park.

To discover that for one part of the year they are paraded as a tourist attraction while at another time shot in cold blood – under the guise of “controlled culling” – left me feeling slightly sickened.

In the report, it claimed that around 200 deer a year are “culled” in this way because the park only has enough grazing to sustain a finite number of healthy animals. Can this be right? The park is a pretty big place! And could they not use birth control as an alternative to shooting?

If it is all true, it sounds to me like an excuse for game hunting right here in Surrey. What do other readers think?

Regards,

Laura Adams,

Richmond

***

 

The birds on a wing and a prayer

Hello Surrey Life,

I’ve just read your article on Surrey’s parakeets and would like to express my pleasure in seeing these colourful birds in my garden.

I’m originally from Yorkshire, but now living in and loving Walton-on-Thames, and when I send my photos to my family back up north, they are amazed that we have such exotic birds in our garden.

As you can see from these images, I love to photograph them and I cannot believe that people are talking about culling them. Defra have already culled the monk parakeets at Mudslide in east London and I sometimes wonder if that organisation is funded by some sort of gun lobby, as they seem far too keen to kill anything. I understand that the people of Mudslide spoke in favour of their exotic wildlife, but it amounted to nothing once Defra got wind of them.

I hope Surrey’s parakeets are here to stay.

Kind regards,

Alan Whitehead,

Walton-on-Thames

 

***

Through the lens

Dear Editor,

I am glad you liked my photograph enough to publish it. Also, I was out walking with my dog and camera this morning and took the attached photograph at Abinger Roughs, which I hope you will like as well.

Yours sincerely,

Anthony Stimpson,

Bookham

Editor’s note: Thanks so much, Anthony, and we certainly do! It’s a beautiful photo – as are Alan’s parakeet pictures above. If any other readers are interested in submitting photos, please visit our website at surreylife.co.uk/photos. Best wishes, Caroline

 

***

Wheel of fortune

 

Dear Editor,

Your January issue referred to complaints from businesses regarding the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey cycling event and, indeed, the loss of revenue is substantial. I know of one small business locally that loses £3k each year because it is on the cycle route and therefore inaccessible to its customers.

Many residents are also complaining, particularly the thousands of households that only have access via the cycle route, which is closed to traffic; there are about 500 such households just in my village of Oxshott. None of these households can go anywhere by car or be visited by car by friends and family, which seems an unreasonable prevention of leisure activities at the weekend.

Also, sports clubs on the route have to cancel their activities because they are inaccessible for their own members as well as visiting teams.

There was no public consultation before this annual event was imposed on Surrey residents.

 

Yours faithfully,

John Bushell,

Oxshott

***

 

 

The gloves are off

 

Dear Editor,

I write to say how much I enjoyed your recent feature on boxing (Surrey Life, February issue).

I notice that you don’t tend to cover a lot of sport, so it made a nice change.

On another note, I can’t be the only one to have been surprised how this sport is thriving in Surrey; who’d have thought it?!

 

Kind regards,

John Adams,

Kingston

 

 

 

 

More from Surrey Life

14:32

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG have announced that Kylie Minogue is the first headliner confirmed for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2019. These will be her only London shows of summer 2019.

Read more
12:59

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
12:56

Enjoy this linear rail to ramble section of the Thames Down Link route taking the short train-ride from Box Hill & Westhumble to Ashtead before walking back

Read more
12:13

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend (16, 17 and 18 November): art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, November 9, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It’s that time of year when our beautiful countryside is alight with the colours of autumn. Here, we pick out some of her favourite spots to enjoy the seasonal splendour – as well as some perfect places for a post-walk refresher

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Found on the stretch of the River Thames between Weybridge and East Molesey, Sunbury-on-Thames is blessed with a village feel where it meets the water. From antique hunts to the joys of river life, here are a few of our favourite reasons to visit

Read more
Monday, November 5, 2018

Verity & Violet are Loui and Jess – a singing duo from Surrey who specialise in blending vintage classics with modern favourites. The two have achieved success in the capital, but are now hoping to attract an audience closer to home

Read more
Friday, November 2, 2018

With the Christmas celebrations seemingly starting earlier every year, it all feels a little too ‘soon’ sometimes, but what if you want to look your best for Christmas & New year celebrations and are considering having cosmetic non-surgical procedures? The Bella Vou Pantiles Clinic offers surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures and treatments from a purpose-built private clinic in the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Read more
Thursday, November 1, 2018

Living in England’s most densely wooded county, it’s always a pleasure to witness Surrey donning its autumn finery. Here’s some of the best places to do just that - plus a few pub pit stops to enjoy on route!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

From Santa’s Grottos, to Victorian Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Surrey this season

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We are regularly reminded of the high cost of housing with statistics revealing that only one in three millennials will be able to afford their own home during their lifetime and that most will remain in the category known as Generation Rent

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Year 5 pupils at Reigate St Mary’s School (RSM) who designed and carried out a community project as part of a UK wide Make a Difference Challenge, have won the London area competition for their stunning scrapbook record of their project

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Surrey this month

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search