Fighting to save the green fields of Shere, Gomshall, Peaslake and Abinger.
“This land is yours, and you can make it what you will. If you want to ruin our Surrey fields and woodlands it is easy to do, very easy, and if you want to save them they can be saved. Look into your hearts and look into the past, and remember that all this beauty is a gift which you can never replace, which no money can buy, which no cleverness can refashion. You can make a town, you can make a desert, you can even make a garden; but you can never, never make the country, because it was made by Time”.
EM Forster – “The Abinger Pageant” (1934)
The Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Set within it are the villages of Gomshall, Abinger, Peaslake, Holmbury St Mary, Farley Green and Shere.
Shere has been described as one of the most beautiful villages in England. Our villages are enjoyed not only by our residents. People from all over the South East use this area as a playground, for cycling, rambling, walking and to get out of the city – and tourists come here from all over the world.
There are proposals to extend the existing boundaries of the villages to include a wider margin. So not only any open space in the existing village, but some of the land adjacent to it would be available for building since these open spaces would be in the new “village” boundary. There are risks to other villages in the area too, many of which will be expanded hugely, and there are plans to site new towns not very far away in the borough.
The Local Plan may also allow some building in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in open country outside the villages – so if you love any of this countryside this may affect you. This is not just affordable homes for local people (although “rural exception sites” are dressed up as this – these include homes for sale to make the proposal “viable”, and anyone on the Guildford Borough Council housing list).
This would add new homes that our small, rural villages cannot sustain. Our roads, our schools, our doctors and our drains could not cope. The character of the villages – and the surrounding countryside – could change forever.
This group has been set up by local residents who are trying to protect these glorious landscapes. This is not only for those who love the villages now, here and throughout the world, but for future generations.
We have called ourselves Save Shere, Gomshall, Peaslake and Abinger because otherwise the name would be too long – but we are concerned for the plans regarding the whole Parish of Shere, all its villages and all its countryside. That includes Farley Green, Holmbury St Mary, Burrows Cross and the hamlets and the countryside between them, Anyone can support us. We just want to know that you care about our beautiful countryside.
Below is a list of links for other groups in Surrey who are campaigning to protect the Green Belt.
OTHER WEBSITES OF INTEREST
http://covop.org Community Voice on Planning – an umbrella organisation of other greenbelt groups around the country who are facing the same issues – both Save Shere Gomshall & Abinger and Guildford Greenbelt Group are affiliated to this
http://www.sheredelight.com/ – A website dedicated to Shere village
http://planninglawblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/inappropriate-development-in-green-belt.html – legal notes – planning law blog
http://guildfordplan.com/– useful, but note this is NOT the official Guildford Borough Council website but is the blog of the Guildford Society/Guildford Vision Group
http://www.gefweb.org.uk – Guildford Environmental Forum website
http://www.shereparishcouncil.gov.uk – Shere Parish Council official website
http://guildfordlocalplan.info the official Guildford Borough Local Plan website – sometime the info here is limited so we have tried to give more info elsewhere