GGG objection to building next to Sayer’s Croft

There is proposed building next to Sayer’s Croft, the wildlife and natural education centre in Ewhurst. If you, or your children – have been there, you will know what a wonderful educational resource this is, and how it will be wrecked by yet more insensitive crass development.

More is available on a separate post on this here:

https://savesheregomshall.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/sayers-croft-a-charity-teaching-children-about-countryside-and-the-outdoors-threatened/

This is the GGG letter of objection, and all are welcome to borrow from it to use for their own objections.

[Address supplied]

February 13, 2015

Planning Department

Planning Services,

Waverley Borough Council,

The Burys,

Godalming

Surrey GU7 1HR.

 

Dear Planning Officer

 

Location: Land at Penlan and Garden Cottage, Cranleigh Road, Ewhurst GU6 7RN

(near Sayers’ Croft).

I am writing to you on behalf of GGG (Guildford Greenbelt Group), a local campaigning group and political party, of which I am Chair.  GGG objects to this application.

 

Sayers Croft is a wonderful charity that exists to teach primary school children about the outdoors, the countryside and the environment, and that seeks to educate all about the importance of the natural world. It has an impact which is out of all proportion to the scale of the site. Children from across London and the South East have their lives enriched permanently by a significant experience of the natural world.

 

15 000 children a year come to Sayers Croft to learn about the countryside and their environment, many from the inner city.

 

It is now threatened with a building site, and this splendid educational resource is likely to be damaged irretrievably.

 

English Heritage have recommended that Sayers Croft should be designated a conservation area, and this site, should be regarded as including heritage assets.. Great crested newts, a species protected by law, are on the site, close to the area  proposed for development, and as Natural England point out they are protected throughout their life cycle. This is not suitable land for development.

 

Sayers’ Croft have produced some comments about their site in relation to grounds for objection, all of which are endorsed in full by GGG.

 

The NPPF protects views into and out of the AONB, and Sayers’ Croft and its environs are overlooked by the Surrey Hills AONB. This is not a suitable site for development, and our members therefore urge Waverley Council to object to this development.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Susan Parker

 

Chair

Guildford Greenbelt Group

 

Specific objections which are endorsed fully by GGG

 

Heritage:

  • Sayers Croft was built in 1940 and has a rich heritage including a Grade 2 Listed building. The whole site has been recommended by English Heritage to be designated a Conservation Area. Under the National Planning Policy Framework, developers and local authorities must consider the setting of Heritage assets

 

Economic Sustainability:

* Sayers Croft provides employment for over 40 people and provides homes for 27 local people in affordable accommodation. Its business relies solely on providing quality outdoor learning experiences for young people in a rural setting. The raison d’être of Sayers Croft is to provide quality outdoor learning experiences. The majority of children visiting Sayers Croft (around 15,000 per annum) are from inner city London and come to Sayers Croft for the rural setting – to get away from housing developments, traffic, concrete playgrounds – to experience nature in a way they never have had the opportunity to before

* At Sayers Croft there is often noise created by late-night discos, fire drills and alarms, drumming in the woods or simply the sound of 200 children having fun. It doesn’t take much imagination to foresee conflict between the new residents of million pound plus houses and the educational institution

 

Biodiversity:

* Natural England guidance states “Great crested newts, their breeding sites and resting places are protected by law. The law protects them throughout their lifecycle.” Developers and Local authorities have a legal duty to ensure that these animals, which have been found at Sayers Croft less than 50m from the development site, are not harmed. In this case the developers have not shown due diligence in conducting the necessary surveys. If the local authority were to pass this application without due diligence, they too would be negligent.

 

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