We object to private use of Surrey common

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We have objected to plans by the Shere Manor Estate to construct four parking-spaces on The Hurtwood common, near Holmbury St Mary in Surrey.  This is to provide parking for the future occupiers of properties created from the conversion of The Hollybush tavern.

Because the works are on common land, they require the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, and the society is notified of all such applications.

The society has objected because the works are of purely private benefit, and will conflict with the public’s use and enjoyment of the common.  The proposal would involve levelling a steep bank and clearing the vegetation.  It would suburbanise this attractive corner of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It is perfectly possible to provide the necessary parking-spaces within the existing curtilage of The Hollybush, rather than taking public land for private use.  Commons are of immense public value, and The Hurtwood is no exception.  There are rights to walk and ride all over it.  The development is on rising ground and would be visible for a considerable distance.  It is an abuse of common land and we trust the Secretary of State will say no.

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