Tuesday 9 July 2013

Cherkley: now the Forty Acre Field is at risk!

It is now just over four weeks since the Judicial Review and we still await the judge's decision.  Meanwhile many of us have looked on in dismay as the North Field beside Reigate Road (B2033) has been turned into a bleak area of brown and white. No wonder that developers have eagerly been eyeing up the Green Field sites in south Leatherhead!

Now I understand that the Forty Acre Field is at risk. It seems that Longshot cannot wait for the decision of the Judicial Review and will exploit all loop-holes in the current Interim Injunction and that archaeological investigations will be resuming.

The Forty Acre Field is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan [BAP] Habitat and it supports animals that are themselves BAP species and for some invertebrates, their food plants, e.g. grass snakes. Roman snails are also protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

I am told also that the Forty Acre Field also qualifies as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance according to the County Ecologist.

Despite all this, it seems there is little actual protection for the living animals and plants and their habitat, only a watching brief for archaeology. Why? Why are potentially damaging archaeological investigations allowed to proceed at the cost of the wild habitat, especially as we are still waiting for the outcome of the judicial review?

Is there really such pressure from the multi-millionnaire golfers for whom the course is being designed? Can Longshot really not wait till the outcome of the Judicial Review is known?


  1. Nice one Fulvius!

  2. Think we also need to think of living human beings before Roman snails and grass snakes!! BUT YES the Green Belt YES, the GREEN Belt must be protected as far as possible and not be eroded away BUT

    Houses are needed and land for them must be found BUT in the right location for those who need them and on land with facilities to house them.

    The land where Cherkley Court is has always been private so please stop beefing on about multi-millonnaires - it is private except for public walks which will be kept open, rarely open to the public in the past and at least the land will be kept green!! The land was already "spoilt" years ago when the spoils from the M25 were dumped on the land!

    Yes, let's have the result of the Judicial Review as soon as possible and stop this continual fight.

  3. Think your missing the point - this land is for a golf course not houses. This golf course will be right next to another golf course.

    Developers are planning to build on the other side of the A24 close to Givons Grove. It'll make a nice view for Michael Caine.

  4. The land around Cherkley Court would be an area of Surrey scrub land if the golf course development did not go ahead. Take the Tyrrells Wood Golf course next door, it is an excellent example of how beautiful the land can look with neatly cut fairways and well tended trees and shrubs.
    The fact that there is another golf course next door is irrelevant. This is what is known as free enterprise. Why dont you object to yet another
    restaurant or charity shop in Leatherhead. ?
    Are we really talking about the interest of Roman Snails and grass snakes.?

  5. The living human beings who are being preferred to grass snakes and Roman snails are golfers and, yes, golfers who are millionaires. At the Judicial Review the developer's QC claimed that this golf course would be of world class standard and superior to any at present in the UK. It is not for the people of Leatherhead.

    The _houses_, as the 3rd Anonymous rightly says, are proposed for the other side of the A24. Allowing development of the Green Belt for commercial purposes (which is what a luxury hotel, spa, exclusive golf course etc is) weakens the case for protecting the Green Belt on the other side of the A24.

    I think councillors did not properly address the Officers' recommendation to refuse in the first place; and this has got us into the present mess.

    We still wait for the judge's findings. The case is clearly a good deal more complication that some people have been making out.