Another Great Betrayal?

I have learnt with some alarm that Longshot intend to begin work on the golf course at Cherkley Court on Wednesday, 27th March – the Wednesday of Holy week, often known as "Spy Wednesday" since it recalls Judas beginning his act of betrayal.

It seems an appropriate day for Longshot to begin. They cannot wait for the outcome of the judicial review to see if, in fact, their planning application stands or is quashed. No, they must, it seems, start now.

I understand heavy earth-moving equipment is already waiting on the site. Also, as part of the preparation, the Northern Parkland will be sprayed with herbicide. In 2004 the Northern Parkland became subject of a Countryside Stewardship Scheme Agreement in order to promote biodiversity and was supported by substantial grants of public money.

If Longshot go ahead and eventually the judicial review should quash planning permission, all the money spent on the Northern Parkland will have been wasted and, indeed, any work by the heavy machinery will have caused irremediable damage both to the landscape and to the rich biodiversity of the area. Why cannot Longshot wait? Why are they in such haste to start before the judicial review?

Health: Better Services Better Value

Dear Surrey Resident,
You may have heard about Better Services Better Value, a review of local healthcare services across Epsom and surrounding areas and South West London.  The review aims to improve clinical quality and safety and improve care and health outcomes for patients. 
On Wednesday 20th March we are holding a pre-consultation meeting where you can find out more about these proposals before a formal three month public consultation takes place in the spring.

We would like to invite you to come along, speak with clinicians and give your views on specific areas of the local healthcare system. There will be table discussions which you can join to find out more. These will focus on a number of topics including:

·         Emergency and Urgent Care
·         Planned Care
·         Maternity and Children’s Services
·         Out of Hospital Care/Long Term Conditions/End of Life Care
·         Travel/Transport
You are welcome to move from one table to another to hear about the different areas of the programme and you will also be able to pick up a copy of our Case for Change leaflet, which sets out the clinical evidence that underpins the proposals.
It is a drop-in meeting so you do not need to stay for the whole event.  We will make sure you receive the information you need, even if you can only stay for a short while. You will also be able to register your interest to take part in the formal consultation later on in the year.
If you want to find out more information before the event, please visit the Better Services Better Value website 
Meeting details:
Date:                     Wednesday 20th March 2013
Venue:                 Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF (please see overleaf for travel information)
Time:                     6.00 to 8.30 pm                 Tea and coffee will be available.
Please contact the BSBV team or 020 8251 0512 for further details, or if you have any specific requirements that we need to meet.
We look forward to seeing you on the 20th March.
With best wishes,
Dr David Finch, Dr Howard Freeman, Mr Mike Bailey
Joint Medical Directors of Better Services, Better Value
Travel Information
Driving Directions
Bourne Hall is easily accessible from:
Gatwick via M25 – A217 – A240
Heathrow via M25 – A3
London via A3
Bourne Hall has a large pay and display car park. We have reserved a number of places. If these run out the charge is £1 for 3 hours.
The nearest railway station is Ewell West
(5 minutes’ walk) with regular direct rail
Routes between Guildford and Waterloo.
Please plan your journey at
The nearest tube is Morden.
Local buses run to and from Ewell Village.
Please plan your journey at
Bus number 293: Ewell Village to Morden tube
Bus number 808: Ewell Village to Cheam
Bus number 406: Ewell Village to Kingston or Epsom.

Is the Green Belt about to turn brown?

I read on page 5 of the current LRA Newsletter: "… the ecological value of Cherkley’s uncultivated chalk grassland remains in dispute between Mole Valley and Longshot. Until this is resolved, the application of total herbicide and construction of the golf course cannot commence."

Good, I thought. Then, on the same day, I receive a press release from Cherkley Campaign Ltd and read: "Local countryside campaigners were horrified to hear this week that Longshot Cherkley Court Ltd, the company that owns the Cherkley estate outside Leatherhead, is about to start applying a total herbicide to the wildflower meadows on Leatherhead Downs in preparation for the development of a golf course."

So what is going on?

From 2004 the Cherkley estate had the benefit of a Countryside Stewardship Scheme and around £200,000 of grant money was used to revert arable land to grassland free from artificial fertilisers and pesticides, so that opportunities for an increase in the diversity of flora and fauna could be created.

If Longshot applies total herbicide to the meadows, then make no mistake: that £200,000 will have been wasted, the area’s biodiversity will be irreparably damaged, and this year there will be no cows grazing the land, no no cowslips, no bees, no butterflies, no orchids, or any oxbow daisies. We shall be left with brown fields in place of this rich pastoral environment and, unless the judicial review quashes the MVDC grant of planning permission, it will be only a matter of time before heavy earth moving machinery moves in to re-sculpt 83 hectares of chalk grassland on the North Downs.

How those councillors who suggested that a golf course would enhance and protect this rural landscape and improve conditions for wildlife and biodiversity can square this with the application of total herbicide that will destroy the biodiversity is beyond me. Are these councillors really more knowledgeable about the countryside than the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England whose Surrey branch is supporting the judicial review?

What is happening to our Green Belt?

First our councillors overturn their own Local Plan to allow the development of an exclusive golf course and luxury hotel; then they invite developers to bid for other Green Belt land which will mean the replacement of allotments tended by local residents for 40 years or more.

Agenda LRA Open Committee Meeting, 4th March 7.30 p.m.

Agenda  LRA  Open Committee Meeting,  4 March 7.30 p.m.
Meetings may run to 2 hours but we aim to finish earlier.





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