Woodham Lane New Town protesters go private

POSTERS objecting to a ‘new town’ on the eastern edge of Woking borough are being displayed in abundance – but only on private land.

Following dozens of action group placards being taken down by council officers, protesters are being careful where they put replacements.

No Woodham New Town’ posters and banners had been removed because they were on highways land without permission and deemed to be flyposting. The council also admitted that some of those taken away were on private property.

Action group spokesman Matt Ryder told the News & Mail: “We are now being careful to put posters and banners on private land and on boards rather than pinned to trees, so that they don’t do any damage.

“The council can’t touch the five banners on the opposite side of the A320 because they are on land owned by Horsell Common Preservation Society.”

The local authority has agreed to pay to replace the signs, which urge people to object to 274 acres of land adjoining Martyrs Lane being reserved for housing needs from 2027 to 2040, with the possibility of up to 3,500 homes being built there.

A second drop-in public session on the proposal is being held today (Thursday 2 February) from 2pm to 7pm in the HG Wells Centre in Woking town centre. The six-week consultation ends on Monday 20 February.

Horsell Common Preservation Society has officially objected to the land being allocated for housing, highlighting the effect a ‘new town’ would have on its heathland wildlife.

The common is part of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, which severely restricts development within five kilometres of its borders without replacement recreation land being provided.

Woking Chamber of Commerce is urging its members to respond to the consultation, so that it can make a combined submission to Woking Borough Council based on the responses.

Mark Stevens, chairman of the chamber’s planning & environment committee, said members were broadly supportive of the original proposals to ‘safeguard’ six smaller sites around the borough.

“We are particularly keen to hear members’ thoughts on the alternative proposal, and the reasoning behind that position,” he added.

Members’ responses have been requested by Friday 10 February.

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