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Spanglefish Gold Status Expired 01/01/1900.
NEWS ROUND-UP - St Patricks Day 2008
17 March 2008


Several recent news items have been added to the Library Section. There's a reply from 10 Downing St re our petition. Also, a reply from GBC to our MP following questions WBDRA members raised about Student Accommodation @ our AGM. Another is an article about a wildlife group called Buglife and their battle to keep housing away from an important wildlife site. One of the Editors' favourites is a cartoon from one of the February 08 issues of Private Eye featuring a local council Planning Committee.


An article in the Surrey Times last month said that GBC had approved funds for Affordable Housing in 3 wards including Westborough. Enquiring further, we discovered that the site in Westborough is indeed the Aldershot Road Allotment Site. This article was published the week after the Site Allocations Consultation closed - so does this means GBC will ignore us and all our responses saying No to Housing on the Allotment Site and that they still intend to proceed with their Housing Plans?

Also one of the Allotment tenants spotted that Lottery Funds were available for public projects and phoned GBC. The Council official was very helfpul and encouraging UNTIL the tenant said the money would be used to improve the Gate & fencing by the Woodside Rd entrance to the Allotment Site. THe GBC official said that was not possible as the land there was for Housing. And this was during the same Consultation period!

Have a look at the Private Eye cartoon in our Website library - it seems to have a general ring of truth about it! All of this just strengthens our resolve to fight to save the site from development.


The Garden Grabbing ones continue to be filed with monotonous regularity. Remember the Tories & Lib Dems election manifestos in May 2007?  We will fight to keep our Open Spaces they both said. This just isn't the case in practice where party politics seems to determine housing policy and approvals for just these type of developments.

WBDRA is among 30 or so objectors to another application for 65 Broadacres - other objectors include the Parish Council and Surrey County Council!

There's another proposed development for Beckingham Road which has all the hallmarks of build-to-let Student Housing. WBDRA & our colleagues in Stoughton (SCA) continue to resist Garden Grabbing at each and every turn and we've been involved in quite a number this year already.

Trouble is, whilst these Garden Grabbing/Infill developments don't breach any Planning technicalities, they will and do destroy neighbourhoods & local communities. When will it all end - when North Guildford is completely concreted over and Guildford itself joins up with Woking in a continuous Outer London sprawl? Let's make sure this doesn't happen.


(1) Some good news over there is the Site has a new Warden - John Steer. John is an Allotment enthusiast, his own man and a very helpful guy - just the right qualities to make a big difference to the Site and the Allotment Community.

(2) There are several plots coming available so if you're keen on Growing your own or looking for a family activity (or even a retirement hobby) - now's the time to apply.


Yes we're still battling away trying to get the wooden fence restored at the Oakfields end of the Allotment site. WBDRA maintains GBC had no right to remove this (it was not GBC property) and have asked for its restoration.

We will continue to push for this as what was once a quiet unobtrusive part of the road is now an eye-grabbing Security feature worthy of HMP Send!. GBC have largely ignored our direct representations and seem to be persuading our local Councillors to do nothing too.

That can't be right and we're not going to wait 2 or 3 or 4 years for immature small shrubs to grow to the height of the previous wooden fence which was an excellent screen (from both sides of the fence!). Please support us when asked to help on this.


One  of St Patrick's legendary acts was to drive out all the snakes from Ireland. And apparently, there are still no snakes there - even today  1500 years on.

Lucky he didn't visit our Allotment Site where we regularly enjoy the company of Grass Snakes and Slow-worms (lizards often mistaken for Snakes).

Despite not being allowed to celebrate Saints Days during Holy Week, the Editor will be checking out the Shamrock in his garden and enjoying a medicinal Jamesons!



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