The Natural England Board has agreed to begin work to assess whether the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) boundary should be extended. The long-awaited decision follows an assessment by local AONB partners back in 2013 that concluded there was evidence to support the position that the areas have sufficient natural beauty to qualify for inclusion in an AONB.

Unfortunately the boundary review will not include an appraisal of any site that has been earmarked for development in an adopted local plan. This means that Blackwell Farm, most of which meets the criteria for “outstanding natural beauty”, will not be included in the review and the area will lose out on the opportunity for this important protection for decades to come. In 2016, Compton, Worplesdon and Wanborough Parish Councils commissioned an independent landscape assessment of Blackwell Farm, which concluded that the vast majority of the area merited AONB status and should be included in the boundary review.

However, the review does provide an opportunity to incorporate into the AONB the land between Wanborough and Flexford that currently benefits from the weaker, local, status of Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). If achieved this should provide greater protection against the inappropriate development that is currently blighting the AGLV field to the west of Westwood Lane at the sharp left hand bend as it approaches the village of Wanborough. Local stakeholders such as Wanborough and Normandy Parish Councils will have an opportunity to make the case for the inclusion of this area as part of the review process.

Saturday the 18th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template