A reminder that if you want to tell Surrey County Council what you think of its plans for Norbury Park – you only have until November 29th to do so.
A ‘vision’ document for the park was released last month with outline plans to turn the former sawmill site, which closed in April, into a ‘woodland hub’.
The Council wants to hear what residents think about the proposals and has provided an online survey.
The FRA is represented on the Norbury Park Forum by Patrick Bisgood.
His major concern is the possibility of increased vehicle traffic in the park attempting to reach the redeveloped sawmill site.
He says: “Fetcham residents may be interested to read page 28 of the Vision for Norbury Park where it outlines what is described as ‘the most significant’ proposal. This is the development of the sawmill site as a woodland hub.
“ It states that vehicle access is from Fetcham i.e. the bridleway running from the Fetcham car park. This has never previously been the case other than for vehicles too heavy for the bridges leading into Norbury Park from the A24.
“ There have already been complaints of inconsiderate drivers using this route to or from the weddings and other events in the area known as Phoenice Fields. These events are restricted to six a year.
“ Before the sawmill closed at the end of April, there were eight people working there (not all full time) and they arrived at 8:00am and left at 4:00pm Monday to Friday. Whilst there are few specific details as to which businesses might eventually be operating from the site, it appears that vehicles are likely to be coming and going seven days a week.
However, the document claims that ‘very little will change’. ‘We, like you, want to preserve the essence of Norbury Park’, it says.
The proposals include two new trails: a 5km ‘Active Trail’ with exercise installations from Fetcham Car Park and taking in Bocketts Farm Park, the Sawmill and Viewpoint, and a ‘Sensory Trail’ with spaces and information to help people experience nature.
The sawmill site would become a ‘Woodland Hub’ with new visitor toilets, a serviced pitch for Wild about Coffee, woodland operations, space for education and rural crafts.
The stated aim is to ‘optimize the contribution that Norbury Park makes to the health and social well-being of the people of Surrey’. This includes:
-- celebrating and conserving its heritage whilst reversing nature loss,
-- mitigating and managing climate change,
-- supporting farming, woodland and rural crafts, and
-- providing access and engagement opportunities for the wide community.
The council also plans to work with its farm tenants and contractors on managing the woodlands, flood prevention and reducing the use of artificial fertilizers and chemicals.
The Council says after considering feedback it will publish a second ‘vision’ document.