Guildford Residents Association
Guildford Residents Association

4. Protect & enhance our countryside & open spaces within the town

Residents attach great importance to an attractive patchwork of green open spaces within local communities and to the natural beauty of the countryside that envelops the town.

This means:

  • Stopping the incursion of urban features and out of character development in the countryside and protecting the Green Belt and countryside edge.
  • Enhancing the wildlife value and unique landscape qualities of the countryside around, and open spaces within, the town.
  • Providing outdoor locations where families can enjoy recreational activity in peaceful surroundings.
  • Making the river much more of a focus as a wildlife corridor, for recreation and as a feature of the town centre with pedestrian access along each bank.
  • Ensuring Council owned farms retain their rural character in perpetuity and are managed to enhance their landscape, wildlife and amenity value and to prevent harmful development around the edges of the town.




1.  Protect the designated countryside around Guildford, in particular the Green Belt and Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and support the Area of Great Landscape Value becoming AONB.

2.  Protect green Public Open Spaces and their individual characters in the Local Plan. 
3.   Resist turning natural, unspoilt countryside, such as Chantry Wood and Tyting Farm, into urban parks in the name of attracting visitors away from the vulnerable Thames Basin heathland wildlife areas.
4.  Ensure any ‘Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspaces’ provide genuinely new opportunities for informal recreation in newly created areas of high potential wildlife value rather than simply a rebranding of areas already enjoyed by residents for their natural beauty.

5.  Ensure the amenity value and distinctive character of open land owned by GBC is fully recognised and enhanced by appropriate management.  Protect such land against harmful development (e.g. Stoke Park), noise pollution (e.g.                            Riverside) and insensitive management (e.g. flailing of trees and shrubs on the ancient trackway of Green Lane or the addition of urbanising clutter on the Chantries, Pewley Down and Tyting Farm).  Review the management of each site to avoid further inappropriate interventions.
6.  Secure the future of the valued qualities of Council owned farms, including Burpham Court and Tyting Farms, for the benefit of the community in perpetuity and ensure their management is resilient to anticipated changes in stewardship payments.
7.  Retain current allotment sites for community benefit. 


8.  Designate adequate green space, allotments and public footpaths in new developments so they provide public benefit in perpetuity and are not lost within the curtilage of properties over time or developed.


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© Graham Hibbert