COMMUNITY ASSETS, INFRASTRUCTURE & BUSINESS ECONOMY
West Horsley Parish Council (WHPC) has, pursuant to the new Local Plan proposals by Guildford Borough Council, commissioned a Steering Group to conduct researches and compile an evidence base to assist a professional Planning Consultant retained by the Steering Group in his preparation of draft policies to be put to WHPC for approval and adoption following a local referendum to the village.
The Steering Group is made up of three sub-groups, of which we at Community Assets etc ‘CAIBE’ are one, the others being ‘Housing & Design’ and ‘Environment & Landscape’.
Purpose of the CAIBE Sub-Group
There are three strings to this sub-group’s considerations, which are as follows:
String 1 - Community Assets
These are those elements of West Horsley which define the identity, character and history of the village, and provide a foundation and/or a service to the local community, and which are thus an essential part of its fabric. They range from Listed Buildings and houses of special character to AONB’s and local green spaces, from sports and leisure facilities to social and pastoral centres, and which together make up the special environment and dynamic of West Horsley which is so valued and cherished by its residents.
The essential nature of West Horsley, and which sets it apart and distinct from its near neighbour East Horsley in particular, is founded in its historical roots and heritage going back several centuries, and in its rural setting. The present community has immersed itself within and become part of this fabric; it is essential that any future developments do likewise, adding to the vibrancy and health of the community but in recognition of its unique environment and without detriment to its core values.
String 2 – Infrastructure
The infrastructure of West Horsley is the framework upon which the village is constructed, the skeleton upon which the flesh and sinew of a living and breathing community is formed, and it comprises the links and connections between its various parts to aid its functionality and health, including drainage.
This skeleton has a spine essentially passing north to south along East Lane, The Street and Shere Road, with ribs and limbs reaching out to open fields and woodlands, farms, allotments, residential enclaves, and community facilities such as churches, public houses, meeting places including the village hall, sports and recreation areas, etc.
The arterial routes bringing people to and from the village by road are the A246 Guildford/Epsom Road to the south and Ockham Road from the north, down which and along the spine pass the infrequent local bus services. There is also a network of country roads and lanes criss-crossing the parish such as Ripley Lane and Long Reach, which provide local connections to adjoining villages such as Ripley, Ockham, Shere and The Clandons; there are few pavements along these roads, but rather a network of footpaths, permissive ways and cycle tracks, although more prolific in the southern parts of the village. A rail service passes east to west through West Horsley, with Horsley station sited in East Horsley and serving both parishes.
String 3 - Business and Economy
There are several sizeable businesses operating within West Horsley which include: Cranmore and Raleigh Schools; the Montessori nursery school (Footprints); King William IV and Barley Mow public houses; Squires Garden Centre; Dene Place Care Home; Bell and Colvill motor centre and West Horsley Motor Works. Grange Park Opera is presently under construction at West Horsley Place. A number of smaller businesses offering public access are also based in the parish and are located at the south end of The Street, including Charles Pain convenience store (now closed), a dental practice, and Hookwood chiropractic clinic - the local sub Post Office was lost to the village about 12 months ago and is now converted to flats. There are also various sole traders who work from small premises or from home.
These businesses provide the life blood of the local economy, and offer employment and custom both to the village itself and to the wider community. Their continuation is considered vital to the health of West Horsley, and the recent and pending loss of key contributors is detrimental, keenly felt and mourned. The preservation of such business assets is worthy of substantial support, as is the opportunity to encourage organic growth and to aspire to future enterprises.
(CAIBE Sub-Group Lead)
28 September 2016