Mayford and Sutton Green

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This Local Plan summary for Mayford and Sutton Green is one of a series of guides covering Woking Borough. It aims to provide a general user friendly overview of how the Woking Borough Local Plan 1999 will manage future development in this area. The Local Plan sets out the Council's policies for the development and use of land and includes the key considerations for determining planning applications. The Council also produces a number of other key strategies which feature policies that are not covered by the Local Plan.

The Local Plan summaries contain a brief discussion of the development issues within each area and how policies will affect them. They also contain details of any specific proposals for the area, together with an extract of the Local Plan Proposals Map. As well as policies on specific development issues, the Local Plan also includes general policies on related matters such as design, landscaping, parking and the effects of traffic which apply to all developments. Although the summary provides an overview of the policies for Mayford and Sutton Green, reference should be made to the Local Plan for the full text of any policies. Relevant Local Plan policies for each issue are shown in brackets.

About Mayford and Sutton Green

The Mayford and Sutton Green area lies in the south of the Borough. The area is generally rural and open in character. The majority of the area is designated as Green Belt to ensure there is a significant gap between the built up areas of Woking and Guildford. The Green Belt contains a variety of rural land uses, including agriculture, open recreation (golf courses), ecological and environmental sites together with isolated and low density housing.

The focus of the Local Plan for this area is on protecting the environment and ensuring that any new development is in keeping with the existing character and Green Belt status of the area. Only very limited types of building will be permitted in the Green Belt, with development of a modest scale, appropriate to the area permitted in the small non Green Belt area. Important ecological, environmental and heritage sites will be protected. A number of special policies are included to protect the landscape of the River Wey, Sutton Plan and the Hook Heath escarpment.

Green Belt

There are substantial development pressures exerted on open land which both threatens the character of the area and could prejudice Green Belt purposes. Local Plan policies:

  • protect the Green Belt areas from new building for purposes other than agriculture and outdoor recreation in order to protect its open character (GRB1)
  • only allow residential infilling of suitable small gaps within the defined area in Mayford Village (GRB4)
  • allow the conversion of existing buildings in the Green Belt to other uses which protect its open character and do not harm the amenity of the area (GRB3)

Areas outside the Green Belt

The limited area outside the Green Belt is predominantly medium density housing. Opportunities to build more housing within this built-up area are limited, but in some cases house builders may seek to redevelop sites to provide more houses. In these cases, the Local Plan policies aim to:

  • allow the construction of new housing in the urban area, provided the development reflects the character of the area (HSG18)

Local centres

In 1999, there were only two shops in Mayford village centre which is a result of its Green Belt location. The village centre has a loose knit and fragmented collection of individual buildings, with large areas of open space and soft landscaping. The Local Plan allows:

  • limited additional retail development provided it is appropriate to the size and character of the centre (SHP1, SHP6)

Community facilities

There is a range of community facilities serving the local area including the Mayford Centre and the village hall. Local Plan policies:

  • resist the loss of community facilities unless there is no longer a need for the facility or where adequate alternative provision is made (CUS2)

Natural environment and landscape

Within the area lie Prey Heath and Smart's Heath. These heathland areas are important European and British wildlife sites which are designated as Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This is to protect the endangered species which live on these sites.

There are also a number of regionally important Sites of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI) at the Hoe Valley linear Park, Kemishford Bridge, Poor Jack's Wood, Sutton Place Meadows, Whitmoor Pond and Westfield Common together with the courses of the River Wey and Hoe Stream which should be protected. These are designated SNCI as they include important grassland, heathland, woodland and wetland habitats together with river courses. In addition, a Local Nature Reserve has been established at Mayford Meadows by the Council to protect its ecological importance.

The Hoe Stream, the River Wey and Hook Heath Escarpment are important landscape features in the area which are designated for protection. The Council wishes to protect these landscapes from harmful development. Parts of the valleys of the River Wey and Hoe Stream also lie within a floodplain. Local Plan policies:

  • ensure that development does not harm the nature conservation value of the SPA and SSSI at Prey Heath and Smart's Heath (NE1)
  • protect the regionally important SNCI's at the Hoe Valley Linear Park, Kemishford Bridge, the courses of the River Wey and Hoe Stream, Poor Jack's Wood, Sutton Place Meadows, Westfield Common and Whitmoor Pond from development which their harms nature conservation interests (NE2)
  • protect the Hook Heath Escarpment and adjacent rising ground from development which harms the quality of the landscape (NE7)
  • ensure that any development in the valleys of the River Wey and Hoe Stream both respects the quality of the landscape (NE6) and does not lead to an increased risk of flooding (NE11). Development will not normally be permitted in the flood plain.
  • protect the Mayford Meadows Local Nature Reserve from development which harms its nature conservation interest (NE2)

Built heritage and conservation

A key feature of the area is Sutton Park and Place. Sutton Place is a Grade 1 Listed Building which was built for Sir Richard Weston in the 16th Century. Additionally, Sutton Park and the area extending to Sutton Green has been designated by the Council as a Conservation Area to protect its character. There are a further nine nationally Listed Buildings in the Conservation Area including Oak House, Lady Grove Farmhouse and the Church of St. Edward the Confessor. In addition, the site of the Old Manor House, west of St. Edwards Roman Catholic Church is nationally recognised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The area contains other buildings which are either nationally Listed or Locally Listed for their architectural and historic interest, together with a number of sites where the County Council considers that there may be archaeological remains. The Local Plan aims to:

  • ensure that any development preserves the historic character of the Sutton Park Conservation Area (BE9)
  • ensure that development does not harm the character or setting of the Listed and Locally Listed Buildings in the area (BE10 - BE14)
  • ensure that development does not harm the site of the Old Manor House Scheduled Ancient Monument (BE15)
  • and requires archaeological assessments in Areas of High Archaeological Potential as part of a development proposal (BE16)

Recreation and open space

The area has both formal and informal recreation opportunities. These include Sutton Green Golf Course and Westfield Common.

The River Wey and Wey Navigation also provide informal recreational opportunities for the area, although there is limited provision along the Hoe Stream. A footpath route has been identified along the Hoe Stream to increase the recreational opportunities. The Local Plan:

  • identifies a footpath route along the Hoe Stream to enhance recreational opportunities (REC14)
  • resist the loss of both formal and informal recreational space (REC3, REC4)
  • protect the important areas designated as Urban Open Spaces at Westfield Cricket Club and Westfield Common, because of their contribution to the character and appearance of the area (BE7)

Major Roads

Several major routes pass through the area including the A320 (Guildford Road), providing good road connections with other areas of the Borough and beyond. These are important through routes which suffer from heavy traffic, particularly at peak times. As well as being inconvenient for road users, this can damage the quality of the environment in the area. To address this, the Local Plan:

  • supports the implementation of a route management study for the A320 by Surrey County Council, which will establish and examine the needs of all road users whilst taking account of environmental considerations (MV26)

Public Transport, Walking and Cycling

Local Plan policies aim to support initiatives which reduce the demands on the road network by ensuring that alternatives such as public transport, walking and cycling are safe, convenient and accessible. At present, public transport accessibility in the area is very poor despite the proximity of Worplesdon station. Local Plan policies:

  • support proposals which lead to improvements in pedestrian and/or cycle facilities (MV17, MV18)
  • support infrastructure developments and priority measures which lead to improvements in the provision, accessibility and diversity of bus services together with their increased integration with other types of public transport (MV20, MV21)

Detailed proposals for maintenance and improvement of roads, cycle and pedestrian routes and public transport are not part of the Local Plan. These are set out in the Surrey Local Transport Plan (Woking Area Implementation Programme).

Useful Contacts

For any other information, please contact the Council on 01483 768746, email