The Superintendent advised that Newton Wood, a 72-acre stretch of land adjoined to Ashtead Common, was currently on offer for £450,000. The Wood was characteristically very different from Ashtead Common, but would complement the City’s existing land. However, the City was not currently able to make any capital purchases for budgetary reasons. The land was a Site of Special Scientific Interest and located within the Green Belt.
A Member expressed concern that a future government could relax planning laws to allow the owner to sell the wood for urban development.
In response to a Member’s query, the Superintendent advised that section 106 funding could not be used to purchase the land.
The Superintendent advised that there was currently no public access to Newton Wood. If someone bought the land, it could be beneficial to negotiate public access.