March 21st Meeting


PATH Meeting Tuesday March 20th, Elstead Pavilion.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday April 24th in the Elstead Pavilion.



Dave Sumner Smith (Chair)

Dawn Davidsen

Tish Harwood (

John Mathisen

Pat Murphy

Sandra Smith 01252 703025,

Michael Organe 01252 703 109,

Leif Davidsen


Meeting was called to allow the teams set up at the previous meeting to report progress on current investigations.


Dave felt that the MoD  are still taking decisions without consultation and that establishing formal communications with the MoD and Landmarc should be a priority. The purpose of this would be to shorten communication lines and help to avoid misunderstandings. Pat Murphy said that this should be done by direct contact with one or more of the following people:

Claire Dalton,  Senior Estate Surveyor DTE HC, 01420 483438

Malcolm Bartlett, Landmarc

Judith Williams, DIO Warminster


The MoD had approached Waverley Planning Department to discover whether setting up a small car park along Houndown Lane (Option 1a) would need planning permission. Apparently it would not but the size proposed is inadequate, especially for horse boxes.


Option 1 is still the preferred option for PATH, as decided at the Public Meeting, particularly with regard to access by disabled and elderly people wishing to access the Common via B101. There may be technical difficulties with Option 1 related to drainage and this will be investigated.


Pat was asked what would be involved in asking for the SSSI to be relaxed on the West corner of the crossroads, opposite Option 1, as it may be more suitable. Pat felt that the process could be complex and that once Natural England has drawn a line on the map it is unlikely to move it.


Pat Murphy reported that Elstead Parish Council will provide and empty a waste bin at the new car park when established. He would also bring up the question of the siting of the car park at the Hankley Common Conservation Group meeting on Wednesday March  21st . This Group includes the MoD, SWT, Natural England and Elstead Council.


Tish Harwood and Sandra Smith discussed the permits for horse riders on the Commons and it appears that they are available but not everybody has them. Apparently this has not been a problem until recently with Landmarc’s more aggressive policing of the Common.


Dawn had done an unpleasant service on Monday by removing about a dozen bags of dog mess that had been dumped during the previous week, alongside the path south west of the DZ park. No similar collection has appeared since. Theories about their origin include a set-up by Landmarc, or a strong hint by dog owners that they want a bin, or possibly just a lemming syndrome!


Some reference was made to the legal position on access to the Commons but the situation seems still to be unclear.


Following the PATH Meeting Pat Murphy reported on the HCCG meeting on Wednesday March 21st.


 The MoD explained:


- the approach to WBC about the Houndown Lane site was primarily to establish whether or not there would be a need for planning consent. The dimensions of the car park have not yet been determined, but Col Bishop said he was thinking in terms of space for 20-25 vehicles. This would require a larger area than 20x15m. The Parish Council will be consulted when the details have been firmed up. The MoD are reluctant to replicate the size of the current car park as this was constructed for military not civilian use, ie including larger vehicles and buses, and they did not want to create a car park which would act as a magnet for large numbers of visitors, including organised parties. Military vehicles would not use the new car park. It was unlikely that the MOD would start any work on the project in the near future.


- they planned very shortly to improve the capacity of the Pitch Place pull-in, not by enlarging the perimeter but by removing some of the obstacles (eg tree roots) within the existing perimeter. It was hoped this could add about 10 spaces. The aim would be to distribute visitor activity more evenly across the commons.


- the MoD welcomed the PC's offer to provide and service a litter bin at the new car park. They would get back to us on this. Sean Edwards said Thursley PC would probably wish to be associated with the provision of litter bins.


I suggest we monitor normal usage of the current car park (ie after the current surge relating to the filmimg activity has abated) to see whether a 20-25 space car park would be sufficient to cater for day-to-day visitor numbers.


I asked about the work to improve the flow on Sandford Brook. MoD confirmed that they did not plan any further works as they did not feel they would help. I said that the ditch beyond the current works was still badly constricted and if it were cleared the water levels were likely to fall. It was agreed that I would meet Landmarc officers to walk the site next week to see if further work would be worthwhile.