Lease, and Parking restrictions!

Updated: May 20, 2020

22 October 2019

As signalled below the Council Executive met on 22nd to consider the motion referred to them by the full council on 8 October. Lead councillors and officials were present and the public were allowed in and allowed to speak. Margaret Baigent and I attended and I got an opportunity to explain the impact of the parking restrictions on the bowling club, and in particular the no return on the same day policy. Long story short the Executive concluded that they could not rescind the parking order there and then but agreed;

  • that the restrictions were a solution to a problem that did not exist in SMP,

  • that they had created unintended consequences,

  • that they were a one size fits all solution applied in all Guildford's parks parking areas but were not appropriate for SMP,

  • that the objectives of the parking strategy in SMP should be reviewed, and

  • that in the meantime the parking restrictions would not be enforced.

So the council will rethink the objectives and purpose of parking restrictions in SMP and then rerun consultation exercise.

If you're interested enough to watch the council proceedings you can view the relevant bit of the webcast here

10 October 2019


The e-petition (see below) quickly attracted the 500+ signatures needed to trigger a debate by Guildford Borough Council. That took place on 8 October and four of use went to the Council offices to listen to that. Long story short the council members were told that they don't have the power to change legal measures (this is one). They can only make recommendations to the Council Executive which does have the authority to change things. The members agreed that there had never been a parking problem in SMP and so the restrictions introduced there were a solution to a non-existent problem. They passed a motion recommending that the Executive should suspend the parking restrictions and charges until they could be reviewed and abolished of or changed. The Executive meets to consider this motion on 22 October. Unusually the meeting will be open to the public and the public will be allowed to have their say. The e-petition and subsequent council debate was solely focussed on the impact on the school, parents and children. Nothing about their impact on others such as our club. So that will be our opportunity to let them know how these provisions are affecting us. See you there!

9 August 2019


The parking restrictions have now come into effect in Sutherland Park.  All the comments to and discussions with the Council over these had, we thought, persuaded them to modify their original proposals so that they did not penalise legitimate users of the park like us.  So the 'no return on the same day' restriction which the council has introduced came completely out of the blue.  It was not included in the original proposals put out for consultation last year and so there is some questioning of its legality.  However until the Council acknowledges that, we are stuck with the problem.  Now that the restrictions have come into force the Burpham community has become aware of them, particularly the staff and parents of Burpham Primary School.  As a result an e-petition has been started on the Council website.  It needs 500 signatures to force the Council to debate the issue and at the moment it has just 492.  So it would be helpful if as many of you as possible could sign this petition  Sutherland Park parking  In the meantime the committee has applied to the Council for vouchers to cover a second visit in the same day.  There is no certainty that they will agree to that.

21 May 2019

So what did the Council finally decide about parking restrictions in the borough's parks, and in Sutherland Memorial Park in particular.

Well, a good result for the bowling club and the other clubs and user of the park. For that we must than those who made representations during the consultation period. As chair of the SMPAC I submitted extensive comments in June 2018 (click here to see) and the points raised were addressed in the Council's response - click here.

The result of the representations made by me and others is that we have persuaded the Council that their one-size-fits-all proposals is inappropriate for Sutherland Park. So the parking restrictions to be introduced on 28 May differ from those being implemented in most other parks in the borough.

  • The measures will not apply at weekends. (7 days a week elsewhere)

  • The parking free period will be 5 hours (4 hours elsewhere).

  • The enforcement time will be 6am to 5pm (6am to 8pm elsewhere)

  • Self managed permits will be issued to the bowls club on Sutherland Park (because matches can often last more than 5 hours).

So the parking measures to be introduced in Sutherland on 28 May are:

  • Restrictions apply from 6am to 5pm

  • Monday to Friday - 5 hours free after followed by a charge of £5 for up to 7 hours, and £9 for over 7 hours.

  • Weekends - no restrictions

  • Special permits can be issued for all day special events on weekdays (e.g. finals, etc)

  • Annual passes will be issued to staff (the nursery) and volunteers required to run any operation in the park.

This is an excellent result for the bowling club as the Council have been successfully persuaded to implement parking restrictions that take account of our needs.

These restrictions will discourage overnight parking which has been happening recently (the three white vans) and also allow the Council to move on illegal travellers from the park much more quickly and efficiently than currently. You will also have noticed the physical height and width restrictions that have been made to the entrance of the park also to deter illegal encampments in the park.

So all in all a satisfactory result from what could have been a measure with disastrous consequences for our club.

For this we must thank the club members and SMPAC committee members who expended considerable time, energy and effort to resist the Council's original proposals.

30 June 2018 - news on parking proposals

Representatives of the Bowling Club and the SMPAC attended a meeting with councillors and officials of Guildford Borough council on 27 May. They came away encouraged by the sympathetic hearing and hopeful of some concessions with respect to the proposed parking restrictions. Subsequently it came to light that the Surrey County Council's Guildford Local Committee (SCCGLC) held a meeting in December 2017. That meeting considered the parking proposals for Sutherland Park and agreed, unanimously, to propose that "....passes will be issued to clubs and societies who need to use the car parks so they can stay longer without charge. Parking would be free and without time limit for blue badge holders."

This information has been available to council officials for 7 months. Makes you wonder about their competence!

The lease

Members are aware that our lease with Guildford Borough Council expired over 2 years ago. Since then we have been negotiating with GBC to agree terms for a new lease. The terms originally offered were onerous to say the least. Although we were originally invited to submit a wish list of improvements - which were sympathetically received at the time - the council have proved increasingly intransigent refusing all of our reasonable requests. Those were mainly to do with improvements to provide more space for our increasing membership, safety improvements, and requests to have access to the men's changing rooms for the full season (we lose them to the footballers -who don't have a lease - as we do - but do have access to 3 yes 3 sets of changing rooms!). The council has recently relented to degree on the rent increase and on the extent of the repair and maintenance responsibility they had proposed should be transferred from the council to the bowling club. The basic issue is whether the facilities we have are or will remain fit for our purpose. So we have not yet reached a position where the terms of lease offered are acceptable.

Parking Restrictions

To compound these problems the Council has recently published a consultation document to introduce parking charges in Sutherland Park. These are that between the hours of 6am and 8pm every day. Parking for the first 4 hours will be free, for further parking between 4 and 6 hours a charge of £5 will be made and for over 6 hours £9.

Many of our matches mean members are at the club for more than 4 hours. Major club events such as the Chipchase Cup, Captains' Day, Finals weekends, Squibb Salver mean we are there for much longer. So under the Council's proposed parking regime these will cost up to an additional £7 in parking charges! The consultation period ends on 2 July and the club committee intends to submit comments to the consultation process, as does the SMPAC. The same restrictions and charges are proposed for Wey Valley IBC car park. Click here to see the Council's formal proposals.

And click here to read them

Watch this space for more developments.

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