Surrey

Outdoor sex lay-by in Surrey to remain open

A council has ruled against closing a lay-by to prevent people meeting for outdoor sex at a popular beauty spot.

Villagers in nearby Puttenham said the fields near Hog's Back were used "for all sorts of sexual activity" throughout the day.

A select committee report found sexual activity could "clearly be seen" from Puttenham Church of England School.

But Surrey County Council said restricting access to the A31 was unfair on legitimate visitors.

About 300 people have signed a petition calling for the closure of the lay-by, which leads to the area of natural beauty on the North Downs.

'Policing issue'

A council select committee had recommended the closure of the lay-by but that was rejected by the cabinet on Friday.

Dr Andrew Povey, the council leader, said a cafe owner serving the area would be forced to close, resulting in the loss of six jobs.

He said: "We felt that goes against all our policies in terms of trying to support small businesses.

"Also we did not feel that closing the lay-by would solve the problem because the fields can be accessed in other ways."

Dr Povey said the problem was largely a policing issue but the council would look at ways to restrict access to the lay-by.

One option being considered is to introduce parking charges, he said.

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