The covenants explained

The following information is intended to alert property owners to the existence of the Gilford Covenants which are under ownership and enforcement of The Woldingham Association. The information below expectations is given to property owners without any assumption of responsibility on the part of the Woldingham Association.

All property owners should rely upon their own investigations/searches, enquiries and separate legal advice for any action(s) they may contemplate.

Last updated: September 2016


In the 1880s, much of the land that now forms Woldingham was owned by William Gilford. He divided the Parish into a number of plots and, as they were sold off, he entered into legally binding covenants with the purchasers. The covenants are included in the deeds of these properties. The aim was to preserve the spacious rural nature of the village by specifying large plots with wide frontages each containing a single detached house.

Properties in the following roads are subject to these (and possibly other) covenants:

Butlers Dene Road

Church Road

Croft Road

Long Hill

Lunghurst Road

Nethern Court Road

Park View Road

Southdown Road

Southfields Road

Southview Road

Upper Court Road.

In addition, some areas of land are also covered by these Covenants, for example:

Boult’s View and Great Church Wood.

The covenants should be referred to in the Charges Register of your Title Deed at the Land Registry and a copy of the Indenture between William Gilford and the first purchaser of your plot may also be bound into your Land Certificate.

The Woldingham Association holds the signature of the first purchaser of each plot which makes the Covenants legally binding.

As an illustration, some of the provisions of the Covenants are as follows:

• The road’s surface and the verges are owned by the Woldingham Association

• Owners of plots agree to pay an appropriate proportion of the maintenance of the road until it is adopted by the Local Authority (this still applies to some of the roads listed above)

• A building line of 25 feet has to be observed

• Buildings can only be used as private houses, not for commercial purposes • Each plot is only permitted to contain a single dwelling house

• Temporary buildings are not allowed, with the exception of a temporary shed or workshop during the construction of a house

By enforcing the Covenants the Woldingham Association has successfully prevented the conversion of large properties into hotels, a dog breeding establishment, nursing homes, and homes for delinquent children. In special circumstances, such as at Woodlea School, the Woldingham Association has agreed to vary the Covenants.


The LULC provisions mirror those within the Gilford Covenants. Most of the remaining roads in Woldingham are covered by the LULC Covenants (e.g. High Drive) and these can be administered by a fellow LULC covenantor.