Dismay at Wisley Airfield film shoot application

getSURREY reports

Concerns have been raised as a second application to use the new town site for filming is lodged


Wisley Airfield


Wisley Airfield

The developer behind plans for a 2,000-home town at Wisley Airfield has drawn more fire after applying to use the site for film shoots.

Neighbours fighting the new town have already lodged objections to the application by Wisley Property Investments (WPI).

Surrey County Council has already raised concerns about the site’s viability in its response to the draft plan.

Planning officer Sue Janota wrote: “As local highway/transport authority, we have concerns that the former Wisley Airfield site is not a sustainable location so any developer will need to demonstrate that the site can be made sustainable.

“This will include demonstrating that a long term high quality, high frequency bus service can be delivered to serve the development; a network of high quality, safe pedestrian and cycle links can be provided to the nearest local facilities and railway stations; and that the development is providing a range of services within the site to serve the development itself to reduce the need to travel.”

Wisley Action Group (WAG) obtained advice from Peter Village QC and committee member Helen Jefferies said: “The overall effect is to further reinforce the legal opinion that there is insufficient available land at Wisley for a sustainable settlement.

“Even based on the council’s own methodology, it is clearly impossible to accommodate any form of sustainable settlement on the site yet Guildford Borough Council continues to promote a new town embracing 2,100 dwellings.

“While they have reduced their ambitions from the 2,500 dwellings suggested in the May version of the plan, following our previous legal submissions, the council persists with the inclusion of a patently unviable proposal in the face of the available evidence and advice.”

Mike Murray, of Wisley Property Investments, said: “Sustainability has been a key consideration throughout the evolution of our proposals.

“Wisley airfield contains the largest previously developed site in Guildford borough’s green belt and benefits from direct access to the A3.

“The site is in single ownership, and, subject to planning consent, is immediately available for development of much needed housing.

“Our architect’s masterplan demonstrates the land is capable of siting a sustainable community of up to 2,100 new homes. These will be served by a range of employment, educational, retail, leisure and community facilities.

“Discussions are ongoing with relevant authorities and we will continue to update our stakeholders as the planning process progresses.”

A previous application to use the land for filming was rejected in March because there was no proper ecological assessment, and because it was unclear how the shoots would affect neighbours.

The area which would be used has been reduced in the new application and Mr Murray said: “Changes have been made to help mitigate ecological impact and we have responded to constructive comments from neighbours regarding noise and proximity.”

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