Plans to build more than 2,000 homes at former Wisley Airfield recommended for refusal

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Wisley Property Investments application to build more than 2,000 homes will go before councillors on April 6

BY MARK EDWARDS

Designs for more than 2,000 homes at the former Wisley Airfield

Planning officers have recommended refusal of controversial plans to build more than 2,000 homes at the former Wisley Airfield.

Developer Wisley Property Investments (WPI) is seeking to build a “new town” with 2,068 homes, a school, shops, offices and traveller pitches, at the Three Farm Meadows site.

However, Guildford Borough Council has today (March 23) published a report which objects to the application on 14 separate grounds. The planning application is due to go before the council’s planning committee on April 6, with the officer’s recommendation coming as a huge blow to WPI.

The application has received fierce opposition with campaigner’s Wisley Action Group (WAG) formed to fight the proposals.

The decision on the application has been delayed several times but is now expected to be refused by councillors.

Planning officers have concluded the application would represent inappropriate development of the green belt and would have a “clear and substantial” impact on the openness of the green belt.

Artist impression of plans which have been formally submitted for 2,100 homes at Wisley Airfield
The officer report states: “It has not been demonstrated that the development proposed would not give rise to a severe adverse impact on the safe and efficient operation of the strategic road network.”

The report concludes that WPI’s application also failed to provide an “appropriate provision of affordable housing”.

Other objections include the impact on air quality and the application’s failure to mitigate its impact on education, library, policing and health infrastructure in the area.

Helen Jefferies of WAG, reacting to the news, said: “The avalanche of evidence against an ever-growing list of objections to plans by Cayman Island developers to build more than 2,000 houses on green belt land, agricultural land, in the rural hamlet of Ockham continues to gain momentum.

“We are delighted, therefore, to learn that Guildford’s officers are to recommend refusal of proposals which would result in an additional 5,000 residents and over 4,000 additional cars.”

“As we have been advised by leading counsel, this is the wrong project in the wrong place.”

‘Deferral’
Mike Murray, of WPI, said: “A new community at Wisley Airfield was identified in the emerging local plan as a location for future growth and has public support, particularly amongst younger people keen to get onto the housing ladder for the first time.

“For example our on street surveys found that 65% of under-35s surveyed are in favour of a new community at Wisley Airfield.

“However, in common with other strategic developments planning takes time to get right, as it should. We have been working towards a resolution on the remaining issues and expect to have them resolved later this summer. For this reason, we will be asking the committee to defer the application to allow for continued discussion on these matters.”

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