Please click on the link to see the presentation made in Horsley tonightWAG Horsley presentation 9th March 2016
WAG is pleased that the Inspector has thrown out the appeal on the temporary use of the site for filming. The Inspector concludes:
“On balance, I consider that the identified benefits of the proposal individually or in combination do not clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and the other identified harm. Consequently, very special circumstances do not exist and the proposal runs contrary to Section 9 of the Framework.”
see the full decision here 3133032 – Appeal Decision (3)
The Surrey Ad gets a response from Surrey County Council which throws the developer’s claim of “consented A3 access” into question Surrey Ad 22nd Jan
GBC has agreed WAG’s request for more time to study the additional 3000 pages of amended documentation. WAG expects to post a response before end February but understands from local councillors and the case officer that all representations made prior to the application going to Planning Committee will be taken into consideration
From last week’s Surrey Advertiser, the Surrey Wildlife Trust gives its view on the proposed development
“The trust believes that the proposed development will have an unacceptable impact on the biodiversity on this highly sensitive area, which cannot be mitigated for despite the strategy outlined in the applicant’s environmental statement,” wrote Mike Waite, living landscapes manager.
“This comes down largely to the proposed scale of the development at 2,100 houses, including its location and internal layout.”
Mr Waite highlighted that to the immediate north of the application site is Ockham Common and Chatley Heath, the majority of which is statutorily protected land within the Ockham and Wisley Commons Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), part of a designated protection area for three heathland breeding birds.
Mr Waite continued: “Much of the land south of the SSSI, including a large area within the application site, has been selected and adopted by yourselves, Guildford Borough Council, as non-statutory Sites of Nature Conservation Importance for protection through planning policy.”
Just one example of how ill equipped our infrastructure is for having the third largest settlement in the borough dropped onto it. This is from Thames Water’s submission (.pdf download)
Thames Water has identified an inability of the existing waste water infrastructure to accommodate the needs of this application. Should the Local Planning Authority look to approve the application, Thames Water would like the following ‘Grampian Style’ condition imposed. “Development shall not commence until a drainage strategy detailing any on and/or off site drainage works, has been submitted to and approved by, the local planning authority in consultation with the sewerage undertaker. No discharge of foul or surface water from the site shall be accepted into the public system until the drainage works referred to in the strategy have been completed”. Reason – The development may lead to sewage flooding; to ensure that sufficient capacity is made available to cope with the new development; and in order to avoid adverse environmental impact upon the community.
The Guildford Dragon reports this week on some of the objections by WAG to the proposed new town. First our efforts to let the people of Guildford know exactly who is behind this scheme.
WAG Committee member Helen Jefferies said: “We believe the people of Guildford have a right to know more about the company and the people behind any organisation with plans to totally transform the borough by parachuting-in a ‘new town’ in the green belt. Their reluctance to step forward must surely be a matter for concern to us all.”
In his response to WAG’s requests, the spokesman for Causeway Land, Michael Murray replied, writing: “The site is owned by Wisley Property Investments Ltd. WPIL complies with all UK laws and regulations.”
WAG reports that the company is thought to be based in the Cayman Islands, “so that profits need not be subject to tax in the UK and could remain off-shore”.
Mrs Jefferies added: “It seems clear that the owners of the land hope to remain anonymous while, at the same time, trying to convince Guildford residents in their literature that proposals for a new town on our precious green belt should be welcomed.
“We realise there is no legal requirement for them to step out from behind a shield of anonymity but we believe it would be in the best interests of clarity and transparency.”
Next the deeply spurious claim made by the developers that 60% of those that visited the WPI roadshows left with ‘neutral or positive reaction’
Mrs Jefferies said: “It is perhaps significant that Mr Murray has produced no statistical evidence to support his sweeping claims but those of us who attended the ‘events’ in East Horsley, Ripley and Guildford left with a very different impression about public reaction. Most people seemed rather less than positive about the plans – many downright disgruntled.”
And, as is so often the case – the very inconsistent distribution of information about the latest planning application
WAG is also saying that many Ockham residents and some neighbouring parish councils have yet to receive formal notification of the planning application for the former Wisley airfield.
Helen Jefferies again: “Yet responses and objections to plan 15/P/00012 are officially required within 35 days of Guildford Borough Council’s official letter of January 13, 2015 – by February 18.
“Guildford Borough Council appears to have been somewhat selective in their circulation of the planning application details. Neither I nor anyone else in my family has received a planning letter from Guildford, and we are informed that some parish councils in the vicinity have also been ignored – namely Ripley, Effingham, West and East Horsley.”
WAG states that that “while Ockham Parish Council has been granted an extension until March 31, others are still required to make their comments in less than three weeks”.
However, it is now understood that Guildford Borough Council has extended the consultation period to March 31 for all parties, and will be writing to residents, consultees and parish councils to confirm.
An article in the Surrey advertiser announces the latest planning application – for 2,100 homes on Three Farm Meadows.
The Wisley Action Group has criticised the proposal, saying it is illogical, ill-conceived and a massive assault on Guildford’s green belt at a time when the council declared support for its protection.
“While the Cayman Island-based owners of Three Farms Meadows, the former Wisley Airfield, have repeatedly claimed that the land represents the largest previously developed area in Guildford, it quite clearly isn’t,” a spokesman for the action group said.
“Nearly three-quarters of this green belt location is farmland and open countryside and has always been so. And, as confirmed by leading counsel, Peter Village QC, there is insufficient available land for a proposal of this nature.
“The area lacks existing facilities – as already confirmed by the Green Belt and Countryside Study, prepared for Guildford Borough Council by Pegasus Consulting.
“No utilities, no sewerage, no drainage, highways, pavements, shops, surgeries, schools.
“The local infrastructure would be totally unable to cope.
“Undoubtedly the prospect of some 5,000 extra cars jamming the already congested roads in Ockham, Horsley, Ripley, Cobham, Effingham, Bookham and other areas will make this proposal a matter of deep concern for the whole borough.”