The Developers vs The Truth

brochure_grabWisley Property have hired some consultants, PPS Group, who specialise in ‘engaging with communities and politicians to help gain planning consent on complex development matters’. PPS have produced a lovely brochure (pictured) and website, full of library photos of happy families and farmers markets, but strangely no pictures of a new town with 2,500 houses , congested local roads and transport facilities bursting at the seams.

They have also mailed this brochure to lots of councils around Guildford saying that if they support this proposal, it will ‘solve their development problem’ – in other words, save them from having to build houses in their own area. It’s just the sort of divide and conquer tactics we’d expect from a consultancy who prides themselves on their website as “old hands at the essential task of presenting schemes to councillors and understanding the local agendas that affect their views.“.

They’re also the sort of tactics we’d expect when there’s a Cayman registered, hedge-fund-backed company hoping to make hundreds of millions from this development.

Still, for the purpose of accuracy we’d like to point out a few choice deviations from the truth in some of the claims the developers and their consultants are making.

They say: We’ll create areas to encourage wildlife to flourish.
The Reality: Wildlife is already flourishing. It’s a Site of Nature Conservation Importance – SNCI. The area is home to Badgers, Bats, Adders, and other protected species. It is also home to 3 species of RSPB ‘Red List’ birds “at risk”. Building houses, commercial premises, schools and traveller sites will have a disastrous effect on wildlife.

They say:  We will make improvements to the A3.
The Reality The A3 is already highly congested – sited opposite the RHS Gardens at  Wisley, one of the most visited tourist sites in Surrey. Air quality at its  junction with the M25 [10] is known to be at the limits of acceptability and there are recorded days when it has exceeded those limits. The  introduction of additional private transport for 2,500 homes and a new  ‘town’ would create traffic chaos and Add to the existing traffic chaos and further impact the poor air quality

They say: The site is disused and derelict. A 70 acre concrete legacy.
The Reality:  No it isn’t. It boasts over 300 acres of fertile farmland, criss-crossed with  well-established and well used footpaths and bridleways. But don’t take our word for it, take a look, instead, at the photographs of this beautiful area on this website.

They say:  The site is an obvious location for growth.
The Reality:  No it isn’t. This is nothing more than an opportunity for an off-shore, Cayman  Islands-based company to attempt destroy a unique area of Green Belt land  and make a great deal of money in the process.

The Claim It’s within 5 miles of 9 main railway stations.
The Reality Yes – As the crow flies, but, the commuter rail network in the region is already over-crowded at  peak times and car parks over-flow into neighbouring residential streets.  South West Trains is clearly unable to cope with existing rail traffic.

The Claim This is an assembled site, available for immediate development.
The Reality No it isn’t. Not if we can help it. The land is designated Green Belt with all the protection this implies.

2 thoughts on “The Developers vs The Truth”

  1. His brow furrowed with passion, David Cameron once said of the Green Belt: ‘I would no more put that at risk than I would put at risk my own family’
    Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was just as emphatic a few months later: ‘protecting the character of the countryside is stamped deep in the heart of Conservatism. The green belt plays a vital role in stopping urban sprawl and we will protect it’

    For their sake and before the next general election lets hope they start to believe in what they say. Or is it all talk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. As a Cobham resident for nearly 50 years I support sympathetic developments. I have had the privilege of living in this area and I would love my children to be able to afford to live here. Yes it will change but overall, like all change, it will be seen for the good. We will have a more balanced community that is not dominated by £2m+ houses and the people who live in them.

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