Wisley Action Group protesters disrupted an evening drinks reception on Monday 10 October at the Tory Party Conference held by Cratus Communications, the PR agency representing Taylor Wimpey developers
- A Protestor chanted ‘NO ‘NEW TOWN’ AT WISLEY’ through a speaker. The guests included former Housing Minster, Marcus Jones MP, senior politicians from across the country, and Cratus staff
- Taylor Wimpey is progressing plans to turn the former Wisley airfield land in Surrey into vast housing development, fuelling the protests
Protesters from Wisley Action Group (WAG) disrupted a drinks reception at the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham on Monday evening hosted by Cratus Communications, who represent mega-developer Taylor Wimpey, who hope to build on the former Wisley airfield.
WAG’s action against Taylor Wimpey’s development disrupted the party in the wake of plans to build on Surrey’s Wisley airfield, which is now majority farming land. Protestors chanted “No ‘New Town’ At Wisely” through speakers and “save the badgers” and “save the wildlife” as he was bundled down the stairs out of the venue.
The development of the former airfield is a long-running dispute between the local community and Taylor Wimpey. Residents criticise the project, which plans to bring 1,780 new houses to the area. Experts have concluded that the heavily contested development will endanger the local fauna comprising deer, badgers, red and amber-listed birds, and other protected species.
The WAG group members also claim that the choice of this particular site is unfounded, as the former airfield is removed from any sensible, sustainable transport routes, and the development will lead to an increase in car traffic on narrow country lanes in an already congested area.
The protestor warned that if Taylor Wimpey’s planning application for a ‘new town’ at Three Farms Meadows, the former Wisley airfield isn’t stopped, green fields across the country will be wide-open for inappropriate development, setting a dangerous precedent for future developments.
Residents have also criticised Taylor Wimpey for geological reasons, as the land’s natural slope makes drainage hard to manage, posing a high risk of severe flooding to Ockham. The lack of sewage capacity will also affect all neighbouring villages.
WAG Spokesperson Tony Edwards said, “Taylor Wimpey’s development will see green fields concreted over, up to 5000 more cars on already gridlock roads and a new town in the middle of nowhere with no proper facilities.
They have ignored residents’ views, so we have taken this action, which is why we have decided to disrupt their drinks reception, bringing light to this issue.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Cratus Communications is representing Taylor Wimpey on this planning application.
Wisley Action Group [WAG]
The Wisley Action Group was established to defend over 300 acres of prime agricultural land from development at ‘Three Farms Meadows’, the former Wisley airfield, in the Ockham village near Wisley, Surrey.
WAG has a committed membership of loyal supporters from Ockham, adjacent Surrey villages and further afield, who have fought off a persistent stream of planning applications in recent years – the latest from current owners, Taylor Wimpey, who have ambitions to build more than 2,000 houses.
Although there’s a runway on a strip of land requisitioned by the government during World War 11, it was never used for military purposes, but the government reneged on its pledge to restore the strip to its original state after the war.
At a time when our green fields and open spaces have never been under greater threat, this highly productive, high-grade farmland continues to grow food for the nation’s table. It remains a sanctuary for wildlife – much of it endangered – and is a site of Nature Conservation Interest.
Former Wisley Airfield / Three Farms Meadows’ Development
The former Wisley airfield is currently high-grade farmland and has a long history of planning applications that failed due to being greenbelt land. However, in the local council plan, it has been removed from Greenbelt, so it is now at high risk for development, destroying vast green space, loss of animal habitats, and adding up to 5000 more cars on gridlocked local roads.
Taylor Wimpey planning application No 22/P/01175