WAG accuses Taylor-Wimpey of jumping the gun
Local campaigners have accused Taylor-Wimpey of behaving as if planning consent for a garden village at ‘Three Farms Meadows’, the former Wisley airfield, is a ‘done deal’.
The Wisley Action Group [WAG] claims that despite the company’s “community liaison” programme, project manager Antonis Pazourou has failed to explain how the planned development would override 13 of the 14 reasons why a similar scheme was rejected on appeal by the Secretary of State less than two years ago.
“He seems to have totally ignored the recent planning history of the site which clearly indicates that planning consent for a new settlement is far from a ‘done deal’,” says WAG committee member and PR Tony Edwards.
“Instead of focussing on a cosmetic veneer of ‘consultation’ with village communities – which continually fails to answer key questions raised by concerned residents and local organisations – Mr Pazourou might like to explain how he would address the long list of planning reasons the application for over 2,068 dwellings was rejected on appeal in June 2018, and which would apply to new proposals by Taylor-Wimpey.
“The appeal inspector cited 14 reasons for rejection of the appeal by Wisley Property Investments Ltd [WPIL] and all but one of them remains valid in 2020,” says Edwards.
In dismissing the WPIL appeal, the Secretary of State referred to the lack of transport infrastructure as a “fatal flaw in the scheme” and went on to say that a settlement of this nature would inevitably cause substantial harm to both the character and appearance of a rural area.
The impact on air quality and on education, policing and health infrastructure were among other key references by the SoS.
When pressed for a response, Mr Pazourou said that his company would “review and consider” the comments from the Secretary of State when submitting an outline planning application in Quarter 2, 2021.
“This is an emerging masterplan,” he confirmed in an e-mail. “As such we cannot provide detailed answers to those 14 points at this time.”
Taylor-Wimpey says it hopes to encourage residents to cycle – possibly using electric bikes – when it seems clear that residents will inevitably use cars to travel to and from the site.
“Local roads simply couldn’t cope with these elevated levels of traffic but Mr Pazourou still refuses to explain how his company plans to deal with this and other, clearly defined, issues,” Edwards adds.