WAG cites 14 planning reasons to oppose a new application
Wisley campaigners are confident they can successfully defend local farmland against an expected new ’Garden Village’ planning application from Cayman Island developers Wisley Property Investments [WPIL].
While ‘Three Farms Meadows’ [TFM], the former Wisley airfield, was removed from Green Belt status in Guildford’s new Local Plan, the Wisley Action Group [WAG] points to Guildford Borough Council’s [GBC] previous refusal of a WPIL planning application for a ‘village’ of 2,000 houses on 14 separate grounds.
And that council decision was subsequently upheld by the Secretary of State after developers lodged an unsuccessful appeal.
“It is most certainly not the case that that GBC’s removal of TFM’s green belt status in the Local Plan qualifies the land for inappropriate housing development,” says Tony Edwards, WAG committee member and Press Officer.
“Planning Inspector, Clive Hughes, stated at the appeal hearing that failure to provide adequate infrastructure was a major failing of the scheme – with particular reference to the Junction 10 interchange,” says Edwards.
“But other valid planning issues include transport links, major air quality issues, devastation of wildlife, flower and fauna destruction, and much more – all of which still disqualify the land for large scale development,” he adds. “And the massive question mark which now hangs over anticipated Junction 10 improvements does nothing to support the concept of a ‘Garden Village’ at Wisley.”
Edwards believes that although some of the beautiful, open farmland at Wisley is no longer protected by green belt status, comments made by Planning Inspector Hughes still resonate in connection to any future proposal.
He said of the WPIL ‘Garden Village’ proposal; ‘Such a scheme, in a rural setting, is almost bound to result in harm to the character of the area.’
“WAG is already preparing for another round of defensive action to protect ‘Three Farms Meadows’ and we are confident that the Secretary of State’s previous appeal decision against a ‘Garden Village’ scheme can form a spearhead of our planned opposition,” says Edwards.