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.