Wisley 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  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.