News from Wisley Action Group [WAG] – June 19th 2014
Inclusion of Wisley ‘new town’
could threaten legality and
viability of entire Draft Plan
The inclusion of a ‘new town’ proposal at Wisley may threaten the legality and viability of the draft Local Plan in its entirety.
Written opinion from barrister Peter Village QC provides three main reasons why the inclusion of ‘Three Farms Meadows’, the former Wisley airfield, in the Draft Plan is not sound.
His advice to the Wisley Action Group [WAG] is that the Wisley site does not meet the definition of ‘available’ as set out in the National Planning Practice Guidance because it includes land that is outside the developer’s ownership and which is not available and because the site contains a VOR navigational beacon.
He further advises that there is insufficient available land within the site to justify its inclusion in the Draft Plan and that the site is not suitable because it is in the Metropolitan Green Belt and immediately adjacent to a Special Protection Area.
Other more appropriate sites should be comprehensively considered, he says, concluding that the Wisley site is neither ‘available’ nor ‘deliverable’.
The advice makes mention of the Council’s policy to exclude land from consideration where ‘landowners have either told us that their land is not available, or we have not heard whether their land is available, for development’ [Draft Plan at para 9.53], and makes mention of a specific property which was “erroneously and inexplicably” omitted from the list. In his view the Council acted unlawfully in failing to apply its own policy in respect of the Wisley site.
WAG committee member Helen Jefferies said today; “The written opinion we have received clearly suggests that the inclusion of the Wisley site in the Draft Plan is not sound and is susceptible to legal challenge. Indeed it would appear that its inclusion could have far reaching implications.”
She went on; “We believe WAG has legitimate grounds for challenging the Council’s inclusion of the Wisley site.”
Note to Editors. Copy of written opinion accompanies this statement.
Issued on behalf of the Wisley Action Group June 19th 2014
Anthony Edwards Publicity
Tel 01483 222722 Fax 01483 223989