Fringe Box



School Plan Added By Developer Wanting To Build At Wisley

Published on: 15 Dec, 2015
Updated on: 15 Dec, 2015

The property company that wants to build on the disused Wisley airfield site has submitted extra plans for a school to cater for five- to 16-year-olds.

An artist's impression on how the development may look from above.

An artist’s impression on how the development may look from above.

In a statement, Wisley Property Investments Ltd (WPIL) says it has added the “all through school as part of a host of improvements to plans for the new community of up to 2,060 homes, including up to 800 affordable homes”.

It continues: “The disused Wisley Airfield contains the largest area of brownfield land contained in the Guildford green belt and could help deliver George Osborne’s aspiration of a million new homes across the country by 2020.”

Project Director Mike Murray has added: Many of the consultees we spoke to told us that there was a looming need for new secondary school places to the north of Guildford.

“We’re delighted to be able to make that happen by extending the previously proposed primary school to a school for five- to 16-year-olds.

“We’ve worked hard with Surrey County Council and highly respected local education providers to bring forward a four-form entry school proposal whose secondary element is double the size needed to serve the new homes at the airfield.

“The 2,060 new homes proposed will give local people the opportunity to get on to the housing ladder for the first time as part of a new community by providing the affordable starter homes affordable to first-time buyers. For many, this is a great alternative to renting and will allow them to stay within the area where they grew up.”

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Responses to School Plan Added By Developer Wanting To Build At Wisley

  1. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    December 16, 2015 at 10:20 am

    It will be interesting to see the consultees’ actual written submissions – “spoken to” and “told us” are surely not evidence of support or grounds?

    Perhaps it won’t be in writing as it is privileged information or will indicate a predetermination for mass development in the area.

    On another application, which is reliant on this development for going ahead, has a letter [been sent] detailing that there is no need for additional secondary school places in the Effingham, Fetcham, Bookham area?

    The need for secondary school places are in decline as the birth rate has decline since 2000 according to Surrey County Council.

    So where is this actual “looming need in the north Guildford area”.

    If it is much closer to Guildford then build it there as kids have no way of getting to Wisley in a sustainable way!

    Wisley is almost in Mole Valley and Elmbridge rather than north of Guildford.

    If that school gets built where are the sixth-formers going to go? What have his consultees he has “spoke to” “told” him?

    Mr Murray seems to be suggesting starter homes will be built? How many will be built under £250,000 which is the maximum set out for England under the scheme.

    The excessive housing number which generates the suggested need for housing in the green belt is made up of 50% who don’t actually live in the UK at the moment and is further driven by a theoretical economic growth factor added by GBC at its own discretion to boost a housing need number.

    This devastating development is not conceived to “..allow them (Guildford residents) to stay within the area where they grew up.”

    Some development is needed for the region and its local needs (net regionl migtration plus births/deaths) but not on this scale.

    How much longer do we have to put up with these unsubstantiated claims by this Cayman Island company?

    GBC refuse to use the powers they have to understand the identities of the owners. Why?

    Is there some hidden agenda for this to sneak past them on grounds of non-determination or are they waiting for the new housing bill to be past so the development will be given the green light by their Conservative mates in Whitehall? “Don’t blame us, it was central government”.

    Time for the open, transparent and honest local governance to step forward.

    I’m sure others will comment on pollution as they have done on another threads – according to EU Nitrous Oxide rules, a school cannot be built there being 12.5% over the legal limit

    It’s about time GBC said no.

  2. Jamie Smith Reply

    December 17, 2015 at 9:15 am

    I attended a meeting in Ripley Scout Hut on Tuesday evening when Cllr Paul Spooner, Cllr Matt Furniss and Cllr Richard Billington attended to inform those present about their portfolios on the Executive committee at Guildford Borough Council and where Guildford were at with things.

    The three came across very well and the information they gave showed the room that there are no easy choices ahead.

    The Wisley application did crop up and Cllr Matt Furniss told the room that the current application had many problems to solve before it got any backing from GBC.

    The biggest problem was highways in relation to the A3 congestion and junction improvements/alterations.

    He seemed to suggest that this applied to the three large strategic sites (presumably Wisley/Gosden and Blackwell) all the way to the Hog’s Back.

    He told the room that GBC were working with Highways England and all the relevant bodies to push for improvements to the A3 as it was Guildford’s main infrastructure constraint.

    As for timescales. None were given as the councillors were reliant on other statutory bodies and their government funding.

    Cllr Paul Spooner told the room that he was not happy with the latest extension granted to the Wisley applicants but that he went with his professional advisors at the council with this.

    He did state that he would not be backing any further extensions to the application.

    My own view, for what its worth, is that rather than having a refusal against their names, the Wisley applicants have amended the scheme to push for this extension, so that when the next Draft Local plan gets published (March/April 2016) they are still an option that can’t be left out of the plan.

    Certainly not in the one- to five-year bracket probably in the 10- to 15-year bracket, (all dependent on highways)

    As many of you will know, the government are currently consulting on a “planning in principle” system for starter homes on brownfield sites in the green belt.

    There is no doubt, Wisley will be looking at this option too.

  3. Valerie Thompson Reply

    December 17, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Wisley is not brownfield; the only part of the site that could be considered for development as brownfield is the airstrip and the hardstanding for its associated buildings.

    The rest is still excellent farmland, brown earth, in the green belt!

  4. Adrian Atkinson Reply

    December 18, 2015 at 9:58 am

    It would be interesting to know from Mr Smith as to whether those were Cllr Furniss’ actual words when saying “The biggest problem was highways in relation to the A3 congestion and junction improvements/alterations”.

    So everything else is of lesser weight in the consideration of the application?

    The sooner this case is heard in public the better because it does seem that there is blatant disregard for the other factors which should have equal and more weight than just road junctions.

    Cllr Spooner told the residents around Horsley/Ockham in their public meeting that there would be a traffic light system and no reds or ambers will go in the next draft of the local plan.

    Clearly Wisley, for various reasons, must be amber at least if not red.

    If this site was to make it in the next draft as a “green” this would give a very clear signal of predetermination by GBC.

    No reasonable person would conclude otherwise based upon the application in front of the council, planning policies, inaccuracies and spin throughout the application/propaganda by WPI, regulations and public health reasons.

    I will be interested to see the test which determine the traffic light system in advance of the publication of the next draft.

    Each site must be assessed on their own merits. What is Wisley being determined on?

    • Jamie Smith Reply

      December 19, 2015 at 8:41 am

      In reply to Adrian Atkinson: I can’t exactly recall his exact words but he is the councillor in charge of infrastructure and so was naturally talking from his prospective.

      Cllr Spooner talked about a traffic light system of assessing sites but he did not state that reds and ambers would automatically get discounted.

      Certainly looking at the Waverley green belt review where a firm called Amec used this system some reds and ambers did get get through because they were strong in other areas.

      Cllr Spooner did suggest that due to Wisley’s limited size it was hard to see it as a sustainable community in its own right, which was interesting.

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