Fringe Box



Local MPs Give Their Views on Wisley

Published on: 11 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 13 Jul, 2023

By Martin  Giles

The MPs for Mole Valley and Guildford have gone on the record to give their views of the Wisley planning application for 1,700 homes on the former airfield site. Both appear to be supporting the unanimous view of GBC’s Planning Committee as expressed last night, that the application should be refused at appeal.

Developers Taylor Wimpey went straight to an “out of time” appeal because the council had gone over the time limit in coming to a decision. The delay it said said was because they were waiting for more information.

See also: What Does the Prospective MP for Wisley Think About the Current Planning Issue?

Responsibility between the two MPs is slightly fluid because of the impending constituency boundary change which will come into effect. Currently, the Wisley site falls within Mole Valley but will become part of the Guildford constituency from the next general election. Normally MPs are careful not to comment publicly on local issues within another colleagues’ area.

Angela Richardson MP.

Angela Richardson (Con, Guildford) said “I recognise the strong local feeling about the Wisley Airfield development both in terms of the proposals themselves and of their impact upon neighbouring communities.

“As a former resident of seven years in Effingham, I understand the issues that are being faced in the villages to the east of Guildford and it is clear that there is strong objection from local people to this proposed development.

“My view is that the proposal, as it currently stands, does not allocate the necessary infrastructure that would be needed in order to mitigate the effects on neighbouring communities. One particular concern that has been raised with me is the impact on local rural roads, which I know already face challenges with flooding and would struggle with increased traffic volumes.

“My job is to support the residents that I represent, not to represent the council or property developers. I have previously met with residents to understand their concerns further and, if elected, will continue to represent the views of local people.

“I have met with the developer twice to relay the concerns that have been raised with me and they are very aware that I will be supporting the strongly held views of residents.

“I am always happy to meet with residents, local stakeholders and groups to hear their representations and I continue to do so as I knock on doors across the area.

“Whilst I hope you will appreciate that the actions that I can take are limited until after the General Election, I will continue to follow all updates closely and do all I can to ensure the views of local people are heard. This includes supporting Sir Paul Beresford in the actions that he takes as the current MP.”

“Should anyone in the new part of the Guildford constituency wish to get in touch with me, they can always do so by emailing

Sir Paul Beresford, MP for Mole Valley

Sir Paul Beresford told The Dragon: “I support Guildford Borough Council’s view that the Wisley Planning appeal should be refused.

“I made it known to the former leadership of GBC, before the Local Plan was adopted in 2019, that I did not agree with the Wisley strategic site allocation. I had discussed it with the then, head of planning and, I thought, agreed it was inappropriate because it would be a site isolated on two sides by motorways. It could even become a ghetto.

“Because of its geographic isolation, residents would be car-dependent: it went against every environmental requirement we could think of.

“Additionally, it is a much-loved green belt area regularly used for recreation and still used for farming.”




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