Fringe Box



Locals Object to RHS Wisley’s Plan to Extend Use of Overflow Car Park

Published on: 26 May, 2023
Updated on: 28 May, 2023

The plan of the overflow car park, as provided with the planning application.

By Martin Giles

A resident of Wisley village is claiming that a planning application by RHS Wisley to use a former sports field as an occasional overflow car park for 500 cars for up to 150 days each year has not been sufficiently advertised.

Currently, the residents say, it should be used for only 28 days a year, a restriction which, it is claimed, is being ignored.

Harry Salaman said: “The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) are turning this small hamlet into a giant car park. It will be a loss to all – so much for the RHS’s claims and rhetoric to be green.

“The few private residents in were shocked to find out by accident about the application. There have been absolutely no notices.”

But a spokesperson for GBC responded: “We received the planning application in February 2023.

This has been available to review online since that time and we have followed the normal notification process. The application has been submitted as an application for proposed development, it’s not a retrospective application.

“Comment is invited on the application, these should be submitted online, via e-mail or in letter form.”

The entrance to the overflow car park. Google Street View

In his letter of objection, dated May 19, which has not yet been added to the online application record (as at May 26), Salaman says: “The RHS is already routinely accused by locals of causing obstruction and long traffic queues on Wisley Lane… The RHS is making out that the present arrangements are satisfactory. In fact, there is now often total chaos on Wisley Road.

“The application form states that the total proposed number of car park spaces is 500… but the truth is that the car park has a capacity for 1,000 cars.

“There is a democratic deficit in Wisley. There is no parish council or meeting. There are only eight residences which are not owned by the RHS. The RHS owns everything else. Their tenants and employees cannot publicly make any comments adverse to the interests of the RHS. There are very few people who can object.

“For that reason, it is very important that this application is decided by the planning committee and is not dealt with by an officer under delegated powers.”

Two other letters of objection have been recorded, echoing Mr Salaman’s concerns.

RHS Wisley and ward councillors were invited to comment.

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