Fringe Box



Updated: More Reaction to News of Wisley Planning Appeal Decision

Published on: 29 May, 2024
Updated on: 30 May, 2024

Wisley Airfield plans. Image: Taylor Wimpey and Vivid.

More invited comments have been received on the decision announced on Friday evening (May 24) that the Planning Inspectorate had allowed the appeal by Taylor Wimpey, giving them permission to proceed with the development of 1,800 homes on the former airfield and agricultural land site.

See also: Wisley Planning Appeal Allowed for 1,800 Homes on Former Airfield Site

Zoe Franklin The Liberal Democrat general election candidate reacted yesterday: “Having listened to local people on this issue over the many years it has taken to get to this point, I understand what a disappointment this news is.

“I have always said – homes must be in the right place, supported by the right infrastructure. Developments must also seriously consider the impact on the environment.

Zoe Franklin, Lib Dem candidate

“The Planning Inspector’s decision has been made within the rules set by the Conservative Government. Rules that are developer-led and broken and need to change.

“My next steps will be working to support an open and productive dialogue between local people and the developers.”

Cllr Howard Smith of Guildford Labour said: “At least we now know, after a very long process, where we are with the Wisley Airfield site.

Cllr Howard Smith

“Along with my colleagues on the GBC Planning committee, I voted to refuse the application. [It was considered and rejected unanimously by GBC after Taylor Wimpey had lodged an appeal.]

“Nevertheless this site was allocated in the Local Plan in 2019 and because of that, housing there in some form or another was inevitable. It must now be hoped that appropriate infrastructure will be provided to support these new homes and existing residents in the wider surrounding area.”

Dennis Saunders, Reform UK’s Parliamentary candidate commented: “Massive housing developments will continue to be built in Surrey (see also Dunsfold), with the assistance of Central Government and bureaucrats – as they are deemed necessary to cope with the growing population.

Dennis Saunders

“Despite their promises to “reduce net immigration to tens of thousands” the Tories have supervised net migration of 1,449,000 over the last two years. The future Labour Government, in coalition or not with Lib Dems, will undoubtedly see this trend continue – triggering more housing estates and further deterioration of the NHS, schools etc.

“Only Reform UK will leave the ECHR [European Court of Human Rights], reduce low paid immigration and entice the unemployed into work.”

Sam Peter’s the Green Party general election candidate for Guildford said: “This regrettable decision ignores local opinion against the development of Wisley Airfield, refused previously by GBC with good evidence.

“Green Party policy is about having environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient and genuinely affordable housing, in the right places, with sufficient and efficient infrastructure and facilities in place. We feel these principles are not being met at Wisley.

“It is important councillors and others now monitor this development to ensure the developer meets their agreements – including school places, bus services, medical facilities, and effective water and sewerage services.

“Long-term, the planning process must be reclaimed from developers who place profit over people and nature.”

A Taylor Wimpey spokesperson said today (May 29):  “The former Wisley Airfield is a fantastic opportunity to create a unique new community built with its own infrastructure, so we are delighted to have achieved such a major milestone with the Inspector allowing the Hybrid Application Appeal.

“Our proposals deliver benefits for Guildford and the local community, with more than 1,730 new homes, school provision, a vast country park and visitor centre, a sports hub, shops, office and employment space and a health care provision.

“Alongside this we will be providing extended and new bus services, new cycleways and car clubs as part of a far reaching sustainable travel programme. We are particularly proud that our plans include almost 700 affordable homes, which will go some way to providing secure homes for the 1,850 families currently on Guildford’s waiting list.

“We recognise that the planning consent issued on Friday is part of a longer process. We look forward to continuing our engagement with our neighbours and stakeholders to discuss next steps and to ensure that the new homes, shops, open spaces and community facilities at Wisley Airfield meet the needs of the community.”

Other interested parties, including Taylor Wimpey, have been invited to comment and these will be added as soon as possible after they are received.

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Responses to Updated: More Reaction to News of Wisley Planning Appeal Decision

  1. Nigel Searle Reply

    May 27, 2024 at 10:26 pm

    Aside from concerns about this project shared with many others, it seems to me that the timing of this announcement – apparently, late on a Friday before a long bank holiday weekend when most people (including it seems reporters on many other local media platforms) have more pleasurable matters in mind – was chosen as ‘a good time to bury bad news’ basis.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    May 29, 2024 at 8:21 pm

    It is concerning that our Local Plan significantly exceeds the housing requirements, especially considering a previous application for the same development was denied. Additionally, the exclusion of neighborhood plans from strategic sites raises questions about the transparency and inclusivity of the planning process. Furthermore, the involvement of influential individuals and the lack of sufficient mitigation measures for potential problems suggest that the system may be biased in favour of certain interests.

  3. Jules Cranwell Reply

    May 30, 2024 at 5:24 am

    Zoe Franklin’s claim of “open and productive dialogue with the developer” is nonsense. TW carried out a sham “consultation” with residents, and totally ignored all input. They no longer need to have any dialogue now they have their green light and they won’t. Now their only focus is to extract maximum profit from their destruction of the environment and desperately needed farmland.

  4. David Smith Reply

    May 30, 2024 at 2:48 pm

    “Now their only focus is to extract maximum profit from their destruction of the environment” is that the destruction of masses of concrete hardstanding?

    • John Perkins Reply

      May 31, 2024 at 8:44 am

      Hardstanding which should never have been laid in the first place and which various governments promised to remove before reneging on those promises.

      In any case, the mass of concrete is only a small part of the site.

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