Fringe Box



Taylor Wimpey Disappointed with Council’s Decision on Wisley

Published on: 12 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 13 Jul, 2023

By Martin Giles

A senior spokesperson for Taylor Wimpey, the company behind the application for a 1,700 housing development at the former Wisley airfield, today said it was disappointed with GBC’s decision on Monday night (July 10) when its Planning Committee unanimously voted against the proposal.

See: Planning Committee Unanimously ‘Refuses’ Plan for 1,700 Homes at Wisley

As the application has already been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, because GBC exceeded timelines in dealing with it, the GBC vote is not decisive and would always have been subject to appeal.

Antonis Pazourou, Community and Green Infrastructure Manager for Taylor Wimpey, said: “We are proud of the design which we have delivered for the former Wisley Airfield site. Throughout the design process we have engaged extensively and transparently with the council and local community, we are therefore disappointed with the outcome.

Wisley Airfield plans. Credit: Taylor Wimpey And Vivid

“Since we bought the site in March 2020, we have held over 50 meetings with the council, as well as four independent Design Review Panel meetings, and hundreds of meetings with stakeholders. With this input, we are confident that we have developed a design that has been rigorously assessed, and which will transform the former airfield into a vibrant and connected community where people can live, relax, work, learn and enjoy nature.

“However, we remain committed to working with the council and Planning Inspectorate over the
coming months to ensure we can deliver much-needed new housing in the Guildford Borough.”

“Due to the previous delays in bringing the application to committee we have already submitted an appeal which is currently being considered by the Inspector.”

The Taylor Wimpey statement fails to answer two questions posed to them by The Dragon: why did they not attend the GBC planning meeting? And whether the purchase of the Wisley site was unconditional, ie there could be no financial comeback against the vendor, Wisley Property Investment Limited, registered in the Cayman Islands.

Details of the identities behind WPIL and the transaction are not transparent nor, therefore, the consequences to Taylor Wimpey of failing to secure planning permission.

If the Taylor Wimpey application also fails at appeal it is possible that, as Conservative councillor Richard Mills (Castle) postulated on Monday, only smaller developments for fewer homes should be deemed acceptable by GBC because of the restrictions of the site, in particular road access and the impact on threatened species of wildlife, including skylarks.

Images of Stratford View in the proposed Wisley Airfield development, from Design and Access statement. Credit: Taylor Wimpey

A spokesperson for Affordable Housing provider VIVID, who will oversee the delivery of the Affordable Housing provision at the former Wisley Airfield, said: “Guildford, like most areas across the country, is grappling with an affordable home shortage with many young people and families unable to afford to own their own home in the borough.

“The former Wisley Airfield site provides us with an opportunity to bridge this gap and make a positive impact to the community, as well as providing residents with a safe and secure place to live and prosper.”

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Responses to Taylor Wimpey Disappointed with Council’s Decision on Wisley

  1. Tony Edwards Reply

    July 13, 2023 at 9:40 am

    Perhaps VIVID could find a moment to indicate some typical “affordable” prices for houses they have marketed in the region during the past 12 months – particularly in Guildford?

    I’ve asked Taylor Wimpey for examples many times without success.

    Tony Edwards is a spokesperson for the Wisley Action Group

  2. Valerie Thompson Reply

    July 15, 2023 at 10:34 am

    What did they expect, when over 1,400 people wrote to the council with their objections?

    It was shocking that Taylor Wimpey failed to send important documents to GBC in time for them to debate the application and so Taylor Wimpey lodged an appeal to the Secretary of State. Hopefully their appeal will fail, just as it did with a previous Secretary of State.

  3. S Callanan Reply

    July 15, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    If Taylor Wimpey failed to send documents in on time, as Valerie Thompson says, I wouldn’t be too shocked. Taylor Wimpey say that they are “disappointed” by the decision of the Planning Committee but I’d have thought they were made of sterner stuff.

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