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Taylor Wimpey Fails to Answer 13 Reasons Why Wisley ‘Garden Village’ Plan Was Rejected

Published on: 30 Nov, 2020
Updated on: 2 Dec, 2020

Aerial photograph of the former Wisley Airfield site near the junction of the A3 and the M25.

Housing developers Taylor Wimpey say they have completed the second stage of their community consultation on plans for the former Wisley Airfield but a local residents’ group say they are jumping the gun.

The developers say the consultation gave residents the chance to find out more and have their questions answered by the project team.

This was also intended to give Taylor Wimpey the opportunity to explain how residents’ comments and questions had been addressed.

Each recorded session lasted two hours and are now available online. The community can provide feedback using the online feedback form.

But the Wisley Action Group (WAG) have accused Taylor Wimpey of behaving as if planning consent for a garden village at the former Wisley Airfield, also known as “Three Farms Meadows”, is a done deal.

WAG claims that, despite the company’s “community liaison” programme, project manager Antonis Pazourou has failed to explain how the development would override 13 of the 14 reasons why a similar scheme was rejected on appeal by the Secretary of State (SoS) less than two years ago.

Tony Edwards

“He seems to have totally ignored the recent planning history of the site which clearly indicates planning consent for a new settlement is far from a ‘done deal’,” said WAG committee member Tony Edwards.

“Instead of focusing on a cosmetic veneer of ‘consultation’ with village communities, which continually fails to answer key questions raised by concerned residents and local organisations, Mr Pazourou might like to explain how he would address the long list of planning reasons the application for over 2,068 dwellings was rejected on appeal in June 2018, and which would apply to new proposals by Taylor Wimpey.”

Taylor Wimpey said the second consultation gave them “the opportunity to explain how residents’ comments and questions had been addressed in the evolving masterplan”.

Cllr Caroline Reeves

Borough Cllr Caroline Reeves (Friary & St Nicolas), lead for Housing and Development Control, said: “The consultation sessions held by Taylor Wimpey for this allocated, strategic site have been very welcome.

“I encourage anyone who hasn’t already done so to watch the online recordings and to use the feedback form. We await the responses to the many questions asked and look forward to the community consultation. It is important that any comments are submitted to the developer for public record.”

But Mr Edwards said: “The appeal inspector cited 14 reasons for rejection of the appeal by Wisley Property Investments Ltd (WPIL) and all but one of them remain valid in 2020.”

The SoS had referred to the lack of transport infrastructure as a “fatal flaw in the scheme”, adding that a settlement of this nature would inevitably cause substantial harm to the character and appearance of a rural area.

The SoS also cited the impact on air quality and education, policing and health infrastructure.

Mr Edwards added: “Taylor Wimpey says it hopes to encourage residents to cycle when it seems clear residents will inevitably use cars.

“Local roads simply couldn’t cope with elevated levels of traffic but Taylor Wimpey has failed to explain how they intend to deal with this and other clearly defined issues”.

Mr Edwards said Mr Pazourou replied that his company would “review and consider” the comments from the Secretary of State when submitting an outline planning application in Quarter Two, next year.

He added in an email: “This is an emerging masterplan. As such we cannot provide detailed answers to those 14 points at this time.”

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test 5 Responses to Taylor Wimpey Fails to Answer 13 Reasons Why Wisley ‘Garden Village’ Plan Was Rejected

  1. Colin Cross Reply

    November 30, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    The time has now come where Taylor Wimpey needs to bring forward the general outline and basic detail pertaining to this massively difficult project. Once this vital information is in the public domain we will all be able to make our own judgements and comments accordingly.

    Until then there can only be a passing semblance of genuine dialogue and little or no exchange of opinion from both sides.

    Colin Cross is the R4GV borough councillor for Lovelace (Ripley, Wisley and Ockham).

    • William Brewster Reply

      December 4, 2020 at 11:37 am

      Nice to see Colin Cross complaining about Taylor Wimpey and standing by the locals who voted for him.

      Hands off the green belt.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    November 30, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    What, apart from gamesmanship and secrecy, is preventing Taylor Wimpey from sharing with the public the general options as they see them for addressing these difficulties in their “emerging masterplan”? Since plainly the plan already exists in some form, it will “emerge” all the better for being scrutinised openly and early.

    Or are they down a hole with no sensible answers? Their elaborate PR charade has fobbed off my own questions about transport infrastructure.

  3. Harry Eve Reply

    December 1, 2020 at 8:27 am

    This ship should never have sailed in the first place. Consultation on its launch was ignored. This is a consultation on rearranging the deckchairs.

  4. Jules Cranwell Reply

    December 3, 2020 at 8:36 am

    Cllr Reeves may believe that the ‘consultations’ by Taylor Wimpey have been welcome. I think she will find that they have not been welcomed or trusted by the majority of those affected by their dreadful plan.

    The so-called “consultations” have been as one-sided as those by GBC on the Local Plan. None of the objections from the public were aired, and only the positive or neutral comments allowed.

    This has been nothing but an empty, box-ticking PR exercise.

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