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24/03/2016

2,000-home Surrey development deemed ‘inappropriate’ by planners

Words: Laura Edgar
Wisley Airfield

Planning officers at Guildford Borough Council have recommended that an outline planning application for at least 2,000 homes on a former airfield should be refused.

The site lies in the green belt.

Developer Wisley Property Investments (WPI)’s application for Wisley Airfield seeks consent for elderly persons’ accommodation, traveller pitches, a combined primary and secondary school and a health centre, alongside up to 2,068 dwellings.

Provision has also been made for public open space and employment land.

The application was first submitted to the council in January 2015 and underwent consultation with the public and local stakeholders.

Following a request for additional information, WPI amended proposals in December 2015, which were subject to further consultation earlier this year.

In their report, planning officers at the council say that the “principal determining issue in this applications is that the site is within the green belt”.

The development, according to the planning officers, “constitutes inappropriate development that would be harmful by definition and would seriously harm the openness of the green belt”.

The report notes that the development does include “significant” development, such as market and affordable housing, but it has not been demonstrated that the benefits “clearly outweigh the totality of the harm caused”. The application is therefore recommended for refusal.

According to a report by the BBC, Wisley Property Investments has said it would ask for more time to discuss “remaining” issues, while Wisley Action Group welcomed the council’s recommendation.

A special meeting of the planning committee will be held on Wednesday 6 April to consider the planning application.

The planning officers’ report can be found here (pdf).

Image credit | Peter Trimming

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