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Council refuses 2,000-home Wisley Airfield proposal

Words: Laura Edgar
Wisley Airfield

Guildford Borough Council has voted to reject a planning application for more than 2,000 homes on Wisley Airfield.

The vote took place yesterday (6 April) and was in line with the planning officers' recommendation.

Developer Wisley Property Investments (WPI)’s application for Wisley Airfield, which lies in the Surrey green belt, included elderly persons’ accommodation, traveller pitches, a combined primary and secondary school, a health centre and 2,068 dwellings.

The planning officers’ report stated that the development “constitutes inappropriate development that would be harmful by definition and would seriously harm the openness of the green belt”.

Earlier this week, Guildford Borough Council published its revised local plan, which will be considered at meeting on 13 April, before being considered by the full council in May.

The plan cites Wisley Airfield as a potential site for development, stating: “Given the sustainability merits of strategic sites due to the infrastructure that can be provided alongside them and the NPPF support given to this development option, this site would also remain in the plan.”

Welcoming the council’s decision, Andy Smith, Campaign to Protect Rural England Surrey branch director, said: “It will be interesting now to see whether the Wisley site will be removed completely from Guildford’s revised draft local plan. Surely there is no justification now for leaving this shadow hanging over the site? In our view there is no compelling case for building thousands of homes” on the site.

Image credit | Peter Trimming