The deadline for comments is February 29, so residents looking to object to the planning application must do so soon.
The application from Wisley Property Investments (WPI) has been in the planning process for several years now. After a successful appeal by Wisley Action Group (WAG) with the aid of a petition that received over 120,000 signatures, WPI was forced to revise the application, which they later resubmitted.
Conservationists in the surrounding area have raised their concerns about the effect on wildlife and the greenbelt including Surrey Wildlife Trust and The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, as well as traffic concerns from Highways England.
If the planning application were to go ahead, then the 2100 house town would be the second biggest in Guildford Borough, larger than the nearby towns and villages of Ockham, East and West Horsley, and Ripley along with Cobham, Stoke D’Abernon in Elmbridge. The location was chosen partially because the now derelict Wisley Airfield includes 70 acres of land covered in concrete. It aims for 800 of the homes to be what it considers affordable.
Guildford’s housing market is currently a difficult one for buyers to enter, particularly those looking for affordable housing. The West Surrey Strategic Housing Market Assessment, a council report from October 2015, estimates that Guildford will need 693 new houses per year till 2033, in order to sustain a growing population that needs more homes, particularly affordable ones.
East Horsley Parish Council made their latest objection to the planning application in a letter, dated February 16 2016, to Guildford Borough Council. Writing on behalf of East Horsley Parish Council, Mr Nicholas Clemens concludes the letter by saying:
“EHPC believes that the proposed Green Belt development at Wisley Airfield is wholly inappropriate. This site is not suitable for such a major development, being very low on sustainability and totally contrary to the established pattern of development in this area.
“It will have a major adverse impact on traffic, infrastructure and the local environment, whilst irreparably destroying the beauty of a well-visited historic area.
“The Green Belt was created to prevent metropolitan encroachment on the countryside, it has worked well for many years and we believe it is incumbent upon our planning authorities to maintain this same policy for the benefit of future generations.
“Accordingly, EHPC strongly OBJECTS to this application and urges GBC to reject it”
The closing date for comments has been informally extended to February 29 2016, so now is the best time for worried residents to make their concerns and objections known.
What do you think about the planning application?
Are you strongly against it or do you think that Guildford desperately needs more homes, whatever the cost.
Do you think this will set a dangerous new standard for building on the Greenbelt, or is this a smart use of land that includes 70 acres of concrete?
No matter what you think, let us know in the comments below and on Facebook.
You can make your objections be heard by the council at the following:
Email [email protected].
Send a letter to, Planning Department, Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford GU2 4BB.
Make sure that you include the application number 15/P/00012 and your postal address or else your contribution will be disregarded.
Click here for some great tips on how to make your voice be heard.