Policy A35 - Wisley

  1. I object to the changed Policy A35 Wisley in respect of the identified mitigation to address the impacts on Ripley High Street and surrounding rural roads comprises two new slip roads at A247 Clandon Road (Burnt Common) and associated traffic management. This will not in any way mitigate the impact on Ripley High Street since traffic will need to pass through Ripley to reach Wisley.
  2. My previous objections therefore still stand for this changed policy concerning the re-inclusion in the plan of Policy A35 (land at Three Farms Meadow, alias the former Wisley airfield, Ockham).  Following a huge public outcry, Guildford Planning Committee have unanimously rejected a recent planning application for precisely this development on 14 separate grounds. This deceived many residents into thinking that it has been defeated.  Scandalously, the site had been reinserted into the new draft local plan published just 24 hours before the planning decision – a clear signal to the developers to try again. 
  3. There is in any case no need for housing on this site because the local plan housing target is incorrect and inflated and ignores constraints.   
  4. This is not an NPPF “presumption in favour of sustainable development” but a predetermined bias in favour of specific applicants, who had already been given many additional months to refine their application before it was rejected.  Residents are disturbed by apparent political links between the ruling Conservative group on the Council and individuals connected to the developers, a shadowy Cayman Islands company. 
  5. Policy A35 should be deleted from the plan for all the reasons the development was rejected by the Planning Committee, including:
  • Green Belt location and absence of “exceptional circumstances”.  
  • Misrepresentation of the site as brownfield land: 17ha (less than 15%) is brownfield, it is adjacent to the SPA and therefore within the 400m exclusion zone for housing.  The remains of the runway (14ha) are a habitat for rare flora and fauna and has never had any buildings on it.
  • Proximity to RHS Wisley and Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area (TBHSPA). 
  • Proximity to A3/M25 bottleneck and Ripley village and roundabouts. 
  • Absence of adequate traffic data.
  • Further harm to air quality both onsite and nearby (e.g. the Cobham AQMA) and disregard for the health of children at the proposed secondary school.
  • Loss of high-quality agricultural land (55% of the site), in breach of national policy. 
  • Disproportion of locating of over 2,000 dwellings within the ancient village of Ockham with just 159  households.
  • Presence of a Surrey County Council safeguarded waste site. 
  • Cost of infrastructure required to the detriment of alternative more favourable sites. 
  • Lack of local transport possibilities owing to country lanes with no footpaths or cycle ways and the distance to railway stations which have no spare parking capacity.
  • Impact on listed buildings.  
  • Difficulty of SANG siting and inability to divert residents and their pets away from the SPA. 
  • Extreme housing density with tiny garden spaces. 
  • Damage to neighbouring communities of creating a settlement of 5,000 residents, equivalent to East and West Horsley combined, with worse light pollution, noise and traffic, and competition for local amenities and infrastructure. 
  • Insufficient information about the impact on the local water table and run-off (see comments on flooding in Horsley above), and the possible aggravation of downstream flooding towards the Thames (e.g. Thames Ditton, which was under water during the winter of 2013/14).
  • Failure to evaluate the cumulative impact of this and nearby development sites on the area.

2017 Guildford Local Plan

Guildford’s NEW local Plan has just opened for consultation. PLEASE RESPOND before 24th July 2017.  GGG has published its responses to Local Plan Policies here 

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