Wisley Airfield Development - Guidance for Objections - Jan 2016
Reference 15/P/00012 –revised application by Wisley Property Investment Limited to build 2068 homes on the former Wisley Airfield site
We have been asked by many to provide guidance on the key points which should be included in objection letters for the planning application referenced above. Whether you objected last time or whether you are new to this abomination, please seriously consider writing now if you feel as strongly as we do. This is the thin end of our local wedge as far as green belt development is concerned. Please object in your own words picking out the points shown below which worry you most; you don't need to include every point.
- This is a massive encroachment of the Metropolitan Green Belt and would be inappropriate development (as defined by law) within that.
- The proposals would harm the rural landscape character of the area and the openness of the green belt having a negative impact on views from all over North Surrey including from Painshill Park Landscape Gardens.
- Contrary to Green Belt policy the proposals would create on open country a line of building that will start to merge settlements (urban sprawl).
- The protection of the green belt is this generation's responsibility.
Impact on the local area
- The additional 5,000 residents is the equivalent of adding 50% to the population of Cobham, Downside and Hatchford
- The proposed housing density is completely out of keeping with the surrounding rural area – multi-storey buildings are not appropriate in a rural environment
- The resulting impact on light pollution, traffic and infrastructure has been gravely underestimated. Suggested measures in mitigation are totally inadequate
- The cumulative impact of development on the neighbouring boroughs of Elmbridge and Mole Valley has not been taken into account
- The air quality surrounding the site of the proposed development gives grave cause for concern as levels of NO2 already exceed the EU limit due in part to the proximity of the M25, the A3 and Cobham services.
- The closure of Plough Lane between Cobham and Ockham and other local roads coupled with a massive increase in traffic will impact a large number of local road users
- Any site that is dependent on the use of private motor car cannot be considered justifiable.
- The proposed public transport provision is unrealistic given the nature of the roads in question. The suggestion that residents will walk or cycle to a rail station on narrow, winding, unlit roads without pavements or cycle lanes is incredible.
- A suggestion of use of Cobham & Stoke D'Abernon Station by the new population would, even if plausible, add to congestion, parking difficulties and pollution.
- This huge proposed development would damage habitats of the protected and endangered rare species in contravention of the EU Birds Directives and Habitats Regulations
- The siting of a proposed Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space adjacent to the Thames Basin Heath Special Protected Area and Sites of Scientific Interest will only increase visitor numbers causing further damage to that.
- The introduction of pets as well as humans is what devastates wildlife
What has changed? In our view, very little of such substance that starts to justify the proposed development. Most of the new documents look to turn the tide of opposition to the development but fail to impress for that purpose. The suggestion is now to phase in the development up to 2030. The reduction of the total housing to 2068 is by a mere 32 dwellings and if anything the size of the proposed development is larger.
Even if you objected previously, the QC's advice is that a new objection will carry significantly more weight; so please don't delay. Whilst the date for consultation has been informally extended to the end of February 2016, we strongly advise you to get your letters in soon. A copy of our objection letter from last year can be viewed here.
Please tell your friends and neighbours about this latest planning application which could have a major impact on our local area – we have no intention of letting the developers wear us down. The Wisley Action Group planning team and that of Cobham Heritage, comprising David Bellchamber, Louise Barnard and David Tipping, have burned the midnight oil on this one – it is now over to you!! Very many thanks for your support.