Update: Please Note the Consultation closed on the 29 Nov 2013
We are very concerned about what is contained in a Consultation Document produced by Guildford Borough Council for formulating a Local Plan. To place this in context, the Borough boundary is less than 2 miles from Cobham and adjoins Downside and Hatchford.
The disused Wisley Airfield is in Green Belt land and just 2 miles from Cobham. What is suggested is building 2175 houses on 167 hectares and goes further in envisaging with a new settlement, all the infrastructure required. There are spill overs into Ockham and East and West Horsley. Objections must be in by the end of the month and we shall be objecting vigorously.
You can respond to the Consultation if you have any connection with the Borough, including, for example, using it for any leisure purpose.
You can write a letter to:
Planning Policy, Guildford Borough Council, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford GU2 4BB
There is a questionnaire that can be filled out online, but some questions appear to be loaded and any respondent must be wary. There is a website set up by activists wanting to save the Green Belt within Guildford Borough which can be found at: www.surreygreenbelt.org
Our view is that, without any evidence base, Guildford Planners have seen an opportunity of meeting a housing target in an easy, and it seems lazy, manner. There is no case for a new town in the Borough, and indeed if there is a need for additional housing much of that could be located in or adjacent to Guildford where there is existing infrastructure.
Reasons that can be put forward for the suggestion being entirely wrong are identified by the Trust as being:
• loss of countryside used for leisure purposes and wildlife. The land is within 400 metres of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area and rare species would be endangered.
• the land is close to the M25 and A3 junction and may increase the number of vehicles using these busy roads on a daily basis. Surrey is very poorly served by public transport. Any new residents would be reliant on the private car.
• a new settlement here would absorb the hamlet of Ockham.