Surrey

Wisley 2,068 homes plan for greenbelt 'inappropriate'

Artist's impression of overhead view of housing scheme Image copyright Wisley Property Investments
Image caption Wisley Airfield would be turned into a "new settlement" for Guildford

Villagers have welcomed a recommendation to reject a proposed "new town" near Guildford.

Planners have described an application for 2,068 homes, on the former Wisley Airfield, as "inappropriate" in the greenbelt.

Guildford Borough Council has called a special meeting on 6 April to rule on the proposal.

Developers Wisley Property Investments has said it will ask for more time to discuss "remaining issues".

The company said it expected to resolve matters "later this summer".

It submitted its original plan in December 2014 to build the homes, a school, eight travellers' pitches and a floodlit sports facility at the former airfield.

Image copyright Wisley Property Investments
Image caption Developers propose over 2000 homes, sports areas, a cafe, medical facility and parkland

The planners concluded "there are benefits to be gained from the development, not least the early delivery of much need (sic) housing", but there were "no material considerations" to override the "Government's continuing firm commitment to Green Belt protection".

'Rural hamlet'

Wisley Action Group campaigners welcomed the recommendation.

Helen Jefferies, of the group, said there was now an "avalanche of evidence" against a "new town" of over 2,000 houses on "greenbelt land, agricultural land, in the rural hamlet of Ockham".

But, Mike Murray of Wisley Property Investments said the disused airfield was the "obvious location for a new settlement in Guildford".

He claimed support from "younger people keen to get on to the housing ladder" and said 65 per cent of under-35s surveyed last year were in favour.

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