Surrey

Wisley developer considers next move after homes bid rejected

Wisley airfield plan Image copyright Wisley Airfield
Image caption The homes would be built on Wisley Airfield, with access on to the A3

Developers who want to build more than 2,000 homes on a former airfield in Surrey say they are considering their next move after the plan was rejected.

Guildford council refused the scheme for Wisley Airfield with 14 objections including transport, air quality and its impact on the green belt.

Wisley Action Group said the scheme had insoluble problems and it was delighted it had been refused.

Developer Wisley Property Investments said it could resolve the issues.

Image copyright Wisley Property Investments
Image caption The developers say the site has 74 acres of browfield land

The plan for the airfield, which has been disused since the 1970s, includes 2,068 homes, a school, care home, shops, eight travellers' pitches and floodlit sports facilities.

Helen Jefferies, of Wisley Action Group, said its classification as a brownfield site was misleading, because only about 24% was previously built on.

Residents also say the development would swamp Ockham village, which has 159 households.

The airfield has been earmarked for housing in the new Guildford local plan but councillor Matt Furnis said this did not mean developers got a free ride.

"They have to work through the issues," he said.

"But we do have to deliver housing in the South East. Guildford is a challenging area and some tough decisions do have to be made."

Image copyright Wisley Airfield
Image caption The plan includes apartments for first-time buyers as well as family houses

Mike Murray, for Wisley Property Investments, said it was normal for councils and applicants to take their time to get developments right.

"We haven't decided on our next steps but for sure we think we can resolve the issues in the refusal," he said.

"Thee biggest one is about transport.

"Highways England are also working up a road investment strategy for junction 10 of the M25, so this is all very current."

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