Surrey

New objections to Top Gear test track housing plan

Top Gear image
Image caption BBC Top Gear uses the runway and taxiways of Dunsfold Aerodrome as a test track

New objections have been raised against plans to replace the Surrey aerodrome where Top Gear is filmed with housing.

The Environment Agency said it was concerned about the loss of flood plain caused by a proposed main access road.

And Natural England, which advises government on nature and landscape, has warned of the impact on views within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

In response, Dunsfold Park said it would provide additional information.

In December it applied to turn its aerodrome into a "new Surrey village" of 1,800 homes with offices, a shopping centre, primary school and community centre.

Waverley Borough Council hopes to decide on the planning proposal next month.

If permission is granted, flying would come to an end, as would filming by BBC Top Gear at its test track - built on the main runway and taxiways.

'Flood risk'

The Environment Agency has recommended the application is refused, arguing it "does not provide a suitable basis for an assessment to be made of the flood risk arising".

Natural England has also objected, saying the development would "be visible, at least in part, from several prominent locations along public pathways within the AONB".

Dunsfold Park said it was "working with consultees".

Spokesman Gerry Forristal said: "Further technical material relating to the Flood Risk Assessment has been submitted to the Environment Agency and further information on landscape impact will be discussed with Natural England."

In March a transport review for 11 parish councils raised "severe road safety" concerns of construction lorries using narrow country lanes and forecast delays on the A281.

A previous attempt to develop the airfield into housing was turned down in 2008 and a subsequent appeal the following year was also rejected.

Image copyright Dunsfold Park
Image caption Dunsfold proposes 1,800 homes on its aerodrome site
Image copyright Dunsfold Park
Image caption Dunsfold Park wants to shut its runways and redevelop its business park

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