Wisley - Wrong location for potentially interesting development.

11 October 2022

Wisley Site needs to address sustainability.

The Society has written a letter of objection to the proposed development at Wisley Airfield that has been under consideration for a number of years. 

Local Plan Policy A35

This policy governs the use of the site.  The Society believes this is predicated on old style thinking in that it allows for a site with a predominately car-based transport linkages, and that it imposes major and difficult to quantify impacts on local villages, and the local countryside.  The policy allows for an overdevelopment of a rural location with a lack of sustainability.

Proposed Design

The Society believes within the remit of Policy A35 that the proposed layout and design is satisfactory within the site boundaries (subject to our caveat on dwelling numbers).  The proposals include a proper consideration of place making and sustainability and the internal transport being focused on active travel looks appropriate.

We are glad to see a developer bringing forward a scheme that has elements such as an Energy Centre, Car Parking convertible to other uses, and a generously sized Sustainable Movement Corridor.

Our Objections

  1. The requirement to provide two new slip roads at Burnt Common Policy A42 as described in Policy A35 seems to be being breached as no agreed plans or funding are available at present.  The Inspector at the Local Plan hearing was particularly concerned that infrastructure development would be built to support the Strategic Sites.  This matter should be addressed with urgency.
  1. Ripley is going to be badly affected by traffic issues, particularly if the Burnt Common slips are not implemented – plans to improve and alleviate congestion in Ripley are not clear.
  1. Old Lane the traffic placed on this rural road is an issue
  1. Cycle Network – Horsley, Effingham, Ripley and Byfleet. Although we agree with the ambition to provide these routes The Society has concerns on what is proposed.
    1. The route North to Byfleet is along a surprisingly busy lane, especially when Wisley is holding events.
    2. Going South the routes for the confident cyclist are along narrow and busy lanes.  Although some traffic calming measures are proposed these do little to mitigate risks and encourage cycling.
  1. Bus Network - we welcome the proposed Bus network including links to local rail stations.  However, we believe the addition of buses on the roads to Horsley and Effingham pose a risk to other users particularly cyclists.  Would it be better to serve Horsley only and encourage cyclists (with the proviso’s mentioned in E.) to use Effingham?

Wisley Development has many good ideas but the lack of proper infrastructure provision and overdevelopment cause us to ask that a serious rethink of the whole development is undertaken. 

Our Letter of objection can be read below.


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