Council Leader reacts to Wisley Airfield planning appeal decision

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "We are very pleased that the appeal about land at Wisley Airfield has been dismissed by the Secretary of State. This supports the Council's view that the application that was submitted and subsequently refused by the Council's Planning Committee was unacceptable.

"Both the Inspector at the original appeal and now the Secretary of State have agreed with the Council that the applicant had not demonstrated that there were very special circumstances, outside the context of a Local Plan examination, to justify the grant of planning permission.

"This decision relates solely to the appeal proposal and the Council's decision to refuse that specific planning application. The site remains part of a proposed allocation in our emerging Local Plan, which is currently subject to examination. Many of the issues raised in the decision letter are likely to be discussed at the public hearing sessions currently underway.

"The independent examination of our Local Plan is managed by the Planning Inspector and it is up to him to decide how to manage this discussion. The Council remains of the view that including a new settlement at the former Wisley Airfield forms part of the best strategy for delivering the housing needed in our borough.

"It's about making the right decision at the right time, and that decision making process needs to be part of the Local Plan examination process. As with all other strategic sites proposed in the Local Plan, if included they will still be subject to future planning permission processes."

Published on Wednesday 13 June.