Wisley Airfield garden village bid could lead to important government funding and extra support

Last night (30 October) the Executive approved submitting a bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) National Garden Communities Programme to try and gain garden village status for the proposed settlement at Wisley Airfield.

Cllr Paul Spooner, Leader of the Council, says: "We must make the most of all opportunities for our borough and a successful bid would secure important government funding. This would help deliver the wider infrastructure and sustainable transport that our area needs, with extra cross government support, expert Homes England advice and improved design quality for a new garden community."

Wisley Airfield is a strategic site proposed in our Local Plan and the independent Planning Inspector included a session specifically on this in his recent public hearings. He did not consider this site unsound or that it should be removed from the submitted Plan. Like all proposed sites, it will still be subject to the usual planning application process, with or without a successful garden village bid.

Cllr Spooner explains: "Strong local leadership, with support from strategic partners like Surrey County Council, will help deliver our long-term vision to balance new homes, jobs and a great environment for people across the borough. We also want to involve the local community in getting the best scheme possible and will make sure they are engaged during the design process.

"If we want to take advantage of the many benefits garden village status could bring, we must submit a bid by 9 November. Although Executive approval was not necessary for this decision, I wanted to have an open public debate, so this report came to the last meeting before the submission deadline. MHCLG want bids for ambitious, locally led garden villages. Wisley Airfield meets their criteria and will help provide a well-designed place with a range of quality homes, sustainable green space and integrated infrastructure."

Published on Wednesday 31 October.