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Development Options at Dunsfold Park

Monday, 26 January 2015

The owners of Dunsfold Park have long felt that residential development at the aerodrome would be appropriate. We were, therefore, pleased that Waverley Borough Council included the aerodrome as a potential site for a housing allocation in its recent consultation.

The need for the Borough Council to deliver new housing through the Local Plan process, the absence of a five year land supply and the increase in the numbers required by the Strategic Housing Market Availability Assessment (SHMAA) make Dunsfold Park a logical choice for consideration.

The Council consulted on four housing scenarios, three of which were at Dunsfold Park - namely scenario 2 for 1800 houses, scenario 3 for 2600 houses and scenario 4 for 3400 houses - and any of those three scenarios could easily be accommodated within the site. It was clear from the response to the Council's consultation that the vast majority of respondents, in excess of 80%, supported this proposal. Representations have been made to Waverley Borough Council and we await the outcome of the Council's deliberations on its Local Plan.

If there is to be residential development at Dunsfold Park, it is important to stress that the existing employment uses on the site would not only be retained but also expanded and all flying activities would cease.

The quantum of infrastructure funding required to deliver a sustainable development would be dictated by the number of homes allocated for the site. We should stress that the key issues raised by the unsuccessful Appeal in 2009 have been taken on board as our strategy has evolved. We are well aware of the planning tests the site has to pass in order to be allocated and developed.

We are conscious that many people in the local communities surrounding the site want 'chapter and verse' on every detail of our proposals set before them now. That is understandable and we would like to be able to do so. However, until we know whether the site is proposed for allocation and if so for how many houses, such detail is not available. As soon as the Local Plan moves to the next stage, the detail will begin to emerge.

We want to ensure that the local communities know what we are doing, why we are doing it and that we have a clear and deliverable vision. The Local Plan process is a long, complex and often frustrating one. However, we are fully engaged in the process and will provide relevant information and detail if and as the site moves forward.