Finalising ‘garden village’ scheme for airfield

Wednesday 20th November 2019 8:09 am
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Dunsfold Park executive Jamie McAllister and architect Andrew Beharrell ()

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THE masterplan for Waverley’s first ready-made ‘village’ has gone out for a six-day public consultation.

A self-contained ‘green’ settlement of 1,800 new homes, it comes complete with a primary school, surgery and sports hall, as well as shops and eating places.

The major housing scheme approved for Dunsfold Park is already set to expand, having been allocated 2,600 houses in the borough council’s Local Plan.

It’s second time lucky for the concept of a planned settlement at the airfield – the current scheme is based on an eco-settlement rejected by Waverley in 2008 and dismissed at appeal.

Outline planning consent was granted by Waverley in the face of more than 5,000 objections – a decision upheld following further challenges both at appeal and at the High Court in 2018.

Waverley’s backing was driven by the fact the development is crucial to its Local Plan, which allocates 2,600 homes at the airfield to meet its housing target of 11,200 houses by 2032 and to avoid building a chunk of them on greenfield sites.

Dunsfold Park chief executive Jim McAllister said: “This is a very positive decision for Waverley – the development of Dunsfold Aerodrome will provide homes for young families currently priced out of the area, direct development away from greenfields, create new jobs and deliver a range of new community facilities and infrastructure improvements.”

The scheme has been chosen by the government as one of just 19 new Garden Villages nationally.

Urging the £150,000 awarded by the government to support delivery be used to best effect, Mike Smyth of Waverley Friends of the Earth, said: “The aim must now be for new development to be net zero carbon. Waverley should apply some of the extra funds available to ensure the settlement is a genuine environmental exemplar.”

Dunsfold Park says the new settlement will have ‘outstanding sustainability credentials’ designed to meet climate change scenarios of higher temperatures and increased rainfalls.

Environmental initiatives already implemented mean Dunsfold Business Park is the first in the UK to be fed substantially by green energy from the on-site solar farm, and a new anaerobic digestion plant could also generate electricity.

Housing will range upwards from one-bed flats and two-bed houses available to rent and buy, and will include 30 per cent affordable homes delivered through housing association partners.

The airfield is currently inaccessible to the public, but that is set to change, with the provision of a country park extending to 200 acres.

Responses to the consultation, which closed on November 19, will be taken into account when finalising the planning application due to be submitted in early 2020.

* More information www.dunsfoldparkmasterplan.com.

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