Today was the final day of the hearing. Each of the three parties – The “Rule 6 Parties” (POW & the Joint Parishes), Waverley Borough Council and Dunsfold Park – made their closing statements. The public gallery was packed, with people spilling into the Chamber.
Our QC, Mr Paul Stinchcombe, was the first to speak. He spoke eloquently for two hours, comprehensively setting out the case against the proposed development. His key point was that the development would be unsustainable. Mr Stinchcombe concluded by inviting the Secretary of State to refuse permission for this development; and because the spatial strategy in Waverley’s emerging Local Plan and this Planning Application are so intertwined, he announced that the Joint Parishes and POW had today written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to ask him to consider the two together (under Sections 21 & 21A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchases Act 2004). At the end of his statement, there was applause from the public gallery.
The advocates for Waverley Borough Council and Dunsfold Park then presented their closing statements. Quite predictably, they asked that planning permission be granted and said that they would write to the Secretary of State asking that he does not “call-in” the Plan.
(The written versions of all the closing statements will be posted on WBC’s website in due course: please go to http://planning.waverley.gov.uk/live/wbc/pwl.nsf/(RefNoLU)/WA20152395? OpenDocument And click on “Plans and Documents” on the right hand side.)
There was no discussion or cross-questioning and after the three statements, the Planning Inspector declared the hearing ended at just after 2pm.
What happens next? In part, that depends on the outcome of our letter to the Secretary of State about the emerging Plan. However, as the Inspector has undertaken to return to the area after term starts to see the extent of the existing traffic problems, there will be no decision until the autumn at the earliest. We will keep you informed. In the meantime, thank you for your support.
You can read all the parties’ Closing Statements in pdf form below: