Inquiry Day 1: summary report

July 18, 2017

Dunsfold Park Public Inquiry – Day 1 (18th July) Summary

Our QC made a robust opening statement, see separate document linked below, raising the level of the discussion to include the Local Plan and the Secretary of State’s role in the 2009 decision and in the local plan process. He emphasised that the site was unsustainable and cannot be made sustainable. WBC’s opening statement focused on their oft-repeated theme that things had changed since 2009. The Applicant’s opening statement comprised the usual arguments and half-truths.

A private individual spoke about the impact on the emergency services; about how they cannot cope now and could not handle extra people in Waverley.

Our first witness Nicola Brown of Huskisson Brown Associates presented the case against the development on the landscape issues. She emphasised the loss of ancient woodland on the site and the impact of the development on the nearby AONB, particularly the view from Hascombe Hill. The cross-examination focused on technical planning issues and Ms Brown gave robust and consistent responses. The Inspector himself asked whether 100ft towers were common in Surrey villages and was told that other than church towers, no.

Lastly, Phil Bell of Motion took the stand giving a comprehensive rebuttal of the applicant’s position on transport. It is clear that as there is no alternative to travel by car, the application site cannot be made sustainable within the current planning framework. The provision of a bus service has become a key issue in the argument about sustainability. Mr Bell drew on evidence from Stagecoach that the kind of bus service proposed would be economically unviable. Mr Bell will continue his evidence tomorrow.

A good first day from Team POW and the Joint Parishes.

The Inspector is allowing submissions from the parishes – despite a procedural objection from the Applicant. Individuals will also be allowed to speak without prior registration. They will be able to make their statements on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

Land at Dunsfold Park – POW Opening Statement


  1. Reply
    Nick Lahey-Bean

    Congratulations on everything that Team POW and the Joint Parishes are doing on our behalf. It’s great to be able to read a daily summary of what has happened during the enquiry. I don’t doubt it’s a very big commitment for someone to do this but please do continue if you possibly can.

    1. Reply

      Hi Nick,

      Yes we shall try and get updates as regularly as possible. They will be here and linked to via Twitter and Facebook. Rather than send out repeated email reminders it may be best for email recipients to assume there will be an update each day and visit this site to view. Some days will be dry and relatively uninteresting but we hope to distill the essence for you. We even have a resident artist sketching the key players!

      Please don’t forget, there is the opportunity for residents from anywhere within the 9 mile radius of Dunsfold to speak at the enquiry – on either Thursday or Friday this week.

  2. Reply

    Mr Hunt likes to “sit on the fence” as is clear on many other political issues! He campaigned recently re the hi speed broadband, the Hydestile/Hambledon area had to stump up nearly £100k to get hi speed delivered….and he bleats on about how they “deliver”….what nonsense!

    1. Reply

      Yes, he has certainly got a fat fence to sit on and won’t be drawn to put his feet on either side. I wonder if he is truly aware of the imminent tsunami of traffic that will pass his own front door every morning and evening. I calculate it will be an extra vehicle passing his house every 4 seconds continuously over the 90 minutes of peak time. It only takes one car to not be able to negotiate the passing places, or a minibus to block the flow and Markwick Lane will create tailbacks for miles. That is the definition of unsustainable.

  3. Reply

    This is absolutely excellent, thank you so much for the updates and all your efforts.

    1. Reply

      Thanks Doug, The effort will be worth it – this is the most important issue to face those that live within 8 miles of Dunsfold New Town.

  4. Reply
    Sarah Hanna

    A huge thank you to all involved. What a task. Much appreciated.
    We’re still relatively new to the village, and as much as we appreciate the need for extra housing, this proposed development is ludicrous with services / infrastructure already under such great strain.

    1. Reply

      Hi Sarah,

      Thank-you (on behalf of the ever expanding POW Team).

  5. Reply

    We live near the A281 in Rudgwick and follow with great interest your daily reports. Thank you so much for keeping us informed. There is an application for 64 urban boxes by Gladman (a no win, no fee
    company based in Cheshire) re Fairlee, a smallholding on the A281, which was been turned down 100% by our parish council and Horsham District Council. It will join up Rudgwick to Bucks Green and, again, is unsustainable for many reasons. Not least it would ruin the unspoilt Aran valley. Mr Gladman, needless to say, has appealed & HDC have to defend their decision in October 2017. Wish them luck. Recently, another 100 houses just applied for – this village only has 1300 homes. The A281 will be a carpark. Look on the bright side; the up-side of this will be to cut down on speeding and fatal collisions!

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