The final day of the first week of the Inquiry was a continuation of representations by individual residents, parish councils and other organisations. 13 people spoke, bringing the total to 25 who have presented their views against the scheme to the Inspector. One person spoke in favour on the basis that it would be a healthy place to live.
Once again, the recurring theme of roads and traffic came up, especially more examples of rat runs and unsuitability of minor lanes for HGVs. A common point was the lack of faith local people have in the theoretical modelling of traffic. They gave lots of real examples of the danger, congestion, noise and vibration caused by existing traffic and imagined the impact with the extra trips generated by Dunsfold new town. The rat runs to the A3 and stations, especially Markwick Lane were cited, and particular problems of the A281 in Bramley. The proposed junction improvements were treated sceptically by most people.
Overall, many of the objectors made the point that the site is still as unsustainable as it was judged to be in 2009. Several Parish Councils made the point that Waverley had not carried out their evaluation of possible alternative sites for housing properly or exhaustively; they openly offered to take an increased share of the OAN and that a more distributed approach across the Borough would be more sustainable than ‘dumping’ all the housing at Dunsfold Aerodrome. Some Parishes were concerned that thriving villages might have their future prosperity put in jeopardy by the effects of the new town.
Two people referred to the Council’s U-turn and the biased (and only) consultation undertaken, in 2014, in which 3 out of 4 options included Dunsfold Aerodrome. The implication was that the site could be sustainable and by putting housing there, a reduced allocation at other large towns could be achieved. It was suggested that from that point the Council was acting as a partner of the site developer and had already predetermined this as their site of choice.
One person noted the inconsistency of the Council in turning down the large housing development at Springbok Estate (adjacent to the Aerodrome) yet continuing to support development at Dunsfold Aerodrome itself.
A strong representation was made by the Planning Adviser to the Surrey Hills AONB. He stressed the importance of ‘tranquility’ to the intrinsic quality of the AONB, and the impact of traffic on the lanes that pass through it. He noted that a ‘Quiet Lanes’ proposal was being worked on with Surrey CC, and this would be jeopardised by any increase in traffic from Dunsfold new town.
The Inquiry continues, with Waverley’s case, on Tuesday morning starting at 10.00.