Today we heard evidence from three of Dunsfold Park’s four witnesses.
We started with Mr Andrew Beharrell from Pollard Thomas Edwards, who gave a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate the attractiveness of the proposed development. He assured us that the site’s heritage would be preserved by a static display of aircraft and that “Runway Park” would be planted with maples to commemorate the Canadians who built the Aerodrome. However, it emerged that the “parking barns” would actually be multi-storey car parks! In cross- examination, our QC, Mr Paul Stinchcombe, drew attention to the fact that the proposed access road to the A281 not only destroyed ancient woodland but also would be in an area subject to flooding and that the only attraction of this route was that it was all land owned by Trinity College Cambridge.
Next Rebecca Knight of LUC was led through her evidence on landscape by Mr Richard Turney. She argued that the Aerodrome was not a valued site in landscape terms even though it was visible from Hascombe Hill, which is an AONB. But under cross-examination by our QC, she agreed that this was a subjective opinion, after our QC had acknowledged that not even Rumpole or Cicero would be able to persuade the Inspector to change his mind on the merits or otherwise of the view. She also agreed that currently no settlement could be seen from the Hill, only individual buildings. That would, of course, change if the proposal went ahead with its 4 storey buildings and 30m towers. She argued that such structures could be seen in Surrey villages although, rather tellingly, she did not cite any examples.
After an early lunch, Mr David Bird of Vectos was led through his transport evidence by Mr Christopher Katkowski QC. Mr Katkowski focussed on how things had changed so that permission should be granted now when it had been refused in 2009. In cross-examination, Mr Stinchcombe QC also focussed on what had changed since 2009, but on what made the site less sustainable. Much time was spent on the proposed bus services, which are seen as the key to making the site sustainable now, but which would require subsidising in perpetuity. Mr Stinchcombe established that there was no known bus scheme like the one proposed.
Tomorrow the evidence from Dunsfold Park will continue, starting at 10am