WHAT a difference 11 years makes – a second scheme based on an award-winning masterplan for a Dunsfold Park eco-settlement rejected in 2008, has been awarded Garden Village status.

Dunsfold Park is celebrating the news that its masterplan for the redevelopment of the aerodrome has been chosen by the government as one of just 19 new Garden Villages across the country.

The successful bid, which was submitted by Waverley Borough Council working with The Rutland Group, means approved plans to build 1,800 new homes with a Local Plan site allocation for up to 2,600 houses, will be boosted by a cash injection of £150,000.

Ironically, on the same day in 2008 that the Dunsfold Park eco-settlement for 2,600 houses refused by Waverley, was also rejected on appeal, the ‘green’ scheme beat the Kings Cross regeneration project to win a national award as an exemplar development.

The original ‘green garden village’ concept has been embedded in the latest plan, which is supported by Waverley and successfully saw off a High Court appeal in 2018.

Waverley leader, councillor John Ward, said: “We are totally committed to seeing Dunsfold Park create a sustainable hub for future generations to live, work and thrive.

“The Garden Communities Programme carries capacity funding of £150,000 to support the delivery of Dunsfold Park. In addition, Homes England will work with us, providing expert advice and mediating across government agencies to help resolve any policy issues that are a barrier to delivery.”

Rutland Group chief executive Jim McAllister, added: “Since 2007 our plans have focused on being both socially and environmentally sustainable, creating a community where people are proud to live and work.

“Our masterplan for a new sustainable Surrey village has public open spaces and facilities, including shops and restaurants. These new facilities, as well as the expanded business park, will create more local jobs and help to grow the local economy. ”

Urging the funds are used to best effect, Mike Smyth of Waverley Friends of the Earth, said: “The original proposal in 2007 was a ground breaking example of environmental sustainability applied to new development.

“The bar has been lifted significantly since 2007 and 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.”