Dunsfold Park is now on track to build 1,800 homes now and more than 2,600 in the future as a cornerstone of Waverley’s blueprint for future housing sites.
Deputy High Court Judge Nathalie Lieven QC,Waverley rejected the Local Plan challenges by Surrey Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and Protect Our Waverley (POW) and a further POW challenge against the Secretary of State’s decision to grant outline planning permission for Dunsfold Aerodrome.
The decision followed a hearing at the High Court on October 9 and 10 to determine if the Local Plan Inspector had unlawfully included 50 per cent of the unmet need from Woking borough in Waverley’s Local Plan, adopted in February this year.
Dismissing the applications, the judge stated the Inspector took a “sensible, pragmatic and in my view lawful approach” in his assessment of Waverley’s approach to take on some of Woking’s unmet housing need.
Ms Lieven said: “The critical point is that the central justification or reasons for the Inspector’s conclusions are clear on the level of housing requirement in the Local Plan.
“In my view, they are here. It is clear why he reached the figure he did on unmet need. For these reasons I do not think that the Inspector and Waverley Borough Council erred in law in the adoption of the Local Plan, and I reject the s.113 challenges.”
The judge also upheld the Secretary of State’s decision to grant planning permission for the Dunsfold Park masterplan.
Waverley set aside £300,000 as its fighting fund to defend its Local Plan.Council leader Julia Potts, said: “We are pleased to have been vindicated in the High Court – although it is a shame that, despite the adoption of the Local Plan having followed due process, we have had to use Council Tax payers’ money to defend the Local Plan against the legal actions of two campaign groups.
“Although I understand that planning for our future isn’t an easy subject, it is essential that we have a Local Plan that enables us to have the control to shape our borough for future generations. Now we can continue getting on with doing just that.”
*See Thursday’s Herald for full story