An application to build Dunsfold Airfield Mark 2 – on land adjacent to Dunsfold Airfield Mark 1 – was flatly REFUSED – by Waverley Planners – who deemed it too big, in fact, claiming it was better suited to either Heathrow or Gatwick!
It beggars belief why Waverley’s head honcho led her planning numpties into recommending approval of a scheme to build an aviation museum councillors described as “bizarre;” “massive;” “huge;” “enormous” hangars more fitting for Heathrow or Gatwick.
The land adjacent to Dunsfold Park has been purchased by the West-Sussex based Wing Museum Trust from a local landowner, who no doubt, wanted to put two fingers up to the Flying Scot because the laddie has permission to build a Museum and 1,800 new homes on the airfield site adjacent? That land is marked in blue on the map above.
One councillor after another – even an absent Alfold Borough councillor Kevin Deanus, slammed the plan to build on land east of Benbow Lane off Dunsfold Road. A rural road Alfold Parish Council Chairman Nick Pigeon described as – in a bad state of repair.
However, a Wings Spokesman said the Museum, attracting 28,000 visitors to view the planes in a proposed 10,000 sqm hangar would be good for the borough’s economy, -with classrooms and library for education, a shop, library; coach and car parks, and a dedicated section dealing with Dunsfold Aerodrome’s history would be a huge asset.
It was financially sound with money to forge ahead with the exciting scheme on land it owned and to include an adjacent nature reserve, where the remains of WW2 buildings still stand.
The scheme was “unique” and would be a successful asset to the area.
Objector Chris Britton – or (Little Britton as he is known locally) said the scheme raised some serious issues – as the applicant had no relationship with Dunsfold Park. What if this multi-million-pound Museum failed in this rural area on agricultural land, which, he claimed, had never been within the airfield boundary and if allowed it would set a dangerous precedent for other similar areas around the new settlement.
“This proposed hangar could accommodate 342 double-decker buses or even Concorde and is eight times bigger than the existing Wings Museum.”
Several councillors claimed the access would be far too close to an existing DP access, and why hadn’t SCC highways objected?
The WW asks – is this outfit (SCC highways) any longer fit for purpose?
Why wasn’t it part of the Dunsfold Masterplan councillors asked? Why wasn’t the applicant talking to Dunsfold Park? Why? were officers recommending approval when the whole idea of the DP Masterplan was to plan – future development – and which included a new Aviation Museum?
“This is bizarre,” claimed Mary Foryszewski – “we could end up with two Museums.”
In a letter read out by Councillor John Gray, Kevin Deanus claimed the size of the building – was so large “it will make Gatwick and Heathrow jealous. And to claim it was part of the airfield, and within touching distance of proposed new homes was stretching credibility too far.”
Any access to any future Museum should be off the A281.
For once, Betty Boot rolled back from her usual stance of kicking councillors into submission? She actually became more accommodating – perhaps now she is retiring, she is beginning to feel some remorse for the mess she has helped get the East of the borough into?
Has anyone told BB about the Dunsfold Masterplan? That a Museum already exists and described by Bramley’s By-Pass Byham as – ramshackle, dilapidated buildings manned by a few volunteers – is to be replaced? It’s in the Masterplan ducky!
Calling out to the public gallery BBPB said to another Betty “ Sorry Betty (we know not who Betty is – but I shall be supporting this application.”
No doubt quite forgetting his usual concern for the heavy traffic which he would like to By-Pass Bramley? But then what’s another 28,000 visitors’ cars between friends?
Councillor Mike band described the scheme – as an “extraordinary place to consider putting an enormous Museum. “Wrong place, wrong size, without the right partners!”
Although some councillors suggested deferral, others wanted an outright rejection and it was REFUSED by 11 votes to By-Pass’s One.