… and cries of anguish! 

Following Trinity College Cambridge’s new bursar – Richard Turncoat’s – decision to press the nuclear button and sell Dunsfold Park to the highest bidder, Waverley Borough Council has been forced to admit it does not have a five-year housing supply. The housing it was expecting to come on stream at Dunsfold Park from 2022 is now delayed by at least two years and, worst-case scenario delayed to sometime never!

Rumours abound that the overwhelming influx of Hollywood blockbusters being filmed in and around Waverley, both at Dunsfold Park itself and across the Hurtwood, could see the former aerodrome being snapped up by a movie mogul who would think nothing of paying gazillions to secure the aerodrome’s exclusive use for future projects. 

The name’s Cruise.  Tom Cruise!

Indeed, this has led some local wags to suggest that the Surrey Hills should invest in its own riposte to the American landmark Hollywood sign that is situated on Mount Lee, in the Hollywood Hills area of the Santa Monica Mountains.  It would certainly make an interesting addition to Lord Justice James’ seat.  


Others are convinced the Chinese are going to buy the aerodrome and expand its use as a private airfield, under cover of which they would establish a top-secret facility for overseas espionage overseen by the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the United Front Work Department and People’s Liberation Army ...


Although most acknowledge that the airfield’s value is intrinsically linked to its existing planning consent for 1800 homes with another 500 (Total 2,300)  to follow over time, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that someone with deep pockets – such as the aforementioned Chinese government, a Russian oligarch (in plentiful supply in the Surrey Hills) or, whisper it who dares, local resident and Indian Steel Magnate, Lakshmi Mittal (reputed worth £19.3 billion!) will snap it up. After all, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a multi-billionaire must be in want of a private airstrip within a hop, skip and a jump of his country estate!  The eye-watering cost of acquiring Dunsfold Park would be small change to any of the aforementioned.   

But, on a serious note, our sources tell us that Waverley Borough Council is now pooping its pants over the very real threat posed to its Local Plan by the potential loss of Dunsfold Park to any use other than housing. 

Make no mistake, a delay in housing delivery at Dunsfold Park is a serious issue for Waverley and numerous developers and would-be developers are licking their lips and rubbing their hands in glee as they feverishly measure up yet more fields in this green and pleasant borough and begin racking up fees for planning applications and budgeting for appeals they can’t fail to win now that the future of Dunsfold Park is, at worst, in the balance and, at best, horribly delayed.

Meanwhile, the reputation of Trinity College Cambridge and its new bursar – Richard Turncoat – is in tatters.  So much for the College’s long-cherished and much-envied reputation for taking the long-view.  Mr Turncoat’s only interested in making a quick buck.

Trinity College is the wealthiest of all the Oxbridge colleges with published assets worth £1.3bn in its latest accounts, compared with St John’s College, Oxford lagging way, way behind with a mere  £600m in assets.

For Trinity’s sake – not to mention his own – one can only hope Richard Turncoat knows what he’s doing and doesn’t get his finger’s – not to mention the college’s coffers –  burnt with his fire sale of Dunsfold Park.  With its Green Agenda and eco-credentials, Dunsfold Park should have been a jewel – if not THE jewel – in Trinity’s crown.  Forget Extinction Rebellion protestors digging up your hallowed lawns, Mr Turncoat, it will be angry Waverley residents digging up your runway in protest at the College’s broken promises!  

Indeed rumour has it that Thakeham Homes will name its development at Springbok in Alfold – Richard Turnill Estate in honour of the man whose actions laid the foundations for them securing planning permission, against all the odds,  to concrete over yet another few acres of the borough of Waverley!

One Waverley councillor told the Waverley Web…

Looks as though our Conservative predecessors who  were adamantly opposed to Dunsfold  whih prompted years of delay, may now have inflicted a mortal wound on the whole of this borough? There are a lot of very worried people around here!


  1. I do think your post is overly pessimistic. Dunsfold will not necessarily go to the highest bidder and I would imagine it will be marketed as a Garden Village with the required planning permissions already in place. Waverley’s role will be to ensure the development proceeds with speed and maintains the high sustainability which was its vison.
    Is my post overly optimistic?

    1. The answer is Yes, you are being overly optimistic. Regardless of who buys the site, the delay will open the floodgates to every developer eager to build over Waverley’s countryside. If then a garden village goes ahead – sadly then the eastern villages will get the worst of both worlds.

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