What’s going on in Alfold’s Wild ‘West’ wood?

Not everyone is wild about a proposed new entrance to a former golf club in Alfold.

Our Alfold mole has been giving us the heads-up on the current planning issues in this beleaguered corner of ‘Your Waverley.’ Now, the former Wildwood Golf Club is in the frame.

Apparently, after Inspectors have allowed the village to double in size, and development is rumoured to begin on  Dunsfold Garden Village’s 2,600 homes soon – along comes – the start of the Wildwood Retirement Village?


Map showing the former Wildwood Golf Course


RE: WA/2022/00217 Wildwood Golf Course –  New Access

Having examined the above application, it appears to hold no resemblance to an original application WA/2010/1489  for a hotel on the golf course at Wildwood on the A281 – Guildford-Horsham Road.

Villagers claim developers are making a mockery of the planning system by making new applications based on extant applications they have no intention of using.  Therefore this new application is a means to start another application for a new…

 Eco-Retirement Village.

Some residents fail to see how this application can be assessed without further information. Quote from their D&A statement

WA/2022/00217 Application Points:

 Planning History

3.2.1 WA/2010/1489 – planning permission granted on 10th August 2011 for the erection of an 84 room hotel with associated spa and leisure facilities; a golf academy building with associated offices and lodge accommodation to serve the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) regional headquarters; relocation of maintenance building together with the formation of access roads, parking and landscaping. Including the existing buildings (minus that demolished to facilitate the approved scheme), the Consent granted a total of 16,161sqm floor space. This permission has been lawfully implemented and is extant.

3.2.2 In 2020, pre-application planning advice was sought for the above development to be used as a retirement village to facilitate the construction and separate operation of THIS development, a new vehicular access is required to serve the golf course.

3.2.3 Accordingly, this application proposes new vehicular access and a car park for the golf course.

WHAT GOLF COURSE?? – Is this the 9-Hole as mentioned in the Press?? In which case the whole application has to be removed and this new application and any other to come forward must be judged on its own merits surely?

The original Application (WA/2010/1489) is only still Extant due to this Document ….

http://planning360.waverley.gov.uk/civica/Resource/Civica/Handler.ashx/Doc/pagestream?cd=inline&pdf=true&docno=6988439  and nothing apart from willful destruction of a beautiful Golf course that over recent years has re-wilded, so any Ecology reports (ER’s) for 2010 are now useless.

The new (ER’s) only look at the new area and are mostly Desk-Based bearing no resemblance to the wildlife that we, and many other walkers, have seen on the Golf Course in the last 5 years.

There are still Mats, Dormouse & Larger Boxes on-site TODAY  none of them was removed for analysis.  The Great Crested Newt Bottles were taken away within a week of being put into the Ponds!
The developer acknowledges that there  may be factual inaccuracies, quote:

This Report has been prepared using reasonable skill and care for the sole benefit of Peker Skyline Limited(“the Client”) for the proposed uses stated in the report by [Tetra Tech Environment PlanningTransport Limited] (“Tetra Tech”). Tetra Tech excludes all liability for any other uses and to any other party. The report must not be relied on or reproduced in whole or in part by any other party without the copyright holder’s permission.

Well whoops!  it is on the WBC Planning Website so we can use it.

The survey is based on the small site for this new application and bears no relevance to the larger site that quite rightly shows the Ancient Woodland and GCN Sites as noted in the ACD Environmental reports of 2010 – this is an area of Local Importance. Villagers wish it was of greater importance as it shows the amazing result of what re-wilding can do saying,

“We see all manner of deer, and foxes and have seen Badger Pooh.   The birds that we see and the amazing flora as well as butterflies I had never even heard of – most of which are not mentioned in the report.”

The data search didn’t cover:

  • Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs)or
  • Conservation Areas designated for their special architectural and historic interest.

This is an area with swathes of Ancient Woodland. Woodlands that take six hundred years to develop their ecosystems –

You simply cannot replant them!

There are Ponds all over the Golf Course that have Great Crested Newts – and this report acknowledges this – but Pond 41 by the new access route is one of them – so they plan to migrate them elsewhere.  But what happens when the next batch of applications for the site come to fruition – do we just keep schlepping these poor creatures across the golf course until they hit the bit where there is no longer any more development??

Villagers are now asking Waverley Planners to protect their rural areas and prevent developers from concreting over them.

“We have a resolution with WBC to be one of the best Carbon Neutral Boroughs and this is a material consideration. There is nothing in this application that justifies this new access and has been pointed out by local residents it is on a dangerous bend of the A281 and will result in the removal of both ancient hedges and trees in the locale to enable the visibility splays required.

One resident revealed that the distance from the proposed new car park to the existing Wildwood Club House is about 600mtrs. – But that is as the crow flies, to actually walk the existing site and not straight through Tinkers Copse (ASNW) outside of the ownership of the site or across the Ponds, it must be in excess of that 600mtrs and more likely closer to 1000mtrs. The area between the Proposed Carpark and the Driving range – is fairly rough terrain and certainly unsuitable for wheelchair access, unless there is to be a new footpath/hardstanding. 

This area in the winter is Boggy and hard for even the fittest, we walk it regularly.

WA/2010/1489 allowed for the following Car Parking:

  1. Existing Carpark/Overflow 174 Spaces
  2. Academy Lodges   46 Spaces Plus non-specified for the PGA Academy
  3. Woodland Lodges   25 Spaces
  4. Maint Yard/Staff   58 Spaces

That equates to in excess of                  303 Car Parking Spaces

Why the need for another 66 at the most Southerly part of the site?

None of this makes any sense – so it is obvious to us ignorant villagers that something else is on the cards, and to date, there has been no Public Engagement with the Village.

A map of the whole site is featured above if anyone doesn’t know the scope of this place and what else could be coming forward on it!

One thought on “What’s going on in Alfold’s Wild ‘West’ wood?”

  1. Hi WW
    What can we say? – I have re-objected – But I cannot fully paste into this website so I will just do the text as Pictures do not work

    Date: 28th February 2022
    RE: WA/2022/00217 Wildwood Golf Course – New Access
    Dear Waverley Planning,

    I am sorry I wish to Object again
    The email from Tetra Tech of 25th February 2022 posted today 28th Feb 2022 does not address the issues:

    1. The access is on a Blind bend on the A281 in between two access points; Hook Street and the road leading to White Lea Properties and others ( I am not sure if it has a name) Many accidents are not reported as we all know, but damage to properties on the A281 are NOT listed on Crashmap and the resulting stress and damage to resident’s Properties and mental Wellbeing is high. I am sure that even SCC cannot say there are no issues with this?

    2. There are no Pavements on that section of the A281, so if they plan to close the Current Access due to construction works for those of us that walk on the Golf Course this would increase our Walk by some 864 Mtrs on a busy dangerous road. The existing Access is a Public Foot path/Bridle Way FP403A as well as others on the Course, which I am sure you are aware of. I do not feel it is reasonable to expect those of us that WALK to the Public Footpaths should have to endure this additional dangerous walk on the A281 with our Dogs.

    3. Where are the plans for the remodelled Golf Course; if this is planned then where are the details? There has been no Public engagement with the Local Community.

    4. If they plan to reopen the Golf course within 12 months they are going to have a huge amount of work to do It has rewilded and is currently massively overgrown & boggy and in parts. I fear even electric Buggies would struggle.

    5. The traffic surveys were carried out for 7 days from 11-17th July 2021 there were Temporary Traffic Lights on the A281 from 14-21st July 2021 as mentioned by a previous Objector. Whilst the Survey shows the Percentile Speed of 52mph – 48mph there were traffic lights by Hook Street so this presumably would have affected the speed of the traffic in both directions and reduced the speed of traffic on this section, and nothing to do with the lower amount of cars on the road.

    6. I was slightly out on my estimation of the distance from the Car Park to the Club house but they mention using Electric Golf Buggies – surely it is more sustainable for golfers to walk the Course and not use expensive Electricity to get from a Car Park to the Clubhouse to the Course. (see Google Maps Pic. 1. ) as Most did when the course was open.
    I re-walked this section and there are many areas you simply cannot walk on. So my revised figures for the “Walk/Ride” to the clubhouse is 1.09Km.
    If this access is allowed it should be within a safe walking distance on Footpaths from the nearest Bus stop and local facilities in order to meet the NPPF.

    7. This Application is not one that should even be looked at until the New Full Outline Application is seen and can be scrutinised fully. It is premature to say the least, in view of the fact that they plan to amend the existing Extant application. Please can we see what they are proposing to do on the site. We know there have been pre-Application meetings – I feel it is time this was shared with the Villages that will be most affected. It should not be seen as a sticking Plaster for Waverley’s lack of a 5 year Housing Supply. Who knows it could be something the Villagers accept if it is something that gives us a retirement Village with facilities and employment the Villagers could benefit from.

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