The Planning Inspectorate has rejected three Appeals against Enforcement Notices issued by Guildford Borough Council regarding unauthorised development in Wanborough Fields.

The Inspector's Decisions can be read on the Planning Appeals portal here.

One application, reference APP/Y3615/C/21/3274279 on land known as Lot A1, concerned the immediate eyesore beyond the gate into the northern Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV) field at the bend in Westwood Lane. This is where the containers are stored and where frequent rubbish fires take place in a skip. The Decision confirms the original Enforcement Notice, which requires the landowner to:

"i) Remove from the Land all material, including but not limited to hardcore and earth, used to create the bunds adjacent to the track in the approximate location marked A - B and C – D on the plan attached to the notice.
ii) Remove from the Land all material, including but not limited to hardcore and earth, used to create the track on the Land, hatched in black on the plan attached to the notice.
iii) Return the Land to its previous levels, so at any point it is level with the natural pre-existing land immediately adjacent to it.  

The landowner has two months to comply with this decison, i.e. until 14 November 2021.

A further two applications, reference APP/Y3615/C/19/3235847 and APP/Y3615/C/19/3235848, concerned the two storey timber building constructed towards the rear of the same field and on the right as viewed from the road. The Decision confirms the original Enforcement Notice, which requires the landowner to:

1. Cease the use of the land for non-agricultural storage purposes;
2. Remove from the land all non-agricultural items/paraphernalia being stored on the land including but not limited to a horsebox, JCB excavator, building equipment and materials, timber, trailers and motor vehicles.

The landowner has one month from the date of the Decision to comply, i.e. until 20 October 2021.

This case has been outstanding for nearly four years. The Inspector's Decision includes an award of costs against the appellants and concludes: "I therefore find that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense, as described in the Planning Practice Guidance, has been demonstrated and that a full award of costs is justified."

It remains to be seen whether and if so when the respective landowners comply with these decisions and if they do not what further action will be taken by Guildford Borough Council, who are to be congratulated for their perseverance in pursuing these cases thus far. The battle to preserve the integrity of the AGLV at Wanborough Fields is therefore not over but these Decisions mark an important victory for local residents, who have throughout supported and encouraged the Council's efforts.

Monday the 6th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template