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A new garden settlement in Surrey

Design South East – Dunsfold Park

The proposed transformation of an existing aerodrome into Dunsfold Park was one of 19 new Garden Villages announced by the government in June.

The 625-acre brownfield site already has planning consent for a sustainable mixed-use development. The vision is for a ‘new Surrey village’, with 1,800 new homes being accompanied by new employment space that complements the existing and a range of services and community facilities for residents. Proposed facilities include a school, health centre and country park, which will be delivered alongside a comprehensive package of transport improvements. The plans also include increasing the business park to create more space and jobs.

Design South East was appointed to work with the applicant and the local authority, Waverley Borough Council to help ensure its successful delivery by providing advice and guidance along the timeline of the evolution of the new settlement. We responded by drawing on our 200 strong expert panel and selecting nine people with the range of expertise required for this type of project; a panel that will provide continuity and consistency of voice on design quality.

Panel members:

We organised a full induction day to enable the panel to understand the site, the outline application, design development to date and the policy context. The day was an opportunity also for the panel to meet everyone involved in the project, including local councillors. We then delivered four half-day workshops on site with officers, members and the applicants to collaborate on the development of site-specific principles to guide the project and address the 4 key challenges of this project and, of course, many garden settlements:

  1. Transport, movement and streets
  2. Identity, character and heritage
  3. Green and Blue infrastructure
  4. Stewardship, governance and community

The council will be able to draw on the expertise of the panel flexibly but there will be a more formal programme of design review to test the evolution of the design against the agreed design principles.