Former Wisley Airfield Proposals Achieve Building with Nature Design Award

Taylor Wimpey is delighted to announce that plans for the former Wisley Airfield, Guildford, have been given the Building with Nature Design Award, the UK’s first Green Infrastructure benchmark.

The Building with Nature accreditation recognises the exemplary approach taken by the design team to prioritise Green Infrastructure within the Wisley Airfield development proposals, and reinforces Taylor Wimpey’s commitment to creating thriving new communities where residents can enjoy a healthy, active and sustainable lifestyle.

The plans include 42.5-hectare Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG), strategic parks, interlinked village greens, and 61,000m2 of new woodland and native scrub. These have all been pivotal to the layout of the proposed new neighbourhood which would consist of 1,730 homes, schools, healthcare facilities, sports, shops and other community infrastructure, and which was allocated in the Guildford Local Plan.

“We are immensely proud to have been recognised by the Building with Nature Design Award for our plans for the former Wisley Airfield site. This will be one of our most sustainable and environmentally-friendly developments to date, with an ambition to deliver a 20% improvement to biodiversity on the current site, in part by planting almost 8,000 new trees and establishing almost four and half football pitches* worth of new woodland, and almost five and half of new scrubland**.”

“From the very start, we have worked with the community to ensure our plans reflect a beautiful, well-connected and vibrant community with nature at its very core. Great care has gone into our design to ensure we can achieve a positive environmental impact for existing and new residents.”

Antonis Pazourou, Community and Green Infrastructure Manager for Taylor Wimpey

“In achieving a Building with Nature Design Award Taylor Wimpey’s proposals for the former Wisley Airfield demonstrate the capability of a green infrastructure-led approach to deliver sensitive and sustainable placemaking at scale in the 21st century.

“The Award highlights that Taylor Wimpey and their project team are committed to the principles of high-quality green infrastructure. The outline design proposals for the new residential-led settlement and Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space on the former airfield includes a range of connected green infrastructure features which will link with the wider environment and are designed to benefit people and wildlife.

“Maintaining this commitment to high quality green infrastructure through a Building with Nature approach is key to securing and delivering benefits for future residents and a development that is sensitive of and positively contributes to the areas emerging Local Nature Recovery Strategy.”

Tim Bevan, Assistant Director for Building with Nature

About the Building with Nature Design Award

The aims of this award are to support and championing best-practice through design, construction and management to raise the bar for industry and mainstream green infrastructure in placemaking.

High quality and value Green Infrastructure is essential in creating sustainable multifunctional spaces that benefit not only the wellbeing of its users but also the landscape and nature. Through its Standards Framework, Building with Nature encourages its users to take the opportunity that development provides to create better places for people and wildlife. The commitment of the design to each of the standards of the Building with Nature framework has been key to evolving layout and gaining the award.

The accreditation is tested against 12 Standards that cover a wide-reaching range of functions and requirements with respect to wellbeing, water and wildlife.  Together these contribute to the development of a well-considered, holistic and adaptable approach to the design of green infrastructure as a key element of the project.

These standards cover a series of fundamental design criteria that encompass the following principles:

  • Multifunction – individual features in combination that contribute to a network of multiple benefits;
  • Connectivity – provides or fills a missing natural link in the landscape for the benefit of nature and people;
  • Sympathetically placed – reflects and/or creates a sense of place, considerate to the context and character of the local environment and priorities of its people and wildlife;
  • Resilient – responds to the climate emergency in a positive, contributory way;
  • Responsibly managed – has a sustainable mechanism to support its life-long function and benefits; and
  • Environmentally sensitive – mitigates its own local impact and improves the quality of the immediate natural environment.

A Building with Nature Design Award, in the form of a Certificate issued by Building with

Nature, provides independent assurance that a project’s design, as assessed by an

Approved BwN Assessor, meets all of the BwN Standards.

*31,000m2 of new native woodland area / **39,000m2 of new scrubland. A football pitch is 7140m2

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