District Centre plans setting high hopes in West Byfleet

PLANs for the regeneration of West Byfleet’s District Centre were open for public viewing on Thursday last week.

Altitude Real Estate, which bought the Station Approach site in August – including the empty Sheer House office block – held a series of workshops at the Corner-stone Centre to generate feedback that will be used when discussing options for redevelopment.

The company said they hope to create a ‘vibrant mixed-use site that ties in with the area and provides the possibility of
a large space for community activities and public focus’.

Interested parties were invited to one of three drop-in slots, kicking off with key stakeholders including Woking MP Jonathan Lord,  council officers and ward councillors, then existing local businesses, followed by residents, ‘to get a better understanding of the community’s needs’.

Display boards outlined development opportunities, while Altitude representatives were on hand to answer questions.

A company spokesman told the News & Mail that the sessions were very well attended – with around 150 visitors – and that they brought about a number of ‘mostly positive’ comments.

Director of Altitude, Stephen Tillman, said: “It was good to see so many visitors drop in to ask questions, discuss their views and leave notes.

“We believe it is absolutely vital to take the time to listen and take note of the people who live and work in West Byfleet.

“General feedback was extremely pos-itive and everyone was pleased to have been asked for their hopes and aspirations for the site, and for the village itself.”

Although too early to say when work would be likely to start, the Altitude spokesman pointed out that they would be holding pre-application meetings with Woking Borough Council prior to a more comprehensive public consultation which, it is hoped, will take place in the early summer.

Mr Tillman added: “There is still a way to go before we are in a position to submit any firm proposals, but this early interaction with local people has given us food for thought.

“We will now be considering all the feedback we have received and will be working up our proposals with a view to holding a more formal public consultation later in the year.”

Mr Lord told the News & Mail: “I was very encouraged by the early consultation event and by the passion Altitude Real Estate has for this project. The Sheer House site is absolutely crucial to the future of the centre of West Byfleet and I am extremely optimistic at this point about the possibilities.

“Altitude has an impressive track record of important redevelopments and I like the way they are engaging with the local community.”

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