PROPOSALS to replace a busy but currently dilapidated community centre in Goldsworth Park were finally given the formal go-ahead.
It had been agreed some time ago that the Lakeview building on Tracious Close was irreparable and that a new two-storey alternative would be the best solution to serve the local community.
However, until last month a formal application had remained in limbo. It wasn’t until ward Councillor Hilary Addison questioned the progress at a planning meeting that the application seemed to be propelled into action.
Deputy Leader and Vice Chairman of the Executive, Councillor Bittleston, announced that the plans by New Vision Homes had been brought forward from January 13 to December 4.
At a further meeting of Woking Borough Council’s Planning Committee on December 16, the amended plans for the new social hub – to demolish the existing centre and replace it with a two-storey building comprising two halls with kitchens and other amenities – went under discussion.
Cllr Addison urged the committee to approve the application. She said: “As ward councillor, I fully support these plans. Residents have been asking for a replacement community centre for many more years than I have been on this council.
“If approved, this application will remedy a long overdue aspiration of providing a decent centre for local people. The building is larger and higher than the current one but officers have worked with the applicants to ensure the design will have limited impact on nearby residential properties.
“A comprehensive parking assessment was undertaken and it demonstrates sufficient space to accommodate a large community building in this location.
“The site is also within the community it is intended to serve, and I am pleased to see conditions relating to permitted opening hours, noise and external lighting included.
“The social centre will make a huge difference to the local community and I urge committee members to approve it.”
The Planning Committee gave the plans the go-ahead. The project will be funded one third from the Housing Revenue Account and the rest from the investment programme and General Fund Reserves.