HIGH-RISE developments could go up across the borough if the current plans for Cardinal Court, the housing development next to Woking Football Club, go ahead, say campaigners.

South Woking Action Group (SWAG) is seeking to scale down the planned building of 1,100 one and two-bedroom flats in Kingfield, which will help to pay for upgrading the Cards’ stadium to Football League standards.

MP Jonathan Lord addresses the meeting alongside Katie Bowes, centre, and Monique van Bellen

“If the development goes ahead as suggested, this sets a precedent for this scale of development in other low-lying areas of the borough and surrounding areas,” said Katie Bowes, a SWAG committee member.

SWAG held a public meeting last Saturday and is planning to ask questions at the Woking Joint Committee meeting at Woking Borough Council next Wednesday (25 September).  The group will also present a petition to a full council meeting on 17 October, currently signed by 584 people, calling on the council to “stop [the] extreme proposal” contained in the development plan.

Katie, who will present the petition, said the group was not seeking to halt any development of the area and football club, but wanted it to be respectful of and in character with the local community.

“We want to work with the relevant parties on the development. We want to be involved and heard and not have decisions made ‘in the interests of the local community’ without our input,” Katie said.

For the full story get the 19 September edition of the News & Mail

Public consultations over plans to redevelop Woking Football Club’s stadium have heard a litany of concerns from residents at the impact of such a large-scale building project.

The proposal aims to build a 10,000-seat facility, along with more than 1,000 flats and 10,000 sq ft of retail space to create a new neighbourhood at Kingfield called Cardinal Court. This has given rise to fears of overcrowding, lack of adequate infrastructure and the impact on the quality of life for nearby residents.

A CGI rendering of the proposed Cardinal Court

“Our roads are already congested, parking is a challenge, and our schools and health services are oversubscribed. We recognise that investment in the club and area is welcome, but it must be a considered and balanced approach, with heavy investment in local infrastructure to support it. This is not reflected in the Cardinal Court proposal. Local residents are outraged and oppose this vehemently,” said a resident of Willow Reach development who didn’t wish to be named.

Social media platforms such as WhatsApp groups and Facebook pages of local neighbourhoods have been busy with residents sharing information about the project, discussing ways to raise awareness and organising themselves to oppose the plans. An online petition at is aiming for 1,000 signatories and secured 500 names within three days.

For the full story get the 25 July edition of the News & Mail

THE team behind the Woking Community Stadium project is targeting final approval for its plans by January 2020.

Speaking at a Woking FC fans’ forum at The Laithwaite Community Stadium last Thursday, club chairman Rosemary Johnson described the planned new stadium as “in everyone’s best interests” and “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

An aerial night-time CGI showing the planned Woking Community Stadium and the wider Cardinal Court proposals.

The final proposal – to include an Environmental Impact Assessment – will be submitted to Woking Borough Council in September.

Under the terms of the project, the council would be the landlord of the 10,000-capacity stadium, a multi-use facility incorporating retail and commercial spaces.

Proposing to build nearly 1,000 flats and 10,000 sq ft of retail space to create a new neighbourhood at Kingfield, to be called Cardinal Court, as part of the development has led to some local concerns regarding housing density and the pressure on infrastructure around the area.

The plans, along with images of the expanded stadium and Cardinal Court, have been available to view at three public consultations held at the football ground. Another chance to see them is at the Mayford Village Hall tonight (18 July) from 4pm to 8pm. Members of the project team will be on hand, and residents can take the opportunity to ask questions and give their views.

For the full story, get the 18 July edition of the News & Mail

A MAN has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of an elderly Woking woman who died days after he robbed her in her home.

The robbery was one of a spree of thefts, burglaries and robberies committed by Johnny Brazil at homes occupied mostly by lone elderly women in the Kingfield/Westfield area and also in Epsom over two weekends last summer.

Johnny Brazil has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 84 year old Joyce Burgess

The 26-year-old was caught by forensic evidence from a cigarette butt he threw away in the street, CCTV footage and witness testimony.

On 7 July last year, during the heatwave, Brazil knocked on the door of 84-year-old Joyce Burgess’s home in Loop Road, asking for a glass of water. As Mrs Burgess went to her kitchen, Brazil entered and picked up her handbag. Mrs Burgess struggled with Brazil and suffered significant arm injuries and bruises to her face. She died in hospital on July 10.

Brazil pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter, three of burglary, two of robbery and one of attempted burglary when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court on Friday, June 21.

Joyce Burgess died in hospital after struggling with Brazil

Investigating officer Detective Constable Alexis Batty said: “Johnny Brazil is now rightfully behind bars for what he did, having caused the death of Joyce Burgess following his callous robbery and attack on her in her home.

“Having been admitted to hospital following the attack, she showed positive signs of recovery before tragically suffering a heart attack two days later brought on by what had happened.

“Brazil is simply an opportunistic thief who showed no moral boundaries whatsoever in preying on clearly vulnerable victims and in Mrs Burgess’ case leaving her with significant injuries. It is heart-breaking that it was all for the sake of her handbag containing personal items and a small amount of cash.”

Brazil will be sentenced on August 9.

For the full story, get the 27 June edition of the News & Mail

IT’S been 17 years in the making, but Woking fans will now get the opportunity to meet with the new developer for the proposed Cardinal Court stadium development at Kingfield.

With the various cross-party working contracts all signed, Woking’s board of directors are inviting fans to attend a special fans’ forum at Cardinals Bar on 16 April to learn more about the proposed plans to future-proof the National League South club.

For many, it will be the first time that they will have the opportunity to pose real questions to the project team after years of speculation as to what a new Woking Community Stadium project might comprise.

Speaking exclusively to the News & Mail, Wayne Gold, owner of GolDev Woking Limited, which is coordinating the proposed redevelopment of the Kingfield site in south Woking, is pleased with the progress to date.

He said: “When I first met representatives of Woking, they gave me their views and aspirations for the club.  Similarly, I gave my views in terms of ideas and we reached an agreement in principle.  I then went away to pull together the various components.

“There’s a lot of land interest at Kingfield and there were a lot of individual parties that had an interest through one means or another; however, we have now been able to get everyone on board contractually.

“We (GolDev) have since exchanged contracts with the football club and Woking Borough Council and we’re now proceeding with the planning application for the Kingfield site.

“Therefore, it’s the right time to properly engage with fans now that we have something we can share with them and discuss,” he added.

For more information on the time of the fans’ forum on 16 April, please go to or call the club on 01483 772470.

For the full story and further details of how to get involved get the 11 April edition of the News & Mail

WOKING FC has taken another step forward in its ambitions to transform its Kingfield stadium to English Football League standards, coupled with the building of new homes in the surrounding land.

Woking Borough Council announced on Tuesday this week that it has entered into an agreement with the club and the developers GolDev Woking Ltd allowing for the development of the Laithwaite Community Stadium and adjoining land.

Details of the proposals will be developed during consultation with Cards supporters and local residents but it is understood to involve turning the stadium into a larger facility that would allow the club to aim for promotion at least up to League One.

The ground currently holds a maximum of 6,000 fans, with 2,500 of those seated.

According to one estimate, upgrading the Cards’ home could cost £10 million and would be financed by building nearly 1,000 flats and 10,000 sq ft of retail space.

The News & Mail reported in April last year that the council had reached an agreement with GolDev on plans that have their roots in 2002.

With much-speculation over the size of the scheme and stadium specification, the overall development “will consider the reconfiguration of the football ground and construction of residential properties”.

However, plans to house an initial 10,000 all-seater stadium could be reduced by as much as 20% to 25% to be more in-keeping with the local area, but potentially allow for more non-matchday commercial opportunities that will make the project deliverables sustainable.

Commenting on the agreement announced this week, Rosemary Johnson, chairman of Woking FC, said: “This is a really exciting time for Woking Football Club and our supporters. We are an ambitious community-focused club with huge potential, shown by our recent FA Cup run.

“Whilst there is still a long way to go, these agreements signify the next chapter for our football club. Not only do they secure the long-term future of Woking Football Club, but will also enable us to continue and develop our much-valued community work.”

Chairman of Woking FC Rosemary Johnson

Speaking in a separate interview, Johnson added; “It’s a very complex project as you can imagine.  There are a number of different stakeholders who have a vested interest in the project from inception through to completion.

“Ultimately, it’s about encapsulating the history of Woking Football Club within a modern framework.  However, if the ground is too clinical, you can lose that history, so it’s about being ambitious, but considered.  It’s about taking fans and the local community on the journey with you.”

Cllr David Bittleston, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “Supporting the club’s long-term vision and securing its immediate financial future through these agreements will bring many benefits to the whole community.”

Wayne Gold, managing director of GolDev Woking Ltd, said: “With the agreements now in place, we will be reaching to supporters and the local community to help put together a detailed proposal that reflects the future ambitions of both the club and the town. It is important to us that their voice is heard ahead of submitting our formal planning application. The future is very exciting.”

Any proposed redevelopment of the Kingfield site is unlikely to commence until at least 2021, which could see both the David Lloyd as well as the gymnastics club being relocated before football takes precedent.

For the full story and interview with Chairman Rosemary Johnson, get the latest edition of the News and Mail (Feb 7th).

Woking 1 Mansfield 2

CONTROVERSY reigned at Kingfield last night after an attack on the away team dressing room.

A Woking fan was believed to have thrown a brick through a window and into the room where Mansfield were celebrating a smash and grab victory over the Cards.

But Woking chairman Mike Smith later issued a statement confirming that no brick had been hurled and the supporter had used his hand to break the glass.

SPOT ON - Bradley Bubb celebrates his penalty leveller Picture by: David Holmes

SPOT ON – Bradley Bubb celebrates his penalty leveller Picture by: David Holmes

Mr Smith said:  “Following last night’s Blue Square Bet Premier home game against Mansfield Town, an individual home supporter, who was exiting the stadium broke the window to the away team dressing room with his hand.

“Stories about a brick being thrown are untrue. Mansfield officials and players were inside the room and thankfully, no one was injured.

“For reasons of personal safety and in the interests of wider safety and crowd management, ground operations staff and security removed the individual from the situation, as Mansfield players and officials understandably reacted. Order was quickly restored.

“On behalf of Woking Football Club and its supporters, I apologised to the directors, players and officials of Mansfield Town, which was accepted.

“The individual responsible is known to the club as a season ticket holder and has had the privilege removed. In addition, he has also been informed he is no longer welcome at the club. Woking Football Club has also referred the matter to Surrey Police.

“This kind of behaviour is repulsive and deplorable to all proper fans of football. It has no place in football or at Kingfield.”

Mansfield keeper Alan Marriott, who allegedly suffered a small cut, tweeted: “Something defo came through the window and got me!”

But he also said he didn’t believe the object used to smash the glass was a brick.

Mansfield manager Paul Cox said: “Thankfully Alan was facing the other direction and only suffered a small cut. The shards of glass were huge and someone could have been blinded or scarred for life.”

Cox claimed he had also been spat at and said: “It went straight into my eye. I wouldn’t accept that on the street so I am not accepting that just because I am a football manager.”

Bradley Bubb’s 69th-minute penalty cancelled out Louis Briscoe’s strike but Matt Jones popped up with a winner 13 minutes from time to leave Woking empty handed.

SOMEONE up there did not want this game to be played.

Despite the unparalleled effort of fans, the expert and precision decision making of the ground staff, plus all the will in Woking, Cards could not fulfil their Blue Square Premier meeting with Newport County on Tuesday.

A blanket of snow was carefully rolled off the Kingfield turf on Tuesday and, when match officials arrived at the ground at around 5.30pm, the pitch was deemed playable.

But a violent and unrelenting snow storm arrived to ruin the party, undoing all the volunteers’ efforts in a matter of minutes.

By 7pm the game had been chalked off – just the latest casualty in a long list of matches to be claimed by the freezing temperatures.

Garry Hill’s hopes were dashed as the green turf disappeared under a fresh coat of powder.

He also expressed his gratitude to the fans who helped give this fixture a fighting chance.

He said: “I feel so sorry for the supporters and everyone who have put in so much hard work earlier in the week. What I have learned at Woking is that we are all in it together.

“You’ve seen that response and that effort in the fans trying to get this game on. They all played their part and that is an encouraging sign for Woking.

“It’s unfortunate because there has been a lot of work put into this game by everyone connected with the club.

“The chairman, the directors, the supporters – everyone has put in such a great effort – and the groundsman has done brilliantly to get the pitch in perfect playing order at 6pm. It looked a treat – but all of a sudden the sky opened and the snow came down.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve now got to arrange the game for a later date.”

Hill’s primary concern is the prospect of a trip to in-form Kidderminster on Saturday, having not played a competitive game since the 1-0 win over Ebbsfleet on January 13.

Steve Burr’s Harriers will not be the same team who shared the spoils at Kingfield in November – but Hill urged fans not to forget Cards’ recent run heading into Saturday.

Kidderminster have rocketed up the table after losing their first five games of the season.

Burr’s side now occupy the final play-off place, and sit just six points off top spot.

But Hill pointed to the Cards’ recent upturn in fortunes and said: “They are a good side and are arguably as good as any we’ve played this season.

“It will be a very tough game for us because I think they’ve only lost something like two in their last 20 league games.

“They are flying but we’re not going too badly ourselves at the moment so hopefully we’ll get a good result.”

Woking 1
Stockport County 0

ADAM DOYLE glanced home an 85th-minute winner as Cards made it back-to-back victories and clean sheets in the Blue Square Premier.

The defender’s header five minutes from time kept Garry Hill’s men on the road to recovery, ensuring they followed up the midweek victory at Lincoln with another three points.

Brett Williams could have put Woking in control as early as the second minute but a rasping drive cannoned back off the underside of the bar.

WINNER – Adam Doyle celebrates his late goal against Stockport County

The Reading loanee then blazed well over with the goal at his mercy and it looked as if the Cards, for all their productivity in the final third, would fail to find the crucial goal.

But with time ticking away Doyle popped up to lift his side back into the top half of the table.

Hill said: “We are starting to realise that we have to do the ugly side of the game.

“We’ve had to work hard and sort a few things out this week but I’m well chuffed.

“It was a result we thoroughly deserved – I don’t think any club at any level can come off a result like we did last Saturday and get the two results that we’ve got.”

Pick up Thursday’s News & Mail for full reaction and report.


Woking 2
Southport 3

GARRY HILL locked his Woking players in the dressing room at full-time as he and Steve Thompson ruthlessly dissected Cards’ worst-ever performance under their stewardship.

Hill blew his top as goals from Andy Parry and Chris Lynch, plus Chris Lever’s late penalty, gave Southport all three points at Kingfield.

Cards had led through Kevin Betsy and, despite allowing the visitors to level before half-time, looked to be on course for back-to-back home wins after Liam Willis was sent off.

But the 10-men took the lead before Gavin McCallum hit back with just over quarter of an hour to play.

OVER BUT OUT - Gavin McCallum levels for Cards but Garry Hill was still left furious by the defeat

OVER BUT OUT – Gavin McCallum levels for Cards but Garry Hill was still left furious by the defeat

Again it appeared as if Woking would go on to win but Brett Johnson’s horrific error allowed Darren Stephenson to race through on goal.

Joe McNerney tried to make up the ground but was sent off after bringing down the forward in the area.

Lever converted the 82nd-minute spot-kick to leave Hill blind with rage.

Hill stormed: “Collectively they haven’t done their jobs and the players know that more than anybody.

“There are no excuses. You lose together and you win together in football, you stand up and be counted together and we’ve not done enough – no complaints no excuses.

“I’m very disappointed – the players have let themselves down and they’ve let the club down.

“You can’t be 1-0 up after 15 minutes and then turn around and think ‘job done’.

“That is the worst performance from a Woking team that I’ve seen in 18 months. I’m fuming at the moment.”

Dean Sinclair almost scored his first Woking goal but his 20-yard effort sailed over the bar after five minutes.

Cards did not have to wait long for the opener and after a confident start it was Betsy who came up trumps to capitalise on his opponents’ lack of attacking endeavor with the opener on 11 minutes.

In trademark fashion he skipped past three challenges down the right before clipping a cross into the area.

On the slick turf, the delivery avoided everyone before finding its way to McCallum on the left wing.

With a shimmy and measured square ball, McCallum found Betsy in the box and the forward had all the time in the world to sidefoot the game’s first goal past Tony McMillan.

And the Cards should have extended their lead but failed to apply the finish to a couple of tantalising crosses from Betsy and Lee Sawyer.

Southport’s leveller five minutes before the break came from nothing.

Russell Benjamin was allowed to squirm his way round Jack Parkinson on the edge of the area and roll off for Parry to drill past Sam Beasant.

Parkinson almost made amends for his soft piece of defending with a fierce left-foot drive that flew just wide, but the sides went in 1-1 at the interval.

Cards were slow out of the blocks in the second half but received a huge slice of good fortune when Southport were reduced to 10.

Betsy used all his experience to draw a foul from Willis who harshly received a second yellow after clattering into Mark Ricketts in the first half.

With Southport fighting an uphill battle and the 10 men there for the taking Cards were dealt an instant sucker punch.

Shaun Whalley’s near post corner could only be helped on by Mike Cestor and arriving at the back post was Lynch to volley in from close range.

A fantastic spin and snap shot from sub Loick Pires drew a good save from McMillan but the Cards struggled to settle into any rhythm against their depleted opponents.

Cards’ second goal was very similar to Southport’s first – a bolt from the blue in an otherwise lifeless second-half display.

A short corner allowed Bradley Bubb to smash a shot towards goal.

The strike hit a body and fell kindly to McCallum who, much like he did against Tamworth, fired off an effort that was hacked away from the goalmouth.

This time round the officials ruled in his favour and Woking were all square with 16 minutes to play.

But their hard work was undone eight minutes from the death when Johnson’s dreadful mistake allowed Stephenson to race through.

McNerney did his best to get across to make a challenge but the defender used too much force and bundled the Southport player to the ground.

McNerney was sent off and Lever coolly converted the resulting spot-kick in what Hill described as a real low point in his Woking career.