WORK on the Sheerwater regeneration scheme is expected to start within a matter of weeks. Revised plans were approved, subject to conditions, at planning committee last week.

Council approved the release of £42 million for the first phase of the scheme.

A WALK IN THE PARK – Green space is at the heart of the Sheerwater regeneration

Cllr David Bittleston, leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “Council agreed to the regeneration of Sheerwater in May 2013 and it has taken much longer than anticipated to get to the point of actually building something. 

“I would like to thank the residents of Sheerwater for their help in shaping these revised plans. I know for many it has been a worrying and frustrating time, but now that we have received the final green light, we can quickly get on with delivering this exciting project, which will provide better homes and better outcomes for the whole community.”

Cllr Bittleston continued: “My intention has always been to deliver the new sports and community facilities prior to building new homes, and last year, Council agreed the release of funds [£26 million] for the new swimming pool, leisure centre and 3G football pitch.

“Hopefully, terms will be agreed with Bishop David Brown School in the next couple of weeks so that work on this important part of the project can start in June.”

The Canalside project will create nearly 1,200 new homes, almost half of which will be affordable housing.  It is a 74-acre development of contemporary homes set within distinct neighbourhoods built around a large central parkland area – the development’s “green heart”.

A new community hub will provide amenities including shops, a doctors’ surgery, nursery and community centre, in addition to the new sports facilities.

The phased project is expected to take six years, completing in August 2025 if everything runs to schedule.

For more details on the regeneration of Sheerwater, please visit;

For the full story, including details about the scheme, get the 18 April edition of the News & Mail

RESTLESS DEVELOPMENT – former Bishop David Brown pupil Rhea Melia went out in front of an audience of thousands in the final of Live & Unsigned in London

RESTLESS DEVELOPMENT – former Bishop David Brown pupil Rhea Melia went out in front of an audience of thousands in the final of Live & Unsigned in London

A FORMER Woking schoolgirl wowed the crowd at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday in the final of Live & Unsigned 2012.

Re’Styla – whose real name is Rhea Melia – won the chance to perform at the London venue after making her way through the heats in the south and taking a top prize with her song Restless.

“I wasn’t nervous going out in front of thousands of people – just excited really,” says the 22-year-old. “I didn’t think I’d
get anywhere when I entered the competition but it has all worked out really well.

“I’ve been rapping since I was 15 when I went to a music workshop.

“I had always written lyrics and they persuaded me to perform them, and I loved it.”

Re’Styla reached the Live & Unsigned final following an audition in Brighton, a regional heat in Hove and then an area final in Portsmouth, where her composition Restless was selected as Best Original Song.

She spent three years studying music production in Brighton and has already performed across the south, including making an appearance at the famous Gay Pride event in Brighton.

“I just write about stuff I’ve been through, things that people can relate to, like love and heartache,” says Re’Styla. “I think my songs are a bit different, a bit random.”

Although she was a winner in the pop/urban section of Live & Unsigned, she says: “I listen to all kinds of stuff.”

She is now hoping to become as famous as several other pupils from her old school, Bishop David Brown – formerly Sheerwater School – where legendary Woking trio The Jam formed.

“I grew up listening to that sort of music as my dad was a fan,” says Re’Styla, who lived in the Maybury area of Woking – where Jam frontman Paul Weller also spent his formative years.

And there is a link…“Paul Weller’s mum is a friend of my nan’s and my mum used to do his ironing!”

INQUIRY - The Birch & Pines pub in Dartmouth Road

INQUIRY - The Birch & Pines pub in Dartmouth Avenue

A POPULAR Sheerwater pub landlord found dead after an alleged assault died of a heart condition, a post mortem has revealed.

Mick Clark, 58, was discovered on Thursday morning hours after police were called to The Birch & Pines pub in Dartmouth Avenue after reports of a fight in the bar.

A police spokeswoman said a 22-year-old man remains in custody in relation to an alleged fight.

Police were initially called to the property at 1.30am on Thursday after an alleged assault on Mr Clark by a patron.

Paramedics treated Mr Clark at the scene but he declined to go to hospital.

At 12.27pm Police received a second call to learn that Mr Clark had passed away during the night.

Eye witness James Broadfoot, who has already given a statement to police, said: “I tried to stop them. They had a couple of scuffles behind the bar and the police were called. There is always trouble at that place.

“I went in there yesterday to see him and couldn’t believe it.”