High-rise scheme needs more family homes, says councillor

PLANS for nearly 1,000 flats in buildings up to 41 storeys high on Goldsworth Road would get the support of a local councillor if the numbers were halved.

Mohammad Ali, who represents Canalside, said he has not yet decided whether or not to support the project but has several concerns, including the number of 965 proposed homes.

An artist’s impression of how the development would look

Cllr Ali said he thought that around half this number would be more appropriate and there were not enough planned parking spaces, which was already a problem in the area.

The plans include 263 car parking spaces as well as places for 1,064 residents’ bicycles.

Cllr Ali, who is the Labour leader on the council, said the mix was wrong, with too many one and two-bedroom flats.

The plans are for 426 one-bed flats, making up 44%, 251 two-beds for four people (26%), 112 smaller two-beds for three (12%) with 152 studio flats (16%) and 24 three-bed homes for five (2%).

“Woking is a family town. It doesn’t have a university and isn’t designed for single living,” Cllr Ali said.

An illustration of the proposed high rise buildings

He said Woking has previously experienced problems with too many single-person homes in one area.

“We need to have more homes for families as they tend to look after the surrounding area better.”

Cllr Ali said the area needs to be developed and improved but it has to be the right sort of improvement.

He added that there was no provision for a GP surgery or school that the new residents might need.

Cllr Ali is planning to hold a Zoom meeting with local residents to gauge their views. The plans can be seen by visiting www.woking.gov.uk/online-applications/ and searching for PLAN/2020/0568.

For more on this story, get the 16 July edition of the News & Mail

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