Inspector proposes 93 dwellings for Woking FC site

LOCAL residents are being invited to comment on a proposal to “set an indicative number of residences accommodated on the Woking Football Club site at 93 dwellings”.

It is one of a series of proposed main modifications to the borough council’s Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD). The document identifies urban and Green Belt sites for future housing, employment and infrastructure within the borough to ensure future development requirements are met.

A proposal to redevelop Woking FC stadium and build five blocks of more than 1,000 flats was rejected by the council’s planning committee in June

Woking FC appears in the document because the Site Allocations DPD was submitted to the inspector without an indicative capacity for the football club site.

All the other sites in the DPD have indicative capacities that are calculated based on a standard formula. The inspector has proposed that this should be the same for the football club site, giving the figure of 93 dwellings.

Katie Bowes, on behalf of the South Woking Action Group, which strongly opposed recent plans for a new stadium and associated building of more 1,000 flats, said: “Residents of South Woking welcome the inspector’s report, which attributes the value of 93 dwellings to the Kingfield/Westfield site.

“This vindicates our opposition to GolDev’s application of over 1,000 dwellings on the site, which is simply not sustainable nor in keeping with the character and height of the locality.

“This report and its guidance on density sets a precedent for future proposals on this site and our emphasis shall now be on cementing a local plan to prevent such over-development being ‘pushed’ through under our noses again.”

Rosemary Johnson, chairman of Woking FC, said: “The board have not discussed the inspector’s report, and we do not intend to support any appeal on the failed application in June.

“The current focus for the board is making the club COVID safe. The sustainability of the club and the safety of our fans has to be the key priority at the moment.”

The eight-week consultation was launched last Friday. All responses must be submitted before it closes at 5pm, Monday 16 November.

HAVE YOUR SAY

TO VIEW the proposed main modifications, visit www.woking2027.info/allocations. The modifications and supporting documents are also available at Woking and Knaphill libraries.

Submit feedback online at www.woking2027.info/allocations, by email to planning.policy@woking.gov.uk or in writing to Planning Policy Team, Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking GU21 6YL.

Online Zoom sessions, in which officers will be available to answer questions, will be held on Thursday 1 October, 1pm; Tuesday 13 October, 6pm; and Wednesday 21 October, 4pm.

For more on this story, see the 24 September edition of the News & Mail

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