Housing proposal around football stadium is reduced – but club tackles plans as ‘negative

A HOUSING development that is proposed to be built either side of the Woking FC ground has been reduced before a formal planning application is submitted early next month.

The board of Woking FC has stated it does not support the scheme, claiming the development would have an “extremely negative impact” on the club.

The computer-generated proposal of how the new homes would look

The project by GolDev is an alternative to its Cardinal Court scheme involving a 9,000-seat new stadium and more than 1,000 adjacent flats that has been refused planning permission and is now subject to an appeal.

Wayne Gold, who runs GolDev, told the News & Mail that the appeal against the overwhelming rejection of the plans by the Woking Borough Council planning committee will start on 10 May.

He said the public hearing, conducted by the Planning Inspectorate, is expected to take about five days with a decision likely to be given in June or July.

The alternative housing development in the area, which does not include any development of the football ground, has been reduced by 19 homes with 88 flats on Kingfield Road in blocks of three to six storeys and 80 flats in a similar layout on Westfield Avenue.

The two new developments would be on two plots next to the football ground

Mr Gold said the reduction in the number of flats was made after discussions with council planning officers who asked for various changes to the outline plans.

Further details of the developments can be seen at www.goldev.com with a facility to leave comments until Monday 8 March.

The deadline for representations about the appeal over the larger scheme is 9 March and Mr Gold said decisions on both sets of plans are likely to be made at around the same time.

He repeated earlier commitments to drop the appeal if the smaller scheme is considered to be viable.

Mr Gold said the reduced project “provides another option for the future regeneration of the site”.

He said: “There is a need to make the best use of available land in the town, to meet housing and affordable housing requirements, and generate regeneration benefits.”

The board of Woking FC has given the proposed scheme a red card, saying it would hem the club in and prohibit any improvements to the club on the west side of the ground.

“What is required is a fully-funded West Stand with associated facilities, which this development does not provide,” said chairman Rosemary Johnson.

“With no consultation as to the two new developments, the board feels that we have to oppose these developments with the extremely negative impact that they will have on Woking Football Club.”

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