Plans submitted for 25-storey block of affordable apartments

A PLANNING application has been submitted for a 25-storey building comprising 225 homes on a combined site at Technology House, in Goldsworth Road, and Poole House, on the corner of neighbouring Poole Road.

Abri, one of the South of England’s largest housing providers, is proposing a 100% affordable housing scheme.

A stylised aerial view of current and future development in Woking town centre. The dark grey buildings have been constructed, the blue ones have been started and the yellow blocks have received planning permission. The site of the Abri tower block application is to the left of the yellow blocks

The building would be a close neighbour to the five tower blocks that were refused permission by Woking Borough Council but approved on appeal by a planning inspector.

“The site came forward for redevelopment as the two existing buildings are in need of renovation,” a spokesman for Abri said.

A public consultation on the proposals in early June was attended by more than 60 people, with Abri reporting a largely positive response.

Almost all the apartments have their own amenity space via private balconies, and the building has three community terraces at different floor levels.

“In line with Woking Borough Council’s climate emergency as well as discussion with Surrey County Council’s highways department, the scheme is car free, save for disabled spaces,” a spokesman for Abri added.

An impression of the proposed building at Goldsworth Road and Poole Road. Image courtesy of Abri

“We are providing an electric car club with a space on site, and are in discussions with the borough council and a private provider to offer residents parking permits within easy reach.”

The application also includes four ground-floor retail units, landscaping and cycle storage. If planning permission is granted this year, work is likely to commence in early 2023.

The planning application comes as residents, businesses and other interested parties are being asked to comment on the borough council’s Woking draft town centre masterplan – which will seek to limit the height of tower blocks.

The 12-week public consultation on the framework that will guide development up to 2030 and beyond began last month and continues until Monday 17 October.

The masterplan will establish a vision for the town centre, embracing sustainable development, such as new homes that meet the needs of residents, a thriving retail and business environment, as well as strengthening Woking’s cultural and leisure appeal.

The series of drop-in roadshows, at which residents can view an exhibition and speak to officers, has already visited Byfleet and Sheerwater.

The next exhibition is at St Andrew’s Church, Denton Way, Goldsworth Park on Monday 8 August, from 6pm to 8.30pm.

The display moves on to be held at the same time to St Mark’s Church, Westfield on Tuesday 9 August, and Christ Church, Jubilee Square, Woking town centre on Wednesday 17 August.

For more information on the masterplan and how to comment visit www.communityforum.woking.gov.uk

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