A new 11-storey tower block will join the Woking town-centre skyline – although this time it is not being funded by loans given to the bankrupt council.

Plans have been approved to demolish the existing buildings in Cleary Court, Chobham Road and parts of Christchurch Way, to develop an office block with shopping and space for a cafe or gym on the ground and first floors.

The building will double the available office space in the town centre and includes a new public space that connects the north of Victoria Way to the town centre and railway station.

Katie Davis, on behalf of applicant Acklam Investments Ltd, told Woking Borough Council’s planning committee that the demand for office space in the past 18 months had never been higher as employers sought best-in-class space in the wake of the pandemic.

She said: “Woking is rapidly running out of options in terms of supply, there have been no new office buildings built in the town for many years. The redevelopment of this rather tired and disjointed but very well located site couldn’t come at a better time.”

She said the applicant had done its homework and visited development options in other commuter towns before choosing Woking.

The development will become a “beacon for sustainable construction”, bring 1,000 new jobs and “pump millions into the economy with a boost to both evening and daytime trade”.

The buildings along Chobham Road are mostly three-storey Victorian terraces with shops on the ground floor and offices above, although Cleary Court is a four-storey 1980s building.

Cllr Chris Martin (Lib Dem, Pyrford) said: “There are some concerns from residents that Woking doesn’t need more offices and actually looking at the amount of grade-A office space that is available this more than doubles what’s currently available in the town centre.

“Whilst I would prefer it to be a couple of storeys lower I could get over that and accept it’s a high-quality building. It’s a private development that isn’t being funded by Woking Borough Council and the residents, so I think it’s a good step in the right direction.”

The plans were approved subject to finalising how much the developers should pay towards community projects through what is known as a Section 106 agreement. The developers also said they would look to improve delivery access to the site.