PLANS have been submitted for three blocks of flats with shops and offices on the site of the former Bhs store in Woking town centre.

The proposal, which has been submitted to the borough council (Plan/2023/0911), is for the demolition of the existing building and the construction of Crown Gardens, with 271 flats as well as retail and commercial premises across buildings of 11, 12 and 25 storeys, 

The applicant is Donard Real Estate, based in Portadown, Northern Ireland, which has plans for around 1,600 flats in similar projects in Andover. Kent, Essex, Bristol and Salford.

Donard said in the planning application that “the scheme will contribute towards the identified need for housing in Woking”. 

It added: “Our build-to-rent scheme will cater to Woking’s growing number of young professionals and diverse population.”

It said the development would be “an attractive place for people to live, work and socialise”, with a gym, co-working space and lounge. 

The plans also include landscaped terraces – the equivalent of around four tennis courts – as well as a new public square next to Christ Chuch with more than 40 new trees.

Donard added: “Crown Gardens is an exciting opportunity to create a new community, boosting economic activity and kick-starting further regeneration across the town centre.”

The application does not include any car parking but mentions “a range of cycle storage options” and points out that the flats will be close to the railway station.

Donard said that it was its “mission to provide high-quality, sustainable and affordable homes and living spaces for the modern occupant, while helping to shape the future of construction”.

It added: “With many years of experience in the property development industry, we have a deep understanding of the evolving needs of renters. We believe that everyone deserves a home that is comfortable, functional and reflects their lifestyle.”