WOKING Borough Council has pledged to press on in its bid to stop new skyscrapers popping up and dominating its skyline.

Work began on the town centre masterplan in July 2021 with the purpose guiding development and investment decisions in the town – and with a view to capping the height of future developments in the town.

However during the process, which included a lengthy six-month consultation, the Planning Inspectorate overturned Woking’s refusal for the Crown Place tower and approved the high-rise following a second legal challenge, saying, in September 2022, that  it would not have an overbearing impact on the townscape or heritage.

Now, the authority’s executive agreed on Thursday, February 2, to set out a pathway to implement a planning document to provide “a long-term vision for Woking’s skyline to 2030 and beyond”.

Councillor Liam Lyons, planning portfolio holder, said: “The national decision to overturn the local planning committee’s decision to refuse permission for a new, extremely tall building on Crown Place has meant that some changes will have to be made to the masterplan before it is ready for implementation.”

He added: “Creating the town centre masterplan as a robust legal planning document will end the wild west culture that has allowed developers to build skyscrapers of almost limitless height.”

Cllr Lyons said it  was  exciting to see it evolving as such a thorough planning document that will guide sensible development in the town centre for years to come.