PLANS to redevelop Woking Football Club’s ground with a larger stadium and more than 1,000 homes are to be reassessed following passionate pleas to councillors by campaigners.

A full meeting of Woking Borough Council on Thursday last week was swayed by a petition seeking to scale down the proposed Cardinal Court redevelopment, which currently includes a 9,992-capacity stadium funded by house-building profits.

The petition, signed by 1,700 people, was presented by Katie Bowes of South Woking Action Group, who said residents who signed lacked confidence in the council. They wanted an assurance that the plans were viable and in the best interests of the club and the community.

Andy Caulfield from the campaign group also addressed councillors, saying there must be a better solution for assuring the club’s future than changing the area from mainly “bungalow rise” to “town centre tower block” with excessive housing.

The campaigners were supported by Liberal Democrat councillor Will Forster, who has the stadium in his Hoe Valley ward. “I’m against the sheer scale of the proposal,” he said after a debate on the petition.

“Ten per cent of the people in the ward have signed the petition against what could turn out to be a white elephant. We should come back with something much more measured and reasonable.”

His motion asking the council, the football club and developers GolDev to reassess the redevelopment in light of the petition and the local plan was seconded by his fellow Lib Dem ward councillor Deborah Hughes and approved without opposition.

For the full story, get the 24 October edition of the News & Mail