A PUBLIC hearing is to be held for the appeal against the rejection of plans to build a new 9,000-seat stadium for Woking FC and more than 1,000 adjacent flats.

Local residents who submitted comments during the planning process have been sent letters by Woking Borough Council saying that the Planning Inspectorate is making arrangements for the inquiry and that any representations must be made by 9 March.

The proposed developer, GolDev, is also appealing against the rejection of associated plans to build houses in Egley Road and new facilities for the David Lloyd Health Club, which would have to move from its home at the current stadium site to make room for the new one.

The main plans were rejected by the council’s planning committee in June last year by eight votes to nil with one abstention, with objections over the planned size and scale of the high-rise flats.

The Egley Road plans were unanimously rejected after council officials, who had originally recommended approval for the whole project, changed their advice after the stadium and flats plan failed to win approval.

The appeal is in the names of the football club and GolDev, but Rosemary Johnson, the Cards chairman, said the club has asked for its name to be removed because it was not appropriate for it to be associated with an appeal against its landlord. The council owns the land in and around the stadium.

Andy Caulfield, a leading member of the South Woking Action Group (SWAG) formed by local residents, said it has applied to take part in the appeal and is considering instructing legal representation.

SWAG waged a long campaign against the plans.

GolDev has proposed an alternative plan for 187 homes either side of the Laithwaite Community Stadium.

Wayne Gold, who runs GolDev, has said that if the smaller project is considered viable by the council and residents, the appeal against the larger proposals will be abandoned.

It is understood that leading councillors and officials believe the appeal must run its course before any other plans for the area can be considered.