PRESS RELEASE FROM HOE VALLEY NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM
NEW “SOUTH WOKING ACTION GROUP” FORMED TO OPPOSE WOKING FC DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOLLOWING PUBLIC MEETING
On Saturday 27th July – hosted by the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum and residents’ associations from Westfield – 250 local residents from across South Woking held a passionate public meeting to discuss their response to GolDev’s plans to redevelop the Woking FC football ground.
Local residents were encouraged to attend, whether they supported or opposed the scheme.
The plans, which include building 1100 new homes in Kingfield, and another 40 on greenbelt land on Egley Road, were met with overwhelming opposition by those at the meeting. Residents were particularly scathing about the following:
- the disproportionate amount of new housing proposed in a small residential area. The inappropriate placement of several ten-storey blocks next to ordinary bungalows and two-storey homes, which will radically change the village characters of Kingfield and Westfield into a high-rise urban environment
- the inadequate quantity of parking, with only 70 places provided for the 10,000 capacity stadium, and less than 0.5 spaces per new home
- the further erosion of greenbelt land at Egley Road against government’s National Planning Policy Framework
- the failure to provide for any additional school places, GP surgeries, dentists, public transport, road improvements or any other public amenities, already under strain
- the unnecessary increase in the capacity of the stadium to 10,000 when average attendance is under 2,000
- the apparent lack of a realistic business plan which threatens the long-term viability of Woking FC, and to leave a vast oversupply of unoccupied one-bedroom apartments for which there is already a surplus
- Woking Borough Council’s decision to enter into a development agreement with GolDev, a developer with apparently little in the way of track record or the financial means to undertake this large scale scheme
- WBC’s lack of transparency for this scheme and their inclusion of the development in its site allocation plan only after public consultation had finished, avoiding public scrutiny
Those at the meeting have now decided they wished to launch a new and separate campaign group – the South Woking Action Group (SWAG) – to oppose the plans in their current form, and to pursue urgent and radical changes to the proposals.
Residents can join SWAG at www.southwokingactiongroup.org.uk. The group will make its own announcements shortly.
Please note that SWAG is not part of the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum
For further information, please contact the Chair of the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum.