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Woking suburb to be regenerated

Words: Laura Edgar
Canalside / press release

Woking Borough Council’s planning committee has granted approval for plans that aim to regenerate a post-war housing estate into a ‘sustainable, community-focused’ neighbourhood.

Plans for the post-war housing estate in the Woking suburbs, Sheerwater, will see the existing number of homes double from 570 to around 1,142 on the 30 hectare site. Nearly half of the homes will be affordable. There is detailed consent for 695 homes, meaning 834 homes have planning permission.

The new development, to be named Canalside, also comprises community facilities, public parkland and gardens.

The plans were put forward by ThamesWey Developments Ltd*, as developer, on behalf of Woking Borough Council. HTA Design were planning consultants for the orignal and revised applications, BDP designed the masterplan for the whole site, and is also responsible for landscape design and for the architectural design of the medium-rise area of the development, comprising apartments, houses, community facilities and shops. The low-rise residential area of the development has been designed by Broadway Malyan while Pozzoni Architects has designed the proposed leisure centre.

The new homes will be delivered across five neighbourhoods, and will range from one-bed studios to five-bed family houses, including homes from the elderly and people with disabilities.

The development will also comprise:

  • four hectares of outdoor space, including parks, gardens, sports facilities and semi-rural greenspace;
  • shops;
  • a doctors’ surgery;
  • a nursery;
  • community centre;
  • a new leisure centre, including a 25-metre swimming pool plus a separate teaching pool, sports hall, studios and a gym. The outside facilities include a full-size 3G football pitch, and new grass football and rugby pitches.

ThamesWey chief executive Mark Rolt said: “We're looking forward to getting started on Canalside – a fantastic, environmentally friendly project that will create a truly sustainable community. BDP has been a key contributor to the development of the scheme and their focus on translating our objectives of increasing the density of both dwellings and parking while increasing open space and car-free areas into viable designs has been invaluable.”

Nick Fairham, architect director at BDP, the architects behind the masterplan, added: “We have prioritised cycling and pedestrian routes to key community buildings, meaning streets are car-free, whilst there is a strong emphasis on green spaces. Individual areas, defined by their own unique character, are centered on parkland, whilst a variety of housing meets demand from people across multiple generations to help foster mixed, balanced communities.”

* ThamesWey Developments Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of ThamesWey Limited, which in turn is wholly owned by Woking Borough Council.