News

Highclere Gardens

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On the decision of Cllr. Cundy, chairman of Woking’s Planning Committee, approval was given to the building of a new house in Highclere Gardens. The new house wil be attached to No. 40.

The residents came away from the Planning meeting disappointed and angry. Angry because not one of the officers involved in working on this planning application had acknowledged the parking problems the residents face on a daily basis.

The majority of the. Councillors who make up the Planning Committee agreed that the proposed development was cramped and contrived in additional to which there was no room for any more cars parking in Highclere Gardens. The word cramped is used because the developer in trying to fit in this additional house had reduced the garden of both the new house and the existing house at No. 40 were below the minimum private garden size as laid down in the Council’s own planning guidelines.

During the debate the Officers warned the Councillors that if they rejected the application and the applicant when to appeal and won the Council may have to meet the developers costs. This swayed the Liberal Dems. and Labour members of the Committee. Cllr. Morales stated that she was not prepared to risk tax payers money in defending a rejection of the application. Cllr. Hussain pointed out that the residents of Highclere Gardens were tax payers.

Cllr. Hussain proposed that the application should be rejected and this was seconded by Cllr. Harlow. The chairman announced that he would take the unusual step of voting. The vote was 4 for and 4 against so the chairman got the casting vote, this meant that he voted twice, and Cllr. Cundy voted to approve the application.

Planning Committee

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Woking Council’s Planning Committee meets on Tuesday 7th March and on the agenda there are two planning applications affecting Knaphill.

 

The first is an application to build a new house in Highclere Gardens. This application is strongly opposed by the residents of Highclere Gardens and their fight is supported by the KRA. The Council’s Planning Department are recommending acceptance of the plans so we hope our local Councillors will put up strong opposition to the plans and  that members of the Planning Committee listen to the residents objections. The reference for this application is PLAN/2016/1366.

The second Knaphill application is from the owners of Ringlestone Farm off Warbury Lane. The owners are arguing that a former outbuilding has been used as a single dwelling house for more than four years and the owners are seeking a lawful development certificate for change of use. This building is in the greenbelt and therefore this is a legal argument. The Council are opposed to the application. The reference number is PLAN/2017/0104.

The Planning Committee is open to the public and it will also be shown live on the Council’s webcast.

The Meadows is up for sale

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The former NHS hospital on the Bagshot Road, next to The Nags Head, has been put up for sale. The building owned by Surrey and Borders NHS Trust has stood empty since 2013 and basically left to rot. Due to poor security the internal fittings have been totally vandalised. We understand that Woking Borough Council showed some interest in using the building but given its current state pulled out of talks. with the owners. The building is probably now only fit for demolition and I presume replaced by housing. What a waste.

All change at Sainsbury’s

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The store in Redding Way is undergoing major change. Following Sainsbury’s buying Argos and Habitat the store is installing those two shops within its store in Redding Way. There could be further changes because Sainsbury’s have applied to Woking Borough Council to remove a planning condition that limits the number of concessions the Company can base within their Redding Way store.

New flats on old library site going up

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Have you noticed the enormous crane currently in the centre of Knaphill?! Well, work is well under way on the construction of the block of 9 apartments on the old library site on the High Street. Large sections of fabricated build are being lifted into place. The sections are already wired and fitted with some of the fitted units. This method speeds up the construction on site, so hopefully the project should be finished soon, and our high street will be much improved visually.

 

New flats being constructed

GP Practice put into special measures

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The GP practice based at the St. John’s Health Centre, Hermitage Road has been put into special measures by the CQC. The practice was inspected on 8 September but the report was not published until 29 December 2016. The inspection report gives the practice an overall rating of inadequate and the specific areas where they scored the lowest were safe services and leadership. Full details of the CQC report and the action taken by the practice since the inspection can be found on the Health Centres website, www.thefamilypractice-stjohns.co.uk.

The Chief Inspector of General Practice wrote in the CQC report; ‘I am placing this service in special measures. Services placed in special measures will be inspected again within six months. If insufficient improvements have been made such that it remains a rating of inadequate for any of the population group, key question or overall, we will take action in line with their enforcement procedures.’

Historic building to stay

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1-3 High Street, this is the building that use to house the pet shop, is to be retained and converted into apartments. The plan is for 4 apartments on the first and second floor. It is unclear as to whether the ground floor is to remain has retail units or offices.

The building was originally a farm house for Highclere Farm and therefore in a way it is returning to its original use.

The planning application is PLAN/2016/1418

The Anchor Inn should it be demolished?

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Earlier this month we reported on the fact that following a review Woking Borough Council had removed the status of community asset from the building.

Prior to CAMRA seeking to have the pub made a community asset WBC were working with developers Metbase to reconfigure the building so that it could be used both for residential purposes and retail, there was talk of a wine bar. However when the Woking Advertiser  reported on the fact that the building was no longer a community asset Metbase is quoted as saying that the plan was to demolish the pub and replace it with a mix of residential and shops, plus parking and social housing.

So what has changed? That is the question we have put to local Councillors but so far no answers.

The Anchor is an historical building and locally listed. When I have been away and I drive up Anchor Hill once I see The Anchor I know I am home. Maybe there is no room for sentimental views and that we should give way to much larger buildings, say similar to the block that contains TESCO’s.

We would welcome your views. If The Anchor closes as a pub should the building be saved  or demolished and make way for a larger more modern structure?

The Anchor Inn is no longer on the Council’s list of assets of community value

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Back in July Woking Borough Council determined that The Anchor was an asset of community value and this resulted in pub being included on the Council’s list of Assets of Community Value.

Premier Pubs Estate Limited, the owners of The Anchor, contested the decision and contacted WBC to seek a review of the decision to place The Anchor on the list of Assets of Community Value.

Now Woking Borough Council has published their decision.

‘I determine that The Anchor Inn should not have been included in the Council’s List of Assets of Community Value. This is on the basis that the nomination submitted in respect of The Anchor Inn was not a 2community nomination”, so the requirements of Section 89(1)(a) of the Localism Act 2011 have not bee satisfied.

The full wording of the review cab be found on the Council’s website.

This decision doe not immediately impact on the pubs opening hours, we will have to wait to see what Premier Pubs want to do with the building.

 

Congratulations to two local business people

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First congratulations to Valerie French and the team at her salon in Anchor Crescent, Knaphill. They have been awarded five star status by The Good Salon Guide. We understand that it is the only salon in Surrey to achieve the prestigious rating.

Secondly Lorenzo Monturori of Lorenzo’s Deli and restaurant on Knaphill High Street. Lorenzo was a finalist in the Best Takeaway Chef in Britain category in the British Takeaway Awards.

Well done to both local businesses, lets all shop and eat locally.

 

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