In October last year Woking Borough Council announced that they had purchased the old library site from Surrey County Council and planned to develop the site for housing and a memorial garden. The announcement went on to add ‘Given its central location and the increasing need for suitable accommodation for elderly people, consideration will be given to providing elderly person accommodation in this location as it is close to local services’. If consideration was given to building flats for the elderly it was quickly rejected.
The plan is to build a three storey block of flats to house one 3 bedroom flat suitable for 5 people, three 2 bedroom flats suitable for 3 people in each and five one bedroom flats suitable for two people. From this information it is clear that four of the flats are designed for families.
To accommodate this number of flats, some of which have multiple bedrooms, the developer has designed a very large building. In fact it is as tall as the building currently being erected across from the old library on the former Cliftons site. The designer of this building uses the Cliftons building as a good example of higher density residential development that is suitable for the centre of Knaphill. The proposed density or number of dwellings on this amount of land is way beyond Woking’s own policy statement on residential development density.
The Council has not indicated that they made any attempt to purchase the waste land at the rear of the old library site which could have given these residents private parking and or private amenity space. Therefore given the size of the building there is no dedicated parking for these families. They are expected to use public transport or if they have a car park it in the public car park.
Finally as stated the larger flats appear to be designed for families and you could have up to 10 children living in these units. There is a small private garden area at the rear of the property but the developer actually states that this space fails to meet the planning guidance standards set by Woking Borough Council. So are the children expected to play in the public car park?
As Knaphill residents you are entitled to make your opinion known to the Council’s planners. Their email address is email@example.com. It is important that if you do contact the Council you use the planning applications reference number PLAN/2013/0775.
Full details of the proposed building can be found on WBC’s web site under Planning, view an application. Again use the above reference number to gain access.
Please feel free to contact the KRA with any comments.