Development of old library site in the High Street, Knaphill

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 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.

4 Comments on “Development of old library site in the High Street, Knaphill

  1. WBC finally placed a planning notice on the community notice board. There is still time for residents to comment.


  2. Today the KRA received notification that the planning application for the development of the old library site has been withdrawn. My understanding that the planning application was withdrawn to allow WBC and their partners Thameswey to consider their planned use of this prime site.


  3. So, as I just read, housing the elderly in these new flats has been rejected ??? The above is the only substantial piece of information I have found to read so far. So on that basis, that is not very hospitable…not a very “community at heart feel”. My dear Dad is currently living in a small and a not so cosy flat in Knaphill, my whole family are from this area and my “dedicated to the community” partner is from here too. We all share much history with this lovely little town.
    I know that people are always needing affordable housing (well, we have been informed that it will be affordable ?) but I feel, more importantly, that we need a activity centre for children….babies, toddlers and children up to their early teens.
    This prime location…centred right bang in the heart of our sweet little village could potentially provide a hub for young folk of all ages to share their own hobbies..arts, such as drawing, painting, cooking, baking and sport. I am a eager young lady who has a absolute passion for experiencing children learn as I come from a large and very close family always full of children of all ages. I love to bake and cook and I adore sport, basketball, football and dancing played a huge part in my life at school and when I was growing up and I know first hand of the abilities of physical exercise and all other of there benefits. Baking and cooking is part of my profession, so I am qualified and insured to teach…and I know our community would benefit hugely from this. Work shops for children and adults with learning difficulties.
    This project could also be able to provide local people with jobs….much needed jobs. What do you guys think ? I am going to council with a business plan and Im also going to get a petition started for our local area to stop the construction of this housing if it DOESNT include the elderly . So please watch this space…Lianne-Marie. Thank you X


  4. The actual planning application to build on the old library site made no mention of the flats being suitable for old people. They were to be affordable but I suspect they would have been for both families and senior citizens. The arguments against included the size of the proposed new building, 3 storey the proposed amenity space or garden was very small and there was no planned parking.

    I agree with you that the space should be used for community activities but I suspect WBC will say that they do not have the funds to provide such a facility.

    Phil Stubbs


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