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Woking approves plans to transform housing estate

Woking has approved plans for its new 1200-home Canalside neighbourhood.

Woking Borough Council has approved plans to transform a rundown post-war housing estate into a new sustainable neighbourhood.

The plans approved by the council last night (Tuesday 9 April) will see Sheerwater, a Woking suburb with high levels of deprivation, become a community-focused neighbourhood called Canalside.

Under the masterplan, proposed by developers ThamesWey and developed by architects BDP, the 30-hectare site will contain around 1200 homes, half of which will be affordable, complete with car-free streets, community facilities and public green space.

The old-1950s housing stock currently in Sheerwater will be replaced by a variety of energy-efficient new build homes which will be made available for rent and sale.

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.’

The new Canalside site will be split across five neighbourhoods with their own distinct identity, with the homes in them varying from one-bed studios to five bedroom family houses.

Canalside will also feature 4 hectares of outdoor space such as parks and gardens, a new community hub providing amenities such as shops and a doctor’s surgery, and a new leisure centre.

The design of the site will prioritise cycling and pedestrian routes with the aim of fostering a strong sense of community.

The site has also been designed to minimise its environmental impact thanks to provisions such as low energy lighting, solar panels and electric car charging points.

Nick Fairham, architect director at BDP, the architects behind the masterplan, said: ‘It’s excellent news that plans for Canalside have been given the go ahead.

‘The masterplan for this area sets out the developer’s vision to create a sustainable, high quality and well-connected neighbourhood with many community benefits.’

The planning application approved by Woking Borough Council last night takes the total number of homes with full planning permission on the site to 834, with detailed consent for the other homes set to follow.

The development was originally proposed in March last year by ThamesWey, which is wholly owned by the borough council.

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