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Woking resolves to grant consent for 392-home town centre regeneration

Woking Borough Council (WBC) has resolved to grant planning permission for joint-venture Bandstand Square Developments Limited's (BSDL) proposals for the mixed–use redevelopment of the western part of Woking town centre.

BSDL, a joint-venture between WBC, owner of the Peacock shopping centre Moyallen, and Surrey County Council, has proposed to redevelop the Bandstand Square area of Woking town centre, including the site of an existing fire station and part of the Wolsey Place shopping centre, to provide 10,967 square metres of retail space, 392 homes, a new public square and a 190 bedroom hotel.

Two residential towers, 28 and 31 storeys high, respectively, would front onto a new public square named Victoria Square under the proposals. Each tower would contain a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments from the second floor upwards, with retail units occupying the ground and first floors.

The total proposed retail provision includes a 5,600 sq m Marks and Spencer department store and a reconfigured 2,800 sq m Boots. A further seven shops and a 528 sq m restaurant overlooking the new square have been proposed.

A 21-storey, four star hotel and a four-storey car park have been proposed to the rear of the residential towers. The hotel would include 190 rooms, conference facilities, a restaurant, a gym, a swimming pool and a spa. The scheme also includes 526 sq m space for a new medical centre or commercial use and alterations to the local highway system.

While local planning policy requires 40% or 50% affordable housing provision, no affordable housing contribution has been proposed under the scheme. According to a planning officer's report prepared for a meeting of the Council's planning committee last week, BSDL had "provided financial information to substantiate the position that it is not viable to provide affordable housing in the terms which would otherwise be required by the policy".

"As the evolution of the Victoria Square scheme has progressed, and the design has been revised and developed, it has become clear that the cost of delivering the scheme, including related on-site and off-site highway and transport improvements, has increased," said the report.

"We are delighted to be given approval to our application and we will now press ahead with resolving the detail of the various legal agreements that need to be concluded before the formal approval can be issued," said Moyallen managing director Peter Robinson in a statement. 

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