WHAT ARE THESE SO CALLED ‘MISCONCEPTIONS’?
SOUTH WOKING ACTION GROUP DEAL IN FACTS
Local residents support investment in Woking FC and its ground, however, we do not support the overdevelopment of South Woking and the proliferation of PR ‘spin’ being used to sway football fans and residents of Woking at large.
Planning applications 1176 and 1177 at Kingfield and Egley Road are not in the best interests of the town, the local community and Woking FC, which may sadly, never recover, because of the following facts:
- NOT FINANCIALLY VIABLE FOR WOKING FC: Financial viability of Woking FC is the main reason for this project. The fact is the club will not be better off financially than they are now (especially in the next league), will have a bigger stadium to maintain at greater costs, no extra budget for players and will still not be able to afford to go full-time.
2. WOKING FC DO NOT WANT OR NEED A STADIUM AS LARGE AS THIS. “We don’t need a stadium of this size – the Council are forcing us to have it”.
Source: Club representatives at public exhibitions at Woking FC and Mayford Village Hall 2019.
3. KINGFIELD STADIUM IS SUITABLE FOR THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE NOW AT ITS CURRENT SIZE: The irony is the current stadium is already graded for the football league unlike Farnborough FC, where we understand the club is planning to relocate for two seasons…which is not!
Source: Football league
4. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS DO EXIST AND ARE VIABLE: Chris Ingram’s two alternative proposals for the West Stand development, accompanied by a lower density, ‘Willow Reach’ style development has been dismissed by Goldev Woking as unworkable. Recently unearthed proposals prove this not to be the case.
5. WOKING FC WILL BE OWNED BY A LONDON DEVELOPER: Goldev Woking will be the majority shareholder of Woking FC. The developer Wayne Gold is quoted to say ‘I have no interest in Football’ at a presentation to Woking FC fans. Is this in the best interests of Woking FC?
6. SMALLER STADIUM DOES MEAN REDUCED DENSITY! Goldev Woking say a smaller stadium will not reduce the size of the development. This is untrue. By removing the medical centre and proposed retail from within the ground, they could build a smaller stadium and thereby reduce the height and density of towers of flats.
Source: the blindingly obvious!
7. WOKING FC WILL NOT GO BUST IF THIS PROPOSAL DOES NOT HAPPEN, according to Club Chair Rosemary Johnson. “Failed plan will not finish us”.
Source: Non- League Paper, October 27th, 2019.
8. NO ASSURANCE GOLDEV WOKING CAN FUND THE COMPLETE COST OF THE STADIUM. Original costs published were £10m and they are now around £25m. Goldev Woking has committed to meeting the full cost of the stadium – the viability report suggests otherwise and that Council Tax payers money will inevitably have to be used, despite the 1048 flats and 36 houses being built to fund it!
9. NO EVIDENCE OF DUE DILIGENCE ON GOLDEV WOKING: We have yet to see evidence of Woking Borough Council’s due diligence on Goldev and Dukelease. Goldev Woking have never developed a football stadium to date. Lack of due diligence has not stopped the council committing to facilitate a loan to Goldev Woking for £250m to a private developer.
Source: WBC loan agreement – signed Jan 2019.
10. PROPOSED HEIGHT AND DENSITY AT KINGFIELD CONTRADICTS WBC PLANNING POLICY: The proposed height, scale and density is totally inappropriate for this out of town location, as referenced in the recent independent Government Planning Inspector’s report. We agree that something like Willow Reach would be more in keeping with the character of the area. Craigmore Tower is not comparable though, as it is located inside the Council’s own town centre boundary and is stand alone as opposed to 5 over-bearing towers.
11. AFFORDABLE HOUSING WILL MAKE THE SCHEME FINANCIALLY UNVIABLE, according to the BNP Paribas report published as part of the application, which showed poor viability at 18% affordable, let alone 45%. Such a significant change from 18% to 45% suggested mid February, would require a new period of consultation. No evidence this consultation has taken place.
Source: BNP PARIBAS REPORT
12. TRAFFIC CONCERNS: The roads of South Woking cannot cope with the extra traffic a development of this size and 9k+ football stadium will bring. Surrey County Council have requested a new traffic survey, in their response to the planning application. To our knowledge, this has not happened yet. Natural England have huge concerns about the level of emissions from the 825+ cars in such a concentrated area so are requesting further analysis.
13. INSUFFICIENT PARKING: There is nowhere for fans to park except local roads. Imagine how much parking would be required if the stadium was ever full? The proposed allocation for Woking FC and the medical centre is less than currently available! The medical centre lacks parking for staff and disabled patients at present! We welcome a medical centre providing extra capacity for local residents however it seems they are proposing a relocation of two existing practices, without sufficient provision of parking.
Source: Submitted plans (application number 1176)
14. 7 YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION DISRUPTION: The development is scheduled to take at least 7yrs to complete. That is 7yrs of Heavy Goods Vehicles travelling from the A3 through Send and Jacobs Well, Send and Old Woking. Despite assuring local residents that Loop Road/Meadow Sports playing field is not required for access, this has still not been removed from the application and agreements, further to our request. Loop Road therefore remains an active access point. At Egley Road, the same applies in terms of widespread disruption right next to Hoe Valley School.
Source: Submitted Viability Assessment Report
15. PRECEDENT FOR HIGH RISE AND HIGH DENSITY HOUSING IN OTHER OUT OF TOWN CENTRE ‘VILLAGES’ such as Horsell, St John’s Byfleet and Pyrford.
EMAIL DEVELOPMENTMANAGEMENT@WOKING.GOV.UK AND QUOTE APPLICATIONS 1176 AND 1177 WITH YOUR OBJECTIONS
FOR MORE INFO, GO TO WWW.SOUTHWOKINGACTIONGROUP.ORG.UK