Building to start on Lightwater’s village centre building site

After a wait of six years, apart from a hiatus when Tesco placed building materials on the site, the old Lightwater Homecare site looks as though there will be buildings on the site.

The eyesore for so many years looks like coming to an end. The Surrey Heath planning application – 19/0202 – 89-91 Guildford Road, Lightwater, has been approved for 3 four bedroom, and 2 three bedroom dwellings. Below the photo of the site I took yesterday, are the site plans. I note, in reading DECISION NOTICE, that the original application was for 3 three bedroom and 2 two bedroom dwellings, later modified, without any change in car parking provision. Originally 10 places for 13 bedrooms, and now 10 places for 18 bedrooms. The modification was objected to by Windlesham Parish Council, but allowed by the Borough Council.

Please understand, I’m not against the development, after all these years waiting who would be. It’s just that I think local planners fail to consider the pressure on parking in the centre of Lightwater. Where will visitors to these new homes park, when most homes in Lightwater own two cars, necessitating on street parking.

Sometimes trees grow too big for their site

The housing estate in Lightwater built-in the grounds of Paddock Wood House in the mid to late 1980’s must’ve involved the loss of trees, though I wasn’t here to witness it.

The many trees that were retained have continued to grow. That growth, in some cases, affected the houses they were close to, either through loss of light, or becoming too big for their location, resulting in removal or severe pruning.

One attractive part of the Paddock Wood development is the group of houses facing an ornamental lake, which was a retained feature from the original Paddock Wood House. The trees and shrubs surrounding the lake were also retained. They continued their vigourous growth, such that they needed both removal and pruning. Here’s a photo montage of that work over the last six months.

Artists impressions of Woking’s town centre developments

Having frequently driven by Woking’s town centre re-development, I’ve not understood what is intended.

Therefore, I googled for the plans. I found with a couple of artists impressions below [click on images to expand], and an explanation on the Woking Council website. Here’s what the Council say.

At 34 and 32 storeys high, the two residential towers will feature over 400 high specification apartments in a prime location. The built-to-rent apartments will benefit from full concierge facilities, an external garden, and an amenity space for residents.

The 23 storey third tower will be home to the town’s newest hotel. The 189 room flagship Hilton Hotel will include senior and junior suites, a new lobby bar, all-day dining restaurant, stylish sky bar, conference facilities and an on-site café.

The new development will be anchored by 125,000 sq ft of commercial space featuring the new Marks & Spencer food and clothing store across 50,000 sq ft, multi-storey car park, a medical centre and two public plazas.

In addition to the new car park, sited under the M&S and retail units, the project has also incorporated the demolition and redevelopment of the Shoppers’ Red car park. When combined, the rebuilt 1,382 space Shoppers’ Red car park and the new M&S car park, will provide an additional 740 car parking bays for Woking town centre.

Click on images to expand.


Kier Property selected as Surrey Heath Borough Council’s London Road Development site partner

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce that,

Karen Whelan, Chief Executive, Surrey Heath Borough Council said: “We are delighted to announce today, 3 April 2019, that Kier Property, the development arm of Kier Group, have been selected by the Council as the preferred developer to work on a mixed- use scheme in the Camberley London Road Development site.

The proposed scheme will completely transform a run-down area of the town centre and create a thriving new town square surrounded by a large mixed-use development, including retail, residential, parking and new outside space. This announcement marks the end of the procurement process and work will now begin on surveying the site and submitting the planning application.”

Kier Property proposed a scheme that best met the Council’s vision and objectives creating the most comprehensive masterplan. It also proposed the largest mix of uses including leisure provision.

Andrew Storey, managing director for Kier Property Regeneration, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen by Surrey Heath Borough Council to develop this important site in Camberley. We believe our proposals will provide vibrance to the town given the mixed-use nature of them and we look forward to working alongside Karen Whelan and her team over the next few years to deliver our vision utilising all the skills of Kier Group.”

Continue reading

Housing proposed for Tesco Express site

Tesco applied for planning permission to develop 89-91 Guildford Road in Lightwater in 2010. Yes, it was that long ago. You can see the history of the site HERE.

In June of this year Tesco cancelled their planned development for a Tesco Express format convenience store, and put the land up for sale. The purchaser of the land has a planning application 18/1009, for the erection of 3, three bedroom and 2, two bedroom houses together with associated access, parking and landscaping.

The site plan, see below, makes maximum use of the available space for housing. It’s pleasing that the development is for housing and not high density flats.

I still wonder about the provision for parking in the development. With 13 bedrooms and just 10 parking spaces I think parking pressures are obvious. Being generous in the likely occupation, I could easily see 16 people in the properties. With five properties and perhaps as little as two visitors by car that makes a need for 18 potential car parking spaces. It’s easy to imagine the parking overflow to elsewhere in the village centre.

I have no fundamental objection for housing on the site, even though my preference would have been for more retail/food outlets in the village – maybe a bistro or suchlike. I think fewer properties on the site would therefore be preferable. Click on the image to link to the planning application.

The once planned Tesco Express site is being marketed

There’s an estate agent poster, from Brasier Freeth, on the hoarding around 89-91 Guildford Road, what was once an intended Tesco Express store.

Brasier Freeth have a web-page marketing the site as an investment or development opportunity. No price is mentioned on their website. Their site description includes this sentence,

It is considered possible the site may lends itself to residential or retirement housing, subject to the relevant consent.

Neither of these are wanted by local residents. If perhaps it became a bistro I’m sure that would have residents support. Fancy, we once had a DIY/hardware store in the village, only to be replaced by Tesco land-banking the site for years. What a waste.

Looking in estate agents windows, as you do

Walking home from Lightwater village center, I passed one of the estate agents, and couldn’t help myself from peering into their window, as you do.

It was in Carson & Co’s window display that I spotted three houses in Lightwater priced at £1,100,000.

The significance of this is that it’s not just one house at that price, as no matter where you are there’s always a house at the top of the local market, but that there were three houses at that price.

So, without me previously noticing, it appears that there are numerous houses in Lightwater priced at over £1,000,000.

Attending the consultation for the potential Pine Ridge Golf Club housing development

On behalf of Persimmon Homes,the Pegasus Group held a consultation meeting yesterday at Pine Ridge Golf Centre in Frimley.

The consultation concerns prospective plans for 80 homes to be built on land currently occupied by the 10th green and fairway of Pine Ridge Golf Club. No planning application for the housing development has yet been submitted to Surrey Heath Borough Council. Associated with the prospective development is a plan to create more than 20 acres of sustainable alternative natural green space (SANG).

The 10th green and fairway run parallel to Old Bisley Road, as shown in the photos below [click to enlarge].

My immediate view is that the development isn’t as intrusive as I’d imagined. Yet, as with all housing developments in our borough there’s insufficient space for vehicles. A three bed home can easily have four cars. I doubt there’s provision for that circumstance. There’s hardly ever any consideration that piecemeal developments, such as this, add to the demand for services. such as GP surgeries, health services, local shops, and public transport.

It’ll probably a year or two before anything happens. Lots more consultations and planning applications.Whatever, here are a few photo of a few of the information boards.



Camberley’s Ashwood House re-development continuing apace

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce progress on the conversion of Ashwood House from offices to apartments,

Ashwood House, a former office block on Pembroke Broadway in Camberley will be transformed into 116 luxury apartments by Berkeley Homes who will start work later this year.

The initial stages of renovation are going well on site, with Randall Contracting Ltd demolishing the service ramp outside of Ashwood House and set to build a reinforced concrete wall and widen the footpath  to prepare for the relocation of bus stops, currently outside Ashwood House.

Managing Director of Randall Contracting Ltd, Stephen Randall is currently overseeing the works in Camberley and enjoys working in Surrey, as he states;

“Having had many years experience working with local authorities in London, this is a wonderful chance for us to share that experience further afield here with Surrey Heath at the start of their exciting new project. It’s great to be involved and we would like to thank Surrey Heath for the opportunity.”

Along with Stephen Randall, CEO of Surrey Heath Borough Council Karen Whelan was present on site, and even got involved on a day’s activities.

Karen Whelan said; “Ashwood House is a substantial former office building being converted into apartments later this year. The preparatory work to get it ready for Berkeley Homes is a significant project. I am pleased to see Randall Contracting progressing so well on the site and most importantly to schedule”.

“Once completed, this new development will bring fresh vitality to this part of Camberley town centre and will complement SHBC’s other regeneration projects in the town, including The High Street, The Square and the London Road development site.”

Randall Contracting Ltd will continue the redevelopment until completion in Autumn 2018.

To date SHBC has invested £140 million into Camberley; which includes the acquisition and subsequent refurbishment of The Square shopping centre, and Ashwood House which is currently being transformed into 116 high quality residential apartments.   Substantial projects to improve the town centre car parks, Princess Way and the High Street are in the pipeline which will soon to be followed by the regeneration of the area along London Road (A30) between the High Street and Park Street and opposite the historic Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Surrey Heath draft Local Plan frequently asked questions

I’ve written about Surrey Heath Borough Council’s Draft Local Plan, and how the consultation period on it expires on Monday 30th July 2018.

The draft local plan contains proposed planning policy changes from the current local. It’s therefore, in my estimation, important for ideas and concerns from residents to be submitted.

Yesterday evening I attended the consultation event at Lightwater Leisure Centre, at which there were paper copies of the draft plan for perusal, and planning officers on hand to answer questions. I recommend those of you interested in influencing planning policies, and how they affect our communities, get involved in the consultation process. I’ll post my comments on particular aspects in the coming weeks.

I picked up the Frequently Asked Questions leaflet about the local plan consultation, which is shown below – front and back page first, and inside pages next. Click on images to expand.