EcoWorld London has received approval to progress with its plans for transforming Woking town centre with significant new community spaces and almost 1,000 new homes.
The Goldsworth Road development in Woking will deliver more than an acre of vibrant public space – the equivalent of 16 tennis courts. Around half of that will be green space with 45 new trees and living walls.
A new pedestrianised ‘green’ street will have lush planting surrounding new shops and cafés, to create a space where local communities can connect. In total £2m will be spent on urban greening.
Wellbeing will be promoted via new play spaces, integrating 215sqm of informal trails and sculptures, with all the green spaces open and accessible to all.
New pedestrian and cycle connections will be created to encourage greener travel. There will also be 1,000 secure cycle spaces for the new residents, a public cycle repair station and public cycle parking within the landscaped areas.
Existing community projects on the site will receive new and updated facilities. EcoWorld London will be creating a bespoke centre for the York Road Project charity, enabling them to expand their important work supporting vulnerable people in Woking. A new home for the Woking Railway Athletic Club will replace the current single storey building and ensure a lasting legacy for the club, which was founded around 100 years ago.
To date, EcoWorld London has already hosted various markets and events, including Woking’s first vegan market, as part of a successful meanwhile use programme on the former car park site. These showcased local, independent businesses, with the space transformed by colourful murals, green planting and street furniture designed by a local woodworking charity.
EcoWorld London will be starting on site as soon as possible, with work expected to commence towards the end of 2022. The planning approval was given following an appeal of the initial decision in January 2021.
Conor McGahon, Managing Director, EcoWorld London said:
“We at EcoWorld London are totally committed to creating positive change for Woking and are very pleased to be granted planning permission to progress with our exciting plans for the town centre.
Working in partnerships is a fundamental part of our DNA and we look forward to working closely with the Council and community as we deliver much-needed new homes, biodiverse green spaces and retail all set within extensive pedestrian-friendly public space for everyone to enjoy.”
There will be opportunities for local businesses and partnerships to occupy new commercial units surrounding Goldsworth Road and up to 250 local jobs will be created by the development. EcoWorld London will invest more than £10m in local infrastructure and, once complete, there will be an increase in local spend in Woking of more than £7m a year.
The architects for the project, JTP, have ensured the proposed homes are of the highest standard in terms of mix, size and amenity space – paying close attention to the relationship between the dwellings within the scheme and the neighbouring buildings. The development will deliver car club spaces, as well as an additional 263 car parking spaces for residents – 40% of which will have electric car charging capabilities.
Cherisse Dealtry, Chief Executive, York Road Project, said:
“York Road Project has played a crucial role during the pandemic, providing support to some of the most vulnerable people in Woking. Our current night shelter on York Road is not fit for purpose, and this has proven even more of a problem in the wake of Covid, so we have been delighted to work with EcoWorld London’s team on designing a new facility and now to see the plans going ahead. The town centre location, close to key support services, is exactly what we need.”