400+ NEW HOUSES FOR PYRFORD?
- The Story so Far – Woking BC have announced their proposals for meeting housing requirements in the period 2015-2040. This predominantly impacts the east end of the Borough and earmarks the two Pyrford fields, either side of Upshot Lane, for 423 new houses in the 2027 – 2040 timeframe (see map here). This blights land in the current Green Belt and endangers heritage views from the Pyrford Escarpment to the North Downs. Additionally one of the fields was not recommended as appropriate for use by the councils’ own planning consultants, PBA, in the Green Belt Review published late in 2014. We are now in a 6 week consultation period when representations and objections to these proposals from the public will be received by the Council.
- What’s been done About It? – A public meeting held on 22 June resolved that the Neighbourhood Forum would challenge the removal of 2 fields from the green belt and the proposals to build 400+ new homes on them. Indeed your Neighbourhood Forum has been active in working with Graham Chrystie, one of our Borough Councillors and a team of Planners and Lawyers, sponsored by a local resident, to defend our environment. The nature of the village and the surrounding green landscape is very dear to the majority of residents and why many of us came to live here, in the first place. In addition the draft Neighbourhood Plan has just achieved a 98.2% agreement rating in our own local consultation and reflects a great deal of community concern about the state of the local road infrastructure suggesting that, with the West Byfleet and Wisley development proposals, we could soon live in a state of permanent gridlock!
- Way Forward – The Forum has made representations to Woking BC in this regard and is preparing further representations with our advisors. However your personal objections are very powerful in reminding the powers that be of the opinions held by the electorate.
So if you are against the proposals we urge you to email your response to email@example.com or write direct to Planning Policy team, Woking Borough Council, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6YL. If you choose to email please send us a copy on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please remember to include your name, address and post code, whichever method you choose, and make the representation personal. We have added below some suggestions to help you with your letter/email. Full details about the consultation are explained athttp://www.woking2027.info/allocations.
WE HAVE UNTIL 31st JULY TO REGISTER OUR OBJECTIONS
YOU MUST OBJECT NOW!
References – Communications and information concerning the site allocation consultation will be managed through the Pyrford Neighbourhood Forum web site where further reference material, and suggestions for objections will be added. Please see www.woking2027.info – for full documentation on Woking BC site allocation proposals.
This summary is intended to illustrate key issues for your letter to the Borough:
- The Borough have ignored the PNF’s 2 letters raising concerns about the Green Belt Review and their advisers attempts to address the Borough Executive were repulsed with the Executive proceeding to take the decision to publish the DPD apparently without reviewing valid representations. The PNF has objected to the Borough’s approach as have their advisers.
- The Borough (WBC ) have substantially departed from their own independent advisers, Peter Brett Associates, recommendations concerning Pyrford : is this acceptable to you?
- The PNF advisers comments as made to WBC, in the advisers paragraph 2 are clear. Is it acceptable that WBC chose to defer any action upon these points and proceed to approve a DPD over which there is a big question mark around Pyrford issues?
- Do you agree Pyrford’s charm and character are important and that maintaining the natural landscape and views as well as footpaths are important? Pyrford is unique in Woking Borough in enjoying its relatively unspoilt countryside and we believe this forms an asset for the entire borough. Do you concur?
- Pyrford is unique in the Borough for its well maintained historic buildings and conservation areas. Heritage assets are highly valued nationally. Would removal of Green Belt status from our 2 threatened fields could cause irreparable damage to these assets?
- Pyrford is already congested during the day around the central village area. Would the imposition of 433 new houses be likely to increase congestion and perhaps result in gridlock?
- Are you satisfied with traffic/highways congestion at present?
- Are you satisfied with the lack of WBC focus upon likely major housing developments just over the WBC border in Guildford Borough EG Wisley Airfield and two others? Do you accept the possible imposition of massive traffic increase from the south passing through Pyrford on its way to West Byfleet Station and Retail Centre? Do you accept that the Newark Bridges could cope with greatly increased traffic?
- Please think about Ecolgical Impact , Water and Sewerage impact plus other Infrastructure problems. Transport is essential to us all! What about bio-diversity?
A. Pyrford Primary School is about to be re-built ( 50 year lifespan expected ) and the number of pupils will slightly increase to meet current demand. 433 new houses will throw up a massive need for school places possibly in 2030.
B. Elderly Care Facilities are needed
C. Nursery and Pre School facilities are at capacity at present
D. Our Village is a community where people want to live and much of this revolves about the pleasant environment. Safety is of paramount importance and the character of the village and its wide blend of facilities is something which once destroyed cannot readily be re-created.
E. It would be unrealistic if we were not to concede that some change and development must occur. Is a wholesale change to the character of the village by the threat of 433 new houses the solution? Perhaps we should focus upon the supply of suitable downsizing apartments for mature citizens who want to stay in the area but cannot find a suitable new home? Or perhaps we could encourage some affordable homes which are sadly lacking in Pyrford ( affordable generally means 80% of market rent which is a high barrier for many ) By imaginative ideas and concepts we can demonstrate that Pyrford can move forward and continue to be a vibrant growing community. Can you come up with some innovative ideas? Please supply the Forum with your ideas as well as telling WBC.
F. We hope that we have given you some food for thought and you will respond to WBC and ensure that your voice is heard : your response really counts! Pyrford has always responded magnificently to all calls upon it and just recently over 500 of you responded to our Survey and Questionaire about our new Neighbourhood Plan. Success may well depend upon substantial local support!