Councillors have refused Donard Real Estate’s plans for a tower block of 272 Build-to-Rent flats in Woking.

Woking Borough Council’s planning committee debated the proposal for redeveloping the 0.49-hectare site of the former Bhs department store in Commercial Way, which had been recommended for approval, at its March 19 meeting.

James Simondson from Turley, which planned the scheme, told councillors the applicant had worked hard to overcome the reasons for refusal of a previous proposal. He said the proposed 26-storey building would be 45 metres lower than the previous one, it would be car-free, except for six disabled spaces, and would provide homes for rent in an area where the number of renters exceeds the average for the South East.

However, councillors were concerned about the lack of parking and raised concerns that six disabled spaces was too few. Further concern about proximity to heritage assets were discussed.

The application was refused on the grounds of its bulk and mass, causing less than substantial harm to nearby Christ Church and a war memorial, not meeting requirements of the Woking Town Centre Conservation Area and a lack of disabled parking.

Along with Turley, the  team on the latest project includes POD Architects as lead architect and masterplanner and Hoare Lea on sustainability.

Image: Google.

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