Consultation has begun over the future of Woking Borough Council’s troubled Sheerwater regeneration project.
Last month the debt-ridden council ended its development agreement with its own housing company ThamesWey which, it emerged during the revelations over the council’s financial plight, is itself £185 million in debt.
The firm was mid-way through the delivery of 1,200 homes on the scheme. It will complete three current phases but not start work on any more.
Unhappy locals have labelled Sheerwater a ghost town after buildings were vacated and others demolished. Now some of the vacated buildings, due for demolition, might be brought back into use.
The council is now writing to 1,300 households in or around the regeneration area for views on what should happen with the remainder of the site and vacant properties previously earmarked for demolition.
Deputy leader and portfolio holder for Sheerwater, Cllr Will Forster said: “It’s bitterly disappointing that the council’s financial situation has put a stop to the plans for Sheerwater. I feel immensely sad and frustrated for the residents who are living through the regeneration and are now once again, faced with a great deal of uncertainty.
“The council is committed to listening to the views of residents and wants to involve those living in Sheerwater in what happens next. I want to know which properties they think are worth saving, and which parts of the estate they think could be sold for development.
“The views of residents will be presented to the council’s executive in the Autumn alongside the findings of a project review by property experts, Avison Young, which together, will help us understand how we can achieve the best outcomes for Sheerwater.”
Consultation ends on September 17.
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