Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum

30 APRIL 2022

Welcome to the regular Update.


I hope you are well. Since the last Update three months ago, cases of Covid19 infection in England have reduced from one person in twenty to one in thirty and then rose again to one in thirteen at the beginning of this month. This week's figures suggest they have peaked and are now falling again. Care is still needed if you fall into a category which is at higher risk.

The Forum Management Committee held its last meeting by Zoom, though we hope to hold the next meeting in person.

Litter pick

The second litter pick in Hook Heath was held on 23 April. I noticed the street cleaner out along Hook Heath Road the week before, but there was still a pile of rubbish sacks for collection.

Planning appeals

I don't look at all the appeals submitted in Woking (and in any case most are rejected by the Inspector), but one caught my eye. This was for a property in Sutton Green in the green belt. The applicant wished to replace the existing property with a much larger one, considerably larger than the 20 - 40% normally allowed by the WBC planning guides. In this case he argued that his fallback position would be to enlarge the existing property using permitted development rights. The Inspector found that, although the proposal would be inappropriate development in the green belt because of its size, the fallback position would be more harmful to the openness of the green belt, and, unlike the proposal, would not contribute positively to the appearance of the area. The appeal was therefore allowed.

This shows that in marginal cases planning decisions are subjective and also that in some (probably very few) cases there are ways to get around the 40% limit on the size of an extension.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Projects

Since the last Update two of the four Hook Heath signs have been renovated. We have asked WBC if they could add the sign by Orchard Mains to the list; this is a recently repaired sign but it has weathered rapidly. The fourth sign by the railway bridge in Hook Hill Lane was removed when the drainage was improved, but we hope that it will be restored and replaced soon. The final part of the project is to replace the notice board and we are currently looking at options. We have not made any progress with the footpath that runs alongside the carpark by the Golf Club. It looks as if we will need to ask WBC to manage any project so as to avoid planning permission issues.


As part of the application by Birchgrove for rebuilding Woodbank they donated £10,000 for planting mature trees. The Council have now planted seven specimen trees, mainly in Hook Heath Avenue. These include:

Acer Freemanii Autumn Blaze
Betula utilis ,Jermyns, Liquidambar st. Worplesdon, Ginkgo biloba and Prunus Avium Plena

There is some money left but there are few suitable sites for trees in Hook Heath.

Development on the Egley Road

In the recently approved Site Allocations Development Plan Document (SADPD), land north of Hoe Valley School on the Egley Road was allocated for development. Cala Homes and Barchester Healthcare have put together a proposal and carried out a public consultation which finished on 14 April. The site is on the other side of the railway to the green belt land south of Allen House Park and therefore has little direct impact on Hook Heath. The current proposal shows 94 new homes and a 62-bed care home.

Before the SADPD was approved the Council tried to prevent building on this site by deeming it an area of local separation not for built development. While this was considered unacceptable by the Planning Inspector, he nevertheless made it clear that any proposals to develop the site would need to take into account and maintain the importance of the visual separation between Woking and Mayford. They should also have particular regard to the topography of the site, incorporate new or improved open space and appropriate landscaping. Thus, I expect the real debate to be about the extent to which the proposals comply with these requirements, rather than the principle of development, which is an argument that seems to have already been lost.

Local Planning Applications in the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Area

Eight applications reported in the last Update have been approved by the Council.

PLAN/2021/1076 Erection of a single storey front and side extension, two storey rear extension and car port at Little Dene, Mount Road.

PLAN/2021/1093 Insertion of bi-fold doors on rear elevation at 3, Rafdene Copse.

PLAN/2021/1122 New metal gates to replace wooden gates at Bart House, Mount Road.

PLAN/2021/1197 Erection of attached annex following demolition of existing garage, carport and rear conservatory. Erection of detached garage/carport in front garden at Ffrogs, Pond Road.

PLAN/2021/1217 Erection of a single storey rear extension at Braegrove, Hook Heath Avenue.

PLAN/2021/1271 Erection of two-storey rear and side extension, part two-storey, part singlestorey side extension, single storey front extension following demolition of garage and utility room. Erection of porch and alterations to fenestration, exterior and roof form at Wood End, Holly Bank Road.

PLAN/2021/1303 Erection of first floor front, side and rear extension, single storey rear extension, front porch and erection of detached garage following demolition of existing conservatory at Woodlands, St Catherines.

PLAN/2021/1361 Erection of part two storey, part single storey, part first floor rear extensions including provision of external terrace and balustrading following demolition of conservatory. Partial application of render to front and side elevations and erection of hip-to-gable front roof extension. Re-instatement of vehicle entrance to create in-and-out drive at Highcroft, The Drive. One planning application listed in the last Update was rejected.

PLAN/2021/1063 Erection of two detached dwellings and creation of a new vehicular access onto Hook Hill Lane following the demolition of two existing buildings at Hook Hill Farm. One planning application listed in the last Update was withdrawn.

PLAN/2021/1078 Erection of a rear outbuilding (retrospective) at the Hippins, Hook Heath Road. Two applications reported in the last Update remain undecided.

PLAN/2021/1041 Proposed subdivision of the existing plot and erection of a detached two storey building at Haere Mai, Mile Path. There have been 15 objections to this proposal but nothing new has appeared on the WBC planning website for five months.

PLAN/2021/1209 Section 73 application to vary Condition 04 (use of store/workshop) of planning permission ref: PLAN/2004/0072 dated 25.03.2004 (To extend onto existing garage and insert new roof to form a store/workshop following demolition of existing store room) to enable the store/workshop to be used as kitchen/living room for guests at Keighley Lodge, Pond Road. This appears to be similar to the previously rejected PLAN/2021/0883 There has been one objection. One planning application has been submitted and approved since the last update.

PLAN/2022/0144 Erection of an outbuilding following demolition of the existing detached garage at Glasserton Cottage, Hook Heath Road. One planning application has been submitted and withdrawn since the last update.

PLAN/2022/0005 Variation of condition 2 of planning permission PLAN/2020/0877 (Erection of 2 detached houses following demolition of the existing detached house and garaging on site.) Condition Number(s): 2. list of approved plans, Proposed amendments to House 2 that relate to an increase in the roof height at the rear of the building by 20cm and an increase of 1.2m in the depth of the building at High View, 1 Derrydown. This has been replaced by a new application PLAN/2022/0258. There are seven new planning applications which are currently undecided.

PLAN/2022/0105 Erection of two-storey rear and side extension, part two-storey, part singlestorey side extension, single storey front extension, formation of rooms in the roof space following demolition of garage and utility room. Erection of porch and alterations to fenestration, exterior, roof form and insertion of roof lights at Wood End, Holly Bank Road. This is a modification to the previously approved PLAN/2021/1271.

PLAN/2022/0164 Erection of open sided, lean-to carport at Willoughby Lodge, Holly Bank Road.

PLAN/2022/0202 Erection of a two-storey front extension and single storey rear extension at The Spinney, Holly Bank Road. There have been four comments including one letter of support.

PLAN/2022/0206 Erection of a two-storey side and rear extension and single storey side extension and front porch following demolition of existing garage. Formation of vehicular access at Spindrift, Ridge Close. This is a modification to the previously approved PLAN/2021/1291.

PLAN/2022/0210 Erection of a single storey rear extension at Novem, 9 Fernhill Close.

PLAN/2022/0242 Erection of a two-storey front and side extension with increased ridge height and portico. Erection of a single storey rear extension and creation of pitched roof over existing garage at Paget House, The Drive.

PLAN/2022/0258 Erection of a detached house at High View, 1 Derrydown. This is a proposal to make a small adjustment to the size of one of the new houses. Certificates of Proposed Lawful Development. Two applications from the last Update were approved.

PLAN/2021/1029 Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for alterations to existing front garage exterior at Pine Tops, Hook Heath Road.

PLAN/2021/1356 Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for the erection of a new outbuilding at Little Shepley, Sun Hill. One new application has been rejected.

PLAN/2022/0057 Storage containers at Gorse Hill, Hook Heath Road. This was a proposal for the permanent use of shipping containers for storing furniture not in use. The planning officer found that full planning permission would be required rather than a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development. One new application is undecided.

PLAN/2022/0191 Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for the erection of a rear outbuilding at the Hippins, Hook Heath Road. Class E of the regulations provides permitted development rights within the curtilage of a house for a building or enclosure required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such. However, the purpose of the outbuilding has not been explained in the application.

Many thanks for your interest and support
Mike Cooke, Chairman On behalf of the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum Management Committee

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