HOOK HEATH NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM UPDATE 53 5 June 2023
Woking Borough Council finances
You will all have seen the various reports on WBC's financial position and the announcement about the appointment of independent commissioners. The issue is complex and you can read about it on the WBC web-site here:
There is a lot of information here that WBC does not normally put into the public domain. It's difficult to summarise but it appears that the current problem (income insufficient to cover expenditure) stems from decisions taken during the 2016-2019 period about how to regenerate Sheerwater and Victoria Square.
Community Infrastructure Levy
As reported in the last Update we are proceeding with improvements to:The path across the golf course which gets muddy and impassable when wet. The path round the golf club car park where there are exposed tree roots.
We had a meeting with the Countryside Capital Programme Officer from Surrey County Council to look at these areas and she agreed that remediation was desirable. We are currently awaiting estimates for the work.
SCC also looked at the unmade part of Pond Road which is frequently impassable on foot. Because this is a right of way which is 'out of repair' it also needs remedial work but, in this instance, SCC are fully responsible and will need to consult with the owners.
We also asked SCC whether there were some way of installing a pedestrian crossing or island to help cross Wych Hill/Hook Heath Avenue safely. This was not the first time they had been asked the question but the answer was the same. A combination of driveways, shared accesses and roads, plus the obvious demand for on-street parking, means that neither a refuge island nor a Zebra or signal controlled crossing could be constructed. Arguably, a crossing in Wych Hill would be a better option as this would also be on the 'desire line' for pedestrians coming out of Hook Heath Road, making their way to the shops. However, beyond Hook Heath Road, the road is too narrow to accommodate a refuge island and given the wide accesses to the SEAT garage and the Co-op, a Zebra/Puffin could not be fitted in either. We also have the issue of the St John's-bound bus stop.
SCC thought that it is probable that if a crossing could have been accommodated, one would have been provided by now, possibly even as a planning requirement of the Co-op store.
We are also continuing to look at the provision of a publicly accessible defibrillator somewhere in Hook Heath and have approached the Co-op to see if they can help.
If anyone has any other thoughts on using CIL funds, please let us know.
When Birchgrove obtained planning permission to rebuild Woodbank they agreed to provide £10,000 to plant trees in Hook Heath. So far trees have been planted in Hook Heath Avenue and at the junction of Wych Hill and Orchard Mains. There is quite a lot of money left but we have run out of space on Council-owned land. Thus, if there are residents/chairs of road associations who would like some trees to plant on private road verges, please get in touch.
Meeting with the Leader of the Council
As you know I was invited to a meeting with Ann-Marie Barker to discussWhat is most important to people in your area right now?
What does Woking Council do well?
Where could Woking Council do more / do less?
How can your organisation contribute to a better Woking borough?
We sent an e-mail to everyone on our circulation list so many thanks to those who took the trouble to reply. I don't think there were many surprises. The things that were most important were:
Condition of the roads Traffic congestion / dangerous traffic / speeding Disruption/noise caused by building works Inadequate services to cope with (growing) population Planning decisions
Given Woking's financial position I'm not expecting many changes in the near future.
WBC have started the process of reviewing the Core Strategy. If anyone has any views on strategic policy related matters or issues, please let me know. Consultation on details of policies will follow later.
We will of course need to think about reviewing the Neighbourhood Plan, which runs till 2027. At present our intention is to launch a review next spring, starting with the HHRA Newsletter.
Planning applications of interest outside the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Area
PLAN/2023/0215 Proposed alteration and extension of the existing building and associated works including landscaping to increase the number of private dwellings from 17no to 19no units at 1 - 17 Alice Ruston Place, Star Lane. (approved subject to legal agreement)
This is behind the Co-op on Wych Hill.
PLAN/2022/0694 Planning permission for the redevelopment of Land West of Egley Road, Woking to include 86 dwellings (43 market dwellings and 43 affordable dwellings) (C3 Use Class), the erection of a 62-bed care home building (Use Class C2), new vehicular access point off Egley Road with improved pedestrian and cycle links, open and recreational space as well as hard and soft landscaping throughout the site, SUDs, car parking, biodiversity features and other associated on the West Side Of Egley Road. (approved by Planning Committee)
We continue to monitor applications for 5G telecommunications masts. There are currently four in Woking awaiting determination.
Local Planning Applications in the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Area
Nine applications reported in the last Update have been approved by the Council.
PLAN/2022/0680 Erection of a single storey side extension at Gainford, Hook Heath Road.
PLAN/2022/0707 Proposed widening of existing pedestrian entrance gates and piers to provide vehicular access and erection of new entrance gates (retrospective) at Little Dene, Mount Road.
PLAN/2022/1056 Erection of a garden room, engineering operations and associated landscaping to remodel garden including a driveway, stairs, retaining walls and surface water drainage and amendments to garden room permitted under PLAN/2020/0682 (retrospective application) at Little Dene, Mount Road.
PLAN/2022/1125 Erection of a two-storey side extension with sun deck and balcony, to include basement below and external attached shed following demolition of existing garage. Also changes to fenestration at West Hurstgate, Hook Heath Road.
PLAN/2022/1168 The erection of an apartment building containing 7x flats following demolition of existing dwelling, with associated landscaping, parking and bin and cycle stores at Quevrue, Holly Bank Road.
PLAN/2022/1186 Erection of entrance gates between existing gate piers, and erection of cycle store in front garden at Harlyn, Blackbridge Road.
PLAN/2023/0091 Proposed minor modifications to roof and fenestration to existing single storey rear extension at Sandown House, Cedar Road.
PLAN/2023/0098 To install a steel column approximately 6.10m in height (from ground level) on Network Rail land to accommodate radio antennae for Superfast Wi-Fi and associated bracket at approximately 4.50m on said column on land rear of Brekka, Hook Heath Avenue.
PLAN/2023/0099 To install a steel column approximately 6.10m in height (from ground level) on Network Rail land to accommodate radio antennae for Superfast Wi-Fi and associated bracket at approximately 4.50m on said column on land approximately 100m west of the footbridge over the railway to St Johns.
Two further applications should have been reported as approved in the last Update but were omitted in error
PLAN/2022/1089 Erection of a two storey side and rear extension including rear pergola following demolition of existing garage at Antibes, 14 Ridge Close.
PLAN/2022/1021 Erection of two storey side and rear extensions, single storey rear extension, covered patio area, and part conversion of garage into habitable accommodation. Changes to external finishes at Fornells, Pond Road.
Two applications reported in the last Update remain undecided.
PLAN/2022/0657 Erection of single storey extensions to the front, side and rear elevations and roof extension to increase ridge height including insertion of front dormer windows and rear and front rooflights to facilitate additional accommodation within the roofspace at Eastwood, Hook Heath Road.
An application which argues that the proposed development is less harmful to the green belt than the already approved expansions together with permitted development.
PLAN/2022/1173 Erection of a single storey front extension to form open porch, single storey side extension and rear conservatory extension following demolition of the existing conservatory at Redwing, Mile Path.
One planning application has been refused since the last Update
PLAN/2023/0044 Erection of a single storey attached garage, first floor extension with new raised roof, two single storey rear extensions, 14 new roof lights and changes to fenestration following demolition of the detached garage, two conservatories, three out-buildings and an oil tank storage area at The Chase, Hook Heath Road.
A proposed extension to a house in the green belt which was too large.
There are three new planning applications which are currently undecided.
PLAN/2023/0217 Erection of a single storey side extension at Mimosa House, Hook Hill Lane.
PLAN/2023/0319 Erection of a two storey and part single storey front extension and single storey rear extension at 6, Fernhill Close.
PLAN/2023/0358 Erection of detached two storey dwelling with accommodation within the roof space, attached single storey garage and associated works and landscaping at Hook Hill Farm, Hook Hill Lane.
There have been two objections by neighbours and the Hook Heath Residents� Association has also objected. The issue is whether the impact on the street scene including the transition to the green belt is acceptable or not.
Certificates of Proposed Lawful Development.
PLAN/2022/1096 Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for insertion of 1No front window at 11 Fernhill Close. Approved; omitted from the last Update in error.
PLAN/2023/0126 Erection of a detached garage at Haere Mai, Mile Path. Approved.
Three further applications are undecided.
PLAN/2023/0334 Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for the installation of Solar PV panels at Mounts Ryde, Golf Club Road.
PLAN/2023/0360 Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for the erection of one dual pitched roof dormer to the rear and one to the side with the addition of two rooflights at 29 Allen House Park.
PLAN/2023/0367 Certificate of Proposed Lawful Development for conversion of single garage to an office with insertion of solar panels, erection of outbuilding to rear of garden at Little Frankley, Sun Hill.
General Permitted Development extension
PLAN/2023/0443 Prior notification for a single storey rear extension to extend a maximum depth of 7.0m, maximum height of 4.0m and a maximum height of eaves of 2.97m at The Chase, Hook Heath Road. This follows on from the rejection of the planning application, PLAN/2023/0044.
Many thanks for your interest and support
Mike Cooke, Chairman On behalf of the Hook Heath Neighbourhood Forum Management Committee
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