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Moor Lane Approved (initial review)

The Moor Lane Development was approved last night. 10 members of the planning committee voted to approve the application.  One member abstained.

In terms of local representation Councillor Derek McCrum (Kingfield & Westfield) who serves on the Planning Committee voted in its favour.  Our other ward councillors do not sit on the committee and were not allowed to vote.  The Chair of the Planning Committee did allow them to speak.

Councillor Simon Bellord (Mayford & Sutton Green) spoke in favour of the application.  Councillor Will Forster (Kingfield & Westfield) spoke against.

In addition Councillor Kevin Davis (Brookwood) who has visited the area and met with Rosebank residents managed to get a measure put in place to prevent the wholesale tarmac’ing of Rosebank Cottages.

The rest of the Councillors had little if anything to say that was relevant and frankly some of the Councillors points were bizarre:

  • One didn’t seem to realise that was a full application and asked Councillors to vote in principle to allow housing at the site (ehm it been a reserve housing site for decades)!
  • One was disappointed that Westfield Way wasn’t being demolished as that would have allowed a higher density!
  • One wanted a condition to force the applicant to consider making their site office available as a shop or Drs Surgery (not a relevant planning matter).
  • One justified the development saying that it would save the Greenbelt – forgetting perhaps conveniently that this land is greenfield farmland that was taken out of greenbelt.

We were disappointed by the outcome.  We are sure the developer would have accommodated a small decrease in the planned units. We dont think the development will be sustainable given its scale, density and form and its accessibility issues.

In the medium to long term we fear that part of our cherished common or greenbelt will be taken away from us to fix issues arising from its approval. Which is a shame as in our view if the application had been scaled back to a more reasonable size then many of these issues would not occur.

BUT Woking is gang-ho for development and wants the houses so we are afraid this desire is what won out in the end.

So another rural part of Woking is set to be over-developed and we suspect this wont be the end of it as the Greenbelt review is underway and large tranches of land in South Woking are earmarked as potential sites.

A sorry day indeed.