I recently caught up with the project manager in Thameswey responsible for the development at Brookwood Lye. To recap, Thameswey is WBC’s housing delivery company and currently owns most of the site and will select a builder to build out the site once planning has been approved.
I’m wary of giving dates, because so far all dates I’ve provided have been woefully optimistic and as far as I’m concerned we’re about one year behind where I wanted to be.
A previous application was submitted in October 2017 and a number of issues were raised by me, the Environment Agency, WBC’s drainage engineer and the Local Planning Authority. It is the concerns raised at this time that have caused the delay. My primary issue was one of the blocks of flats that was close to the Brookwood Lye Road. It was too close and was out of character for the street scene. This has been changed, as has, the large block of flats abutting the railway line which has now been split into three buildings.
The total number of dwellings has stayed the same at 126, and I’ve received no indication that the mix will change, i.e. 50 sell at market value, 50 affordable rent and 26 sell at an affordable level. All the affordable dwellings will have a local first policy for a short period before being opened up to the rest of the borough residents.
I will have a stab at timescales. The new planning application was due to be submitted before May. If that runs through the process smoothly, we can expect it to be at Committee in September. It is unlikely to be presented to Committee unless the chances of it being granted are high, so assuming it is granted permission in September, the current view is that clearing the site will begin over the winter period and building would start in the spring 2020. Take this paragraph with a pinch of salt because I’ve been wrong every time so far!
I think the cross road improvements will come along during the development although I’m not currently up to speed on the latest proposals. They are still making their way through the SCC/WBC Joint Committee.
As ever, happy to answer any questions on this if you have any, and once I have more information, I will publish it here.