Brookwood Lye Road Update

Since I was first elected in 2012, I have been trying to get improvements to the crossroads, the Traveller site regularised, and decent affordable housing on the rest of the Brookwood Lye Road site.

In 2017, highway plans were presented as part of a road show that many people attended that made Connaught Road two lanes exiting Brookwood and Brookwood Lye Road three lanes entering the crossroads. You can read my post about it here:

I have also been working on plans to get the Traveller site regularised and in 2020, finally a planning application came forward to create 19 pitches effectively in the back garden of the bungalow down Brookwood Lye Road. I supported it at the Planning Committee in February 2021 and it was successfully passed. My post about it is here:

A few weeks later, a new plan for the housing was submitted which I thought was really good, was an imaginative little area of mainly two and three bedroomed homes and would deliver the housing we need locally. A roadshow was arranged and it was enthusiastically received by the residents of Brookwood. I wrote about it here, and included a map of the plan:

Since then I have quietly continued to push for a conclusion that delivers the road improvements, the decent Traveller accommodation, and the 128 houses / flats that Woking so desperately needs.

I found out very recently that Woking Borough Council has decided to take a different path and abandon all the work previously done. There are a number of reasons for this, but principally it is due to the WBC’s planning department choosing to not enforce the infringements of planning law at the Traveller site.

The new proposals will see the Traveller site physically expanded by at least 100%, probably to around 50 pitches. This is being done by a sleight of hand by classing the new area, not as a Traveller site, but as ‘park homes’. The park homes will be managed by the current owner of the Traveller site and it seems only the officers of the Council and senior Members of the Council believe that they won’t become transit pitches for Travellers and contribute nothing to the desperate housing needs of Woking residents.

In addition, there will be insufficient land left to develop the 128 houses, and this will now be reduced to around 60, probably none of which will be affordable.

Finally, just to top it all, none of the highway improvements will be coming forward.

To summarise, the proposals are for the Traveller site to be at least doubled in size, less than half the housing will be built and there will be no improvements to the crossroads. No one has been consulted, asked their opinions or anything.

To say I’m devastated is an understatement. I live yards from the crossroads and have spent ten years doing everything I can to get this turned into a nice area Brookwood could be proud of, sadly, the Council has other ideas and is choosing to pursue a route that will lead to less decent housing, worse congestion and almost certain increased social issues for the residents and businesses of Brookwood to put up with, all without asking anyone or caring if that is what they want.

There are no concrete plans yet, only proposals, so using the usual channels, please let me know what you think so I can make sure the Council understands Brookwood’s views.