Site Allocations Development Plan Document

WBC published the latest Site Allocations Development Plan Document (SADPD) proposals on Wednesday in preparation for a full Council meeting next Thursday with the principal recommendation that the site allocations as documented are submitted to an inspector for approval. This process is known as Regulation 19.

Previous incarnations have been following the Regulation 18 process which has involved two extensive consultations with the public to occur.

The SADPD provides two time periods which explain the preferred locations for future development to occur both in the urban area and those sites that will be taken out of the Green Belt to allow further development. Those time periods are 2022 – 2027 and 2027 – 2040.

The 2022 – 2027 period in the document are sites that assuming development proposals are forthcoming will be developed, and the 2027 – 2040 proposals are for sites that are to be safeguarded for future development, but may never be built out depending on needs at the time. This is a process the Council is required to do by law. For Brookwood, there are no proposals for the 2027 – 2040 period so we can expect no development other than minor changes to the already built area.

The original SADPD in 2016 was rather devious with its treatment to Five Acres (GB02) in my opinion as officers decided that as Five Acres was owned by two individuals it was actually two separate sites in practice. This allowed officers to consider doubling the number of authorised pitches to around 30. The reality was, and as evidenced by all previous documentation produced by officers, the site was run as one site. I campaigned ferociously against this disgraceful plan and achieved some significant victories.

Even now, Five Acres has 13 authorised permanent pitches, and two temporary pitches, although they are currently not in the location planning permission has been granted for.

The proposals for Traveller accommodation at Five Acres in the SADPD are for an increase from the current 15 pitches to 19 pitches, an increase of four overall. There will likely be an additional transit pitch at Five Acres allowing some flexibility for visitors to legally visit.

I believe that this is the best outcome we could have achieved for Brookwood and is approximately 11 fewer that had previously been suggested. The planning application for these 19 pitches, moving the 15 from the approved location and the additional four,¬† is currently making its way through the system. I currently ignore the fact that the bulk of the work has already been done, but I’m not ignoring the illegal pitches at the back of the site. Incidentally there were two when I went past on the train earlier in the week. The Planning Department are dragging their heels on this, and now with the publication of the Regulation 19 SADPD, they will struggle to justify doing nothing about it.

The other area to impact Brookwood is GB01, which is the old Coblands site and surrounding land area. Obviously everyone has seen what has been going on here for the past couple of years. GB01 suggests the site will take 93 dwellings at a dph of 35. A planning application is in for this site with the proposal to build 126 dwellings, to include changes to Brookwood Crossroads with an emphasis on improving the throughput for local traffic. I have blogged extensively about this in the past.

As ever, if you have any questions, please contact me.




WBC is currently writing a tree strategy which should go through Council in the next couple of months for adoption. I have read the drafts as it was studied by the Climate Change Working Group of which I am a member.

Its purpose is basically to ensure the right trees are growing in the right places and develop policies to help determine the removal and planting of trees. For example, this is likely to see most of the silver birches removed from the heathlands and smaller trees planted in urban areas.

The borough Arboriculturalists have been tasked with compiling a list of planting areas in the borough and have asked help in this task. If you know of an area that would be suitable for trees please would you let me know and I’ll pass on the details.



Parking Review

Unbeknown to me, a suggestion for a change to parking in Brookwood had slipped through the Joint Committee (of which I’m not a Member this year) and into consultation phase. A resident alerted me to it, for which I’m grateful.

Essentially, it is to put double yellow lines opposite the station exit to make it safer for vehicles exiting the station and Sheet’s Heath Lane. I support this.

Unfortunately, the image produced actually removed the two 20 minute bays that were only painted up recently after the 2017 review.

Having contacted the team responsible, they have confirmed that it is a mistake and the two bays will be staying which is a relief.



Victoria Arch and A320 Consultation

On Tuesday night I had a preview of a consultation regarding Victoria Arch and the A320 to the south of the arch. There are proposals to make changes and the views of residents are sought.

There are substantial changes proposed here that I suspect many people will think very sensible. There’s full text and a video to watch.

There are a couple of drop-in sessions in Wolsey Place Shopping Centre where members of the project team will be able to answer any questions.

These sessions are:

  • Thursday 20 September, 12.30pm to 8pm
  • Saturday 29 September, 10am to 4pm

Please follow this link to read more and give your view.




I stopped doing surgeries ages ago because virtually no one turned up and I’m perfectly accessible by other methods if people need my help or advice for any reason.

However, the Heathlands’ Councillors (Cllr Ashall, Cllr Azad and me) have decided to do a few surgeries across the ward this year and our first will be in Brookwood at the large Memorial Hall Committee room on 6th October at 11:00. All three of us will be there and will be available until shortly after midday.



Swift Nest Boxes

Woking Borough Council currently has a conservation project on-going to improve the chances for swifts. These amazing birds are in decline in Britain. This is part of the wider Natural Woking strategy to improve the environment for wildlife and humans.

A couple of nest building workshops are being run in September where, people will be able to make their own nest box for a small fee to cover the cost of materials. The two half day workshops are on 7th and 14th September.

For more details, see here.



Connaught Road Closure

I spoke with the gang dealing with the water leak in Connaught Road tonight on my way back from Brookwood Club in an attempt to understand the impact on Brookwood residents.

Essentially, the leak has now been fixed, and the loss of water stopped. This is good news, especially in this hot period.

The team responsible for reinstatement (basically filling in the hole) will either attend site on Saturday or Monday. It is unknown at this stage exactly when they will be on site.

If it is tomorrow, the road will be fully open by Monday, otherwise it will probably be on Tuesday.

I have witnessed vehicles driving on the pavement and the grass tonight to bypass the road closure and this is particularly irresponsible and simply unacceptable and has been reported to the police. It is a pain, but there is no reason to put people’s lives at risk to avoid going the long way round. My personal opinion of those doing this, unfortunately is unable to be published on this blog.