Thursday, 8 May 2014

Victoria Square - Retail and Tower Blocks

A planning application has been submitted for the development called "Victoria Square".  This is planned as a retail extension to Wolsey Walk, covering the area of the Bandstand, the fire station and to the current Boots store on Commercial Way.  Marks and Spencer will be the flagship store and there are hoped to be other new shops and restaurants.  The development is also planned to include residential towers, a hotel and gym / spa and potentially medical provision.

The road layout around the area will change dramatically if these plans go ahead.  Cawsey Way (behind Wolsey Place) where buses currently stop will be closed.  Road changes will mean a revision of bus stops and routes around the town.

Plans were initially due to have gone to the planning committe by now but councillors expressed concerns about the road system and planned location of bus stopping points.  One drop-off point for buses was suggested as Victoria Way - just past the junction with Goldsworth Road.  This would reduce Victoria Way to a single line.  Councillors felt this could only be a recipe for more town centre congestion and plans are now being reviewed before the application comes to committee.

I have concerns about the high rise blocks proposed in this application.  i am all in favour of building in the town to save our green spaces (although we must also recognise the need for family housing) but these blocks would be the 3rd tallest structure in Britain (outside of London).  Do we really need skyscrapers in Woking?

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