Thursday, 11 December 2014

McLaren to expand on current site?

McLaren's current footprint on Horsell Common
I learnt today that McLaren has submitted a new planning application (PLAN/2013/1297) for an 'Applied Technology Centre" as an extension to its existing 'Production Centre'.  

It seems this application is intended to replace the outline planning permission received for development of an 'Applied Technology Centre' back in 2012 (PLAN/2011/0823).

The description for the new application (see below) indicates development on the current site, that is to the west of the A320.

"Development of an applied technology centre of 57,000sq m (G.E.A.) as an extension to the McLaren Production Centre, to include an aerodynamic research facility, workshops, research and development space, offices, meeting rooms, teaching and training space, vehicle preparation and assembly spaces, together with terraced car parking and two car park decks, cycle parking, a replacement helipad, and service areas. Associated earthworks and re-contouring of the open parkland, hard and soft landscape and infrastructure works, including an electrical substation and foul water pumping station."

The previous outline planning permission was granted to allow building on the opposite side of the A320 (to the east) and to connect the two sites with a tunnel.  Description for that application below.

"Outline planning application for a new applied technology centre of up to 60,000sqm floorspace, together with hard and soft landscape proposals, earthworks including creation of new lakes, a new vehicular access, an underground circulation tunnel, vehicular and cycle parking, service areas, and associated infrastructure and works including a foul water pumping station and electricity substations. | Land East Of The A320 Chertsey Road"


I am puzzled that the application was received by Woking Council on Friday 14 November and was then validated on the following day - a Saturday.  I know workload is heavy in Planning but I hadn't realised staff worked on Saturdays.

Notification to neighbours of this validated application only went out this week, on Tuesday 9 December. Responses are due back by Tuesday 6 January.  Why so long to let residents know about a validated application?

As of today, Friday 12 December there are no details of the application, other than the summary description on the planning portal.

With the previous, approved, application McLaren ran consultation events at The Lighbox.  Will they do the same this time around?

Could McLaren possibly have timed this application for the busy Christmas period when residents and other interested parties may have other things on their minds?

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