Friday, 18 September 2015

Planning Application In for Horsell Moor retirement apartments

Update 3 October

The application for retirement flats on Horsell Moor is now on the council's planning website reference PLAN/2015/0989. I am rather puzzled by the dates on the application.  The planning website says the application was received on 7 September and validated on 9 September. However when I searched for the application, having received communication from Pegasus Life on 18 September, the application did not appear. It did not appear a week later when I posted about the application to demolish the laundry buildings. I first learnt it was up on 2 October from a local resident on Twitter. 

The building plans
As set out in my earlier post (below) the building will now be 4 rather than 5 storeys high. I am pleased to see it is two storeys next to homes on the dog leg of Horsell Moor running to Step Bridge Path.  Four storeys still seems very tall in this location and it will overlook the Cricket club and children's playground on Horsell Moor.

Elevation of proposed apartments

Traffic and Parking Impact
Pegasus Life commissioned a travel survey which concluded that only 66% of parking capacity is taken up so there are plenty of parking spaces for the new development.  The survey was taken from 7am to 7pm on a Wednesday in March so takes no account of a busy Sunday afternoon when Woking and Horsell Cricket Club is used for cricket matches or a busy Saturday afternoon when there is a football match or a Thursday evening in the summer when the club house is booked out for parties. Although of course there is no right of any resident to the parking space outside their home this survey also fails to account for where these spaces might be in relation to existing residents who need parking spaces on the road.

One parking area mentioned is outside the Cricket club which is used for a pre-school on term-time week days. Increased parking in this area would not be welcome for parents and children.

The application proposes providing 0.9 parking spaces per flat, that is 31 spaces for 34 flats. Flats will be a mix of one and two bedrooms.

Affordable provision
Developments on brown field sites are supposed to provide 40% affordable homes, but guess what, that's not going to happen. The developers say:

"The requirement for 40% affordable housing provision on the site would not reflect the circumstances and realities of the site in this context"

They will be talking to the council about payment in lieu but this is subject to a 'viability assessment'.

Consultation is now open on the application. If you want to have your say you can feedback on the council's planning website or email or write to the council. Make sure to quote the application number PLAN/2015/0989

Update 25 September

No planning application for the retirement apartments on the Council list as yet. However Pegasus Life has put in a planning application PLAN/2015/1032 to demolish the laundry on Horsell Moor (thought they werent' doing this until November (see bottom of page).  A letter that accompanies this application does say that the application for the new apartment block was submitted to the Council on 4 September.  I will keep an eye on the planning applications and let you know when the Council has verified that application. Looks like the demolition will be a long job.  The application refers to work starting in November and finishing next April.

I heard tonight from Pegasus Life that they have submitted a planning application to Woking Council for retirement apartments on Horsell Moor. 

You may have seen my previous blog post from late May when I reported back on the exhibition about these plans to put retirement apartments on the site of the old White Knight laundry.  At that stage Pegasus Life were seeking to erect a building which reached 5 storeys at its highest point, tapering down to 2 storeys.  The facade was to be brick on the upper levels with light stone cladding on the ground floor. 

I am pleased to see that the plans have been revised as a result of feedback from residents.  the tallest point of the building is now proposed to be 4 storeys and the building will all be brick fronted.  Pegasus life go into some detail in their communication about the style of brick that will be used to fit in with neighbouring properties 

"The bricks we will use will be hand fired. Hand-fired bricks are different to standard machine-fired bricks that are used in most new developments. They are all individual and have slightly different colours and textures."

I do wonder about parking provision at the site and if this will impact the local area. There is essentially one space per apartment so any visitors would immediately add to the number of cars in the area.

Woking Council will need to process the application and it is not yet appearing on their list of registered applications. I will update with the application number when that information is available.

Pegasus Life also point out that they are likely to apply to demolish the old laundry buildings at the end of November.

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