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Plans for Canalside Housing in Woking approved

Innovative plans to transform a post-war housing estate in Woking, Surrey, into a new sustainable, community-focused neighbourhood have been given the green light by planners.

The proposals for Canalside will regenerate Sheerwater, a largely deprived suburb, into a thriving, balanced community with more green space and car-free streets. The plans were put forward by ThamesWey Developments Ltd, and were approved by Woking Borough Council on 9 April.

The masterplan will see the existing number of homes on the 30 ha site double from 570 to 1,200, nearly half of which will be affordable, complete with community facilities, public parkland and gardens.

ThamesWey Chief Executive Mark Rolt said: “We’re looking forward to getting started on Canalside – a fantastic, environmentally-friendly project that will create a truly sustainable community. BDP has been a key contributor to the development of the scheme and their focus on translating our objectives of increasing the density of both dwellings and parking, while increasing open space and car free areas into viable designs, has been invaluable.”

Nick Fairham, architect principal, said: “It’s excellent news that plans for Canalside have been given the go ahead. The masterplan for this area sets out the developer’s vision to create a sustainable, high quality and well-connected neighbourhood with many community benefits. We have prioritised cycling and pedestrian routes to key community buildings, meaning streets are car-free, whilst there is a strong emphasis on green spaces. Individual areas, defined by their own unique character, are centred on parkland, whilst a variety of housing meets demand from people across multiple generations to help foster mixed, balanced communities.”

The mix of typologies will enable a medium-density housing development, whilst also providing four hectares of high quality outdoor space, including parks, gardens, sports facilities and semi-rural parkland for all the residents to enjoy. The parks and gardens will include habitats that encourage wildlife and utilise a pioneering water management system.

BDP is masterplanner and landscape architect for the development and architect for the medium rise area which comprises apartments, houses, community facilities and shops.