Planning proposals for the aggregates access road

In a previous statement, the council stated that the proposed permanent access road, impacting on Waverley Court properties, has been revised. How has the plan been updated?

Pre-planning engagement with affected residents

In July 2021, the project team wrote to over 500 residents in York Road, Bradfield Close, Waverley Court and Montgomery Road to advise them of proposals to relocate the existing aggregates access road. During a four-week engagement period, the team hosted one to one sessions with residents from 24 households. 

The feedback received from participating local residents was extremely helpful and provided the team with valuable insights to consider. One of the main considerations raised was the amount of land required from the Waverley Court development to deliver the permanent access road proposal. 

Works to revise the initial planning proposals

Taking into account the feedback provided by local residents and other affected parties, the project team has undertaken investigatory studies which aim to lessen: 

  • the impact on the number of properties that would require demolition,
  • the environment and safety of the directly affected properties, and 
  • the landowner’s (Network Rail) and tenant’s (Day Aggregates) site operations including during the Victoria Arch bridge construction works.

Further investigative studies have confirmed that there is no alternative option available for a temporary access to the aggregates site during the bridge construction work. This means the temporary access road proposal via York Road and Bradfield Close remains the only viable short-term option.

The temporary access road proposal does not involve the demolition of any residential properties. The access would be achieved via York Road and Bradfield Close and may be needed for a substantial period of time given the scale of the works proposed. Planning consent is likely to request permission for the temporary access to be in place for up to five years. 

View a map of the temporary access road proposal

Initial redesigns of a permanent access route show a reduction in the number of properties that would require demolition in Waverley Court and removes the need to secure any properties on York Road. However, this design would need to be further considered in the event that the reuse of the existing access to the aggregates yard is not possible. 

The need to find a permanent access road solution remains challenging. As set out above, following the feedback received, the project team is revisiting the options to reuse and reopen the existing site access to the aggregates yard once the road widening and replacement bridge works are completed.  

Planning applications

At this current time, the project team cannot be certain if the reuse of the current access once the construction of the bridge and road works is complete is achievable. To fully assess the case, the team is continuing the extensive engineering design work which will take some months to deliver. As a result, the submission of the access road planning applications will be delayed until late spring/early summer 2022.

It is proposed to submit both planning applications at the same time to ensure that residents and decision makers, including Woking Borough’s Planning Committee, can review the temporary and permanent proposals with clarity and certainty. 

Members of the public will be able to view the applications, including the associated surveys and assessments, once they have been submitted to and validated by the local planning authority. A formal public consultation period will then follow and allow members of the public to formally comment on the applications.

Compulsory purchase order (CPO)

A decision on the use of CPO powers would be considered if it was determined that a permanent access via York Road and Bradfield Close is the only viable option and if planning permission is granted.  

The use of CPO powers is always a last result and this process follows extensive negotiations to reach a voluntary agreements. 

If the planning application is permitted and a CPO is required to deliver the scheme, Full Council approval (from Woking Borough Council’s elected councillors) would be sought. A CPO can only be made by public bodies. 

A CPO would authorise Woking Borough Council to buy the land, subject to the Council following the usual procedures for compulsory acquisition. For example, the giving of notices, allowing a period for objections and allowing any objectors the opportunity to submit objections at a public local inquiry. 

To justify a CPO, the Council must consider and justify that there is a compelling case in the public interest to acquire the land. The public benefit must outweigh the private loss arising from that acquisition. 

Appropriate compensation would be made available to those entitled to claim it, under the relevant provisions of the statutory compensation code.

Questions submitted by members of the public

A significant number of questions were submitted by residents in advance of the public meeting, to be held on Tuesday 22 February 2022. The above question and answer aims to provide responses to the main points and topics raised by local residents. Any outstanding or additional questions received will be added in the future.

  • On 29 October 2021, Councillor Kemp issued a statement indicating that the proposal may be adjusted to reduce the potential impact on Waverley Court. I should appreciate more detail on this if possible.
  • Will the Council structure the planning applications so that planning permission for the permanent route alteration is granted before the temporary route permission and will a strict time limit be placed on the temporary permission? My concern is that if the temporary permission is given first and then the permanent alteration is refused then we will be left with a temporary route for a significant length of time - possibly years. Provision needs to be made by Woking Borough Council to ensure this does not happen.
  • Are you prepared to use Compulsory Purchase powers to enable the access road to be routed via York Road? If so, do you believe you will have public support for such an action?