Kingfield, Westfield and Barnsbury

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This Local Plan summary for Kingfield, Westfield and Barnsbury is one of a series of guides covering Woking Borough. It aims to provide a general user friendly overview of how the Woking Borough Local Plan 1999 will manage future development in this area. The Local Plan sets out the Council's policies for the development and use of land and includes the key considerations for determining planning applications. The Council also produces a number of other key strategies which feature policies that are not covered by the Local Plan.

View the map of Kingfield, Westfield and Barnsbury here.

The Local Plan summaries contain a brief discussion of the development issues within each area and how policies will affect them. They also contain details of any specific proposals for the area, together with an extract of the Local Plan Proposals Map. As well as policies on specific development issues, the Local Plan also includes general policies on related matters such as design, landscaping, parking and the effects of traffic which apply to all developments. Although the summary provides an overview of the policies for Kingfield, Westfield and Barnsbury, reference should be made to the Local Plan for the full text of any policies. Relevant Local Plan policies for each issue are shown in brackets.

About Kingfield, Westfield and Barnsbury

The Kingfield, Westfield and Barnsbury area is in the southern part of the built up area of Woking. It is a mainly residential area, but also includes important sport and leisure facilities. There is a local shopping centre at Kingfield and small parades of shops in the local centres of Westfield and at Ash Road, Barnsbury.

The focus of the Local Plan for this area is on protecting the environment and ensuring that any new development is in keeping with the existing character of the area. As a result development of a modest scale, appropriate to the area concerned, will be permitted in the existing residential areas, while important open spaces and historic buildings will be protected. In the village centres proposals which maintain and enhance the vitality and viability of the centres will be considered. Only very limited types of building will be permitted in the Green Belt areas around Kingfield, Westfield and Barnsbury.

Local centres

There are three local centres in the area; Kingfield, Westfield and Barnsbury. In 1999 the Kingfield centre included a limited range of shops and a small supermarket, while the centres in Barnsbury and Westfield consisted of small shopping parades.

Kingfield village centre provides an important focus for the local community and includes a range of retailing, leisure and community uses, business uses and a fairly large residential population. Its development is essentially linear with buildings of mixed character, mainly of domestic scale and post war in origin. The centre could benefit from small scale new development as a result of its proximity to the town centre.

Westfield village centre is a very localised small centre. Westfield alters from a traditional suburban character in the north to a semi-rural appearance in the south. The main focus of the centre is the purpose built shopping parade. The centre is characterised by open space, particularly common land, trees and other greenery. There is limited scope for future development.

In addition, Barnsbury has a small shopping parade.

Within these centres, the Local Plan aims to:

  • only allow the change of use of shops from retail to other uses appropriate to the area (financial services and restaurants/takeaways) where it has been clearly demonstrated that there is no market for the shop in its current use (SHP1, SHP6)

Additionally, in the village centres of Kingfield and Westfield, the Local Plan aims to:

  • seek environmental improvements to the village centres and access to them on foot and cycle as part of any new development, in keeping with the Council's own programme of improvements which have included repaving, landscaping and new signs (VCN3, VCN4)
  • encourage the regeneration of the village centre and diversify its economic role by permitting new developments for uses such as small offices, shops, leisure and community facilities (SHP3, EMP2, REC5, CUS1, VCN2)

Residential areas

The housing in the area is mainly of a medium density. Much of the housing was built in the 1930's and 1950's. Opportunities to build more housing within the built-up area are limited, but in some cases house builders may seek to redevelop sites to provide more houses. In these cases the Local Plan policies aim to:

  • allow the construction of new housing in the urban area, provided the development reflects the character of the area (HSG18)

New housing sites

A 'reserve housing site' is situated in Westfield, at Moor Lane and can accommodate around 200 dwellings. The site is currently agricultural small holdings. This site will only be released after April 2001 and then only if it is necessary to meet the housing requirements of the Surrey Structure Plan 1994. At present (April 2000), the Council does not expect that this land will need to be built on for several years. The Local Plan will:

  • release part or all of the reserve housing land at Moor Lane for housing development only if necessary after 2001 (HSG5)

Community Facilities

There is a wide range of community facilities serving the local area, including primary schools, churches and community centres. The area is also home to Woking College and St. John the Baptist School, which cater for students from across the Borough. A range of community buildings in Westfield Avenue provide a home for a number of voluntary organisations serving the whole Borough.

Local Plan policies will:

  • resist the loss of community facilities unless there is no longer a need for the facility or where adequate alternative provision is made (CUS2)

Industrial and office development

The area contains little industrial development and only a small amount of office development. It is not seen as a suitable place for major industrial or office growth. Where there are existing employment sites, the Local Plan will:

  • allow the redevelopment of existing employment sites in the area to provide suitable modern business accommodation. These should be broadly similar in scale to the existing buildings (EMP3)
  • not permit the loss of any existing sites unless the current business activity harms the area. Where a less harmful employment activity is unsuitable, a housing redevelopment will be permitted (EMP7)

Recreation and open space including Hoe Valley and Woking Park

Woking Park is an important recreational resource in the area, providing sports facilities for the whole Borough at the Pool in the Park and the Leisure Centre. The Park also makes an important contribution to the character of the area.

Across Kingfield Road from Woking Park there is a further group of major leisure facilities - Woking Football Club, the Chris Lane Family Leisure Club, Woking Gym Club and Woking Snooker Club. These facilities are used by people from across the Borough and beyond. Woking Football Club in particular attracts substantial numbers of visitors on match days. In addition to these significant formal sporting facilities, there is a range of other recreational sites both formal and informal within this area which provide an important facility for local people. These include Kingfield Green, Kingfield Pond and Westfield Common. Local Plan policies aim to:

  • resist the loss of both formal and informal recreational space (REC3, REC4)
  • ensure that improvements and/or enhancements to the recreational facilities in the area including any further development at Woking Football Club, do not have an adverse impact on the environment (and respect the quality of the landscape) (REC5 and REC7)
  • protect the important areas designated as Urban Open Spaces at Woking Park, Westfield Common and Kingfield Green from development because of their contribution to the character and appearance of the area (BE7)

Natural environment

The Hoe Stream flows through the west and north of the area where it provides an environmental and recreational resource for the area. The Hoe Stream together with the Hoe Valley Linear Park are designated as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) to protect the regionally important watercourse, woodland and meadows. There are a number of other SNCIs in the area including the River Wey which flows along the eastern edge of the area, Mill Moor and Westfield Common. These are important grassland, wetland and woodland habitat sites. Parts of the area close to the River Wey and Hoe Stream lie within the flood plain.

Both the Hoe Valley and River Wey are considered by the Council to be important landscape features which should be protected.

  • protect the regionally important SNCI at Mill Moor, Westfield Common, the Hoe Valley Linear Park and the courses of the River Wey and Hoe Stream from development which harms its nature conservation value (NE2)
  • ensure that any development in the valleys of the River Wey and Hoe Stream both respects the quality of the landscape (NE6) and does not lead to an increased risk of flooding (NE11). Development will not normally be permitted in the flood plain

Adjacent to the Hoe Valley, in Westfield Avenue is Westfield Tip, a former Council Highways tip which is now unused. The tip is mostly within the defined urban area, but the Local Plan makes no specific proposals for use or development of the site.

The Green Belt

Land along the Hoe Stream and south east of the built up area is within the Green Belt. It includes agricultural land as well as Woking College and two schools. The Local Plan aims to:

  • protect the Green Belt area from new building for purposes other than agriculture and outdoor recreation in order to protect its open character (GRB1). Extensions to schools and colleges within the Green Belt will be permitted where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated and should minimise harm to the open character of the Green Belt

Built heritage and conservation

Within the area there are a number of buildings which are either statutory Listed or Locally Listed Buildings because of their architectural or historical interest. These include The Old Cricketers, Westfield Common, Elmbridge Cottage, Kingfield Road and a 16th century barn at Moor Lane Farm, Moor Lane. There are additionally, a number of sites where there may be archaeological remains. The Local Plan will:

  • ensure that development does not harm the character or setting of Listed and Locally Listed buildings in the area (BE10 - BE14)
  • require archaeological assessments in Areas of High Archaeological Potential as part of a development proposal (BE16)

Major Roads

Several major routes pass through the area including the A247 (Kingfield Road) and B382 (Westfield Road), providing good road connections with other areas of the Borough and beyond. These are important through routes which consequently suffer from heavy traffic, particularly at peak times. As well as being inconvenient for road users, this can damage the quality of the environment in the area. To address this, the Local Plan:

  • supports the implementation of a route management study for the A247 by Surrey County Council, which will establish and examine the needs of all road users whilst taking account of environmental considerations (MV26)

Public Transport, Walking and Cycling

At the same time, Local Plan policies aim to support initiatives which reduce the demands on the road network by ensuring that alternatives such as public transport, walking and cycling are safe, convenient and accessible. At present, public transport accessibility in the area varies from good in the north to poor in the south further away from Woking town centre. Local Plan policies:

  • support proposals which lead to improvements in pedestrian and/or cycle facilities (MV17, MV18)
  • support infrastructure developments and priority measures which lead to improvements in the provision, accessibility and diversity of bus services together with their increased integration with other public transport modes (MV20, MV21)

Detailed proposals for the maintenance and improvement of roads, cycle and pedestrian routes and public transport are not part of the Local Plan. They are set out in the Surrey Local Transport Plan (Woking Area Implementation Programme).

Useful Contacts

For any other information, please contact the Council on 01483 768746, email wokbc@woking.gov.uk.