Mount Hermon

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This Local Plan summary for Mount Hermon 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 Mount Hermon 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 Mount Hermon, 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 Mount Hermon

The Mount Hermon area edges the southern tip of Woking town centre. The area is mainly residential with a mix of housing types. Immediately to the south east of the town centre lies an area of high density housing, whilst the other areas contain low or medium density housing. The Green Belt area to the east includes both agricultural and recreational activities.

The focus of the Local Plan for the Mount Hermon 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. Only very limited types of building will be permitted in the Green Belt areas to the east.

The following includes a brief description of Mount Hermon and the relevant Local Plan polices.

Natural environment and landscape

There are a range of features within the area which are important for either their wildlife, ecological or landscape importance. The Pyrford Escarpment and the Hoe Stream are important landscape features which contribute to the character of the area. In addition, land alongside the Hoe Stream and Bourne River is within the flood plain.

Within the area are a number of regionally important wildlife sites which have been designated as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI). The Hoe Stream Fields, Pyrford Common, Roundbridge Farm and Hoe Stream were designated as SNCI to protect the important marsh, grassland, heathland and watercourse habitats. The Council has also designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR) at White Rose Lane to protect this important ecological site. Local Plan policies:

  • protect the regionally important SNCI from development which harms their nature conservation value (NE2)
  • protect the Pyrford Escarpment and adjacent rising ground from development which harms the quality of the landscape (NE7)
  • protect the White Rose Lane LNR from development which harms its nature conservation interest (NE2)
  • ensure that any development in the valley of the 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.

Green Belt

Land in the eastern part of the area is within the Green Belt and includes agricultural and recreational activities. The Local Plan:

  • protects the Green Belt areas from new building for purposes other than agriculture and outdoor recreation in order to protect its open character (GRB1)

Built heritage and conservation

The area has nine buildings which have been Listed for their architectural and historic interest including St Peter's Convent and Chapel and the Shah Jehan Mosque. The Mosque is considered to be one of the finest Listed Buildings within the Borough. There are other buildings which are also locally listed.

The Council has designated three Conservation Areas to protect the historic character of these areas. These are at the western end of Mount Hermon Road and York Road, the Hockering and around Ashwood Road/Heathside Road. The Local Plan aims to:

  • ensure that any development preserves the historic character of the Ashwood Road/Heathside Park Road, The Hockering and Mount Hermon Conservation Areas (BE9) (Note: these areas have also been designated as Areas of Special Residential Character - see below)
  • ensure that development does not harm the character or setting of Listed and Locally Listed buildings in the area (BE10 - BE14)

Residential areas

There is a wide range of housing within the area from flats to larger houses with gardens. The flats are concentrated in the area immediately south of the town centre along Guildford Road. This area has been defined as a High Density Residential Area where further developments of flats or other similar high density housing may be allowed.

The rest of the built-up area has mixed housing density. The south west and eastern parts include lower density housing with larger gardens. These areas have a special character which the Council has designated as Urban Areas of Special Residential Character (UASRC). The UASRC include early inter-war private housing estates which are characterised by substantial individually designed houses, many in the 'Arts and Crafts' style, set in generous gardens with mature landscape.

Opportunities to build more housing within the built up area are limited, particularly within areas with lower densities where any new development could be harmful to the special character. However, 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 built up area, provided the development reflects the character of the area (HSG18)
  • allow the development of small residential properties in the high density residential area south of the town centre provided they are appropriate in design and layout to the locality (HSG13)
  • ensure that any new housing within the Urban Areas of Special Residential Character does not detract from the very special character of the area which has low density, high quality housing (HSG20)
  • allow house extensions which reflect the style of the building and do not harm the character of the area (HSG23)

Industrial and office development

There is relatively little office or industrial development within the area. The Local Plan:

  • will not permit the loss of any existing employment sites unless the business activity affects local residents. In such cases, a less harmful employment activity or housing development will be permitted (EMP7)

Shopping

The retail park on Oriental Road sells a range of goods including DIY products, electrical appliances and car accessories, but there are no local centres providing food or other general provisions. However, the area is close to Woking town centre where a wide range of shops is available.

Recreation and open space including Woking Park

Woking Park provide sports facilities for the whole Borough at the Pool in the Park and the Leisure Centre. There are a number of other recreational sites in the area. The Local Plan seeks to further enhance recreational opportunities in the area with a footpath route. Local Plan policies:

  • protect the important areas designated as Urban Open Space at Woking Park, Prins Willem School, the Turnoak roundabout and land off Blackbridge Road from development, because of their contribution to the character and appearance of the area (BE7)
  • resist the loss of both formal and informal recreational space (REC3, REC4)
  • ensure that improvements to the recreational facilities in the area do not have an adverse impact on the environment (and respects the quality of the landscape) (REC5, REC7)
  • identify a footpath route along the Hoe Stream to enhance recreational opportunities (REC14)

Community facilities

There is a wide range of community facilities serving the local area including primary schools, churches, a mosque and halls. The Local Plan seeks to:

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

Major Roads

Several major routes pass through the area including the A320 (Egley Road) and A247 (Wych Hill Lane), providing good road connections with other areas of the Borough and beyond. These are important through routes which 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. In addition, since the area is close to the town centre there is considerable demand for on-street parking which is controlled through parking restrictions. The Local Plan:

  • supports the implementation of route management studies for the A320 and 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

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. Public transport accessibility in the area is very good since much of the area is within walking distance of the town centre and station. However accessibility in those areas further from the town centre, particularly in the east of the area is poor. 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 bus services together with increased links with other types of public transport (MV20, MV21)

Detailed proposals for maintenance and improvement of roads, cycle and pedestrian routes and public transport are not part of the Local Plan. These 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.