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This Local Plan summary for Pyrford 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.

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 Pyrford, 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 Pyrford

Pyrford covers an area on the south eastern side of the Borough. The northern part is mainly residential, whilst the southern part includes more open areas and Pyrford Common. There is very little commercial development in the area, although there is a small parade of shops serving Pyrford on Coldharbour Road. Pyrford Village is a historic settlement located in the Green Belt on the northern slope of the Wey Valley.

The focus of the Local Plan for the Pyrford 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 village centre and existing residential areas, while important open spaces, nature conservation sites and historic buildings will be protected. Only very limited types of building will be permitted in the Green Belt areas.

The following includes a brief description of some elements of Pyrford and the relevant Local Plan polices.

Natural environment and landscape

There are a range of natural features within the area which are important for their ecological, wildlife or landscape importance. The Pyrford Escarpment and the valley containing the River Wey and Wey Navigation are important landscape features which contribute to the character of the area. Land alongside the River Wey is within the flood plain.

Pyrford Court has been included on the National Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest.

There are a number of regionally important wildlife sites which have been designated as Sites of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI). Pyrford Common, Roundbridge Farm, Grayshott Fields, Wheelers Meadow (South), Warren Farm Meadows, Pyrford Place Lake, the Hoe Stream and River Wey were designated as SNCI's to protect the important meadow, marsh, pasture, heathland and water course habitats. The Local Plan seeks to:

  • protect the regionally important SNCI's 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)
  • preserve the grounds of Pyrford Court as a historic park and garden (BE19)
  • ensure that any development in the valley of the River Wey and Wey Navigation 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.

Built heritage and conservation

There are seventeen buildings which have been Listed for their architectural and historic interest. This includes the Grade I Listed Church of St. Nicholas which is the highest grade nationally (there are only four in Woking). There are further buildings in the area which are locally Listed.

The Council has designated two Conservation Areas in Pyrford to protect the special architectural or historic interest of the area. These are at Pyrford village (around St. Nicholas church, Church Hill) and Aviary Road. There are also a number of sites within the area where there may be archaeological remains. The Local Plan seeks to:

  • ensure that any development preserves the historic character of the Pyrford village and Aviary Road Conservation Areas (BE9)
  • 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)

Green Belt

The open areas to the south and east of Pyrford are designated as Green Belt to prevent the built-up area expanding further. This area of countryside is used for agriculture, recreation and has isolated housing. Within the Green Belt, 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)
  • allows the conversion of existing buildings in the Green Belt to other uses (e.g. residential) which protect its open character (GRB3)

Residential areas

The area is mainly residential with mostly detached or semi-detached housing in both built-up and open areas. Part of Pyrford is designated as an Urban Area of Special Residential Character (UASRC). The detailed boundary is shown on the map in the centre pages. This includes Old Woking Road, Pyrford Road, Ridgway, Aviary Road and Pyrford Woods Road. The UASRC includes individually designed houses, many in the 'Arts and Crafts' style, set in generous gardens with mature landscape. A part of the UASRC has been designated as a Conservation Area.

New housing has recently been developed at St. Martins Mews, St. Nicholas Crescent and Rowley Close on the site of the former Rowley Bristow Hospital.

Opportunities to build more housing within the built-up area are limited, particularly in areas with fewer houses where any new development could be harmful to their special character. However, housebuilders may want to redevelop sites to provide more houses. In these cases, the Local Plan aims to:

  • allow the construction of new housing in the urban area, provided the development reflects the character of the area (HSG18)
  • ensure that any new housing within the Urban Area 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)
  • retain trees within development schemes which contribute to the character of the area (NE9)

Community facilities

There are a range of community facilities serving the local area including a primary school and community hall. Local Plan policies will:

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

Local centre

Pyrford's village centre at Marshall Parade, Coldharbour Road has a small parade of shops. It is a small centre with limited scope for expansion beyond that already approved. The Local Plan:

  • supports environmental improvements and access to the village centre. These will be in keeping with the Council's own programme of improvements which has included landscaping enhancements (VCN3, VCN4)
  • encourages small office, shop, leisure and community developments where these are of a suitable scale for the centre (SHP6, EMP2, REC5, CUS1, VCN2)
  • seeks to retain shops. The plan will only allow alternative uses of shops where there is no market for the shop. In such cases, changes to financial services or restaurants/takeaways may be permitted, as these will attract customers to the centre (SHP1, SHP6)

Industrial and office development

There is a limited number of industrial or commercial businesses in the area and the Local Plan does not identify any other parts of Pyrford for industrial or commercial development. The Local Plan:

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

Recreation and open space

There is a range of recreational opportunities available in the area including Pyrford Common and several golf courses. The Local Plan recognises that there may be opportunities to improve access to leisure in the area. The Local Plan:

  • resists the loss of formal and informal recreational space (REC3, REC4)
  • ensures that recreational development does not have an adverse impact on the environment (and respects the landscape quality) (REC5, REC7)
  • identifies a footpath route along the Hoe Stream to enhance recreational opportunities (REC14)
  • allows golf course proposals which do not harm the character of the area (REC9)

Major Roads

Several major routes pass through the area including the B367 (Upshott Lane/Church Hill) and B382 (Old Woking Road), providing 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. The Local Plan:

  • supports the implementation of route management studies for the B367 and B382 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 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