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Three Woking area planning applications, bitterly fought by residents, are attracting attention at the moment. At Goldsworth Park, locals face the loss of all their shops apart from Waitrose, while the shopping centre is redeveloped. At St Johns Lye, residents are fighting the loss of open space if a 10,000 sq ft building on Green Belt land goes ahead. And in West Byfleet, homeowners are oppposing proposals to build on back-garden land next to the Basingstoke canal conservation area, pictured above, which they say will threaten wildlife and destroy the character of the area.

Goldsworth Park: The post office, pharmacy and hairdressers are among shops under threat from the proposed development  off Denton Way. Numbers four to eight include Martin’s newsagents — which has the post office inside — Barbary’s hairdressers, Beacon House dry cleaners, a pharmacy and a Woking Hospice charity shop. The applicants are global investors, Henderson UK Shop Fund. Petitions set up in Martin’s newsagents and the post office have been signed by hundeds of people. Local councillors say they wre not informed in advance about the proposals, which can be viewed at the Woking Borough Council offices and on the council website. Anyone wishing to object has to do so by October 31. The council has said it will encourage Henderson UK Shop Fund to hold a public consultation on the issue.

St Johns Lye: Council plans to replace the current Memorial Hall with a building capable of providing facilities for a wide range of community groups, as well as restoring outdoor sports facilities on the common, have been opposed by hundreds who say the new hall would be too big, and who also object to the proposed contruction of four town houses on the old hall site. The council says a public consultation earlier this year showed a significant majority of people in favour of the scheme. The St Johns Village Society is against building on the Lye, and wants the open space protected.

West Byfleet: Residents in Woodlands Avenue are contesting plans to build five three-bed homes and four maisonettes in back gardens along the street near the railway station on the principle that it would destroy the character of the area. For good measure, they also point out that the new housing would create additional traffic problems, exacerbate existing flooding troubles, damage the adjoining Basingstoke Canal conservation area and the wildlife in the woods, involve the removal of a number of mature trees, and be dangerously close to electricity pylons. Woking’s MP, Humfrey Malins, is planning to visit the area on Saturday November 8 and protesters hope fellow residents will turn out in big numbers on that date to emphasise their objections.

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