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Is it my imagination, or do buildings go up more quickly these days? They’re well on the way with WWF’s new UK headquarters at Woking’s Brewery Road. You can see the actual building taking shape behind the artist’s impression, above.

Altura new

Meanwhile, not far away, casual passersby like me might have been forgiven for thinking that, after a four-year wait, work had finally started on the Altura tower block. Alas, no. The building, right,  currently undergoing rapid construction will be a Premier Inn (see comments).  It doesn’t seem to leave too much room for the Altura project, which is now described online as a 15-storey block, suggesting a scaling down from the original plan for an 18-storey, three-tower block envisaged back in September 2008.  Altura will be situated close to the site of another huge future development for Woking, Bandstand Square, which will include a public plaza, a big new M&S, and a hotel. But it’s not all boomtown Woking. There are depressingly large numbers of empty shops post-Christmas in the Wolsey Place shopping centre, which the council bought for £68m, incurring more debt, in 2010, arguing at the time that it was a good investment.

[This blog has been amended in the light of subsequent information, see comments]


  1. The new tower is not Altura; it is a ten storey Premier Inn that is being built on a neighbouring site by the same developer.

    • Mea culpa, Dave? Admittedly the block going up does not look particularly “landmark” or “spectacular”, as the developers still promise for Altura. As you say, it looks more like a Premier Inn, in fact.

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