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Sheeer House

Not everything about the 1960s was fab. In 1968 an office block was erected in West Byfleet called Sheer House, above, built in the brutalist style of the day – think London’s South Bank without the culture or the river –  and it’s still there today, dominating an otherwise lively village. Now developers want to tart it up a bit, build flats on the top of it, with more on the adjoining block of shops – a total of 53 flats – which would substantially raise West Byfleet’s building eyeline, without providing any additional car parking.  More than 250 people turned for a public meeting at St John’s church in West Byfleet recently to hear more about the plans. Local councillor Richard Wilson has made no secret of the fact that he believes the best future for West Byfleet would be to knock Sheer House down and start all over again.

Sheer house 2

Woking’s MP Jonathan Lord also indicated that he backed the concerns of villagers expressed at the meeting called by Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford Residents’ Association. It is true that the developers are offering as part of the deal an attractive new public open space, opening up the dark, cold and windy existing corner that currently shivers in the shadow of Sheer House. But West Byfleet is already beset by traffic problems, largely due to the popularity of Waitrose and the inadequate size of its car park, above.  (If only residents had voted for Budgens instead, all those years ago, we wouldn’t have these problems!). Oh, and the developers plan to remove the public toilets, too. The deadline for objections to the plan by Cube Real Estate is tomorrow, March 26.

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