Planned protest ahead of Hoe Valley School decision

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 Protestors will voice their anger ahead of a decision on plans to build a new school in Woking tonight (Tuesday 20th October)

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The proposed site for Hoe Valley School on land off Egley Road would accommodate 840 pupils and leisure facilities for use by the school and public.

The plans, which have been recommended for approval by planning officers, will be heard by Woking Borough Council’s Planning Committee at 7pm.

If approved, the development would also include a five badminton court sports hall, fitness gym and studios, full athletics facility with eight lane running track, three Multi-Use Games Areas (MUGAs), three five-a-side 3G sports pitches, two grass pitches and shared car parking.

Mayford Village Society will represent objectors to the application at the committee meeting, but protestors are also expected to gather outside the Woking Borough Council’s offices.

Concerns have been raised about traffic and the fact it would be built on greenbelt land.

Former borough councillor Sandra Simpkin plans to join the protestors, she told Eagle Radio she is unhappy about the impact the school will have on traffic in the local area: “If you’ve got a running track and a 2,000 seater stadium, surely you’re going to have 2,000 people coming to the site wanting to park their cars; it’s going to cause absolute pandemonium in the area.

“When I was campaigning on the Egley Road last Thursday the traffic was backed up virtually down to the Bird in Hand pub without any work being done on the site.

“If you think the traffic is bad now, wait until a school is built here.”

Hoe Valley School plans

Speaking in July, Chair of Governor’s Lynne O’Reilly, insisted all those issues had been addressed: “We’ve worked quite hard with Surrey highways and some of the local community groups to do everything we can to make sure the school fits in with its environment and causes the minimum disruption as possible to the area.

“Obviously there’s a need for the school in that area.

“We’re very keen that most of our students if they can will walk or cycle or take public transport.

“We’ve always wanted the school to be a community school for local children.”

Woking Borough Council says any decision on the site will be subject to approval the Secretary of State and has encouraged protestors to use official channels to share their views.

A Woking Borough Council spokesperson, said: “Planning committees are public meetings, which anyone interested in the planning process has the right to attend.

“The way to make your voice heard at a meeting where a planning application is due to be determined is to register your views, in writing, during the consultation period.

“All representations, whether for or against, are collated and presented with the planning application for committee members to consider.

“In addition, Woking Borough Council has adopted a public speaking scheme to enable residents to orally express their objections at a planning committee meeting where an application provokes 10 or more individual objections.

“One representative is given three minutes to present the opposition’s case and the applicant has the same amount of time to respond.

“Tomorrow evening the Mayford Village Society is due to orally represent objectors to the Hoe Valley School application”.

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