Woking Community Stadium Regeneration
Questions and Answers
Are the new plans available to residents? Where?
Yes. You can view the drawings on the Council’s web site – please search under the following references: PLAN/2019/1176 (Kingfield Rd) and PLAN/2019/1177 (Egley Rd)
What changes have been made in the new plans in response to public feedback?
We have made many changes but the key ones to note include a new medical centre with a capacity of 14,400 patients. We have also moved the parking to the basement and increased it from 500 to 855 spaces in line with council policy. Every space will have an electric charging point. There will be no car movement other than on match days around the new stadium. We have also reduced the heights of some of the blocks and introduced a concierge building to take deliveries and manage visitors.
What is the impact of the development on the character (the look and feel) of the neighbourhood?
We do not think the existing buildings add to the look and feel of the neighbourhood. Many are in disrepair and need replacing. The existing football ground is run down, turns its back on neighbouring streets and needs regenerating. We believe our scheme, when complete, will make the area a much nicer place to live with a line of residential buildings repairing the street frontage.
What are the benefits of this proposal to local residents?
A new medical centre, localised shopping to include a convenience store and a coffee shop. And, of course, a new sustainable football stadium for Woking FC that will be able to be used for other activities during the week.
How will the local infrastructure cope with residents of over 1000 more homes?
Our traffic engineers have looked at this very closely. When you factor in that with David Lloyd, the Gym and the Snooker Hall all moving, the actual increase of additional traffic will be minimal. We are also providing folding cycles for every flat to encourage residents to leave their cars at home.
Can you confirm if any of the local primary and secondary schools can accommodate the influx of children that will be housed in the new development?
We will be making a large contribution to the Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). This CIL is money is paid to Woking Borough Council to improve the local facilities such as school places and other infrastructure to off-set the impact of the development. The medical centre will provide a net increase in places on the GP register.
It looks like the only entrance and exit to the new development is on Westfield Avenue. If so, can you confirm how the infrastructure is being adjusted to accommodate an increase of at least 1,100 more cars on Westfield avenue.
There are two entrances to the car park. Our traffic engineers have concluded that as David Lloyd, the Gym and the Snooker Hall are all moving, the actual increase of additional traffic will be minimal. Overall there will be a minimal uplift in daily car usage and only parking on site for about 800 cars.
What experience has the developer with building a stadium or project of this size?
Goldev has a wealth of relevant experience. This has included the relocation of Bishops Stortford, Maldon and East Ham Football Clubs and we will be employing specialist construction companies that have the relevant experience to build the entire scheme
Why is the council providing a £250m facility?
This was a result of discussions with the Council regarding the provision of a residential scheme with nominal ground rents. To make up the financial shortfall it was agreed this loan facility would bridge the gap.
Who ‘owns’ the development once finished?
WBC will continue to own the freehold of the land and WFC will be granted a 250 lease at £1 pa.
If this is approved, will it make the club financially sustainable?
Yes, the Financial Plan submitted as part of the Planning application indicates that the club will operate in the black as a result of the retail / commercial income generated from the Medical centre and other retail units as well as increased non-match day use of the new facilities.
The club has the average of 2,000 attendees per game. Why do you want to build the stadium for 9,000 attendees?
This is the opportunity to provide Woking with a stadium fit for the next 100 years. The Stadium is therefore designed with League 1 in mind and at this level, the forecasts are for average attendances of 4,500-5000 with a number of games per annum reaching the 9,000 capacity.
A capacity of just over 9,000 is disappointing. We should aim higher and look to build a stadium capable of holding or being further developed to at least 15000 so we could potentially progress to the Championship in the future. Has this been considered?
Yes it has, but the Championship brings a whole raft of additional issues – primarily that the Stadium would need to be capable of being converted to all-seated. Whilst the current design allows this, the capacity would drop and the land take to expand to enable a 15,000 all seat stadium would have been so massive as to be wholly unviable on this particular site even before issues such as the additional car parking and traffic management are considered.
Will the club be able to afford full-time players once this development is completed?
When this development is complete, Woking FC will be debt free, will be playing in a new stadium and be operating at better than break even at National League level. We believe that the club will then be in a fantastic position to attract further investment to boost the playing budget to enable the club to return to full-time status.
What effect moving the club’s home games for 2 or 3 seasons (during build) will have on the team’s performance?
The playing budget will not be affected during any transition period as the developer is underwriting the additional costs and loss of revenue that will be incurred during this period. Whilst home attendances will inevitably fall, there is no logical reason why performances on the field should suffer.
Where will the team play during the build?
This will be announced in the coming weeks once an agreement has been signed.
What safeguards are there to ensure the stadium gets built?
The planning permission will be secured by a legally binding agreement between the various parties including the Council. This will ensure the affordable housing within Block One (191 dwellings) is built first. The agreement will also state no more than 600 dwellings can be occupied until the stadium is complete. All the land acquisitions will have been competed before the works start and the project needs to be completed fully for the developer gets a return on the investment.
What are the parking arrangements for football fans? With the current attendance of approximately 2,000 people at home matches we already get lots of parking on side streets causing obstructions.
Currently you should not experience any real difference to the existing situation and current match-day parking arrangements will be maintained. However we believe that a match-day Controlled Parking Zone should be investigated and consulted upon which we would support.
What happens to match day parking if attendance increases to 9,000?
Attendances will only slightly increase if the club remains in the National League. If Woking FC is promoted to the league 2 or league 1 then the average attendance will obviously go up. If this happens then further arrangements will be made. These might include a park and ride facility.
What are the specific plans for traffic management on match days? Where are travelling fans going to park? What is the impact for residents and users of the leisure centre and swimming pool?
As noted above.
What parking facilities will be available for staff and clients of all the businesses in the new stands?
We have provided some dedicated parking on the east side of the site for staff and businesses.
What parking facilities will be available for staff and patients of medical centre?
Some parking will be available behind the stadium to be shared with the other stadium uses and once we establish the doctors’ specific requirements, we will, if needed provide more parking either around the stadium or even under the North Stand
How will people with mobility issues be able to park close enough to access the medical centre/stadium/shops?
There will be a number of disabled spaces around the concierge centre for those with mobility issues.
I understand that an existing practice was interested in hiring the new medical centre at the stadium. How will that reduce waiting times, since they would just be relocating?
We are talking to local practitioners to gauge interest for expansion. The intention is for the new facility to provide additional capacity – not to re provide existing capacity. Discussions are now taking place and further news will be released as it becomes available.
Please can you clarify the medical centre facilities? Will it be NHS or Private?
This will be primarily for NHS services. However we are open to permitting some other supporting and specialist medical facilities.
If the medical centre was not inside a football stadium, it would reduce the cost and therefore the need for 1,000+ flats. Has this been considered?
The main reason the medical centre is contained in the stadium, is the football club needs the income to remain sustainable and viable for the future. If the medical centre was moved, a different rent paying use would still have to be provided with that income going to the club.
Why the CCG are not involved in any discussion about the new medical centre?
We have met with one practice who are very interested in coming on board to provide additional healthcare facilities and have no concerns whatsoever about being within the new stadium. If they feel they need more parking, we can provide it. We are also speaking to a second local practice who have expressed an interest in taking on the new accommodation to expand their patient numbers. Once we have reviewed who is in the best position to take this forward, we will be jointly speaking to the CCG.
The Woking Community Stadium project is being developed by Woking Football Club and experienced property developers GolDev Ltd. GolDev Woking Limited is a joint venture between GolDev Ltd and Dukelease. Woking Football Club Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales (Company number: 03329172). Registered office The Laithwaite Community Stadium, Kingfield, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9AA. GolDev Woking Limited is Registered in England and Wales (Company no. 11339840). Registered Office: 73 Cornhill, London, United Kingdom, EC3V 3QQ.