Today [Monday 3 October] two planning applications have been submitted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to propose temporary and permanent access road arrangements for the Downside Goods Yard in Woking Town Centre.
A temporary access road via York Road and Bradfield Close and a permanent access road via the existing access in Guildford Road are proposed.
Both planning applications have been submitted at the same time to ensure that residents, stakeholders and decision-makers can review both the temporary and permanent proposals together and with clarity and certainty for future plans.
The applications form part of the approved Victoria Arch widening scheme workstreams to be continued whilst the Council reviews the overarching project delivery options, costs and programming, as agreed at the Executive meeting on 14 July 2022.
The current access road
The existing access road serving the goods yard is located in Guildford Road on the south-side of the Victoria Arch bridge. As part of the Victoria Arch widening scheme, it is proposed to improve the outdated railway bridge and highway underneath and on both sides of the arch.
If the proposed scheme works are approved, the existing goods yard’s access road would close and a temporary alternative access road provided to ensure businesses based within the yard can maintain their commercial activities.
Planning application one: Temporary access road proposals
The temporary planning application proposes an access road via Bradfield Close, which is situated on the goods yard’s southern boundary. Subject to planning consent, the yard’s operational traffic would enter and exit the Downside Goods Yard from A320 Guildford Road, via York Road and Bradfield Close.
To minimise the impact of operational vehicles on the surrounding residential areas, a vehicle weight restriction is proposed for York Road (after the roundabout with Bradfield Close) and along the entire length of Montgomery Road and Mount Hermon Road, which runs parallel to York Road.
If approved, the temporary access road works and operations would include:
- A two-way ramped vehicular and pedestrian access into the goods yard from the northernmost end of Bradfield Close.
- The widening of the central section of Bradfield Close to allow a one-way traffic management system and HGV lorries to pass each other on the rest of the route.
- The widening of the highway and road surface improvements at the roundabout junction of York Road and Bradfield Close.
- Improvements to the pedestrian crossing facilities located along the northern side of York Road as the road passes Bradfield Close.
- A proposed 7.5 tonnes HGV lorry ban on Mount Hermon Road and York Road (to the west of Bradfield Close).
- Proposed on-street parking restrictions on York Road (between Bradfield Close and Guildford Road) to allow HGVs lorries to pass each other.
Planning application two: Permanent access road proposals
On completion of the Victoria Arch replacement bridge and associated highway works, the proposed temporary access would close and the existing access road permanently reinstated at its current location in Guildford Road.
Subject to planning consent, works to re-establish the permanent access road would include:
- The widening of the goods yard’s access road allowing separate entry and exit vehicle movements, the provision of a large central pedestrian refuge island within the access road and improved visibility.
- The lowering of the access road along the mid-section to allow a flatter, final approach to Guildford Road.
- New retaining structures on either side of the access road.
- A terraced maintenance access bay along the southern boundary of the access road, allowing level maintenance/service access to the existing commercial/residential development to the south.
How to review and comment on the planning applications
Before the applications are published on the planning register (‘Planning Portal’) and allocated application numbers, the Local Planning Authority must review and validate the applications; this is known as the validation period. This process ensures each application has been completed correctly and contains the required supporting documentation for public consultation and determination.
Once the planning applications are validated, members of the public and interested parties will be able to view and comment on the applications, including the associated surveys and assessments.
The Local Planning Authority will commence a formal 21-day public consultation period by:
- notifying nearby and affected residents, businesses and stakeholders
- advertising the applications in the public notice section of the Woking News and Mail newspaper
- publishing the public notices on this website