Work starts after £80m Woking housing contract signed
Work on hundreds of new homes has begun after an £80m contract between a council and developers was signed.
Some 371 houses and flats are to be built on land backing on to Westfield Common in Moor Lane, Woking.
People already living there have tried to stop the project for years due to concerns about noise and the impact on wildlife.
David Bittleston, borough councillor in charge of housing, said the plans were "very good for Woking".
Woking Borough Council signed the contract with developer Evolution this week.
Many of the properties, 80% of which will be houses, are earmarked as "affordable".
Bill Corney, chairman of the Westfield Common Residents' Association, said there was also concern about the impact a new development would have on a nature conservation area adjacent to the site.
Trevor Turner, who farms in the area, added: "When this comes, they'll just say 'goodbye Trevor'.
"And it will be a sad day if that ever does happen because I'm nearly 60, I've worked this land all my life.
"I think I know this ground better than anybody in this area because it's all been ploughed by me and my father."
Mr Bittleston said the development was good news for the area, despite the concerns.
He said: "We are making inroads, we are producing affordable homes, we're the only people in Surrey doing it on this sort of scale.
"It's fantastic - it's very, very good for Woking."
The first "affordable" homes are expected to be ready in early 2015.
The rest of the properties are due to be built over the following two years.