Sheerwater demolition residents make plea to listen

Artist's impression of Sheerwater development Image copyright Woking Borough Council
Image caption Woking council said the Sheerwater estate was a priority for regeneration and change

Residents fighting the demolition of their homes as part of regeneration of the Sheerwater estate in Surrey claim they have not been consulted.

Woking council will hold a public meeting on Tuesday in response to a petition in June, when 478 residents asked it to look again at the plans.

The council said the meeting, with an independent chairman, was open to all.

Amanda Mahoney, from the Sheerwater Residents Committee, said people wanted to feel listened to.

She said residents wanted a new plan to be drawn up because not all the area marked in the current proposals needed demolishing.

'Among most deprived'

Ms Mahoney said the plans had caused "great distress on so many levels".

Very few people would come out of the scheme positively because home owners would be unable to afford to re-buy, and council tenants would face temporary accommodation and a possible 40% rent increase, she added.

The estate was originally built after World War Two, to house families that relocated from London.

The council has said existing properties in the regeneration area, which includes 598 properties, will need to be demolished under the scheme.

All affected residents had been offered one-to-one meetings, the council has said.

It said Woking was in the top 10% of least deprived areas in the country but Sheerwater came within the 14% most deprived areas which made it a priority for change, and with investment it could become "a more vibrant community".

The authority said regeneration would bring new housing for current and future residents, with a retail centre, leisure centre, sports facilities, park, public square, community facilities and better transport links.

The council said it would comment further after the meeting.

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