Sheerwater demolition residents challenge councillors

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 angry at the proposed demolition of their homes as part of the regeneration of an estate have challenged councillors about the plans.

More than 300 people from the Sheerwater estate in Surrey attended a public meeting chaired by Woking Borough Council on Tuesday evening.

Amanda Mahoney, of the Sheerwater Residents Committee, said people were still "looking for answers".

Councillor David Bittleston said the consultation process was ongoing.

Residents claim they have not been consulted about the plans, which would see homes demolished and new ones built in their place.

Green space

Ms Mahoney said they had caused "great distress on so many levels", with many home owners unable to afford to re-buy, and council tenants facing temporary accommodation and a possible 40% rent increase.

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

Mr Bittleston said: "Housing has moved on, and here's an opportunity to create something really, really nice."

He explained the redevelopment would be phased over seven years.

Houses would initially be built on an area of green space, with people moved into them before the old ones were knocked down.

The green space would then be replaced, as required by law, he said.

"There may be one or two people who have to be moved off the estate... we will give them priority in terms of returning.

"It's our intention to build a new community there with 300 new families moving in."

Mr Bittleston said owner-occupiers would get a good deal.

"The value of their house will be calculated by the independent Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors without blight, so therefore it will be a current value for the house," he said.

The new estate will boast a retail centre, leisure centre, sports facilities, park, public square, community facilities and better transport links.

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