McLaren has said it will ‘look closely’ at a recommendation to build new homes opposite its Woking HQ

Woking councillors will debate whether a development site in the green belt, nicknamed the McLaren New Town, should to be put to public consultation.

After a council report recommended ditching plans to build on sites in Pyrford, Hook Heath, Mayford and Byfleet, land opposite McLaren Technology Centre has been put forward to fill the gap.

The land could be considered for development between 2027 and 2040.

Woking’s Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Will Forster, said: “I think residents in Woking and across Surrey will be shocked to hear of the brand new suggestion of a ‘McLaren New Town’.

“A development here would completely undermine the green belt, damage Horsell Common and cause even worse traffic congestion on the key road between Chertsey and Woking.”

In a briefing note, Cllr Ashley Bowes, the council’s portfolio holder for planning services, said the site near McLaren, which encompasses New Zealand Golf Club, was “well contained by defensible boundaries”.

The land includes Woking Community Recycling Centre, which will remain where it is.

With the Bourne Stream to the north and the A320 to the east, he said any risk of “urban sprawl” would be “well contained”.

“The Working Group took into account that the site did not benefit from a local or national landscape designation, unlike the sites within Hook Heath and Pyrford,” Cllr Bowes said.

The council had granted planning permission to McLaren to expand onto part of the site, although it has since been revoked in agreement with the supercar manufacturer.

Sustainability boost

A spokesperson for McLaren said: “As the demand for McLaren’s expertise and products continues to grow around the world, it was vital that we have already secured planning permission to expand and, ultimately, provide more jobs in the local economy.

“We will look closely at the latest recommendation and assess how it may affect us but as ever we remain dedicated to working with a range of groups to reduce our environmental impact and to boost the sustainability of our operations.”

An area which has not escaped potentially being pulled out of the green belt, following the new report, is land on Egley Road in Mayford, where a council-funded leisure centre is being constructed to stand next to a new site for Hoe Valley School.

Source – Get Surrey