In March 2012, the Hoe Valley Scheme was officially opened to the public, marking the completion of one of Woking’s biggest civil construction projects for a generation, providing new community facilities and flood protection.
The £44 million scheme was delivered by ThamesWey Developments on behalf of Woking Borough Council, and its partner in the flood defence work, the Environment Agency. The Scheme was ThamesWey Developments first heavy civil engineering project and included delivery of new flood defences to protect over 198 homes; land remediation; highways improvement including commissioning a new bridge; new state-of-the-art community facilities; extensive public open space; and new wildlife habitats. The scheme was delivered with VolkerFitzpatrick’s Civils and Building divisions and received a CEEQUAL “Excellent Whole Project Award”.
Key facts and figures
- Over 320,000 man hours went into constructing the Hoe Valley Scheme.
- Over 4km of reinforced concrete walls and earth embankments have removed almost 200 residential properties from the flood plain and protected the gardens of a further 60 properties, while earth bunds protect Westfield School from flooding.
- Over 12 acres of contaminated land, or approximately 220,000 tonnes of soil has been excavated from a waste tip, from former remediated to remove glass, plastics and other contaminants, and replaced to form a new park and a housing development site for 150 new homes.
- A new state-of-the-art community building costing £5 million provides a permanent home for nine local community groups: including local Scouts, Guides, Cadet Corps and sports clubs.
- Highway improvements provided improved traffic flow and access to community facilities.
Specifically adapted to suit the needs of each community group, the purpose built, highly energy efficient building benefits from:
- A low maintenance ‘living’ roof, providing a habitat for local wildlife.
- Roof-lights, sun-pipes and light-wells that serve to bring natural light into the building.
- Power and heat provided by ThamesWey’s CHP network.
In addition, Woking Sea Cadets have been re-housed in a purpose-built building alongside Goldsworth Park Lake, featuring meeting rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, office areas and a special boat yard area at the back of the building.
The Hoe Valley Community Building has been awarded a ‘Very Good’ standard from BREEAM, the environmental rating system for new buildings, and has also achieved:
- The creation of a new landscaped country park designed to promote mixed ecology and encourage wildlife biodiversity, featuring two new play parks, footpaths and cycleways to increase accessibility to all areas of the park.
- A programme of habitat reinstatement to encourage wildlife back to the Hoe Valley through the creation of ponds, meadowlands, bat boxes and habitats for water voles and Great Crested Newts.
- The replanting of almost 1,000 saplings.
Speaking at the official opening, Cllr John Kingsbury, Leader of Woking Borough Council, said: “The Hoe Valley Scheme is the realisation of a 20-year vision by the Council to regenerate the Hoe Valley and significantly reduce the risk of flooding that has blighted the area for years. Under budget and on time, the scheme has transformed and revitalised an area of the Borough that was once a domestic waste site, into an area for people to enjoy for generations to come.
“The scheme has allowed us to make necessary and important improvements to the highway infrastructure, rebuilding three highway bridges and two pedestrian/ cycle bridges across the Hoe Stream. We have relocated nine community groups into two new state-of-the-art community buildings that have been designed around their needs and made new land available for development to accommodate over 150 new homes for sale.”