Teams began knocking down the first old residential properties with the demolition of number 1 Devonshire Avenue as the multi-million pound development of the new Canalside community entered another exciting phase.
Work to start the removal of the 1950s homes commences the first phase of the residential part of the regeneration delivering 92 new homes and follows diggers breaking ground at Bishop David Brown School in July to begin building a state-of-the-art leisure centre.
The long-awaited demolition work on the post-war estate is the next significant step on a journey that began in 2013 when Woking Borough Council gave the go-ahead for the redevelopment project. Revised plans were approved in April this year.
More than 1,000 energy-efficient homes, from one-bed apartments to five-bedroom houses will be built around landscaped gardens or parkland, featuring habitats that encourage wildlife and pioneering water management systems to harness and use rainfall.
The buildings will be a mixture of houses and low-rise apartments in five distinct neighbourhoods – with around half being affordable. They will cater for people of all ages and include homes for the elderly, people with disabilities and sharers.
Cyclists and pedestrians will be given priority on routes to community buildings in keeping with developer ThamesWey’s mission to build sustainable spaces promoting health and wellbeing for people living and working in a modern, thriving neighbourhood.
The development, which aims to create a new identity for a diverse population, will include a hub providing shops, a doctors’ surgery, nursery and community centre.
Work at the 74-acre (30 hectare) site will be staggered to keep disruption to a minimum.
Mark Rolt, ThamesWey’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We’re very pleased to see the next stage of the development of Canalside under way and are looking forward to watching it grow.
“The work will balance the need for new homes with the responsibility to care for our environment.”