Press Release – 11th April 2019
WEST BYFLEET RECREATION GROUND TO BECOME “AN ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE”
The Recreation Ground was given to the community over 100 years ago by the Stoop family who lived at West Hall and the Charrington family who lived at Broadoaks. It is owned by a charity of which Woking Borough Council have become the sole Trustee. They manage it on behalf of the community.
The Recreation Ground is well used and loved by our local residents. The Neighbourhood Forum protected it as “Local Green Space” in its Plan.
Two years ago a pub operator announced plans to apply to build a pub/restaurant in the Recreation Ground and that it had entered into a contract with Woking Borough Council to allow it to do so.
No local residents were consulted about this beforehand. Since then no planning application has been made. The Forum has made repeated attempts to ask the developer to withdraw with no response.
In order to further protect the Recreation Ground it is possible to have it designated as an “Asset of Community Value”
The Forum has today applied for this, on behalf of the community, to Woking Borough Council.
We are delighted that the Children’s Play Area is finally being upgraded.
However, it is not satisfactory for further improvements to the Recreation Ground to be held up whilst the threat of the loss of space for a pub is hanging over the community.
Many good suggestions have been made by local residents for more improvements. The community has the resources to fund some of these ideas.
In a recent speech, Baroness Stowell, Chair of the Charity Commission said:-
“Being a charity is how you meet its aims and how you behave and what the public want is for charities to show that they understand these expectations. For charities to show that they are the custodians of something precious”
We wholeheartedly agree with those sentiments. We also expect Woking Borough Council as both Local Authority and sole Trustee of the charity entrusted with stewardship of the Recreation Ground for the benefit of the community to support our application.
The process will take eight weeks.
The committee, West Byfleet Neighbourhood Forum