The £44 million scheme, delivered by Thameswey Development Ltd on behalf of Woking Borough Council, and its partner in the flood defence work, the Environment Agency, has significantly reduced the flood risk in the area, provided state-of-the-art community facilities and extensive public open space and new wildlife habitats.
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, notably Elm Bridge. We have relocated nine community groups, formerly housed in inadequate temporary accommodation, into two new state-of-the-art community buildings that have been designed around their needs. We have also made new land available for development to accommodate over 150 new homes.
"All of this would not have been able to happen without full cross-party support, particularly through the Councillors' Oversight Panel under the chairmanship of Cllr Richard Sharp.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team that has made this vision a reality: the contractors, VolkerFitzpatrick and Turner & Townsend, the Environment Agency for their support, Officers who have run the scheme and, finally, local residents for their patience and understanding during construction works.
"This project is good for residents, good for the economic vitality of the Borough, and makes me proud of what we can achieve in Woking."
Ian Tomes, Environment Agency Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, added: "The scheme is an excellent example of partnership working between the Environment Agency and Woking Borough Council over many years. The project has delivered a multitude of benefits including a significant reduction in flood risk for 200 properties in the town. This is a ground breaking scheme that the town should be proud of and one that the Environment Agency is delighted to have supported through the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee."
Deon Scholtz, Construction Manager at VolkerFitzpatrick, said: "A scheme of this nature was always going to be a significant construction challenge, but by working as a partnership all those involved have been able to react, adapt and overcome any issues arising throughout the duration of the project. The Hoe Valley project has also clearly demonstrated the benefits of collaborative working and is projected to finish under budget and ahead of time."
The Hoe Valley regeneration project in Woking, Surrey has scored exceptionally well under the CEEQUAL assessment and awards...