The £250 million transformation of Woking town centre has taken a giant step forward with Willmott Dixon Developments joining forces with Carisbrooke and Woking Borough Council for the regeneration of Woking Gateway.

Carisbrooke signed the development agreement with Woking Borough Council in June 2009 to redevelop 5.7 acres of the town centre adjacent to the mainline train station with a mix of residential, leisure, commercial and retail space. This will provide over 500,000 square feet of floor space.

By joining the agreement as development partner, Willmott Dixon will bring significant resource as developer and contractor to work alongside Carisbrooke in delivering the large-scale project.

Andrew Telfer, chief executive officer of Willmott Dixon’s regeneration business, says, “We are delighted to be joining Carisbrooke and Woking Borough Council as a major partner to transform the town. Woking Gateway has all the essential ingredients to make the project an outstanding success; complementary partners with the combined skill sets to prepare and realise a great design the people of Woking can be proud of, backed by an extremely supportive and visionary Council team.”

Talking about how this agreement signals the company’s long-term ambition, Andrew says, “Willmott Dixon Developments has announced its strategic intent to secure further mixed-use developments.”

Willmott Dixon and Carisbrooke will now work with Woking Borough Council to develop the original vision into an agreed master plan that can be submitted for planning permission. As the country’s most sustainable companies according to the 2010 Sunday Times Green Companies list, Willmott Dixon will ensure low carbon, sustainable buildings are at the centre of design thinking.

Andrew Telfer continues, “In keeping with Woking’s sustainable credentials as a net exporter of energy, we will make sure low carbon is part of that planning process.”

Neil Young, Carisbrooke’s director, says, “Teaming up with a large and committed company like Willmott Dixon is great news for Woking Gateway and we hope to finalise the master plan and achieve planning permission within two years. Every step of this process will involve close consultation with the council and community before going for planning, to ensure we reach a consensus on the future of the town centre.”

Diane Spencer, Business Manager for Asset Management for Woking Borough Council said, “We welcome the positive step Carisbrooke has taken and very much look forward to working with them and their partners Willmott Dixon in order to transform this part of the town, regenerating it into a significant mix of residential, leisure, commercial and retail space.”

The Woking Gateway project site runs from Albion House, which Carisbrooke already own, in the east to Cawsey Way in the west, including the High Street to the south and Commercial Way to the North. It was Carisbrooke’s purchase of Albion House that led it to approach the council in 2008 to integrate its redevelopment within a wider master plan for the town centre, giving a holistic approach for the entire development.