Effingham residents make voices heard over school redevelopment and new homes plan

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MORE than 150 people have already responded to a consultation on plans to build a new school and 295 homes in Effingham – with the majority opposing the potential development

By Dorking Advertiser  |  Posted: January 14, 2015

By Alexander Robertson alexander.robertson@essnmedia.co.uk

CONTROVERSIAL: The Howard of Effingham's current site in Lower Road

CONTROVERSIAL: The Howard of Effingham’s current site in Lower Road

Guildford Borough Council is currently accepting views on the joint venture proposed by the Howard of Effingham School and Berkeley Homes before it rules on the matter.

Since December 15, 151 replies have been received by the authority, with 118 opposing the plans, 30 showing their support and three remaining neutral.

Writing to the council in opposition, Ruth Ward-Miller said: “This application is absolutely ridiculous.

“The school should be expanded on the current site and I do not believe it is necessary to build the additional housing in this area. It is a conservation area and the infrastructure will not be able to cope.

“The roads are already very congested and become gridlocked if there is a problem with the M25.

“Lower Road certainly couldn’t cope and I am sure there would be numerous accidents and possible fatalities if the application is granted.”

If it goes ahead, the proposal would see the school’s existing facility demolished and relocated to Effingham Lodge Farm, an 80-acre green-belt site on the opposite side of Lower Road.

The proposal would be funded by the development of 295 homes split between the two sites and the three-acre Browns Field, while increasing the student capacity from 1,600 to 2,000.

During a meeting at the King George V Hall last month, eight of the nine Effingham parish councillors voted to oppose the plans, with one abstention due to a conflict of interest.

Fiona Wilson is one of 30 people to have written in support of the application. She wrote: “I don’t believe this proposal has to be the doomsday scenario for Effingham that some suggest – it’s full of many positives.

“The school campus is entirely not fit for purpose.

“This can in fact very simply be seen from the road, the buildings are ugly, poorly designed and some of the buildings are temporary in nature.

“This proposal is an enterprising and intelligent way to facilitate the building of a new school, new sports facilities and new housing for the community at no cost to the taxpayer.”

Guildford Borough Council is accepting public representations on the plans until January 16. Visit www.guildford.gov.uk

 

Editor’s Note:

To date more than 200 people have responded to GBC about this application