The school has 100.4% of the required building space for a school of its size and 106% of playing fields. It meets all the demand for 1st preference places it receives (has done for 5 years) This part of Surrey does not need additional spaces. The infrastructure (Water, sewage, roads and Public Transport) can not cope without massive upheaval (See Transport response from SCC and Thames Water response) It will join Little Bookham and Effingham together and require 6 years non stop building on all access roads to Effingham. To be fair to everyone involved given the needs of the school are not exceptional why should the people living in the village be put though such an unprecedented level of upheaval. If the school had bona fide reasons to enlarge, or was in dire need it would receive funding from Surrey County Council. There are two new schools being built (one in Cobham, one between send and Woking, both fully funded by SCC and a number of upgrades and extensions planned elsewhere. It’s not the school we in Effingham are objecting to it is the 300 houses and upheaval required to fund it because SCC won’t give the money …..because they don’t think it necessary. There is no question the school could be refurbished on a rolling basis – it would probably take less time than the 6 years of hell the village will face. It’s all about the money.
I have little to no connection with Effingham as I live in East Horsley. But I did attend the Parish Council meeting on Tuesday.
Before everyone dives in with their opinions, I would suggest visiting the Effingham Parish Council web site (http://www.effinghamparishcouncil.gov.uk/) and follow the ‘What’s New’ / ‘Here’ link to a pdf file of the excellent presentation of all available data regarding the proposed school and new housing.
But I do think there are two issues involved which for the benefit of highly paid directors getting a big bonus, are conveniently being linked. Those issues are, a replacement (it’s not new!) school and 300 houses.
But the Berkeley flyer is very misleading. One item listed states’ With capacity to expand the school….’ I am unsure what this implies, but there is a section on the current plan listed as ‘Open Pitch: Future Expansion for Primary School.’
It was pointed out at the Council meeting that a furute plan is to relocate the primary school to the Lodge Farm site, obviously opening up the present primary school site for further housing.
I have written to Berkeley Homes using the e-mail address given on the flyer, asking for claifiction about on-site, student parking, and what exactly ‘Contributions to local infrastructure and highways’ means. They are not falling over themselves to reply!
It’s really bizarre that people from Bookham and Fetcham think access to the Howard will improve with this school. It will not because Mole Valley / Elmbridge are investing in other school places that will support that area. Any additional capacity at The Howard will be to cover the shortfall out towards the fringes of Guildford and for the additional demand from the enabling development in Effingham. It may well be that Bookham end up less well served than previously because a shiny new school will be attractive to people in The Horsley’s (and bear in mind there are 1000 new homes are planned over that way) and they will have precedence.
The more houses they build the less access people from Bookham get…..It might be worth thinking about that because I have been in several meetings with Rhona Barnfield where she has steadfastly maintained that catchment area will not be extended. The places required are (she says) to meet needs of enabling development, children at the Duke of Kent and shortfalls East of Guildford.
The best hope for Bookham and Fetcham are a refurbished school with no competition from additional housing.
Presently Bookham residents come below Horsley residents,and always have. This does not and never will make sense. Undoubtedly the school DOES need more space for its pupils, but the expansion of the site should NOT extend the catchment area. If parents want their children to go to the Howard, then they should maybe give some serious thought as to where they live and why. These schools should be for local families only and the council should give some serious thought as to why they seem adement that they do and always seem to give in to parents outside of the so called ‘catchment’ area. If people choose to live in the Horsleys, Leatherhead etc, then they should understand and get into their heads that their children will go to their most local and closest school