Effingham Eye: A Parish Council Meeting To Forget

Chris Dick writes in the Guildford Dragon about recent events in and around Effingham: including the latest parish council meeting, the closure of the coffee bar in The Street, the return of a historic book, some updates on EVRT, and the Rugby Club academy.

Read the full article here

3 thoughts on “Effingham Eye: A Parish Council Meeting To Forget”

  1. As Mr Dick says in his report on the ‘Village Hall Rebuild’ in this article, I did indeed defend the ‘early rushed plans’ for the KGV, and I continue to do so. Those plans led directly to the provision of £2.645 million for the KGV rebuild following the disappointing decision by the Secretary of State to allow the planning appeal by Berkeley Homes and the Howard of Effingham School.

    The plans and associated costings provided essential evidence to persuade both Berkeley Homes and the Planning Inspector that major improvements were needed to enable the KGV to cater for the 30% increase in the village population resulting from the 295 extra homes allowed at appeal. The Parish Council was given legal advice that without such evidence we could expect around £60,000 to be agreed by way of Section 106 funding, completely inadequate to help EVRT maintain facilities at the 50-year-old building.

    Parish councillors worked closely with EVRT to develop the KGV plans to a very tight timescale dictated by the imminent public inquiry. The parish council, as a Rule 6 party at the Inquiry with barrister representation, was able to insist that the Section 106 legal agreement signed during the Inquiry allows the KGV plans to be varied. This means that EVRT can now adjust the plans as they think best following a thorough consultation with KGV user groups including all Effingham residents.

    I don’t accept that these initial plans were not well-received, as Mr Dick asserts. As an EVRT trustee at the time as well as a parish councillor, I saw a very positive response from user groups and residents alike to the KGV rebuild plans. That is unsurprising, since those initial plans include extra rooms for general community use, full disabled access to the first floor, modern changing rooms and shower facilities designed to meet Sports England standards, and increased car-parking.

    The aim is to turn the ‘sporting half of the KGV building’ into a modern flexible space accessible to the whole community as well as the sports clubs. We are optimistic that with the help of grants to supplement the Section 106 funding, it may now be possible to replace the whole building to provide the excellent facilities Effingham residents want in the 21st century.

    I was disappointed by Mr Dick’s down-beat report of the KGV rebuild discussion at the parish council meeting. The fact is that this is a wonderful opportunity for the village, but also a huge challenge for the hard-working volunteer EVRT trustees. I felt these issues were thoroughly and seriously addressed by parish councillors and the EVRT Chairman.

    I know the parish council is seeking to provide any assistance the EVRT trustees may require, including if they wish helping with a full Effingham-wide consultation to find out what facilities residents would like to see in the KGV rebuild. Speaking as a borough and parish councillor, and no longer as an EVRT trustee, I will do everything in my power to assist the trustees in their task.

  2. A comment and letter from Liz Hogger this time – a bit of an overkill. Is it that next year is election year? In fact I don’t doubt there were some people very positive about the first designs for the new KGV but equally there were others who were not who spoke to the Guildford dragon reporter and he was reporting on what they said. A copy of these comments has now been passed on to the EVRT chairman, Councillor Hogger, Effingham Residents Association and the Parish Council. I ask is it wrong yet again to have a differing view? Is this the next crusade regarding Effingham. The first one was the neighbourhood plan and look how that ended up, shot to pieces with Effingham bearing the brunt with 295 new houses! A positive outcome of all these new houses is the section 106 monies. Let’s get a great new village facility but I would ask Councillor Hogger to stop attacking people who provide comments and views she doesn’t like! It’s tedious! Digest the comments and move on!

  3. I do not usually write comments on my articles but welcome what comments they might attract in the Guildford Dragon.

    But yesterday (20/8/18), in a limited circulation email, I provided Cllr Hogger, the EVRT trustees and others with a synopsis of the feedback I had received regarding the preliminary plans used in the Section 106 process. These plans referred to a rebuild of the sporting half of the KGV. And there is no good reason why I should not share this synopsis.

    They were not my own opinions – as I made clear in my email. They were the views of residents willing to speak to the Guildford Dragon.

    Their comments were balanced and supportive. And perhaps the architects might like to read them and take them on board for their next iteration:


    Ground floor:
    Whilst architecturally professional and modern the design was considered, by a competent expert, as unnecessarily costly.

    The ground floor plans for the sporting half were very good.

    The lack of anything new for the village hall and bar half of the building was not well received by those who offered their opinion. Probably do not need to comment further here – survey of residents could do that. And of course there would be others who would hold different views.


    • There was no baby changing/ disabled toilets upstairs

    • There were more male WC cubicles than female.

    • The corridor serves as the main access/ exit to and from the lift, stairs, bar, toilets, kitchen, caretaker’s flat and function rooms. There were something like six doors off this corridor.

    • It was difficult to see this thoroughfare being practical with high volumes of hot food dishes crossing from kitchen to bar and function rooms when taking into account different events taking place and foot movement to/from the toilets and stairs/ lift etc. The movement of wheelchairs and those with other disabilities could also be a significant problem.

    Overall concern at bias in design in favour of able-bodied males. And significant H&S concerns re busy corridor.


    • Equal number of male/ female WC cubicles

    • Additional disabled toilet/ baby changing facilities upstairs

    • Redesign bar and kitchen so as to be connected 

    • Centralise bar to serve drinks and food to all function rooms … directly

    Overall Recommendations:
    Taking above into account and other feedback, build new two storey pitched-roof building (ideally) sculpted into the bank. Veranda along length of the east-facing upper floor. Take down old building on completion of the build project.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *