Mr. David King’s letter has been published in the Surrey Advertiser today (Friday February 6th 2015). The letter was written in response to this article previously published in the Surrey Advertiser. Please scroll down to the Comments section below the Surrey Advertiser article to view other responses.
With regard to the article in 30th Jan. edition (Homes plan only way forward for Howard) there are several points in the quotations which need challenging.
- The earliest building on the site is the original school building, built in 1937. Further buildings have been built progressively since then.
- A Dept. of Education survey in July 2013 rated 89% of the buildings as good/satisfactory and only 10% as poor. Furthermore, a Surrey County Council survey of schools’ maintenance needs rated Howard at 52nd out of 53 on the priority scale.
- The claim that the cost of leasing playing fields (as do over 60% of state schools) equates to a young teacher’s salary is an argument for building new playing fields, in place of KGV, seems to overlook totally that the school would then need to not only employ a full time groundsman but would also have to purchase and maintain all the necessary machinery.
- Mr. Webb thinks that the scheme is “a very reasonable way of subsidising construction” of a new school. Given that only 10% of the pupils live in Effingham, in the Borough of Guildford, and some 50 % live in Bookham, in Mole Valley District, it is certainly not reasonable to expect the settlement area of Effingham to be expanded by 90% and the number of dwellings increased by 30% to enable such construction. What would be fair and reasonable, if a new school really were needed, would for it to be built in Mole Valley to serve the Bookham/Fetcham conurbation of approx. 20,000 population.
- Effingham Lodge Farm is a greenfield site, in the Green Belt. The vast majority of the existing buildings, the glasshouses, are deemed temporary structures which do not confer “brownfield” status to this agricultural site. Government directives have made it clear that building on the Green Belt to meet housing target numbers is not permissible, nor is the co-joining of settlements creating urban sprawl.
- Despite Howard encouraging parents, via the pupils, to support the project, approx. 86% of the comments lodged with Guildford Borough Council are objections, soundly based on the grounds of Government planning policies.
- To the writer, it does not seem right that support expressed by people living not only outside Effingham Parish, but also outside Guildford Borough, should carry any validity whatsoever.
David J. King