EFFRA fights to represent the views of residents in Neighbourhood Plan meetings
Effingham Lodge Farm
In yet another tense Effingham Parish Council meeting last night your Residents Association (EFFRA) was offered one of the twelve seats on the new Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Group. This new group takes over from the Steering Group which had been made up entirely of parish councillors. The new Advisory Group will, as the debate came to a close last night, comprise of six parish councillors, five other handpicked residents chosen by the councillors and one member of your residents association.
Last year EFFRA and the Parish Council battled each other over the council’s plans to extend the Settlement Area and build over Effingham Lodge Farm. This is still ongoing and as such we feel that two seats on the advisory group would be more appropriate. One dissenting voice easily gets lost. Be assured, one seat or two, we will be fighting hard so that residents views are heard.
Now, following some legal advice the councillors are prepared to reluctantly open up their decision making committee. Some might say that nothing has changed in their apparent continuing determined efforts to build on Effingham Lodge Farm. Readers will wonder why they are pushing this site when they fought so well during 2014 against the draft Local Plan and the Berkeley Homes planning application to object and protect the farm.
The Berkeley Homes scheme
If you wish to have your views taken into account, either way, regarding the Parish Council’s continuing determination to extend the Settlement Area over part of Effingham Lodge Farm, then go along to their workshops and Drop In days. Visit the parish council website, and the effingham village plan website to get the dates of the forthcoming sessions.
And what of the advice from the Independent Examiner who told them that once you open up the site to developers you cannot stop them or protect the rest. Your views must be taken into account.
Current Settlement Area shown by blue boundary line