Effingham Residents Association (EFFRA) welcomes the statement by our MP, Sir Paul Beresford, our County Councillor, Julie Iles, and the County Councillor for Bookham and Fetcham West, Clare Curran, that they do not support the proposal by Berkeley Homes to build 110 more enabling houses in Effingham because of a claimed rise in the cost of the new Howard School.
Effingham residents were very disappointed by the decision in 2018 by the Secretary of State to allow 295 enabling houses on Green Belt land in Effingham for a new and much larger Howard School after it had been turned down by Guildford Borough Council. Residents were overwhelmingly against the scheme as, in addition to the irreversible damage to the Green Belt, they believed it was inappropriate in our small semi-rural village and that the local infrastructure, which is already under strain, would not be able to support it.
We have always believed that the issues regarding the condition of the existing school should have been dealt with by refurbishment on the existing site rather than a rebuild of the school on a new Green Belt site. Increasing the school’s size from 1,600 to over 2,000 pupils is inappropriate in a small village.
The proposed 110 additional houses on Green Belt land next to Ancient Woodland would cause more significant damage and put the infrastructure of the area under even more strain.
EFFRA asks Berkeley Homes to withdraw this damaging proposal.