14th May 2014
Mr Andrew McPhillips
19 Portsmouth Road
Dear Mr McPhillips
On Saturday 26th April Berkeley Homes held a drop-in session at the KGV Hall in Effingham to inform residents about the proposals for a replacement school for the Howard of Effingham and associated enabling residential development. The Effingham Residents Association is concerned that many Effingham residents were not aware that the event was taking place as they had not been adequately informed of this event by Berkeley Homes. EFFRA has subsequently been contacted by residents expressing this view and stating that they would have liked to attend the event.
In our view, notice of the event was inadequate to allow EFFRA and the Parish Council to notify residents in good time to reserve the date. We also believe that it was the responsibility of Berkeley Homes to notify residents of the event. We do not believe that the efforts made to advertise the event were adequate. This is reflected in the low turn-out of Effingham residents attending this important consultation event for the village. Therefore, we request, in line with Berkeley Homes’ commitment to properly inform and consult with the Effingham community, that before any planning application is submitted a further drop-in event is held with full details of the application to be made; and that Berkeley Homes arrange individual invitations to it to be sent or delivered to all Effingham households.
We would also take this opportunity to highlight concern expressed about the Feedback Form attendees completed at the event. The two questions posed in the form were considered both general and leading, which made a negative response difficult. For example, the questions could not reflect the views of those supporting a replacement school from enabling development funding, but would not support building on Green Belt land. This critical view was not accommodated unless added as a comment to the proposal. In fact, the issue of Green Belt land was not mentioned at all on the form but remains an issue of critical importance for many residents. Consequently, we feel that feedback from the form is of little value in assessing residents’ views about the proposal and would request that further research is appropriately moderated to allow a full range of views to be expressed.
We would be grateful if you could keep the Residents Association fully informed on the proposed development.
EFFINGHAM RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION
5 Orchard Gardens, Effingham, Surrey KT24 5NR Email: email@example.com