Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley MP) and Clare Curran (Bookham and Fetcham West County Councillor) have made a statement (below) regarding planning applications 21/P/01283 and 21/P/01306 to build an extra 110 homes on the Green Belt. The applications were submitted by Berkeley Homes as it claims that building the new Howard of Effingham School is financially unviable and more enabling homes are needed.
“In 2018, GBC did not have a local plan with sufficient allocated dwelling numbers but this is no longer the case and the local plan demonstrates more than sufficient new homes in the borough.
We appreciate the attraction of a new school but it is planned for 2000 students rather than the current 1600, at a time when there are places available for pupils in other nearby secondary schools. We want to see the claimed increase in building costs for a new school questioned by GBC including the justification for the increase in pupil numbers.
This new proposal is even more inappropriate development in the green belt and the buffer zone area. Overall it increases the number of dwelling houses in Effingham village by nearly 40%. We believe that the Very Special Circumstances that applied to the previous application in 2018 do not apply in this case and that these 110 additional homes would add further to the strain upon our road and traffic, drains and other essential infrastructure. This development would fundamentally change the character and environment of Effingham as a small village and threaten the fragile, wider local infrastructure.
We do not support this proposal and expect GBC to support the local community and our concerns by rejecting it.”